Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem  



May 30, 2011

 

Thunder from Zion

Benjamin Netanyahu’s triumphant speech to Congress came on the heels of his answer to Barack Obama, who came out of the closet to demand that Israel return to the 1967 borders.

When Obama ordered Israel, during his State Department speech, to withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines, Netanyahu realized he was dealing with the same sort of figure he dealt with a dozen years ago. During the 1998 Wye Plantation meetings, Bill Clinton at least strongly indicated that he would free Jonathan Pollard, the imprisoned Israeli spy. Netanyahu, by making concessions to Yasser Arafat, was assured that he would be leaving Washington to fly back home with Pollard at his side.

Clinton pulled the old switcheroo.

The Palestinians are making a push to declare statehood by September. There are indications that this threat will be approved the global body at the UN. If that is the case—and the Temple Mount would be the most impossible puzzle to solve—I can assure you that I will not give any tourist dollars to a state of Palestine. That means I will never again see Bethlehem, or parts of east Jerusalem, and any other areas that become part of a Palestinian terror state.

Let me say something here too about a so-called “demilitarized” state of Palestine. A fifth grader would recognize that that is absurd. No future Palestinian state would be toothless. It isn’t now. The Palestinian Authority was armed to the teeth by Western diplomats after Oslo, and Israel must constantly monitor her borders to keep weapons smugglers out.

The Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick made her usual astute observations this past week, and notice—for Bible prophecy students—the chilling revelation she makes:

 

ISRAEL TODAY is the target of an ever escalating campaign to demonize and delegitimize it. Just this week we learned that a dozen towns in Scotland have decided to ban Israeli books from their public libraries. One Scottish town has decided to post signs calling for its residents to boycott Israeli products and put a distinguishing mark (yellow star, perhaps?) on all Israeli products sold in local stores to warn residents away from them.”

Do you see?

We are no longer talking about Psalm 83, or even necessarily Ezekiel 38-39. We are talking about Zechariah 12-14. A global assault on the nation of Israel, in our lifetime.

Scotland!

The handwriting was on the wall 200 years ago, when Europe began to be infected by liberal scholars/unbelievers who wormed their way into seminaries and pulpits. They first attacked the historical nature of Genesis (thus undercutting the beginnings of the Jewish people) and then moved on to a marginalization of the entire Old Testament.

If you do not read the Hebrew Scriptures and recognize their clear nature— historical records that also point to a Creator who knows the end from the beginning—you will find no special qualities for the Jews. It is then a short step to hating them for their insistence on holding onto “the land of their forefathers.”

What land of the forefathers? That’s an illegitimate, mythological story and, hey, by the way: get off “Palestinian land.”

This mindset, which has now swept over North America, is why Obama can deliver a menacing speech on 1967/1949 borders and know he won’t be run out of office.

Now, Scotland has joined the list of anti-Israel nations. The state is set. It really is. The last days are really here, and you can see them for yourself if you’ll read the Bible and pay attention to what is going on in the world.

This past week, Benjamin Netanyahu brought thunder from Zion, by telling Barack Obama that the Jews are not going to turn their necks to the executioner’s sword again.

 

Bravo to him and to his people.

The One Who watches will be thundering from Zion soon, too.

jim@prophecymatters.com





May 16, 2011

 (Even amid the unrest in the Middle East, we are having great response to the tours of Israel we are helping coordinate. Email Jim for more information!)

Misfire

Remember the old westerns, when an outlaw would aim a pistol and point-blank fire at the good guy? It always misfired, blowing up in the villain’s face.

I was reminded of that during this tumultuous week, in which the American president finally took the mask off and menacingly said that Israel should retreat to the June 4, 1967 borders—the ones Egypt and Syria used to try and cut Israel in half.

Then, the Harold Camping idiocy, which harms real Bible prophecy teaching—one wonders mightily what his real agenda is—dragged the Jews in through guilt-by-association.

So much to talk about!

On Facebook this morning, I looked at the page of an Emergent pastor. His church has had a field day with Camping’s prediction. In an unrelated (but really related) post, one of his associate pastors discussed a song by a guy named Bruno Mars; the song is “Marry You.” In the lyrics are the words “dancing juice,” but this pastor said that he had always liked “dancing Jews.” There then followed a series of offensive comments from members of this Emergent congregation.

The associate pastor is either ignorant of the lyrics, or altered them on purpose to engage in a little Jew-bashing. Notice how it is really related to Bible prophecy, since those who minimize predictive prophecy also minimize the Jewish connection to the Land.

My point is, these people are emboldened when the president reveals his true feelings about Israel and the Jews. It is open season in the American Church on Jews and Christians who believe the Bible is the Word of God.

And where the president is concerned, I urge you to read the following article:

http://israelinsider.net/forum/topics/joel-fishman-obamas

Rarely do you see someone in print have the courage to write like that. Much food for thought there.

I will be in Israel in two weeks and will bring back much to report on.

Yesterday on FOX, Charles Krauthammer said that without American assurances, Israel is “naked and alone” in the world. How true! And what a fulfillment of end-times prophecy! This perfectly illustrates the paradox in which we are living: Harold Camping is completely wrong (dangerously so), but the return of the Lord is so close!

The Emergent stand-up comics, our elected leaders, and all their followers have aimed their weapons at Bible prophecy and its followers.

We’ll see what happens after the smoke clears.

jim@prophecymatters.com

 




May 16, 2011

(Even amid the unrest in the Middle East, we are having great response to the tours of Israel we are helping coordinate. Email Jim for more information!)

Restless

Everyone is talking about the demonstrations planned by the Palestinians this week, in Israel. The Arab society is sick, demanding their people observe what they call the Nakba (“Catastrophe”), the establishment of Israel. This type of culture-wide outbreak—thought planned carefully by the barbaric PA and its new partner, Hamas—is a sinister indication that peace in the Middle East is further away than ever before.

Several people were injured in neighborhoods in east Jerusalem in the past few days, as tensions build toward Sunday. Israel’s 63rd anniversary was celebrated this past weekend, but the Arabs are putting the focus squarely on doomsday, for the international community. This decades-long hatred of the Jewish state has been bred by Palestinian leadership, and fed really by the pacifying tactics of Western diplomats.

In Jordan, “Nakba Day” demonstrations have already taken place, and in Alexandria, Egypt, demonstrators gathered at the Israeli consulate. This is sick and unacceptable; Israel sits on a sliver of land in a sea of Arab states. It is still too much not only for the Arabs, but also for the international community.

King Abdullah’s new book, Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril, is the typical hatchet-job on Israel. It is absolutely shameful that this desert monarch/dictator, whose family has been physically kept safe by the Israelis for decades, would pile-on the Jewish state. Just one more signal that the world has gone mad.

Don’t you get tired of it? It hit me this week, the source of that nagging feeling I’ve had for four years.

When the economy began to sour, and we sped toward electing a man with Marxist/socialist ideals, and pressure intensified on Israel…I began to feel restless. That is my personal admission. I have been nagged daily for four years with the feeling that something is really not right. Something is very much out of kilter.

The earthquake in Japan lifted a section of the seafloor 150 miles long and 85 miles wide, and slammed it back down. Reports said Japan “moved” a few feet. The earth’s axis was affected.

Economies from the U.S. to southeast Asia teeter on the brink of collapse. I heard this week that it is likely that states this summer will be forced to lay off hundreds of thousands of state employees, because the states are broke.

Conservatives, even Christians, get excited about a morally questionable real estate tycoon who blathers that he just might run for president. Then a birth certificate is produced and the tycoon’s political fortunes vanish in a puff of smoke.

Back to Israel.

A Jerusalem Post report this week revealed an interesting observation. If the UN General Assembly votes in favor of a Palestinian state in September, all hell could really break loose:

“A military operation inside Jenin or Nablus following a non-binding UNGA declaration might be explained due to a terror threat, but it will be perceived more widely worldwide as an invasion of another state’s territory and an Israeli violation of another nation’s sovereignty.”

You see, don’t you? There will be a trigger, eventually. A trigger that compels the international community to aid the Palestinians by sanctioning a military operation.

I believe the restlessness we all feel is tied to all this. The world is convulsing. Natural and manmade disasters are assaulting all our senses.

We know what’s coming.

jim@prophecymatters.com






May 9, 2011

Okay, Abu Mazen?”

Hamas terror master Khaled Mashaal has announced that his group will now coordinate strategy with the Palestinian Authority.

“Now we have to agree on all decisions as Palestinians,” he said from Cairo.

No other nation in the world but Israel would have to endure this kind of comment:

"How to manage the resistance, what's the best way to achieve our goals, when to escalate and when to cease fire, now we have to agree on all those decisions as Palestinians."

There are at least two problems with such statements. One, they tell us that agents of murder like Mashaal can become mainstream political figures and two, the PA’s Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is a partner in such madness.

Mashaal has also said that the Palestinians common enemy is Israel, and he intends to see a sovereign Palestinian state, with a capitol in Jerusalem. Tellingly, he also insists on the so-called “right of return” for “Palestinian refugees.” Officially, the right of return is seen as a non-starter by all negotiating partners and diplomats the world over, save of course the Arabs themselves.

A prediction: Israel will be expected to bend on even this issue, should a Palestinian state be declared. Menacingly, Mashaal also said he wanted that state emptied of Jews.

Hamas and the PA signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo last week, and this disturbing event of course has not been internalized by the West.

Nabil Sha’ath, who’s made a career out of “negotiating” with Israel, claims that Mashaal has given up violence, but this is just a tactic. All the Palestinian leadership advocates violence, and they always have.

There is no good conclusion this scenario, unless the international community intervenes and holds the Palestinians accountable. We know that won’t happen.

Equally disturbing is that all this reconciliation is taking place in Egypt. In modern times, there has always been tension between the Muslim Brotherhood and secular dictatorships in Egypt. At the end of the day, though, is the “secular” government better than the Brotherhood? The point is, they’re all the same, really.

Egypt’s Nasser was a psychopath and would have exterminated the Jews if he could have. He tried. Hamas and their PA friends are cut from the same cloth.

Let us now sit back and see how the Lord will destroy Pharaoh and his army.

jim@prophecymatters.com




May 2, 2011

Goldstone

A sub-heading for a Jerusalem Report article entitled, “The Lessons of War” reads: “The ramifications of the Goldstone Report have pushed the IDF into a new emphasis on ‘fighting smart’ from operational, legal, humanitarian and media points of view.”

We’ll get into the detail of the Goldstone Report in a minute, but for now, I’d say Israel can save herself the trouble of “fighting smarter.” It is my contention that if the IDF began fighting with cap guns, paintballs, and a “tag, you’re it!” mentality, the international community would still bare their fangs at Israel. Too many people simply don’t like Jews, and they have a particular hostility for the Jewish state.

I’ve known this for a long time. In Ariel Sharon’s autobiography, Warrior, he goes into some detail about how the Israelis selected land to become “state land” decades ago, after their extended hand to the Palestinians was met with the gloved fist of terrorism.

The Israelis would take soil samples to determine if animal dung was present in sufficient quantities to prove that Palestinians were working the land. If it was, they left it alone. These kinds of details are overlooked by the Jimmy Carters of the world.

Another example of Israel bending-over-backwards came when Sharon described the savage fighting in Lebanon, when Israel decided to forego air-strikes in order to minimize civilian casualties. The IDF opted instead for house-to-house fighting, resulting in more Israeli casualties.

Do these examples endear them to the international community? Of course not. As Sharon sadly discovered, even pulling out of Gaza added to the twisted “It’s Israel’s fault” mentality.

A few years ago, Richard Goldstone submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council, in which he charged that the IDF had targeted civilians. We don’t need to go into how that was received, do we? Israel is routinely demonized when she is minding her own business (it’s only slightly an exaggeration to say that Israel might be blamed for everything from the Japan earthquake to boll weevils invading American crops). When fighting wars of survival, the Israelis are expected to fight with both hands and legs tied, while offering her neck to her enemies.

Ironically, Goldstone issued a retraction of sorts a month ago in the Washington Post (!). The damage, however, is done.

Goldstone’s September 2009 report was 574 pages long. As usual, Israel’s right to defend herself from rocket attacks from the malevolent Hamas seems to be beyond reason, in the eyes of the international community. Did you also get the joke up there, about the report being prepared for the UN? That’s comical.

The Jerusalem Report article mentioned this, in the context of Israel modifying how it conducts combat operations:

“These include modifying the way the army fights in urban areas, teaching relatively low-level combat officers about the nuances in the laws of war, attaching humanitarian liason officers to activate forces and prioritizing media relations.”

The laws of war.

Can you imagine reading something like that to Generals Grant and Sherman in 1864? Or to General Curtis LeMay during World War II? How do people think just wars are won?

If our world operated with a sense of justice today, Hamas would be crushed permanently.

During the Gaza combat operations, IDF officers were briefed, in real time, on the legal ramifications of battlefield decisions.

This is madness.

Israel should remember how successful campaigns are waged, examining the successes of an earlier effort in Gaza in 1971, led not by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, but by Major General Ariel Sharon. He and his forces rooted-out the terrorists of the PLO in those days.

That is Israel’s recipe for success against the barbarians who harass her every minute of every day.

jim@prophecymatters.com







Apr 25, 2011

Christian Palestinianism
 

For some time, I have been raising the alarm that evangelical Christianity has been infiltrated by theological leftists. Among other things, this impacts our nation’s view of Israel.

Recently, I was made aware of a movement of young evangelicals who are embracing what the British lecturer Paul Wilkinson calls “Christian Palestinianism.” Loosely, this means a Christian who supports the Palestinian Arabs, and dismisses Jewish claims to the land. Obviously, these “Millennial Generation” Christians (18-34) do not embrace Bible prophecy. Their worldview is different.

A battle for Israel is being fought in the United States right now. Traditionally, Americans have supported the Jewish state, and the U.S. has always been one of the few friendly havens for Jews. I believe that is changing.

Chris LaTondresse, CEO of Recovering Evangelical (recoveringevangelical.com) is such a leader. By embracing new media and technologies, they are reaching vast numbers of young people. To be perfectly frank, while many of us in the Bible prophecy community cling to old models in presenting our worldview, young people aren’t paying attention at all. They are running to the “recovering evangelicals.” Listen to what LaTondresse posted on his website:

“Our generation’s tutors are child-soldiers in Uganda, girls rescued from sex-slavery in Thailand and homeless youth living in the crumbling remains of America’s inner-cities. Our primary classrooms are Brazilian favelas, rural villages in Kenya and bombed-out neighborhoods in Gaza. These people aren’t our causes. They’re our friends.

“For these reasons and more, we’re turned-off when faith becomes a bludgeon used to condemn those outside of our tribe. We think the world needs fewer culture warriors and more peacemakers, reconcilers and bridge builders.”

Of course, he is interested in building bridges with those of like-mind. I seriously doubt the young evangelicals who consider themselves centrists or left-leaning are interested in building bridges with what I’d call Bible-believing Christians. And, it is perfectly acceptable for them and Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo—mentors of a sort—to use their faith as a bludgeon against those with whom they disagree. Amazingly, McLaren is considered to be a voice of reason and a compassionate voice, at the same time he lambasts Bible-believing Christians.

LaTondresse has been impacted by the teachings of Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Catholic from the Galilee who promotes the “Palestinian narrative” which essentially blames the Arab refugee problem on Israel. As LaTondresse claims, Chacour “loves Jesus,” but one isn’t clear if these men acknowledge that Jesus is a Jew. Certainly, the godfather of modern terrorism, the self-proclaimed leader of the Palestinian people, Yasser Arafat, absurdly identified Jesus as a Palestinian. This lie has also been peddled by such “evangelical icons” as Phillip Yancey.

The leadership team of Recovering Evangelical, seven-strong, is comprised of college graduates—including one from Princeton Theological Seminary. One hundred years ago, Princeton was in the midst of a transformation from being a bastion of conservative scholarship, to a liberal school. That is why such wonderful teachers as Robert Dick Wilson departed Princeton. The spirit of the age was against them, and it is against us.

Interestingly, one of Recovering Evangelical’s senior contributors, Brian Kammerzelt, currently serves on the faculty at Moody! He also taught at Wheaton, which many Christians do not realize is more liberal than conservative. He also attended Willow Creek, the seeker-friendly church in north Chicago started by Bill Hybels.

Hybels’ wife, Lynne, has become more and more vocal about supporting the Palestinians. On her blog (lynnehybels.blogspot.com), she recently posted some comments about a sermon her husband had delivered the month following the 9/11 attacks.

Predictably, Bill Hybels decried what he described as unfair characterizations of Muslims, by Americans. This after 19 Muslim terrorists had murdered more than 3,000 Americans. ABC’s Peter Jennings went down the same path, almost immediately holding a town-hall meeting to present Muslims as misunderstood peaceniks.

Lynne Hybels wrote this about her husband’s message:

“He talked about ‘hot reactors,’ people who ‘opinionate before they reflect, before they bow down and pray; who ventilate before they ask God for sober-mindedness and self-control; who indict whole races of people before they know the facts. Let’s call this what it is: not good. Not good behavior. Not good Christianity. This is Christianity gone awry.’”

Lynne Hybels also spoke at the “Christ at the Checkpoint” International Conference, organized by Palestinians and Christians who oppose Christian Zionists. On the website (www.christatthecheckpoint.com), we also learn that Tony Campolo characterizes Christian Zionism as “theology that legitimates oppression.”

Christian Zionism is a theology that legitimates oppression? That is a lie.

These kinds of potshots and smear tactics against Christians who support Israel are growing in number. Christian Zionists, in my view, must determine to do two things:

A)   Read, study, and educate. Learn the arguments. Study the issues related to Israel and the Jewish people. Then use your brain to articulate these things to your circle of contacts. A word of caution: the nastiness of the proponents of “Christian Palestinianism” will be a continual problem. Yet we must engage these attacks, which are ultimately attacks on the Jewish people.

B)    Embrace the new technologies. Use tools like social networking, PowerPoint presentations if you speak to groups, etc. If you think you’re too old for Facebook, think again. “Tweet” on Twitter. Realize that cell phones are the new delivery systems for young people. While we are fumbling with overheard projectors and slides, our opponents are laughing, while providing the content they want young people to digest via new technology.

Leftists will always present themselves as reasonable, compassionate, “careful thinkers.” They focus heavily on social justice issues, and love causes that would make the Pacifists’ Hall of Fame.

Yet there is a malevolence associated with their loathing of Christian Zionists. Check it out for yourselves.

We have work to do.

jim@prophecymatters.com