Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem  


 



Apr 2, 2012

As Written

I was sitting at the Mid-America Prophecy Conference in Tulsa, waiting to hear Gary Fisher of Lion of Judah Ministries (www.lionofjudahministry.org) . In sharp contrast to the new breed of Christian publishers and evangelical leaders, this traditional community—so maligned and mocked, especially in recent years—still believes Bible prophecy is valid and that the return of Christ is the blessed hope.

They also love the snot out of Israel.

I like being among these people. Happily, I don’t care that many considered to be sophisticates (Brian McLaren, Rick Warren, even young turks like Mark Driscoll) think I am a knuckle-dragging primitive for thinking the folks at Mid-America Prophecy Conference—my friends—are awesome people.

I started working in Christian book publishing in 1993, when Bible prophecy teachers were still respected. What we didn’t know then was that a subversive campaign to marginalize it had been in place for some time.

In those days, books supportive of Israel and prophecy teaching were the norm.

Specifically, the leftward drift at schools like Fuller Theological Seminary and Wheaton was preparing the new breed of evangelical leader. These guys were being taught that belief in Bible prophecy was for losers, survivalists, and Larry the Cable Guy. We are not, after all (as bigger-brained hominids like Mark Noll lament), “careful thinkers.”

In their world, a careful thinker is one who has jettisoned the plain-sense meaning of Genesis. The other 65 books of the Bible are likewise meant to be understood allegorically.

At this conference, there were elaborate banners that say things like “Kinsman Redeemer” and “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” We’ve heard gospel music. Yes, much of the hair here is either silver or missing. The banners and gospel music were the kinds of things the sophisticates make fun of, but I found the atmosphere totally refreshing.

Truth was there. It has re-energized me, after months of researching through the slime of anti-Israel “evangelicals.” How inspiring it has been to listen to great teachers like Arno Froese, David Hitt, Gary Fisher, David Reagan, Daymond Duck, Terry James, and Mark Hitchcock. All these men love Israel and even better, they love the Lion of Judah. Thank God there are still men like this in the world, and that they have purposed to eschew retirement and keep working hard.

You wouldn’t catch Rick Warren schlepping his own books, or going on little sleep so he could chat with his fans. The men who spoke at Mid-America Prophecy Conference are not in it for the cash and adulation. They recognize we are all sojourners; in fact, it is astonishing how knowledgeable the attendees are.

These men have set their faces like flint and stand as the frontline of defense against the purpose-driven-into-the-ground ministries that have sprouted like weeds.

Years ago, the Leadership Network (inspired by men like Peter Drucker and Bob Buford) began, George Soros-like, to pump money and manpower into the new breed of evangelical leader.

Rick Warren, for example.

Today, Warren is a publishing powerhouse and generally thought to be “America’s Pastor,” although others like T.D. Jakes and Steven Furtick, drunk on narcissism, jockey for that position. Warren also loves to denigrate Bible prophecy and discernment ministries.

The books of Warren, published by Zondervan, and those of McLaren and his contemporaries, are not simple accidents of history. The Leadership Network worked a deal for publishing giant Jossey Bass to help build significant speaking and writing platforms for the men and women who are now what I’d call “progressive evangelicals.”

Their careers and the careers of the Bible prophecy teachers at Mid-America Conference are a fascinating study in contrasts.

My friends here in Tulsa for the most part operate on shoe-string budgets. They often self-publish their materials, because the careful-thinking publishers have left them behind (get it?). There is a stigma to that, too, of course.

Yet I know better.

I know that the Leadership Networks’ assembly line golem are all the rage in the American spiritual landscape today. They promote seeker-sensitive, church-growth, experiential-based easy believism. They are rewarded with lucrative book and speaking careers. Their publishers spend a Trojan-Horse-load of cash into marketing efforts. This is key.

The books of Warren & Friends are ubiquitous because their publishers buy store space with floor and counter displays, signage, etc. The media are waiting, up on their hind legs like dogs waiting for a processed, meat-like bone to be tossed into the air.

All the big papers still left feature them in review sections. Radio hosts line up the toothy “pastors” who write Your Best Day is Friday and the Other Six, Too!

(By the way, the next phase, coming I predict in the next few years, will be the appearance of “evangelical leaders” on Oprah and Ellen.)

Gary Fisher taught about the identity of the Lion of Judah (hint: it’s Jesus Christ), and that He will rule and reign one day, literally. Gary’s a nut-job, right?

No, he’s not. Gary is a smart guy and here’s an added feature: he has guts. He, like the others here, is swimming against the Christian cultural tide.

It’s easy to organize a Catalyst conference, in which nary a controversial word will be spoken. All of us can support the effort to bring clean drinking water to Africans, right? All of us can agree that literacy is good, right?

What is tougher is to proclaim God’s Word as authoritative. The faith once delivered to the saints is not Jim Wallis’s America-Last socialist cocktail. It is not the inherently nasty attitude toward prophecy as taught by Pastor Rick, who likes to tweet that his critics are “twits.” (That’s loving, right?)

The faith is also not the hyper-narcissism of Steven Furtick’s “sermons.” It is not the leadership-soaked obsessions of Andy Stanley, either.

I like the guys I listened to in Tulsa. I like them immensely. They know the spirit of the age is against them. The Zeitgeist is a hard opponent, vicious and relentless.

Wow, Gary Fisher said that we are serving a Jewish Messiah. Grow up, Gary! Didn’t you know Jesus was a Palestinian?

In point of fact, Gary understands and embraces reality. This is from his newsletter, The Trumpeter:

“Many signs the Bibles gives us concerning the last days are upon us, but are only recognizable if taken literally. The reestablishment of the nation of Israel, the regathering of the Jewish people to it, the condition of society, etc., if taken literally, seem to be shouting to us loudly and clearly that Jesus is coming! Are you ready?”

Amazing. What a counterweight to the New Thought being generated by such sources as www.catalystspace.com.

My friends at Mid-America Prophecy Conference are men of God who love His people and stand with them in this hour of their need. They love Scripture, and they especially love the Gospel.

I’ve known Terry James for 20 years, from the time he began to go blind. There he was at Mid-America, delivering an innovative talk and moving the audience to tears as he reminded us all of our Blessed Hope. I would urge you to contact the organizers of this conference at: Bible Prophecy, P.O. Box 14575, Tulsa OK, 74159, or call 918-748-1806. The conference talks are available on dvd, and here is the best endorsement I can give it: it was the best prophecy conference I’ve ever attended.

There was a sweet, sweet spirit in that place, and I needed it after months of attending meetings of the Religious Left, which loathes Israel.

A word too about the ministries represented there by the speakers; I’ve already mentioned a few of them.

Daymond Duck would have you believe that he is Gomer Pyle, but the guy is a writing and speaking powerhouse. His elegant delivery was inspiring. As Daymond got up to speak the first time, I noticed on my phone that Rick Warren had tweeted a birthday greeting to Eric Clapton; I winced. While Clapton, who is not god, will be remembered for recording such songs as “Cocaine” and “I Shot the Sheriff,” and Warren will go down as a chief opponent of Bible prophecy teaching in the last days—busying himself by writing sycophantic tweets to rock stars—guys like Daymond Duck will hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Dave Reagan of Lamb & Lion Ministries (www.lamblion.com), well, what more could be said? Dave delivered two rock’em, sock’em messages at Mid-America, and is a fearsome opponent for the Religious Left that has infiltrated the evangelical world, big-time. My favorite thing about Dave though is that his love for the Lord is the electricity that turns on his intellect, education, and powerhouse speaking style.

Arno Froese of Midnight Call Ministries (www.midnightcall.com) is a brilliant researcher and commentator. His insights into Europe are not to be missed. Midnight Call is one of those ministries I urge you to check out and consider supporting.

Mark Hitchcock of course is a prolific author and frankly, one of the better contrasts to the Compromising Crowd. He is one of the few Bible prophecy authors still supported by mainstream Christian publishers and bookstores.

David Hitt, my buddy from Texas, is an emerging (the good kind) speaker and writer. His talk at Mid-America: “The Covert Middle East War,” was spell-binding, no kidding.

Well, the theme for the organizing ministry was “Bible Prophecy As Written.” What a wonderful antidote to the Bible-hating sludge we hear promoted in churches and ministries across the country. And, more to the point of “Israel Watch,” the Israelis should know that there are still permanently committed supporters in America. As the evangelical church oinks and sprints for the cliff’s edge, take heart: a strong remnant eagerly awaits the return of the Lord, our only hope.

Many congratulations to Bible Prophecy as Written for hosting such a wonderful conference. You should make plans to attend next year, for sure, and watch for announcements of dates.

jim@prophecymatters.com


 

Mar 26, 2012

An Iron Dome

There was an interesting event this past week in Israel that points to the Bible’s promises being true.

Despite a flimsy agreement that Palestinian terrorists would halt rocket attacks against Israeli targets, of course more came over. Nine rockets, including the long-range Grad rockets and four mortar shells, hit Israeli territory. This is more “fallout” from the ill-advised pullout from Gaza seven years ago.

On March 15, four of the rockets landed near Ashdod and Beersheba; two were destroyed by the Iron Dome aerial defense system.

I continue to maintain that a full-scale rocket attack—such as one possible from the barbarian Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon—or a limited-yet-lethal nuclear attack from Iran…will not happen. Yes, Hezbollah has stockpiled tens of thousands of missiles, many since the 2006 war, but God has promised in His Word that in the last days, He will defend Israel Himself.

Isn’t that amazing? He personally is intervening and with it, putting His reputation on the line (from our perspective).

This is the Ultimate Iron Dome.

Since the beginning of 2011, 535 rockets have entered Israeli airspace.

By contrast, Israeli offensive maneuvers are always deadly accurate.

On the night of March 14, the Israel Air Force hit a rocket-launching site in the northern Gaza Strip, and also destroyed a tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip. The very next night, an IDF patrol engaged a group of terrorists entering from Egyptian territory (the U.S. has just announced that it will continue with massive aid to Egypt, even though the Muslim Brotherhood is wrapping its tentacles around the country).

Three infiltrators were caught—a fourth was shot dead—and the wounded were taken to hospitals in Israel for treatment! Is this not astonishing? The world doesn’t report this. Imagine if Soviet troops had taken German troops to hospitals in Moscow or Stalingrad for treatment. Not only did that not happen, but the Soviets delighted in dishing out brutal treatment to the Nazis.

Israel is defending its citizens and still manages to react humanely to dreadful enemies. How pathetic that CNN et al react with silence.

According to an IDF spokesman:

“The IDF Spokesman said in an announcement that the Southern Command had recently installed two new technological systems which make it possible to detect and impede anti-tank missiles after they have been fired. The need for such a system became evident when the terrorist organizations began using anti-tank missiles to attack civilian targets, such as the missile which hit a school bus on April 7, 2011. One system detects guided and laser-operated missiles to warn of impending threats, and identify the direction and type of missile. The other deflects the missile from its course.”

Although Israel’s numerous enemies (they are legion) are sophisticated, smart, and well-funded, the Israelis continue to stay a step or 50 ahead.

Why is that?

How is it that Israel, surrounded by vicious enemies, continues to not only survive, but thrive?

In a report on all these activities this week, The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center had an interesting headline regarding global propaganda activities against Israel. Introducing a brief report, we read these words:

“The Marches to Israel’s Borders and the Global March to Jerusalem”

Various protests against the Jewish state are planned for March 30, and in the Amit report, we read that a contingent of Asian “activists” have left New Delhi on the way to Lebanon (via Iran and Turkey). Interestingly, the protestors come from Indonesia, the Phillipines, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan (ever heard of the “kings of the east”?).

So, while actual armed conflict is launched by Israel’s near enemies, the Palestinians, propaganda efforts come from afar. For those who continue to miss (or see it and still marginalize Bible prophecy, like preterists) obvious prophecy, one wonders how they can. When Zechariah predicted an actual, global effort to finally destroy Israel in the last days—coinciding with the arrival of the Messiah on the Mount of Olives—the language was in reality plain and easy to understand.

At no time in history have “all” the nations (the definition of “all” is…all) come against Israel. They are doing so now.

As they gather, the Lord swats away their pitiful attacks. Soon and very soon, His fury will arise in a terrifying and total way.

The Iron Dome is firmly in place.

jim@prophecymatters.com

 


Mar 19, 2012

Israel’s Christian Enemies

My heart is grieved. Frankly, I would imagine my ideological enemies would smile about that, since I’m talking about the myriad attacks against Israel. I write again this week about American Christians’ efforts to marginalize both the Jewish state, and its supporters in the evangelical world.

I am discovering more and more that the vast majority of even those who support Israel are not aware of much of this. Who knew the attacks would come from evangelical ranks?

This week, I bring you news from three fronts (though each dovetail with each other, since anti-Israel evangelicals are superb networkers): The diabolical “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference in Israel; the Palestinian Authority’s clamping-down on religious freedom—you won’t hear Christian Palestinianists talk about this; and, more from the Leadership Network.

We start with the Checkpoint goings-on. To refresh your memory, this is from a team of anti-Israel Christians (one wonders how much the PA is involved, behind the scenes) who have created a propaganda campaign against the Jewish state and her supporters.

Fortunately for us, researcher extraordinaire Dexter Van Zile attended (check out his work at www.camera.org) and gives us first-hand accounts. First, from Christian Newswire (which apparently doesn’t discern the sinister nature of this gathering):

“A major breakthrough in the evangelical world took place in Bethlehem through a gathering of over 600 international and local Christians, including renowned evangelical leaders. Organized by Bethlehem Bible College, the conference, under the banner ‘Christ at the Checkpoint,’ addressed the issue of how to find hope in the midst of conflict. The conference exceeded all expectations.”

Major breakthrough? This kind of activity has been going on for some time, and I wonder if most supporters of Israel get it. Here is another telling paragraph from the Newswire story:

“Conference organizers challenged the evangelical community to cease looking at the Middle East through the lens of ‘end times’ prophecy and instead rallied them to join in following Jesus in the prophetic pursuance of justice, peace and reconciliation.”

Do you see? There is a major movement underfoot to jettison the teaching of Bible prophecy from the American Church; sadly, in my view, it is succeeding at a breathtaking pace. A major component of the Checkpoint crowd’s propaganda:

“The Kingdom of God has Come.” Do you get it? This is a fundamental, ideological straw-breaker between us and them (and yes, it is “us and them”). These people believe at the core that their efforts have already brought the Kingdom of God to Earth. In their world, it isn’t necessary for Jesus to return to rescue a disintegrating planet. People can save themselves.

Now, to Dexter Van Zile’s piece in The Algemeiner. He has reported that the PA’s Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, has shut down Bethlehem pastor Rev. Naim Khoury; Khoury’s son Steven had told Van Zile that the PA is severely restricting the church from operating; the Khourys are courageous Christians who do not tow the company line in that region when it comes to Israel.

According to Van Zile:

“The irony, Steven said, is that the PA’s announcement comes right after the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference. This conference, which took place from March 5 through March 9, 2012 was a gathering of approximately 600 Evangelical Protestants from across the globe (mostly from the United States) to discuss the theology of Christian Zionism, which some Evangelicals believe increases the prospect of violence in the Middle East and gives support to Israeli policies that they do not like.

“During the opening night of the conference, Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad told the assembly that his government respected the rights of Christians. Palestinians celebrate religious holidays together, PA officials attend Christmas celebrations and even attend Midnight Mass for Christmas, Fayyad said.”

Coincidence? Please. As usual, the “voices of tolerance” from the left, which is how I think the Checkpoint crowd would identify themselves if asked, bring out the fangs when it comes to pro Israel support. Their hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

You can read the whole account at: www.algemeiner.com/2012/03/13/exclusive-baptist-church-in-bethlehem-declared-illegitimate-by-palestinian-authority/

Now, it’s no accident that these efforts parallel those of Catalyst, the conference program spearheaded by the Leadership Network—begun by folks like Peter Drucker and Bob Buford, and advanced by Rick Warren and Bill Hybels.

In a recent Catalyst newsletter, I spotted a talk by Todd Deatherage of the Telos Group; the Telos website describes the group thusly:

“The Telos Group believes in the redemptive power of Jerusalem, despite the modern war being waged there by Israelis and Palestinians today. We believe, however, that the promise of Jerusalem as an exemplar of peaceful coexistence between the three great monotheistic religions will not be realized until the rights and viability of all of Jerusalem’s communities--Israeli and Palestinian, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim--are protected. We believe that the best way to protect the rights of all of Jerusalem’s communities is through a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a solution that is mindful and respectful of the faith communities’ needs and concerns.

“Telos Jerusalem brings the world’s top Jerusalem experts together in an unprecedented initiative to monitor real-time facts on the ground and to analyze how those facts impact the potential political resolution of the Jerusalem question as well as religious interests in and around the Holy City. Telos Jerusalem guides Telos leadership pilgrimages on complete tours of the Holy City, including the Old City, the Holy Basin, and Greater Jerusalem--exploring all of the communities and the full geopolitical impact of the modern Israeli-Palestinian conflict on this ancient city. Telos Jerusalem will begin releasing later this year a monthly newsletter, urgent updates, and occasional case studies with maps, allowing people the world over to explore modern Jerusalem in all of its dimensions.”

Deatherage’s talk at Catalyst revealed the fact that he works with such groups and people as Sami Awad and Lynne Hybels. His PowerPoint highlighted those who worked to produce the “Little Town of Bethlehem” film, now openly being used as a propaganda piece targeting unaware evangelical leaders.

Interestingly, Deatherage began his talk with a photo of the famed garden café at Jerusalem’s American Colony Hotel. I’ve been there, and it is a meeting place between Palestinians and Western media and leftist religious groups. So we know right off the bat where Deatherage is coming from.

Midway through his remarks, Deatherage said the following:

“Eschatology matters, in so many areas of life. What we think about the end helps shape how live and act today. So if we believe that violence and war and bloodshed in the Middle East is predetermined and necessary and maybe even a good thing, then how responsible would we be to Jesus’s call that we be peacemakers? How authentically Christian is any theology that makes us more perpetuators of conflict than agents of reconciliation?”

I think it’s obvious what is going on here. I spoke this week with a researcher who has studied the Leadership Network, and was told that the leaders of the group actively work to train younger leaders to let go of the “old time” teachings (my phrase) regarding eschatology. That means of course that anything relating to the Rapture, pro Israel support, and warnings of the tribulation coming are dismissed as the rantings of fringe thinkers and doom lunatics.

Notice that Deatherage regurgitates the lie that Bible prophecy teachers and students are basically warmongers who hope a soon-coming bloodbath in the Middle East triggers Armageddon.

As I’ve said before, I’ve never talked to or known a prophecy teachers who promotes that kind of agenda. Yet the straw-man has been constructed. And Deatherage’s allegation is still repulsive and false.

Deatherage went on to call the Israeli security fence—THAT HAS SAVED JEWISH LIVES—a “gross injustice.”

I will say here very clearly and directly: that statement is immoral.

Jewish lives are meaningless to most of the world, so the irony is that so-called peace activists and those working for “reconciliation” ignore threats to Jews. It’s not in their vocabulary or, more accurately, their talking points.

The Christ at the Checkpoint crowd is advancing its cause among young evangelicals in America. They are being helped by such as Mart Green’s EGM Films, the Leadership Network, and—drumroll—the PA.

All of them are of like-mind when it comes to Israel and especially Israel’s Christian supporters. The hostility is disturbing.

I urge readers to study groups like the Leadership Network, and its offshoots like Catalyst, along with the individuals who are being promoted/marketed through LN. Remember again that Warren and Hybels are big-time mentors, and this is trickling down (flooding, really) to guys like Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel. I’d dearly love to hear either of them really make a statement about Israel, eschatology, and the Palestinian conflict. Not likely to happen.

Often, readers of Israel Watch ask me how they can make a difference. A few things come to mind:

•Attend some of these conferences. Go to www.catalystspace.com. I know resources are tight, but think about attending the next Christ at the Checkpoint. Buttress this kind of attendance by also learning from the good guys. The Jerusalem Post is hosting an important conference in New York in April— http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/NYCAbout.aspx. A conference like this will cost you about a grand; I think it’s well worth it. Once you’ve attended one of these, let others know what transpired. Be a reporter. Learn. Pass it on.

•Most of you are pretty smart. You are savvy. Learn about these people and what their agendas are. For example, though it’s time-consuming (this is something a retired person might be able to do), you will find layer after layer of networks, and you will stumble onto important information. Study the Leadership Network and connect the dots.

•Consider a trip to Israel. Israel’s enemies often have more resources than the rest of us, so what for us is a huge sacrifice is provided for them. But press on and prayerfully consider going. Let me know if this is an option for you. Aside from your airline ticket (which admittedly can be considerable, especially in warmer months…around $1,500 or more), one can see the country relatively cheaply. It can be done.

And, don’t be intimidated. Just remember that the person you might dialogue with—someone on the opposite side of the fence—is coming at it from a different worldview, namely, they do not really believe in the authority of the Word of God. A person like this might say he does, but you’re smart enough to know whether that’s true or not. Study about the Middle East. Read Michael Oren’s book, Six Days of War. Read his other classic, Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East—1776 to the Present. Other books and articles. Armed with facts, confront the enemies of Israel…in a respectful way.

We stand on the edge of history. Israel is being surrounded. The warriors who defend the Land of Israel will do their jobs. And the Lord of History will do His, and it will be complete.

Those of us who love Zion—we who are not ashamed but rather lean our faces into the wind—will hold the line until the ultimate Cavalry show up: a single commander of unmatched majesty and power.

Until then, let us not concede an inch to Israel’s many enemies.

Especially those in the evangelical community. I decided a long time ago that an enemy of Israel is my enemy, as well.

There are a lot of them in the Church.

jim@prophecymatters.com

 


 

Mar 12, 2012

Another Fight for Jerusalem

(I encourage readers to get on the mailing list of Giulio Meotti)

My friend, Italian journalist Giulio Meotti (one of the most courageous voices in Europe—or anywhere, for that matter), writing this week for Arutz Sheva, brought to light a little-known story that reflects on Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem.

It seems there is a subtle releasing of the Mount of Olives to the Palestinians going on. Not totally shocking, given their destruction of the Temple Mount itself (two giant underground mosques have been built there in the past few years), but still disconcerting.

The Mount of Olives is a “stone’s throw” from the Mount, and of course is central in Jewish history. As Giulio pointed out, Jewish prophets, commoners, and prime ministers are buried there, and have been for 3,000 years. I find it gratifying that former PM Menachem Begin is interred there; he was the most biblical of Israel’s modern leaders; most are buried at the military cemetery on Mt. Herzl, in the western part of the city.

Giulio pointed out that the Palestinians are using the same effective strategy employed at Jericho, Hebron, and Nablus—violence. For a family to visit a grave on the Mount of Olives today requires a police escort.

This is shameful and ultimately a condemnation of the entire international community. UNESCO, the UN agency devoted to the whims of the Palestinians, now labels biblical sites in Israel as “Palestinian sites.”

Last summer, on a visit, I rented a car and though I was warned by hotel staff (in east Jerusalem!) not to drive there by myself, I did. The scene was chaotic, with honking vehicles, chickens, humans, and other debris littering the winding road to the summit. One had to pass through a Palestinian village; I got decidedly unfriendly looks.

I simply wanted to see the place where the 10th Roman Legion encamped before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The Crusaders did the same a thousand years later, as did the British in 1917. Finally, the Mount of Olives is where the IDF’s 66th Paratroop Brigade gazed on the Temple Mount on the morning of June 7, 1967—liberation was hours away.

The place is Jewish, and a national treasure. It would be an international treasure (and will be, one day) if the nations had any discernment.

Giulio made an excellent point near the end of his report (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11360#.T1d9QMxVsXw):

“If Israel is abdicating the Mount of Olives, then she is abdicating Jerusalem.” 

The world is smug and thinks it is finally coming to the end of its Jewish problem. I believe we are remiss if we do not place issues such as the one Giulio has brought to our attention right alongside the Iranian threat. Israel is attacked on all sides today—culturally, militarily, diplomatically. Barack Obama has literally told the Israelis to trust him with regard to Iran, to actually place their lives in his hands.

I tell every Israeli friend I have not to trust him in any situation. There is only One who will protect the Jewish people now, and His methods are unstoppable:

But I will encamp at my temple to guard it against marauding forces.  Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch.” (Zechariah 9:8)

This is yet future. And on that day, the world will no longer reject the Jewish flavor of Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives, today a decaying cemetery, will flash with the coming of the Messiah.

And all His enemies—the enemies of His people—will realize they have spent the better part of their lives digging their own graves when it comes to Israel.

jim@prophecymatters.com


Mar 5, 2012

Mart Green Is At It Again

The threats to Israel have never been greater in number, nor so varied in scope. We see the “big ones,” like Iran, and international condemnation via the UN. 

What many people are unaware of are the relentless attacks on Israel’s legitimacy from within the American Church.

It is becoming epidemic.

Just last night a friend emailed me a press release from the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD); Mark Tooley and his associates do tremendous work there, and have long highlighted the departure from the faith from within the mainline churches (Tooley is United Methodist). They are also now connecting the dots between Palestinian activists and the evangelical world.

(Note: next week, I’ll have a lengthy, exclusive report about this at www.prophecymatters.com)

This week, I would simply like to bring to your attention an astonishing example of this—straight from the heart of the Pentecostal world. Readers of “Israel Watch” already know that Pentecostals have long been strong supporters of Israel. My dear late friend and mentor, Dr. Davis Allen Lewis (davidallenlewis.com), would be so grieved at what is going on in those circles, specifically within the Assemblies of God, where he served as an evangelist for 50 years.

Empowered21, a group meeting this weekend at Regent University in Virginia Beach, is partnered with the Society for Pentecostal Studies. From the IRD press release:

“Often identified as strong supporters of Israel, Pentecostal Christians are now being targeted by anti-Israel activists from the Evangelical Left.

“Meeting March 1-4 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the Society for Pentecostal Studies is jointly gathering with Empowered 21, a group of Pentecostal ministry leaders. Themed on ‘peacemaking and social justice/righteousness,’ this year’s gathering will feature presentations by academics with anti-Israel views, as well as a screening of ‘Little Town of Bethlehem,’ a film with a subtle anti-Israel message aimed at usually pro-Israel evangelicals.”

Tooley had this to say:

“The Evangelical Left is eager to dissuade Pentecostals, Charismatics and Evangelicals from their traditional support for Israel.”

They are succeeding, in my view.

You see, for one thing, “peacemaking” and “social justice” are long-time favorite phrases of the religious left in America.

Among the folks who comprise the leadership of Empowered21 (based in Cleveland, TN):

Nigerian Pastor E.A. Adeboye; Lisa Bevere; Charles E. Blake, Sr., presiding worldwide leader of the Church of God in Christ (the largest African-American denomination in the U.S.); Glenn Burris, Jr., President of Foursquare Church; Michael Coleman, chairman of Integrity Media; Kenneth Copeland; Dr. Ulf Ekman, founder and senior pastor of Word of Life Church in Uppsala, Sweden; Ingolf Ellssel, chairman of the Pentecostal European Fellowship; Jentezen Franklin; Alton Garrison, assistant general superintendent of the Assemblies of God; Jonas Gonzalez, president of Enlace TBN (“the most influential Christian television network in Latin America”); Jack Hayford; Brian Houston; Cindy Jacobs; Lawrence Khong, senior pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church in Singapore; Dr. Young Hoon Lee, senior pastor of the Yoido Full Gospel Church (succeeded Dr. Yonggi Cho); Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania Ministries; Gordon McDonald, pastor of Calvary Christian Church in Surrey, B.C.; Robert Morris; Myles Munroe; Rick Renner, pastor of the Moscow Good News Church; Gordon Robertson, CEO of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and host of The 700 Club; Samuel Rodriguez, Jr., president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Greg Surrat, pastor of Seacoast Church; Dr. Vinson Synan, Regent University; Pastor Matthew K. Thomas, founder of Central India Outreach; Mark Williams, Second Assistant General Overseer of the Church of God; Rev. Billy Wilson, executive director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal; Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

Folks, where do I begin?

When you have the General Superintendent of the AG, youth ministry heads, leaders from Europe, all through the Americas, and Africa, and CBN involved…one wonders if they know the insidious nature of the gathering they are involved in at Regent. I would dearly love to know what people like Jack Hayford think about this, and if they are aware of who Sami Awad and his friends are.

At the heart of all this, though, is Mart Green.  I wrote about this for WorldNetDaily (www.wnd.com/2011/12/374717) in December—Green’s involvement in producing “Little Town of Bethlehem,” a pro Palestinian film from EGM Films, which is headquartered at Green’s Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby empire. The Greens have bankrolled EGM, and it is a high-profile way for Mart Green to advance his pro Palestinian agenda.

Green became chairman of the board of trustees at Oral Roberts University in 2008, after his family pledged tens of millions of dollars to the cash-strapped school. Since then, there are numerous signs that Green’s pro Palestinian agenda is being furthered much deeper in the evangelical world.

EGM Films director Jim Hanon traveled to the Middle East to interview several people for the film, ostensibly to offer a “balanced” view of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The three featured interviews are with a Palestinian Christian (Awad), a Palestinian Muslim, and an Israeli. However, keep in mind that a subtle advocacy trick is employed in this interview concept. Most people would say, “Oh, they’ve interviewed three people from different perspectives, so it’s balanced.”

Not so.

The three principals all decry the so-called “occupation,” and the entire film is heavily slanted to portray Israel as an expansionist bully.

Green’s fingerprints are all over this effort.

As Israel struggles to withstand increasing loathing from the international community, it is especially dismaying to see that loathing come from the American Church.

There will be much more to this story in the coming weeks. I would ask you to circulate this far and wide, and watch for more reports to come from me.

jim@prophecymatters.com


 

Feb 27, 2012

The Butcher of Damascus

As the ostensibly cultured, British-educated Bashar Assad continues feasting on the blood of his countrymen (and women and children), I thought back a good long while at the Murder, Inc. legacy of the Assad family.

Hafez, the sociopath father of Bashar, was an efficient killer from the beginning.

His defense minister, Mustafa Tlas, was particularly sadistic to Israeli POWs during the Yom Kippur War. We learned just how bad it was after an elite Israeli counter-terrorism unit captured several Syrian officers, who were then exchanged for the POWs.

Then Hafez himself ordered the flattening (as in, like a parking lot) of Hama, a northern city that had a few too many brave souls critical of the regime back in 1982.

When the old man happily went straight to hell in the middle of a phone conversation with Hosni Mubarak in 1999—thanks to a massive coronary—the gullible West hoped once again that the son would not be like the father.

Bashar, though, kept the country weighted in the seventh-century and the oppressive police state has driven the country insane. As civil war rages all over Syria, we wonder why the world twiddles its thumbs.

Fifteen years ago, writing about the terror war Hezbollah had launched against Israel from Lebanese territory—a choreographed death dance created by Hafez Assad—Charles Krauthammer hit the rocket on the head:

“Syria controls Lebanon and exercises, as the cliché has it, ‘predominant influence’ over Hezbollah, a proxy force that Assad employs against Israel at his pleasure.”

Krauthammer went on to note that Assad knew he would suffer not condemnation from the international community.

In a sense, his son and successor is in the same boat. Sure, there “condemnations,” but Assad doesn’t care.

He knows that the world will sickly condemn Israel, and already one wonders how long before he will turn attention to the Jewish state, in an attempt to divert attention from his killing spree.

(Isaiah 17 tells us that one day—I hope soon—Damascus will disappear overnight. Intriguing, isn’t it?)

The dreadful and late Washington Post reporter Mary McGrory once voiced her displeasure at the one person she considered to be responsible for mayhem and chaos in the Middle East: Benjamin Netanyahu. She actually wrote the following, and it was published, in 2002:

“Netanyahu has a heavy voice and a head shaped like a bullet.”

Huh?

By using that kind of language, “head like a bullet,” she portrayed him as a man of violence. This was not too many years after a news magazine referred to Hafez Assad as a “hard-eyed phoenix.”

Translation: Jews are trouble-makers; the Arabs are resilient and plucky.

What gives here?

If Netanyahu has a head shaped like a bullet, I can say that the mustache sported by the beetle-browed Bashar Assad looks like a Kassam rocket.

British journalist Marie Colvin was blown into eternity this week by Syrian artillery intentionally targeting a media center in the city of Homs, where Assad has ordered that those opposing his regime be murdered indiscriminately.

He is no different than his father.

This week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accused Syria of “almost certain” crimes against humanity.

Almost? You can read with your own two eyes how morally bankrupt the global body really is.

The General Assembly passed a resolution calling for Assad’s regime to “immediately put an end to attacks against civilians.” A whopping 137 of the 193 member states approved the resolution; boy, that’s resolve in the face of Syrian serial-killing.

No doubt Assad was too busy re-loading and giggling maniacally to notice the resolution.

Or he would have stopped. Right?

Something will have to be done about Syria’s dictator. Just like something will have to be done about Iran’s mullahs.

While the world calls the good guys names, the good guys will refuse a second Holocaust and come out with guns (or software) blazing.

When the smoke clears, the Jews will still be with us. That is, if there is any of us left.

Jim@prophecymatters.com