Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem


Jim Fletcher is a writer, researcher, speaker and director of Prophecy Matters (prophecymatters.com). He is also a member of the executive committee of the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel (NCLCI), and author of It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine). He writes online for WorldNetDaily; Beliefnet; American Family Association; the Jerusalem Post; and Rapture Ready. He can be reached at jim@prophecymatters.com

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  • Sept 7, 2015

    The Samson Option?

    For decades, Israel has declined to discuss its nuclear capabilities. It is generally understood, though, that the Israelis have a nuclear capability in terms of weapons, but the Israelis always answer: “Israel will not be the first country to use nuclear weapons in the Middle East.”

    It is also understood that Israel will not willingly endure another Holocaust. In fact, one of the miracles of modern Israel is that the country is now a safe haven for Jews, who can defend themselves. Many analysts, therefore, consider that if faced with the ultimate existential threat (such as that posed by a bellicose Iran), the Israelis would resort to a so-called “Samson Option,” a biblical reference to the man of strength who pulled down a pagan temple after being taken captive by his enemies; Samson died with his captors.

    Certainly Iran’s rapid advance toward nuclear weapons continues, especially in light of the controversial agreement crafted in the U.S. by the President and his secretary of state. Now comes word that Obama will have the votes among senators to overcome a veto.

    Interestingly, the agreement is not a formal, ratified treaty, and this point was driven home this week on Fox News by presidential candidate Marco Rubio, the Republican senator from Florida.

    Rubio pointed out that while conservative critics of the Iran agreement are dismayed by the success of the White House and State Department in pushing through the agreement (despite two-thirds of the American people opposing the deal), all is not lost.

    Rubio told Fox News that a new president could simply roll-back the agreement, and even reinstitute sanctions on the Iranian regime.

    This week, I participated in a fascinating conference call hosted by the America-Israel Friendship League (www.aifl.org), featuring Robert Satloff, the executive director of The Washington Institute.

    Satloff knows his stuff, and his analysis of the Iran deal proves that no one knows the future, and a whole range of outcomes can still become reality. Satloff’s reasoned analysis and calm insights are instructive for the rest of us, as some are almost paralyzed by fear over the mullah’s intentions.

    (Satloff is also the host of Dakhil Washington — “Inside Washington” — making him the only non-Arab to host a program on an Arab satellite channel.)

    On the call, Satloff noted the extraordinary nature of this agreement:

    “These seismic agreements can be negotiated by a handshake. Nothing was signed with the Iranians. It isn’t a treaty.”

    Noting the important role the AIFL has played over the years in building friendships for Israel, helping to strengthen the bond between Israel and the U.S., Satloff mentioned the fact that over the years the two countries have had disagreements, but that the latest souring personal relationship between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unique:

    “I know this [AIFL] is an organization committed to friendship between America and Israel. We’ve had moments of great tension, but this is really unparalleled.”

    Satloff was asked how things got to this point:

    “How is it possible? It’s because of the enormous power the system has given to this president and any president. Almost anyone can reach an agreement unilaterally.”

    Satloff also made the important point that a dichotomy exists now in the U.S.-Israel relationship:

    “This president has upgraded security enhancements to Israel. It’s just objectively true. At the same time it’s also true that relations between Obama and Netanyahu, the strategic relationship, is severely damaged. This is one of the baffling aspects of this issue: security is strengthened, relationships is damaged. Both are true at the same time.”

    Satloff also indicated that perhaps the most problematic element of the soured relations is the fact that both countries’ enemies are watching.

    “I believe Israel’s adversaries will take advantage of this in the months ahead.”

    Still, Satloff takes the long view:

    “The end of the world is not about to happen. There are ways for Israel to sustain and build its deterrence against Iran and to deepen its relationship with the U.S. over time.

    “They don’t have to consider the Samson Option.”


    Aug 31, 2015

    Hello, October 1!

    September 2015 is almost upon us. Time marches on.

    In the Bible prophecy community, we are seeing a tidal wave of speculation about the month of September. Many are pointing to the “blood moons” or Jewish feasts, or some other topic, and saying that the fulfillment of human history (or at least a major, major turning point) will occur in September.

    This is folly.

    Time and again, irresponsible people in the prophecy community have speculated that Jesus will return on X date. We all remember this really heated up during the “Y2K” scare.

    Nothing happened.

    Several prominent prophecy teachers (some of them personal friends) have speculated about the month of September for the past 15 years.

    Nothing happened.

    In the interim, more people began to disengage from Bible prophecy teaching. The honest truth is, many of us have been looking for the soon-end since Hal Lindsey’s first book was published in 1970. Personally, I think Lindsey was and is a solid prophecy teacher. Some took his interpretations and greatly expanded on them.

    I grew up in the Southern Baptist church and prophecy teaching was dominant for at least a generation.

    Then we cried wolf one too many times. That’s the flat-out truth.

    There are all sorts of reasons for people to reject God, reject the Bible, to reject the bulletproof evidence of prophecy.

    Often, it’s the age-old problem of human pride. The human heart is corrupt and self-centered. Often, non-believers use all sorts of excuses to reject the faith: mean church members, the pastor asks for money too much, etc.

    However, at least a part is played by false prophecy teaching.

    I won’t go into all the Blood Moon speculations here; the reader has ready access to all that all over the Web. But I will quote from my friend, Phillip Goodman:

    “I continue to be disappointed and perplexed at the way many believers neglect their only true authority and source of light on these kinds of subjects, while getting all of their information from the internet prophecy-fad sites or ‘here today gone tomorrow’ best seller books. The answer to what is going to happen tomorrow, and what signs will signal those future events is in the Bible!”

    Yes! Phil is a voice of reason and a solid teacher, as he’s always been. No wild speculation, just plain teaching from the Bible, which I frankly find glorious.

    Here’s what I think will happen in September:

    Nothing.

    October 1 will dawn, and we will all begin to get ready for the holidays. Maybe Israel will strike Iran, maybe they won’t. Maybe Hillary Clinton will be elected president next year, and maybe she won’t.

    Who knows?

    Further, of what possible value is it to our daily lives now to speculate on the timing of the Gog-Magog War, or any other?

    This morning, I read reports of Syrian jets attacking positions where senior Jordanian and Israeli officers were, killing a number of them. Wars are raging all over the globe. Anti-semitism is on the rise. Our own government has sold us out and endangered all of us with the insane Iranian nuclear deal. Natural disasters are unlike any we’ve seen before.

    And the economy. Always the economy. The Dow plunged 1,000 points last week and people were predicting Armageddon.

    Then the Dow came back up, one day’s gains matching the third-best in its history!

    The truth is, nobody knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. We are in the dark about most future events, save for the Big Picture, which the Lord has provided for us…IN SCRIPTURE.

    It’s just as Phil said, the Bible is our authority, not a Blood Moons author, or televangelist screaming fear from your TV set.

    Find joy in the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you about Scripture. Visit a sick friend and offer comfort, not fear.

    Football is coming this fall, and November will bring the big conference championship battles. Thanksgiving will be an opportunity for you to visit with family and friends and offer thanks to the Lord.

    Christmas will bring the opportunity to meditate on and be grateful for the infinite mercy offered by our Lord 2,000 years ago.

    Get out of the fear game. Get out of the speculation game.

    I’m going to conclude this week by asking for something from you, dear readers:

    On October 1, email me and say hi. Give me some praise report from your life. Tell me about your joy in the Lord.

    Just don’t tell me why the latest bestselling book is keeping you up at night.

    Have a lovely September.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com


    Aug 24, 2015

    The Destruction of Jerusalem

    A new YouTube clip shows Iranian troops conquering Jerusalem.

    Talk about video games.

    It’s an animated piece, with combined forces from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Hamas, Iraq’s Badr group, and Hezbollah combining to take the city from the Israelis. It is a scenario that is plausible to too many across the globe, including pro Israel individuals and groups, and allies.

    But it isn’t biblical.

    The headline of the clip states:

    “Preparation of the complete destruction of Israel by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Islamic Revolution in Iran.”

    One recalls a long history of regimes in the region either conquering or wanting to conquer Jerusalem, when it was under Jewish control. The dreadful Assyrian invasion in the eighth century B.C., followed by the Babylonian invasion two centuries later, left an emotional stamp on Jews that lingers to this day. The recent date on their calendar, the 9th of Av, is a remembrance of the destruction of the Temples, under the Babylonians and Romans.

    It is indicative of the Iranian arrogance from the recent win-win for them in Obama’s “deal” that they actually believe they can destroy Israel and capture Jerusalem—a prime element in their zeal to establish a new caliphate.

    Recent reports spotlight the Iranian activity on Israel’s northern border, as the new Persian Empire strengthens jihadist groups from Hezbollah to more obscure groups. It is also true that the infighting between Shi’ite and Sunni forces will keep the Iranians somewhat pinned-down until the smoke clears from Obama’s “Arab Spring” chaos.

    According to Al Jazeera:

    “On August 10, 2015, Jaysh al-Fatah reported that its forces had taken over the entire area east of the Orontes River in the Ghab Plain. This was followed by reports of the withdrawal of the Syrian Army and Hezbollah forces from the area.”

    That is quite interesting. The Syrian Army and Hezbollah are Iranian proxies, and indicate that while Iranian design teams dream up goofy video games, the reality on the ground is that there will not be an Iranian-led caliphate based in Jerusalem.

    Zechariah the prophet of course tells us that some type of international coalition will come against Jerusalem (soon), and will be defeated supernaturally in the great and terrible Day of the Lord.

    It is not unthinkable, however, that an Iranian coalition force (perhaps Ezekiel 38-39) will combine elements from Russian and European forces (NATO?) to invade Israel. The news this week that Russia is lifting its ban on selling SAM missiles (S-300s) to Iran. Those deadly projectiles would no doubt be used in the event of an Israeli airstrike to take out Iran’s nuclear program.

    Once again we see a tin-pot dictatorship promising to wrest Jerusalem from the Jews. Sometimes news articles and analyses make us anxious, as various weapons systems are discussed, etc. Yet we know that no matter how many evil regimes envision themselves looking down on the Holy City from the surrounding mountain tops, the Lord Himself will fight for the Jews.

    And that makes all the SAM missiles in the world worth nothing.

    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com

    www.prophecymatters.com



    Aug 17, 2015

    The Young Israeli Turks

    In the West, we often lament the ideologies of young people. The so-called “Millennials” often go down the same road that, well, our generations did: gauzy, leftist worldview that has no basis in reality, then a full hard-right turn when adulthood and reality set in.

    At least that’s the general state of things in America.

    Not so in Israel.

    There is a youth movement underway in Israeli politics now that bodes well for the future. Perhaps it has much to do with the fact that they all serve in the military, and as reservists until age 55. Reality has a way of causing one to grow up in a hurry.

    Word has come that Danny Danon will now serve as Israel’s ambassador to the UN. He had served as Minister of Science Technology and Space. Danon is well-known even to Christian Zionists as a patriotic Israeli who sees the world the way it really is. Benjamin Netanyahu recognizes this and had good things to say about Danon (who has in the past criticized the prime minister on policy issues):

    "Danon has agreed to take on an important challenge that I proposed for him. The United Nations is an important forum right now and I am sure that Danny will represent the truth with full force in the international arena."

    Ayelet Shaked is the new Israeli Justice Minister, and has a reputation for being right-wing. Born in Tel Aviv a month before the famous Entebbe raid in 1976, Shaked got her start in the high-tech industry, and interestingly, identifies as secular.

    Her ancestors were part of the Jewish immigration from Russia in the 1880s, the start of the modern ingathering of the Jewish exiles. Shaked also served as an infantry instructor in the famed Golani Brigade.

    Naftali Bennett is Israel’s current Minister of Education (he and Shaked are members of the Jewish Home party), and served in the Sayeret Matkal, Israel’s elite counter-terrorism unit; he was born in Haifa to immigrants from America.

    Bennett is thought by some to be the most likely to ascend to the prime minister’s chair (he once served as Netanyahu’s chief of staff). At 43, he is also fabulously wealthy, having sold his software company for $145 million in 2005. He is tough, and looks younger than his years.

    Danon, Shaked, and Bennett are but three of the rising young stars in Israeli politics. They will be the ones, I believe, who lead Israel during her fateful years, not too many years from now.

    Remember, it was Rabin, who, in his late 40’s, led the lightning war of 1967. David Ben Gurion began his political activities in Palestine as a young man, and even the enigmatic Shimon Peres has been central in Israel politics since he was a young man.

    The Jewish state is often led by Joshuas.

    In Israel’s unique political and cultural system (helped, no doubt, by the small population) it seems that everyone knows everyone else, and in that innovative Israeli way, even very young leaders seem to have the ears of their elders. This is how they win wars and political races, which often seem like they are the same thing.

    One of the things that makes the foreseeable future much more interesting is that, in particular, Danon’s rhetoric thrills some and repels others. He has been a strong critic of the two-state solution, and in a recent op-ed, The Times of Israel’s David Horovitz lambasted the selection of Danon for the top UN spot:

    “It is hard to conceive of a more short-sighted, shameful and damaging appointment than that of the Likud hawk as UN envoy. Not just for the PM, but for all of Israel.”

    Horovitz then went on to point out a fascinating fact:

    “This is the man whom Netanyahu has now decided can best represent Israel in the incredibly problematic ‘family of nations,’ facing off against ever-intensifying criticism where the measure of support for Israel might best be gauged by the 2012 General Assembly vote to upgrade the Palestinians to nonmember status. Those who voted with Israel could be counted on two hands with fingers left over: Canada, the Czech Republic, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama and the United States. How many countries voted in support of the Palestine upgrade? 138.”

    138-8.

    For those who watch prophecy unfold, does this sound like an end times scenario in which Israel winds up alone? It’s terrific, of course, that strong nations like the U.S. and Canada support Israel…but for how long? Barack Obama has followed the same fiendish path started by Jimmy Carter, and it will inevitably lead to America abandoning the Jewish state.

    And that is the moment when the young Turks in Israeli politics will be coming in to their own.

    Their date with destiny. And ours.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com




    Aug 10, 2015

    Pollard

    Well, it looks like Obama is throwing a bone to Israel.

    For three decades, former Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard has been held in a U.S. prison. Convicted as a spy for Israel, Pollard has virtually been a “prisoner of Zion,” not so different from Natan Sharansky in the Soviet Union a generation ago.

    Many people have intervened on Pollard’s behalf over the years. The story goes that during the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians at the Wye Plantation in 1998, President Bill Clinton promised that Benjamin Netanyahu would be able to take Pollard home with him.

    At the last-minute, as the Israelis were packing, word came: “Uh, we’ve changed our minds.”

    In other words, the legendary Clinton lying kicked in. He’d done it to secure concessions from Netanyahu, to placate the evil Yasser Arafat.

    But not to dump on Clinton. Republican presidents also had it in for Pollard. Ronald Reagan’s advisors, along with George Herbert Walker Bush’s advisors loathed Pollard and painted him an ongoing lethal threat to U.S. security.

    Jonathan Pollard has now been imprisoned for 30 years.

    This week though I read a sickening postscript to the news that the U.S. will now release Pollard on November 30 of this year:

    He can’t go to Israel for five years!

    It’s a bit like saying that Pollard will be released after he’s dead, and his body will then be returned to Israel a decade or two later.

    These grotesque conditions placed on the man’s life by his captors smell like one more mocking slap at the Jewish state by Barack Obama. Securing Pollard’s release has always had a supremely high price tag for Israelis. Now that his release is at the door, we discover one final cruel condition.

    According to the Jerusalem Post:

    “Former Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard could come home to Israel sooner than the five years that has been reported, even without the intervention of US President Barack Obama, Pollard’s lawyer Eliot Lauer indicated to The Jerusalem Post.

    “Lauer and his fellow pro-bono attorney on the case, Jacques Semmelman, initially released a statement on Tuesday saying the US Parole Commission’s notice of action required Pollard to remain in the United States for five years. They noted in the statement that Obama, who has the constitutional power of executive clemency, had the authority to release Pollard before his November 20 release date and to allow him to move to Israel immediately.

    “Obama’s advisers made clear on Wednesday, however, that the president has no intention of invoking his power and allowing Pollard to leave the United States.”

    There you have it. The pettiness of Obama is now the stuff of legend.

    Let us continue to pray earnestly that Jonathan Pollard will step onto holy soil as soon as possible.

    Justice.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com

     





    Aug 3, 2015

    In the Beginning

    Terry Mortenson, a Ph.D research scientist for Answers in Genesis, has written a very insightful article that I’d like to share with the RR audience. It has relevance for the Israel issue.

    https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/adam-and-eve/defense-of-historical-adam/

    Mortenson makes the following critical point:

    “Few evangelicals doubt the historicity of Genesis 12–50, but there is no break in the literary style between chapters Genesis 11 and Genesis 12.”

    This is important, because while few evangelicals doubt the historicity of those chapters, many do doubt the historicity of Genesis 1-11. When one does this, it sends a message to the wider culture that Genesis 12-50 is open to other interpretations as well.

    In other words, if you don’t believe the first eleven chapters are real history, why would you believe 12-50 is real history?

    This single line of thought has virtually destroyed the faith of Millennials.

    Witness the short video of uber-CEO pastor Andy Stanley discussing how he jettisoned total faith in Genesis 1-11 as history, when he was a college freshman. Stanley made it clear that as the professor attacked the historicity of Genesis, he (Stanley) was also swept up in that philosophical view.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMfU6HXuroA

    Not surprisingly, Stanley is now going far to the left regarding various social issues. Although he doesn’t venture into the firestorm of the Arab-Israeli conflict, virtually all his friends in ministry do side with the Palestinians.

    Stanley does not hold Scripture in high regard. Therefore, his seeker-driven approach to church produces paper-thin biblical worldview for his audiences.

    Until very recently, those identifying as Christian leaders — like the apostate John Shelby Spong — cast doubt on the historicity of Genesis, while at the same time claiming to battle anti-Semitism.

    There’s nothing more anti-Semitic than claiming Genesis is myth, which Spong did and does.

    My point in all this is, one of many points of attack aimed at Israel is to deny her history. Everywhere, we hear self-described Christian leaders claim there is no linkage between modern Israelis and the ancient Israelits.

    Let me be clear: that is lunacy!

    Can you imagine the claim that modern Chinese are not related to their ancient ancestors? Where did they come from, Pluto?

    Mortenson’s point is well taken. When you begin doubting the beginnings of the Bible, it opens up all sorts of dark doors. There is no end to endless self-interpretation of Scripture.

    Note 2 Peter 1:20—

    “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

    We have no right to take the plain-sense meaning of Scripture and claim it means something else.

    When that happens, a certain kind of pestilence sweeps across the Church: the locusts of liberal theology reimagine every book of the Bible, so that millions of students and laity consider that perhaps they are right. The Bible then becomes just another book of philosophy.

    We who advocate for Israel are faced with a multitude of challenges. We would do well to face this one square-on: all of Genesis is historical, which cements the legitimacy of the Israelis today.

    In order to effectively advocate for Israel, we must start at the beginning.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com





    July 27, 2015

    The Nations Rage

    I was having dinner with a friend this week, a fellow from Israel. He is one of the smartest and most discerning pro Israel activists I know. We had the luxury of a leisurely dinner and caught up on a lot of things.

    You know how it is. We’re drawn to people who think like us, right? Because we’re so smart, right? Well, let’s admit it. My friend though is more discerning than I am about certain things. For one thing, he lives in Israel, so I get it “straight from the horse’s mouth.”

    During our three-hour conversation, he said a lot of smart stuff. But there was one 12-minute stretch when I wish I had recorded him. He put his finger on the issue of not only why is there so much Jew-hatred in the world, but also just plain old indifference.

    The last point came up when we were discussing why more evangelicals in this country don’t really support Israel. We know the usual reasons: lack of real Bible teaching in our churches, a growing propaganda campaign by the left, etc.

    But my friend took off on a passionate, articulate verbal essay in which he referenced Psalm 2: why do the nations rage?

    Rage.

    There’s the key point.

    He said that the only way to really understand anti-Semitism — and, I say only tongue-in-cheek, semi-anti-Semitism; the malady that afflicts those who do not understand or care to understand the specialness of the Jewish people — is to understand the biblical reality that Satan hates with a supernatural hatred. All the way from hating the Jews because from them comes Messiah (Genesis 3:15), to the loathing that Christian Zionists experience from alleged brothers and sisters in the faith (Stephen Sizer, David Gushee, Brian McLaren, etc.).

    “The existence of the Jewish people speaks directly to the absolute power and sovereignty of God,” my friend said. Usually quick with a smile, he now looked to and fro, slowly, glancing at the table, his hands folded in front of his face.

    “We are ‘losing,’” he continued. “It must be so, for this is what the Lord said would happen. We have our jobs to do for a time, then it will be over.”

    He then told me about an encounter with a Palestinian, in a PA-controlled city. My friend struck up a conversation with this fellow, trying to understand why he hated Jews. The man cited the “Occupation,” of course. My friend replied that according to international law, the territories are disputed, not occupied.

    “I don’t care about international law,” the man replied.

    “You say the security fence is apartheid,” my friend said. “Isn’t it good that Jews are no longer being murdered?”

    “I don’t care about that,” the man replied again.

    “Well, then, what do you believe about the biblical passages that promise the land to the Jews forever?”

    The man really turned angry, then.

    “F---, God!”

    Wow. There you have it. The nations, and individuals, rage at the Creator of the Universe, and His people. But mostly, His Son!

    The world loathes the reality that the Jewish people were set apart, by the Lord Himself, for His own purposes. What they especially will not abide is the coming judgment, administered by the returning Messiah.

    It all reminds me of the Dylan Thomas poem: rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    The light is being switched off in our world today, and as it goes, rather than grope their way to God, most people are feeling a growing rage against Him.

    He is doing what He said He’d do, right down the line.

    My friend spoke of the coming effort by Israel to destroy Iran’s nuclear program. There is growing speculation that it will be something like an EMP attack.

    “The Israelis would much rather of course sit at computers and do it than launch a military strike. But they’ll do what they have to do.”

    Such an outcome, while it would succeed in averting a nuclear holocaust for the Jewish state, would also virtually invite pariah status in the international community. Rather than direct their rage at Iran for funding global terror everywhere, the nations WILL direct their wrath at Israel.

    But we were told it would be so.

    My friend also astutely predicted that the evangelical leadership, by and large, would aid in the coming One World Religion.

    All in all, a most interesting conversation.

    My writing will more and more flow in this direction. We are seeing the end in sight. Don’t be afraid! Don’t even be nervous. The Master has all this in His hands, and the culmination of everything Christians have looked for is at hand.

    The nations rage at Israel. This scenario has never existed in history.

    Until now.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.propheymattersisrael.com



    July 20, 2015

    Why He Does What He Does

    We have now reached the stage of the Obama presidency where people of all stripes are scratching their heads at his behavior.

    Two days ago, a Muslim jihadist slaughtered four Marines in Tennessee. Obama and his wife then sent a lengthy, warm Ramadan greeting to Muslims in this U.S.

    Only days before, Obama sold out not only Israel, but also the West by paving the way for Iran to obtain and use nuclear weapons.

    What gives with this guy?

    To really understand him, one must understand his background and associations.

    Long-time Obama aide Valerie Jarrett — who spent the first five years of her life in Iran — used to swap stories of childhood and youth with Obama. She made it clear in interviews that the two never saw American Exceptionalism, but rather viewed the U.S. as one country among many.

    Also, Obama’s close friend, Rashid Khalidi (the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University) is a Lebanese-Palestinian who takes a dim view of Israel. Khalidi’s mentor was Edward Said, a fierce critic of Israel and member of the PLO.

    Khalidi also taught at the University of Chicago, where he became chummy with Obama.

    Stanley Kurtz, writing in National Review in 2011, noted this link:

    “Khalidi’s testimony is important, since he speaks on the basis of years of friendship with Obama. Those who know Obama best, then, affirm that his foreign-policy views are atypical for an American politician, and are grounded in his unique international heritage and upbringing. That is important, because our core task is to decide whether Obama’s pro-Palestinian past was a stance rooted in sincere sympathy, or nothing but a convenient sop to his leftist Hyde Park supporters. Jarrett and Khalidi give us reason to believe that Obama’s decidedly pro-Palestinian inclinations are rooted in his core conception of who he is. Obama came to political consciousness at college, and prior to his discovery of community organizing late in his senior year, his focus was on international issues.”

    Kurtz goes further in delving into Obama’s radical views:

    “Obama himself tells us, in a famous passage in Dreams, that he was taken with criticism of ‘neocolonialism’ and ‘Eurocentrism’ during these early college years. What Obama doesn’t tell us, but what I reveal in Radical-in-Chief, my political biography of the president, is that he was a convinced Marxist during his college years. More important, once Obama graduated and entered the world of community organizing, he absorbed the sophisticated and intentionally stealthy socialism of his mentors. Obama’s socialist mentors strongly supported what they saw as the “liberation struggles” carried on by rebels against American “oppression” throughout the world. So Obama’s continuous radical political history strongly suggests that his early support for Palestine’s ‘liberation struggle’ grew out of authentic political conviction, not pandering.”

    So it is really no surprise that Obama openly loathes Israel, while doing all he can to not only aid the Palestinians (literally), but advance the goals of jihadists around the globe.

    Thus, his callous disregard for the security of Israeli citizens and American citizens is, though grotesque, not puzzling.

    You have to understand that Obama was schooled by Marxists, and various other totalitarians. You also have to understand the networks. Just barely a generation before Obama, Yasser Arafat and the PLO were being coached by the North Vietnamese and the Soviets.

    Birds of a feather.

    Interestingly, when Obama visited Ramallah and Mahmoud Abbas in 2013, the Palestinian Authority band struck up their rendition of a song titled “Polyushko Pole aka Meadowlands,” about the Leninist Young Communist League. Among the lines in the song: The lyrics include such lines as "The heroes ride over the field/Hey, the heroes of the Red Army" and "Hey, while on the collective farms/The work is efficiently progressing."

    Weird, huh?

    Richard Grenell on FOX, July 17, said that under Obama, ISIS created a country. His (Obama’s) weakness is making things more difficult for our front-line soldiers, who are dealing with more and more lethal incoming threats.

    All these things add up to an American president who supports totalitarians and opposes freedom. His views of Israel and the Palestinians is an integral part of his worldview.

    Fortunately for those of us who love God and His Word, the current evil that opposes Israel will one day go the way of the pharaohs, Haman, Rome, and all the rest.

    Until then, we have a front-row seat to all the unfolding end-time drama.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com



    July 13, 2015


    Abandoning Israel

    In a terrific little book by Michael A. Ledeen, Obama’s Betrayal of Israel, we learn firsthand how the ideology of the American president has placed our top ally in peril. Ledeen writes:

    “Subtly shifting American policy toward Israel is not a matter of political calculation by President Obama, but rather an expression of his own convictions.”

    It is instructive for prophecy students to understand that the president’s rigid ideology is rooted in an abandonment of Scripture as, Robert Dick Wilson said, “the rule of faith and life.”

    Obama’s 20 years sitting under the deeply anti-semitic Jeremiah Wright, at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, gives him a worldview every bit as entrenched as those he openly loathes, that is, Christians like me and you.

    It is important to note, too, that all this is organic. That is to say, leftist ideology is embedded in the DNA of one who embraces it. I had a private message Twitter exchange this week with Andy Stanley, in which he called me right-wing, while not acknowledging that he is left-wing. It is no accident that Stanley (yes, I know he is Charles Stanley’s son) has been invited twice to deliver prayers at Obama’s inaugurals, and that Michelle Obama spoke at Stanley’s North Point Church.

    Leftists shift truth, massage communications, spin. Obama is as smooth at this as is Andy Stanley. Where Israel is concerned, Obama is openly menacing.

    Perhaps his most outrageous (public) breach in relations with our true ally in the Middle East came last year, when the president held up needed munitions Israel was using to conduct a defensive war against Hamas.

    What kind of person ties the hands of an ally, as that ally’s citizens are being targeted by jihadists?

    American Jewish leaders are beginning to wake up to just what is occupying the Oval Office. Not long after Obama began to fundamentally transform America, Alan Solow, president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, criticized Obama for demanding that natural Jewish growth in east Jerusalem come to a halt.

    (It is interesting to note that a relatively new Jewish neighborhood, Yemen Moshe — it is indescribably beautiful, with its priceless real estate, stone dwellings, and colorful gardens — is right on the edge of east Jerusalem, just opposite Jaffa Gate in the Old City. If he had his druthers, I have no doubt Obama would give it to the Palestinians.)

    There have always been alarming clues as to Obama’s true views of Israel. In 2001, he personally attended the ceremony awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson, who had herself presided over the notoriously anti-Semitic conference in Durban, South Africa.

    The guy does this all the time.

    The ultimate show of narcissism from the American president comes in his blatant disregard for prophetic scriptures that point to a disastrous decision on the part of “the nations” when they come against Israel. Obama does not in any way believe in predictive prophecy from the Bible. In fairness, I don’t think George W. Bush saw it our way, either. Otherwise he wouldn’t have advocated dividing the land.

    Obama, though, has immersed himself in the radical policies of too many Jew-haters, including Wright and the Palestinian Authority. Although it’s easy to see, Obama’s anti-Israel stance is still too hard to believe for some major media figures. One gets the feeling though that people like Charles Krauthammer and Britt Hume understand exactly what Obama is all about.

    One of Obama’s Chicago buddies, Rashid Khalidi, was summed-up by Martin Kramer, with regard to America’s role in the Middle East:

    “There is no cause that could ever justify an American use of force in the Middle East…it is America’s use of strong-armed force — and the parallel violence of Israel — which have provoked the counter-violence of the extremists. If America were to give up its bullying ways, and address the ‘grievances’ of Arabs and Muslims, the latter would regain their respect for America. There are no pathologies in the Middle East that haven’t been caused by imperialism, and no pathologies that can’t be cured by displays of American humility and penitence.”

    You see, of course, that Sherman is outlining what Khalidi, and by extension, Obama, believe about America and Israel.

    It isn’t good.

    I sound like a broken record, but sometimes a record needs to be broken: as bad as Obama is, God is infinitely stronger and in total control. We simply have to ride-out this bizarre moment in history.

    Some of us won’t abandon Israel. Ever.

    jim@prophecymatters.com
    www.prophecymatters.com

    July 6, 2015

    ISIS and the IDF

    News has broken that Israel is sending troops to its southern border, to meet the threat of the demonic terror group, ISIS.

    Flush with one blood-drenched takeover after another in Iraq, ISIS is boasting that it will take the fight right to the gates of Jerusalem.

    They’ve never encountered the IDF.

    It’s one thing to murder women and children. It will be quite another for the jihadists to confront Jews who fight back. It is almost comical that ISIS is now threatening both Fatah and Hamas, whom they do not consider extreme enough in their Muslim faith.

    A small preview of what might come occurred a couple days ago near a Palestinian village northeast of Jerusalem.

    Stone-throwers pelted the vehicle of an Israeli. What they didn’t count on was that they attacked Col. Israel Shomer.

    You get hurt when you attack Israel.

    Shomer opened fire and killed one of the terrorists, a 17-year-old named Muhammad al-Casba. The incident came amid a heightened security alert in Judea/Samaria.

    The attack on Shomer was a planned ambush.

    When will the Palestinians and their apologists in the West acknowledge that their murderous tactics are unacceptable?

    I’m confident that Benjamin Netanyahu and his advisors will be well able to meet the “threat” from ISIS. Interestingly, their confrontation with the fiendish jihadist group is being coordinated with the Egyptians, who, like the Saudis and others in the region, recognize the lethal intentions of ISIS.

    All this comes on the 39th anniversary of the famous Entebbe hostage rescue in Uganda, led by Netanyahu’s older brother, Jonathan. Then, on the morning of July 4, members of Sayeret Matkal, Israel’s elite counter-terror unit, stormed a terminal building at the Entebbe airport and freed more than 100 hostages, held by terrorists from Germany and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

    The IDF (supported by 200 more commandos) descended from the black of night at Entebbe, and surprised the terrorists totally. They killed all the terrorists and began loading hostages onto waiting planes only five minutes after the rescue force had landed.

    That’s what awaits ISIS, and they can join all the other clowns down through history that wanted to exterminate Jews.

    Jerusalem remains under Israeli sovereignty, as it will until Messiah comes.

    May He come quickly.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com


    Jun 29, 2015

    The Mainstreaming of Falsehoods

    Well, Michael Oren certainly knows how to pick up a slow news day. The June 23 release of his book, Ally (a look at his up-close observations of the Obama White House and its nasty attitude toward Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu), has created that proverbial firestorm of backlash.

    Mostly from the Obama White House, of course.

    In Ally, Oren provides a front-row seat to the behind-the-scenes stuff going on since 2009, when Obama entered the Oval Office. To say that his treatment of Netanyahu has been abysmal is being too nice. Obama has simply drawn on his background as a Palestinian sympathizer and Saul Alinsky disciple.

    In other words, it’s easy to see that Obama has a visceral hatred for Zionism, the Jewish state, and those who defend it.

    Predictably, Obama’s apologists have rushed to trash Oren and his perspective. Philip Gordon, a former Obama aid, has called Ally a “caricature” that is filled with “exaggerations and distortions.”

    It’s a standard denial, issued by your garden-variety leftist who wants to prop up the Regime. Notice carefully how Gordon reacts to Oren’s assertions that Obama’s dealings with Israel have been unusually harsh, even unprecedented:

    “’Really?’ Gordon writes. ‘To take just a few examples, Dwight Eisenhower slammed Israel for the 1956 Suez operation and forced it into a humiliating retreat; Gerald Ford froze arms deliveries and announced a reassessment of the relationship as a way of pressing Israel to withdraw from the Sinai; Jimmy Carter clashed repeatedly with Prime Minister Menachem Begin before, during and after the 1978 Camp David summit. Ronald Reagan denounced Israel’s strike on the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq and enraged Jerusalem by selling surveillance planes to Saudi Arabia; George H.W. Bush blocked loan guarantees to Israel over settlements; Bill Clinton clashed publicly with Israel over the size of proposed West Bank withdrawals; George W. Bush called for a settlement freeze in the 2002 road map for peace and afterward repeatedly criticized Israel for construction in the West Bank.’”

    That is all true, but within Gordon’s foray into truth-telling lies…a lie.

    No American president—ever—has consistently treated Israel so shabbily. Jimmy Carter came close, but Obama is far and away the first American president to openly loathe the Jewish state. It’s all documented, from his public shunning of Netanyahu, to his withholding of munitions during last summer’s deadly conflict with Hamas, to public signals that he is willing to abandon Israel at the U.N.

    No, Obama is an Israel-hater of the first rank.

    Oren’s book (I got a Kindle copy this week) is riveting. His analysis of new-Secretary of State John Kerry’s “shuttle diplomacy” in 2013 is fascinating, if only because it recalls how Kerry kept subtly threatening the Israelis:

    “In time, Kerry would caution Israelis about the outbreak of a Third Intifada if they failed to make peace, of facing economic boycotts and of becoming an apartheid state. Perceived as threats, these messages reinforced, rather than weakened, those most opposed to his initiative. Then, as his special Middle East envoy , the secretary named the veteran peace negotiator Martin Indyk. This, too, was counterproductive. British-born, raised in Australia, and naturalized as a citizen of the United States, where he initially worked for AIPAC, Martin later served twice as America’s ambassador to Israel . There , and later, as the Brookings Institution’s policy director, he had a frosty relationship with Netanyahu. I respected Martin’s diplomatic experience and tried to advise him on ways of earning Netanyahu’s trust. Still, the question hounded me: if Kerry was serious about the process, why did he seem intent on shaking Israelis’ faith in it?”

    All through Ally, Oren presents an insider’s view. It is common knowledge among the American people that Obama and his team do not like Netanyahu. So why would Gordon resort to false statements condemning the book?

    Because leftists lie. They attempt to manipulate reality, and in far too many cases, succeed. In other words, what is at once obvious to the outside world—Obama detests Netanyahu and says things in public that weaken Israel—is distorted by the President’s apologists.

    The truth is, Obama, a leftist ideologue all his adult life, is out to damage the relationship between America and Israel.

    The only saving grace is that, on this point, he is also defying his own people.

    jim@prophecymatters.com
    www.prophecymatters.com


    Jun 22, 2015

    Why Israel?

    I began advocating for Israel 20 years ago, when I met Avi Lipkin. Many readers know and love Avi for his dogged pursuit of justice for Israel and her Christian Zionists friends. I remember our first conversation, at a deli in Dallas. He helped me learn to pronounce the name of an Israeli politician who was becoming prominent.

    Netanyahu.

    Net. Ahn. Ya. Hoo.

    In the years since, I’ve done what I could, when I could. I’ve visited Israel a half-dozen times and regularly write for The Jerusalem Post, and others. I speak at conferences and in churches.

    Now, I am pleased to be part of a new endeavor with friends from the America-Israel Friendship League, a seminar program we have titled, “Why Israel?”

    The format is a one or two-day seminar, in which expert speakers provide real information about Israel, her relationships internationally (including with Christian friends); and historical context. This coming Thursday, we will also discuss the plight of persecuted Christians.

    For the event at Calvary Chapel Cypress (thanks to our good buddy, Pastor Chris Quintana!), I will speak, along with Dr. Alex Grobman, a Holocaust researcher, and Dr. Uri Bar-Ner (live from Israel), who will speak about Israel’s standing in the international community. Uri is the former Israeli ambassador to Turkey, and his decades of diplomatic experience are fascinating. Added to the mix is the fact that he lives at Modi’in, near the burial place of the Maccabees.

    Alex has a new book out, BDS: The Movement to Destroy Israel, and his expert analyses of the United Nations, anti-Semitism, and the Jews’ experience with Christians are all riveting. He is also one of my best friends, and loves and respects evangelical Christians.

    The AIFL is led by people I have real affection for; the organization exists to build friendships for Israel. Their many and varied programs, like the Youth Ambassador Student Exchange (YASE) is remarkable.

    Please join us this coming Thursday for a one-day seminar that is sure to arm you with better information to help Israel, in what Netanyahu has called “the battle for the truth.”

    We welcome our friends in southern California to join us at Calvary Chapel Cypress, and for those who can’t attend in person, join us online. See you Thursday!

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymattersisrael.com


    June 15,  2015

    (For those of you in southern California, or who want to watch our “Why Israel?” seminar live-streamed, put Thursday, June 25 on your calendar. Join me, Dr. Alex Grobman, and Dr. Uri Bar-Ner — live from Israel — for a full-day program that will arm you with truth for defending Israel. For more information, go to www.calvarychapelcypress.net)

    The Power of Propaganda

    Having had time to reflect on my time at the Justice Conference in Chicago, I am more convinced than ever that leftist ideology is being pushed on young people.

    Of course, this has been the reality for a long time; a couple years ago I heard Hal Lindsey speak at a conference and he mentioned that Marxism was being taught at Berkeley in 1960.  I think many of us falsely believed some of that went away after the Reagan years and, in the context of evangelicalism, after the Southern Baptists appeared to win over moderates.

    I don’t believe that was the case.

    Leftists never sleep, they never take a day off. The rest of us are hunkered down, raising families and earning a living, paying taxes. As a result, things get past us.

    One of those things is the diabolical worldviews taught to our children. It is one reason there is a shift in support for Israel, to the Palestinians. As I’ve written and said many times, to the eternal shame of evangelical leadership in America, none of them speak up about this. I am referring to denominational leaders, but it is also true that, for example, among what I call The Big Three — Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Andy Stanley — there is either indifference to Israel, or hostility (in the form of Willow Creek’s propagandist efforts to mainstream the Palestinian Narrative).

    From a blog post by Ryan Beiler in Sojourners:

    “Nonviolent resistance against the occupation is gaining more and more participation by Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists—even officials of the Palestinian Authority. Thankfully, these campaigns are also getting widespread coverage by global media, further enhancing their chances at success. While there is still much work needed to promote nonviolence as the only moral and practical means of ending the conflict, declarations such as the Kairos Palestine Document will serve as prophetic milestones toward peace with justice in the Middle East.”

    Other activists work with friends within evangelicalism’s power centers to further demonize Israel and her supporters:

    “Young people tell me that they grow up in churches being told that Jews are God’s chosen people. Then they go to universities where Jewish students laugh at their Christian Zionism and want no part of it.” – Dale Hanson Bourke, author of The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Tough Questions, Direct Answers

    “We are challenging evangelicals that rather than looking at the Middle East through the lens of prophecy that they look at it through the teaching of Jesus to be peacemakers. … In the past we used to say there will never be peace in the Middle East until Jesus comes. This is a very typical evangelical response. Now we’re saying rather than waiting for divine intervention—get busy! Listen and respond to God’s call to action!” – Dr. Munther Isaac, Bethlehem Bible College and Christ at the Checkpoint.

    Notice Beiler’s nod to “activists” within the Palestinian Authority. It’s like saying, in 1934, that the Kremlin was helping expose injustice.

    Hard to believe some of these people are that gullible.

    In our upcoming “Why Israel?” seminar, my colleagues and I will discuss some of these propaganda efforts, including the evil BDS campaign, which, ironically, gains legions of young people as followers — they think they are exposing an evil regime, when in fact they are propping one up.

    It is astounding to me that many people assume that media images actually always reflect reality. For example, photo editors from New York to Amman know how to crop a photo so that it looks like an Israeli soldier is threatening the life of a hapless Palestinian. In point of fact, the soldier is often pulling the youth away from a mob bent on beating him to death…or, the “Palestinian” is actually an Israeli Jew being rescued by the IDF.

    Media types know what they are doing.

    Added to the propaganda mix (and I observed this at the Justice Conference) is the effort by Palestinians to come alongside African-Americans and profess their love and loyalty, i.e., we are brown brothers being oppressed by the white colonialists — Big Business and European Jews, respectively.

    Day and night, the Palestinian Authority foments violence against Israel and the world is silent.

    The new thing right now is the compromising of American youth, who believe they are helping lift up the oppressed Palestinian.

    In fact, they are tools of propaganda.

    And that’s bad for all of us.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymattersisrael.com


    June 8,  2015

    Justice…for Israel?

    I am just returning from the Justice Conference, a two-day affair in Chicago. From the website:

    “Our vision is to serve the discovery of ideas, celebrate the beauty of justice, and foster a community of people who live justice together. Now, more than ever, people of faith need to come together to wrestle with the injustice in our world. This is the time. This is the place.”

    I have many thoughts about the conference, and will be writing and speaking about it more in the coming weeks, but for now I want to focus on two things: Israel and Bible prophecy.

    I sat in on workshops led by Jon Huckins and Jer Swigart of The Global Immersion Project, then heard Lynne Hybels speak. Although Hybels didn’t address this subject (rather, she spoke about efforts at reconciliation between Jews and Arabs), Bible prophecy was on the stand.

    Specifically, I heard from presenters and from attendees having roundtable discussions that Dispensationalism is a problem. I listened as speakers lamented the wild speculations from some prophecy teachers.

    One speaker, Malcolm London, mentioned babies being “blown to bits in Palestine.”

    One of the books for sale in the conference expo area was Garth Hewitt’s “Occupied Territories.” In the book, Hewitt alleges that the Israeli security fence completely encircles Bethlehem. As I’ve pointed out many times, it does not.

    These kinds of remarks about Israel were indicative of what conference organizers and attendees believe about the Jewish state and her supporters.

    Justice was on everyone’s lips during the weekend, but one could be justified in wondering whether anyone believes Israel deserves justice. Justice in terms of Arabs accepting the presence of the Jewish state. Justice in terms of all terror attacks ceasing. Justice for the victims of Palestinian terror since Oslo, two decades ago.

    Et cetera.

    You need to understand that while there were many sincere, well-intentioned people at the Justice Conference, the gathering was left wing to the core. Whatever you want to call us — conservative Christians, fundamentalists, Bible-believing Christians — our worldview is very different from the presenters in Chicago. We do not see many things the same.

    Especially Israel.

    For them, Israel is an Occupier. Her Christian Zionist supporters are rigid, angry obstacles to peace.

    There was a lot of talk about tolerance and reconciliation, but I got the distinct impression that the sweet words aren’t meant for Israel and those who support her.

    The capper was the keynote address by Cornel West, the radical Princeton professor who is no friend of Israel.

    There was also a lot of talk about white supremacy, white guilt, white privilege. Racial injustice toward minorities. American Colonialism.

    This is not the same Church we grew up with. It is not the same nation. Such a conference as this would have been unthinkable a generation ago. Now, I fear it is the norm.

    Whatever lay ahead, though, we must remain in the Word and remain in the Lord. The future is going to be remarkable.

    And He is a just God.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com


    Jun 1, 2015

    (Join Jim and his friends Alex Grobman and Uri Bar-Ner at Calvary Chapel Cypress, CA, on June 25 for a seminar entitled “Why Israel?”)

    The Israelites and Modern Israel

    At this year’s General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), delegates voted to divest from three companies that do business with Israel: Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, and Motorola Solutions. The diabolical “BDS” movement (Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions) is intended to hurt Israel economically. In fact, it is one element of the larger war against the Jewish state.

    A lesser-known resolution was no less sinister. From a piece in Jews News, we read that some will no longer accept acknowledgement of Israel’s biblical history:

    “According to a report in The Algemeiner, the Church’s proposed resolution, which was rejected, stems from a complaint filed by a ‘Palestinian American Presbyterian’ who is an Elder in the church.

    “The new Presbyterian Hymnal, Glory to God, published in 2013, contains a section of hymns under the heading, ‘God’s Covenant with Israel.’ The Elder who filed the complaint stated, ‘Because I am a Palestinian Christian, I am uneasy with the word ‘Israel’ in ‘God’s Covenant with Israel.’

    “In an effort to deal with the situation, the resolution proposed a re-education process regarding the difference between ‘biblical Israel’ and the modern State of Israel. This included printing up stickers to be placed in all the hymnals.”

    That last paragraph is chilling.

    Re-education process.

    You need to know that key American Christian leaders have for some time helped spread the diabolical lie that modern Israelis have no connection to the ancient Israelites. The Palestinians came up with this totalitarian-style propaganda to drive a wedge between Christians and Israel. If the modern residents of Israel are not really Jews, then how can they lay claim to the land?

    The whole premise is wholly absurd, and yet it has gained traction in some shocking quarters.

    Two decades ago, I received a letter/reply from Dr. Maxie Dunnam, then president of Asbury Theological Seminary (probably the only “conservative” seminary within the United Methodist Church).

    When he addressed the issue of modern Israel and the ancient Israelites, Dunnam told me that he didn’t believe there is a connection. This from a leading member of the Confessing Movement, the effort to turn the UMC back to its biblical roots!

    Dunnam, though, is far from alone in his thinking. The late D. James Kennedy made similar statements, and such faulty worldview has made its way into evangelicalism, big-time.

    All across the board, evangelical leaders are allowing such trash to be part of the curriculum within denominations.

    When studying this phenomenon, which is anti-Semitic to the core (can you imagine denying that modern Chinese have no connection to ancient Asian cultures, or that Coptic Christians have no relation to the ancient Egyptians?), it is also important to understand this: the anti-Israel networks are so vast and layered within evangelicalism, it would take a miracle of biblical proportions to reverse the problems. One must follow the networks.

    For example, back when Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd’s Cross Church had a LifeWay bookstore in the church building, just two of the books offered were authored by Gary DeMar, the well-known preterist, and Carl Medearis, perhaps the leading channel between evangelicals and Muslims. Both authors have many friends and associations that deny Israel’s biblical heritage.

    It should be obvious that I don’t mean Floyd would subscribe to the disconnection theory between Israel and the Israelites. He does however associate with plenty of people who do. And, I also recognize that a pastor’s first role, especially the head of a denomination, is to lead evangelism efforts — not promote Zionism.

    However, the anti-Israel feeling among evangelical elites/leadership is now systemic.

    (And before you fault me for using “guilt-by-association” tactics, consider that such a method of “discovering the networks” is legitimate. Only those who don’t want the rank-and-file in the pews to figure out what’s going on whine long and loud about being criticized through guilt-by-association.)

    Here is another example of how this network operates.

    Recently, Gabe Lyons, the founder of “Q Ideas,” a center-left leadership entity within evangelicalism, tweeted:

    “Summer parenting book I can’t put down? #NeverSayNo by our mentors Jan and @markhforeman. So, so good.”

    Foreman is the pastor of North Coast Calvary Chapel in California. Two years ago, he hosted a “Hope for the Holy Land” event, featuring Mae Cannon of World Vision, Lynne Hybels, and Sami Awad — three anti-Israel speakers. Among those Foreman follows on Twitter: Shane Claiborne, Rachel Held Evans, and Joel Hunter. Each has expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause.

    Foreman is something of anomaly within the Calvary Chapel system.

    For his part, Lyons has used his forum to host anti-Israel speakers like Sami Awad.

    Everywhere, rising stars in the evangelical leadership universe are abandoning long-held positions, including solid Israel support. That these young leaders and their mentors (think Bill Hybels and Rick Warren) allow the “Israel bears no connection with the biblical Israelites” tripe to continue reveals much about their ultimate agenda, which I maintain focuses-on transforming the Evangelical Church into a leftist entity.

    It is a fact that among American Christian leadership today, evangelical leaders are much, much closer to the radical views of people like Jim Wallis, Shane Claiborne, Tony Campolo, Marcus Borg, and John Shelby Spong — among many, many others — than they are to the views of Adrian Rogers and Chuck Smith.

    It is an outrage that Christian leaders do not clearly stand with the Jews on this issue. The denial of the Jews’ biblical heritage is a spiritual nuclear weapon aimed at destroying Israel.

    At the same time, American political and religious leaders stand (with a straight face) with PLO leaders who claim they are descended from the Canaanites.

    You get that, don’t you? If the Palestinian Arabs could prove they are the direct descendants of the ancient pagan culture, then they can make some claim to the land of Israel. By the way, show me any scholar anywhere on the planet who would subscribe to such a theory, and I’ll show you a scholar who got his academic training from a box of Cracker Jacks.

    The whole re-education model smacks of Soviet-style methods for forcing people to change long-held views. It is fiendish, sinister, and anti-biblical.

    Any seminary president, pastor, or ministry leader who doesn’t unequivocally affirm the obvious truth that today’s Jews are direct descendants of the ancient Israelites forfeits his credentials and should get into fast-food management or banking, or general contracting. Anything but sitting as a phony teacher/leader.

    Until the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in AD 70, the Jews’ genealogical records were kept in Jerusalem. In other words, everyone knew where he came from. That’s how Paul new he was from the tribe of Benjamin, for example.

    Since that time, wherever the Jews were dispersed around the globe, they maintained their Jewish identity. The famous phrase “Next Year in Jerusalem” has been a plaintive cry from Jews around the world, longing to return to Zion.

    Their return — surely the greatest single miracle in 2,000 years — has happened in our time.

    Eternal shame on evangelical leaders in America who not only fail to affirm this reality, but work to undermine it.

    Unreal.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com

     


    May 25, 2015

    Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

    For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

    Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. (Zechariah 14:1-3)

    (Note: please avail yourself of the excellent reporting by Israel correspondent Brian Schrauger at www.bridgesforpeace.com/us)

    Zechariah On Deck

    For 67 years, the state of Israel has been a burr under many saddles. The Jewish state, the modern dream of the ancients (and men like Theodor Herzl and David Ben Gurion), is an astonishing miracle, in myriad ways.

    I have been gripped by this fact since my first trip in 1998.

    Before that, since birth really, I was privileged to grow up in a home where Bible prophecy was taught and believed. Not only do I look back on that fondly, contrary to much opinion among evangelical leadership elites today, I consider that heritage to be vital to my worldview. Especially as we face the future.

    The soon future.

    I am often struck by how quickly Israel is being marginalized and encircled by her enemies. Those enemies are not only the obvious ones: jihadists, Middle East despots, and political foes.

    They also very much include diplomatic elites, media figures, entertainment figures, and religious “leaders.” It is the latter category that I find the most odious. Many Christians in the pews, and even many pro Israel folks, simply do not grasp the enormity of this problem.

    Writing in the newsletter for the UMC’s General Board of Church and Society, Janet Lahr Lewis (“Advocacy Coordinator for the Middle East”) presented this profoundly immoral statement:

    “Don’t participate in Holocaust Remembrance Day without participating in Al Nakba Remembrance Day. Don’t visit a Holocaust museum until there is one built to remember the other holocausts in the world: the on-going Palestinian holocaust, the Rwandan, the Native American, the Cambodian, the Armenian… You could be waiting a long time!”

    One hardly knows where to start, and that is another telltale sign that we are living in the last days, which call to mind 2 Timothy 3. Presumably, Lewis is not stupid, and knows that there is no such Palestinian genocide going on, nor was there ever one. The Holocaust, perpetrated by the Nazis, but acquiesced to by many others, is unique in history.

    It was the campaign to murder every single Jew.

    The fiendish statement by Lewis is symptomatic of what ails the American Church: a misunderstanding (in many cases, willful misunderstanding) of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Decades of leftist thought have now reached full-flower in the American Church. The United Methodist Church is officially one of the most anti-Israel denominations in history, but far from alone. The President’s own United Church of Christ is also front-and-center.

    As I’ve documented, too, even the Southern Baptist Convention and the Assemblies of God are now slowly emerging as supportive of the Palestinian narrative, or at least softening their stance on Israel.

    When Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government was seated earlier this week, President Reuven Rivlin had some interesting remarks (as reported by Brian Schrauger at www.bridgesforpeace.com):

    “Before they were positioned for Israel's de facto yearbook photo, President Reuven Rivlin admonished the new administration. And to vicarious observers on the other side of press corps lenses and computers, he also exhorted the country, its enemies and a watching world.

    “Most new governments have the benefit of a honeymoon or grace period for one hundred days. This one, he implied, probably does not.

    “’There are great challenges that this government must deal with from the outset, without a 100-day grace period,’ he said. ‘Previous [Israeli] governments did not face such challenges in the same way or with the same intensity.’ This government, he noted, has unusually intense matters at hand in both foreign affairs and domestic. ‘With regard to foreign affairs,’ he said, ‘you are required to deal with international pressure in a manner that demands endurance and the ability to make considered decisions which will not lead the State of Israel to isolation, but will preserve the red lines of Israeli diplomacy. On the domestic front, you face the urgent and crucial mission to present a budget which will provide an answer to the social and economic needs of the citizens of Israel - from housing and employment to welfare.’

    Quite interestingly, Netanyahu departed from a purely political line by invoking the founding document of Zionists for all time:

    “...Alluding to the Bible, as, it seems, he does with increasing regularity, Netanyahu made a direct link to his vision for Jerusalem and the ethos by which Israel sets its governmental compass.

    “’The People of Israel returned to its land, and established here the State of Israel, a Jewish and democratic state,’ he said. It is ‘a state which preserves the rule of law and respects every human being. Here in our eternal capital of Jerusalem, the Prophets of Israel embedded the eternal values of humanity, but also embedded the eternal values of our people—to which we are committed in each generation. I am proud to be the Prime Minister of Israel, and I will do all in my power, together with my ministers, to honor the mandate we have been given by the citizens of Israel. There is nothing more valuable than that.’”

    When Rivlin says that Israel must preserve the red lines of its diplomacy, he is certainly calling to mind the challenges Israel faces. The international political climate for Israel at present is nasty and vicious. However, as I constantly repeat, the epic fail on the part of American Evangelical leadership, with regard to Israel and the Palestinians, is bordering on catastrophic.

    I think that language is not over-the-top.

    Not only are celebrities like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels negligent in supporting Israel, in important ways they are complicit in the drive to marginalize and defame the Jewish state. In a blog post published by Lynne Hybels’, the Willow Creek Association co-founder had this to say:

    “So . . . it was October 2008. I had been invited by Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian—Bill’s mentor and mine—to attend a conference in Amman, Jordan, taught entirely by Arab Christians from Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and the West Bank. To a person, these ministry leaders said they felt abandoned by Western Christians. And, of course, they are; to most Western Christians the phrase ‘Arab Christian’ is an oxymoron. We experience a severe case of cognitive dissonance when hear about indigenous Iraqi Christians or the ancient Egyptian Coptic Church or—even more surprising—Palestinian Christians whose ancestors have been ‘on the land’ from the time of Christ. What? Why didn’t we realize this? What should we do about it?”

    Bilezikian, of Armenian descent, and a teacher in Beirut, Lebanon for many years, the concept of pro Israel support is unacceptable. He has mentored Bill and Lynne Hybels since at least 1975. Here is a statement from his book, “Christianity 101,” published by the left-leaning publisher Zondervan:

    “Since the link between current events and ‘prophetic truth’ is sometimes made in connection with the biblical concept of Israel, it is appropriate to sketch a brief outline for the discussion of such teachings. The view that Israel, defined as an ethnic people, has an eschatological role to play is especially prominent in an approach called Dispensationalism. The foundations of this system of biblical interpretation was laid in the writings of a nineteenth century Plymouth Brethren leader from Britain named J.N. Darby. Those views have been ardently received and propagated by certain groups in North America, primarily the fundamentalist groups.”

    Here, of course, Bilezikian, trots out the propaganda that biblical support for Israel started with a 19th century Irish preacher.

    If it seems like I’m digressing and meandering, I hope you’ll see the vast network of anti-Israel conspirators (who really operate in the open), all of whom have helped push Israel into the place she now finds herself: having “unusually intense matters at hand in both foreign affairs and domestic.”

    All this causes Zechariah’s later prophecies to loom large, for as I also often say, the single greatest sign we are living in the last days is the increasing international pressure on Israel, which, I would argue, borders on psychotic.

    What else can you call a comparison between the Palestinians’ lack of statehood and the…Holocaust?

    Truly, we are on the edge of something epic. Far from fearful or even worried, I am in fact thrilled that Someone is in charge, loves all of us (including the Palestinians), and wants the best for us. Since we cannot accomplish that ourselves, He is preparing to usher in glory. Thank you, Father, for your mercies, which are everlasting.

    That remnant of us that prays intensely for our Jewish friends, let us resolve more than ever to stand with Israel right through to the end, when the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will intervene, to fight for her in the day of battle.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com