Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem  


 



Jul 9, 2012

When Non-Violence Becomes Violent

This week, the UN—that pacifist bridge club on the Hudson—co-sponsored an international anti-drug conference in Tehran (of all places). Predictably, the Iranians used it for another opportunity to blame Israel for drug trafficking.

The Bible calls this “bearing false witness.”

Reuters reported that 10 Western diplomats sat and listened to Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi blame the Jewish state for the global drug trade. Rahimi made the following points, alleged by his superiors:

•The Talmud teaches Jews how to destroy non-Jews

•As “proof,” of the Zionist drug plot, no “Zionist” was addicted to drugs, according to Rahimi. Anywhere. He offered to pay if anyone could find even a single Jewish drug addict anywhere in the world.

•Doctors sometimes kill black babies, on the order of the Zionists.

This madness is difficult to deal with, to say the least. With all the legitimate problems in the world, the Iranians focus on a psychopathic cocktail of anti-semitism in order to blame Jews for every ill in the world.

Added to this mixture is news this week that Yasser Arafat might have been poisoned—by the Jews, of course—and his body might be exhumed. Proponents of this view conveniently forget that Israel could have killed the terrorist a dozen times over in the years before Oslo, but didn’t.

Arafat, vaguely resembling a shaven Dopey when he emerged in France for medical treatment near the end of his life, cultivated his cherubic, Seven Dwarfs persona for the West, at the same time he plotted to murder Jews around the world. Yet Israel is blamed.

(A couple books come to mind that shed light on the diabolical attempts to libel and slander the Jews: License to Murder—The Enduring Threat of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and Nations United—How the United Nations Undermines Israel and the West. I urge you to read these books in order to understand the roots of Jew-hatred.)

An interesting backdrop for this Blame Israel First mentality is playing-out this week at the national assembly for the Presbyterian Church (USA), where, by a narrow 333-331 margin, “divestment” was voted down. This initiative calls for entities to pull investments from companies that do business with Israel. In this case, Caterpiller, HP, and Motorola.

This slim margin of victory is to be celebrated (I have several mainline friends who have done exhaustive work to combat divestment; they are to be commended). There are further battles to fight, including motions to condemn the “settlements,” and to boycott goods from the territories.

This vote comes on the heels of a somewhat surprising decision at the May gathering of the United Methodist Church, as reported in the Jerusalem Post:

“The general conference of the United Methodist Church voted not to divest from three companies that trade with Israel.

“Two-thirds of the approximately 1,000 delegates to the conference voted Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., against a motion to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlett-Packard.

“The conference passed motions opposing Jewish settlements in the West Bank, recommending the boycott of products manufactured in settlements, and investment in the Palestinian economy.”

Although there are several reasons for these slight wins, I believe they also arise from pragmatism and practicality. Proponents of divestment, leftists of various stripes, recognize that the extreme leftist mentality eventually wears thin with the wider audience, so new strategies must be developed. This is not so different from the shift in Arab strategies after the shattering defeats at the hands of the IDF: Arafat was schooled by his Marxist handlers to become a “revolutionary” fighting for statehood for a disenfranchised people, rather than an upfront terrorist. He could dispatch his killers, but would shrink from overt attacks himself.

Arafat even ingratiated himself with certain mainline church officials as far back as the 90’s.

An interesting study was done by the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which found that between 2000 and 2003, 37 percent of the statements made by mainline officials concerning human rights abuses focused on Israel! Notice this key phrase:

“No other country came in for such frequent criticism, though the US was a close second at 32%. China, North Korea and Saudi Arabia were not critiqued at all.”

These people are turning truth on its head.

Yet they are taking a play from the PLO playbook, insofar as they are refining their attacks on Israel. I see Western leftists shifting their confrontational strategies to more subtle attempts to weaken Israel. They are now preaching a concept called “non-violence,” which aims to achieve Palestinian goals via “non-violent” methods.

This means, at best, that they work for a so-called bi-national state, as opposed to either a Jewish state or a Palestinian Arab state. This stands in some contrast to the blatant former efforts by the PLO to liquidate Israel straight-up. The bi-national agenda is liquidation by other means.

“Non-violent” means.

Dexter van Zile, whom I believe to be the premier Christian researcher in this arena, has written a fascinating article on Sami Awad, the Bethlehem native who is currently networking heavily among American evangelicals:

http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/117818/sec_id/117818

It’s quite a fascinating look at the agenda of the man who has become a friend of Lynne Hybels, Mart Green, and Gary Burge—each a highly influential networker within the American evangelical community. The Palestinians, you see, have used connections with their Christian Palestinianist friends to infiltrate the American Church.

Infiltrated.

It’s already happened.

The left of course has always loved totalitarian regimes (the Palestinian Authority/PLO is one), but until recently, this was the playground of scholars, theologians, the media, and political influencers. Only fairly recently has it spread into the bloodstream of the evangelical community.

Just after World War I, the ACLU was formed by the likes of Roger Baldwin, an atheist, with Harry F. Ward serving as the group’s first chairman. Ward was a Methodist minister who warmly supported Soviet Communism. In his book, Dupes, Paul Kengor says of Ward:

“Put simply, the Reverend Ward may well have been the single greatest sucker in the entire history of the American Religious Left.”

He had plenty of company, and I find it fascinating that the Palestinians are following the same model taught by the Soviets decades ago: infiltrate and destroy from within.

The Soviets used a variety of methods to accomplish their goal of bringing-down America, including newspapermen like Frank Marshall Davis, who wrote race-baiting stuff (and, to show his versatility, a porn novel) and gained support for the Communist Party USA from prominent left-wing American pastors, such as Walter Russell Bowie.

Interestingly, the race-baiting whipped up by the Soviets is quite similar to that being pushed today by the current American president and his friends, who specifically embrace Black Liberation Theology.

BLT is a concept by which other “oppressed groups” (hint: Palestinians) aim to throw off the shackles of their slave-masters (Israel) and step into the light of freedom. And what did the Civil Rights movement preach?

Non-violence.

When Arafat and his cronies realized that body parts shown on the evening news were bad for their image, they began to develop the concept of Palestinian non-violence. That is what is being preached in evangelical churches across America right now. The Palestinians are following the identical model of the Leninists a couple generations ago, and not only are they good at it, they are winning.

That’s right, I said, winning.

The situation is growing dire, I believe. A generation ago, these were things only discussed in seminaries, but now those seminarians have grown up and are in turn mentoring other seminarians.

(By the way, Rick Warren, no friend of Israel or her Christian Zionist friends, has a doctorate from the thoroughly liberal Fuller Theological Seminary. “Pastor Rick” is also mentor to untold numbers of young evangelical leaders, and he currently has 656, 851 followers on Twitter, most of whom eagerly re-tweet his messages—whether they be birthday greetings to aging rockstars, or suggestions to “unfollow” the “twits” who dare to criticize him. Pastor Rick’s Saddleback Church is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

Just sayin’.

In his (in)famous 1993 book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Mark Noll (then professor at Wheaton, now at Notre Dame) barely concealed his contempt for Bible-believing Christians, many of whom support Israel. He used his own propaganda techniques to denigrate this community.

Citing Dwight Wilson’s 1977 book, Armageddon Now!, Noll wrote that Wilson had “expertly summarized a dismal tale,” in which the historian took to task Bible prophecy proponents who embrace “the supposed restoration of Israel.”

Supposed restoration!

My friends, when acclaimed historians deny history, you know the jig is up.

This type of revisionism is being used to great effect by Christian Palestinianists. It is another weapon in their non-violence arsenal, which grows more deadly by the day.

jim@prophecymatters.com

 

 

Recommended books:

 

License to Murder: The Enduring Threat of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

 

 

Nations United: How the United Nations Undermines Israel and the West

 


Jul 2, 2012

Alive and Well

Sometimes, especially in my own writings, one can get the impression that all is doom and gloom. The engulfing of the culture by Emergent philosophy is a serious problem. Young “millennials” are being targeted to give their allegiance to the Palestinians. Israel continues to be squeezed from every side.

But I’m attending the Lamb & Lion Annual Bible Conference this weekend, north of Dallas, and the theme is “Israel in the End Times.” What a terrific gathering!

I arrived last night just in time to hear David Reagan give a rousing opening address, as he highlighted the prophecies fulfilled by the modern state of Israel. Dave is a liberal theologian’s worst nightmare, and represents much of the good that is going on among pro Israel supporters. And each speaker here is terrific: Jeff Seif, Bill Koenig, Mark Hitchcock, Gary Frazier, and Arnold Fruchtenbam.

An additional delight has been the music of Jack Hollingsworth and Ted Pearce, who prove that there are brilliant alternatives to the sludge played at the “evangelical” conferences targeting millennials.

You would do yourself a favor by checking out www.lamblion.com, and avail yourself of the resources. Dave’s “A Prophetic Manifesto” pamphlet made available at this conference is sobering, but needed.  He discusses the reasons we have biblical ignorance in this country, and that is has led to the “un-doing of doctrine.” A brilliant observation.

If there’s one thing the Emergents hate—besides Israel—it’s doctrine. They tell us it isn’t necessary, that the point is to “experience” God. The result is that, as Dave says, “the term evangelical has lost its meaning.”

I appreciated Dave mentioning in his address last night the astonishing Israeli hostage rescue at Entebbe. The anniversary of the raid is this week (July 4), and is but one example of the amazing protection God is bringing His people even today.

At the moment, I am listening to the great Bill Koenig (Koenig’s International News). As the only White House correspondent who is pro Israel, Bill is in a key position. He is also a terrific speaker. He is making some fascinating points, discussing the scourge of Replacement Theology.

Essentially, Bill is saying that it’s as if in the evangelical community, we are on different planets—so difficult is it to reach people with the reality of Israel’s significance.

Bill said that a very small percentage of the Church gets Israel. He estimates that 65 percent of the Church is into Replacement Theology. Staggering!

He has been able to place copies of his book, Eye to Eye, with Rahm Emmanuel, George W. Bush, David Axelrod, George Mitchell and…Jimmy Carter!

Lamb & Lion’s staff did a superb job in making this conference a rousing success for the attendees. It was perhaps the best-organized conference I’ve ever attended, and the Saturday night banquet was wonderful.

The reality is this: fewer pastors are teaching Bible prophecy; the Emergents are far down the road in their hijacking of churches; Church-Growth proponents like Rick Warren continue to marginalize Bible prophecy teaching.

However…

When articulate spokesmen like Dave Reagan, Mark Hitchcock, Gary Frazier, Joel Rosenberg, and several others continue to speak and research and write, we can rest easy that we are just where we’re supposed to be. Add to that new voices like Brian Thomas of Blessings to Israel Ministries (www.blessingstoisrael.com) and I see that teaching about Israel and prophecy is still very much alive.

If Dave Reagan’s powerhouse final address at the conference, in which he put his shoulder into the subject of Replacement Theology, is any indication, Israel still has friends in high places.

jim@prophecymatters.com

 

 


 

Jun 25, 2012

History Repeating Itself, Repetitively

Late in the evening of March 4, 1975, members of a PLO terror group landed on the beach at Tel Aviv and made their way to the Savoy Hotel, where they took hostages.

The siege lasted until the next day. The usual demands were issued: the release of other terrorists from prison; with no deal, the hostages would be executed.

As they have so many times, members of Israel’s elite counter-terrorism unit, Sayaret Matkal, stormed the hotel the next morning. In the ensuing firefight, seven of eight terrorists were killed. Eight hostages were killed, along with three Israeli troops. To this day, the Savoy is a bitter pill for Israel to swallow.

Eventually, after the spectacular rescue mission at Entebbe a year later, and after the cold peace with Egypt, and the Lebanon War of 1982, followed by the so-called Intifada, the debacle known as Oslo was hatched. By now, most of us know that the infamous Oslo Accords aimed to bring peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Sadly, our diplomats and political leaders—almost all of whom are not Bible-believers—have put the squeeze on Israel for 20 years. The reasoning goes that if we can only understand the root cause of terror, we can eradicate it. In other words, justice for all people will achieve peace.

Somebody should tell that to Muslims.

The folly of Oslo and subsequent failed strategies is that most do not grasp what Islam is, a war religion. It is an ideology bent on conquering the infidels—anyone who is not Muslim.

This is painfully, easily documented. The cause-and-effect of Islam is as plain as the nose on one’s face. Yet our leadership is willfully ignorant of this fact.

Two events this week are tragic reminders that the policies of “peace” that have exhausted all of us are total failures. According the a Reuters story earlier this week:

“KABUL (Reuters) - Elite Afghan police backed by NATO forces ended a 12-hour siege on Friday at a popular lakeside hotel outside Kabul, leaving at least 20 dead after Taliban gunmen stormed the lakeside building, bursting into a party and seizing dozens of hostages.

The night-time assault on the hotel with rocket-propelled grenades, suicide vests and machine guns again proved how potent the Islamist insurgency remains after a decade of war.”

At least a dozen civilians, two hotel guards, and a policeman were killed in the firefight. Five terrorists were killed.

(Get this: besides watching their hostages closely, the Taliban terrorists also searched for “illegal” stocks of wine. If you have wondered what Sharia law is, there’s your answer. Islam in its purist form is a totalitarian nightmare, suffocating any form of freedom of thought.)

An example of how deluded the political global leadership is came from the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, who rationalized that because the terrorists targeted civilians and not soldiers, it exposed the whole affair as “a sign of defeat for the enemies of Afghanistan.”

This is routine rhetoric for political leaders, but I don’t think this kind of hackneyed propaganda works anymore.

The attack wasn’t a sign of defeat. It was a sign that the Taliban is growing stronger. Why not attack them and destroy them completely, rather than whisper “signs of defeat” and then run back into your compound?

Has any Western country actually tried to win a war in the last 67 years? The Israelis seem to be the only ones to actually try, and their record is pretty good.

Israel is losing the propaganda war, of course, and we need to be upfront about that.

The second event this week to grab my attention was the barrage of rockets from Hamas in Gaza. More than 130 landed in Israel, and here was the kicker: nary a peep from the media.

I did read quite a lot about the tiny fire allegedly set at a West Bank mosque, by Israeli citizens (the world calls them, contemptuously, “settlers”). This tracked on Yahoo News! and others all day Wednesday. I found out about the huge story of the rocket attacks via Twitter and the IDF spokesman.

Doesn’t that say a lot?

More specifically, the Christian Palestinianists in America (folks like Brian McLaren, Lynne Hybels, Jim Wallis, Shane Claiborne, and others) said not one word about the rocket attacks. They do take every—and I mean, every—opportunity to bash Israel.

Why the silence? Can anybody justify it?

Why do those who purport to be humanitarians and social justice advocates go silent when Jews are being attacked and murdered? I call on the aforementioned Christian Palestinianists to answer and explain why they engage in disproportionate condemnations of Israel…while the Palestinians continue to shoot, stab, bomb, and stone Jews.

This collective moral failure is grotesque, outrageous, and profoundly shameful. The Almighty has specifically said in His Word that He will deal harshly with the nations, specifically because they mistreated the Jews.

Those of you who find it repulsive that the Christian Palestinianists pile-on Israel while peddling PLO propaganda have a right to hear from them: why the silence? It is silence in the face of the real root of terror that has brought us to this global threat from jihad.

I invite you to check-out the following blogs this week:

www.brianmclaren.net

www.lynnehybels.blogspot.com

www.sojo.net

www.thesimpleway.org/shane/

Check and see how they comment about Israel. Then ask them the above. The propaganda war against Israel that Christian Palestinianists aid cannot go unanswered.

For many, the Savoy Hotel attack is still fresh. For the rest of the world, it never happened.

Some things never change.

jim@prophecymatters.com

 


Jun 18, 2012

The Enemy Within

There are several realities on the ground in Israel that show us clearly the global community is ineffective in trying to bring peace between Arabs and Jews.

The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center this week brought an interesting fact to light:

The website of the Jerusalem Brigades, the military-terrorist wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, recently posted pictures from the end-of-the-year party held at one of its affiliated  kindergartens in the Gaza Strip. The children put on a display in which they pretended to be armed Palestinian terrorist operatives, Palestinian prisoners and Israelis.”

A teacher at the school emphasized the “need” to teach children jihad, and the idea of “resistance.”

(Do they know Israel supplies their electricity?)

One of the children was interviewed and said:

When I grow up, I want to get on a bus with lots of Zionists and blow myself up in a suicide bombing attack and kill them..."

This according to the Jerusalem Brigades website and Hamas' PALDF forum.

Among others, for years Hillary Clinton, as the top American diplomat, has “strongly” urged the Palestinians to remove such teaching from school curriculum. This demand stretches back 20 years, to the disastrous Oslo Accords.

The Palestinians have never complied and by the way, I call on all American religious leaders, such as Lynne Hybels, Jim Wallis, and Shane Claiborne (I could name dozens more) to publicly repudiate this ghastly form of child abuse, xenophobia, and anti-semitism.

I have toured the Meir Amit facility north of Tel Aviv, and seen the tragic school notebooks, drawings, and toys that show clearly the Palestinian youth are taught to glorify death and murder.

Here is the point: until the international community gets serious about holding the Palestinians accountable, we will actually continue to move away from realistic chances for peace.

Also, last month, specialists at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center released English translations of some documents captured at Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout. Among other things, the documents reveal that Al-Qaeda is coordinating with a Gaza Strip group called the Army of Islam.

This chilling revelation tells us that the most lethal terror groups in the world are a direct internal threat to Israel. By extension, they are a threat to the rest of us (some of my local National Guard friends have operated in the Sinai in the past few years, so this news impacts very close to home).

One of the documents reveals that the Army of Islam was asking Al-Qaeda leadership if it is permissible under Islamic law for them to accept operational funding from outside groups, including—and this perhaps for comic effect—the “infidel” Shi’ite state of Iran.

Do you see? This Islamic version of the Hatfields and McCoys can certainly come together when working to kill Israelis and Americans.

For context, you should know that the above document dates from 2006 and, according to the Israelis, the Army of Islam has “considerable operative capabilities,” and two of its operatives were involved in the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.

The Army of Islam was also involved—knock, knock, knock, Lynne Hybels, Jim Wallis, and Shane Claiborne—according to the Hosni Mubarak government in Egypt of being involved in a terror attack on a Coptic church in Alexandria in 2011.

Do any evangelicals who support the Palestinians decry Palestinian abuse of Copts? Aren’t they Christians, too? Or do they count?

Is anybody listening? The segment of Palestinian society that is radicalized is of course an existential threat to the rest of us, but let’s be honest: they are also a threat to themselves. Can you imagine living in this kind of hate-filled environment? Can you imagine the psychological damage inflicted by these terror groups on their own people?

I cannot. I can only grieve for them, reduced to living in that kind of emotional squalor. If the international community doesn’t care about Jews, do they really care about Arabs? Why does our diplomatic corps pacify the Palestinian Authority/PLO?

Finally, another hair-raising development is being reported by my friend, the Italian journalist Giulio Meotti, who wrote this week for Arutz Sheva that the campaign to erase Hebrew and Christian history is in full-swing by the Palestinians. This is one of the most odious efforts going on today in this arena, and the rest of us should be outraged.

According to Meotti:

“At UNESCO’s next session, which will run from June 24th  to July 6th in St. Petersburg, the UN cultural body will assess the Palestinian request for admission of the “Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem” to the list of world heritage sites.

“The Christian shrine will become Palestine’s first world heritage site.

“Next in line is the Hevron’s Cave of the Patriarchs.”

Where is the outrage? Since Yasser Arafat arrived in Israel two decades ago, a systematic effort has been underway to remove Jewish history from the land. This absurd reality has been allowed to continue (Bill Clinton heard Arafat deny there were ever Jewish temples on the Temple Mount, and the man who had sat under the Southern Baptist teaching of W.O. Vaught Jr. no doubt just sat there and bit his lower lip).  

American diplomats, political operatives, and religious leaders have let it go on.

Do you understand that if they deny Jewish history they are also denying Christian history?

Do religious leaders like Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, John Ortberg, and John Spong think this through? Spong, who champions his own efforts to combat anti-semitism (he says this with a straight face) also relegates the Hebrew scriptures to the realm of myth. Is he not aware that one can’t get more anti-semitic than that?

I worry about something else: facts are on the side of those of us who support Israel, yet the “millennial generation” is not so moved by facts. They are moved by experience and feelings and narrative (the latter of course can be pregnant with lies, but they seem unaware of that). As Meotti puts it:

“The Palestinians are trying to erase any trace of Jewish history in Judea and Samaria. Yet a few days ago Israeli archaeologists discovered a seal bearing the name “Bethlehem” in ancient Hebrew script from First Temple times, one of the most important pieces of physical evidence supporting the Jewish claim to the town before it became revered as the birthpace of Jesus.”

Are Claiborne, Bob Roberts (senior pastor, NorthWood Church, Keller, TX), Joel Hunter, and Tony Campolo aware they are being used as stooges by the Palestinians when they appear at Christ at the Checkpoint? Do they realize they are part of a diabolical effort to erase their own religious heritage? Don’t you find that profoundly ironic and sick?

Mustafa Barghouti, a so-called moderate in the Palestinian authority, said in 2009 that Jesus “is the first Palestinian who was tortured in this land.”

Hello? Is this thing on?

What in the world has happened to our world? Truth is lie and lie is truth. Our own Christian leadership in America cannot discern good from evil.

Meotti also makes the following salient points (the entire article can be read at: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11770#.T9ypf7-shXX)

“There is a growing global network of Islamophile Christians with organizations like Amos Trust, Christian Aid, Sabeel, Living Stones, World Council of Churches, and influential bishops and pastors like Mitri Raheb, Stephen Sizer, Elias Chacour, Naim Ateek and Michael Prior.

“It doesn’t matter that Jesus was not born a Christian, but a Jew, and that Bethlehem was a Jewish town in Judea, not a Muslim one - because there was no Christianity before his death and certainly no Islam for hundreds of years after his death.

“It doesn't matter that the Palestinian Authority persecuted Arab Christians in its midst.”

You know what? I think he’s right. I don’t think these things matter to those who let themselves be used by Jew-haters and Christ-deniers. That’s the answer. Which is why it is critical to reach those who don’t yet understand, or who are on the fence.

When I attended the Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding conference in California last fall, the only speaker I felt who lives in reality is Botrus Mansour, director of Nazareth Baptist School.

Mansour would certainly not agree with me about many things, but he did say something profound and enlightening. He said there are two kinds of people in the world: those who believe man is inherently good, and those who believe man to be inherently bad.

He’s spot-on, of course. What we have to hope and pray for is a growing awareness that the latter condition is the accurate one.

jim@prophecymatters.com


Jun 11, 2012

Serious in Syria

Word came this weekend that “rebels” in Syria were fighting government forces in Damascus. This is obviously quite significant, since dictators caught in their own capitols often don’t fare well (see Hitler, Adolf).

Many have wondered why Obama and NATO haven’t intervened/interfered in Syria, as they did in Libya (and, indirectly, Egypt). We can only speculate, but a clue lies in the geo-political situation in Libya, ruled with an iron fist by Muammar Gaddafi. The cartoonish Libyan was more like a tribal chieftan, and his loyalists would have held out much longer against the Muslim Brotherhood-inspired “rebels” fighting against Tripoli…had not NATO and Obama been so hell-bent on removing Gaddafi.

Hauled-out and shot, Mussolini-style, last October, Gaddafi passed from the scene as a chilling Muslim horde moved across the sands of the Middle East.

In Syria, however, Bashar Al-Assad (himself a mass-murderer) is more of a secular autocrat whose loyalists make up only about 10 percent of the population. Assad, an Alawite (a branch of Islam) who, perhaps surprisingly to many, has been relatively easy on Syrian Christians, has been allowed to continue in power—savagely murdering his own citizens in the year-long uprising—because, in my opinion, he was going to fall without Western intervention.

If he killed 10,000 men, women, and children, well, tsk, tsk.

Gaddafi had to be removed much more quickly in order for the Brotherhood to come to power.

In Syria, once the inevitable happens and Assad is strung up by his heels, the conditions will exist for the Muslim Brotherhood to rule that country. We know where that leaves Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported that:

“Russia will not oppose the departure of Syria's President Bashar Assad if such a move is a result of a dialogue between Syrians themselves and is not enforced through external pressure, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.”

No matter who lands in power in Syria, Russia intends to be a player for the duration. Interesting, in light of Ezekiel 38,39.

Because Assad was similar to Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Jordan’s King Abdullah and, to some extent, Saddam Hussein, he was content to be a menace to Israel, but not a lethal threat. The new rulers of Middle East countries will be much more like the Iranian mullahs—religious psychopaths who do have lethal intentions for Israel.

The passing of the Assad regime in Damascus provides the framework for the next rulers to unwittingly bring Isaiah 17 to pass.

jim@prophecymatters.com


Jun 4, 2012

The War on Bible Prophecy, Part 486

That’s tongue-in-cheek, of course—barely. I’ve written before about what I am calling the “War on Bible Prophecy,” and the truth is, I could write about it endlessly, because it is so pervasive in American evangelical circles today.

Never thought you’d read a statement like that, did you?

I didn’t, either.

This is not a mystery. The future scenario outlined by God in Genesis 3—the enmity between the woman and her Seed, and the serpent and his seed—is clearly played-out today, as the world loathes both Israel and the Messiah.

So then, a key battleground in this long war against Israel is the current direct attack on Bible prophecy.

In his book, The Emerging Church, Dan Kimball makes the following statement:

“The basis of learning has shifted from logic and rational, systematic thought to the realm of experience. People increasingly long for the mystical and the spiritual rather than the evidential and fact-based faith of the modern soil.”

A couple points. Those young people today who are leaning in this direction are doing so because Dan Kimball and his friends are pushing them in that direction with their mystical teachings. Secondly, his comment of course is heavily biased; there are also plenty of people left who will respond to that approach that Emergents so hate, the “evidential and fact-based” apologetic that worked so well the last 2,000 years, between the time of Christ and the apostles…and Dan Kimball.

At a Catalyst Conference in March, 2011, speaker Christine Caine said, “God is still in the miracle business today.”

He certainly is, but the problem for Caine and her friends in Emergent is that they so dislike the eschatology of their parents and grandparents that they are ignoring the biggest miracle in our world today: the fulfillment of predictive prophecy, centered around of course Israel.

Emergents (Caine might dispute that she is Emergent, but the fact is, she pals-around with tons of them) hate Bible prophecy because it pushes against their own understanding of prophecy: man can save himself and is carving-out a glorious future.

This latter view is in direct contrast to the biblical view, which is crystal clear: the Savior must return to prevent man from destroying himself. Of course, if you are a Purpose-Driven pastor or follower drunk on your own accomplishments, this is a hateful view!

Let me digress just for a moment, and attempt to show you what we are up against, in the battle for the hearts and minds of young people—all of whom could find the freedom they so long for, in the God of the Bible.

Brad Lomenick, who leads the Catalyst team (www.catalystspace.com), periodically lists people he’d love to meet. A few months ago, he published another list, and added a list from his assistant, Michelle Hoeft. Among the folks they’d love to have dinner with:

•Nelson Mandela (hugger of dictators and quasi-Marxist)

•Richard Branson (maverick businessman)

•Melinda Gates (wife of Bill Gates)

• Malcolm Shabazz (Malcolm X grandson)

• Michelle Obama

• J.K. Rowling (“Harry Potter” author)

• Zach Galifianakis (profane comedian)

• Eminem (profane rock star)

 Why are Brad Lomenick and Michelle Hoeft encouraging young people to follow such people? The answer in part is that they want to prove that they are relevant and the farthest thing from stodgy.

Problem is, those change-agents listed above do not have a biblical worldview, and the world loves them. Please read James 4:4 and meditate on it:

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Also note 1 Corinthians 15:33:

“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

Hey, guess what? Bad company corrupts good company. This is practical, real-life stuff that should be taught to young people. The Bible is, among other things, a practical-living guide from the Lord.

Our young people today are taught instead that we should follow after rock stars, mystics, and political change-agents.

How sad.

An off-shoot conference effort from Leadership Network (the engine-driver for Catalyst) is “The Nines.” In September, 2009, it was announced:

We are collaborating with Leadership Network to put-on a free online conference - THE NINES.

“The NINES will be held at your desk, on your computer screen, all day, on 9/9/09 (that's the Tuesday after Labor Day).

“The NINES will feature over 70 phenomenal speakers and leaders of innovation all across the Church. Each speaker will have 9 minutes to give their message, so the content will be focused and practical - not a lot of fluff!

“Speakers include: Mark Driscoll, Perry Noble, Alan Hirsch, John Ortberg, Steven Furtick, Margaret Feinberg, Mark Batterson, Anne Jackson, Neil Cole, Dino Rizzo - and many, many more.”

Problem is, guys like Driscoll and Ortberg have a skewed view of eschatology, and they are influencing many people.

In his landmark book, The Emergent Church: Undefining Christianity, Bob DeWaay explains clearly just how Emergents view eschatology. His book is one I’d highly recommend.

You see, for example, Ortberg (pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in California) not only attended the odious “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference recently, he once taught at Willow Creek Church, where pro-Palestinian founders Bill and Lynne Hybels give the stage to various left-leaning speakers.

In a July 23, 2002 letter to President Bush, several left-leaning religious leaders urged him to support a Palestinian state; Ortberg was a signatory.

Driscoll, of course, has made his views on the Rapture known far and wide, and he also practices (oddly enough, I think) Reformed Theology, never a friend of Israel or Bible prophecy.

So, my friends, this is a tiny part of what we’re up against. The forces arrayed against the teaching of Bible prophecy are deeply networked, motivated, well-financed, and aggressively opposed to that “old-time religion.”

I’m already at work on “The War on Bible Prophecy, Part 487.”

It’ll be a long series.

jim@prophecymatters.com