Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem  


 


Dec 26, 2011

Hear, O Palestine

Oliver Cromwell lived in relative obscurity for much of his life, eventually emerging as an engine of religious liberty in England. He is one of the famous figures of history, and much has been written about the one-time farmer, born in the 16th century. English through-and-through.

No one has ever called him Cromwell the Swede. Or, Oliver of Mongolia.

No one has ever tried to claim that Alexander the Great was from Bolivia.

It would be absurd to allege that Cleopatra was Canadian.

So why are quite a few people—with a straight face—calling Jesus a Palestinian?

Of course, I do not mean that I’m comparing Cromwell or any of these other figures from history with the Son of God. Still, I am attempting to show the nuttiness of changing someone’s ethnic background, for some odd agenda.

That is what is going on with Jesus Christ. The Jesus of the Bible was thoroughly a Jew, born to Jewish parents in Bethlehem. They raised him in Nazareth. They went to the Temple in Jerusalem. Et cetera.

One of the most diabolical lies being circulated today is that “Jesus was a Palestinian.”

You know what Palestinians are, of course, at least thanks recently to Newt Gingrich. When answering a reporter’s question he simply said that there has never been a sovereign state of Palestine. This is an historical fact and is akin to saying Plano, Texas, is not a state in the Union.

Yet a growing number of folks are peddling the Jesus was a Palestinian whopper. Philip Yancey was doing it in the ‘90s. Christianity Today let him get away with it because the editorial board shares the same worldview.

Yasser Arafat said it, as does his Holocaust-denying successor, Mahmoud Abbas. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said recently from Bethlehem that “"Christmas is an opportunity to celebrate the Palestinian identity of Jesus Christ," a clever lie from one who understands that many in the West are both gullible and uninformed.

In fact, Arafat used to tell people that Jesus was the first Palestinian martyr. This is not only a repulsive lie, but it is an attempt to distort true religion and history. Remember, Arafat used to tell America diplomats and presidents that the Temple never stood in Jerusalem.

The truly disturbing thing is that American evangelicals—or those who call themselves evangelicals—are helping perpetuate this lie. Again, Yancey thinks Jesus was a Palestinian rabbi.

Insane.

In the past six months, I have discovered more fully how deep this lie goes. It is quite disturbing and has far-reaching implications.

For many decades, mainline church types have sought to marginalize Israel and Jews, whether through wacky biblical “scholarship” or political maneuvering. Now it is the “evangelicals” who are leading the (false) charge.

I will be writing about this at length in the coming weeks, but I have recently dialogued with key people who are pro Palestinian, in the evangelical world.

Last week, I had a conversation by email with a man who is part of one of these organizations. He was taking Newt Gingrich to task for saying the Palestinians are an invented people (even key PLO leaders have said this).

This man was adamant that Gingrich is wrong; he supplied a detailed rundown of ancient history.

No one in his right mind would deny that the ancient Phoenicians lived in the region, or that the Arabs also come from the seed of Abraham. The key thing there is, who was the child of the promise? Scripture is crystal-clear that it was Isaac.

What is almost baffling to me is why serious people would claim that there was once a state of Palestine, or that the Palestinian Arabs are not in fact simply part of the pan-Arab nation. This is elementary. Yet proponents of the so-called Palestinian narrative are hell-bent on demanding that the Jews have hijacked a great, ancient, and thriving civilization called Palestine.

I am not arguing that there is an ethnic group that is a cousin of the Jews in the region, or even that there might one day exist a state of Palestine. I wouldn’t like it, but I wouldn’t deny reality.

Those who push the Palestinian narrative are rejecting reality. Such is the dislike of Jews and the Hebrew nature of the Bible that these people peddle outright falsehoods.

I even heard John MacArthur the other day on radio repeatedly refer to the geography of Jesus as “Palestine.” I don’t know why he would do that.

My email correspondent arrogantly appealed to me to get on the “right side of history” and embrace these delusions. His nastiness when discussing Zionism was/is disturbing. He told me that I don’t care about the people of Palestine.

Let me tell you something: if you want to stand up for Israel in the coming months and years, you’d better have your big-boy pants on. Rather, you’d better have the full armor of God. Because you are going to encounter people who will deny reality and call you crazy in the process. We are living, my friends, in a time when inversion of the truth is normal and pervasive.

This Christmas, I am celebrating with appreciation the fact that a Jewish savior entered the world 2,000 years ago and grew up in Israel. He is a Jew now, and will one day reign from Jerusalem, the city of His forefathers. He was born in Bethlehem, to a Jewish carpenter and his Jewish wife.

He offered Himself as the only acceptable sacrifice, on a Roman cross.

His heritage, time on Earth, and ministry are rooted in reality and real history.

The question is, do enough people care?

jim@prophecymatters.com


Dec 19, 2011

A Legacy of Hate

Several days ago, the IDF killed terrorist Issam Batash, who lived in Gaza City. He had participated in a number of terror attacks over the years; the 43-year-old Palestinian terrorist was a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade.

(The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade refers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the Temple Mount. Years ago, when Yasser Arafat launched yet another terror war against Israel, this “brigade” was founded. Ostensibly, it was formed to “protect” the mosque from conquest by the Israelis. This kind of absurd accusation, originating from a seventh-century, paranoid mindset, has kept the Arab-Israeli conflict going. Every time I visit the Temple Mount, I see a tranquil setting, as the IDF and Israeli police actually provide security for all visitors, most especially the Palestinians who loathe them! No one is trying to destroy or conquer the mosques on the site.)

When he was killed, Batash was planning another terror attack. After all, he’d seen plenty of success. Four years ago, he dispatched a homicide bomber to Eilat, where three Israelis were murdered. His main speciality over the years was facilitating weapons smuggling and terrorist smuggling from the Gaza Strip in the Sinai, and from there to places like Eilat.

Batash was born the year Arafat assumed command of the PLO, one year after the Six Day War.

Batash’s nephew, Subhi Alaa Batash, died in the IAF attack. He was a member of the Hamas group Izz al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades. He was also the son of the former police chief of the Sujaya Refugee Camp, near Gaza.

Islamic Jihad issued a statement claiming that the strike was against “all the Palestinian resistance forces.” By the way, do you see a pattern here? All the Palestinian terror groups, including Fatah, are part of these attacks. And with news that Hamas is quietly exiting Damascus, as the Syrian chaos spreads, one can easily see that the various terrorist factions will now find ways to work more closely together.

Palestinian resistance. Resisting what? What were they resisting before June, 1967? This is something you won’t hear leftists and their Palestinian friends address. They want to keep that quiet. Or completely forgotten.

In Judea and Samaria, what the world calls the West Bank (because Jordan’s King Hussein did), a disturbing development has arisen, as Palestinian terrorists are planting IEDs. And at a spot near Nebi Saleh, 100 rioters confronted IDF forces. One rioter, Mustafa Tamimi, was killed.

This type of activity, so prevalent among the Palestinians, resulted in the usual media coup for the PA. Mahmoud Abbas, on the heels of a charge from the Safa News Agency—which claimed that Israelis delayed medical teams from entering the area—was able to tell his people that this constituted a “crime” and that it wouldn’t deter the Palestinian Authority from carrying forward its age-long “popular non-violent resistance.”

Is that what non-violent resistance has become, violent resistance? The various terror brigades work hand-in-hand with the “non-violent” protestors.

Reports of alleged delays in bringing in medical treatment have become standard not only for the Palestinians, but also for their supporters in the West.

In her blog on November 28, 2011, Lynne Hybels wrote:

“I’ve heard stories of Palestinian women giving birth in their cars because of lengthy checkpoint delays, and of critically sick children being denied health care because they can’t get Israeli-issued permits to travel to the hospital in Jerusalem.”

Ask yourself this question: does it make sense—is it logical—that when they are already behind the international eight-ball and hated by neighbors, that the Israelis would purposely inflame the hatred? What good would it do to purposely keep ill people from medical treatment?

Notice too that Hybels “heard” those stories. Ah, the fabled Palestinian narrative. “It’s all Israel’s fault.” I’ve heard stories of Bigfoot, too, but no one’s ever produced one.

A key ingredient in the Palestinian narrative is spreading falsehoods. This Arafat learned from his Soviet handlers during the Cold War.

In the meantime, the numerous stories of Israeli humanitarian aid is sanitized from the reports. Have you heard about the Arab man who received a liver transplant in an Israeli hospital? Did you know that Israeli doctors treat terrorists? Has anyone told you about the Palestinian baby with a hole in its heart? The baby was saved by Israelis. See for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tfhCbkuhvk

The real story of this region is that the Israelis have been rejected by the Arabs for generations. Arab rejection of the existence of Israel is the issue, people. Until that reality is acknowledged, the wrong story and a legacy of hate will grow.

jim@prophecymatters.com


Dec 12, 2011

(Be sure and read two blogs Jim recently wrote for Beliefnet and WorldNetDaily:

www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=374717…

 http://blog.beliefnet.com/isittheendoftheworld/)

Silent Night

One glorious afternoon this summer, my son and I were tooling down the highway, on our way to Masada, at the edge of the Dead Sea.

It was a dream trip for us since, at 19, he wanted to see the Land and, guess what? We took the opportunity!

It was hot as blue blazes that day, as they say, and when we stopped for a drink at a convenience story (really, it was an oasis. Run by Palestinians and catering to tourists and thirsty IDF soldiers), I could think of little else but the heat. I also knew we were only a few miles from Masada, with its epic vistas punctuated by stifling heat!

Stretching, I took in the gorgeousness of the horizon. The Judean Hills. We had passed them on the way out of Jerusalem, as well, and it stimulated a wonderful conversation. Even though it was June, I talked to Jonathan about the shepherds who still dot the hills, tending their flocks. Except for a modern highway cutting through the landscape, the place looks like it did, well, 2,000 years ago.

Although my family knows the story of the famous birth in Bethlehem, Jonathan and I talked about it. It’s something to see, the actual place, and know it all happened just as the apostles recorded.

Back in the ‘90s, I was staying with friends in the southern Jerusalem suburb of Gilo, which overlooks the valleys and hills of Bethlehem. The stars were out in force! I thought of what it must have looked like on a splendid, epochal night in the first century.

I thought about that last night, sitting on my front porch. The Messiah stepped into a specific moment of history, into a Roman backwater province.

He is preparing to step back into history.

This morning I was talking to a journalist friend of mine, a sophisticated guy back east. We were talking about the War on Terror. Then he just blurted out how close we must be to Psalm 83/Isaiah 17, etc. Yes! As we all often say now, so many huge things are happening at once…

•Antisemitism is on the move around the world, in all its viciousness and irrationality.

Jordan’s King Hussein, an alleged “moderate,” is meeting with Hamas.

•American diplomats Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta are demanding concessions from Israel.

Syria’s butcher, Bashar Assad, is attempting to shift focus from his serial killing of his own family to blaming Israel for the region’s problems.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood just won 60 percent of the vote in the country’s most educated, “liberal” areas, the cities! Imagine what will happen when the rest of the elections conclude in other parts of Egypt, including the Sinai, where Al Qaida is strong.

Iran is currently ramping-up its proxy wars around the world.

•Hezbollah’s Hitler, Sheik Nasrallah is not only whipping-up the Lebanese into a frenzy, he is actually making friends with American evangelicals! (See the WND blog link above.)

All these and a hundred other signs tell anyone who is paying attention that last days prophecies center around Israel, and they are being fulfilled constantly.

What does this have to do with the Judean Hills? Just this:

As people become more afraid, as Israel is squeezed even more, as natural and man-made disasters intensify to unprecedented heights…I think believers are being given a gift.

God decided long ago that human history would unfold in a certain way. I believe it is more than reasonable to assume that history is coming to its conclusion. And for those paying attention, especially here at the Christmas season, when so many people have it tough, I say, God bless us everyone.

God has given us a great gift in prophecy. We see that He is in control, as He promised all along. I will say it again: just one dramatic fulfillment is that while Israel appears in human terms to be in great danger, God is preserving her and will preserve her. Can you not see this?

This comes to my mind constantly now:

Israel is not in trouble. Everyone else is. This is what biblical eschatology tells us, loudly.

I do not worry about Israel’s future. I do not worry about my own future. I do not worry about your future.

The greatest present we all have this wonderful Christmas season is that the One who came so long ago, for our sakes, is right at the door.

Like most people, I want more years. It is the human condition to want to die in one’s bed, peacefully, at 100.

But if that doesn’t happen for me, I’m really good with that. If my end is solo and soon, or if we all go together (wouldn’t that be marvelous?), it’s okay. I’m good with it.

God has been good to me. He is being good to us. This becomes more pronounced to me, the more unstable the world becomes. I think about these things all the time now.

This Christmas season—especially if you are going through tough times—try and steal even a few minutes and sit on your porch and look at the stars.

Think about the Advent.

All your enemies and demons have precious little time left. His shadow is spreading over all of them.

Joy to the world.

jim@prophecymatters.com

 

 


Dec 5, 2011

Really Untold News

It is a sad reality in our world today that Israel is bashed on a constant basis. Journalists, entertainment figures, diplomats, radicals of different stripes…all have a problem with the Jewish state.

I have a journalism degree, and am chagrined by the bias and left-wing advocacy that comes from “reporters,” whether they are in print, radio, or TV.

All this makes it all the more ironic that Israel is really nothing like she’s portrayed. For varied reasons, Jews are compassionate people who use their amazing intelligence to try and make the world a better place. How often do you hear this truth?

We know the answer to that, don’t we?

Well, it pleases me all the more to be able to introduce you, dear reader, to my new friends at “Untold News”:

www.untoldnews.org

This group produces videos and other materials (a book is in the offing) that highlight ways in which Israelis use technology and other skills to help people. You can access these amazing videos from the link above, but here is a sample:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4PaY55p81Y

If you took time to watch that just now…wow, doesn’t that grab hold of you? Not only does it reinforce what Israel’s friends already know—the Jewish state is a light in the darkness—but it underscores a powerful way to answer Israel’s critics.

I even wonder what Israel’s hateful critics on the Christian left would say to that?

Try these facts on for size:

    A Gates Foundation $100,000 grant will help an Israeli scientist further develop his cell-phone imaging system for diagnosing and staging malaria in Africa.

    1000 hearing-impaired West Bank Palestinians recently received free hearing aids through a novel program between Israel's Sheba Medical Center and an American foundation.

    A synthetic peptide developed in Israel in final clinical trials may halt the progression of Type 1 diabetes.

    Israel was first on the scene again with medical aid and supplies to Japan after the March 11th earthquake/tsunami.

  A tiny telescope implant from an Israeli company is the world's first and only treatment for end-stage macular degeneration.

As the group’s mission statement notes: “Untold News is changing minds and hearts, using modern media to educate influential Americans about Israeli contributions to the world.”

Amen.

I would encourage readers to not only avail themselves of the materials on the Untold News website, but consider helping them finance their work. It’s really important and groundbreaking.

Share the web link with everyone you know!

jim@prophecymatters.com


Nov 28, 2011

Surrounded by Wolves

Things don’t seem to improve for Israel, in terms of man-made plans.

The Palestinians still push for statehood, the Muslim Brotherhood is strengthening its grip on the Middle East, and now comes word that 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in a NATO strike.

That will probably be Israel’s fault.

And at a time when another rocket landed near an Israeli kindergarten in the Negev last week (and the international community, including mainline Christians, is silent) we now learn that Egypt is brokering reconciliation talks between the Palestinian Authority of the Holocaust-denier, Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas’s Khaled Mashaal. If the PLO and Hamas ever get over their rivalry for power, they could then turn a unified attention to the question of what to do about Israel.

There are also plans to coordinate anti-Israel protest events in Jordan, Egypt and elsewhere on November 29, to protest the 1947 UN General Assembly “Partition Plan.”

Everywhere it seems, there is rejection of Israel. When the Arabs do not recognize Israel’s right to exist, why is the peace process charade continued?

Because the world really believes the problems are Israel’s fault.

Since the end of Operation Cast Lead earlier this year, almost 1,000 rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel, by the Palestinians. This is a total outrage, and should serve to make the Palestinians unfit for statehood. It is absurd to think a Palestinian state would be demilitarized! What a joke!

The IDF also released this statement this week:

“In a combined IDF-Israel Security Agency activity carried out a number of weeks ago, a terrorist squad was detained in the village of Shawara, near Bethlehem. The squad operatives, young Palestinian men between 18 and 22 years of age, carried out several terrorist attacks, among them shooting attacks (including shooting at an Israeli Border Police jeep in August 2011), placing IEDs and throwing Molotov cocktails. They had military training and equipped themselves improvised weapons. According to the Israel Security Agency, they instigated riots to draw the Israeli security forces to the area. When the IDF forces arrive they shot at them with improvised rifles.”

Does this bother anyone? Does it bother anyone in the international community?

Also last week, anti-Israel “activists” from the Free Gaza Movement (FGM) took part in demonstrations near Jerusalem, confronting Israeli security forces. The FGM has in its satellite the International Solidarity Movement, a darling of Western “peaceniks.”

Among the protestors for FGM is Lauren Booth, a British broadcaster and sister-in-law of former British PM Tony Blair. Among the other endorsers of FGM is South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Let me say this again, clearly: the growing number of Western Christians (although Booth is Muslim), most of the liberal persuasion, that are supporting the Palestinians is deeply disturbing. All the Palestinian leadership, and, as polls show, the people themselves overwhelmingly— reject Israel’s right to exist.

Until these issues are solved, the wolves will continue to gather.

jim@prophecymatters.com


Nov 21 2011

Zion’s Christian Soldiers?

I will be writing and speaking about this a great deal in the coming months, but this past week I had the privilege of attending a meeting of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding. Having written about the group several weeks ago—some of the EMEU’s members took exception to things I’d written—I was surprised to receive an invitation to the meeting, from EMEU director, Leonard Rodgers.

In short, EMEU highlights the plight of Palestinian Christians in the Middle East and would have significant differences with readers of “Israel Watch.” In fact, having now attended the meeting in Fremont, California, I came away more convinced than ever that it’s doubtful there can be real rapprochement between the two camps—those of the EMEU persuasion, and Christian Zionists. In fact, I’m certain of it.

Still, I would like to point out that Len Rodgers was genuinely nice to me, and when I did identify myself as a Christian Zionist to several attendees, including speaker Stephen Sizer, people were cordial. (One lady, a Palestinian Christian now living in the Bay area, recoiled when I told her I am a Christian Zionist. We still had a pleasant conversation.)

In my previous column, I’d made the statement that groups like EMEU are liberal, and anti-Israel. I’d also called some of their better-known members, like Lynne Hybels, “pseudo-evangelicals.”

I stand by everything I wrote (Israel Watch, “The American Theatre of War,” September 5, 2001).

Although skillful spokesmen and frontline anti-Christian Zionists like Brian McLaren often muddy the waters, the issues are quite clear, and those on both sides of the divide stand in stark contrast to each other.

EMEU is part of a growing movement to marginalize and deligitimize the state of Israel. Please note that they, and liberals like McLaren, say things like: “We support Israel’s right to exist,” and, “We are concerned about Israel’s security,” but if one supports Palestinian statehood, rages against the “Occupation,” bashes “settlements,” etc., they evidently don’t have enough information to consider the illogical nature of their alleged statements in support of Israel’s right to exist, etc.

One simply cannot fully support the Palestinians and then claim to be concerned about Israel’s security, as he talks out of the other side of his mouth.

I will say this: Palestinian Christian Botrus Mansour, an attorney from Nazareth who spoke first at the EMEU conference, hit the nail on the head when he examined two distinct worldviews.

On the one hand, he said (I’m paraphrasing), you have those who believe in the basic goodness of man, and are optimistic that man can change for the better. On the other hand, there are those who see man as depraved and long-term positive change is pretty much a hopeless proposition.

His moment of clarity during the conference was a highlight. That is the issue: what is your worldview in terms of the goodness or depravity of mankind?

Of course, readers of this column will realize that I fall into the second camp. The EMEU folks—I would call them idealists—generally believe in man’s goodness.

This, I think, is the root of the problem, as it relates to “coming together” on the issue of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

One of the fascinating takeaways for me from the EMEU conference was the fact that the message from the three Palestinian Christian speakers is that the greatest threat to the Middle East is Islamist terrorism and extremism, i.e., the Muslim Brotherhood.

Yet when it came time for Q&A after each address, MC Tom Getman (formerly executive director for international relations with World Vision; currently, CEO of the Getman Group, a consulting firm based near Washington D.C.) usually directed the discussion to alleged Israeli abuses of the Palestinians. I thought this was telling.

I met Sizer, Getman, and Porter Speakman Jr. (director of the anti-Christian Zionist film, “With God on Our Side”), and each was cordial. I identified myself as a Christian Zionist. In essence, there are simply two views of the Middle East conflict, and that’s where it’s at.

Sizer spoke during the afternoon sessions, and he is perhaps the leading anti-Christian Zionist in the world. An Anglican pastor from the UK, Sizer is an impressive speaker, and I would urge readers of “Israel Watch” to purchase his book, Zion’s Christian Soldiers? and study it. Most would probably reject the call to read the views of one’s opponent, but I am a huge advocate of reading “the other side.”

I would also really urge readers to buy my friend Alex Grobman’s brand-new book, License to Murder, exposing a particularly odious form of anti-semitism. Alex’s superb book will help the reader understand the mindset of those who buy into Jewish conspiracy stories; I listened to EMEU’s Don Wagner discuss the “Jewish Lobby” and found that mindset very disheartening.

I’m fairly transparent about these issues and I will say to my Bible prophecy colleagues and fellow Christian Zionists—realizing that EMEU members now read this blog—our weakness is in not answering the theological positions of Sizer, and not doing a better job of engaging with our ideological opponents.

In certain circles, Christian Zionists are depicted as “anti-intellectual” rubes afraid to engage with others. There is a certain amount of hubris on “the other side,” but I call on fellow Christian Zionists to think through these issues and be able to answer challenges.

When Rodgers initially invited me to attend, he also sent along several responses from EMEU folks who took real exception to my earlier comments. One or two noted slyly that I was simply giving them some publicity they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten.

Yes, I am. In fact, through my blogs and networks, I am committed to giving EMEU a million dollars’ worth of free publicity, hopefully.

Evangelicals for Middle East Peace (www.emeu.net).

More to come. Much more.

 

jim@prophecymatters.com


 

Nov 14, 2011

Why the Unquestioning Support?

In listening to American (and some European) Christians list reasons why they support the Palestinians, I wonder several things:

•Why do Christian Palestinianists support the Palestinians unconditionally and not seriously consider the needs of the Israelis? Don’t the biblical commands to love your neighbor and do justice apply here? Christian Palestinianists, particulary the American version, refuse to condemn acts of murder and other violence that has been perpetrated against the Jewish people of Israel for generations.

•Why do Christian Palestinianists give virtually no attention to the extreme hardships suffered by Israeli Jews at the hands of terrorists? Example: one can clearly see that the Israelis are hemmed-in, caged if you will, by the terrorism that rages at every border. In many cases, the terrorists infiltrate Jewish communities (does anyone remember the genocidal actions against the Fogel family in the community of Itamar? Even CNN refused to give the family’s name, opting instead to call them “settlers”). The wall of terrorism erected by the Islamists has left the Israelis imprisoned in ghetto-like partitions in the land we call Holy.

•Why do Christian Palestinianists refuse to acknowledge the apartheid mentality of the Arabs? There are whole Arab states in the Middle East with no Jews—and the apartheid mentality of the Islamist Palestinian Authority/PLO, which doesn’t even attempt to hide its loathing of Jews, is given a free pass. “Palestine,” the state that Christian Palestinianists thirst for, is apartheid, Marxist, and xenophobic to the core.

•Why do Christian Palestinianists fail to acknowledge the Goliath-like military industrial complex of Israel’s Islamist enemies? Why do they not condemn Iran’s nuclear weapons development?

•Why do Christian Palestinianists fail to condemn Islamist refusal to recognize Israel? Why is it okay for Islamist states to view Jews as dhimmi?

I would define Christian Palestinianism as the belief that Arab Palestinians have the right to settle on roughly half of the portion of original Mandate Palestine set aside for Israel only a couple years after the majority of Palestine was given to Transjordan (now simply Jordan). Christian Palestinianism denies the Jews the right to settle on their ancestral land. Further, the theology of Christian Palestinianism refuses to acknowledge Israel’s biblical heritage, instead embracing the anti-biblical liberation theology of the Palestinians.

Christian Palestinianism also unduly influences American foreign policy (see the background and views of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and congressional leaders like Keith Ellison), and, by extension, the actions of the United Nations in making demands on Israel that are not made on other sovereign nations. By giving unquestioning support to Palestinians, Christian Palestinianists are feeding the dangerous apocalyptic visions of radical Islamists, including Iran. Ironically and sadly, the unquestioning support of the Palestinians by Christian Palestinianists serves as a self-fulfilling prophecy in ushering-in horrific, “Armageddon-like” scenarios fed and nurtured by Islamist radicals who see the support of Christian Palestinianists as cover and legitimacy for their apocalyptic views.

For these and other reasons, I call Christian Palestinianism a grievous sin and I call on all Christian Palestinianists to repent of their sin. They are bringing great harm not only to the people of Israel, but also to all mankind, because their capitulation to ideologies of Islamist terrorism and uncritical support of the Palestinian cause emboldens the terrorists and makes the threat of terrorist attacks much greater.

I call on all peace-loving Christians to lovingly, gently, but firmly confront our Christian Palestinianist brothers and sisters to reconsider their tragic embrace of Palestinian xenophobia and terrorism.

jim@prophecymatters.com


Nov 7, 2011

First Strike

"Jerusalem will never return to the state it was in on the eve of the (1967) Six-Day War, that I promise you."

Those words this week from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu let the world know that the Jewish state will not be intimidated by Iran, or anyone else.

The Israelis even test-fired their own missile this week, one capable of reaching Iran. And now the Americans are engaged, checking on the possibility that Israel will consider a first-strike on the Iranians.

Whatever they do, it will be creative. And Iran will go the way of other threats from the past. This of course speaks to one of my favorite subjects, the absolute authority of Scripture.

It’s too bad that apologetics groups, mega-churches and various other ministries don’t emphasize the astonishing implications of this.

For example, Isaiah 54 tells us that the Lord will not permit any weapons developed against Israel to be successful. Let’s take this to its logical conclusion.

If young people could see that this proves the existence and absolute sovereignty of the God of the Bible, perhaps they wouldn’t feel so hopeless and despairing. In other words, if God has promised to preserve the Jewish people, and has done it in spectacular fashion, shouldn’t we have confidence in the rest of the Bible?

But of course, that’s not the message preached today by Brian McLaren, Fuller Theological Seminary, or the young Emergent pastors.

For its part, Iran continues to be belligerent, setting the country’s leadership up for a titanic fall. In October, the Iranian daily newspaper Jam-e-Jam claimed that a letter from EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was evidence that the West’s efforts to contain Iran through sanctions have failed.

When Iran’s Ahmadinejad said recently at the UN General Assembly gathering that his country might be willing to suspend its enrichment of uranium to low levels—in exchange for nuclear fuel from other countries—he barely concealed the mocking contempt he has for the West.

Blackmailing the West to provide nuclear fuel would enable the Iranians to continue to covertly produce enriched uranium.

There is also an instructive lesson for us in the story of Syria, as well. Western diplomats and politicians have made it crystal clear that they have no intention of intervening in Syria as they did in Libya. While Assad continues to slaughter his own people (3,000 by some counts), he has threatened to retaliate if efforts are made to stop his regime. If NATO brought down Quaddafi, they will not bring down the House of Assad.

The Iranians see this and know that the West will not help Israel stop their efforts at genocide.

That’s why it will be up to Israel and her God to stop the Iranians, and I have no doubt at all that they will.

Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak is signaling to the international community that Iran is really a global threat—and the terror-state surely is—but even that won’t be an easy sell. It is human nature to sell-out a neighbor if it postpones your own demise. It’s the same with geopolitics, and particularly when the Jews can be put on the bargaining table.

There are no Churchills in our world today.

As Israel was test-firing its own missile last week, thought to be similar to the Jericho 3, and capable of reaching 4,000 kilometers, Italy proved that there is still some sanity left in Europe.

The Italians held joint maneuvers with the Israelis, as reported by the Jerusalem Post:

“That same day, the Israel Air Force announced that it had returned from a week of joint maneuvers with Italy over Sardinia that included long-range flights, midair refueling and complicated bombing runs. On Thursday, the Home Front Command held a large-scale civil defense exercise aimed at preparing the public for missile attacks in the center of the country.”

Good for the Italians!

Whatever happens in the coming months, we can be sure that it is Iran that is in real jeopardy, not Israel.

 

jim@prophecymatters.com

 


 

Oct 31, 2011

The Peace Plan is a Lie

Monday morning update: It only took 40 minutes, but I've been informed by Rick Warren's office at Saddleback Church that the "Peace Plan" link to a group called, "Never Again, For Anyone. Stop Genocide" is being taken down. Thank you to Warren's staff for doing the right thing.—Jim

With Tunisia and Libya now going over to Sharia law, Egypt heading that way, and other regimes becoming more destabilized in the Middle East, one wonders how the U.S. State Department and White House could be so naïve.

Are they?

Of course, we helped arm and train the Taliban a generation ago, against the Soviets, so nothing should surprise us. I well remember cheering-on the rag-tag Taliban against the great Red Threat.

One of the effects of the “Arab Spring” is the surely near-fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. North Africa is now wholly in the hands of Muslim terrorists. By the way, no one talks about it, but the odds are not good that an Iraq minus the American Army will be anything but a menace to Israel.

Despite all this (or maybe because of it), Bibi Netanyahu is surging in the polls in Israel. His countrymen trust him to do everything possible to keep Israel safe.

In the West, though (ironically), dangers gather for the Jewish state. This is mostly in the form of media, Christian and leftist (mainstream).

If you go to http://thepeaceplan.com/PeaceWork/never_again_for_anyone_stop_genocide you will find a group called “Never Again, For Anyone. Stop Genocide.” The group is apparently from Laguna Beach, California—Rick Warren’s backyard. Yet there is precious little information about the group, save for the “overview” listed on the page: “To educate, assist and raise funds for the victims of continuing Genocide in Sudan, Columbia and Palestine.”

Wow! This group is linked to Warren’s PEACE plan and they insist that genocide is going on in “Palestine.” This leftist, false view of reality in Israel is diabolical.

•”Palestine” as in, the state of Palestine, does not exist. Because the Palestinians have been given autonomous blocks of land in the West Bank, leftists in the American Church thirst to set foot in “Palestine.” They are calling into existence that which does not exist. It is a political name intended to further de-legitimize Israel.

•The charge of “genocide,” meaning that Israel is murdering Arabs within its own borders, is a damnable lie. It is the ultimate in bearing false witness, and God will judge it. The Israelis have never practiced genocide, but of course have been forced to defend themselves every second of every day for 63 years. Genocide has been committed by Muslims in Sudan, and by Marxist terrorists in Columbia, but while the Arabs would love to practice genocide against the Jews in Israel, to allege the reverse is false and unacceptable.

Twice I have emailed Warren’s site, but have not received an answer as to why they have linked to the Laguna Beach group. This loathsome stance by Warren himself—his name attached is an endorsement—is unacceptable and will not go unchallenged.

Warren insulates himself behind a frontline staff at Saddleback, and then by extension, through his vast network of acolytes. He has been tweeting furiously lately about “critics” and his protégés like Steven Furtick and Perry Noble have done likewise. Evidently, the evangelical pope and his cardinals are hearing not only from critics but from confused parishioners who are wondering just what it is Warren really advocates.

Do you understand that Rick Warren himself, because he has attached his name to this “peace plan” and subsequent leftwing subgroups like the Laguna Beach gang, is charging Israel with genocide? Genocide?

That is sick and unacceptable.

Here is what I’m asking you to do. Monday morning at 9 a.m. Pacific, I will be phoning Saddleback Church to ask about Rick Warren’s endorsement of “Never Again, For Anyone. Stop Genocide.” The number to the main Saddleback “campus” in Lake Forest, California, is 949-609-8000. The email is info@saddleback.com.

Join me in inquiring about Rick Warren’s involvement with this group. I will be writing about this extensively until we all receive an answer from “Pastor Rick.” We already know from his involvement with Fuller Seminary, his view in The Purpose-Driven Life that the study of prophecy is a waste of time (page 286), and his chummy meeting with Bashar Assad that he’s no friend of Israel.

I am going to ask of Pastor Rick if he can document alleged Israeli genocide of Palestinians. This must be what the Laguna Beach gang is referring to.

I won’t be surprised to hear the spin from this. Maybe they are referring to genocide of mountain goats, or fire ants. But if the obvious inference is what they mean—Israeli is guilty of genocide—then Rick Warren needs to explain that.

Much more to come.

jim@prophecymatters.com