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 ( 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

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  • Jan 16, 2017

    The Jerusalem Journal

    I met Brian Schrauger many years ago during my days in Christian book publishing. He was a gifted writer then, and I could hardly have imagined that one day he would be half-a-world-away, reporting on the ground from Israel.

    When we met in Nashville, it was obvious we had common interests. I noticed that Brian had a genuine love for Israel and the Jewish people. Emphasis on genuine; too many people I’ve met over the years “support” Israel for self-serving reasons. These range from monetary gain to receiving “blessings” for “blessing” Israel. The latter one in particular makes me physically ill.

    Anyway, a few years ago Brian found himself living in Israel. Over time, it became apparent to him what his purpose was there: report on events from the perspective of a Christian Zionist. Already possessing sharp journalistic skills, he also had a fearlessness sharpened by wisdom. In other words, he would go right into a hotspot and give all of us in America a perspective we otherwise wouldn’t have.

    For example, sitting on the front row at a “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference is reporting from the hottest point on the battlefield. Yet there Brian has been, actually tweeting information in real-time, as the conference unfolds. Remember, the CATC is a virulently anti-Israel, PLO-backed confab. Going in there and not hiding who you are takes special courage.

    Honestly? It’s the first time I can remember in 20 years getting firsthand, accurate information from a Christian Zionist perspective. I know and appreciate most of the pro Israel groups and many of them do great things.

    But Brian Schrauger at The Jerusalem Journal ( is the only journalist of his kind, so far as I know. He is a real reporter, on the ground in Israel, reporting on the most interesting things for pro Israel Christians. For instance, his recent piece on the ghastly terrorist murder of four IDF troops is searing writing:

    “It happened without warning and it only took seconds. ...As he plows his heavy lorry into the cluster of soldiers, Fadi crushes four young women and two young men. Others, glancing off the truck's side are wounded, but not mortally. Stunned, those who can hurry to the side of fallen friends. As they do so, Fadi brakes his lorry, turns it around, aiming for the bodies he has just mowed down...

    “It was a sunny winter's day in Jerusalem, ideal for orientation tours in which young cadets in Israel's armed forces, the IDF, are provided an eyes-on look at their capital city's geography. Perhaps the most spectacular site is the Haas Promenade on the southeast side of Jerusalem. Atop the Hill of Evil Counsel, next door to a huge United Nations compound, the view of Jerusalem's Old City is a way to see the place as King David saw it almost three thousand years ago.”

    Folks, this is top-notch. And many times I’ve messaged Brian and he’s answered my question right away, when I needed specific information. I can ask him about specific locations and people and he knows.

    Because of his unique abilities, I’d like to ask you to consider helping The Jerusalem Journal. Any news organization needs money to operate, and the JJ could use your help. Among other things, you can help by donating or by bringing Brian to your church to speak, or both. I send my highest recommendation.

    On his deluxe website, you can see several items at the top: Subscribe, Help Us Grow, Write for Us, etc. Again, I ask you to consider helping with one or more of these items. It is not going too far to say that what Brian is doing is truly different, and that’s why I think his work is critically important and must continue.

    You can email him directly at:

    The last time I was in Israel, I watched from my hotel balcony one evening as Palestinians celebrated with fireworks from Bethlehem after a terrorist attack against Jews. I was on the phone with Brian, and he told me eyewitness things I couldn’t have otherwise known.

    My reading and supporting The Jerusalem Journal, you can virtually do the same thing.

    Jan 9, 2017

    A Model of Civility

    If the last 20 years in Israel advocacy have taught me anything, it is that people on opposite sides of a fence can almost enjoy shooting at each other. Divergent views have a way of doing that.

    Recently a reader alerted me to a blog post by a person who takes issue with pro Israel Christians invoking Genesis 12:3 (“I will bless those that bless you…”) to defend Israel’s right to the land, etc. I read the piece and got a check in my spirit, but not for the reason you might be thinking.

    I began to get a feeling that the writer was from a Reformed background; that is, he is probably Presbyterian or Lutheran and this goes a long way in informing his views of Israel in prophecy. Just as, I might add, to some degree my Baptist background informs my view of the same issue.

    So I read the post with some objectivity. I did not disagree with everything the writer wrote.

    Then I contacted him.

    Happily, he wasn’t defensive, and I told him upfront where I am coming from. I asked if he is from a Reformed background and he said that he is. I told him my background. We had a pleasant, brief conversation and ended it kindly.

    I won’t here go into the theological stuff regarding Genesis 12:3, but rather want to point out that we can advocate for Israel and for the wonderful element of predictive prophecy…without rancor.

    I have also been dismayed to see how even those in the pro Israel camp can tear at each other. There are different views on how best to advocate for Israel. I disagree strongly with some approaches, but try to deal in factual things, not ad hominem arguments.

    When we have agendas—and we all have them—often we cannot or will not be objective. People are so entrenched in their positions, and so arrogantly confident of their own powers of reasoning, that nothing good comes of it.

    In fact, it is common for evangelical leaders in America to so dislike their “critics” that they resort to calling them “trolls” and “slanderers.” In this way, they actually avoid defending their own position on a topic, a classic red flag that their position is probably indefensible.

    I have been criticized for referring to some as “useful idiots.” However, I use it because it is a precise term that has an actual definition, as supplied by Vladimir Lenin. It refers to those in the West who are wittingly or unwittingly used by foreign totalitarians to advance said totalitarian’s agenda through propaganda. I do not use such terms merely because I don’t like an opponent.

    Back to my specific point: my correspondent today could have resorted name-calling without a point, except to express his annoyance. He did not.

    We were then able to have a reasonable discussion about Israel and prophecy and I hope we will again. And I am appreciative to the reader of “Israel Watch” in alerting me to the post.

    I believe in balance. On the one hand, I believe in fairly aggressively defending Scripture, Israel, the Jews, etc. But even in this, it does no good if I tear the other person down.

    Let’s keep that in mind as we debate and discuss on Facebook, Twitter, and other forums.

    Truth always wins in the end.

    Jan 2, 2017

    Kerry-ing Water for the Palestinians

    In the latest diplomatic dust-up, which might lead to war, Barack Obama and his outgoing Secretary of State, John Kerry, have “stabbed Israel in the back” as the phrasing is going internationally.

    Besides abstaining from a vote in the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334—which declares Israeli “settlements” as in violation of international law—the Regime in Washington also trotted-out Kerry for a follow-up speech in which he further attacked the Jewish state by condemning the glistening Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, what the world calls the West Bank.

    In the analysis that has followed, few seem to grasp the ideological bent behind Obama’s and Kerry’s vicious attacks on Israel. Leftist ideologues like Obama do not come to positions late in the game; they have always believed what they believe. When Obama was in college, he was pro Palestinian. Neither is he incompetent. He is simply working-out his worldview, but from a powerful perch.

    In his book, Saul Alinsky: The Evil Genius Behind Obama, Jerome Corsi notes the radical background of Obama:

    “Even though Obama’s involvement with Alinsky-styled radical politics had been thoroughly documented during the 2008 presidential campaign, most Americans in 2012 had still never heard of Alinsky.” 

    Saul Alinsky was a Marxist radical and community organizer deluxe, by which I mean he specialized in how to rile-up the disaffected masses, for the advancement of leftist political goals. This is a classic Communist tactic, and one developed by Obama.

    So too is Kerry a radical. They just seem to be mainstream American political figures because they live in Washington and wear suits. They are no less radical than CAIR, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc.

    Corsi puts more of a point on it:

    “Alinsky taught organizers to hide their true intentions in the words they spoke. Denying the truth or just plain lying were both acceptable tactics, as long as the cause advanced.” 

    In her book, To Hell in a Hand Basket, Ruthie Blum explores Obama’s statements about Islam:

    “… Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality,” he said, adding that it “has always been a part of America’s story… Since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” 

    Here we see Obama, early on in his presidency (addressing members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo) making stunning lies about the Religion of Jihad and Holy War. Obama is not stupid nor ignorant of history. He well knows that what he said about Islam is false. But he was advocating for our enemies even there.

    I am somewhat frustrated that too many people call Obama an incompetent idiot, or a weak leader. Until we understand the radical influences on our own government, we cannot combat it. Obama and Kerry have always hated Israel and Jews; they believe that now there is enough of a tilt in the cultural view that they can be more forthcoming.

    Remember, whether it’s in seminaries or the halls of politics, leftist always mask their true intentions. Always. They do this until the time is right to come out into the light.

    Obama has promised—telegraphed—that he will busy himself in his retirement by building up the progressive community in this country. This he will do.

    Evangelical Christians in America who support Israel must begin to understand the true depths of this effort. In our own community, Obama’s agenda is promoted by conferences/groups like Catalyst and the Justice Conference.

    In the coming year, I want to help educate our community in these realities, so that as Obama and his pack of ideological jackals advance their agenda, we also advance ours.

    Dec 26, 2016

    The Birth of Moshiach

    “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
    Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
    The One to be Ruler in Israel,
    Whose goings forth are from of old,
    From everlasting.”
                                       —Micah 5:2


    Of the countless remarkable things about the birth of Christ, the prophecy in the tiny book of Micah is one of the most compelling.

    The prophet Micah recorded fully 700 years before Christ’s birth that the Messiah (“Moshiach” in Hebrew) would be born in…Bethlehem.

    Perhaps it’s a lame comparison, but let’s say they were in Oklahoma then. One would think the Messiah would be born in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, or some other city. Instead, he would be born in…Bugtussle.

    Being born in Bethlehem, rather than in, say, Jerusalem, was a signal that the Creator did things His way, and not our way.

    And that has made all the difference.

    I want here to briefly describe what I’ve seen in Jerusalem and Bethlehem during my visits there over the years. The main thing is, the more you drive south from Jerusalem, the more you see how things really were 2,000 years ago. The scene has little changed. People still tend sheep and the ancient hills are still there. The sleepy hamlet of Bethlehem is still there. It’s ironic now that it is under the control of the Palestinian Authority, but that’s a topic for another time.

    In the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, one enters through a low door, then stands in a large church, where traces of ancient cultures are still seen. Being ushered downstairs to the places where tradition tells us Jesus was born is a bit disconcerting. The small grotto under the church is supposedly the “stable” and “manger” where the Lord entered this world. The heavily Catholic flavor of the place—with its ornate furnishings—leaves one a bit disoriented, if one expects a scene like the rough wooden stables set out each year at Christmas in so many homes, then the real place is disappointing!

    But one can easily imagine the Lord coming to us here. Beyond the turmoil of the centuries, the place is still soaked in peace. It was here the shepherds saw the Star. It was here the wise men came from the east. And it is where, as the great prophet Isaiah tells us, the animals knew their Master.

    We learn who Christ is through Scripture. That is where we begin to know Him. These historical occurrences are recorded and we can have confidence they happened.

    I want to say too that one of the greatest evidences He came to us then, and is coming back to us again, is that He lives within believers. This cannot be explained through evolutionary philosophy or self-help teachings, or the New Age.

    Christmas—the holidays—is often a tough time for many. I know many are desperate financially. I know a man who is well into retirement age, but he and his wife are forced to work for the duration. Without going into details, he has made his considerable financial concerns public, and it is painful to think of them at this time of year.

    Others have tremendous physical challenges. Or they are grandparents raising their grandchildren. Young couples overwhelmed with the busyness of life.

    Tonight, as I write this, I am particularly burdened for an old friend.

    I’ve had my own challenges this year, with big transitions for more than two years.

    But I am happy.

    I empathize with those of you struggling, for whatever reason. I genuinely mean that. I feel a true kinship with my readers here at “Israel Watch.” Many of you communicate with me, and we have shared issues in our lives.

    So please let me ask you at Christmas to do something. Go to a place where you can be quiet. A room, a park, a walking path, maybe even a coffee shop. Maybe you can only find quiet in your mind.

    But think of the fact that 2,000 years ago, God became man and dwelled among us. He came to share our struggles and better yet, provide a way out of misery that sin causes. He became the sacrifice for our sins and here I don’t mean that in an esoteric way. Rather I mean, He came for you in a tangible way.

    Then settle your mind and heart on Matthew 11:28:

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

    At Christmas, and you will probably read this Christmas night at the earliest, please try and find peace in your heart by thinking on the fact that Christ came, died, rose, and is coming again. I love thinking about all of it at Christmastime.

    I hope and pray for you that your Christmas season has been relaxing and fun. If it has not, though, it’s not too late to enjoy it and make it even memorable, as the year peace came to your heart.

    Sleep in heavenly peace.

    Dec 19, 2016

    Without Merritt

    One of the examples of infiltration of the American Evangelical community by the Left can be seen in the rise of Millennial “journalists” who are in fact change-agents determined to remake America along socialist/Marxist principles.

    It almost goes without saying that a big target of this group is the Jewish state. From the time of Israel’s founding until now, the Left has hated the commitment to freedom and Zionism that defines the state of Israel.

    In all this mix is a key change-agent: Jonathan Merritt. He is what I call “evangelical royalty,” as the son of former Southern Baptist Convention President James Merritt. A graduate of Liberty University, young Merritt now lives in New York City, where he writes for Religion News Service, the Atlantic, and the Week.  From these perches, Merritt writes from a left-wing perspective even as he pontificates about evangelical issues.

    A few years ago, he spoke at an event hosted by the Telos Project, a pro Palestinian group. Merritt addressed “storytelling,” a foundational issue for Millennials. In essence, “storytelling” helps a person shape his or her perspective, for the consumption of a particular audience.

    An example of storytelling is the claim by Palestinians that the Israelis oppress them. They do this by claiming, as a specific example, that Israel steals “Palestinian land.”

    It is very difficult for a person in the United States reading one of these sad stories to verify its truth. Just as past generations actually believed that evening news anchors were unbiased readers of the news (they were anything but), many readers and viewers believe the negative stories about Israel.

    Merritt helps the Palestinians and their advocates peddle the narrative that Israel and her supporters oppress the Palestinians.

    Last week, Merritt tweeted the conventional wisdom in Washington and New York that Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a provocative act, and one that could lead to violence:

    “This move could ignite conflict across the region. Scary.”

    His comment was in response to a Politico tweet, quoting Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway as saying that moving the embassy is a “big priority” for Trump.

    According to Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post:

    “Since 1948 the US has refused to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – or even as part of Israel. This policy of non-recognition – embodied by the US refusal to transfer the US Embassy to Jerusalem – has been maintained by a bipartisan consensus despite the fact that for the past 20 years, US law has required the State Department to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy to Jerusalem.

    “When Trump promised to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, his words were greeted with cynicism.

    “In one fell swoop, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem will correct a great deal of the damage that eight years of President Barack Obama’s foreign policies have caused to US credibility worldwide.

    “There is no single step the US can take that will do more to rebuild US credibility as an ally than moving the embassy to Jerusalem. By taking the step that none of his predecessors would take to stand in support of the US’s most embattled ally worldwide, Trump will show that America can again be trusted. And moving the embassy will accomplish this goal without placing one US soldier at risk, and will cost US taxpayers no more than a few million dollars for construction and moving fees.”

    Now, Merritt’s tweet reveals what I believe to be both his left-wing bias about the Arab-Israeli conflict, and his lack of broad-based understanding of the conflict.

    Why do I say that?

    Because one can rightly wonder where Merritt has been the last 20 years, as the Arabs and specifically Muslim terrorists have burned the whole of the Middle East, accounting for untold casualties.

    Ignite conflict? The Palestinians ignited conflict 50 years ago and have never let up, not for a day. Over 20,000 acts of terrorism have been aimed at Israeli Jews.

    Really, Jonathan Merritt? An American embassy in Jerusalem—which would be our nation’s first-ever acknowledgement of Israeli sovereignty in its chose capitol—would be the catalyst for conflict in the region?

    I call for accountability for his statement. Is Jonathan Merritt so ignorant of geopolitics and Middle East history that he actually believes his tweet? Or is he merely using a left-wing tactic by dispensing false information?

    Further, has a 20-year pattern by American presidents to refuse to move the embassy (in violation of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act) to Jerusalem resulted in peace and calm?

    In fact, it has led to the opposite, for whenever the Palestinian leadership squeezes a concession from the West, 30 more demands surface immediately. This display of American weakness and not standing with a key ally gives the PA/PLO energy and strength.

    Americans of a certain age, who stay abreast of the news and history, understand that Merritt’s tweet crosses over into useful idiot status that would have pleased the Soviet leadership. However, to Merritt’s intended audience—next-generation students and leaders—the tweet is akin to any typical Black Lives Matter propaganda: it sounds reasonable.

    So long as “journalists” like Jonathan Merritt get away with their propaganda, we can be assured that conflict will continue to be ignited across the Middle East.


    Dec 12, 2016

    Fake News

    In the world of Marxist-style propaganda we now live in, when truth is turned on its head by media and political forces, it should come as no surprise that CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour is bashing Israel again.

    Reading from the playbook now used by American evangelical leaders (such as Lynne Hybels of Willow Creek fame), Amanpour, for a recent segment, interviewed two “peace” activists who are virulently anti-Israel.

    (Remember, anti-Israel activists in the evangelical world routinely point to their friends in Israel-“Palestine” who are “committed to achieving peace through non-violent means.” Really? Then why is it always Israel’s fault?)

    According to a report from CAMERA:

    “Amanpour, broadcasting from London, interviewed a pair from the ‘peace’ group – Ms. Shifa al-Qudsi, in Nablus (West Bank), a Palestinian Muslim would-be suicide bomber who was intercepted by Israeli authorities the night before her planned bombing, and Chen Alon, in Tel Aviv, former Israeli military officer ‘turned peace campaigner.’

    “Combatants for Peace consists of former Israeli soldiers and former Palestinian combatants (ie. terrorists). Alon and al-Qudsi, representing the group, convey the message that Israel is mainly (if not entirely) responsible for the conflict. Alon expresses contrition for Israel's role, but shows no concern for fellow Israelis victimized by Palestinian violence. Meanwhile, al-Qudsi adheres to the Palestinian victimization narrative heaping all the blame on Israel.”

    A partial transcript is provided in the CAMERA report, and is well worth your time.

    This is all a classic leftist tactic. Claim that you are working for peace, while you are really strengthening Israel’s terrorist enemies. I kid you not, this is exactly the type of evil developed and worked by Lenin and Stalin in the Soviet Union. Publicly utter a direct inversion of the truth, and watch the masses believe you.

    Amanpour’s father was an Iranian Muslim, and she was raised in Tehran. She is a classic leftist “journalist” peddling the truth as she wants people to understand it. In her play, Israel is always the villain.

    Finally…with Trump’s election, it seems that the scales are falling off. People are now waking up to what we’ve been living in for generations. And when the People begin to understand what our Media really are, they will shed them. This has broader implications.

    Just as “secular” media are now scrambling to crawl under rocks, so too are religious types feeling the heat.

    For several years, beginning in 2011, I investigated the documentary produced by Mart Green, an heir to the Hobby Lobby franchise. Titled “Little Town of Bethlehem,” the film purported to present a balanced view of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Three principle interviews propped-up the lie, but all three are anti-Israel. I, along with a few others, exposed this propaganda masquerading as balanced journalism, and the evangelical power player Green refused to speak publicly about the controversial film.

    Ironically, I just happened to meet Green three times: once in a hotel lobby and twice in airports. Always cordial (if remote), he smiled when I asked if I could interview him. He told me to get in touch with his office and to email him. I did this many times, including a request to Dr. Billy Wilson, president of Oral Roberts University, who has worked with Empowered21, a Who’s Who of global Pentecostal leaders. Empowered21 also moves in the same circles as those traveled by Green.


    Not a single time did either man, particularly Green, agree to speak with me. Instead, he went silent and virtually underground. “Little Town of Bethlehem” is still available on the EGM Films website.

    Just like secular media do not want to answer uncomfortable questions, so too do evangelical power brokers go silent when their dark schemes are uncovered.

    Circumstantial evidence sheds some light on Green’s views of Israel and Jews. His EGM Films also produced “Beyond the Gates of Splendor,” and “End of the Spear,” documentaries of famed Christian missionary Jim Elliot, murdered by the Huaorani people, a tribe in the jungles of Ecuador, in 1956. Elliot’s widow, Elisabeth, was an icon in evangelical circles, having carried on her husband’s work and became a prolific writer and speaker in her own right.

    In 1968, Elisabeth Elliot published her account of visiting Israel in the weeks after the Six Day War. I have a copy of this book, In the Furnace of the Lord, and view it to be a hit-piece on Israel. While she appears even-handed in part of the book, she resorts to several anti-Israel propaganda techniques. I attempted to interview Elisabeth Elliot about this book in 2000, but she declined. It is important to note that every “Christian Palestinianist” leader in America has declined my repeated requests for interviews in the past several years. They do not want rank-and-file Christians to connect the dots.

    (The late Elisabeth Elliot was a member of the Episcopal Church, a mainline denomination that would at the very least not consider the specialness of the Jews and Israel in biblical history to be significant.)

    It is no accident that Green felt an affinity with Elliot, and I am certain that their association at least in part fed his anti-Israel agenda.

    I’m glad that “the People” are waking up to the profound bias that exists in Media and Religion, and the CNNs of the world are passing from the scene.

    Here’s to a new era.

    Dec 5, 2016

    ISIS in the House

    As the Israelis battle arson fires set by Palestinians, the first official engagement between ISIS terrorists and the IDF occurred. A terrorism report was more clinical in its description, but rest assured, ISIS was vaporized in the exchange:

    “In the southern Golan Heights, the first incident of its kind occurred this week between an IDF force and operatives of the Shuhada al-Yarmouk Brigade affiliated with ISIS. ISIS operatives opened fire at an IDF force. An Israeli aircraft attacked their vehicle and four operatives were killed. In  addition, an Israeli aircraft

    attacked a facility used by ISIS in the southern Golan Heights.”

    How foolish are the enemies of the Jewish people.

    Further detail of the ISIS incident was provided in a November 29 report:

    “In the early morning hours of November 27, 2016, an incident occurred between

    an IDF force and a force of the Shuhada al-Yarmouk Brigade, affiliated with ISIS.

    According to  Israeli  and  Arab  media,  ISIS  operatives  opened  fire  at  an  IDF  force setting  an  ambush.  The operatives used  a  heavy  machine gun placed  on  a  van, several hundred kilometers away from the border. The IDF forces returned fire.

    “The IDF had no casualties. This is the first incident of its kind between an IDF force

    and operatives affiliated with ISIS who control the southern Golan Heights. Up

    till now, those operatives refrained from engaging the IDF. During the incident, an Israeli aircraft attacked the vehicle and the operatives who fired from it. Syrian media reported that  four operatives of the Khaled bin Al-Walid Army were killed

    as a result of the attack.  In addition, an Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked an  ISIS  facility  in  the  southern  Syrian  Golan  Heights,  in  response  to  the shooting (IDF    spokesman, November 27, 2016). The facility which was attacked had served  UNDOF,  the  UN  force  maintaining  the  ceasefire  between  Israel  and  Syria.

    However, it has been deserted and nowadays it serves ISIS operatives for training.

    According to the IDF spokesman, ISIS operatives used that facility to establish their

    presence in the vicinity  of the border and for attacking the IDF force.”

    ISIS has been operating in the Sinai Peninsula as well, but is sandwiched between Egypt and Israel, and is being pummeled. The terror group has also lost 56 percent of its territory in Iraq and 28 percent in Syria. I expect them to disappear altogether as the Trump Administration progresses.

    An interesting thing is going on internationally, as geopolitics shift after eight years of corrosive, Marxist policies of Obama. Israel now has “friends,” several of whom sent help to fight the arson fires. I also suspect many nations both remember Israel’s doing same for them after natural disasters, and as they scramble to find expert help in combatting terrorism in their own countries. Nobody does this better than Israel.

    As I often like to say, geopolitics can change on a dime, and upend all our “prophecy” projections. Only one month ago, no one could have imagined where we are now. America and Israel will officially become close once again, etc.

    We must always keep our eyes on Scripture. We do not know the exact timing of the great last days prophecies, so we must honestly admit that the status quo might be maintained yet for decades, or it can be permanently altered next week. We just don’t know.

    What we do know from looking at Scripture is that one day, Israel will lose all her human friends. And, it is important to note that while Democrats have suffered historic losses in the recent election in America, they and their leader Obama have always kept the eyes on their prize: the next two generations.

    The fact is, a “progressive” political agenda—one rooted in Marxism—continues to chug up the mountain. In other words, my “concern” is not for the immediate future, but 20 years down the road. Currently, scores of “evangelical” youth voted for Hillary Clinton or the fringe candidates, Gary (“What’s Aleppo?”) Johnson and Jill Stein. In human terms, that is profoundly disturbing.

    So long as God remains on His throne, He will continue to make the IDF a source of supernatural strength, and we can rest in that! Israel has and is winning miraculous victories against her enemies.

    Nov 28, 2016

    Israel is Burning

    One of the endless wonders of Israel, especially for a visitor, is the forests and other foliage that blanket this once-barren wasteland.

    But Eden is burning.

    Twenty five years of diplomatic futility have brought us dead Israelis, a degradation of Israel’s deterrence, and increased Palestinian arrogance.

    Remember, when George H.W. Bush allowed Western diplomats to pluck the odious Yasser Arafat from his desert lair in Tunisia, the Palestinians were no longer relevant. Almost inexplicably, the Americans and Europeans then forced a “peace framework” on Israel and set up the “Palestinian Authority” from the evil Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

    I’ve seen the PLO handiwork in Israel, when terrorists murder Israelis. It is unconscionable that this evil “land for peace” model has been forced on the Jewish state.

    Now, at a moment when the Palestinians are all-but-irrelevant again, the scum have committed widespread arson and the land is burning. The forests, homes, and dreams are going up in smoke.

    According to the Jerusalem Post:

    “Arab leaders on Saturday accused the government of fanning hatred in Jewish-Arab relations by suggesting that Arab arson was the cause of the wave of fires in the country that started five days ago.

    “Leaders and political activists said Arabs are being scapegoated for the fires and predicted the government's posture would lead to an outpouring of anti-Arab hostility.”

    More Marxist-inspired propaganda. But it does beg the question:

    Why not cut the Palestinians loose? Why not a new strategy by Israel and the West?

    If I were in charge, I’d annex the West Bank and Gaza and dare the Arabs to do something about it?

    In the past 25 years, any time suggested expelling the Palestinians (“population transfer,” “ethnic cleansing”), he or she was labeled a dangerous psychotic. That’s how we got treated to an endless parade of failures like Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk, diplomats who were clueless about the true nature of human nature.

    None of it ever worked, and Jews died.

    It is true that some Palestinian firefighters have joined the effort to put out the fires. Others have condemned the terrorism.

    But when is enough enough?

    And don’t think I have faith that the new Trump Administration will do what is really necessary to buttress our most important ally. No doubt the nonsensical “land for peace” failure will march on. So Israel should take matters into her own hands.

    Historically, the Arabs have only understood force. When Egyptian and Syrian soldiers were staggering through the deserts during ’67 and ’73 battlefield losses, they understood they could not defeat Israel. I think it’s time for a return to that strategy: peace through strength.

    The Palestinians do not deserve a state and I hope they never get one. Their grotesque disregard for human life is unacceptable.

    Twenty-two terrorists have been arrested. Russia is sending planes to combat the fires. Even Obama is hamstrung from making mischief for Israel.

    The greening of Israel has been underway for decades. Even standing in Jerusalem, standing at the edge of the Kidron Valley, I have seen how the country has bloomed since 1948. Now, the Palestinians threaten all that.

    I hope to see the day when the Palestinians pay for the destruction and murder they have unleashed on Israel. God, may it be so.

    Nov 21, 2016

    Move the Embassy!

    The transition period for the new Trump administration is comical. The media are howling if he doesn’t name all his cabinet picks in 30 minutes. Of course, if he did that, they’d scream that he wasn’t deliberate enough.

    One interesting discussion at the moment is a potential role for Mike Huckabee. The former Arkansas governor is rumored to be in line for the ambassadorship to Israel.

    That’d be a great pick.

    In an interview with Eric Bolling at FOX, Huckabee said that, in fact, he had not discussed that position with Trump. The media had been reporting late this week that the deal was sealed. Somebody is not telling the truth!

    But in the event Huckabee is installed as ambassador, does that make it more likely the U.S. embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

    We don’t know.

    I met Huckabee when he was a 37-year-old Southern Baptist preacher running for Lt. Governor of Arkansas. Naturally, he was ambitious, and I’ve always been ambivalent about preachers running for political office. However, Huckabee was a great governor later, for a decade, and his conservative credentials are legit. Further, his love for Israel and his friendship with Bibi Netanyahu is unquestioned.

    George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama would not move on the senate vote of 1995 to move the embassy, and everyone knew it was because they didn’t want to offend the sensibilities of the Palestinians and thus “influence” the “negotiations” between Israel and the Arabs.

    The real issue here is that these men indirectly influenced the violence unleashed by the death-loving Palestinians. All the presidents knew what Yasser Arafat was, but they refused to hold the Palestinians accountable. And let’s be clear: moving the embassy does not violate “international law,” as the leftist media and politicians howl. It is a matter of political will.

    IF the Americans do move the embassy, it will be a watershed moment, and signal that the infamous Oslo Accords and the flawed model they rode in on are dead.

    We shall see. I do believe Donald Trump is a genuine friend of Israel and that alone will be a difference from the Marxist-leaning Obama, who loathes the Jewish state.

    Currently, there are no foreign embassies in Jerusalem, as the nations cower before the hurt feelings of the Palestinians. The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv is just south of the beautiful marina, steps from the beach.

    You might be interested to know that the plot of ground earmarked for the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem is located in the neighborhood of Talpiot…where Benjamin Netanyahu grew up. The family home of Benzion Netanyahu is located in Talpiot and there the three boys fierce Zionism was formed. How delicious it would be if the new embassy finds its home there, finally.

    We will know soon about Huckabee’s appointment, and it’s no coincidence I think that Christmas approaches.

    What a gift that would be!

    Nov 14, 2016

    The Israel Re-Set

    Much was made of the infamous “Russian Re-Set” button Hillary Clinton presented to her Russian counterparts. They all laughed and mugged for the cameras, but it set the stage for the Russians to flex their muscles in their region and in the Middle East. In short, America looked weak.

    But what a difference an election makes.

    We now have an Israel Re-Set, in that President-elect Donald Trump, an old friend of Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, has warmly received the Israeli leader, and no doubt they will meet soon after the inauguration.

    We do know the tone and atmosphere will be completely different. Obama’s mendacity when it came to Israel and Jews was the worst since the leftist Jimmy Carter occupied the White House. As I’ve said many times, Obama was and is a Marxist-leaning radical who always felt warmly toward Palestinian terrorists. It’s who he is. Trump, while not exactly a Christian Zionist, seems genuinely fond of Israel.

    For his part, Netanyahu had this to say today:

    “’I’m asking all the ministers and the parliamentarians to wait until the start of the new [United States] government. Let's [Israel and the US] form a new policy together through quiet and acceptable [diplomatic] channels and not through interviews with the media,’ Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly government meeting in Jerusalem.”

    Also, there is talk from the Right in Israel of annexing all or part of the West Bank. The truth is, no one knows what will happen, and no one knows how far Trump will go in re-setting relations with Israel. Would Trump support annexation?

    Hard to know, but we will soon see if he is indeed a true agent of change, or if he will go the way of others who vowed to fix Washington.

    A key moment will come very soon, as Trump has said he will move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. All U.S. presidential candidates who promised to do it—especially George W. Bush—lied when they promised this. So as not to offend the Palestinians.

    Additionally, Trump has spoken of his view that a final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians would be the ultimate. For the poster boy of The Art of the Deal, this would have great allure.

    Fortunately, more and more voices are pointing out that a quarter-century of concessions to the radicalized and murderous Palestinian society has been folly. If anything, the Arabs are far, far from being able to actually live in peace with Jews.

    What I think us prophecy students must guard against is the tendency to tightly predict what is going to happen next. If only two weeks ago we were “sweating” the prospect of the vicious Obama going before the UN to sanction a Palestinian state…now all that’s changed.

    By contrast, we should guard against making bold and wonderful predictions about what a Trump administration will do for Israel. Maybe he will be great, maybe so-so, maybe not at all.

    Still, the Trump win is honestly a wonderful change from the eight corrosive years of the leftist radical Obama and his team of America-haters.

    Let’s enjoy what we have, and continue to take the wisest path: pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

    Nov 7, 2016

    For the Love of Prophecy

    Like many people, when I entered adulthood, I sort of took a break from serious Bible reading.

    I was raised on prophecy teaching, and I expect that my upbringing in conservative Oklahoma was similar to others’: heavy doses of Bible and Bible prophecy teaching. After all, these were the days of Hal Lindsey and Rapture talk.

    That has all changed like the wind.

    Recently on my Facebook page, a friend noted that she’d sent a message to her pastor, Kyle Idleman of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

    If memory serves me, that is the church pastored for years by Bob Russell. Dr. David Reagan preached many prophecy sermons from that pulpit.

    My friend was dismayed that Idleman evidently doesn’t have the same love for Bible prophecy teaching that his predecessors had.

    I’m not surprised.

    It isn’t hard to figure out, though.

    Idleman is one of the new breed of pastor/CEOs that have decided Andy Stanley is right and the church/Bible/Christianity needs new marketing. The old-time religion is distasteful to them.

    Even Brian Brodersen, the heir apparent (who made sure he was the heir apparent) to Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel has said that when he filled-in for his father-in-law in the pulpit, he felt it necessary to “counter” the elder’s prophecy-laced sermons, since the “doom and gloom” stuff was, you know, not what seekers are after. This last bit is my paraphrase.

    But if I came back to the study of prophecy and Bible reading, how many more do not?

    I am curious how many readers of RaptureReady and “Israel Watch” experience this in their churches. I realize it’s a lot. But how many do have pastors who teach prophecy and the specialness of Israel and the Jewish people?

    Take Idleman, for example. If you look at those who endorse his books—Craig Groeschel, Jud Wilhite, Mark Batterson, Christine Caine—you see that his circle of friends are not exactly graduates of the Hal Lindsey School of Prophecy.

    (A few years ago, Groeschel almost inexplicably taught a three-part series on Bible prophecy, and he sounded like a classic Pre-Tribber. To my knowledge, it’s the only example of a seeker-driven pastor touching the subject in recent years.)

    As we have pointed out many times, when the leading evangelical gurus in this country do not want to emphasize prophecy, it is relegated to the shadows. By extension, the general community of evangelical leaders in this country also do not like Israel, and in some cases I’m convinced they are anti-Semites. That ensures that Americans in the pews do not hear the whole counsel of God.

    In order to understand how connected this network of evangelical leaders is, notice the recent flap caused by Jen Hatmaker’s interview with fellow progressive Jonathan Merritt.

    Hatmaker acknowledged her support for homosexuality, among other things. Incredibly, LifeWay bookstores, an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, pulled her books! I find it incredible, because LifeWay long ago went over to compromise when it comes to resources offered. If they no longer carry Hatmaker, will they then virtually empty their shelves of other heretical authors?

    But Hatmaker is a star on the rise. A few years ago, she tweeted: “At some point, the church stopped living the Bible & decided to just study it…skillfully discarding costly discipleship…”

    That was re-tweeted by her mentor, Lynne Hybels, who still cunningly identifies as an evangelical, but whose progressive views place her on the outer fringes of Christianity. It was Hybels who wrote a few years ago that she simply does not subscribe to the eschatological views of those who, for example, read Lindsey or other classic dispensationalists.

    This is the air Hatmaker & Friends breathe today. The study of Bible prophecy is out of favor. Israel suffers from this reality, as well.

    And the outrageous views of Andy Stanley—who disses the Bible and small churches—is actually the model for “doing church” today. Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay, tweeted last year: “If your church doesn’t have a website, it doesn’t exist. People won’t take you seriously. They think you don’t care.”

    Wow. The hubris in that statement is…wow. Rainer and his friends push the church-growth model all day long. Under their watch, for example, the Southern Baptist Convention has lost a staggering 700,000 members!

    (The SBC is blessed to have the ministry of Gary Frazier, who travels and speaks in churches a lot. He is one of the best prophecy teachers of all time, in my opinion, mostly because his presentations are rooted in the Gospel. Stanley and others could take lessons from Gary.)

    The fact is, solid Bible teaching is still going on in those churches that “don’t have websites.” Paul didn’t emphasize marketing in the New Testament; he emphasized preaching the Word. That Word includes prophecy and the history, past and future, of Israel.

    The current evangelical leadership in America is corrupt and more interested in currying favor with Barack Obama and Democrat operatives than pursuing and teaching truth.

    The relevance of Bible prophecy is supremely important for this moment in history. Yet you see evangelical leaders abandoning it in droves. I have attempted to ask Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, about his views of eschatology and Israel.

    He declined, and later blocked me on Twitter.

    Moore, however, likes to present himself as a very tolerant fellow, as witnessed by this comment:

    “Why not engage one another? Have the debates in a civil fashion, without attempting to silence one another.”

    That would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

    Moore interviewed Andy Stanley at the annual ERLC conference this summer in Nashville, letting him get away with denigrating the Bible. This is but one (but a large one) example of a downturn in real Bible teaching and study and reading in our churches. And when the people do not hear about the power and majesty of the living God through the study of His peerless predictive prophecy, they become unaware of a very real evidence for His existence.

    It’s why young people are leaving evangelicalism in droves, despite the contrary statements by the very evangelical leaders who caused it.

    I am, though, happy and content. The Church is healthy, vibrant, and looking forward to the future. It just isn’t as well-known as the Church Visible, built by the most famous celebrity pastors and ministry leaders.

    If you are in a church or home group that studies and values Bible prophecy and Israel, you are blessed indeed. To take a General George S. Patton quote decidedly out of context, “you may thank God for it.”

    Oct 31, 2016

    When the Trump Sounds

    Last month in New York, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, for 90 minutes.

    Separately, of course.

    Among the items of discussion with Clinton were the Memorandum of Understanding, regarding closer cooperation between the U.S. and Israel, along with military aid. The pair also discussed ways in which Israel is being delegitimatized, primarily through the BDS movement.

    Naturally, Clinton pledged support in all areas.

    Besides security coordination between the two countries, Trump and Netanyahu also apparently had a lengthy talk about Israel’s success with its security fence. Trump is keen to learn as much as possible, should he emerge as president and work to fulfill his campaign pledge of a wall along America’s southern border.

    This campaign is pretty easy to figure out with regard to American support for Israel: I believe Trump’s promise of close support is genuine and heartfelt, while Clinton’s is disingenuous.

    From her friendliness with the Arafats, to her radical education and early affinity for the Palestinians, Clinton would likely be as bad as Obama. And remember, if she discussed BDS with Netanyahu, the Israeli premier surely knows of her far-left policies, which include begging for votes from the BDS crowd, which also is closely aligned with such radical groups as Black Lives Matter. In essence, all those worldviews are a continuation of the New Left worldview, which swept to prominence in the ‘60s, when the young Hillary Rodham was being educated both in a liberal church and on liberal campuses.

    She is no friend of Israel.

    This makes the recent statement from Bret Stephens of the Wall St. Journal that he would vote for her, all the more perplexing. It isn’t hard to understand that Stephens would share most of Clinton’s social issue views, but he also surely understands that she is a snake when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    But this election cycle has exposed the disdain the Establishment in New York and Washington has for “average” Americans, and vice versa. Stephens & Friends would rather opt for the status quo because with their wealth and relative isolation from the problems most Americans deal with leave them indifferent to the populist talk of Trump.

    Look, I’m well aware of the infighting among evangelicals over Trump, which I think is partly by design (from the Left, which is far more radical, corrupt, and diabolical than most realize). I get the arguments against voting for Trump.

    But I am voting for him, and enthusiastically.

    Some conservative leaders have trashed him from Day 1, and continue to do so, but it’s impossible for me to discern how it would be better for Clinton to become president.

    Among my predictions should that catastrophe happen: she will seek to radically undermine the First Amendment before she ever takes on the Second.

    She will also be covertly hostile to Israel; her worldview simply does not recognize the specialness of the Bible and the Jewish people, and their claim to the Land.

    Trump is no Sunday school teacher, but I believe he will do the things he says he will do. It seems to me that the man has had an epiphany here later in life, and really believes he has arrived on the political scene at precisely the right historical moment.

    He will also be a friend to Israel, in myriad ways.

    Those who have run our country (into the ground) for generations loathe Trump. I don’t predict Happy Days are Here Again if he wins. But I do guarantee catastrophe if the Clinton Crime Syndicate regains control of the White House. The John Podestas of the world are anti-American and anti-Christian. They will also bare their fangs to Israel.

    We cannot allow that to happen.

    Vote Trump.

    Oct 24, 2016

    A Shameful Time

    None of us who identify as biblical Christians ever thought we’d see the things we’re seeing now. And the Church Visible, at least in America, has never been more shameful.

    From Max Lucado to Russell Moore, we are seeing evangelical leaders absolutely roast Donald Trump.

    At this point I will complete that thought:

    Without uttering a word about the Clinton/Obama Crime Syndicate, which has plagued the nation for a quarter-century.

    Not a peep out of Lucado about any of that.

    Now comes word that the Palestinian Authority has jailed three self-described Palestinian peacemakers for befriending Israeli Jews. From a report in the Jewish Press:

    “Efrat Local Council head Oded Revivi says he’s concerned about the fate of four Palestinian Authority Arabs who were arrested and taken into custody on Thursday for the ‘crime’ of visiting their Jewish neighbor’s sukkah.

    “The Arab visitors paid a visit on Wednesday to the Sukkah of Peace, an annual celebration of the Jewish Festival of Sukkot – the Feast of Tabernacles – in Gush Etzion, Judea, hosted by Revivi.

    “’Three days have passed and our visitors from Wadi Nies are still being held,’ Revivi told on Saturday night. ‘They have not been released from the Palestinian Authority prison.

    “’It’s not clear to us where they are or what their condition is. It bothers me to see that humanitarian organizations, human rights groups are not making any outcry about this situation.’”

    Just as American evangelical leaders do not say a word about the destruction wrought by the Left, so too are they largely silent about persecution coming from Arab countries, particularly the Palestinian areas. They loudly condemn Israel for alleged abuses of the Palestinians, but clamp their hands over their mouths when Muslim tyrants abuse innocent people.

    For discerning minds, we also note that by visiting their Jewish friends’ sukkah, they are giving tacit approval of recognizing Jewish history, even biblical history, in the Land. This the Muslims will not tolerate. Remember the insane UNESCO ruling recently that doesn’t recognize the Temple Mount as part of Jewish history?

    Whether it’s Muslim persecution of Christians in the Middle East (and elsewhere), or Muslim persecution of Israel, worldwide Jewry, and American Christians, America’s evangelical leaders are doing great harm by projecting weakness and lack of moral clarity.

    I urge you to use your voice to call evangelical leaders to task. Personally, I would not buy their books or support their ministries. I would ask them questions via social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. Press them and keep doing it, and ask them why they lie down for the Left and save their venom for those who deserve their support.

    Oct 17, 2016

    Halloween 24/7

    “Obama and Kerry’s craven cave-in will haunt our future.”

    This is the last sentence in a New York Post piece by Kyle Smith, in which the incredible stupidity of the Obama administration is on full display with the Iran nuclear “deal.”

    I was thinking of this recently while re-reading Bill Koenig’s famous book, Eye to Eye, in which it is documented that whenever U.S. policy harmed Israel, something bad happened to the U.S.

    With Tim Kaine touting the Iran deal during his debate with Mike Pence, the worst outcome of Obama’s tenure is in the news again.

    Supporters of the deal, including the lifelong leftwing John Kerry, claim that it basically freezes Iran’s efforts to build nukes for a decade. Then, the terror state will ostensibly use uranium for power plants.


    According to a report in Breitbart:

    “The Iranian nuclear deal was signed in July 2015. A year later, the Associated Press published the provisions hidden in a document not publicly available previously, which elucidated what would happen to the Iranian nuclear program after the first ten years of the agreement’s implementation. According to that document, Iran will be allowed to begin ‘replacing its mainstay centrifuges with thousands of advanced machines.’ While it will ultimately possess fewer centrifuges to enrich uranium with, these machines will be so efficient, the AP notes, that ‘they will allow Iran to enrich at more than twice the rate it is doing now.’”

    Further, the psychotic nature of Iran’s regime is evidenced in its attitude toward Israel:

    “Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has done little to calm those alarmed by the possibility of Iran having access to advance uranium enrichment technology. Shortly after the signing of the deal, he published a book titled Palestine, in which he argues that Iran has a role to play in the destruction of Israel, and so must work to create and possess the strongest weapons possible.”

    Meanwhile, Obama’s purposeful weakness is adding to the body count. Earlier in his tenure, when reformers in Iran were left to themselves, in part due to Obama abandoning them, widespread rape and torture was ordered by Tehran. The mullahs have used American timidity to consolidate power.

    When Tehran gets concessions from the West, Iran pokes us in the eye in myriad ways.

    Ahmad Vahidi, the former Iranian defense minister, who is wanted by Interpol for involvement in blowing up  the  Jewish  community  center  in  Argentina  in  1994,  was  recently appointed head of Iran's Supreme National Defense University.

    In short, the only way to stop the Iranians is to use force. It’s all they understand. And as we’ve stated many times before, it’s the U.S. and the West that will suffer. Israel is under Divine Protection. As Smith said, the mortal danger Kerry and Obama have put us under will haunt us for a very long time to come.

    Oct 10, 2016

    The Paper Trail

    More and more, my interest is turning to changes in the American Church. It is astonishing to watch the speeding train of apostasy running through American evangelicalism.

    This is why the move away from support for Israel in the American Church should not surprise. There are reasons for it, political and religious (theological). A tidal wave of change has come, through primarily major evangelical leaders who are in turn mentoring Millennials.

    Let me give you an example of the damage being done to America, through its new policies concerning Israel.

    Ed Stetzer, recently lately of the Southern Baptist LifeWay Research, is now greatly expanding his ecumenical influence from a new post at Wheaton College. He has been allowing guest columnists to post their views of the presidential candidates at his Christianity Today blog (CT for seemingly forever has been staffed by editors who are far more pro Palestinian than they are pro Israel).

    In a post this week, Stephen Waldron (“theologian and Bible teacher”) writes that he is supporting Jill Stein for president.

    Wow. She is in the same class as the clueless Gary Johnson, who doesn’t know what Aleppo is. But in particular, I want you to notice a key reason Waldron supports Stein:

    “Jill Stein argues that the United States should cut back on its foreign military bases. She also opposes sending billions of dollars in military aid and equipment to countries that have repeatedly violated human rights, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel.”

    There you have it. Classic leftist thought: lumping Israel in with serial abusers like Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

    The worst part of it is, Stetzer allows this kind of claptrap to be published and circulated widely.

    What Waldron is really saying is that he believes Israel routinely abuses the Palestinians. And notice Waldron’s weird concluding paragraph:

    “I don’t agree with everything that Jill Stein has said or done. I do not even believe that she is prepared to actually be president. Like most voters, I haven’t found a perfect candidate. But Stein’s policy positions do generally reflect Christian values in areas where the state has overwhelming influence that can either harm or help vulnerable people: immigration, war, indigenous rights, and economic policy. While I recognize that others have good reasons for supporting other candidates, this Evangelical believes that a vote for a non-practicing Jew is the right one this time around.”

    Two things:

    •Waldron doesn’t believe Stein is prepared to be president, but he is voting for her anyway. He is, then, not a serious thinker when it comes to this issue.

    •His reference to a “non-practicing Jew” is blatantly anti-Semitic. I guess that’s okay with CT and Stetzer. Waldron’s comment is outrageous, but he’ll get away with it. Such is the state of American Evangelicalism in 2016.

    There’s plenty more research where that came from to indicate that today’s American evangelical leaders are no friends of Israel. The paper trail is long, wide, and littered with profoundly flawed views of Israel, Jews, and geopolitics across the globe.

    We will continue in this space to keep you informed of such things. Christians deserve that, at least.

    Oct 3, 2016

    When Good People Do Nothing

    I’ve been advocating for Israel in some way or another for 21 years. Support for Israel has been a privilege and a joy. When I was growing up in conservative evangelical circles, Bible prophecy teaching and support for Israel were dominant. Preachers talked of the Blessed Hope, and strongly supported the Jewish state and the Jews’ historical claim to the Promised Land.

    As I’ve written many times, that began to change about 15 years ago. As I’ve now discovered, the seeds of that erosion of support for Israel and prophecy teaching began much earlier.

    Beginning in the 19th century (taking their cue from seminaries in Europe, particularly Germany, where Enlightenment thinking began to destroy the Church), seminaries in America became populated with faculty committed to stealth and the destruction of belief in the Bible. Church leaders like Henry Ward Beecher also began to openly advocate for anti-biblical themes like Darwinian philosophy.

    Things became so bad that in 1929, conservative Bible scholars at Princeton left to open Westminster Theological Seminary. The move was necessary, but it also abandoned the traditional places of learning to leftist groups. The Scopes Trial of 1925 also inflicted great damage on the conservative churches.

    Since about 2005, I have observed a very noticeable erosion of support for Israel among pastors, large ministries, and para-church organizations. Some of these leaders do not overtly dis Israel or prophecy, but, like the disgraced-but-still-arrogant Mark Driscoll, they make their displeasure with Dispensationalism and Israel apparent from time to time. Further, those Millennials that they mentor certainly do oppose Israel and Bible prophecy teaching.

    Now, I am noticing something perhaps even more troubling: a tendency for even stalwart pro Israel folks to attempt a sort of détente with the radicals. This methodology runs parallel to the destructive model used by RINO in Congress, when dealing with the Harry Reids of the world. In other words, softening your tone in the hopes your opponents will come your way.

    That is folly.

    When leftists smell blood in the water, the weakness of their opponents, they move in and open wide their jaws. It is why we are in the shape we’re in as a country. Focusing-in even more specifically, it is why I am of the opinion that the Church Visible in this country is already destroyed.

    I will write more about this in the coming months, and speak about it as well, but I know for a fact that at the very highest levels of Christian leadership that advocates for Israel, there is distaste for “naming names” and really identifying the problems.

    In 2015, I attended a large conference aimed at evangelical Millennials, and this conference was organized and sponsored by leftists, including “Black Lives Matters” radicals and the like. Anti-semitic leaders were invited to speak. It didn’t bother any national evangelical leaders.

    Since 2010, I have researched and written about the inroads made into the American Church by Liberation Theology types and those who promote the Palestinian Narrative. In my view, the work in exposing these groups (work done by a handful of people) produced real fruit. For about a year, I noticed the “Christian Palestinianists” went back under their rocks and were not as visible in their loathing of Israel.

    That began to change in 2015. At the aforementioned conference, I noticed that one person very high up in pro Israel circles was posing for pictures with the most anti-Israel “evangelical” leaders in the country. I found this dismaying, frankly. Much of the work that had been done to walk-back the Palestinian Narrative in churches was being unraveled by these “pro Israel” leaders.

    I know for a fact they very much dislike my approach, which is to name names and expose what I believe to be intentional lying about Israel. From Bill and Lynne Hybels, to left-wing activists like Shane Claiborne, much harm is being done to Israel’s image. Those in pro Israel circles who disagree with my approach feel that reaching-out to such is the way to go.

    I believe it is a recipe for disaster.

    The hesitation to openly confront anti-Israel forces in the Church—by top leadership that is ostensibly pro Israel—is a serious problem.

    The problem is so deep that I am not aware of a pro Israel Christian group of significant size that will truly confront the Christian Palestinianists. Some of them do good advocacy work in the sense they present facts and figures that place Israel in a positive light. They hold rallies that raise the emotions of participants.

    But what I am specifically talking about is their abandonment of the sometimes-necessary strategy of fighting the enemy. The very concept is so distasteful in evangelical circles today (as many are too concerned about their tax-exempt status to take a stand), I wonder if any top leadership is left that will do it.

    Boy, I could tell you stories!

    Let me give you an example.

    If Rick Warren is doing harm to the Church, you won’t find one famous evangelical who will call him on it. From their perspective, too much is at stake. Let me tell you what I think is at stake for them:

    •Cross-promotion of books, ministries, and conferences. Leader X cannot criticize Pastor Rick because to do so would cause dis-invites from conferences. Book endorsements would dry up. Phone calls would have to be fielded from hirelings blasting Pastor X for daring to take on Pastor Rick.

    •Inter-denominational fights would erupt while folks like Pastor Rick look on. For example, isn’t it telling that few celebrity Southern Baptist pastors will tell the people what Warren and Andy Stanley and Steven Furtick are up to? Try attending the SBC convention if you’ve decided to shine a spotlight on such. The air would be so cold you’d need a parka in Orlando.

    •Bookstores would pull books of whistle-blowers. Mega-churches would no longer invite whistle-blowers to speak for a fat fee. And, perhaps worst of all, those who control Christian Media would work behind the scenes to ensure whistle-blowers get bad press. In fact, those who control Christian Media are of the same ilk as William Randolph Hearst.

    If Gabe Lyons, founder of Q Ideas hosts an imam and Palestinian apologists like Sami Awad at his own conferences, do any national evangelical leaders take issue with that? No, Lyons’ influence is widened, such as the invitation for him to speak at the 2016 national convention of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

    If World Vision’s anti-Israel stances include a Gaza manager funneling millions to Hamas, does that warrant even a criticism from the legions of evangelical leaders who work with World Vision? Hardly. World Vision remains a popular group for national evangelical leaders to partner with and endorse.

    If Hobby Lobby heir Mart Green produces an anti-Israel film, will any national evangelical leader condemn it? Doubtful. The Green family donates so much money to ministries and evangelical causes, no national leader will utter a peep. Cash talks in evangelical circles.

    Too, the Trojan Horse model used by Christian Palestinianists, and Palestinian leaders themselves, is seeping heavily into mainstream evangelical circles. The popular writer Ann Voskamp has taken trips to “Palestine” and there she soaks up the perspectives of Arabs who hate Israel and hate Jews. Russell Moore, head of the ERLC, last year visited Bethlehem Bible College, a hotbed of anti-Israel activities; he was taken on a tour by a group identifying as pro Israel. Why in the world would a pro Israel group get anywhere near BBC? A few years ago, Empowered21, a Who’s Who from the Pentecostal and Charismatic world, hosted Sami Awad at an American meeting.

    Pro Israel advocacy among Christians is in transition. I predict that the larger pro Israel groups will continue down the path of non-confrontation, relying on more and more facts and figures to try and influence the masses. They will not confront the anti-Israel, anti-Jew evangelical leaders who in some cases actively lie about Israel.

    To do so would be too costly.

    Sep 26, 2016

    Twisting Arms, Twisting Knives

    Much has been made of the new 10-year aid package the Americans have pledged to provide Israel. As Caroline Glick has pointed out, this deal is not exactly what it seems with regard to Obama and Israel.

    We all know Obama is anti-Israel; he always has been. So if much has been made of the new aid package, what gives? It all comes down to Obama’s wish to out-maneuver Congress. Israel agreed to the new package, which binds the Jewish state to a certain amount. Israel now cannot accept any supplemental amount Congress might want to send Israel’s way.

    This is in keeping with a president whose mendacity knows no limits when it comes to Israel. For example, he has always sought to limit Israel’s missile defense funding. Of course, his enmity for Benjamin Netanyahu is legendary and chilling.

    Additionally, Obama has befriended the left-wing J Street, a lobbying group in Washington that purports to defend Israel. The opposite is true. Hear Glick explain some of the shenanigans Obama has pulled:

    “Today J Street, the self-proclaimed ‘pro-Israel, pro-peace’ outfit, is lobbying the IRS to revoke the charitable status of American groups that work to protect the civil and property rights of Jews in Judea and Samaria. It is also working with Iran’s lobby in Washington and Americans for Peace Now to undermine Republican efforts to sanction Iran for its anti-US aggression.”

    The fact is, Obama is a menace when it comes to Israel, so when he appears to (almost bizarrely) be “helping” Israel with a long-range aid package, he is in fact attempting to control it as much as possible before he leaves office in January.

    Notice what he aims for:

    “For Obama, the MoU [Memorandum of Understanding] isn’t about securing military financing for Israel. The aid is a means for him to achieve a different aim.

    “Administration and congressional sources warn that Obama wished to conclude the MoU in the final months of his presidency to burnish his pro-Israel credentials. He wants his pro-Israel bona fides intact as he enables the UN Security Council to adopt an anti-Israel resolution just after the US presidential election in November.”

    And there you have it. In all likelihood, Obama is here for years to come. He has already promised to stay in Washington (ostensibly so his daughter can finish high school), and there is very real speculation that he is lobbying to become the next UN Secretary General; the job comes up almost at the same time Obama leaves office.

    There, he would surely work tirelessly to render Israel defenseless internationally.

    Jimmy Carter never liked Israel; biblically he is a Replacement Theology guy. Bill Clinton was a self-absorbed pragmatist who caused great harm to Israel.

    But neither approached the naked evil of Obama.

    Israel will be dealing with him for years to come.

    Sep 19, 2016

    When Discernment Dies

    Shimon Peres suffered a stroke this week. The 93-year-old Israeli political icon is the last of the state’s founders and influencers. As of now, Peres is still alive, and doctors will determine soon if he can recover. The old lion has seen it all.

    As prime minister, defense minister, foreign minister, transportation minister, finance minister, and president was born in Poland, a few years after World War I. Just before the Nazis came to power, he emigrated to Palestine.

    He did not have the distinguished military career that many Israeli PMs have had, but did join the Haganah (the forerunner of the modern IDF) in 1947.

    In 1976, as defense minister, Peres was largely responsible for the government approving the rescue operation to Entebbe. He was a member of the Labor Party (roughly the equivalent of America’s Democrat Party) for 37 years, but joined Ariel Sharon’s new Kadima movement in the wake of the pullout from Gaza.

    The role that defines Peres—despite his glittering resume—is as one of the architects of the Oslo Accords, which officially began in 1991 and resulted in the last quarter-century of Palestinian terrorism in Israel. Peres, along with others, apparently believes in the good of man, and assumed Yasser Arafat and the PLO could be reasoned with. This was a catastrophic error, and plagues Israel to the this day. I would argue that it has also led indirectly to the emboldening of jihadists the world over.

    When international media broadcast images of Bill Clinton with Yitzhak Rabin and Arafat on the White House lawn in September, 1993 (the same year the World Trade Center was first targeted by Muslim terrorists), the Muslim world saw it as weakness on the part of the West.

    Peres had a large part in perpetuating the myth that the Palestinians would choose to join civilization. His dogged insistence on continuing “negotiations” is an ongoing tragedy.

    Peres, then, has been an odd mixture of “doing good” and doing bad. He no doubt has always believed in the rightness of his views. He and Leah Rabin convinced Yitzhak Rabin to follow the siren song of Oslo. That has led to thousands of deaths at the hands of Palestinian terrorists.

    I have always remembered the quote from a political commentator, who said that Peres believed that a “Maginot Line of five-star hotels” would convince the Palestinians that free markets and open society were the way to go. The Maginot Line, of course, was the fixed fortifications of the French, which the Nazis bypassed on their way to occupying France. It is an apt description of the idealism of Peres.

    We do wish Shimon Peres the very best in his recovery.

    Sep 12, 2016

    Where are We?

    I noticed this week that as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was visiting foreign dignitaries in Europe, one in the receiving line put his hands behind his back as Netanyahu made his way down the line, shaking hands. Bibi simply gave a slight shrug and moved on.

    This same week, Australia’s foreign minister warmly invited Netanyahu to be the first Israeli premier to visit her country. The visit is scheduled for early next year.

    Only a couple years ago, Israel seemed dangerously close to being totally isolated internationally. Many, including myself, felt that the famous prophecies describing this very reality were very close.

    That is a lesson that we shouldn’t look too far out, but “let the prophecies come to us.”

    Still, there are other interesting developments taking place.

    It is now being reported that Moscow has invited both the Israelis and Palestinians to sit down for talks. No date is set, but it would present a fascinating turn of history if this plays out. Remember, one of the clever aspects of Jimmy Carter’s Camp David talks with Egypt and Israel involved prying the Arab world away from its client-state status with the Soviet Union. The Russians had worked for decades to oppose the West in the Middle East, and two disastrous wars paved the way for the Arabs to look elsewhere.

    We were the elsewhere.

    Now, however, with the deliberate strategy of Barack Obama to bolster his Muslim friends, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, the Russians have seen an opportunity once again. They are back to their old role as an opponent of the U.S. in the Middle East. We have Obama to thank for that.

    It is here I should say that it is my view he is himself a totalitarian in the Marxist tradition. Whether he is actually a Muslim is debatable, but the stone cold fact is, he helps jihadists and hinders freedom. He is doing it on purpose.

    This has created a very dangerous vacuum in the Middle East, and look for the Russians to exploit it far more than their current involvement in Syria.

    Just today, there is an amazing interview in the Times of Israel with neocon Norman Podhoretz, who has raised the possibility that Iran and Israel will engage each other in a nuclear war in the future.

    This of course is not based on his view of eschatology, but geopolitics and the catastrophe Obama has brought on all of us.

    However, I think it’s interesting to note that the Zechariah prophecies are tinged with reality in light of such stories in the media.

    Keep in mind, too, the Russians are working closely with Iran, particularly in their missile defense systems and anti-aircraft systems. This is designed specifically to blunt any Israeli attack.

    John Kerry has just met with his Russian counterpart in Geneva, to discuss each country’s operations in Syria, but no breakthroughs in cooperation occurred.

    Too, there are reports of closer cooperation between Turkey and Russia, leading some to speculate that Gog-Magog is about to break out. We must remember, though, that Turkey’s Erdogan in notoriously difficult to deal with, and follows his own drumbeat. It is a mistake to assume that what exists today will exist tomorrow. Tomorrow might see a deep freeze in Russian-Turkish relations.

    All in all, current geopolitics is volatile and astonishing to watch. Let us resolve to “let the prophecies come to us,” without too much speculation on our part.

    Sep 5, 2016

    Andy Stanley is Dangerous

    Almost 20 years ago, Andy Stanley—the son of Southern Baptist legend Charles Stanley—emerged as a new generation pastor, a man of rare gifts when it comes to communicating. He eschewed jackets and ties and the more formal trappings of traditional church.

    In about 2000, he was instrumental in helping develop a leadership entity known as Catalyst.

    In the midst of all this, Stanley the Younger was in a feud of sorts with Stanley the Elder over the latter’s separation from his wife (Andy’s mother).

    Over time, the son’s church eclipsed the father’s church in terms of attendees, and today Andy Stanley is one-third of what I call the Evangelical Trifecta: Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Stanley. Quite interestingly, Warren is based on the west coast; Hybels holds down the Midwest from Chicago, and Stanley is entrenched on the east coast. In more ways than one, they blanket the country and absolutely control the evangelical narrative. Their books and methologies totally dominate evangelicalism and their church growth techniques are now American dogma.

    In recent years, Andy Stanley has made waves with his brand of what I’d call Progressive Evangelicalism. His prayers at Obama’s inaugurations, and his willingness to allow Michelle Obama to speak at his North Point Church are part of a troubling trend. He also has absolutely helped mainstream homosexuality within the evangelical church.

    What gives?

    Stanley, who comes across as a winsome, easy-going fellow, is really a major change agent. His podcasts, messages, and books are absorbed by many tens of thousands of U.S. pastors.

    I will tell you clearly that I believe he is described in the book of Jude. Men like Stanley have crept in unawares.

    In our time.

    What does this have to do with Israel?

    Stanley’s rise, and that of his fellow change agents, coincides with a sharp downturn of support for Israel in the churches. It’s one element in an overall larger story, but the bottom line is this: Stanley’s watering-down of Christianity runs parallel to the rise of the so-called Christian Palestinianists. While Stanley himself rarely speaks of Israel, many of his friends and associations are anti-Israel.

    Often, people answer me by saying: “But Charles Stanley supports Israel!”

    He does so far as I know, but you do see that’s irrelevant in the context of what Andy Stanley is doing…don’t you?

    Overall, Andy Stanley wants to fundamentally change what the Evangelical Church is. He, like Warren and Hybels, wants conformity and groupthink. He wants you to think as he thinks.

    And he thinks in dangerous ways.

    Late last month, the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission” hosted another self-serving conference in Nashville, titled “Onward” (shockingly, the same title as that of the ERLC chief’s new book; it’s about the marketing, stupid). Stanley was invited to speak.

    Boy, did he.

    While ERLC President Russell Moore looked on grinning, Andy Stanley said the following:

    “I would ask preachers and pastors and student pastors in their communications to get the spotlight off the Bible and back on the resurrection.”

    Get the spotlight off the Bible.

    Welcome to the Age of Apostasy.

    Did you hear what he said? Andy Stanley speaks blasphemy and nonsense…and no national leader says a word.

    Just for a moment, think about the illogical nature of Stanley’s statement: how do we know about the resurrection? Through Scripture.

    Does anybody call him on this nonsense? No. He grows stronger.

    Several years ago, Stanley gave an interview in which he openly said that as a college freshman, he embraced his professor’s contention that Genesis 1-11 is a fairy tale.

    You need to understand this one bit of information undergirds everything he does. It is foundational to his thinking and “ministry.”

    He is arrogant and powerful.

    When you have famous national evangelicals with this kind of worldview, you will see a downturn in support for Israel. Stanley has made several outrageous statements about the Bible in the past three years; in short, he wants people to get their focus off the Bible. Can you imagine such?

    Andy Stanley’s so-called ministry is an outrage. Would that he was held accountable. But he won’t be.

    This is a key reason (though largely unknown by the rank-and-file) why Israel has fallen out of favor. If you relegate the Bible to myth, why pay attention? Why would Israel’s historical claims to the land be more valid than anyone else’s?

    Stanley is helping destroy the American Church. In my opinion, he will be a major reason the American Church morphs into the State Church before too many more years pass.

    He knows exactly what he’s doing.

    And remember: my views of Stanley aren’t the story here. The story is the unconscionable violence he is willingly doing to Scripture and to the evangelical community.

    Aug 29, 2016

    Hope for the Hopeless

    As the world descends into madness—Obama said this week he had to send a planeload of cash to Iran because he couldn’t send a check—we see once again that Israel is a light unto the nations.

    In myriad ways.

    Palestinian society is raised on murder. The Islamist countries in the Middle East oppress and murder their own people. ISIS makes snuff films.

    By contrast, Israel is making breakthroughs in cancer research, giving hope and life to untold numbers around the world.

    According to a report in the Times of Israel:

    “A breakthrough cancer study in which patients suffering from a form of leukemia saw their diseases go into remission after they were treated with genetically modified T-cells has deep roots in Israel.

    “One of the first in the world to work on the innovative adaptive immunotherapy technique to treat cancer, which was hailed Tuesday worldwide as a potentially ‘extraordinary’ development, was Weizmann University Professor Zelig Eshhar.”

    Lab results on mice and rats at the University of Pennsylvania confirmed that cancer was cured in a number of them. This buttresses arguments made by Israeli researchers that the same results can be obtained for humans. Further in the report:

    “In an article in the journal Science Translational Medicine, a team at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center and the Perelman School of Medicine reported that 27 out of 29 patients with an advanced blood cancer saw their cancers go into remission or disappear altogether when they received genetically modified T-cells that were equipped with synthetic molecules called chimeric antigen receptors, or CARs. Those T-cells were able to target and destroy the tumor cells – specifically the ones that were responsible for the acute lymphoblastic leukemia the patients were suffering from.

    “According to officials at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where the research was carried out, patients in the trial – some of whom were told in 2013 they had barely a few months to live – not only survived, but now, after the therapy, ‘have no sign of the disease.’

    “The therapy involves extracting T-cells – the white blood cells that fight foreign or abnormal cells, including cancerous ones.”

    This is but one stream of treatment being developed by Israeli scientists and doctors.

    My prediction? A major announcement will be made soon that Israelis have found the cure for a deadly disease that has plagued mankind for years.

    Astonishingly, this will do little to stem the tide of anti-Semitism washing over the globe.

    However, just like the families of Hamas terrorists who are treated for life-threatening illnesses in deluxe Israeli hospitals, enemies of the Jewish state will gladly take life-saving treatment originating in the Jewish state.

    Even as the cancer of Jew-hatred spreads.