10 Aug 2020

Again?

This week’s monster blast in Beirut brought out another rash of predictions from Bible prophecy teachers and students convinced that Gog-Magog was (or wasn’t!) about to break out. Or this or that specific prophecy from Jeremiah or one of the Minor Prophets was on the near horizon.

I don’t get it.

I do understand wanting to get out of here. The world is a mess, and in fact I think a terrific case can be made that we are living the fulfillment of 2 Timothy 3:1-5—

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

And sure, there are plenty of prophetic signs that we are in the last days. But we’ve been saying that since about 1975. The problem is when someone emphatically states that Jesus is coming back this year, or “by September,” or some other date.

Much of the public has just tuned-out from all that. I can’t say that I blame them. Actually, I think we have two extremes that are harmful: those that predict a specific Bible prophecy is coming to fulfillment soon, and then those on the other end of the spectrum—skeptics and mockers.

I don’t understand why we can’t greatly anticipate the Lord’s return, while at the same time putting our own predictions on a shelf.

We should have learned by now that so many predictions by Bible prophecy teachers (isn’t that ironic?) just turn out to be false. Another date passes, another prediction goes nowhere.

I also note that many of these teachers claim to have some inside knowledge (“a source in Israel tells me”) that this or that is imminent. Few of us have real contacts, at least high up in military or political circles, and even if we did, does it make sense they’d play it loose with information critical to the State’s security?

It was reported this week that Hezbollah terror chief Nasrallah has threatened in the past to use ammonium nitrate to attack Israel, and he has been seen on video footage claiming that Hezbollah has missiles that can strike ammonia tanks stored in Haifa, thus killing and injuring perhaps a million Israelis.

I think the reality is, we know very little about is really going on in geopolitics, and in the dark recesses of terror centers. Perhaps Nasrallah is telling the truth, perhaps he’s not. Disinformation is the name of the game in the Middle East. The truth is, we don’t know if the blast in Beirut was really from improperly stored ammonium nitrate, or whether it was a terror act.

Again, looking at an occurrence like this, then claiming that it has something to do with a prophecy recorded 2,500 years ago, is really irresponsible. Dozens of times in just the last 10 years, I’ve heard someone claim that this or that event is the unlocking of a prophecy that will usher in the appearance of the Messiah.

None of those predictions was on the mark.

I simply don’t understand why we can’t enjoy Bible prophecy study and highly anticipate the future and the Lord’s Day without fitting every evening news story into the Book of Isaiah.

Some will be upset with me. I grew up with Dispensationalism. I believe most of the things that the RR audience believes. I just don’t like seeing more irresponsible predictions from prophecy teachers who really just want to stand out from the crowd and be the “go-to” source for Bible prophecy.

Our go-to source for that is the Word of God.

Much better to study prophecy in a responsible way and in turn teach our children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, etc. They will listen.

If we stop crying wolf every day.

Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

3 Aug 2020

I will write more about this in the coming weeks, but ahead of this week’s “Israel Watch,” I feel compelled to say to those of you afraid or stressed about the world right now: Be of good cheer! Yes, things are “bad.” Since January, every day feels like waking up in some Hollywood epic thriller. But the Christian has the Blessed Hope. Since the 1st century, believers have watched for this day! We are privileged by the Lord to live when we live. Let’s encourage each other this week!

Israel’s Genius Enemies

Proof that the enemies of Israel and the Jewish people have a satanic origin is the millennia-long network that always follows the same playbook:

Delegitimize the Jews.

As I’ve written many times in the last several years, the most dismaying plan of attack against the Jews is what I call the “Israel problem” for American evangelical leaders. In the last 20 years, since many of the “icons” of Evangelicalism have passed from the scene, the Church Growth Movement gurus—men like Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Andy Stanley—have injected their models into countless congregations. Like it or not, these models have totally changed once-great denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention. And none of the men I just mentioned are pro-Israel. Far from it.

(I am SBC, so feel that I have a right to say this!)

Even Pentecostal communities, including the Assemblies of God, have been hijacked when it comes to teaching Bible prophecy and the Jews’ role in history.

Right now, the dark forces seeking to change America (including and especially the Church) are laser-focused on evangelical Millennials, even “Baby Boomers.” This is done in myriad ways, but always with a smiling, attractive face.

I recently read a piece on the Catalyst website that illustrates this, and shows clearly the connection between Marxist/totalitarian agendas and Israel-bashing. Remember, these traits perfectly rest in Barack Obama, still so popular with young audiences.

This quote comes from Brenda Salter McNeil, and it appears at Catalyst:

“So I’ve been struggling to understand that, and articulate that, and I’m beginning to understand that we tend to stay in our own silos unless something shakes us out of them. They’re catalytic moments, and whether we like the black lives matter movement or not, it is hard to dispute that it was a catalytic event in our time. That it got our national and global attention. When I was in Ferguson, I met a woman from Palestine. I was shocked that people all around the world are watching us, and wondering how we’ll respond to the unrest and the injustice that’s around us.”

Let’s break this quote down a bit. First a quote from Frontpage:

“The Michael Brown case was arguably the fruit of the poisoned tree for the Black Lives Matter movement. Its hate rallies still incorporate the spurious, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” slogan. The Brown case was so fundamentally fraudulent, built on propaganda and lies, that even the Obama DOJ ended up having to boot it and stop the persecution of a police officer whom eyewitnesses testified was clearly defending himself.”

Now, let’s look closer at McNeil’s statement.

Brenda Salter McNeil makes it clear that she aligns with the Black Lives Matter “movement.” She “went to Ferguson.” That means she went on pilgrimage to the town in Missouri where Michael Brown was killed by a police officer. Forensic evidence puts the lie to several points made by BLM activists, namely that Brown was just an innocent fellow murdered by the Establishment.

Next, McNeil oddly mentions that she “met a woman from Palestine.” You need to understand that Palestinian activists/terrorists journey to America and insert themselves into civil unrest, so as to agitate the situation. For a long time, PLO operatives have sought to get American blacks to identify with their “revolutionary” movement, ostensibly aimed at overturning “racial injustice.” Just as the Israel Defense Forces brutalize innocent Palestinians, so they say, American law enforcement is systemically involved in brutalizing minorities.

On July 31, McNeil tweeted this meme:

“I am convinced that we can no longer preach Jesus without JUSTICE.”

Of course, this is false teaching. We are to preach Christ crucified. That’s it! No tacking-on of pet issues from social justice warriors.

Among the left-wing, self-professing Christians touting McNeil are Fuller Theological Seminary President Mark Labberton, radical Shane Claiborne, Ruth Haley Barton, and Eugene Cho. She is published by mainstream Christian publishers Brazos Press and Intervarsity Press.

Point being, all these people move in circles that are anti-Israel to the core. McNeil visits “Palestine.”

Palestine hasn’t existed (even then it was a regional name, not a sovereign entity) since 1948. Why continue to call it “Palestine”? Why refer to “Palestine” as if it is a current sovereign entity?

Because leftists hope for that. They thirst for it. For them, it means the end of Israel. That is the goal.

And American evangelical celebrities are helping drive that bus.

Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com