Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem


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

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  • May 2, 2016

    Our Enemies’ Frustration

    For more than a hundred years, attacks on the Bible have undermined churches in America. Beginning in the late 19th century, the anti-Bible positions of scholars in Germany—and the Darwinian philosophy coming from London—leveled steady attacks on the credibility of the Bible, starting with Genesis.

    These attacks, though they were refuted by a few like Robert Dick Wilson at Princeton, devastated American seminaries, which were producing next-generation pastors. Biblical accounts like the Exodus were called into question. It was claimed that multiple anonymous authors/editors contributed to the great prophetic books, like Isaiah.

    Why?

    Only one reason: those unbelieving scholars did not want to believe that God can predict the future, and instruct His prophets to alert us to future events. The scholars, like all leftists, do not want to follow the One who sets the rules.

    A couple generations ago, the biblical scholar Edward J. Young wrote, about the critics of the Bible’s prophetic books:

    “They are destructive, for they are seeking, whether consciously or not, to destroy the words God has spoken.”

    This was from Young’s book, Who Wrote Isaiah?

    The title of the book is strange, because, we think, we know who wrote Isaiah: Isaiah.

    That’s if you believe the Bible is true. If you don’t, then Isaiah must have been written/collected/edited by an unknown number of people, who recorded history, not prophecy. The critics simply do not believe anyone can accurately predict the future, so the yet-future declarations from the prophet’s book could not have been written before the events came to pass.

    This is part of what Henry Morris called “the long war against God,” in which unbelievers would seek to continually undermine true faith. An added outcome was the damage done to Israel’s reputation: if the biblical promises to the Jews are not valid, then today’s Israel is not legitimate.

    Gary Frazier and I discuss these things in our new book, The Miracle of Israel. Incredibly, in modern America, few sitting in the pews have any real knowledge of what the Bible says about anything. The specialness of Israel and the Jewish people is near the top of that list.

    Let me give you a practical outcome of generations of these attacks on the Bible.

    Relevant magazine, produced for Millennials and those in that group who are evangelicals, never misses an opportunity to mock Bible prophecy, at least the brand studied and taught by, say, Dispensationalists.

    I believe that the publisher, Cameron Strang, at some point rejected the prophecy community his father (Charisma publisher Steve Strang) had long operated in, and the problem is, he reacted too strongly the other way. Certainly, there have been excesses in the prophecy community, but not to the degree its critics allege.

    There is a massive, coordinated effort right now to undermine prophecy teaching in America. And, as I’ve always contended, if you do not understand modern Israel through the lens of prophetic Scripture, you won’t get it.

    Relevant advocates for the Palestinians and supports authors who accuse Israel of war crimes (Donald Miller).

    But the ripple in the water extends far beyond that.

    In the latest issue of Relevant, Issac Edwards writes a piece titled, “Through Hell and Back,” in which he produces a puff piece about the heretical Rob Bell.

    My point is this: the farther one moves from believing all the Bible is true, including its marvelous predictive prophecies, the more one embraces humanistic philosophies.

    And yet, when it comes down to it, nothing can stop the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Israel and the return of the Jews to their ancestral land is central to that message. That Relevant and others decry Israel’s “Occupation” of the Palestinians is…irrelevant. Their advocacy for the enemies of the Jewish people is shameful and doomed to failure.

    In the meantime, they will continue to apply the pressure to Israel that they can (Relevant’s digital and social media reach is staggering, far outgaining anything that can be produced by prophecy teachers in today’s climate).

    In the end, though, it won’t alleviate their frustrations that Israel marches on toward her destiny.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    jim1fletcher@yahoo.com


    April 25, 2016

    Munther Mendacity

    One of the ways our ideological opponents in the Arab-Israeli conflict work their plan is to use disinformation and misinformation to advocate for the Palestinians. Nowhere is this more intense than in the Church. Pro Palestinian advocates distort, spin, and lie about Israel and her Christian supporters.

    Readers of “Israel Watch” will recall the claim that Israel’s security fence (called a “barrier” or “wall” by Palestinian advocates; remember, words and imagery are all-important) completely encircles Bethlehem.

    This is simply a lie.

    Only one side of the security fence in Bethlehem is the high cement wall; it is in place to prevent Palestinian murderers from shooting at Israeli cars on the highway. The other sections of the fence are wire. Keep in mind, too, that much terrorist activity in Bethlehem and surrounding villages has killed Jews. It is also the center of the so-called “Christian Palestinianist” movement.

    Another brazen lie came in the book, Red Letter Revolution. There, co-authors Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo claim that for every Israeli “settler,” there are three bodyguards. This is absurd, in a country of eight million. If these two leftist authors are correct, more than one million bodyguards live in the country.

    When I challenged Claiborne and the editors at Thomas Nelson about this inaccuracy…nothing was done.

    Of course. That’s how propaganda works: lie big and double down.

    Now, a new column by Munther Isaac (“Reverend at Bethlehem Christmas Church and Academic Dean at Bethlehem Bible College”) displays classic propaganda. Virtually every sentence can be refuted. I’ll concentrate on two for now.

    (By the way, Isaac is a key figure in the “Christ at the Checkpoint” gathering, which is the nerve center of anti-Christian Zionist feeling.)

    Early on in the piece, Munther says:

    “How do Palestinians perceive Christian Zionism? I will argue, that Christian Zionism is more than just a theological belief about Israel and Jews – it is an Imperial Theology.  Today, it is also – willingly or not – a political movement. Let me start with a short definition of Christian Zionism as Robert Smith defines it:

    “’Christian Zionism is political action, informed by specifically Christian commitments, to promote or preserve Jewish control over the geographic area now comprising Israel and Palestine.’”

    Did you see what he did there? The phrase “I will argue,” in his first paragraph, is meaningless. Why? Because Munther Isaac & Friends, vicious opponents of Christian Zionism, want you not to notice that they are giving you their opinion of what Christian Zionism is.

    Further, Christian Zionism is not a political action. It is a biblical worldview, rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures, which are dominated by the entire sweep of Jewish history. It is a belief that the Jews are entitled to settle their ancient land.

    Leftists always manipulate language. Unsolicited advice: never let them set the terms in a debate.

    Next, Isaac takes issue with Genesis 12:3:

    “Joel Rosenberg, a regular Fox News analyst and NY Times bestseller, explains that if the US would turn against Israel, this would result in an existential threat to the future of the United States. Rosenberg, like numerous others, bases this on Genesis: ‘In Genesis 12:1-3, the Lord God vows that He will bless those who bless Israel and the Jewish people, and curse those who curse them.’ What amazes me is that Gen. 12:1-3 does not actually mention Israel. It is about Abraham. This verse comes in the midst of a glorious mandate to Abraham to become a blessing to the nations – a mandate that was eventually fulfilled in Jesus, who is Abraham’s seed according to Paul, when he died on the cross. How was this glorious promise turned into the recipe of foreign policy today towards a  secular state?”

    Genesis 12:1-3 does mention a nation coming from Abraham. Further in the book of beginnings, we learn that Abraham’s son Isaac is the “child of the promise” and through him the Jewish people would come.

    One can argue that Christian Zionists could cite another passage to buttress their argument (and there are hundreds of others in the Old Testament that prove the specialness of the Jews), but Munther Isaac’s argument here is very weak. Context and thorough scriptural examination is always missing from the quiver of the Christian Palestinianists.

    Just know that Palestinian propaganda against Israel and her supporters in the Church is heating up, with no end in sight. Using either clueless or complicit evangelical leaders in America is a big weapon in their arsenal.

    But in the end, they underestimate the staying power of Zionism. When they come to their senses, we’ll be waiting for them at the finish line, with an outstretched hand.

    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    April 18, 2016

    Palestinian Propaganda and the UN

    For decades, the Palestinians have been very friendly with the United Nations, and the latter has helped the former to spread gigantic lies about Israel. The many and varied lies also touch on Jewish history, or, to say it a better way, the denial of Jewish history.

    The Palestinians, beginning with Yasser Arafat, learned from the Soviets how to manipulate people with lies and propaganda, and it has always been relentless.

    Since last year, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have resurrected the total lie that Israel is trying to destroy the Al-Aksa Mosque, on the Temple Mount. Make no mistake, this kind of egregious lie will one day be Judged. Until then, Israel must also fight on this front.

    Let me be clear: there is no plot to destroy the Al-Aksa, or the Dome of the Rock. It’s painfully obvious that the Israelis have no interest in doing such a thing, and their security teams make sure no lone wolf attack can take place. I’ve been there several times and the security measures undertaken before one is allowed on the Temple Mount make it impossible for someone to smuggle anything onto the site that would damage the structures.

    Yet the Palestinians continue to knowingly lie. Why? To keep their people in a constant state of turmoil and rage at the Jews, and the deflect attention from their own evil and corruption.

    When you step onto the Temple Mount, the Al-Aksa (originally a Byzantine church) is on the right; the Dome of the Rock is on the left. Palestinians continually stream into Al-Aksa to pray and also be radicalized by clerics’ “sermons” that incite them to do violence to Jews. That Israel allows this behavior is somewhat of a mystery, but since the Six Day War, the policy has been to basically allow the Palestinina wakf (religious authority) to do what it wants.

    The evil Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh contributes to the incitement, which has led to many Israeli deaths, which the UN does not care about. According to the Jerusalem Post:

    “Haniyeh on Friday pledged that the current 'intifada' against Israel will continue as it is the will of the Palestinian people.

    “’There are those who try to bury the al-Quds (Jerusalem) intifada, but this intifada will continue and it is the option of the people, the nation and the entire generation,’ he said at a rally in Gaza ahead of the Palestinian Prisoner's Day.”

    Recently,  the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), has issued another menacing resolution against the Jewish state:

    “UNESCO’s Executive Board in Paris on Friday adopted a resolution whose language ignored Jewish ties to the holy religious site of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall area in Jerusalem’s Old City.

    “The broad ranging resolution condemned Israeli actions in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. But the resolution focused in large part on Israeli actions with regard to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall Plaza.

    “The resolution also charged that Israel had planted ‘Jewish fake graves’ in other Muslim cemeteries located on Wakf property east and south of the Al-Aksa mosque.

    “The 58-member board approved the resolution 19 with 33 votes in favor, six against and 17 abstention. Two countries, Ghana and Turkmenistan were absent all together.

    “Those countries who opposed it outright were: Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

    “France, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden, Russia and Slovenia were among those countries who supported the resolution.

    “A second resolution that more globally condemned Israeli actions, passed with 45 votes in favor, 1 vote against and 11 abstentions.”

    The “fake Jewish graves” is language straight out of classic Palestinian propaganda, which proves that the PLO is helping shape even the propaganda language of UNESCO.

    The truth is, the world stands by and tolerates horrific lies about Israel. Bill Clinton knew Arafat was denying Jewish history (claiming the Temples were never on the site). International diplomats listen to these kinds of lies constantly.

    The two Democrat candidates for president knowingly lie about Israel (Clinton claiming Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal, while Sanders accuses the IDF of war crimes in Gaza). Of the Republicans, it’s likely that only Ted Cruz understands the detail about geopolitics in the Middle East.

    Let me say this: the toleration of lies about Israel from the international diplomatic and political community parallels that of church leadership that does the same thing. For decades, mainline church officials have cuddled up to the Arafats of the world, and now even evangelical leaders are totally silent when anti-Semites like Donald Miller accuse the IDF of war crimes in Gaza…with no documentation.

    All this means of course that the global political and religious elites are birds of a feather. Corrupt and heartless, their cruelty and calculation are part of their desire to throw the Jews under the bus, hoping the jihadist will leave them alone. But notice: the putrid resolution from Paris comes from the same city attacked by jihadists. And Europe’s de facto capitol, Brussels, is also the victim of a jihadist attack.

    The demons that run Hamas and the Palestinian Authority will have a short shelf life. So will all those who use their religious authority to spread lies about the Jews and Israel.

    I wonder if they will be Judged more harshly in that day, simply because at least in theory, they should have known better.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    jim1fletcher@yahoo.com


    Apr 11, 2016

    (Be sure and take advantage of our special offer for Jim’s new book, The Miracle of Israel!)

    Don’t Forget About Iran

    As Barack Obama continues working his Marxist plan of undermining the West—a key plank being chipping away at Israel’s deterrence against her enemies—the Jewish state remains confident it can meet all challenges.

    That includes the Iranian nuclear threat.

    All through history, despots have underestimated the Jewish people. In his second term, Obama has allowed leaks about Israeli security and operational plans, which experts believe hindered Israel’s ability to deal with Iran’s existential threats.

    Yet the Israelis always work one, two, or ten steps ahead.

    During a recent speech at a cultural event, Israel’s director of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Amos Yadlin, declared that Israel can deal with Iran:

    "[The] Israel Air Force can meet the challenge of exterminating Iran's nuclear reactors if necessary."

    Yadlin also noted Israel’s successes in this arena in the past, including a 2007 strike against Syrian nuclear facilities. He pointed out that if Syria’s reactor was not knocked out, it would today be in the hands of ISIS. A similar situation arose in 1981, when a daring Israeli airstrike in the Iraqi desert destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor. Think of the implications a decade later, when Saddam’s forces were defeated by the U.S. in Kuwait.

    An interesting situation now exists on the diplomatic front, as well. As the Middle East burns, thus affecting Europe and the West, Israel’s stature is rising. Let’s not jump to conclusions and think the entire international community will condemn an Israeli strike on Iran.

    South Africa is one more country of late that is warming up to Israel. South African ambassador Sisa Ngombane says his country is serious about improving ties. While the two countries were equal as recently as 2009 in terms of exports, Israel now exports four times as much product to South Africa.

    Not only is Israel’s military the envy of the world, its technological advances are coveted. More African countries are cozying up to Israel, and even Arab nations like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are following.

    For those who have predicted disastrous international implications were Israel to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, it’s just as likely world leaders will be relieved if Iran is removed as a regional threat.

    And there is growing evidence that, leaving Israel out of the equation, Iran is a lethal threat to everyone else.

    Recently an Iranian hacker gained control of the sluices of a New York dam (the gates had been taken offline for maintenance just before), a signal that the mullahs are up to much mischief. It remains a serious threat that Iran or some other rogue nation will launch an EMP attack against the U.S., which would prove catastrophic.

    Many express wonder that Obama would seem so soft on Iran, or so incompetent in the face of his absurd nuclear “deal.” He is neither soft nor incompetent. In fact, if few will say so, we must say clearly that he is anti-American and anti-West, and is in effect a plant in the White House, to weaken America.

    Getting down to brass tacks, the question becomes: Why would Obama do everything but hand Iran a loaded gun? Isn’t he worried about his own safety, should there be some type of attack on this country?

    My answer would be that Obama won’t be here. He’ll be in Switzerland, or Qatar or on an Australian beach. Far from the action. Far from the danger.

    This is one reason he expresses no real concern over Iran’s threats.

    All this destabilization among the nations points to another fast-fulfilling Bible prophecy: as the nations are set up for judgment, Israel finds divine favor and protection.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    jim1fletcher@yahoo.com


    Apr 4, 2016

    Selling Out Your Friends

    For a long time (officially, since 1948), the world has offered the Jewish state to totalitarians, if said totalitarians leave them alone.

    The French, the British, the U.S. State Department, and now the European Union have routinely placed Israel in a perilous spot, if it would appease the Arabs.

    Astonishingly, this week Syria—Syria!—admonished Israel in the U.N. Security Council for its treatment of the Druze on the Golan Heights! This on the heels of Obama’s taking in a baseball game in Communist Cuba while Brussels burns and…released Gitmo terrorists have murdered Americans.

    The outrage has reached historic levels. Our government not only no longer protects us, but puts each of us in peril. Likewise, the Obama administration has sold-out Israel diplomatically. The international community is following that lead.

    Caroline Glick recently wrote:

    “Europe’s funding of anti-Israel campaigns like its bankrolling of the PA does not make the EU incompetent to deal with the jihadist forces that are presently assaulting its member nations and citizens. But it is true that there seems to be a direct correlation between hostility to Israel and inability to competently fight jihadists. And this makes sense. If you believe that Israel is the cause of the pathologies of the Islamic world, then you will likely be blind to the nature of the jihadist threat and the danger it poses to your nation.”

    It is clear that Europe does not know how to fight the jihadists in the arena. Decades of offering Israel’s head on the block has resulted in…Europeans being murdered by the same jihadist mindset Europe wanted to appease.

    Appeasement is an abysmal failure. Always.

    I am old enough to remember the gas lines from the 1973 oil embargo, our “punishment” from the Arab world for supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur War—which was designed to help Syria and Egypt liquidate Israel! Our State Department has been manned by Arabists (those loyal to the Arab world, at the expense of Israel), and if jihadists were today able to do to us what they are doing in Europe, they certainly would.

    Barack Obama wants that scenario in this country. There is no other explanation for his seemingly insane policies of helping jihad and handicapping America. There is no other explanation.

    Now, his protégé in Canada, Justin Trudeau, is echoing the same insane rhetoric.

    As it seems the last glimmer of rationality is leaving our planet, thankfully there is still some wisdom; Glick is such a voice:

    “Following the ISIS strikes in Brussels, both Israeli and American security experts spoke bitterly of the ineptitude of Belgian security services. It is not that the forces themselves are incompetent. Rather, the experts said, their political leadership refuses to allow them to take the actions necessary to protect their country.

    “The Belgians, like their European brethren generally, refuse to deal with jihad. Rather than acknowledge and deal forthrightly with the phenomenon, they seek every possible excuse to ignore it.

    “According to senior government officials, the Belgians are among the most vociferous foes of Israel in the EU. Europe’s obsessive castigation of Israel is a central aspect of their jihad avoidance strategy. If Israel is to blame for everything, then they can save themselves by pouring billions of euros on the PA and by funding Israeli anti-Zionist subversives.

    “This position is of course irrational. In clinging to it, the Europeans have enabled the jihadist forces arrayed against them to gather and grow.”

    Yes!

    My dear friend, Dr. Alex Grobman (who partners with me in our “Israel in the International Community” seminars), has a term to describe this: reversal of culpability.

    In other words, the victim becomes the villain. If Europe is confronted with demons in its midst, Europe blames…Israel. They are reversing the blame.

    It has never worked, and now Europe and other global communities are beginning to realize the horrifying truth: jihad wants to kill everyone.

    Selling out your friends always fails.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    jim1fletcher@yahoo.com


    Mar 28, 2016

    Israel Is On It!

    One of many remarkable things about Israel is the innovation that the tiny nation possesses, in order to do big things for the world.

    I’ve known about this for some time, but am still astonished by each new thing brought forth from Israeli minds and hearts.

    My friend Marcella Rosen, founder of Untold News, has launched a new campaign to highlight these innovations. The “Israel Is On It!” initiative brings to light the fact that far from being a pariah state, or an apartheid state, Israel is actually a world leader in making people’s lives better. The media campaign was created to raise awareness of Israel's major contributions to the environment, medicine, and technology.

    Simply put, Israelis ask, How to make the world a better place?

    Israel Is On It is a project by Untold News, a 501C3 based in New York City. Untold News is dedicated to building support for Israel by highlighting positive news about Israeli innovation. For example, it is not generally known that Israel has sent Crisis Teams to many nations in trouble, or that they produce nearly as many start-ups as all of Europe combined. Untold News is not political.

    The campaign launched in January, with ads in the NYTimes, print and digital editions. The objective: to inform and intrigue younger Americans with Israeli inventions that benefit their lives. (This demographic is weakest in their support for Israel.)

    Over 2500 have visited the campaign website (www.israelisonit.com), where information is shared about nine major Israeli inventions. Of these visitors, 61% are under age 35 (76% are under 45).

    ’d like you to consider helping Untold News with this campaign. It will cost you nothing to visit the site, and invite those in your network to do the same. Should you choose to help financially with a donation, you have my personal guarantee, Israel Watch reader, that your money is going to a good cause.

    (For more information contact Felica Koby: fkoby@untoldnews.org.)

    Consider these mind-bending inventions:

    How To Drink Seawater

    Six years ago, Israel was almost out of water. Today, there's plenty to go around, thanks to Israel's advances in desalination (removing the salt from seawater) and recycling of wastewater. Severe water restrictions (like limiting showers to two minutes) have been lifted.

    25% of Israel's fresh water is now created through desalination. Israel has also become the world leader in recycling wastewater for agricultural use. 86% of wastewater in Israel is recycled, creating more than half the water needed for farming.

    As reported in the New York Times, Israel has a multi-pronged effort to end the drought.

    Good for Israel. And because Israel is happy to share what it's learned with our drought-threatened world, good for all of us. Israel’s IDE Technologies Ltd has built the US's largest desalination plant in San Diego, California using Israel-invented reserve osmosis technology.

    How To Read A Terrorist's Face

    Israeli tech companies are working on an airport system that can detect emotional strain in a passenger – a specific kind of strain that is associated with people who intend to commit an act of terror.

    WeCU (pronounced 'We See You') Technologies uses psychology and physiology to thwart evildoers. The WECU system puts subliminal images and remote sensors in the environment, causing wrongdoers to have involuntary reactions like raised blood pressure, increased heart rate or sudden, rapid breathing. These reactions are instantly picked up and analyzed in real time.

    WeCU has received a grant from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an agency of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security. Once implemented, WeCU technology will keep passengers in airports from Tel Aviv to Toledo a whole lot safer.

    There’s much more at the Israel Is On It! Website. Take a few minutes and help a fantastic cause.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    jim1fletcher@yahoo.com


    Mar 21, 2016

    It’s Not Complicated

    Recently in a Charisma magazine newsletter titled, “Standing With Israel,” a writer titled his piece, “Is the Current State of Israel the Fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy?”

    Technically, the correct answer is “yes.”

    The writer, however, took 594 words and 10 paragraphs to offer a meandering sort-of answer to the question. His real aim was to present his exchange with a rabbi over the identity of the Messiah. The rabbi had called in to a radio show to enter into a debate with the author of the above-mentioned article. The rabbi offered his view of Israel as a modern state:

    “From my understanding of a biblical perspective, today's state of Israel is a bastion of evil; a country filled with immorality. Also, Scripture also tells us not to awaken or arouse love before God desires. I don't believe in Jesus, but I'm waiting for Messiah to come. Until this happens, I see the existence of the state of Israel as being against what the Bible teaches. God sent us into exile to be a light to the nations, not to go and hide in one little part of the world. Israel is the Holy Land, but today it's filled with heresy and wickedness. And even if it wasn't, according to Scripture, it's just not the time yet for this return to the land.”

    Now, I don’t agree with anything the rabbi said; as a Bible-believing Christian, I know who the Messiah is: Jesus Christ.

    I do wonder though why the writer didn’t really address the title of his blog. He was so busy trying to convince this rabbi of the identity of the Messiah that he missed an opportunity to lay out the case that yes, of course modern Israel is the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. In fact, he diverted into a brief discussion of Daniel and Israel’s “seven-year peace treaty.”

    In my opinion, it would have been better to show clearly from Scripture that Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Why not list several prophetic passages that deal specifically with Israel’s return to the Land in the last days? Jeremiah 30, Amos 9, Isaiah 66, Deuteronomy 30.

    I get the desire to reach a rabbi by discussing the Messiah, but why not lay the foundation first of the irrefutable proof that Israel must be a modern nation-state again before other prophecies can be fulfilled?

    It amazes me that so many diverse groups totally miss the gigantic, specific fulfillment of prophecy from the ingathering of the Jewish exiles.

    We miss an opportunity when we do not present relevant Scripture and then say simply “yes” to the question of the writer’s blog.

    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Mar 14 , 2016

    War or No War in ’16?

    Although Israel is always ready for a regional war—a nation unique in history; can you imagine France or even the U.S. in a constant state of war-readiness?—it appears that experts think the chances of war with Hezbollah in the north or Hamas in the south are remote for this year.

    Yeah, that’s what they said in 1973.

    Still, for strategic reasons, Israel is in reasonably good shape. The army has never been better or better equipped, and their enemies are reeling.

    In the south, a Muslim government in Egypt is fighting and battering Hamas. Who would ever have imagined such a thing? The terrorist group is now sandwiched between a modern Muslim army and the IDF. It makes little sense to think they will engage any time soon.

    And what of Hezbollah? This other terrorist-demon group is now pinned-down in Syrian fighting, the civil war that is now in its fifth year. The carnage forced on Syrians is changing facts on the ground; no longer is Sheik Nasrallah and his evil shock troops (about 14,000 fighters strong) able to harass Israel as they once were.

    According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, Hezbollah has all sorts of problems:

    “The Lebanese Shi’ite organization also has 15,000 reservists who are called to duty for training or field missions for up to 40 days a year – similar to the IDF reserve system. So far, Hezbollah has lost nearly 1,500 soldiers, killed in action – many of whom belonged to its elite units – and more than 6,000 have been wounded. Hezbollah’s losses are a heavy blow to its military capabilities and have dented its morale to go to war with Israel.

    “FURTHERMORE, HEZBOLLAH is suffering from a serious economic crisis. Its annual budget is estimated at around $1 billion, 70 percent of which comes from Iran and the rest from taxes, levies and trade, mainly in drugs and contraband cigarettes, and electronic appliances. Due to the sanctions regime imposed on Iran (soon to be lifted), Tehran in recent years has had difficulties meeting its financial commitments to its Lebanese proxy.”

    Good.

    While Iran will no doubt resume funding Hezbollah, it is still a fact that the Lebanese-based terror group is not quite as mouthy as it once was. It’s true that they still have tens of thousands of rockets to aim at Israel, but the latter is also technologically equipped to deal with any threat. In fact, this week I was talking to an Israeli tech company chief and he remarked that Israelis create solutions to problems that don’t yet exist! Think about that for a minute; it makes the Jewish state all the more remarkable.

    Here, I want to interject again, as I have recently, that Bible prophecy teachers who try to exactly pinpoint geopolitical realities are dealing in folly. Think about the fact that virtually none of the problems that faced Israel five years ago in the Middle East exist today.

    The Israelis are coordinating with the Saudis(!) on strategy for dealing with Iran. Egypt’s al-Sisi is a strongman, but one relatively friendly to Israel, and his handling of terrorist attacks is perhaps unprecedented in the Arab world (although Egypt is not technically Arab, they have long been a leader in the region).

    Jordan is still Jordan, meaning King Abdullah, though he blusters about the injustices toward the Palestinians, is still a realist and knows Israel routinely saves his hide.

    Saddam is gone from Iraq. Assad is hiding-out in Syria.

    All of a sudden, much of the mischief that used to be aimed at Israel is now a Sunni-Shi’ite Hatfield-and-McCoys affair.

    So from a geopolitical perspective, Israel is in pretty good shape. In a biblical sense, Israel is home free.

    Thank the Lord above that we get to watch all this play out.

    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Mar 7 , 2016

    Trump and the Jews

    More than ever before, I feel like just an observer during the presidential election, like I’m somehow emotionally disconnected from the circus-like atmosphere. Never before have I seen so many broken relationships over politics…within the Republican Party. Friends and family seem to split over who is supporting Donald Trump, who is supporting Ted Cruz, Rubio, Carson, etc., etc.

    And, it’s another “most important election of our lifetime.” Aren’t they all, anymore?

    I don’t, however, mind being tagged as a single-issue voter, and this year, national security and our relationship with Israel top the list.

    Although the Republican Party seems on the verge of cracking up (the Establishment loathes Trump and vice versa), the New York billionaire seems poised to win the nomination.

    My purpose here is not to tell you who I’d vote for, or even try and influence you, but if Trump is the nominee, would that be good for Israel?

    Look, a bag of toy soldiers, or an artichoke would be better for Israel than Barack Obama. That menacing presence in the White House for eight years has damaged the Jewish state, which was his intention all along. Anything is better than Obama.

    Next, Trump’s daughter converted to Judaism and he has deep ties to the New York business world. He has moved in high-roller circles for a long time, and seems to genuinely appreciate Israel’s successes in business and hi-tech.

    Yet there are troubling signs, too. Last month he said he be a “neutral guy” in the Arab-Israeli conflict. He also has been dismissive about moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem; according to the Jerusalem Post:

    “At a Republican Jewish Coalition candidate’s forum in December, Trump demurred when asked if he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In January, he appeared to shift gears when he promised to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. ‘We are for that 100 percent,’ Trump said.”

    His famous waffling came into play there, but to be fair, it doesn’t matter if presidential candidates promise to move the embassy; they don’t do it once in office. Trump wouldn’t, either.

    He has expressed admiration for Israel’s security fence, since much of his campaign rhetoric centers around building a giant wall on our southern border. So he seems to be “with” Israel in terms of practicality. But where is his heart?

    Despite claiming to be a “strong” Christian, it’s doubtful that Trump really does read the Bible more than anyone else (as he said that he does). It’s highly doubtful he would see geo-politics in the prism of Scripture, and I doubt he puts any stock at all in Israel’s title deed to the Land.

    Perhaps the most important issue at hand is the “deal” Obama did with Iran on nukes. Interestingly, Trump has loudly and often denounced the deal as horribly incompetent, and it is, certainly.

    But what a lot of people don’t realize through all the rhetoric is that Trump didn’t pledge to dissolve the deal. He merely said he’d be a much tougher negotiator. Even though the “deal” is not a binding treaty. Why not just get rid of it and go back to sanctions?

    I have no doubt that Donald Trump would not be an enemy of Israel, as Obama surely is. He would be a vast improvement.

    Just don’t expect any dramatic, positive breakthroughs from him in the Oval Office, with regard to Israel.


    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Feb 29, 2016

    The Miracle of Israel

    Over the years, many people have asked me for a resource that explains the basics of Israel in Bible prophecy. There are some good ones, but I always thought that one day I’d produce one.

    That day has come.

    With my good friend (and one of the very best Bible prophecy teachers) Gary Frazier, I’ve co-authored The Miracle of Israel. The thrust of this easy to read book is that if God keeps His promises to Israel, then He will keep His promises to all people. This, against the astonishing backdrop of the detail with which God fulfills prophecy. A dominant them of the Old Testament is that God is going to restore the Jews to their ancestral land, period.

    This He has done, in our time.

    The book itself is a primer of sorts for those who want to understand the Big Picture.

    We trace the history of the Jewish people from the beginning, presenting this story of the ages in a clear way.

    Our publisher, New Leaf Publishing Group (the publisher for my dear friend and late mentor, David Allen Lewis, who got me involved in prophecy and pro Israel advocacy) has agreed to help me with an offer I’d like to make available exclusively to readers of “Israel Watch.”

    In a marvelous gesture, NLPG will also give a FREE digital copy of my book, The Last War (which features an interview with the late Ariel Sharon) for each Miracle of Israel copy you order for $13.99. The link for this offer is as follows:

    http://www.nlpg.com/miracle-of-israel-jim-fletcher-signed-edition

    If you’d like to order an autographed copy, drop me an email and let me know what special message you’d like written in your copy, and we’ll do that. Also be sure and ask NLPG for special discounts on bulk/case quantities, which work well for Sunday school settings and home studies.

    A year ago, Gary had the idea for this book and graciously asked me to be part of it. I must tell you, too, that Gary’s whole approach to Bible prophecy teaching is beautiful in my opinion. He keeps the main thing the main thing, and doesn’t get distracted by weird speculations and extra-biblical nonsense. I appreciate that very much. As such, The Miracle of Israel relies on Scripture itself, along with incredible stories from the history of the Jewish people, particularly in modern times. We also include interesting “factoids” and other information useful to the reader. The goal is to educate both Christians and people who have no faith, because, after all, most people do not have a real understanding of the specialness of Israel and the Jewish people.

    Thanks for your help in getting this message out; I genuinely love the readers of “Israel Watch,” and corresponding with many of you. So remember, get your specially signed copy of The Miracle of Israel!

    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Feb 22, 2016

    Don’t Be Distracted

    Avigdor “Yanush” Ben-Gal died this week.

    The former Israeli general, a tank commander, had, like so many of his colleagues, a glittering military career. Distinguishing himself in the Six-Day War, and providing key leadership under fire in the Yom Kippur War, Ben-Gal also helped plan the Entebbe raid.

    His backstory is perhaps even more fascinating.

    Before I get to that, I want to mention something else that happened this week, within the Bible prophecy community, and then circle back around to Ben-Gal.

    A couple Bible prophecy teachers are sparring over the timing of certain prophetic passages, things obviously still future.

    I am so tired of this stuff.

    Our society is disintegrating, we are reaping the rotten fruit of a century of scholarly attacks on the Bible (and with it, generations of ill-equipped pastors), and oh by the way, opportunities for sharing the Gospel have never been greater.

    (Thank goodness for teachers like my friend, Gary Frazier, who keep the Good News at the forefront of what they do.)

    It is sadly necessary to continually remind people that we have a limited understanding of how certain Bible prophecies will play out. We just can’t know certain things. The chronology of wars predicted, the actual flow of sequences in the very last days…most of this we cannot ourselves predict with any real degree of accuracy.

    Yet some insist on doing so. They immerse themselves in details of battles and international and regional alliances. They get into fights with colleagues over the timing of the Tribulation, etc.

    What a disservice they do to the Body.

    Can we not keep our eye on the ball? Can we not be satisfied that we are privileged to live in the final days of world history, from where the Lord will usher-in eternity? We live in the time Israel is reborn. We live in the time (painfully) in which the Church Visible is apostate.

    Why engage in speculation? And usually it’s wrong speculation, to boot!

    Let me be clear: I do not care to know the precise timing of the Gog-Magog War. The public “out there” doesn’t care to know it. It will happen when it happens and if we live long enough, we will see it happen on our television screens.

    What people are interested in is the fact that the world is disintegrating, and individuals are rightly worried about themselves and usually, their families and friends. This is ripe Gospel timing. This is the great harvest.

    At the same time, Bible prophecy teachers and some students are enmeshed in intricate timelines and personal mini-wars to prove they are right.

    As I’ve said before, Israel lives right now, and in precisely the way God foretold it literally thousands of years ago. He predicted it when the Egyptians were still a dominant world power! And it is that Big Picture that we should focus on, in my humble opinion.

    The international community is squeezing Israel. The international community has lost whatever moral compass it had, and condemns Israel in the most heinous terms, while giving a pass to the real bad guys.

    Is not this obvious, Big Picture stuff from Bible prophecy? Read the Old Testament and you’ll have all the amazement from prophecy you need.

    Why sink into the mire of ego by focusing on precise timing of future battles, etc?

    Back to Ben-Gal.

    He was born in Lodz, Poland, in 1936. Not a great historical place and time to be a little boy.

    His family fled to the Soviet Union, but he and his sister were separated from their parents. The elder Ben-Gals later perished in the death camps, but the children made their way to Palestine.

    In 1973, Ben-Gal commanded 7th Armored Corps. Two weeks before the surprise attack by Egypt and Syria, Ben-Gal sensed something was amiss. This set him apart from others in the political and military echelons.

    When Syrian tanks poured over the Golan on the evening of October 7, Ben-Gal’s men met them. Against 750 Syrian tanks, 175 Israeli tanks held off the invaders, losing dozens while destroying hundreds.

    Three years later, Ben-Gal helped formulate the plan that would take a strike force of commandos to Uganda, to free 105 Jewish hostages held by the Ugandans and terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

    A dramatic life.

    Do you see the point? God moves through His history, and has miraculously preserved the Jewish people exactly as He said He would. He has raised-up His warriors for such a time as this.

    Think of it: a terrified little boy flees the demonic Hitler and in later life helps save his people.

    There’s your Bible prophecy.

    Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.

    The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, until he hath done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it. (Jeremiah 30:23,24)

    The Lord has raised-up, and is raising-up, a mighty army filled with men like Avigdor Ben-Gal. He takes the vulnerable out of danger and later uses them as His instrument of punishment for the wicked.

    Just as He predicted He would.

    The text of the Bible itself is amazing enough. The prophecies therein are incredible and worth our time to consider. As opposed to looking at them and using our own intellects to speculate on precise timing.

    Please consider sharing Big Picture Bible prophecy with people, most of whom have never opened a Bible. Talk to them about the basic structure: God has promised to preserve His people through history, so that they are in place to be His instrument of justice.

    The Jews have re-entered History; they are sovereign in the land; the international community hates them; the end-times players are coming into focus.

    Pretty simple.

    The Gog-Magog War is coming. It will happen when the Lord has determined it will happen. Any infighting among prophecy teachers over that timing is a freewheeling adventure in Missing the Point.


    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com
    jim@prophecymatters.co


     

    Feb 15, 2016

    Why Israel? The AIFL and Church Outreach

    For a long time, as I spoke in churches around the country, I wondered what a well-rounded Israel advocacy seminar might look like. As an individual, I could do some things, but my expertise only goes so far.

    Enter some new friends. The America-Israel Friendship League was formed in 1971, with the purpose of strengthening relationships between Israelis and Americans. In the intervening years, the AIFL’s delegations to Israel (which include students, state attorneys general, and bloggers) have become a hallmark of the organization, and have influenced like-minded trips from other pro Israel groups.

    In short, the AIFL staff and leadership blend a secular seminar model with the proper emotional component. The result is a nearly half-century of deluxe advocacy.

    Last year, I joined forces with the AIFL for a very specific goal: engaging churches to foster not just wider support for Israel, but deeper support. The capper for me was the inclusion of two friends, Dr. Uri Bar-Ner, and Dr. Alex Grobman. Uri is the former Israeli ambassador to Turkey, while Alex is a premier Holocaust scholar and great friend to evangelicals. His books and lectures are solid-gold, and I’ve personally benefitted from his teaching.

    We’ve all been to Israel many times (Uri lives there) and our knowledge and network of friends is unique and especially valuable for American church audiences, many of whom now are being confused by advocates for the Palestinians.

    We launched last year (in California) our “Why Israel?” seminar format, and the result was so successful, we decided to get more ambitious for 2016. Our topics range from the biblical truths about Israel and the Jewish people, to diplomacy and global terrorism.

    Our 2016 itinerary is already set (we might have a couple slots to squeeze in, if your church is interested), and I’m looking at 2017.

    Because some groups present only a secular advocacy model, and others present “only” a biblical component, audiences sometimes are left without a well-rounded picture. I humbly think your congregation would benefit greatly from hosting our team.

    (An added value for a host church: there’s no cost to you! We pay our own way. We also do not penalize congregations from being small; we are happy to go anywhere.)

    Our seminar formats are varied and flexible. If your church prefers a one, two, or three-day seminar, we can do that. We are also happy to come in for an information-packed evening.

    If you are a pastor or church leader who wants to explore having our Why Israel? team come to you, just drop me a note. I’ll be happy to provide you with more detail.

    In only the past four years, I’ve noticed a terrible uptick of pro Palestinian propaganda coming into American churches. Why Israel? is a specific corrective to that propaganda, and we stand ready to serve you.

    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com


    Feb 8, 2016

    The Next White House and Israel

    Many of us are “issues” voters. In fact, who isn’t? Leftists like to tag conservatives as “issues voters,” then they do the same thing by voting for immoral candidates who support abortion, etc.

    But what kind of relationship will Israel have with the next president?

    That’s one of my issues.

    We can predict fairly easily what the Democrat will do, if one is elected. It will be at least four more years of Obama’s anti-Semitic agenda. The only Democrat currently running that has a chance of winning is Hillary Clinton, and the sleazy Clinton has a decades-long history of befriending the Palestinians. Part of her email scandal involves her exchanges with aids and advisors that show a clear hatred of the Jewish state. Just get a load of her exchanges about Israel with Sid Blumenthal.

    Clinton was also deeply involved in her husband’s pressuring of Netanyahu and Israel in the ‘90s. In short, she is an old-school leftist who would be very bad for Israel.

    But what of the Republicans?

    Donald Trump doesn’t seem to be much of an ideologue, and that would probably be a benefit. He has done business with Israelis and the relationship seems warm and genuine, so his experience there would no doubt be positive. No doubt he and Netanyahu would get along swimmingly.

    I heard Ted Cruz a couple years ago speak at a Christians United for Israel Summit in Washington. He sounded like a Likudnik, a real Zionist who is a genuine friend of Israel.

    Marco Rubio also seems to have genuine affection for Israel.

    Interestingly, I think it is the governors in the race—Bush, Christie, Kasich—who would be decidedly less friendly, but it’s a moot point because none will sniff the White House.

    Carly Fiorina I think would have made a good president, and as my good friend Matt Buff explained the other night on the “Israel Watch” radio program, Fiorina might get a shot next time. She certainly is friendly with the Israelis and Netanyahu.

    The only Republican candidate (now former) who would be indifferent at best (and probably hostile) toward Israel is Rand Paul. Thankfully, Paul will never get past the Senate.

    Presidential candidates usually trot-out their alleged support of Israel, then when they assume office, that support disappears. But John Kasich’s recent comments about Israel and the Obama Administration seem genuine, and genuinely impressive:

    “’Israel has given a lot of stuff back. They gave Gaza back. How is that working out? They have everything launching into Israel,’ Kasich said. ‘I don’t know how you get a two-state solution when people are walking into your country and stabbing people. I will say this: Recognize the State of Israel, guarantee their permanent security, stop launching Katyusha rockets into Israel, stop sending in people with knives to kill people in Israel — they went from rocks to knives now — and knock it off. And then, I think you can get to a two-state solution.’

    “Kasich asserted there will never be permanent peace and Israel should search for stability.

    “’Every day that you go by without there being major problems there, that is a win,’ he said. ‘And I can tell you, we are not going to bully Israel; it’s their survival. It’s just very serious stuff. It’s like – man, we want to survive.’” (Jerusalem Post)

    One thing is certain: if a Republican wins the White House come November, the dreadful damage done to our relationship with the Jewish state, by Obama, will be reversed.

    And that’s one big positive outcome of surviving eight years of the Marxist.

    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com