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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  • Aug 18, 2014

    Q Ideas

    Gabe Lyons seems to be a thoughtful sort. The founder of “Q Ideas,” a seminar model based in Nashville, Lyons and his wife, Rebekah, work mightily to bring important issues to growing audiences…mostly the “new generations,” the Millennials.

    I would encourage you to check out Q Ideas at

    From the website, we learn:

    “Q was birthed out of Gabe Lyons’ vision to see Christians, especially leaders, recover a vision for their historic responsibility to renew and restore cultures. Inspired by Chuck Colson’s statement, ‘Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals,’ Gabe set out to reintroduce Christians to what had seemed missing in recent decades from an American expression of Christian faithfullness; valuing both personal and cultural renewal, not one over the other. Re-educating Christians to this orthodox and unifying concept has become central to the vision of Q.

    “Together, we explore topics that fall into four broad themes: culture, future, church, and gospel. Q facilitates the investigation of deeper engagement and responsibility in each of these areas. As we continue to work through these ideas on a deeper level, so grows our commitment to equipping innovators, social entrepreneurs, entertainers, artists, church-shapers, futurists, scientists, educators, historians, environmentalists, and everyday people to do extraordinary things. At Q Ideas, you’ll see a broad spectrum of content represented in our small group curriculum, essays, videos, blog articles, and podcasts. These are all contributed and commissioned to shed light on unique areas of culture and the church.”

    (An initial thought: our only “responsibility,” as given by Jesus Christ, is to follow His command: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. —Matthew 28:18-20. Redeeming entire cultures, while sounding like a worthy goal, is not the mandate, yet this subtle shift in thinking has brought us the Ideas of Men, such as Rick Warren. The call to “redeem entire cultures” and “change the world” has gotten the Evangelical community in America off-track.)

    With Q Ideas, one really does not see a “broad spectrum of content” with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Lyons has, for example, been instrumental in helping distribute the so-called Palestinian narrative — via such speakers as “non-violent” activist Sami Awad — to vast numbers of evangelicals, especially young people. I’d like to show you an example of how a one-sided view of the Arab-Israeli conflict shapes opinion. Witness a link to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, written by Aisha Sultan. Note the opening paragraph:

    “Before bombs started falling on Gaza or a massive ground invasion began, before rockets launched at Israel, I had invited a handful of close Jewish friends to my home for an iftar, the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during Ramadan.”

    Pay careful attention to the chronology: Israel bombs Gaza and sends in a “massive” ground invasion (the IDF actually sent 40,000 troops in to engage at least 20,000 terrorists). Only then were rockets launched at Israel.

    Do you see? Sultan (and, by extension, Q Ideas?) wants readers to believe that for some reason, Israel decided to invade the narrow and congested Gaza Strip and only then did nameless, faceless responders desperately launch rockets to repel the marauding invaders.

    Now, let’s read on:

    “Almost a decade ago, I overheard a group of older Jewish men at a suburban St. Louis grocery, sitting, eating and loudly agreeing with one another that all Palestinians were less than dogs and needed to be wiped out. At the time, I was rattled and quickly left the store. For years since then, I have chastised myself for not having the courage to say something polite to them, to perhaps challenge the narrative in their minds.”

    “The words and actions of some Israeli politicians and the actions of Israeli Defense Forces do not represent some monolith of Jewish opinion. Just as the hateful rhetoric of anti-Semites do not represent the diverse group of people sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians.”

    Now, notice the progression. Groups of Jews favor genocide. Wipe out all the Palestinians. They are dogs, not even human. Sound familiar? Of course it does, because this is Nazi propaganda of 80 years ago. Now practiced by, ironically and tragically, Israel…

    Next, we see that Sultan condemns the decisions of Benjamin Netanyahu and the IDF, as if they do not represent their own people. I can promise you, they do represent their people, and the decisions to degrade the capacity of Hamas to murder Jews was overwhelmingly supported by the citizens of the state of Israel.

    Sultan is wrong. Gabe Lyons is wrong to impose this extreme bias on unsuspecting, earnest young people who want to live in a better world. He and his Christian Palestinianist friends sanitize the entire other half of the narrative, in order to lift up the Palestinians as being under the heel of a Nazi-like blitzkrieg of death and mayhem.

    The efforts to push Palestinian propaganda on the American Christian community, specifically evangelicals, is so strong, well-funded, and choreographed that I suspect within just a few years the people in the pews will turn on Israel as much as the regime in Washington has done.

    The God of Israel is watching.



    Aug 11, 2014

    The Gathering

    This won’t be a classic “Israel Watch,” but I think the topic is important (obviously) for understanding why international dislike of Israel is so intense. Painfully, we start with our own evangelical community. I’ve written about this many times.

    In late September in Florida, “The Gathering” will take place. From the group’s website:

    “The Gathering is a community of Christian givers actively providing comfort, challenge, and cheering on to people all over the world, as well as, one another.”

    Additional information is also available:

    “Almost every day there are stories in the media about philanthropy, major new foundations, and celebrities supporting causes. Still, people don't feel they have any usable knowledge about their giving coming from unbiased sources. And many people don't know anyone else in their same situation…but would like to. They just don't know where to start. That's a good description of why we started The Gathering in the first place. It's not about high visibility giving. It's about your having access to information and perspective that is useful to you. It's about being part of a network of other individuals, families and foundations who are all committed to giving in the Kingdom.

    “What does this look like? Primarily, it looks like our annual conference called The Gathering. Here we bring committed Christian givers together in a setting that allows for learning, worship, new ideas and fellowship. Above all, it is a safe place to meet with others. From the moment you walk in you know you are in the right place for conversations that matter. We do not solicit funds for particular ministries and we do not steer each other in any direction. We don’t pressure people to give or knowingly convict people to give more. People coming to The Gathering make their own decisions. We’re a Community of Givers who are connected like a family taking joy in partnering with God in what he is doing in the world at this time in our lives.”

    For those of you interested in “New World Order” subjects, I would submit to you that this is an example of such. The Gathering is a gathering of religious (and secular) elites who share information and worldviews. The September conference features media leaders, business and finance experts, and mainline church speakers.

    Fascinating note: the conference registration is a staggering $1,750 per person! You get it, don’t you? They are locking-out, in effect, those who do not have access to such funds for a conference. It ensures that only those who would share the worldview of The Gathering will attend. I see this trend developing all over the country, which precludes conservative bloggers, pastors, and apologetics ministries from likely attending.

    My point in all this is that anti-Israel folks are attending and/or speaking. We see Cameron Strang, publisher of Relevant and staunch pro Palestinian advocate; Sarah Pulliam Baily, national correspondent for Religion News Service and buddy of Jonathan Merritt, fellow writer and speaker at the Telos Group boot camp (my term) last fall, in which strategies were developed to advance the Palestinian narrative. Bailey appears to have a center-left worldview; Greg and Susan Jones, United Methodist ministers currently serving at Duke Divinity School (The UMC is among the most anti-Israel denominations in the world); andRussell D. Moore, the president of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, who has made troubling statements about Israel in the context of Replacement Theology.

    Fred Smith, who guides The Gathering, is described in the following way:

    “Fred Smith is a graduate of Denver University and Harvard Divinity School. He spent several years as teacher and administrator at Charlotte Christian School and The Stony Brook School before joining Leadership Network, where he served as President for 12 years. Fred is the President of The Gathering, an international association of individuals, families and foundations giving to Christian ministries. As well, Fred is the Chairman of The Fourth Partner, a non-profit organization focused on Christian philanthropy and community development within the East Texas area.”

    Leadership Network spawned, among other things, Catalyst. All these groups are stocked with people who have a center-left worldview, which is why their burrowing-into the evangelical community is highly significant and damaging.

    They do not “see” the world they way we do. They read the Bible differently. For example, in Smith’s July 17, 2014 blog, “Earthquakes in Diverse Places,” he is not discussing eschatology per se, but rather noting philanthropical acts around the globe. Note how he wraps up the blog post:

    “When Christ was asked what the signs of the end will be he includes the phrase, ‘earthquakes in diverse places’ as one of them. As I listened to Jacquelline speak about the global examples of disruption and spent time with these 12 fellows from all across the world it started me thinking that, in a way, I am experiencing earthquakes and disruptions in diverse places.

    “The people I am privileged to meet with here are fundamentally shifting how we do our work, challenging the old solutions and charting new courses through social enterprises. Maybe earthquakes in diverse places are signs of new beginnings as well?”

    In other words, Smith, like other change agents who identify as evangelicals (ex: Margaret Feinberg, Donald Miller, Todd Deatherage), minimizes the significance of Bible prophecy and Israel, relegating both to symbolism, metaphor…anything but what it really is.

    The Gathering will no doubt feature at least private discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict. No doubt Gaza will be discussed.

    When these subjects do come up, Israel will not be talked about in a positive light. This is but one example (but an important one, as it happens in an “evangelical” context) of the information war Israel also fights.

    Along with us, the friends of the Jewish state.

    Aug 4, 2014

    The Demon Hordes Advance

    In this week’s Jerusalem Post, Jonathan Spyer rightly points our attention to the ghastly advances being made by the Terror Group Formerly Known as ISIS — now simply “IS” — as they seek to establish a caliphate (complete Islamic rule) in the region. At best, most media have been focused on their own propaganda/reporting about the fighting in Gaza.

    Yet IS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) is now growing stronger than the regime troops they are fighting in the two dark holes known as Syria and Iraq. Remember just a few short years ago when the future was rosy for Iraq? Not now. Hindsight is always 20/20, but removing Saddam Hussein from power blew the lid off the fish kettle, and now the brutality Saddam waged on his own people is being widened to include the entire Middle East.

    IS, according to the JPost, is growing in its ferocity:

    “There is mounting evidence that IS has obtained a chemical weapons capacity of some kind, and has utilized it on at least one occasion during intense combat against the Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria. The organization has achieved signal successes against regime forces in Raqqa and Hasakeh provinces that culminated in the capture of the Division 17 base, and the subsequent gruesome execution of over 200 members of the garrison.”

    Slaughter, slaughter, and slaughter are the hallmarks of these thoroughly committed Islamic terror groups, and they are killing scores of Christians and Jews are in the crosshairs, too.

    Where is the outcry from the “evangelical” peaceniks like Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne, and Lynne Hybels, just to name a few?

    You answered correctly: there isn’t any.

    The inexcusable silence from the leftists in the American Evangelical community is a stain on church history, and on their personal histories.

    Interestingly, reports are that Palestinians are fighting in IS groups in Iraq and Syria. That, coupled with the fact that the Hamas capability in Gaza has extended farther than many thought possible, and Hezbollah is busy in the north, signals a new chapter in Middle East tensions. In the past, Israel engaged conventional armies that were not always heroic to the international community (even the media) and they always defeated them, decisively.

    Now, Israel is faced with complex terror wars that operate on many levels: military, political, even cultural. And make no mistake: the Media Wars have become savage and out-in-the-open. We also know that the Obama administration loathes Israel and makes no real attempt to mask that contempt. It is fascinating to note how far American political discernment has fallen regarding Islamic terror in the Middle East.

    In Colonial times, one-fifth of American exports were bound for ports in the Mediterranean. When American shipping was threatened by Muslim pirates, Thomas Jefferson sent the navy to eliminate that threat.

    During World War I, a combination of Islamist and military forces butchered Armenians. The United States sent battleships Montana and North Carolina to the Turkish coast.

    Today, Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry extol the virtues of Islam (a contradiction in terms) and demand that Israel negotiate with terrorists who really do want to kill every Jew in the Middle East.

    As IS continues to murder Christians and plan strategic military operations in order to wrest control of Syria and Iraq from secular governments, it “appears” the noose is tightening around Israel. Stated earlier, Hezbollah is watching Gaza very closely, and reports this week of noise under the homes of Israeli citizens in the northern part of the country would suggest that the same serpent-like tunnel system Hamas has used to great effect is also being implemented in the north.

    Should Syria and Iraq fall to the worst form of Islamist terror, Israel will be forced to go even deeper in its multi-layered attempt to protect its citizens.

    Only a month ago, IS launched an attack on a Kurdish enclave in the northern part of the country, and used U.S.-made Humvees, captured in Mosul, in the attacks. Frankly, the botched withdrawals ordered by Obama have cost many innocent lives, with more to come.

    As for Israeli hard choices, now more than 60 young men have lost their lives as the IDF has sought to destroy the tunnels of Gaza. Again, added to this is the growing threat of Al-Qaida affiliated terror groups operating on Israel’s borders and possibly even within the country. From the JPost article:

    “As far as IS links to Gaza: An identifiable Gaza contingent named the Sheikh Abu al-Nur al-Maqdisi Brigade is active with IS forces in northern Syria, and photographic evidence has emerged of this group’s activities. This group is named after a well-known Salafi sheikh from southern Gaza, killed in an abortive revolt against the Hamas authorities in 2009.

    “IS also has an identifiable franchise within Gaza and northern Sinai itself, according to a prominent researcher of the IS phenomenon, UK-based Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi; the name of the group in question is Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Bayt al-Maqdis.”

    The immediate future is very uncertain on many fronts. But one constant remains: we who cling to the Bible as the Supreme Authority know that Israel will survive and endure. We don’t know the methods the Lord will use to bring this about, but he has promised this and in fact miracle stories are now emerging from sources within the Israel Defense Forces. This will be our topic this coming Tuesday night on RaptureReady’s “Israel Watch” radio program. Join us at 8 CST.


    Jul 28, 2014

    We Will Succeed”

    Perspective is everything, as they say. In the terror war forced on Israel, perspective is important as we struggle to wade through the media chaos about exactly what is going on in Gaza.

    So it was that I greatly benefited from the update by Major General Yaakov Amidror, the former Israeli national security advisor, who took time out of his now busy days last Thursday to provide a briefing to friends of EMET (Sarah Stern’s fantastic think-tank based in Washington —

    The general’s insights into Israel’s Operation Protective Edge (preventing Hamas rocket fire into Israel) were fascinating and the greatest takeaway was this: ignore the media reports that Israel is in a precarious position, or is in any way unsure of what is happening. Amidror made it clear during the conference call briefing that Israel clearly maintains its qualitative edge in the conflict. At one point, he answered a caller’s question about the possible need to finish the job by destroying Hamas:

    To destroy Hamas, we have to re-enter the Gaza Strip…to fight around 20,000 members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. At the end of the day, we will succeed. It will take six months or a year to clean up the area. At the end of the one-year operation, Gaza will not be a threat to Israel anymore.”

    Keep in mind, that’s if the Israelis decide to do that specific operation. At the moment, as Amidror noted, the government is committed to erasing the rocket threat and the infiltration threat that has made kidnappings a major component of the Hamas strategy:

    The prime minister was clear from the first: not to destroy Hamas, but ‘quiet for quiet.’”

    Some of us have a problem with this, with the current Israeli strategy of containing Hamas. Remember, the U.S. followed a policy of containment against Communism for decades.

    And there’s this: none of us have any clue what the Israelis have up their considerable sleeve. This is about strategy and tactical maneuvers and winning.

    It is the tunnels that are the key part of Operation Protective Edge. Amidror said that Israel has not had any intelligence surprises since the operation began (70 percent of the country’s population has been within rocket range, and as of last week, 2,100 rockets have been fired by Hamas; that brings the grand total to around 12,000 since the Gaza pullout in 2005).

    He said that when Israel destroys a tunnel, it takes Hamas two full years to rebuild it. He said that the IDF is identifying new tunnels every few hours and that so far, 30 had been found and destroyed. The destruction of these extensive and sophisticated tunnels is extremely complex and daunting, but the IDF is well capable.

    All of us who support Israel are concerned about the situation, but let’s trust the Israeli leadership to do what is necessary to win this thing the right way, the way they deem best.

    After all, we also know Who fights for them.

    Hamas is in a lot of trouble.



    Jul 21, 2014

    A Protective Edge

    A few days ago, at the outset of Operation Protective Edge, IDF troops targeted the home of Islamic Jihad commander, Ibrahim al-Shawaf. Incredibly, in this terror war Israel seems to be fighting with two hands and two legs tied behind its back, the IDF sent a warning to the residents that the house was going to be targeted.

    Still, the Jew-hating fury that is (predictably) rising around the world demonizes Israel for the inevitable civilian casualties that are resulting from fighting in the densely packed Gaza Strip.

    Al-Shawaf, commander of the “Jerusalem Brigages,” was storing explosives in his home, and encouraging the participation of human shields.

    According to a report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:

    “Using the houses of terrorist operatives to store weapons and carry out military-terrorist activities is familiar from the past. The extensive use of houses for terrorist purposes was exposed in Operation Cast Lead. For example, on December 27, 2008, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) attacked a Hamas weapons cache stored in the house of a terrorist operative in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City. The previous day the IDF had warned the residents of its intention to attack the building and they were told to vacate the premises to prevent harm to uninvolved civilians. Not only did they not leave the house, but civilians mounted its roof to serve as human shields. In view of the situation the IAF fired warning shots with a different kind of ammunition to encourage them to leave the roof. Only after they left did the IAF attack the target.

    “A strong secondary explosion proved that the house had in fact been used to store weapons.”

    As in operations to clear-out terror nests in 2002 and 2008, Israeli forces are fighting a fanatically hostile population, in order to protect their own people. It is a horrible reality, and one can only think that Ariel Sharon would have realized the mistake in pulling out from Gaza. For more than eight years, since the 2005 Gaza pullout, the “Strip” has been used as a lethal terror base against Israel.

    The Jerusalem Post is also reporting similar tactics:

    “Hamas is an expert at embedding itself in the midst of the Palestinian civilian population and using it as human shields, to seek immunity from the army.

    “In recent days, IDF sources reported spotting Hamas gunmen boarding ambulances in Gaza filled with children.

    “Hamas urged residents of northern Gaza to remain in their homes, and provide cover for its concentration of rocket launch squads in that area.”

    The grotesque nature of Hamas—murdering their own people—seems lost on the international community and, as I often maintain, the immoral stance by many evangelical leaders actually gives aid and comfort to the enemy. Palestinian terrorists have long known they can rely on gullible Western religious leaders to provide them moral cover.

    Many have criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not launching a ground invasion earlier. However, it must be remembered that Israel’s forces fight when they are ready to fight, not when public opinion wants them to. They have been “getting their ducks in a row.”

    Already, the Israelis have severely depleted the rocket supplies of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. More than half their rockets are now eliminated. The Jerusalem Post report in fact shows just how successful Israel has already been in Operation Protective Edge:

    “On the defensive front, Iron Dome continues to frustrate Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s attempt to inflict mass carnage and large numbers of casualties in Israeli cities.

    “Hamas invested years in building up its offensive assets; tunnels, the rockets arsenal, and command and control centers. Yet efforts to activate these have mostly ended in failure.”

    Let us pray this continues, and that Israelis will feel safe in their homes again.

    Jul 14, 2014

    The Rockets’ Red Glare

    Since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, Hamas has fired a staggering 10,000 rockets into Israel. When the world hasn’t been silent, it has condemned…Israel.

    Now the terror group can reach Israel’s major cities, including Jerusalem. This is an epic escalation, further upgraded due to Hezbollah’s capabilities in the north. The world awaits Israel’s probably invasion of the Gaza Strip and while the government of Benjamin Netanyahu is being criticized for not moving sooner.

    I suspect the Israelis are lining up their ducks.

    And this time they won’t worry about world opinion.

    At Lamb & Lion’s marvelous annual conference in Richardson, Texas this past weekend, Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries delivered a brilliant and impassioned talk on the various American presidents who have dealt with the Jewish state.

    Beginning with Woodrow Wilson (who supported Zionism) and finishing with the present-day Regime, Jan laid-out devastating contrasts between several presidents. It is instructive for the present moment.

    Let’s pick it up with Franklin Roosevelt. The war president largely ignored Jewish plight in Europe, but his successor did not. We know that Harry Truman gave critical early support for the new state of Israel.

    Dwight Eisenhower, though known somewhat as the chronicler of the Holocaust (he demanded his troops take photos of the death camps, lest the world deny it), sharply divided with Israel over the Sinai Campaign of 1956.

    John Kennedy was a staunch supporter of Israel, tripling aid to the young state; he broke ranks with his odious, anti-Semitic father.

    Lyndon Johnson appeared to have had a somewhat emotional attachment to the Jews; his father reminded him of the biblical promises and LBJ himself saw the horrors of Europe. Yet in the lead-up to the Six Day War, he urged Israel to show restraint. Adding to the complex layers of this complicated man is the fact that he apparently counseled Levi Eshkol privately to keep all the captured territories.

    Richard Nixon, who uttered grotesque anti-Semitic statements on tape, still airlifted desperately needed munitions to Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Golda Meir said later that Nixon saved Israel from annihilation.

    Jimmy Carter. This anti-Semite (and Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher) was dismissive of Israel, and laid the groundwork for future recognition of the PLO. A stain on our nation’s history.

    Ronald Reagan was very friendly to Israel, though he was furious over not being alerted to the attack on Iraq’s Osirik nuclear reactor in 1981.

    George H.W. Bush was a mixed bag, according to Jan Markell, although I believe his circle of advisors included anti-Semites who were the architects of the disastrous Oslo Accords.

    The thoroughly self-absorbed Bill Clinton coldly sought a legacy by forced the “peace process” through numerous times. His tenure weakened Israel diplomatically.

    George W. Bush I do not believe had much interest in the biblical Israel (led to the United Methodist Church by his wife. The UMC is officially anti-Israel, in my view), though he seems to have had sincere motives and tried to help Israel, particularly Ariel Sharon. Still, his endorsement of a Palestinian state leaves much to be desired.

    Barack Obama is a totalitarian and wants to dismantle the U.S., including the historic relationship with Israel. In the latest conflict with Hamas, the White House officially states that Israel has a right to defend herself, but in the next breath, John Kerry urges “restraint” on…Israel.

    This means that the White House does not support Israel’s right to defend itself. This is classic double-speak from Team Obama.

    We are where we are. At the end of the day, though, I am optimistic. There are still Bible-believers in the United States, our beloved country, and we will never abandon Israel.

    I think of my friends like Jan, Dave Reagan, and those who attend these conferences. A shout-out to my Texas buddy, Robert Ellis, whose impassioned faith in these dark times is one of the reasons I think we will weather these storms and emerge into the Glory of the Lord…in His timing.

    What a wonderful time to be alive. History is not guided by presidents or kings or dictators, but by the Lord of History.

    Book it.


    Jul 7, 2014


    Hard as it is to believe, there seem to be degrees of brutality among jihad groups. For the longest, Hamas has been the “worse” option among Palestinian leadership cadres. The Palestinian Authority, as the quasi government of the Arabs who live in Israel, were the suits and “diplomats,” while Hamas favored homicide bombings and on-the-ground operations.

    Now, we see the Middle East burning (due in large part to the feckless American president. Debates arise as to whether he is helping his Muslim brethren or merely sympathetic to their cause) and the astonishing lack of leadership in the West has directly contributed to this cauldron.

    Obama’s hands-off attitude as the worst jihadists rampage across North Africa and the Middle East is a central problem. It has emboldened formerly rag-tag fighters into more cohesive units. Splinter groups off the mother ship Muslim Brotherhood are now beheading and crucifying Christians all across the Middle East.

    Obama plays golf.

    Now comes the chilling word that ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is operating in the Gaza Strip. What this means is that the barbaric gangs literally slaughtering people elsewhere are wresting control from…Hamas.

    Israel has always had to contend with cross-border terrorism and, in recent decades, homegrown terrorism since the Arabs are so populous in the tiny country. Yet I believe groups like ISIS present a higher challenge.

    In a piece for Gatestone Institute, journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, paints a picture:

    “Hamas seems to be losing control of the dozens of terror cells in the Gaza Strip.

    “Hamas prevented local journalists from covering the ISIS rally in the Gaza Strip last month as part of its effort to deny the existence of ISIS in the Gaza Strip. But Hamas seems to be trying to cover the sun with one finger.

    “The Gaza Strip is no longer only a threat to Israel, but also to Egypt. The only way to confront this threat is through security cooperation between Israel and Egypt.”

    Not only Palestinian but also Israeli security forces believe ISIS is responsible for some of the rocket attacks into Israel. And get this, according to the Toameh report, ISIS considers Hamas “too moderate”!

    These developments will bear watching, obviously, in the coming months. The idea that the most extreme of the jihad groups operating globally are in Israel is a mind-bender.

    Stay tuned.


    Jun 30, 2014

    Europe is Impatient. Well.

    No one is quite sure how long of a shelf life the Holocaust had, but I’d say around 1990. That’s when things really began to turn against the Jewish state, as the international power community decided it was time to impose a Palestinian state on Israel.

    Since then, we’ve watched two decades of futility and lunacy become the norm, as the West has pumped billions of dollars into Palestinian infrastructure, only to see it stolen and mismanaged. Parallel to that has been the establishment of an establishment terror entity, known as the Palestinian Authority. Now that the unity government with Hamas is signed and delivered, terrorism will only increase.

    The true story of the “land-for-peace” initiative has been one of disingenuous behavior by the PA and horrific terrorism aimed at Israeli citizens. Through it all, the international community in general—along political, religious, and cultural lines—claims it’s Israel’s fault.

    So then, this past week, word came that European leaders are “losing patience” with Israel over “settlements.”

    In recent days, as well, the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to divest from three companies that do business with Israel, operating in Judea and Samaria. Those companies are Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard.

    Eerily, the European warning/threat runs along parallel lines. In a stunning display of arrogance, the European Union’s ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Anderson, said that the Union is upset by Israeli expansions in the “West Bank.”

    Sadly, France, Italy, the UK, Germany, and Spain warned “their citizens against engaging in commercial ties with West Bank settlements.”

    According to a report in The Times of Israel:

    “’These warnings don’t surprise us,’ Faaborg-Andersen told journalists at a Geneva Initiative event on Friday. ‘The states [of the EU] are losing patience when it comes to continued construction in the settlements, and if the trend continues, more countries will join these warnings against businesses operating over the Green Line,’ he warned.”

    An Italian statement regarding this issue claims that business done in the “settlements” only benefits Israelis. This is profoundly untrue. It is common knowledge in the region that things such as construction projects provide income and job stability for Palestinians. This is rarely reported, because it doesn’t fit the leftist narrative.

    There are also rumblings that companies that do business with the Israelis might be guilty of human rights violations!

    What kind of world are we living in?

    Further in the Times’ report, we learn:

    “The Spanish Foreign Ministry, which placed the warning on its website Thursday, cites European Union policy which deems illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan. These settlements ‘constitute an obstacle to peace’ and the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the statement said.

    “’The potential buyers and investors should know that a future peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians, or between Israel and Syria could have consequences both for properties acquired and for economic activities promoted in said settlements,’ the Spanish statement said. ‘In case of litigation, it could be very difficult for member states to guarantee the protection of their interests.’”

    These cold winds blowing signal a real uptick in the hostility growing for the Jewish state.

    The EU warning is, in my view, much more damaging than the Presbyterian vote, although the mainline denomination’s decision will further help shape the next generation’s view of Israel.

    Last week, a key Christian Palestinianist, upset with something I had written in the Jerusalem Post, referred to me on Twitter as that “Rapture Ready tool.”


    It doesn’t bother me in the least, especially to be associated with this community. For one thing, if we don’t understand world events in light of prophecy—which clearly tell us that human civilization will reach its end with an evil hatred of Israel—then we cannot discern much of anything.

    The EU and Presbyterian decisions are distressing in one sense, but we must keep our eye on the fact that God is in control.

    He said it would be this way.


    Jun 23, 2014

    (Contact us at Prophecy Matters about having a “Why Israel?” or a “Prophecy Matters” seminar at your church or community center. You can reach me at,

    Bad Theology

    Some longtime members of the Presbyterian USA are waking up to a new reality, only days after the conclusion of the denomination’s General Assembly. There, a slight majority voted in favor of divesting from three companies—Hewlett-Packard, Caterpillar, and Motorola—that do business with Israel.

    The divestment strategy, part of a broader “BDS” agenda (Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions), has been coordinated by a relentless wing of the PC-USA, the left wing.

    The victory is a real one for opponents of Israel and Christian Zionists. Make no mistake: Christian supporters of Israel are in the crosshairs of the haters of Zion. In fact, one can track the parallels as Israel is (astonishingly) castigated internationally…in the wake of the Hamas kidnapping of three Israeli youth. Just as the Jewish state is villainized while being a victim of Middle Ages-level anti-Semitic incitement, so too are Christian Zionists vilified at every turn.

    My friend Brian Schrauger was hauled into Palestinian Authority headquarters last week and questioned. Brian, a freelance journalist who has provided some of the only reporting of anti-Israel activity (including the infamous “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference in Bethlehem), was warned that he wasn’t safe living in Beit Jala, a village outside the famous biblical town.

    PA/PLO officials told him that “locals” and “internationals” had complained about his reporting. What this means is that they put his life in danger.


    Is anyone else outraged about this?

    The Jew Haters in the Church are feeling giddy now, what with divestment now enshrined in the PC-USA. All these other wins for the other side have emboldened folks like British activist Stephen Sizer and American filmmaker Porter Speakman, Jr., who both lobbed hateful jabs at Brian, via Twitter. Sizer asked if he had enjoyed the PA “hospitality.”

    Is anyone else outraged about this?

    These events are happening at the same time Israeli forces search for the three youth (Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah, and Gilad Shaar). On Thursday of last week, U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon said there was no “concrete evidence” the three boys had “actually” been kidnapped!

    What kind of world are we living in?

    The effrontery of Ki-Moon, evidently just another garden-variety diplomatic hack, is still shocking. One would expect such a punkish response from a terror entity, but for the head of the global body to show such indifference to Jewish life and suffering is astonishing.

    When Israel is perceived to be on the ropes, her enemies rub their hands together and laugh.

    A Religion News Service article about the divestment victory in Detroit (ironic location) hit on a key point, one I’d like to develop:

    “But the vote also bodes ill for Presbyterian-Jewish relations, which are particularly fragile since the publication in January of ‘Zionism Unsettled,’ a booklet produced by the church-chartered IPMN and sold on the PCUSA website, which argues the right of a Jewish nation to exist in the Holy Land is based on bad theology.”

    A host of anti-Christian Zionist/Israel activists promote this idea that we have “bad theology.” Stephen Sizer, Gary DeMar, Colin Chapman, Gary Burge, Brian McLaren, Lynne Hybels. The list goes on.

    But I want to make a point here that I hope you will take to heart: a person who appears to speak with authority is not the same as a person who speaks with authority.

    Brian McLaren is feted by much of the religious world. Gary Burge has an advantageous perch at Wheaton. Sizer, somehow, finds the money and time to globe trot to bash Israel. Hybels uses the powerful bully pulpit of the Willow Creek Association to spread her activism.

    Yet critical thinking is required here. I point you to a short essay that Hybels wrote for a Catalyst-distributed booklet,
    “Known.” The booklet was printed specially for the Catalyst Dallas event in May, 2014.

    Listen to her faith journey, which took her from the “old-time religion” to…something else.

    “In my early forties I experienced a crisis of faith. The Christianity I’d grown up with was about being good and working hard and following the rules in order to placate an angry God. It was about being an athlete winning the prize and a soldier advancing the work of the Kingdom, thereby avoiding hellfire and damnation. A sensitive little girl, I took it all to heart and did my best. But after nearly four decades of striving to earn God’s love, I was exhausted. God had become a burden I no longer had the energy to carry.

    “So I quietly turned by back on God.”

    Bill Hybels is now 62, so his wife is, I believe, in her late 50s. One of the interesting elements of her story is that she turned her back on God relatively recently. Let’s say that was 15 years ago. By that time, Willow Creek, both the local church near Chicago and the gargantuan Willow Creek Association (a coalition of 7,000 churches, from 90 denominations in 90 countries) had become perhaps the leading influential body with the Evangelical community.

    That means that Lynne Hybels pretended to be what everyone thought she was. For some time, she and her husband had associated with left-leaning thinkers. They have hosted Bill Clinton, Tony Campolo, and T.D. Jakes, among others. A little-known fact is that this dynamic ministry duo has been mentored since the 1970s by anti-Israel propagandists, as well.

    Further in the “Known” article, Lynne Hybels reveals that in her faith crisis, she began to read the works of folks like Julian of Norwich and Thomas Merton. She began moving more to the left. Eventually, she says, she became “thankful” for turning her back “on my childhood god.” She emphasized that she had come to also turn her back on “words” by which she must mean Scripture alone.

    Hybels has stated since then that when it comes to the “theology” of the Christian Zionists, well, she simply rejects that particular brand of theology.

    See how clever this is? For those who don’t dig deeper, Lynne Hybels sounds like a great spiritual leader.

    In point of fact, she rejects what the Bible says about Israel and the Jews in prophecy because she wants to reject it.

    Do you see?

    She decided not to accept the biblical promises to the Jews. That’s why she fits in so well with her friends, the Awad family of Bethlehem. I’ve had conversations with them and with other Palestinian Christians who have told me they simply “don’t like the OT promises to the Jews.”

    So they ignore and sanitize those ubiquitous passages from sermons, lectures, books, and blogs. They advocate for a worldview that parallels that of the PLO, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

    A quick aside: I’m aware there are different views of the origins accounts in Genesis, among Christians. However, it is incredibly fascinating to learn that Darwin and his friends in England in the mid-19th century did not arrive at their naturalistic conclusions because of “science.” Various modern scientific fields such as geology, astronomy, and biology were in their infancy, research-wise.

    Rather, Darwin and his “X-Club” associates—men like Thomas Huxley, Herbert Spencer, and Joseph Dalton Hooker, who met regularly for dinner for 30 years in London—came to their personal views because they wanted to disbelieve the Bible. It’s as simple as that. Why do you think evolutionary philosophers like Charles Lyell arrived at an age for the earth of hundreds of thousands of years?

    Because they were making it up! Why did not Lyell assign an age to the earth that fits current evolutionary thought, 4.5 billion years? He knew that such vast ages would never square with his contemporaries, so he said, in essence, “Look, go ahead and believe in Genesis, the flood, etc. It’s just that the scientific method today shows us clearly that the earth is much older than the biblical chronologies allow.”

    This was the beginning of widespread disbelief in the Bible, in the Western world. Compromise with Genesis led to compromise elsewhere. Those long ages? Lyell, Huxley, and Darwin knew perfectly well they had cooked and manipulated the data, for philosophical reasons. They then sold it to the masses as fact.

    The point I’m trying to make is that all anti-Bible philosophers simply decide not to believe some or all of it, and because they sound like authorities, many believe them.

    Those who created “Zionism Unsettled” and their friends do not reject Christian Zionism because it is “bad theology.”

    They reject it because they want to.

    Millions are being deceived by the deep and dark associations that have now infiltrated evangelicalism. (You can read my latest blog at the Jerusalem Post here, for added detail:

    The hatred of Israel, Jews, and their friends the Christian Zionists is accelerating. It is in large part because advocates of the Palestinian Narrative are demonizing folks like us 24/7. We have different ideological views because we make choices. We decide what to believe. It really is as simple as that.

    Palestinian propagandists would have you believe they arrived at their worldview because they are just seekers of truth.

    Those who support divestment, demonization of Israel, and mainstreaming Palestinian propaganda should at least be honest enough to tell their constituencies that they arrived at their worldview because it a philosophical choice.

    Don’t expect them to do that, however. Such an admission would neutralize their propaganda.



    Jun 16, 2014

    (Contact us at Prophecy Matters about having a “Why Israel?” or a “Prophecy Matters” seminar at your church or community center. You can reach me at, or

    Why Israel?

    As a pro Israel activist for the past two decades, I’ve listened to a great many conversations about Israel and the Jewish people, from every conceivable angle: religious, cultural, political.

    At Prophecy Matters, we have developed a seminar series that explains—both in big picture and in detail—the story of Israel and the specialness of the Jewish people. I am convinced that while much of the American church is asleep with regard to these subjects (and the growing intensity of fulfilled prophecy), I also know from experience that all age groups are engaged during such presentations. They want to know what the Bible has to say about the future, and they are profoundly curious about the relevance of Israel.

    I also have the conviction that our lack of understanding in these areas contributes to a weakened Christian community overall. At a time when celebrity pastors (many of whom quietly dislike Israel) feed the congregation sugary nothingness (self-help “sermons,” increasingly sophisticated tithing pitches, and plain old heresy), the people are starved for hope and meaning in life.

    When properly understood, the story of Israel and the Jewish people can serve as a lighthouse for people whose faith has been shipwrecked, or never left port to begin with. I’ve seen it time and time again. Conversely, I am astonished at the current evangelical leadership, at a discernment level. Here is an example of the drift currently happening within evangelicalism:

    I just finished reading a paper, presented in November 2000, by Dr. Russell Moore, to the Evangelical Theological Society. Moore, you will recall from “Israel Watch,” is the new head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.” He replaced Dr. Richard Land, who—among other things—was always pro Israel.

    Moore is not that.

    The ERLC chief issues somewhat ambiguous statements regarding the role of Israel in modern history and in prophecy. But several points in his ETS paper telegraph where he’s coming from. Try this one:

    “As the influence of Reformed theology has increased at the popular level of contemporary evangelicalism, so has the tendency to dismiss a future for Israel as a long-discredited chestnut from the notes of the Scofield Reference Bible.

    “‘We believe the answer to ‘What about the Jews?’ is, ‘Here we are,’ writes Reformed apologist R.C. Sproul Jr. ‘We deny the church is God’s ‘plan B.’ In a more scholarly treatment of the issue, O. Palmer Robertson asserts, ‘The future messianic kingdom will embrace equally the whole of the newly created cosmos, and will not experience a special manifestation of any sort in the region of the ‘promised land.’”

    Moore himself is careful not to completely tip his hand as to his personal views on the matter, but the fact that he quotes folks like Sproul, Timothy Weber, and Craig Blaising speaks volumes.

    In my view, a man who cannot properly articulate the meaning of the whole of Scripture will grope about as he tries to face the increasingly pagan culture. Prophecy makes up about 35 percent of the Bible, and the Jewish people figure prominently from Genesis to Revelation. You wouldn’t know it from America’s current crop of evangelical leaders.

    This is exactly where Moore is standing at the moment. In effect, he speaks for the SBC and wields tremendous influence as far as that goes. Yet the SBC, by its own statistics, has lost 700,000 members in the last few years. This is stunning, because the world’s largest Protestant denomination was never mentioned in the same sentence as the United Methodist Church, or any number of other mainline denominations that have been hemorrhaging members for decades.

    I believe the “Church Visible” (the large, mega-church/church growth entity dominated by Rick Warren methodology) is profoundly weak in American culture, right at this moment. You will notice that its leaders do not speak with any sort of moral clarity at all. Controversial, cultural-battle topics are rarely mentioned by this crowd.

    I notice that none of America’s evangelical leaders speak out about the demonic hordes of Islamist terrorists now rampaging across the Middle East and elsewhere. Does anyone know if Warren, Andy Stanley, Bill Hybels, Bob Roberts Jr., Hank Hanegraaff, or Shane Claiborne has issued statements about Boko Haram, or ISIS? Probably not, since this would rub against their friendliness with Palestinian, Muslim Brotherhood, and Iranian leaders.

    In the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli yeshiva students, by Palestinian terrorists, we hear zero statements from any of the aforementioned “leaders.” One of the youths is an American citizen. Right at this moment, the IDF is conducting a massive search to find the boys. Claiborne & Friends have gone silent in the face of this humanitarian outrage.

    My point in all this is, our national leaders at all levels are failing us, including in their worldview regarding Israel and the Bible. Think of the many billions of dollars given to corrupt Palestinian leaders. Think of the colossal blunders in foreign policy and diplomacy, all from leaders in this country—very much including evangelical leaders—who do not discern the role of Israel, the Jews, and predictive prophecy in our era. Think of the influence on our political leaders by leftists like Jim Wallis.

    That’s why it’s critical that we network together. Our presentations at Prophecy Matters are engaging, thorough, and prayerfully designed to help your congregation discern the times. Our “traveling exhibit” of artifact reproductions, historical documents, maps and more bring a visual dimension, as well.

    The hour is late.