This picture above is a picture of an Iraqi Christian church that was the site of one of the most horrific church massacres in recent history. Muslims invaded the church and shot three pastors in front of the congregation. All three died. The church is Syriac (Aramaic) Catholic. 68 Assyrian Christians died in the attack and 78 were wounded. Religious violence against Christians is spreading throughout the Muslims world and persecution of Christians is spreading into Europe and America. A liberal group called SPLC has recently decided to name Evangelical Christianity as a "hate group." With the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't tell" Evangelical Christians in the military are now targeted for religious discrimination. (It was frankly admitted to Congress that religious discrimination against Christians will be practiced as the new policy is implemented. See: http://www.onenewsnow.com/.) The time has come to make a bold stand against the Liberal-Progressive-Democrats and to stop tolerating Islamic intolerance. Be informed and speak out!
Looking Back at 2010
The most important event that happened in 2010 occurred on October 31, 2010 in Baghdad, Iraq. Muslims entered into a Syriac Church in Baghdad and slaughtered 68 Assyrian Christians and mutilated 78 Assyrian Christians. I often get into discussions with people that go like this: "Did you hear about that pastor in Florida that threatened to burn Korans?" They usually answer yes. Then I ask if they heard about the church massacre in Baghdad and of course they had not. This shows that to the Democratic Party and to the Liberal News Media Establishment-the paper and ink of the Koran is far more valuable than the blood of Christians. Religious violence against Christians continued in 2010. In Pakistan, Asia Bibi, a 45 year old mother of five and Pakistani Christian was sentenced to death for "insulting Islam" after defending her faith when he Muslim neighbors mocked her for being "unclean" as a Christian. (Bibi's blasphemy charges came after she was approached by co-workers wanting to convert her to Islam. She told the women that Jesus died for mankind, and asked what Mohammed had done for them.) Muslims slaughtered 38 Christians in Nigeria on Christmas Day, 2010. 2010 was a bad year for Christians facing persecution and a good year for fanatical Islam. My prayer is that soon, Islamic intolerance will face a major setback and Christians will have greater freedom in the Middle East. (Check last month's "Aramaic Herald" for more in depth information regarding the persecutions.) On 31 December 2010, 12 Assyrian Christians were wounded in their homes and 2 were killed in their homes by Muslims.
Stephen in 2010
So, what did Stephen do in 2010? From January to August I was in Baghdad, Iraq. After I got back I rested and visited with family. I did go to Chicago to visit the Assyrian community there. When I got back I did publish some more books (which are listed below). Since I have been back I have been unemployed, without a car and running out of money.
Stephen's future plans: 2011 and beyond
My next goal is to continue my education. I hope to get into a doctoral program. I want to study the Old Testament. I hope to go back to Egypt. I may stay in the military for three more years. I don't want to have to put up with all this gay rights garbage in the military. This is not the place for it. I want to place my future in God's hands.
The Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Dear Senator Cornyn,
You allowed the senate to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." This doesn't just mean that homosexuals can serve openly, this means that those whose religious convictions are that homosexual acts and behavior are wrong and sinful will now be discriminated against and forced out of the army. It has been publically stated on numerous occasions that they intend to put Evangelical Christians who are opposed to homosexual behavior out of the army. Conservative Christians must not be forced to attend briefings that state that their Christian and biblical beliefs opposed to homosexuality are wrong. Forcing Christians to attend such mandatory briefings means that the United States military is going to ridicule and oppose traditional Christian morality. To force them to attend such briefings is religious persecution. I need to know, Senator Cornyn, what you are going to do to protect our Evangelical Christian service members from enduring religious persecution and discrimination-which is the stated intend of this new policy. Are you going to protect our military heroes' freedom of religion and conscience or are you going to allow a policy to go forward with plans to persecute Christians serving in the United States military and end their military careers due to their religious beliefs? I am shocked and appalled that the senate would betray and vilify our troops in such a manner. I have served in Iraq twice. I was in Bagdad with the Army in 2003-2004 and 2009-2010. I take this matter very seriously. This new law is unconstitutional. According to the constitution, no law shall be passed by congress to prevent the free exercise of religion. The legal case of Katcoff Verses Marsh (1986) states that military service members do have the right to the free exercise of religion and that military chaplains are to protect that right. This new law is a religious test designed to discriminate against Evangelical Christians. The religious test is this: if your religious beliefs are opposed to homosexual conduct then you are not allowed to serve in the United States Armed Forces. This is a clear violation of section 6 of the Constitution, which states, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
Stephen Andrew Missick
The Four Principles of Moderate Islam
What is "Moderate Islam"? Supposedly, the vast majority of Muslims are "Moderates." What differentiates a Moderate Muslim from a Muslim extremist? In this age of terrorism it is important for us to define terms. The faith distinctive of Moderate Islam are delineated here. There are four principles that Moderate Muslims must believe in order to be truly moderate. If they do not hold to these four principles they are dangerous radicals and extremists. True moderate Muslims do not merely give lip service to these four principles, they diligently endeavor to make these four principles the norm for all Muslims. The principles are the following: Sharia Law has no legal authority, Violent Jihad is not valid for Muslims anywhere in the world and never will be again, Arab Christians and all non-Muslims living in Islamic countries are equal citizens with Muslims and enjoy all the same rights and privileges Muslims do, and all Muslims everywhere have the right to convert to any religion (or agnosticism and atheism) if they so chose. (The complete article "The Four Principles of Moderate Islam" is available to my blog: http://www.aramaicherald.blogspot.com/.)
(The books listed below can be ordered through Amazon.com or Barnes and Nobles On-line or can be ordered through their publisher.)
The Words of Jesus in the Original Aramaic: Discovering the Semitic Roots of Christianity (Xulon Press, 2006)
Although Bible scholars have called Aramaic "the Language of Jesus" most Christians have never heard of Aramaic. However, anyone who has read the Bible has been exposed to Aramaic whether he or she knows it or not. "Abba, Father" is Aramaic. Golgotha, the place where Jesus was crucified is Aramaic for "Skull-Place". Names such as Thomas, Barnabas, Martha, and Magdalene are all Aramaic names. "Maranatha" is a short Aramaic prayer that is left un-translated in the New Testament. Translated from the Aramaic it means, "Our Lord, Come!" After the release of Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ", which was filmed mostly in Aramaic, more people have been exposed to the Aramaic language than ever before. Aramaic is an important but often over-looked tool in discovering the mind of Christ. This book is an introduction to Aramaic biblical studies and to the last Christians who still speak the ancient Aramaic language, the Assyrians of Mesopotamia. This book also explores the Aramaic behind Christ's words, such as in the title Christ used for himself, the Son of Man, which is Barnasha in Aramaic, and looks at important people in early Aramaic Christianity, such as James the Just and Mary of Magdala.
Mary of Magdala: Magdalene, the Forgotten Aramaic Prophetess of Christianity (Xlibris, 2006)
According to the Biblical account Mary of Magdala was the first witness of the resurrection. The early fathers of the church called Mary Magdalene the "Apostle of the Apostles". She played an important, but until recently, largely ignored role in the early church. Aramaic was the language of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Her name "Magdalene" is an Aramaic name meaning "the Tower". St. Jerome, who was fluent in Aramaic, believed she was called "the Tower" due to her ardent faith. This book explores Mary of Magdala through the Aramaic language and ancient Aramaic sources and traditions.
Treasures of the Language of Jesus: The Aramaic Source of Christ's Teaching (Xlibris, 2006)
Treasures of the Language of Jesus: The Aramaic Source of Christ's Teachings explores Jesus in the light of his language, culture and times. Bible scholars have determined that Aramaic was the language that was spoken by Jesus Christ. This book examines the meanings of Aramaic words and Aramaic figures of speech that are found in the New Testament. Treasures of the Language of Jesus is an introduction to Aramaic biblical studies and to the last surviving native speakers of the Aramaic language, the Assyrians and Chaldeans of Mesopotamia.
Aramaic: The Language of Jesus of Nazareth (Xlibris, 2008)
Aramaic: The Language of Jesus of Nazareth is a brief introduction to the Aramaic language. Bible scholars have determined that Aramaic was the language spoken by Jesus Christ. This book lists the evidence from the Bible, archeology and other ancient records that have led them to this conclusion. Examining the words of Jesus in his native language gives us a deeper understanding of the Messiah and his message. Aramaic: The Language of Jesus of Nazareth serves an important introduction to Aramaic biblical studies and to the last surviving native speakers of the Aramaic language, the Assyrian Christians of Mesopotamia.
Christ the Man (Xulon Press)
Immerse yourself in the life of John the Baptizer and Jesus the Christ as they preach God's New Covenant with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with all the living things of the earth (Hosea 2:18). John and Jesus' radical new message of forgiveness and hope provokes opposition from the authorities. After John is arrested, Jesus decides to confront the religious establishment in the very courts of the Temple of Jerusalem! Jesus rescues the animals from sacrifice, evicts the all the merchants and their customers from the Temple and then boldly proclaims, "My Father's House shall be a house of prayer for all nationalities!" Rediscover the beginnings of the Good News of Christ the Man. Gain fresh insights on the historical background of the life of Christ supplemented with twenty illustrations from the "Christ the Man" graphic novel.
The Hammer of God: The Stories of Judah Maccabee and Charles Martel (Xulon Press, 2010)
According to the Gospel of John, Jesus Christ celebrated the Festival of Hanukkah (John 10:22). Hanukkah celebrates the heroic exploits of Judas Maccabeus and his battle for religious freedom. These events occurred during the four-hundred silent years between the Old and New Testaments. The Seleucid Greeks that ruled over the Jewish people made observing Judaism a capital offense and ordered all copies of the Bible to be collected and burned. In the year 167 Before Christ, Judas Maccabaeus led the Jewish people into battle to preserve the Holy Bible and to establish religious liberty. Judas was called Maccabeus which means "the Hammer" in Aramaic. Centuries later, in the year 732 A.D, Charles Martel, known as "Charles the Hammer," fought to defend the religious liberties of the Christians and Jews in Europe when an army of Islamic terrorists threatened to eradicate Christianity in France. In The Hammer of God learn about the history of the battle for religious freedom, a battle that continues today.
The Ascents of James: A Lost Acts of the Apostles (Create Space 2010)
The Ascents of James is an ancient account of the life of James the Just, the brother of Jesus, that was composed by the Ebionites, an ancient sect of Jewish Christians, at a time close to the end of the first century. In this ancient Jewish Christian book, James and the Twelve Apostles explain their beliefs in Jesus as the Jewish Messiah and answer questions from their opponents on the steps of the Temple of Jerusalem. The main argument made in The Ascents of James is that Jesus is the Prophet like Moses prophesied in Deuteronomy 18: 15-22. The Ascents of James provides us with a rare perspective into an extinct and very ancient form of Jewish Christianity.
The Second Adam and the Restoration of All Things (Create Space 2010)
According to the Book of Genesis in the Holy Bible, God created Adam and Eve in a state of harmony with Nature. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were expulsed from the Garden of Eden. In the New Testament, Jesus is described as the Second Adam who brings a restoration of all things (Acts 3:21). Describing the New Testament, Hosea says, "In that day I will make a New Covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, to make them lie down safely" (Hosea 2:18). According to the Gospel of Mark, the Good News is Good News for all creatures or all creation (Mark 16:15). The Bible states that in God's New Kingdom, "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah 11:9).
Saint Thaddeus and the King of Assyria: The Aramaic Origins of Christianity (Create Space 2010)
According to ancient manuscripts written in the Aramaic language, Saint Thaddeus, one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, traveled to Mesopotamia and preached the Good News of the Kingdom of God to the Assyrians and preached in Chaldea and Babylonian as well. The Assyrian people received the Gospel and became fervent Christians. The Assyrian Church of the East produced many great theologians and scholars. Assyrian missionaries planted churches in India, China, Mongolia and Socotra all before the year 700 A.D. Under the pagan Persians and then later under the Moslems, the Assyrians endured horrific persecution because of their Christian faith. The Assyrian Christians still endure persecution and still live in Iran and Iraq and have survived as a dynamic living testimony to the saving power of Jesus Christ.
A Soldier in Iraq (Create Space, 2010)
A children's book about Stephen's experiences in Iraq in 2003 and 2004.
The Secret of Jabez (Upcoming)
Discover an astonishing truth that has been concealed for centuries and is now unveiled at last! This book tells the story of the first people known to history to have worshiped Yahweh (Jehovah) as the one God, a tribe of Kenite Arabs called the Rechabites. Recent archeological evidence has convinced historians and Bible scholars that it was these Kenites, an Arab tribe that pre-dates Abraham and Ishmael, who were the first to call upon God by the name of "Yahweh," or Jehovah, and to worship him as the one true God. It was they who introduced the Israelites to the worship of Yahweh God. Jabez, who has been popularized through his short prayer found in the book of Chronicles in the Holy Bible, has a unique connection with these Rechabites. Jeremiah called the Rechabites a people blessed by God, and used the example of the faithfulness of this gentile (meaning non-Jewish) people to condemn the great lack of faith in God found among the Israelites. These Rechabites are still wandering the deserts of the Middle East to this very day. They are still devoted to Yahweh and bear on their bodies the emblem of their tribe. This symbol they have bore since their beginning as a people. Like Paul they bear on their bodies "the marks of the Lord Jesus" (Galatians 6:17). They have worn this stigma from time immemorial. Now let us unravel the secrets of the Prayer of Jabez, decode its hidden meaning and unlock the mystery of the lost and forgotten identity of Jabez and reveal the true purpose of his prayer.
(These books are also available in hard copies.)
The Language of Jesus: Introducing Aramaic (2010)
"The Language of Jesus: Introducing Aramaic" is a brief introduction to general facts about the Aramaic language. Bible scholars have determined that Aramaic was the language spoken by Jesus Christ. This book lists the evidence from the Bible, archeology and other ancient records that have led them to this conclusion. Examining the words of Jesus in his native language gives us a deeper understanding of the Messiah and his message. "The Language of Jesus: Introducing Aramaic" serves an important introduction to Aramaic biblical studies and to the last surviving native speakers of the Aramaic language, the Assyrian Christians of Mesopotamia.
Judas Maccabeus: The Hammer of God (2010)
The Story of Judah Maccabee is a timeless inspirational story of great faith and courage against seemingly impossible odds. It is also a timely story about the collision of traditional religion and modernity. Hanukkah celebrates the heroic exploits of Judas Maccabeus and his battle for religious freedom. These events occurred during the four-hundred silent years between the Old and New Testaments. The Seleucid Greeks that ruled over the Jewish people made observing Judaism a capital offense and ordered all copies of the Bible to be collected and burned. In the year 167 Before Christ, Judas Maccabaeus led the Jewish people into battle to preserve the Holy Bible and to establish religious liberty. Judas was called Maccabeus which means "the Hammer" in Aramaic. In Judas Maccabeus: The Hammer of God learn about the history of the battle for religious freedom, a battle that continues today.
(Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies www.jaas.org)
The Assyrian Church in the Mongol Empire, Mar Thoma: The Apostolic Foundation of the Assyrian Church in India, and Socotra: The Mysterious Island of the Church of the East which were published in the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies (Volume XIII, No. 2, 1999, Volume XIV, No. 2, 2000 and Volume XVI No. 1, 2002).
(Crossover Videos: www.thecrossoverproject.org)
Iraq's Christians in Crisis
The Armenian Genocide
The Assyrians: The Oldest Christian People
Chronicles: Facts from the Bible
The Hammer of God: Character and Historical Reference
The Hammer of God Coloring Book
The Hammer of God Mini-Comic
The Hammer of God: The Battle for Religious Freedom
1. Is the Cross a Pagan Symbol?
2. The Restoration of the Lost Ark
3. The Seven Signs
4. Renenutet and the Gift of Khnum (A Story about Ancient Egypt)
5. Jihad and Crusade
6. Babylon Mystery Religion
7. The Aramaic New Testament
Reverend Stephen Andrew Missick is the author of The Assyrian Church in the Mongol Empire, Mar Thoma: The Apostolic Foundation of the Assyrian Church in India, and Socotra: The Mysterious Island of the Church of the East which were published in the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies (Volume XIII, No. 2, 1999, Volume XIV, No. 2, 2000 and Volume XVI No. 1, 2002). He is the author of The Words of Jesus in the Original Aramaic: Discovering the Semitic Roots of Christianity, Mary of Magdala: Magdalene, the Forgotten Aramaic Prophetess of Christianity, Treasures of the Language of Jesus: The Aramaic Source of Christ's Teaching, Aramaic: The Language of Jesus of Nazareth and Christ the Man. He is an ordained minister of the gospel. He graduated from Sam Houston State University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rev. Missick has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and has lived among the Coptic Christians in Egypt and Aramaic Christians in Syria. He also served as a soldier in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2004. While serving as a soldier in Iraq he learned Aramaic from native Aramaic-speaking Iraqi Assyrian Christians. Rev. Missick is the writer and illustrator of the comic book "The Assyrians: The Oldest Christian People," the comic strip Chronicles: Facts from the Bible and the comic book series The Hammer of God which are available from www.comixpress.com. The Hammer of God comic book series dramatizes the stories of Judah Maccabee and Charles Martel. He has also served as a chaplain in the Army National Guard in Iraq during his second deployment in 2009 and 2010.
Contact Stephen A. Missick at PO Box 882 Shepherd TX 77371 A monthly newsletter, The Aramaic Herald, is available free of charge. DVDs and Gospel tracts with an Aramaic focus are also available from the above address. Rev. Missick has several short video teachings and presentations at www.youtube.com/aramaic12 and a blog at http://www.aramaicherald.blogspot.com/.