Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem  


 


Feb 19, 2012

Camping Out On Harold

The lefties in the American Church never take a day off from denigrating Bible-believing Christians.

I’ve been writing more and more about this, because while we obsess about Iran’s intentions with regard to Israel, the hippies are back, and their dissing of the Bible prophecy crowd has a direct impact on support for Israel—which, I am sad to say, I believe is slipping. I sincerely believe the emerging threat to Israel—from within American evangelicalism—is more dangerous to Israel than the psychos in Tehran.

You see, when groups like Catalyst bring folks such as Jim Wallis (www.sojourners.com), Brian McLaren (www.brianmclaren.net), and Phileena Heuertz (yoga is beautiful) to mainstream evangelicalism, it’s only a matter of time before the knives come out for the Jewish state.

On the Catalyst website, one can find swell articles like:

“The Good in Graffiti”

“Animal Welfare and the Church”

“The Gospel and Sex”

“Yoga as Christian Spiritual Formation?”

There is also a tribute to the late John Stott, who never met a Christian Zionist he liked.

Sure enough, an article featured on the Catalyst site (Catalyst is a conference/resource birthed out of the Leadership Network, which came directly from Bill Hybels and Rick Warren, disciples of Bob Buford and Peter Drucker. And regarding Hybels and Warren…well, if I were Israel, I wouldn’t turn my back) peddles some of the most odious anti-Israel propaganda I’ve ever read. And this stuff, my dear friends, is sloshing around in the Church’s iv bag.

The piece, written by Andrew Haas, first appeared in Relevant magazine, published by Cameron Strang, son of long-time Israel activist Stephen Strang. The short bio on Haas tells us everything we need to know:

Andrew Haas is a sophomore at Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois. He is currently taking a semester off to study Arabic in Bethlehem.”

Wheaton.

Arabic.

In Bethlehem.

Naturally, Haas presents the case that Israel is occupying the poor Palestinians.

“Had Jesus been born in Bethlehem today, the nativity scenes that adorn the numerous American church and parish lawns would look quite different if genuinely politically correct. Mary and Joseph, probably too poor to pay local taxes on a vehicle, would be forced to ride Palestinian local transit. The bus would drop them off outside the West Bank at an Israeli checkpoint. From there they’d walk through a maze of turnstiles and security posts into Bethlehem. If their identity card read "Israeli citizen," there is some question whether the expectant couple would even be allowed into the sleepy hamlet based on current law. Replace the donkeys, sheep and mules with taxis, buses and heavily armed checkpoints.”

It’s the kind of turgid writing once confined to Communist party rags.

Not a syllable, not a jot or tittle describing the real story: Arab rejectionism and terrorism. Instead, there is the now-common claim that Jesus was/is a Palestinian. This historical lie has gained real traction in the American evangelical church!

“Yet, this nativity scene falls short of communicating some basic realities of Jesus’ conception into modern-day Bethlehem. If God’s son had been born into the sleepy hamlet today, He’d be without citizenship. Palestine is still a territory, not a country. Considered to be a security threat from birth, He’d receive his green Palestinian ID at the age of 16. Without authorization granted only by the Israeli government, He would be prohibited from crossing the wall into Jerusalem only 15 minutes away. Permits are difficult to acquire, and often only last one to five months. His inability to travel past a wall four times the height of Shaquille O’Neal would prove a slight obstacle for a Gospel destined for the world.”

This worldview is sweeping over American evangelicalism like a flood.

Another article on the Catalyst site is a hatchet-job on followers of Bible prophecy, and employs today’s most popular bogeyman: Harold Camping.

In an article titled “Looks Like We’ve Been Left Behind…Again,” writers Gabe Lyons and Jonathan Merritt really don’t even try to conceal their contempt for those of us who believe in biblical prophecy.

(Lyons is a key member of Catalyst, and Merritt is the son of James Merritt, pastor of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Georgia.)

Note their characterization of prophecy students:

If you grew up in evangelical homes like we did, rapture-talk isn’t new to you. Evangelical pastors preach sensational end times sermon series, while their churches put on fear-inducing apocalyptic experiences during Halloween. The sense of urgency generated by this trend in American Christianity has created armies of evangelizers and hordes of Christian teens rushing to get that magical first kiss. They need to beat Jesus to the punch. “

How cute. The usual straw-man theories. And we’ve created “armies of evangelizers.” That is a priority not shared by the Emergent crowd, and isn’t that ironic?

Lyons and Merritt then trot-out the usual suspects, claiming that those who eagerly anticipate the Rapture are out-of-touch, self-centered escapists. Then they write that they hope “Harold Camping will have done us all a favor if this serves as a wake-up call to Christian escapists and fear-peddlers.”

Finally, we get the money shot:

“Fortunately, a new generation of Christians are shedding the end times obsession for a faith that focuses more on Christ’s calling on our lives in the here and now. They still hope for a day when Jesus will fully restore this broken world, but they are working to promote human flourishing and the common good in the meantime. As these Christians come of age, we can only hope this rapture scare will be the last one we’ll see.”

A new generation of Christians. I want you to think about that very carefully, dear readers.

All this by extension leads to a moving away of support for Israel, since us “escapists and fear-peddlers” believe Israel support goes hand-in-glove with other prophecy themes.

Writers like Lyons and Merritt, who thoroughly represent the new Emergent crowd, constantly lecture those of us who believe in predictive prophecy. Not surprisingly, their friends are chummy with the Palestinians.

The Christian Palestinianists like to call us crazy uncles, fear-peddlers, and even terrorists. The repulsive cover they give the Palestinian Authority/Hamas is aggressively on the wrong side of History, and makes the world a more dangerous place. Gullibility can be just as dangerous as weapons of mass destruction.

 You lovers of Zion better wake up and get in the war.

 jim@prophecymatters.com

 [WATCH: Gabe Lyons addresses rapture scare on Good Morning America.]


Feb 13, 2012

Making It Up

One of the poisonous arrows in the quiver of Israel’s enemies is an old newspaper trick: the invented quote.

(Not long ago, Porter Speakman Jr., director of the anti-Christian Zionist propaganda film, With God on Our Side, took the extraordinary measure of removing a false quote from the film, a quote attributed to David Ben Gurion. I’ve met Speakman and, although we would probably only agree that the sky is blue, I do respect him for removing the “quote.”)

Now comes word that an Israeli professor (!) in Great Britain has also used an invented Ben Gurion quote. According to a report from CAMERA:

“For one brief shining moment, it looked as if the University of Exeter was going to hold Ilan Pappé accountable for attributing a fake quote to David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister.

“Those hopes were in vain. Not only did the university’s Ethics Committee fail to hold Pappé accountable for his fabrication, the committee accepted an explanation from the historian that is simply so byzantine and ludicrous that it raises questions about how seriously officials at the University of Exeter take the pursuit of truth and respect for the historical record.

“In short, Pappé dug himself deeper into a hole when he responded to a challenge about the fake quote, and the Ethics Committee decided to shack up with the historian in the hole he dug.

“Pappé’s shell-game began in 2006 when he reported that in a 1937 letter to his son, David Ben-Gurion declared: ‘The Arabs will have to go, but one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as war.’”

Of course, the first Israeli prime minister said no such thing. As I’ve often said, why would a handful of Jews in a sea of millions of Arabs purposely antagonize them? And don’t you find it interesting that as Israel’s enemies—including those in the American Church—have long alleged that the Jewish state is an apartheid state that engages in “ethnic cleansing”…presto, false quotes from Israel’s founders emerge?

The professor is one of the new breed of “revisionists” who allege that Zionism is a worse menace than jihadism. He also, tellingly, studied for his Ph.D at Oxford under the Arab historian, Albert Hourani.

By the way, the above quote was indeed the one that appeared in With God on Our Side; CAMERA was the source that brought the falsehood to Speakman’s attention.

It would be well worth your time to read the entire CAMERA report (www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=118&x_article=2188), but for now, notice that not only is the quote in question fabricated, but in fact the legendary Israeli leader made the opposite point:

“Ben-Gurion didn’t write or say “We must expel the Arabs” either. In fact, he wrote the opposite.

“Ben-Gurion’s diary entry for Oct. 5, 1937 actually reads, ‘We do not want and do not need to expel Arabs and take their places.’ Ben-Gurion subsequently writes: ‘All our aspiration is built on the assumption - proven throughout all our activity - that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs.’”

For our purposes, as mostly Christian readers, one can only wonder how far this lie has burrowed into the American mainline churches. As I’ve stated recently, this kind of anti-Israel propaganda is now moving from the mainline sources straight into evangelical churches.

Some of Israel’s most vocal and hateful critics are now found in these circles. They lap-up any anti-Israel lies offered and then carry them to their own communities, like a virus.

This single example of lies told about the Jewish state should be enough to make all of us question anything that comes out of the mouth of a leftist—especially one found among us.

More on Israel’s Christian opponents next week.

jim@prophecymatters.com

 


Feb 6, 2012

Adventures in Missing the Point: Iran

We’re missing the point on Iran.

The endless speculation about the Iranian nuclear threat is one of the most popular stories of our time.  Obviously, it is an important one, as well.

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began to utter genocidal statements a few years ago—claiming that Iran intended to wipe Israel off the face of the earth—he should have been arrested.

But he shouldn’t have been feared.

Islam feeds off fear, in order to realize its dream of imposing Dar al-Islam across the world. Ahmadinejad actually believes his religion’s apocalyptic scenarios (it is quite ironic that people like Brian McLaren and Rick Warren mock the Bible’s predictive prophecy, but are mum on the Iranian eschatology).

Both Christian and secular sources—experts in weapons systems—have written volumes on Iran’s uranium capabilities, delivery systems of bombs, and generally where bunker-busting bombs would be dropped, in the event of an Israeli strike (we can rule American involvement in such a mission out; Leon Panetta says all options, including military, are on the table. John Bolton doesn’t believe the U.S. will participate in a strike. I’ll go with Bolton on this one).

But there is a larger issue here, I think. An issue that many would scoff at, yet I feel it is vital.

In Isaiah 54:17, we read:

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”

I’ve written about this before.

If the Bible is true, then Iran will not succeed in its genocidal aims regarding Israel.

It can’t happen.

Joel Rosenberg’s recent newsletter touted a lunch he had with former CIA Director Porter Goss. Among other things, Rosenberg learned the following from Goss:

“Notwithstanding the passionate and hateful rhetoric of Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, the Assembly of Experts and others, I assess they would probably use the nuclear capability for bargaining leverage rather than first strike, at least for the near future.”

Goss does not believe there will be war in 2012, between Iran and Israel. Many others, however, do. I am frankly dismayed by the rampant speculation coming from some Christians about the true threat from Iran. In other words, not only is fearmongering going on here, but we are missing a huge opportunity for evangelism.

As I like to say, what you read in the Bible is what you see in the real world.

In the context of the last days, the Lord has promised to preserve Israel. In the above Isaiah passage, he even says the Jews themselves will condemn those who speak ill of them.

There are myriad reasons people in the American Church have little knowledge of the Bible and these prophecies/promises. If possible, their knowledge of the Old Testament is even less than their knowledge of the New Testament. Thus, the great, ancient promises/prophecies carry little weight in our world today.

I know plenty of people who are afraid to travel to Israel because they’ve heard these ridiculous reports that there might be war in “April,” or “May or June,” etc.

Only God, Bibi Netanyhu, and a small group of advisors know if Israel will strike Iran, or be forced to strike Iran.

It could be that God will use the natural to thwart Iran, just as he did with Egypt. Perhaps Iran’s political and religious leadership will all drop dead. Maybe God will zap them and they’ll all become child-like. Or, it could be that some of the prognosticators are correct, and Israel will “take out” the Iranian nuke threat.

The truth is, since geopolitics is fluid in our world, overnight, Iran could become once again a friend of the West.

Bible prophecy teaching of the last 40 years is littered with embarrassing, failed predictions that didn’t come from the Bible. They came from the minds of men.

That has caused, in part, the great “falling away” of Bible prophecy teaching in our churches. Much of that blame can be laid at our feet, for speculating too much. We have lost opportunities to evangelize because of it. Data that I trust indicates that our young people today check out when it comes to prophecy teaching. We’ve cried wolf one too many times.

And our enemies/critics have a field day with that.

Let’s use this to our advantage now. The Iranian “threat,” I mean. Tell everyone you know that God’s promises to His people—individually and corporately—are sure and true.  Certainly we should pray for the volatile Middle East, but we shouldn’t fear it.

Far from being afraid to travel to Israel, I run to it. Please, pilots…fly the plane faster. Let me stay longer. Let me embrace the land and its people. Lord, let me go more often. I should buy real estate there.

For their existence proves that our God exists.  Tell our young people that. Teach them credible prophecy.

Be bold.

Israel is here to stay.

jim@prophecymatters.com


Jan 30, 2012

Cringe-inducing

Part of the apostasy of the last days’ Church, predicted by Paul and Peter, among others, involves a denial or marginalization of Bible prophecy itself. Such a mindset of course impacts how we see Israel and the Jewish people.

This is one of the chief reasons Israel is being tightly squeezed by the international community today.

For those of us who came of age reading Hal Lindsey, it seemed prophecy had arrived at a golden age. In a sense it had, although, ironically, in the shadow of the Six Day War, which gave rise to prophecy teaching, the seeds of false criticism arose. As I have written recently, much of that opposition has come from effective Palestinian propaganda, which is now bearing fruit all across the American church landscape.

Matthew Lee Anderson, Mere Orthodoxy blogger (the following is from an article in Christianity Today),

“Struck a nerve earlier this year when he identified young evangelicals as another group desperately seeking social acceptance. In a twist on the Pew data, Anderson sees his fellow 20-something evangelicals lobbying for acceptance by denigrating their elders.

“According to Anderson's reading of evangelical youth, they believe older evangelicals were seduced by the Religious Right and didn't do enough to fight poverty and racism. They were preoccupied with a narrow set of values, such as abstinence from alcohol and sex outside of marriage. These same rubes even bought Left Behind books and watched The Late Great Planet Earth.”

Anderson discerns the reasons behind this form of rebellion:

“If young evangelicals had reached these conclusions for principled reasons, then Anderson might not be so concerned. But he suspects more nefarious trends at work.

“’I get the sense that for many of my young evangelical peers, the doctrine of eschatology is less important not because of careful reflection upon the Scriptures, but because of the political and cultural scorn the doctrine has earned,’ writes Anderson, a 2004 graduate of Biola University. ‘For most young evangelicals, eschatology is cringe inducing not because traditional formulations are wrong, but because they are weird. That all Christians would disappear in a flash will hardly earn Christians cultural acceptability—and cultural acceptance, today, is their paramount desire.’"

So, Bible prophecy is “cringe-inducing” and “weird.” And who wasn’t teaching these young people that friendship with the world is enmity with God? How did we fail to tell them that acceptance from the world is the last thing they should be seeking?

Thus, we have a catastrophe on our hands, with regard to prophecy teaching among the younger generations. There are many reasons besides their embarrassment over their elders. The foundation to this unbelief also springs from scholarship, both old and new. From a Publishers Weekly review recently, we read about Elaine Pagels’ new book:

“Many Christians today believe that the Book of Revelation (which some mistakenly call “Revelations”) was written by the same “John” who wrote the Gospel of John, speaks to an audience of persecuted Christians, and stands in harmony with the rest of the New Testament. In this fascinating study, Pagels challenges all of those assumptions, arguing instead that the visions recorded by John of Patmos function as an anti-assimilationist harangue that explicitly countered Paul’s teachings that keeping Jewish law was no longer necessary.”

 Question: How does Elaine Pagels know that John’s worldview was at odds with Paul’s?

 Answer: She doesn’t.

 Pagels cannot know what her book alleges, any more than she can know whether the Apostle John suffered from bunions or disliked the color blue. Her hatred of predictive prophecy is her bias here, and that is why she crafted her book around it. This is a common tactic among liberal scholars: making up “evidence” to assert a falsehood.

 Believe it or not, the Pagels of the world are having a dramatic negative effect on the biblical worldview of millions of young people in America.

For a long time, authoritative figures like liberal scholars have said, in essence, “Bible prophecy is really stupid,” and young students have said, “Okay, Bible prophecy must be stupid.”

Then there is the growing assault on Bible prophecy teaching from the evangelical world. Voddie Baucham, a wildly popular evangelical leader, recently made his case for supporting Ron Paul for president. The comments from his blog were reprinted at American Vision News, on January 17. In his discussion of Paul’s views on Israel, Baucham wrote:

“Ron Paul does support Israel. It is our current foreign policy that does not support Israel! However, there is a deeper issue here. There is a sort of misplaced Dispensationalism that governs people’s sentimental attitude toward Israel. Let me state clearly that I do not believe the Bible demands that the U.S. support Israel. I do, however, believe that it is wise to do so for geopolitical reasons. To do so for theological reasons, I believe, is actually misguided, and quite dangerous. Nevertheless, Israel is our only true ally in the Middle East, and that is important.

“But there’s a more important question: What does it mean to ‘support” Israel?’ Does it mean that Israel remains God’s ‘Chosen People,’ and we must stand with them in anticipation of the coming Armageddon? Is the President to act as ‘Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces’ and ‘Supreme Defender of Israel’? Or are we simply to make sure the foreign aid dollars don’t stop flowing?

So Voddie Baucham thinks dispensationalists are misguided and “quite dangerous.” Those assertions sound like someone who’d be happy having a beer with Brian McLaren.

Quite dangerous.

Wow.

(An important aside: American Vision News is brought to you by Gary DeMar, one of the country’s leading preterists, and an outspoken critic of dispensationalists.)

There are undoubtedly problems with dispensationalism, chiefly, I think, the tendency to speculate on “soon-to-be” developments in the world. I will go out on a limb here and say that the chief “sin” of dispensationalists has been two-fold: the aforementioned, non-credible speculation and, a failure to engage in new ways of communicating. While our opponents are using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to beat our brains out over biblical worldview—and I’m talking about Israel-and-prophecy-hating evangelicals—many in the Bible prophecy community are still using overhead projectors and talking in mind-numbing detail about the feet of iron and clay of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue.

 

Guess what? 20-somethings have no idea what you’re talking about. They don’t understand how Daniel’s 70 Weeks is relevant to their lives.

Frankly, in this, I don’t blame them.

This vacuum is being filled by opposing voices, the siren calls of social justice, the drive to be “missional,” etc. These are the buzz-phrases appealing to young people, who want to do something positive in the world. Problem is, many of them don’t realize that the forces guiding them are anti-biblical. The stance on Israel comes to mind.

As I wrote recently, young media moguls like Cameron Strang are questioning their parents’ generation, which largely supported Israel, mostly because of Bible prophecy.

It is no wonder then that the January/February issue of Strang’s Relevant magazine has an “article” entitled, “Apocalypse Now: Our Foolproof Guide to Surviving 2012,” by Ryan Hamm and Brett McCracken.

(That’s the cover title; inside it’s slightly altered: “2012: Your Guide to the End of the World.”)

The “story” itself is satire, a spoof on end-times speculation, with imagery ranging from zombies to the Planet of the Apes. It’s fairly clear the editorial staff of Relevant sees dispensationalists and prophecy teachers as cringe-inducing.

Meanwhile, Strang is moving closer to an open, public embrace of the Palestinian narrative, as I recently alluded to in “Israel Watch.”

In a way, who can blame him? He has seen up-close the holes in dispensational theology or, more accurately, how that crowd markets itself. He is also concerned with feeding the hungry and clothing the naked.

In my view, the teaching of Bible prophecy in America today is in crisis. It follows then that support for Israel will slip dramatically in a few short years, as older generations pass to their reward and Cameron Strang’s generation sits in the cultural driver’s seat.

There is some cause for optimism. Last week on “Tonight Matters,” a radio outreach of RaptureReady, we interviewed Nathan Jones of Lamb & Lion Ministries. Nathan is super-articulate, informed, and he’s 38 and understands social media. Plus, he doesn’t look like Zachary Taylor (if such things matter to young people and, to some degree, I think it does).

He also has the benefit of studying under David Reagan, one of the clearest and most compelling Bible teachers I’ve ever known. Mentoring in this area is critical.

I hope I am not whistling in the wind here (or baying at the moon, depending on your perspective). To some degree, I think there needs to be a Reformation in terms of Bible prophecy teaching, which is linked directly to how one views Israel and the Jewish people.

The apostles wrote that in the last days, many would depart from the faith, and that greatly troubles me.

But taking it lying down really makes me cringe.

jim@prophecymatters.com


Jan 23, 2012

Epic Fail

I am continually amazed by the inroads anti-Israel evangelicals are making in the Church—and equally amazed that so many people don’t realize it yet.

In March, the so-called “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference will be held in Bethlehem, hosted by Bethlehem Bible College, but featuring speakers from America. There are the usual suspects: Tony Campolo, Gary Burge, Stephen Sizer, Lynne Hybels, etc. But there is a more expanded, eye-opening list:

•Bob  Roberts, pastor of NorthWood Church, Keller, Texas

•Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland, A Church Revisited,

•John Ortberg, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, Menlo Park, California

•Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

These are not people without influence. The Palestinians are making a move to internationalize Christian condemnation of Israel, and “Christ at the Checkpoint” (can you imagine a conservative group getting away with such a noxious, political label? The politicizing of Jesus Christ, by left-wing groups, should be roundly condemned, but don’t hold you breath) will feature both Hispanic and Asian speakers, as well as known anti-Zionists from Europe.

Louis Lapides recently wrote the following on his “Thinking Outside the Blog”:

I ask you to be the judge of whether Reverend Sizer, who appears at almost every Palestinian Christian conference, is an anti-Semite. Based on the company he keeps and the authorities he quotes, I have good reason to tag this Christian pastor as both anti-Israel and an anti-Semite whose writings help fuel the enmity of Israel's enemies against the Jewish nation.

You see, here is a key point. Sizer, perhaps the most aggressive critic of Christian Zionism in the world, goes to great lengths to portray himself as not anti-Semitic. Yet Lapides understands the implications of Sizer’s work: it fuels “the enmity of Israel’s enemies against the Jewish nation.”

If you talk with Palestinian terrorists—as I have—and ask them what they think of changing American Christian attitudes toward Israel, they are well aware of many of the people I cite in this edition of “Israel Watch.” They know who their friends are.

A few days ago, prominent writer/activist/speaker Brian McLaren favorably cited a Christian Post blog by George W. Sarris, entitled: “Jacob I Loved—Esau I Hated.”

Now here is where the pro Palestinian propaganda gets really juicy, and I want you to see this. The old Palestinian leadership was schooled in propaganda by the Soviets and their friends in eastern Europe and southeast Asia, and they in turn have fed it to liberal Americans like cotton candy is fed to a seven-year-old.

Sarris writes about whether God shows favoritism, specifically to different people groups (you see, McLaren and Sarris and their friends want to discuss the issue of whether God “favors” the Jews over the Palestinians. It’s an effective way of portraying Israel in a bad light, yet again).

I want you to take note of a paragraph in Sarris’s blog:

“While Scripture specifically says in several places that God is fair and impartial, and encourages us to act in like manner toward our fellow man, our traditional understanding of how God deals with mankind would have us believe that He definitely shows favoritism.”

Wow, let’s get to it!

Do you see what he’s doing?

Sarris cleverly places himself (and, by extension, his liberal friends like McLaren and the Palestinians) on the side of Scripture. Where does that leave us idiot Christian Zionists? Now, get this: on the side of “our traditional understanding.”

In other words, we made it up. We allowed our feelings and traditions and biases to favor Israel over the poor, beaten-down, gigantic, pan-Arab nation.

Sarris, though, well, he’ll stick with Scripture. He wants you to believe that God never intended to “give” Palestinian land to the Jews. He doesn’t show favoritism.

(As an interesting aside, Sarris’s bio tells us that he has a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary—where he was no doubt schooled in anti-Israel thought. He is also “the narrator for the 2011 revision of The Holy Bible, New International Version by Zondervan Publishing House.” A “revision” of the Bible!)

It’s that rabble-rousing, anti-intellectual—plain mean—Christian Zionists who are helping oppress the Palestinians.

But Sarris and Friends are on the side of Scripture, that is, they are on the right side of History.

So they brag.

It is clear from Scripture that God gave the land in question to the descendants of Jacob. He also promised to make a great nation from Esau and so He has: the Arabs are huge in numbers and land area in the Middle East.

People today have a problem with “a” God that would “show favoritism.” Yet he most certainly does, as He wills it. God is sovereign and so He does what He wants, when He wants.

The land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people for all time. But even in this, God explained why He did it, such as in Ezekiel 34:25-31:

“‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety. I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. Then they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign LORD.  You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.’”

Further, in Ezekiel 36, the Lord has this to say:

“Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.’”

Don’t you see? This is the biggest story of the last 2,000 years. God has rescued His people from their exile and has returned them to their ancestral land. This is a feat of unequaled detail, an act so visible and so aggressively reactionary to the will of hard-hearted humans that one wonders why it isn’t talked about 24/7, by news outlets around the world.

In time.

Why do the Sizers of the world not see? As an exercise, read the 36th chapter of Ezekiel and see if this does not make elementary sense to you. It’s language, in plain form. It’s a straightforward story of the Jewish people, and why God does what He does where they are concerned.

But the clever writers and honey worded speakers and activists of our day are certain that God does not play favorites.

They are wrong and wrong for all-time. In the words of today’s young people, those who oppose the Jews are “epic fail.”

It is time pro Israel Christians recognize the left’s bias, and the propaganda techniques in their communications. When someone who appears to have some authority says something dumb and dangerous, us Christian Zionists don’t have to hide under a table.

The time of the Lord’s favor for the Jewish people is in full swing. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

 

jim@prophecymatters.com

 


Jan 16, 2012

Iranian Plans Going Up In Smoke

Those who have been expecting a big, splashy, dangerous Israeli airstrike on Iranian nuclear facilities…may never see it.

This past week’s killing of key Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, 32, is one of a quiet number of such assassinations. Ahmadi-Roshan was killed when a pair of motorcyclists attached a magnetic car bomb on the underside of his car, then sped away.

The Iranians have accused both the U.S. and Israel of being involved, and there was a telling bit in the Jerusalem Post on Thursday:

“Iranian officials implicated Israel and the US in the attack, but the US denied the charges.”

Notice the sentence didn’t end with: “…but the US and Israel denied the charges.”

Most thinking people realize the Israelis might be involved. Their feared Mossad boasts an elite team of assassins who strike without warning, then seemingly vaporize.

The sudden death of a major figure in Iran’s race for nuclear weapons comes in the middle of negotiations in Jordan between Israelis and Palestinians, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama also discussed the situation by phone.

Everyone understands the tremendous danger that Iran poses not only to the region, but globally, since they are the world’s biggest sponsor of state terrorism. Further in the JPost report, we read:

“An senior Iranian security official warned that Iran had a cross-border, cross-regional strategy for responding to the attack.”

Normally, when an Islamic state or terror group threatens to “burn the sand under the feet of the invaders,” they are merely playing up the stereotype of the emotional dictator who is more paper tiger than angel of death.

Yet, the Iranians do have the capacity to wage war in the form of these “cross regional” strategies. And were they able to succeed in striking Israel, the latter is too small to absorb such a lethal blow.

In 1950, the United States had 299 warheads. By 1987, we had accumulated a peak of 13,173 (the Soviets had 10,442)! What became known as M.A.D.—Mutual Assured Destruction—was the key in neither country striking. They were rational. And, if various accounts can be believed, Bobby Kennedy’s whisper into the ear of his Soviet counterpart—an appeal to reason—worked.

This scenario doesn’t exist with the Iranians. In a German report that appeared several years ago, the situation was described perfectly:

“The Arab/Iranian totalitarian leaderships’ attitudes, difficult for the West to fathom, are aggressive, egomaniacal, suspicious and reckless no less than intelligent.”

In other words, the Iranians are truly trigger-happy.

In the ‘60s, the Egyptian air force murdered scores of people in Yemen, using mustard gas. In 1982, Syria’s dictator, Hafez Assad, ordered his troops to obliterate the city of Homs, using cyanide.

Middle East dictators have never had the opportunity to murder on a really large scale; can you imagine what would happen if they get their hands on a lethal weapon?

In 1984, Iran began development of its chemical weapons program and two years later, in the middle of a bitter war with Iraq, used cyanide, phosgene, mustard gas, and tabun on the Iraqis. The delivery systems were artillery shells, air-dropped bombs, and rockets.

The biological weapons program began also in 1986—botulinum, ricin, anthrax.

Most would be stunned to know that Iran’s nuclear program, modest though it was, began in the 1950’s, under the leadership of…the United States! This program continued with U.S. assistance until the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The first Iranian nuclear power plant—Bushehr I— opened on September 12, 2011. This time the Russians helped.

In the book, Ballistic Missiles (edited by Arieh Stav), contributing writer Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto wrote:

“Whether peace or other treaties are signed or not, war will erupt and missiles will be launched at the first sign of Israeli weakness, whenever the huge price to be paid is considered acceptable by the Arab leadership.”

This is a key sentence. Whenever…considered acceptable. The dictators of the Middle East will launch an attack on Israel (or, perhaps more likely, each other) at the moment they feel they will not pay too high a price within the international community.

They are getting closer, and every week that brings more weak messages from Washington makes all of us more vulnerable. The Iranians are not only working on missiles to obliterate Israel; they are developing plans to strike the U.S.

Let us hope the motorcycles keep running.

jim@prophecymatters.com


Jan 9, 2012

Circle of “Friends”

When I attended a pro Palestinian conference in Fremont, California, recently, Porter Speakman Jr. (director of With God on Our Side) and Tom Getman took exception to my statement that one of the major problems in the Arab-Israeli conflict is Arab rejectionism: Israel’s right to exist is not recognized.

Speakman and Getman countered with the peace treaties signed with Jordan and Egypt (ah, we long for those halcyon days); they wouldn’t concede that the pan Arab nation rejects Israel outright. Of course, those treaties with Egypt and Jordan are in a precarious position.

Overall, Arab rejectionism is pervasive and has been documented for decades. It is not only the official policy of Arab countries; it is a hallmark of individual lives, bent from years of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish education.

But to get perhaps a more sinister view of this threat to Israel, let’s look at the present situation in the region, still fluid given the “Arab Spring.”

Since Israel pulled out of its buffer zone in Lebanon in 1999, Hezbollah has been stockpiling weapons and upgrading training. It was recently estimated that in just a few more years, the terror group will have 15,000 rockets. The stockpiles of same in Gaza (and the Sinai, where Al Qaida is now present) represent a lethal threat to Israel from the north and the south.

Let us now turn to the east.

Obama’s tragic and reckless decision to pull all American troops out of Iraq ensures that that dreadful country will become a major terror base in the near future. The realities on the ground also show the linkage between Iraq and her neighbors, all of whom loathe the Jewish state.

The threat also extends far beyond the region, since the principle backer, Iran, exports terror all over the world.

Witness the case of one Ali Musa Daqduq, a Lebanese Shi’ite, a key member of Hezbollah since 1983 (the date should mean something to you, since Hezbollah carried out the attack on Marine barracks in Beirut that year, killing 241 Americans. Ronald Reagan pulled troops out after that).

In 2007, Daqduq was captured, by coalition forces, after taking part in an operation in Iraq that killed five American soldiers. The attack took place at the Karbala Joint Provincial Coordinating Center. Daqduq was captured two months later and had been held ever since by the Americans. With the pullout, Daqduq was turned over to the Iraqis and the Obama administration “sought assurances” that he would be tried. How many of you think that will happen?

Daqduq is probably already on his way back to the front lines, since he has been trained by the Iranian Quds Force.

Notice the linkage here.

This senior Hezbollah operative, Lebanese and an arch terrorist for at least 30 years, has been trained by the Iranians and shuttled to and from battlefronts by the Syrians and Lebanese.

A major combat operative for years in Iraq, he represents a wide-ranging network that will, in the near future, pose a grave threat not only to Israeli but also to American and other Western interests.

God help us.

jim@prophecymatters.com


Jan 2, 2012

Aiding the Palestinians

I was sickened to read that the U.S. Congress is releasing “aid” to the Palestinians. According to the Associated Press:

“Lawmakers have freed up a little more than 20 percent of $187 million in U.S. assistance to the Palestinians that had been frozen over the Palestinian bid for U.N. membership. Members of Congress have made available $40 million in economic and humanitarian funding for the Palestinians, the State Department said Wednesday. The money is administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development and ‘has been vital to establishing and strengthening the foundations necessary for a future Palestinian state,’ the department said.”

What a sick joke.

The AP also reported that the PLO’s best friend in Washington has their backs, too:

“The administration is pressing Congress to release the remaining $147 million that comes from the last budget cycle in which aid to the Palestinians was to total 545.7 million. New funding for the Palestinians will be subject to additional scrutiny and can be blocked if they win full admission to the United Nations before a peace deal with Israel is agreed.

The administration has asked Congress for $513.4 million in aid for the Palestinians in fiscal year 2012.”

How sick is our world today? The previous paragraphs answer that question. Hard-working Americans are expected to cough-up a half-billion dollars for a terrorist entity! Remember 9/11? Remember scenes of Palestinians in east Jerusalem shouting for joy and passing out candy in celebration?

It is beyond repulsive that we are funding murderers. Add to this insanity the fact that many even now in the West are demonizing Israel’s every move, and it is clear that Isaiah was right when he said the day would come when good would be evil and evil would be good.

What we have here is a classic inversion of the truth. The Palestinian Arabs have hated the Jews for a hundred years, or more. Woven into their terror war has been a broader propaganda war that has proven largely successful. It will get worse.

Very few are aware of the origins of the propaganda war against Israel. Shoot, most aren’t even aware there is one. They believe whatever comes out of Brian Williams’ mouth. They believe the nonsense written by Joe Klein and the dupes with the International Solidarity Movement. And as I have been saying for some time, the situation is worst in the American Church. From Carl Medearis to the growing emphasis on social justice in the pages of Relevant magazine, we are seeing a tidal wave of change from pro Israel support to what some are calling “Christian Palestinianism.”

But what have the Palestinians been up to, oh, the last several decades?

Originally, due to the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt began training and equipping the Arabs in what had been Mandate Palestine.

Between 1949 and 1956, the Egyptian “fedayeen” (terrorists) infiltrated Israel and launched 9,000 attacks that killed 600 Israelis and wounded thousands. One of the most capable killers was the evil Yasser Arafat.

In 1964, Arafat sent Abu Jihad to North Vietnam to study the propaganda tactics of Ho Chi Minh and they had the writings of General Nguyen Giap, as well as Mao’s and Che Guevara, translated into Arabic.

(This partly explains the huge number of Che t-shirts—expressing solidarity with the Palestinians—that I saw in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City this past summer.)

Arafat was interested in Ho Chi Minh’s expertise in garnering support from left-wing sympathizers in Europe and the U.S. The North Vietnamese had successfully transformed their story from one of aggressive attacks on South Vietnam into a struggle for “national liberation.”

Giap told the PLO: “Stop talking about annihilating Israel and instead turn your terror war into a struggle for human rights. Then you will have the American people eating out of your hand.”

The PLO/PA currently has a growing number of American Christian leaders eating out of its hand, as it continues to spread lies about the Palestinian narrative, the story that says all the ills in the Middle East are Israel’s fault.

As the Cold War heated up, the Soviets realized the PLO was perfect for fomenting violence and chaos. The Soviets trained PLO terrorists at the Moscow-based Patrice Lumumba People’s Friendship University. Romanian intelligence provided the PLO with logistical support while weapons came from the KGB and East German Stasi.

This was in the years immediately preceding the President of Appeasement, Jimmy Carter, and his policies of weakness, which the PLO capitalized on. Within five years of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty (in which Israel gave back the whole of the Sinai), Hamas was formed.

Hamas says in its charter that it is “the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Hello, is anybody listening?

After Arafat launched another terror war in September 2000, Hamas launched 425 terror attacks against Israel, including 52 homicide bombers. A total of 377 Israelis were killed, and 1,646 were wounded.

Since Arafat and the PLO/PA came to power in Gaza and parts of the West Bank in 1994, 28,000 terror attacks were launched against Israelis, with 1,700 murdered and another 7,000 wounded.

Twenty.

Eight.

Thousand.

Still, it is Israel that’s condemned. It is wholly unacceptable that we are giving a half-billion dollars to these people. Does anybody care? Is anyone going to protest this outrage?

In all this, leftists in America (and a growing number of evangelicals) condemn Israel for the security fence constructed…to save Jewish lives.

It is estimated that 90 percent of the terror attacks have been stopped by the fence. Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah said on Al-Manar TV (Hezbollah) that if the security fence were not in place, “the situation would be entirely different.”

No kidding.

Why is the left obsessed and angry about Israel’s security fence, especially in light of the following examples:

“The fence separating Spain from Morocco at Ceuta, the British fence that ran through Belfast in Northern Ireland, the fence dividing North and South Korea, the fence that China built to keep out starving North Koreans, the fence dividing Greek from Turkish Cyprus, the fences between India and Pakistan and between India and Bangladesh, the fence between Batswana and Zimbabwe, the fence between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, the fence recently built by Saudi Arabia to stop weapons smuggling from Yemen, and of course the controversial security fence planned to extend hundreds of miles on the U.S.-Mexico border.”

(This and other information comes from the book, History Upside Down, by David Meir-Levi.)

Why doesn’t Jim Wallis write extensively about these fences? Why doesn’t Lynne Hybels speak at a Christ at the North Korean Checkpoint? Doesn’t Brian McLaren play the bongos and sing at sit-ins near the Indian-Bangladesh fence? Isn’t that an apartheid wall?

Between 1967 and 1993, the Arab population in the territories grew from 950,000 to more than 3,000,000. Almost 260 new towns emerged. By 1993, almost 300,000 Palestinians worked in Israeli tourism, agricultural and manufacturing.

But according to the propagandists—funded by the American taxpayer—Israel has been responsible for genocide against the Palestinian Arabs.

But I want you to think about those numbers. Between the time Israel took territory in a defensive war in ’67, until the disastrous Oslo Accords brought the mass-murderer Arafat to power in Gaza, the Arab population grew! They were far more prosperous than their cousins in neighboring, oppressive countries.

A half-billion dollars? At a time when Americans can’t even pay their own bills? A half-BILLION dollars for these people?

We should cut the Palestinians a check that would bounce like a basketball at Madison Square Garden.

jim@prophecymatters.com