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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  • Feb 23, 2015

    Election Watch

    If we know anything about Israeli politics, it’s as predictable as the weather in Wichita.

    It isn’t predictable at all.

    Benjamin Netanyahu is still the front-runner, as the incumbent. At least this morning. That might change by afternoon.

    Not surprisingly, Netanyahu has recently come under attack for alleged spending improprieties, something that has dogged him in the past. Who can forget the important story from years ago when it was revealed how many cigars the premier smoked in one year in office.

    It’s a personal opinion, but when we see poll results that bend with every allegation made against a candidate, such results indicate the relatively shallow knowledge of the average voter. For example, if Netanyahu spent too lavishly in the last year in office, does that really matter, or impinge on his ability to deal with Iran?

    Because that’s all that matters, baby.

    Netanyahu’s Likud Party has been swapping places with his rivals’ party, Zionist Union. Two weeks ago, Likud had a four-seat lead, last week one, and now the Likud rival has a two-seat lead in the race.

    Through it all, most pundits figure Netanyahu will still emerge as the Israeli leader again, over political foes Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni.

    When it comes down to it, Israelis are far more concerned about security than any other issue, including how much money Netanyahu’s wife spends. At the end of the day, I believe they will vote for him again, since the crisis with Iran looms large. Remember, Israel is under an existential threat, a far different reality than any other country on Earth.

    With Israeli elections set for March, just after Netanyahu’s speech before Congress (look for a boost in his poll numbers after the speech, since of course most of Israel will also watch), the soggy negotiations conducted by the Americans with Iran are a sight to behold. Obama is conceding to every single (major) Iranian demand, at the same time he makes weekly, almost daily bizarre statements in support of Islam.

    Obama’s strange behavior is all the more ominous, since he is also going out of his way to abuse our great ally, Israel. Assuming Obama leaves office in two years, it is perhaps more important to look slightly ahead at the post-Netanyahu/post-Livni/post-Herzog political landscape, for such a landscape has interesting biblical angles.

    International pressure on Israel is tightening, dangerously. Yet it is not at the level “necessary” for, say, Zechariah’s prophecies to be fulfilled. Indeed, quite ironically, Jordan and even Egypt are cooperating with Israel mightily in the vicious fight against ISIS.

    But looking at the next several years, when right-wing Israeli leaders like former Netanyahu aid Naftali Bennett. The leader of the Bayit Yehudi party sounds like a biblical leader, vowing not to cede any more territory, and make Zionism a strength of the country again.

    One can never know what will happen in the future, of course, but it might just be a Bennett, and not a Netanyahu, who delivers the Jewish people again from the Persian menace.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com


    Feb 16, 2015

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    It is 2,000 B.C. Again

    The few evangelical Christian leaders, nationally, who still stand strong with Israel are warning that anti-Semitism has risen to dangerous levels all across the globe. In particular, John Hagee is often heard to say that, “It’s 1938 again,” in reference to the acceleration of hate crimes against Jews in Europe, in the lead-up to World War 2.

    I would argue, however, that anti-Semitism has always been at dangerous levels, going back to the dawn of the Jewish people, in the time of Abraham. Global communications makes it appear in our day that things are escalating, but remember that Jew-hatred has appeared in every era.

    What is shocking to us now is the sheer number of global leaders that stand for it.

    Caroline Glick, writing in this week’s Jerusalem Post, made a bold (but wholly accurate) statement:

    “U.S. President Barack Obama is mainstreaming anti-Semitism in America.

    “This week, apropos of seemingly nothing, in an interview with Mathew Yglesias from the Vox.com website, Obama was asked about terrorism. In his answer the president said the terrorism threat is overrated. And that was far from the most disturbing statement he made.

    “Moving from the general to the specific, Obama referred to the jihadists who committed last month’s massacres in Paris as ‘a bunch of violent vicious zealots,” who “randomly shot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.’”

    Obama’s loathing of Israel is well known; I believe he is also an anti-Semite, as are certain evangelical leaders in the United States who advocate for the Palestinians. It is incredible to most of us that we live in a time in which the American president is an enemy of Israel. Frankly, didn’t we expect this after the Rapture?

    And yet, the targeting of Jews around the globe is having the effect of driving Jews toward their homeland. In fact, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is openly saying that very thing, telling European Jews that the attacks will continue and even get worse…and that Israel is their home.

    Is this not a remarkable fulfillment of prophecy?

    Hear the prophet, Jeremiah:

    “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.

    “They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

    “Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.”

    The famous “Return” of the Jewish exiles, from the Roman expulsion in the second century, has been a phased event, I’d say, beginning in the 1880s and continuing to this moment.

    This is more remarkable because it is being driven in part by a hostile U.S. political gang/cabal/regime that is also mainstreaming jihad and the drive for shariah law.

    That’s just the way it is. If it walks like a gigantic duck and quacks like a gigantic duck, it’s a gigantic duck.

    And it’s time for the rest of us to duck.

    This morning, I open my computer to see that a synagogue in Copenhagen has been attacked; a security guard was murdered by a terrorist, but prevented the latter from entering the building, where 80 worshippers attended.

    Now, the Danish government is contradicting Netanyahu, saying they have the situation under control. If I were a Jew living in Europe, I’d immigrate to Israel…where I’d be safe.

    Meanwhile, Obama & Team continue to aggressively peddle the delusion that, “What Jihadist Terror War? What, me Worry?”

    I want to note something that I think is extraordinary, because I think it gives us a clue of what we’re dealing with here in the U.S. Many of us who study Bible prophecy are shocked at the rapid advances being made by our enemies, but it’s important to understand the language and concepts they use when appealing to the masses. Let me say something clearly:

    Obama’s brand of delusional thinking (although he is not inept or stupid) and disinformation is identical to that of the evangelical leaders in this country who are helping him further his agenda. This ranges from Rick Warren’s “civil forum” of 2008, in which he (I believe purposely) mainstreamed candidate Obama to a vast evangelical audience—to the “non-violent” evangelical leaders who call themselves “peacemakers.”

    So notice what Obama said after Hosni Mubarak was forced-out in Egypt, in 2011:

    “Egyptians have inspired us, and they’ve done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence. For in Egypt, it was the moral force of nonviolence…that bent the arc of history toward justice once more.”

    Only a dupe or a totalitarian criminal would make such a statement, given the amount of information available to an American president.

    Obama knew that Mubarak, while not a democratic leader, was still infinitely more desirable than the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Yet, here is the specific point I want to make: Obama’s language about “the moral force of nonviolence” is identical to language used by a growing number of evangelical leaders (most of whom are in the “leadership” conduit/orbit of Catalyst conferences).

    The problem is, their “nonviolent” approach is giving the green light to jihadists around the world to rape, murder, and pillage. To this they would protest loudly, of course, but one has only to pay attention to their methods and then see the global jihad advancing everywhere. Western weakness just might be the death of us all.

    Look, we live in a fallen world, and even those on the right and the left would acknowledge it is often a brutal world. What we disagree on is how to make it tolerable.

    It is a fact of life that from the time the Israelis captured the West Bank in 1967, until the delusion of Oslo appeared in 1991, fewer Jews in Israel were murdered by Palestinian jihadists, and global jihad terror was dramatically less than it is now.

    Why? Primarily because the Israel Defense Forces wouldn’t permit the barbarians to operate. In other words, all of us in the West enjoyed peace through strength.

    Not the fairy tale world of the “nonviolent” peaceniks who now have helped make the world a much more dangerous place.

    For example, the Holy Land Trust’s Sami Awad…he of the “nonviolent” method. Why has he not roundly condemned Hamas and Islamic Jihad in his own country? By parroting the PLO line in American churches, Awad has also helped soften American resolve. Do the math; the more American Christians who are convinced of the “nonviolent” model, the less American Christians are remaining vigilant.

    Which brings us back around to the original theme this week: yes, global anti-Semitism is on the rise. But the Bible tells us that Israel and the Jewish people will survive and endure.

    Sadly for the rest of us, the rotten fruit of Jew-hatred down through the ages is about to culminate in the pouring-out of God’s wrath on the nations for the way they have treated His people.

    It’s 2,000 B.C. again. And 1,000 B.C. again. And A.D. 1 again. And A.D. 1,000 again. And 1938 again.

    And A.D. 2015 now.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com

    Feb 9, 2015

    Israel, Iran, & Obama

    In a fascinating piece in Mosaic this week, we learned of the inner workings of the Obama negotiation team, regarding Iran.

    It’s pretty scary stuff.

    Let me repeat what I’ve said many times (and it isn’t new with me; the Israelis and their supporters have been consistent with the message): Benjamin Netanyahu will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.

    We stand at a crossroads. For the first time, an American president is overtly hostile to the Jewish state. Obama is mainstreaming Islam, forging ties with sworn enemies, and baring his fangs at Israel.

    Still, the Iranians continue to dupe the West. According to the Jerusalem Post:

    “Iran's foreign minister has warned the United States that failure to agree a nuclear deal would likely herald the political demise of pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani, Iranian officials said, raising the stakes as the decade-old stand-off nears its end-game.

    “Mohammad Javad Zarif pressed the concern with US Secretary of State John Kerry at several meetings in recent weeks, according to three senior Iranian officials, who said Iran had also raised the issue with other Western powers. Zarif's warning has not been previously reported.”

    This is mind-numbing, since Rouhani is no pragmatist or “moderate.” He is in league with the mullahs, who are the biggest state sponsors of terrorism in the world. Iran’s reach extends literally around the globe, when one considers the horrific attacks from the Middle East all the way to Argentina. They are also busy infiltrating our southern border with Mexico.

    Into all this we have a seemingly bumbling president. The Mosaic piece was instructive, for many reasons. Here are two:

    •Obama believes, along with former Bush advisors James Baker and Lee Hamilton, that terrorist dictators can be dealt with through dialogue. This is a fundamental worldview: that each person has some basic goodness that precludes him or her from being a monster.

    •Team Obama continues to cling to the belief (mainstreamed two decades ago by Bush 41’s core group of advisors) that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the core grievance among Arab states.

    These two fundamental errors in thinking endanger people. It has given rise to the worst forms of Islamist terror, chiefly, ISIS. Had the United States shown strength in recent years, none of this would have been happening. And make not mistake, Obama’s June 2009 speech in Cairo gave the green light to the Muslim Brotherhood, signaling that either a dupe or a friend was finally in the White House.

    The essay in Mosaic, by Michael Doran, pulls back the curtain on secret talks between the White House and Tehran, and spotlight a president either in league with the enemy, or profoundly undiscerning.

    “Obama based his policy of outreach to Tehran on two key assumptions of the grand-bargain myth: that Tehran and Washington were natural allies, and that Washington itself was the primary cause of the enmity between the two. If only the United States were to adopt a less belligerent posture, so the thinking went, Iran would reciprocate. In his very first television interview from the White House, Obama announced his desire to talk to the Iranians, to see ‘where there are potential avenues for progress.” Echoing his inaugural address, he said, “[I]f countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.’”

    It was then that Team Obama sounded eerily similar to the bungling Jimmy Carter a generation before:

    “If this show of deference was calculated to warm the dictator’s heart, it failed. ‘What we intended as caution,’ one of Obama’s aides would later tell a reporter, ‘the Iranians saw as weakness.’ Indeed, the president’s studied ‘caution’ may even have emboldened Tehran to push forward, in yet another in the long series of blatant violations of its obligations under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), with its construction of a secret uranium enrichment facility in an underground bunker at Fordow, near Qom.”

    These acute problems caused directly by Obama are problematic not for Israel, but for the rest of us. As Netanyahu warned recently (and will no doubt hammer home when he addresses Congress next month), Iran is developing ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) not for Israel — they can already reach with conventional missiles — but for…wait for it…the United States.

    What is Obama thinking? He is risking the lives of the very citizens he claims to defend. What is his game?

    He is either a person who tragically misreads his enemies — a la Carter — or his motives are much darker.

    In the most recent talks with Iran, Obama has already capitulated on the most critical issues, giving Iran 80 percent of what the regime publicly wants. The Israelis realized long ago that Obama was worse than weak when dealing with the Iranians, and they will act accordingly.

    The truth is, no one knows what Israel is capable of. Yet Netanyahu said recently too that his job is “never again.”

    Never again will the Jews be threatened with mass extinction. No Israeli prime minister will ever allow that.

    And Doren’s essay gives us insight into just how seriously Team Obama miscalculates Iran’s intentions. Failing Diplomacy 101, U.S. negotiators give away the bank before negotiations even begin!

    “In April 2013, the Americans and their P5+1 partners met with Iranian negotiators in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where they offered to relieve the sanctions regime in exchange for the elimination of Iran’s stockpiles of uranium that had already been enriched to 20 percent. This was concession number one, bowing to the longstanding Iranian demand for economic compensation immediately, before a final agreement could be reached. Even more important was concession number two, which permitted the Iranians to continue enriching uranium to levels of 5 percent—this, despite the fact that six United Nations Security Council resolutions had ordered Iran to cease all enrichment and reprocessing activities.

    “Iranian negotiators rejected these two gifts—or, rather, they pocketed them and demanded a third, the one they coveted the most. Hailing the proposals by their counterparts as a step in the right direction, they criticized them for failing to stipulate the Iranian ‘right to enrich.’ There was a difference, they argued, between temporarily permitting Iran to enrich uranium to 5 percent and recognizing its inalienable right to do so. If Obama wanted a deal, he would have to agree to shred the Security Council resolutions by offering, up front, an arrangement that would end the economic sanctions on Iran entirely and that would allow the Iranians to enrich uranium in perpetuity.”

    A dear friend of mine took exception this week when I said that the State Department has been infested with Arabists for decades. No, he said, there are many good people at State.

    Where are they? From where I sit, they are giving away our future. And Arabists have most assuredly dominated the State Department, going all the way back to our beginnings with the Arab oil sheiks.

    After World War I, the State Department was indifferent to Arabia. Ironically, it was American missionaries to the region that made an impression of King Saud, and when oil was discovered, his natural reaction was to cultivate ties with the U.S. The British and the Soviet Union controlled the oil fields of Iran/Persia, but the U.S. looked southward, to Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

    The first American survey of Saudi Arabia was in 1929, with American engineers on the verge of securing vast oil fields. In short order, the issue also became political and, from a human standpoint, it seemed a natural course of events for the Americans and their diplomatic corps to assign more importance to the Arabs than to the fledgling state of Israel.

    So here we are, all these years later, with an American president virtually offering up the Jewish state as a sacrifice to his Muslim friends.

    At the same time, precious few in the world consider that God has promised survival to the Jewish people. He said as much in Isaiah 54:17.

    As the train of Western diplomacy hurtles faster and faster toward the blown-out bridge supplied by the Iranians, we can know with certainty that Israel will survive.

    Never again.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com


    Feb 2, 2015

    Barack Obama’s Anti-Israel Roots

    Bill Kristol, writing in the Weekly Standard, has this to say about the American president’s outrageous behavior toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

    "The Obama White House usually prides itself on not getting angry. Its self-image is that it's cool, calm, and collected. And it doesn't get angry at, for example, the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Obama White House understands and appreciates the complexities of the Islamic Republic's politics and history. It is only with respect to the Jewish state that the Obama White House is impatient, peremptory, and angry."

    Personally, I think the root reasons are darker, but Kristol’s assessment is largely accurate.

    I’m thoroughly fascinated by the root causes of a person’s worldview. What was he taught? Who did he listen to? Who was most influential?

    We all have biases (though few are willing to admit it). We all come to our views from somewhere; they don’t just drop out of the sky.

    Much has been made of Obama’s early years, although hard data is hard to come by, oddly enough, even in this age of technology and increasing lack of privacy. The man’s personal records seem to be sealed in a vault at the bottom of the Pacific.

    Yet we can learn some from his associations, particularly his years as a “community organizer” in Chicago. It was there that he sat under the radical “Christian” teaching of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and the church’s own foundations (United Church of Christ, one of the most leftwing denominations in the country) favor socialism, and worse.

    Consider this passage from the David Horowitz book, Radicals; this specific passage features another radical from Obama’s orbit, Dr. Cornel West:

    “He was a celebrity sponsor of the 2012 ‘Global March to Jerusalem,’ an attack organized by Islamist Iran on the Jewish state. He has been a frequent speaker at the black liberation church of another sponsor of  the Global March, Jeremiah Wright, the notorious anti-Semite and race-hater whom West regards as ‘my dear brother’ and ‘a prophetic Christian preacher.’ West defends the infamous Wright anathema—‘God damn America’—explaining that it is the function of prophetic Christians like Wright to call on God to damn America, because America is no different from every nation that treats its citizens as ‘less than human.’”

    These are Obama’s mentors and associates.

    This week the president “dismissed” reports that he is a secret Muslim, claiming instead “devout Christian faith.”

    Don’t believe it. There are numerous reasons to disbelieve Obama’s Christian claims, but his absolute loathing of Netanyahu, and his reckless endangerment of Israel loom large.

    In a truly great book, To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring,’ Ruthie Blum goes a long way in explaining the roots of anti-Israel fervor among certain presidents. Carter’s monumental bungling of the Iran issue 35 years ago has endangered us all, literally. As Netanyahu pointed out this week, Iran is not developing ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) for Israel; they can already hit Israel with conventional missiles. No, they are making them to use against the U.S.

    And as Blum points out (I highly recommend her book), when Obama spoke at the University of Cairo on June 4, 2009, not even six months into his presidency, he curiously made every effort to identify with the crowd, which included the Muslim Brotherhood.

    ’Assalaamu alaykum [peace be with you],’ he said, extending an Arab greeting only used when one Muslim is addressing another (which the audience necessarily perceived as Obama’s way of saying he himself was one of them).”

    Obama also went on to say, incredibly:

    “Since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Muslims wherever they appear.”

    Wherever they appear. Key phrase.

    I will tell you that Obama’s speech that day, recounted in detail in Blum’s book, is absolutely chilling. One must remember that Obama, in addition to being schooled by Marxists like Bill Ayers, spent time as a youth in Indonesia being schooled by Muslims. Then, during his somewhat shadowy time in Chicago, as an attorney cultivating the network that would eventually put him in the White House, he regularly met with Palestinian propagandists (much as Hillary Clinton has done; remember, her roots as a United Methodist radicalized during the ‘60s bodes ill for America if she becomes president).

    Obama is steeped in anti-American, pro-Muslim rhetoric and ideology.

    Blum also quotes Dan Schueftan, a Middle East scholar, who explained the dangers that present themselves when Arab leaders perceive weakness in Washington. Recalling the events leading up to the Six-Day War, started by Egypt’s Nasser:

    “His idea was that all American presidents must be stupid, since they believed that bad guys can become good guys if they are treated nicely.”

    Nasser found out that Lyndon Johnson was not such a president. Although one could take issue with some of Johnson’s decisions regarding Israel in 1967, we can also be sure that he helped the Jewish state in ways we’ll never know about.

    Not so with Obama.

    Is he stupid? Hardly. I think the reasons for his dislike of Israel are darker and deeper than that.

    And everything we know about him tells us that he is an enemy of Israel. There, his roots are deep.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com


    Jan 26, 2015

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    The Coming Invasion of Israel

    Have you ever seen anything like the current landscape in the Middle East?

    Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah (in reality, a tribal chieftain propped up by Western leaders for decades) has died and, in startling news few seem to grasp, Yemen fell to terrorists this week!

    Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe, Dutch Jews are appealing to the army to place troops near synagogues. Stabbings of Jews have doubled in London.

    The perpetrators are jihadists.

    All the Gulf states are terrified of Iran’s flexing muscles. Syria is teetering on the edge. Jordan is scared. Egypt is dealing with Hamas. Iraq is overtaken by savages.

    The fact of the matter is, the American president is a fiend. His embrace of radical terrorists has the entire Middle East about to go up in flames.

    Now we learn that after Benjamin Netanyahu was invited by House Speaker John Boehner to address Congress, a furious Obama first said the invite broke protocol. Then the White House issued a statement saying that Netanyahu “spat in our faces” by accepting the invitation (where he’ll make his case for Iran movement to Congress and by extension, to the American people. That’s what Obama hates).

    This coming on the heels of the frosty French reception for Netanyahu during the solidarity march in Paris.

    It all adds up to the leadership of the international community getting its fill of Jews and Israel. Which is utterly bizarre, given that 90 percent of the violence around the globe today comes from Muslims. The desire to throw red meat—anyone else’s—at the jihadists, in hopes they won’t come for them, is age-old.

    And pointless.

    The jihadists intend to establish a new caliphate and install shariah law everywhere, globally. That is their agenda.

    And through it all, Israel stands as a beacon of steadiness and poise. Hezbollah has enough ballistic missile stockpiles to hit Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Iran is threatening to rain down missiles on Israel. Hamas is rebuilding its tunnel infrastructure. Internal terrorists (Islamic Jihad and the like) are ramping-up attacks on Jews; only this week, a Palestinian bred on hatred of Jews stabbed 10 bus passengers in Tel Aviv.

    After Israel last week struck targets in Syria, pressure increased on Sheik Nasrallah and Hezbollah to respond. But according to a report in the Jerusalem Post, retaliation has risks:

    “Its options are limited. It could strike from its stronghold in Lebanon, triggering all-out war with Israel. It could attack targets in Israel, but risk a wider war between Israel and Syria, or hit Israeli interests abroad. But all come at a price.”

    The price is risking an all-out war with Israel, which Hezbollah would lose. A somewhat less severe risk is a war with Syria.

    Still, what with Russia becoming ever cozier with Iran, and lethal threats emanating from the Middle East AND combined with European hatred of Jews, we must conclude that at least the broad outlines of a final showdown are being set.

    The key is acknowledging that we have no idea of the timeline for the Zechariah War to commence. However, at no time in history has Israel been so besieged on so many levels, from so many quarters.

    As we point out in our inaugural issue of the Prophecy Matters newsletter, however, the Lord is surely in control and so we must occupy until He comes!

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com


    Jan 19, 2015

    (Be sure and check out details for Jim’s newsletter launch on January 22, at www.prophecymatters.com. The first 200 subscribers will receive a code for a free book download of Jim’s book, The Last War. The newsletter will be monthly and feature original material relevant for pro Israel supporters and Bible prophecy students.)

    Anti-Israel Radicals, Evangelical-Style

    In a recent editorial in Commentary, the publication’s staff analyzed the shootings by Islamist terrorists in Paris. It was noted:

    “This is largely the result of failing to confront the extreme ideology of Islam, specifically, jihad.”

    Everywhere in the West, weak-kneed leaders are bowing to the barbaric ideology of Islam, compromising with the murderous agenda in hopes “they don’t come for us.”

    As regular readers of this column are well aware, I believe a key source for this brand of appeasement comes from religious leaders including — incredibly — evangelical bigwigs.

    When one considers that Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Bob Roberts Jr., Shane Claiborne and Ed Stetzer are helping to mainstream rapprochement with Islam (my view of the situation), it follows that those they mentor are doing likewise. This includes a new phenomenon: embracing the Palestinian narrative, which is a story concocted largely by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

    Consider the case of Eugene Cho. A young, progressive pastor of a Seattle church, Cho’s bio for the upcoming June “Justice Conference” explains who he is (in part):

    “Eugene Cho is the founder and Lead Pastor of Quest Church – an urban, multi-cultural and multi-generational church in Seattle, Washington – as well as founder/visionary of One Day’s Wages (ODW) – a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty.

    Eugene has recently released his first book, Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?”

    The bio also introduces him as a “visionary.” Okay. Look, these guys (and girls) are nothing if not struck on their own supposed brilliance. It is part of their odd brand of humility and hubris.

    For our purposes, you need to know that Cho runs in anti-Israel circles, and if you have a child or grandchild in the evangelical community, chances are he or she has been exposed to the progressive community Cho helps headline.

    That is bad news for pro Israel folks.

    In 2008, Cho was already telegraphing his views on Israel/”Palestine.” In a blog post, he introduced a friend, whose presentation of falsehoods about the Arab-Israeli conflict stem either from ignorance or maliciousness. Below is Cho’s introduction to this retelling of history, followed by his friend Cyra’s strange stew of revisionist history:

    “one perspective on israel and palestine

    “Like many of you, I have been following the recent escalation of tension and Israel’s ‘all our [sic] war’ on Gaza with much sadness, frustration, and prayer.  As a usual sympathizer with Israel for various reasons, I have been appalled at the current assault and the lack of strong condemnation by the U.S. leaders including both the current president and president elect. 

    “The issues are immensely complex and Hamas had ‘something coming’ [in my opinion] but the fallout on this ‘all-out assault’ will only escalate to more deaths – on both sides and on both sides of the ocean.  As you’re reading up on news wherever you are, also check out these additional news sources: BBC News  and Al Jazeera.

    “I’m currently on vacation so I don’t have time to write more but I do want to ‘share’ couple posts by others – today and tomorrow to engage your thoughts.  This is a note that one of our church folks, Cyra, wrote and I thought it was worth sharing [with her permission].”

    An aside: if Cho is getting his “news” from the BBC and Al-Jazeera, I’m at a loss for words.

    [What follows is Cyra’s version of reality; note: portions are reprinted below; for the entire diatribe, see http://eugenecho.com/2008/12/30/one-perspective-on-israel-and-palestine/]:

    “Here’s Cyra’s thoughts on Israel and Palestine:

    “I’m no blogger, but Matt’s at work, and he’s sick of listening to me vent about Israel and Palestine anyway.

    “One of the hardest parts of growing up, I think, is learning that some of the things you were taught as a child are just wrong. Fortunately for me, as my worldview has shifted, so has my parents’, so we are able to agree that some of the things they taught me were wrong. One example is the relationship between Israel and Palestine.

    “As a child, all I ever heard about Israel and Palestine was that Israel is constantly under attack and that as Christians it is our duty to support Israel (since the Jews are God’s chosen people) and encourage our government to do the same. I heard this at home, but mostly I heard this at the various churches I attended. Just writing this, I can feel anger swelling up inside me toward all the people who propagated this lie, until I remind myself that many of those people, my parents included, were simply unaware of the truth of the situation and had been lied to themselves.”

    Notice that first, Cho claims to support Israel for “various reasons,” and next, Cyra says she also grew up with this view. First of all, I flat-out don’t believe Cho has been any kind of supporter of Israel, for various reasons or any other reason. What this does is provide cover for a progressive to appear to be a thoughtful thinker, moving from crude dogma to a more reasoned and humanitarian stance.

    Does that make sense? It is classic leftist jargon, designed to insulate the writer or speaker from the obvious, in this case: he’s never liked the Jewish state.

    Next, we find Cyra’s false narrative, very short on context and in some cases, loaded with outright fabrications. Read Cyra’s thoughts in more detail:

    “So this was the plan: two separate countries. Israel, though, started moving into the West Bank and creating ‘settlements’, which has been the onus for much of the current strife between the two people groups. Jews are paid to move into the West Bank, Palestinians retaliate against the occupation, and then the Israeli government ‘defends’ itself by building walls all through the West Bank, cutting off routes between Palestinian cities, and randomly bulldozing Palestinian houses.”

    Cyra (and Cho) are lying to their audience. The plan was, yes, two separate states, but the Arabs of Palestine rejected UN Resolution 181, in 1947, that would have created those two states then and there. When Israel declared its independence six months later, five Arab armies invaded the next day.

    Next, Cyra claims that the Jews simply began building “settlements.” False. No Israeli communities were established until nearly 30 years after the 1948 War of Independence, and almost a decade after the Six-Day War. Notice what Cyra says next:

    “These are the documented historical facts. Then, I learn about events like Israel’s current bombing campaign in Gaza, and I literally get sick to my stomach. The Gaza strip is 139 sq. miles, with a population of roughly 1.4 million Palestinians. That’s a population density of roughly 10,000/sq. mi. The strip is surround by a wall, controlled by Israel on the east and north, and Egypt on the south, and the Mediterranean sea (which has Israeli gunboats patrolling just off shore). So where can the civilians go when the bombs start dropping? Nowhere. They are sitting ducks. Of course, Israel claims to only be aiming at Hamas targets (recognized by the US as a terrorist group, recognized by the Palestinians as their democratically elected leaders), but with 10,000 people packed into every square mile, there are bound to be some civilian casualties – currently 62 women and children according to the UN, with an unknown number of civilian men – totaling 320 Palestinian casualties and 1400 injured.”

    Aside from validating the Palestinian vote to elect the murderous Hamas leadership, Cyra makes it sound as if Israel just decided one day to hold training exercises by lobbing artillery at women and children. That of course is false, and in fact, Israel’s surgical strikes kept civilian casualties to a minimum, even in the face of the well-documented Hamas strategy of hiding behind women and children in hospitals and schools. None of this exists in Cyra’s world, or Cho’s.

    Next, notice how Cyra sanctions the murder of Jews, for the immoral (and factually untrue) reason that Palestinians are simply frustrated:

    “This current bombing campaign is in response to Hamas rockets being propelled over the wall into Israel. I do not, at all, excuse Palestinian violence, and I feel as deeply for the Israelis who loose their lives due to suicide bombings and rocket launchings, but I sympathize for the Palestinian’s feeling of desperation. When you have been pushed off your land, your refugees have not been allowed to return home, the land you had been given is being occupied, UN resolution after UN resolution created on your behalf has been flagrantly disregarded, and your oppressors are backed by the most powerful country in the world, what other choices do you have?”

    This view is false. From the Gaza pullout in 2005, to the 20-year dance with the failed Oslo model, Israel has time and again shown the hand of peace to the Palestinians, who work day and night to blow that hand off the arm of its owner. Often, literally.

    One struggles to understand if young progressives like Eugene Cho and his friend, Cyra, really believe this stuff, or if it is just convenient cover for their anti-Israel animus.

    You need to understand that the evangelical world in America is loaded with such feeling. It is being fostered and nourished by older leaders like Warren and Hybels, who are mentoring the generation that will turn American Christianity into a global spirituality.

    For those who claim I’m out to lunch and a doom-and-gloomer, check the facts. Pay attention to the conferences. Read the literature. Notice what leaders are saying and doing.

    Eugene Cho is a fixture in this community. And only one of many.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

     


    Jan 12, 2015

    Guess Who Is Calm About Terror?

    I’ve visited Israel many times, including during times of tension, such as the Second Intifada. At the height of that terror war launched by Yasser Arafat, I stood in front of the Western Wall and turned around to see a completely empty plaza area. Normally, there are thousands of tourists.

    Not one.

    I thought about that this week in the wake of the terrible trauma that has befallen France. When barbarians slaughtered a dozen people at a French magazine, then took hostages near the city and engaged police in a standoff, the whole world held its breath. The French people are understandably rattled. Word is that Britain is now bracing for similar attacks.

    This, for two of the most Muslim-friendly countries in Europe.

    Meanwhile, as the world wrings its collective hands, guess who is continuing to go about its business while daily fighting terror?

    Israel.

    We all know the international community cares little for Jews, and “tolerates” Israel. Yet the Jewish state has been on the front lines for decades in fighting terror and in fact shares more intelligence gathering with foreign governments than anyone really knows. No doubt Israeli intelligence operatives are huddling with European and American counterparts. It is also instructive to realize that Israel deals with all this in the midst of a breathtaking propaganda war.

    Only this week, Hezbolla’s Sheik Nasrallah “condemned” the Paris attacks(!), saying that the terrorists there did damage to Islam. Nasrallah, a murderous thug, realizes the value of pr in this modern era, and wishes to dupe Westerners even further. In point of fact, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah is one of the top two or three terror outfits in the world.

    Imagine if, in 1934, Hitler had claimed that the brownshirts were going too far in terrorizing the local population. Of course, the point would have been absurd, since Hitler was responsible for the jack-booted thugs who roamed German streets.

    Anyway, Israel has perfected and continues to perfect terror-fighting techniques on a scale the world will soon come to appreciate, as rumors of mass attacks in other countries mushroom.

    This week,  IDF Chief of Staff Gen. Benny Gantz spoke to a group of cadets at the National Defense University in Washington, telling the NDU contingent that terrorism is “the common challenge of the countries of the world,” outlining the need for close cooperation among allies.

    According to the Jerusalem Post:

    “He said that current decisions being taken on the military's future structure and equipment will shape events for a decade to come. ‘We will have to know to adjust the activation [of military forces] not according to what we planned, but according to the reality that has developed in the meantime,’ he said.”

    Gantz then visited Canadian counterparts, who pledged their continued cooperation.

    “General [Tom] Lawson stated that ‘Israel is Canada’s closest ally in the Middle East and our two countries enjoy strong military relations on a variety of fronts. This bond has been strengthened under Lt.-Gen Gantz’s watch, and reinforced by today’s meeting.’ The visit comes after Israel and Canada signed a memorandum of strategic understandings in January 2014, in which both have committed to advance bilateral ties in defense, security, and government.”

    What you need to consider is that tiny Israel, ringed by vicious terror entities, is as safe to visit as the arms of a mother rocking her baby…all because of the elite measures taken by Israel’s security forces. The only time I’d hesitate to visit Israel would be in the event of an all-out war. Short of that, I always feel ultra-safe in the country, and would wish that fellow Christians feel the same. Too often, when rocket attacks are erupting, Christian tour groups cancel their trips, which I think calls into question just how strong support for Israel exists in American churches.

    But that’s a topic for another time.

    In the meantime, let us not go all wobbly, as Margaret Thatcher once famously said. There are positives even in the midst of the terror war.

    Israel is a big positive.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Jan 5, 2015

    Kerry Needs to Ketchup

    John Kerry is at it again.

    The U.S. Secretary of State/Globalist has issued a criticism of Israel (again), through his office, this time because Israeli citizens (known as “Jewish settlers” in the media) threw rocks at a diplomat’s car. The incident happened when a consulate’s car arrived to check out alleged vandalism of Palestinian olive trees.

    According to the Jerusalem Post:

    “’We can confirm a vehicle from the Consulate General was pelted with stones and confronted by a group of armed settlers today in the West Bank, near the Palestinian village of Turmus Ayya,’ said the US State Department spokesman according to AFP.”

    One wonders if Kerry ever dispatches his lackeys to visit Jewish victims of terror, but I digress.

    Further from the JPost (and Reuters) report:

    “’Rocks were thrown at them by residents of Adei Ad. We are investigating. Arrests have yet to be made,’ the spokeswoman said. She said she did not know of any damage to the vehicles and had no further information on the delegates' identities.

    “An Adei Ad resident who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said that he had not witnessed the incident but had been told by fellow settlers who were involved that the US delegates came within 50 yards (meters) of the settlement in two diplomatic cars accompanied by local Palestinians.”

    I find it interesting that U.S. diplomatic sources do not routinely decry the myriad acts of Palestinian violence aimed at Israelis, yet when olive groves are allegedly uprooted, it virtually becomes an international incident.

    This is further confirmation that the python of Palestinian propaganda is tightening around Israel; it’s just the way it is.

    There have been many thousands of such reports from media since Oslo, and each serves as another brick in the wall of international condemnation of the Jewish state. In other words, the world is getting sick and tired of Israel. In fact, Barack Obama actually said that in 2013.

    This morning, an Israeli friend alerted me to a Twitter message from Munther Isaac:

    “Business as usual at the UN – but US public opinion on Israel is shifting”

    Isaac is a pro Palestinian (Christ at the Checkpoint — www.christatthecheckpoint.com) teacher at Bethlehem Bible College, a notorious anti-Israel school. He also obtained his master’s from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, which I find dismaying.

    In his tweet, Isaac referenced an op-ed from Ben White, which was published in Middle East Monitor. White, an aggressive anti-Israel activist, cited data that indicates pro Israel support is slipping in the U.S.:

    “Speaking to the Security Council on Tuesday shortly after voting against the doomed Palestinian-drafted resolution on statehood, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power referred three times to an ‘unsustainable status quo’ between Israel and the Palestinians.

    “It is of course Washington itself that bears most responsibility for this status quo, through its diplomatic, military, and economic support for the occupier, and leadership of a decades-long 'peace process' that has given Israel the cover to de facto annex its way to a permanent occupation.

    “There is another 'status quo', however, that is already shifting: U.S. public opinion. In a poll conducted last November for the Brookings Institution, when asked about their preferred solution to the conflict, 34% of Americans said their government should push for one state with equal citizenship. That was up from 24% a year previously, a significant difference.”

    Of course, one has to filter through statements by folks like Isaac and White, but one thing we can agree on: there is a shift taking place.

    Anyone who doesn’t recognize that the collective effect of American diplomatic attitudes toward Israel, and those of young activists/propagandists like Isaac and White are harming Israel is not paying attention.

    It is the steady drip, drip, drip of evil media attacks on the Jewish state that is bringing all of us to a final showdown. Those who speculate that U.S. support for Israel is slipping are largely on-track, in my view. Yes, tons of support still exists from my generation and above, but in a few years, when many of us are gone, where will that leave the situation?

    Make no mistake: Palestinian activists like the U.S. State Department and Millennial leaders are harming Israel.

    In a perfect world, one could wish that Kerry, Isaac, White, Lynne Hybels, Sami Awad, etc., etc., would decry the murder of Jews by Palestinians.

    And that is the key thing to take away from these incidents outlined above. Jewish life is cheap to these people; above all else, leftist worldview is the priority. By that I mean, to further their agenda, these leftists do not put a spotlight on the real story: Arab rejection of Israel. Instead, they pitch and moan about olive trees and Israeli apartments.

    A further point of frustration is watching events like the upcoming “Justice Conference” (that’s rich), being held this summer in Chicago. The leftist confab, stocked with “evangelical” speakers like Bob Goff and Lynne Hybels and Eugene Cho, is also joined by radical Princeton professor Cornel West. I’ve written about West before: he is a hardcore leftist being mainstreamed to young evangelical audiences by change agents like Catalyst conferences.

    One can be sure that the “Justice Conference” will rail against Israel, while giving the Palestinians a pass.

    This is where American Christian leadership is in 2015.

    Truly, we are witnessing a melding of political and religious forces in America that share a single goal: the elimination of the Jewish state.

    Perhaps one day a person like John Kerry will get with the program and see things the way they really are.

    Don’t hold your breath.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    December 29, 2014

     

    Through a Glass, Darkly

    There is a relatively famous poem by Gen. George S. Patton — the poem was made much more famous by the 1970 film starring George C. Scott — that I think speaks to the spiritual warfare that has seemingly erupted in just the last few years. When I think of Scott striding across an ancient battlefield, pulling on his leather gloves and squinting at Gen. Omar Bradley, I think of our ultimate enemy, as Patton speaks lines from “Through a Glass Darkly”:

    “So as through a glass, and darkly

    The age long strife I see

    Where I fought in many guises,

    Many names, but always me.”

    The poem itself is about a (happy?) warrior, convinced he is doing God’s bidding. Of course, that fallen angel, Lucifer, struggles for himself, but I think those lines perfectly capture the multi-pronged attack he has waged, and ratcheted-up, for millennia.

    Nowhere is this more evident than in his twin attacks at the moment: rising pressure on Israel from the international community (biblically, “the nations”), and the choking apostasy plaguing in particular the American church.

    Those of us who advocate for Israel wonder daily how the world can be so blind. Inversions of the truth happen every second. This is especially true in the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict. The European Union recently dropped Hamas from its list of terror organizations; for some time before that, international leaders like Jimmy Carter had fought to legitimize the murderous terror group, and this kind of madness is difficult to fathom.

    A Palestinian terrorist this week firebombed an Israeli car, burning an 11-year-old girl over 50 percent of her body.

    Little outcry from the international community, and that kind of indifference, which is evil, is commonplace these days.

    One wonders how Benjamin Netanyahu can remain upright every day.

    The Israeli premier is now forced to go to early elections, set for March, and at the same time wage war on the diplomatic and military fronts 24/7. His clear denunciations of Palestinian terror groups should be, in a sane world, sufficient for allies to rise up and crush these terror groups.

    Yet, not only is support for Israel slipping, it is slipping in areas previously unthinkable.

    Regular readers of “Israel Watch” know that I like to know why things are the way they are, and why Israel is disliked by so many in the church. Let me repeat myself yet again: it is the evangelical leadership community in America that is all but waging war on Israel today, and that is a mind melt for many of us who grew up in the shadows of “The Late, Great Planet Earth” and the heyday of dispensationalism.

    To the point of this column: rarely do we look at the last 100 years of American Christianity when trying to understand our present situation. Yet I fervently believe it is the key to recognizing why things are happening the way they are.

    A book I’ve referenced before, “Beyond the Point of No Return,” by Calvin Johnson, analyzes the decline of the Methodist Church. What, you might ask, does that have to do with eroding support for Israel?

    Quite a bit, actually,

    The late Johnson was a Methodist minister for 40 years, and was evangelical to the core. His book is a chilling account of how men who had crept into the church dismantled every viable effort for evangelism, over a period of at least 70 years. Men who knew what they were doing, and who are the spiritual forefathers of the Brian McLarens, Tony Campolos, and Marcus Borgs who day and night wage war against biblical Christianity.

    Israel is naturally a large target. Early on in his book, Johnson discusses the attacks on Genesis, and then presents some key data. In a publication called “Adult Student” (April, 1951), we read, concerning Genesis:

    “The second section, Chapters 12 through 50, is made up of hero stories out of the semi-legendary past of the Hebrew people.”

    No, it isn’t.

    Yet look at how much damage has been wrought by bizarre and blatantly false statements such as this.

    When the Jewish people are reduced to myth and nationalistic “hero stories,” then it is a short step to making their present homeland illegitimate. That is what is happening on a massive scale across the globe, as Arab propaganda has found willing dupes in the West who love to have it so.

    If God did not give the land to the Jews in perpetuity, then they are squatters, settlers, occupiers.

    The American church’s grotesque abandonment of Israel and the Jewish people is a stain that cannot be cleansed.

    Johnson’s book goes on in horrifying detail about the liberal destruction of confidence in the Bible, touching on our own Christian doctrine and, ultimately, the spiritual wellbeing of countless souls.

    Consider his remarks about the efforts to subtly destroy evangelistic programs:

    “We sent missionaries out to administer medicine, fill teeth, dig wells, teach sanitation, teach agriculture, and show love, but we thought it unnecessary to tell the people that Jesus was the only means of salvation and, of course, to tell them they were sinners and lost, was unthinkable. That’s what happened to evangelism.”

    This is why young, influential leaders like Cameron Strang, Donald Miller, and Shane Claiborne have bought into leftist “justice” issues, and it is no surprise each of these men is also pro Palestinian. A century of liberal/leftist ideology, first infecting the seminaries, has now spread to all quarters of evangelical thought.

    It is why some of us struggle to understand exactly what is going on. We see through a glass, darkly.

    Through the ages, the devil has fought in many guises, under many names, but always as himself. His ancient hatred of the Messiah and His people is reaching full flower.

    We just happen to be alive right now to see it unfold.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

     


     

    December 22, 2014

    Palestinians and the Pentecostals

    One of the hallmarks of leftists who are infiltrating the American evangelical church is a penchant for targeting the very heart of evangelicalism. In other words, since the mainline churches are now rotting corpses, those who advocate for the Palestinians are now turning their focus to Southern Baptists, Pentecostals, and various other straight-up evangelical denominations and associations.

    Some of us remember sometime back when the World Vision-organized “Hope for the Holy Land” tour, featuring PLO apologists Mae Cannon, Lynne Hybels, and Sami Awad, attempted to infiltrate the Calvary Chapel Association. The trio scheduled a stop at a California-based CC. When Chuck Smith and others in leadership heard about it, they denounced it, and reports are that the event had no more than 50 attendees, including at least half who were pro Israel.

    Good for Calvary Chapel.

    But as leftists like Brian McLaren pose as evangelicals (along with Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, Tony Jones, etc.), they are getting chummy with…Pentecostals.

    A couple years ago, Drew Sumrall, then a co-host of “The Harvest Show,” with the LeSea Broadcasting team (his grandfather was legendary Pentecostal evangelist Lester Sumrall) invited McLaren — and later, Tony Jones — onto the show. It was shocking, for those of us who know who all the players are. Lester Sumrall would have thrown McLaren right out the front window if he’d shown up to be interviewed.

    Drew thought it was cool.

    Further, if you read McLaren’s blog regularly, as I do, you’ll quickly notice that he has glowing things to say about Pentecostals. Now, for purposes of understanding, McLaren is a former Maryland pastor, but he is solidly, ideologically aligned with mainline traditions. In other words, theologically liberal. In fact, McLaren is so liberal, I challenge anyone to read his books (such as the provocatively titled “Naked Spirituality”) and conclude that he is evangelical.

    Point being, all the aforementioned folks are apologists for the Palestinians. And Arab oil money is being well spent on pr for the Palestinian cause.

    In 2012, the Pentecostal Who’s Who group, Empowered21, hosted a Palestinian love-fest (complete with a talk by Sami Awad and a screening of the anti-Israel film, “O Little Town of Bethlehem) at Regent University. If you look at Empowered21’s website, you’ll see that some in their leadership group do things like attend (and speak at!) the odious “Christ at the Checkpoint” gathering every two years in Bethlehem. That conference is one big Israel-bashing event.

    A major player in Pentecostal/Charismatic circles is Steve Strang, publisher of Charisma Media. For decades, Strang has identified as a major pro Israel figure among evangelicals. However, while he does plenty of pro Israel stuff, his personal journey seems to be taking a path through Palestinian propaganda.

    In a 2008 “Strang Report,” the publisher included some odd language in his description of visiting Israel:

    “Most Palestinians--Christians or Muslims--must remain within areas governed by the Palestinian Authority. A 24-foot wall with guard towers that is covered in graffiti separates Bethlehem from south Jerusalem. It reminded me of the wall around a penitentiary.

    “The Israelis constructed the wall because there was so much terrorism coming from the Palestinian areas. The suicide bombings have greatly decreased since the wall has been in place. But that doesn't keep the Palestinians who live there from feeling as if their land is occupied.”

    While Strang, who is a journalist, brings some balance to the piece by acknowledging Palestinian terrorism, he also engages in that troubling tendency to engage in moral equivalency. Notice how he describes Israel’s security fence as a “penitentiary” wall. This feeds directly into the Palestinian lie that the security fence turns Palestinian towns and cities, including Bethlehem, into a “big, open-air prison.” This plays well in evangelical circles, when rank-and-file Christians begin getting the feeling that Israel is an occupier. That is leftist language that has found its way into American evangelicalism.

    Next notice that Strang says the Palestinians have the “feeling” they are occupied. “Occupation” is the single biggest battering ram the Arabs are using against the Israelis, in Western perceptions of the conflict. Few seem to understand that Israel is a slender little country fighting off a vicious, unrelenting, and sophisticated terror war against its population.

    I have also noted in this space the curious case of Dr. Paul Alexander, a professor at Eastern University, who this year saw his Assemblies of God credentials revoked by the leadership at AG headquarters in Springfield, MO. The action was taken after complaints about Alexander’s extreme leftist views on a variety of subjects. Among his pet projects is helping to mainstream PLO thought in the American church.

    Alexander’s case is most interesting, because I get the feeling that as soon as the AG leadership passes from the scene, he will be welcomed back with open arms. I say that because of conversations I’ve had with faculty at the AG seminary, and members of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, of which Alexander is past president.

    Why are these things happening?

    Because A) the culture is changing, as Millennials drift farther away from biblical moorings and B) the Palestinians are smart and well funded when it comes to propaganda.

    I predict that the wider Pentecostal community (at the leadership level) will become more and more friendly with the Palestinians.

    Old-school Pentecostal leaders like Sumrall, David Allen Lewis, and the (happily) still-with-us Joseph Chambers would be and are stunned by the turn of events. It’s all more evidence that America, at the leadership level, is turning against the Jewish state.

    Let them do what they will. The rest of us will stay where we are, come what may.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    December 15, 2014

    Mr. Ambassador

    My friend Uri Bar-Ner is a man of many talents. He uses them all for good in this world, including building bridges of trust and understanding between Israel and the United States.

    The former Israeli ambassador to Turkey, Uri now divides his time between his home in Israel and the New York office of the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL). The “League,” as it’s known (www.aifl.org), is one of the premier groups fostering goodwill between America and our wonderful ally in the Middle East.

    From time to time, I visit with Uri to get his perspectives on the Middle East, Israel-U.S. relations, and politics.

    There were several things on his mind this week, including the critical nature of Christian support for Israel:

    “Working with Christian groups is critical and that’s the most important part of what we do. We need the Christian community in America to support us. We cannot rely only on the Jewish community; it is critical mainly also because the Palestinians are making a major effort in this area.

    In particular, this is important in view of the fact that Christians in the Middle East are heavily discriminated against, Bethlehem is almost emptied of them, the West Bank (Judea;Samaria) is the same way. We are the only ones in Middle East who give Christians their rights; they are building churches, worshipping, etc. We respect them, honor them  and give them equal rights.”

    This point looms large, since Arab propagandists have been busy convincing certain American Christian leaders that the opposite is true. For those of us who have been there and seen it, Uri’s description of reality fits.

    The ambassador also had interesting things to tell me regarding Israel’s relationship with Arab nations, and the Turks.

    “There is a civil war, a very bloody one in Syria, a very difficult situation in Iraq where Sunnis and Shias are fighting. There was a difficult situation in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood that came to power after 80 years in Egypt, but it was stopped by the military and we have a general, Sisi (Abdel Fattah el-Sisi), that is head of the state. Relations between him and Israel are very good.

    “For the first time there is a new situation where Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan together with Persian Gulf states (except Qatar), are really supporting Israel mainly because the villain is Iran. All countries I mentioned are afraid of them. All work with Israel and the USA to contain Iran in the Middle East. The negotiations between the Five-Plus-One powers and Iran are inconclusive. They received an extension of seven months. We worry a lot. Iran wants to destroy Israel, period. With all the problems they have in other areas , this goal doesn’t change.”

    What about the soured relations between Israel and Turkey of late?

    “The key person in Turkey is [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, of course. He was prime minister three times, and couldn’t be elected again. So he was elected president two months ago. The president in Turkey has no power, the power is in hands of prime minister. Now Erdogan is trying to get a two-thirds majority in parliament to transfer power from the prime minister to the president. He is far from it. What he is doing is making sure that in reality he will have the power. He appointed his previous foreign minister (his right-hand man) to be prime minister. He wants to do whatever he wants.”

    Uri has keen insight into Erdogan’s ideology.

    “The policy of Turkey is, even more now, to live in peace and harmony and economic development with neighboring countries. So Erdogan signed an agreement with Syria for $2 billion in trade. Signed agreement with Iran for $10 billion in aid. He tried with Iraq but they have no functioning government. He was very happy when Morsi was head of Egypt because that fits his ideology. He is absolutely an Islamic person. When I was ambassador in 1998, he was mayor of Istanbul and one day gave a speech in which he said, My goal is to have Turkey as a shariah state.”

    Uri actually believes relations can improve between Israel and Turkey, but cautions that no one can really predict or project too far ahead in this volatile region.

    For now, he is busy fund-raising and helping the AIFL with its tremendous slate of programs that take people to Israel, and to bring Israelis to America. This includes delegations for university presidents, states attorneys general, and the “flagship” program, YASE (Youth Ambassador Student Exchange).

    “The America-Israel Friendship League is doing what others do not do. Our sole goal is to enhance relations between Israel and the USA. We are not a Jewish organization but an American organization and this can help in securing peace. If you follow the peace process in the Middle East (I have participated in the process sin 1979 and 1983), you know a position of strength is critical. I was in Cairo many times. Sadat said, squeeze the Israelis, but he knew this would not happen because of the strong relations between the U.S. and Israel. This cemented the agreement between Egypt and Israel.

    “Talking about even-handedness is dangerous, because the Arabs feel they don’t have to make peace. Yes, to be a mediator you must be fair, but you must be able to bring the parties to the table. The only way to bring Palestinians to the table is if they understand relations between the U.S. and Israel are strong. That’s what the AIFL is doing, sending missions to Israel, from all walks of life, professors, youngsters, editors…”

    In this way — and many others — a long-time advocate for peace like Uri Bar-Ner is making a difference. Not all is dark in the tough-nut of Middle East politics, and I’m grateful to Uri for reminding us all that while stark contrasts exist, nuance is also important for developing proper perspective.

    I encourage you to check out the AIFL website; many readers routinely ask me for suggestions for donating money to Israel-related causes. There are several, but I give my personal recommendation for you to consider the efforts of the America-Israel Friendship League when making donations.

    Israel and the American people, particularly Christians, will always be linked.

    Thank God.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    December 8, 2014

    Energy at Pre-Trib Conference

    For those predicting the demise of Bible prophecy teaching in America, this past week was…discomfiting.

    In Dallas, the Pre-Trib Study Group, dedicated to the promotion of what I’d call classic prophecy teaching (Dispensationalism, Rapture teaching, etc.), hosted its 23rd conference. The ballroom was standing-room-only, and an exuberant (even combative?) Tim LaHaye spoke eloquently and passionately about the need to reach people with the teaching about the Blessed Hope.

    LaHaye, who started the Pre-Trib Study Group a quarter-century ago with scholar Thomas Ice, gave his partner a nod in proclaiming the success of this year’s gathering.

    I couldn’t agree more.

    The conversations in hallways, the lobby, and restaurants were lively and, perhaps most important, enthusiastic. No mention here of the gloomy forecasters who say Evangelicalism has grown up and no longer has need for “doomsday talk.”

    Indeed, LaHaye and other speakers repeatedly pointed out the obvious: the Christian who is looking for Christ’s Return is highly motivated to live a full and meaningful life in the here and now, and to help his or her fellow man find the one Truth each human desperately needs.

     In a word, the conference was sensational.

    I have to tell you, that for all the great talks and great conversation and resources, I was most gratified to hear an emphasis on using prophecy teaching as an evangelistic tool. With speakers like Donald Perkins (www.according2prophecy.org) this emphasis was in good hands.

    Because, let’s face it, much of the American church leadership has checked-out on this subject.

    Gary Frazier, a popular conference speaker, was tasked with giving the final talk this week at Pre-Trib, and it was the perfect, rousing send-off. For one thing, Gary made no bones about his agenda, and in introducing him, LaHaye made a key point:

    “Gary Frazier is an evangelist first and prophecy teacher second.” Frazier himself said a few minutes later, “I am not an expert on Bible prophecy,” but rather, he emphasized that for him, teaching prophecy was merely a tool to reach people. LaHaye mentioned that in 65 prophecy seminars he had taken part in with Gary and Ed Hindson, there had been 1,500 professions of faith.

    Gary’s book, It Could Happen Tomorrow (which I have on Kindle and highly, highly recommend) captures the passion its author has in reaching people with a message that defies human attempts to marginalize it and relegate it to irrelevancy. In fact, Gary’s talk made it abundantly clear that this is the moment to engage people everywhere with the message that Bible prophecy “reinforces the existence of the Creator” and that we can each have personal knowledge and fellowship with Him. I sat on the front row during Gary’s talk and came away seriously energized and even convicted that I can be doing more to use the miraculous story of Israel, and the wonderful examples of fulfilled prophecy to engage a lost and dying world.

    Soon, my interview with Gary — including his testimony — will appear in the Christian edition of the Jerusalem Post, and I hope you will also check out his ministry website at www.discoverymissions.org. Over the years, he has taken 1,000 pastors to Israel, resulting in untold ministry opportunities upon their return. He is known to be a great friend of Israel.

    Interestingly, Gary made several mentions of a topic I believe to be critically important in understanding worldview. He referenced the importance of believing the early chapters of Genesis are real history, and his endorsement of ministries like Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research let me know that he correctly links faith in the validity of the Bible’s beginnings with its endings. Further, his publisher, New Leaf Publishing Group, has produced many bestselling prophecy books, and it’s imprint, Master Books (www.nlpg.com) is the world’s leading publisher of creationism books.

    It all added up in Dallas to a tremendous confidence in the teaching of Bible prophecy in making a real difference in people’s lives.

    As Tommy Ice often says…

    Maranatha!

    jim@prophecymatters.com

     


    Dec 1 2014

    Incitement…from the West

    In recent weeks, the Israel Security Agency uncovered a plot by Hamas terrorists to assassinate Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. According to one report, they had already begun gathering operational intelligence and weapons.

    Meanwhile, a Hamas leaflet showed a cartoon-type illustration of a wave of water bearing-down on an Orthodox Jew. In the wall of water were a car, a knife, a meat cleaver, and a gun. All weapons used to try and kill Jews recently in the latest insane wave of violence directed at Jews, by Palestinians. The title of the illustration was “The Jerusalem tsunami.”

    On November 23, near the Gaza border, north of the Jabaliya refugee camp, a Palestinian named Muhammad Halawa was killed by the IDF. Palestinian media reported Halawa was killed while “trying to catch birds.” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri charged that this was a gross violation of the lull agreement between Israel and Hamas, and “called on the international community to take responsibility.”

    All these incidents, so tragically common in Israel and the Palestinian territories, are part of a fabric of propaganda that is aided and abetted by Western sources that coddle the Arabs. We live in a time (who hasn’t in the past 4,000 years?) when the hunting and killing of Jews is not considered to be evil by the vast majority of people. I have long maintained that these “little” terror incidents are in fact huge in their implications.

    Take one more, for example.

    According to a report on the Facebook page of the Israel Police Force:

    “There was a double stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. A 45 year-old Israel man was stabbed in the chest with a knife; he said Arabs had attacked him. Another man sustained minor injuries. Investigation revealed that the two, who had left their yeshiva, were attacked by four Palestinians, who stabbed them with sharp instruments and fled. The Israeli

    security forces conducted a search and detained four young Palestinians from the Old City of Jerusalem.”

    I’ve been in the Old City many times, all through it, and the thought of bloodthirsty Palestinians planning violence is unacceptable. Yes, tourists are relatively safe; the terrorists usually know the difference between a camera-carrying fellow from Milwaukee and a yeshiva student, but the narrow alleyways and nooks and crannies make for perfect hideaways.

    Where is the outrage from Western leaders over all these incidents? The answer of course is that they don’t exist. Not even a massive bloodbath like the infamous Dolphinarium slaughter of 2001 prompted much in the way of outcry.

    As I often do, I must say again: where are the evangelical leaders in America who will condemn, wholly, the targeting and murder of Jews?

    The Israelis complain often about the incitement to violence from the Palestinian Authority. But isn’t gross silence and indifference from Western leaders, including elitist evangelical leaders, also a form of incitement? A hands-off approach so long as it’s only Jews being murdered?

    I have long believed that at the root of the silence is a simple dislike of Jews. This comes from all denominations: the mainline churches “liked” Jews who were survivors of the Holocaust, because that madness was simply beyond the pale. However, they did not like Jews with guns, the IDF, and especially after the Six Day War, the tolerance from the liberal churches waned.

    But even in the so-called conservative denominations, I know leadership — from the SBC and the Assemblies of God — that clearly seems to have a problem with Jews. They might acknowledge and even embrace much of prophecy. They might have some respect for Israel as an ally in the War on Terror.

    In their hearts, though, they harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. Somewhere in the childhoods, or in seminary, or around the dinner table, they heard that Jews control all the money in the world, or foment violence in order to prosper. Or they’ve heard that Jews “killed Christ.”

    All these dark spots on the hearts of professing Christians add up to one thing: stepping aside when Jews are being hurt.

    Look at Jimmy Carter. How can the man teach Sunday school and embrace (literally!) Hamas terrorists? How can evangelical leadership gurus like Brad Lomenick and Gabe Lyons allow anti-Israel speakers at their conferences? How can Dr. Russell Moore of the SBC talk out of both sides of his mouth where Israel is concerned, even sounding eerily like a Replacement Theology guy when discussing Israel? What about the faculty at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, closely aligned with the Society for Pentecostal Studies — a group associated with Dr. Paul Alexander, a virulent critic of Israel? When Alexander was scrutinized by the top AG leadership for his liberal stances on homosexuality and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, several SPS members privately expressed solidarity with Alexander.

    Do rank-and-file Christians understand what is going on in “conservative” circles? At every turn, liberal and leftist ideology is seeping into the fabric of church life. And in this narrow focus of violence toward Jews and hatred of Israel, the trends are deeply troubling.

    Let me be frank. Stalwart pro Israel leaders like Noah Hutchings at Southwest Radio Church are in the winter of their lives. Who is replacing them? Not enough apologists and pro Israel leaders. In fact, the “replacements” are center-left ideologues who privately (and soon, openly) have a bone to pick with Israel.

    Let me give you one final example for now, to help you understand the networks.

    Cameron Strang, publisher of Relevant magazine, has had his photo ops with Barack Obama in the White House. Why would the 30-ish Strang be invited to a shindig at the White House? Because Team Obama knows who the influencers are among young people, and Strang, in the pages of his magazine, never misses an opportunity to bash Israel.

    This is what we are facing in the not-too-distant future. An age in which the gathering forces against Israel and her capitol, Jerusalem, grow more menacing.

    And fewer seem to care.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


     

    Nov 24, 2014

    Giving Iran More Time

    It’s difficult to watch the madness that passes for American foreign policy these days.

    Take the Iranian negotiations.

    Please.

    Meeting in Vienna, officials on both sides of a global “effort” to reach a deal with Iran on the terror-state’s drive for nuclear weapons are now considering extending the deadline of November 25.

    Of course they are.

    As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry poses for photo ops with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad  Zarif, one wonders how we’ve sunk so low.

    According to a report in the Jerusalem Post:

    “’Our focus remains on taking steps forward toward an agreement, but it is only natural that just over 24 hours from the deadline we are discussing a range of options both internally and with our P5+1 partners,’ a senior State Department official said, referring to the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany. ‘An extension is one of those options.’”

    Russia and China. Such hostile nations to the U.S. ensure that Iran will never be required to give up its race for the ultimate weapon. An extension, say to January, 2015, would require “concessions” such as (from both sides):

    “Added caps on Iran’s enrichment of uranium agreed upon by Tehran, and the further easing of sanctions on Iran granted by world powers, possibly in the form of airplane shipments or the delivery of heavy oil-drilling equipment.”

    You do see of course that Iran will continue to ignore such “caps” while at the same time the Western powers buckle and ease sanctions.

    I have a theory that since Israel is the only country threatened with extinction by the mullahs of Iran, the rest of the world cares little about Iran’s ambitions. It’s the classic case of hoping the crocodile eats someone else before he comes for you.

    As Bible-believing Christians (which dominate the readership of RR), we have a different perspective: Israel, via Scripture, cannot cease to exist. This is a promise from God. It matters little that much of the world mocks such a “simplistic” worldview.

    Further, rather than obsess over the dreadful weakness now being displayed by the Americans and European countries, I think it is imperative that each of us get our spiritual house in order.

    This is all we can do, and all we should do.

    By all accounts, Iran now has thousands of centrifuges with which to enrich uranium, which in turn can be used to make nuclear bombs. Remember, too, Iran is also racing to make intercontinental ballistic missiles, with which to threaten the rest of us.

    Only a tiny fraction of the world’s population (Bible believers) recognizes that Israel is here to stay. We live in momentous times, dangerous times.

    That makes it all the more important that, rather than acting from fear at the current terrors in the night, we act with confidence and tell anyone we come in contact with that God’s promises are sure and true.

    Madness is enveloping the world, but we can be serene and calm, even joyful, in the face of dangers.

    This is our duty.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Nov 17, 2014

    Kissinger Speaks

    I once heard a story that fabled statesman Henry Kissinger flew to Jerusalem upon the election of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israeli premier. This was 1996.

    The story goes that Kissinger, upon landing in Tel Aviv, was driven straight to Netanyahu. The men then went behind closed doors for a not-long meeting. When they emerged, Netanyahu was ashen-faced. Kissinger immediately left and flew home to the U.S.

    The story might be untrue, or it might be true. If true, one can presume that Kissinger told Netanyahu something so astonishing, the young prime minister was caught off-guard. Presumably it involved a diabolical threat to the Jewish state.

    I mention this little tale, because Kissinger has been thought by various conspiracy enthusiasts to be either the antichrist, or his lieutenant. A Council on Foreign Relations kind-of-guy, shadowy…all that.

    I have no idea if Kissinger is at that level of power broker, but I do know he gave an interesting speech this week in New York, at the Waldorf Astoria. He received the Theodor Herzl Award from the World Jewish Congress (WJC).

    Kissinger’s comments about Israel’s attempts to strike a peace deal with the Palestinians were very interesting. Especially for a guy considered to be a dark figure in international politics. Kissinger said point-blank that Israel has no business negotiating a final deal with the Palestinians until the current overall unrest in the Middle East has subsided. There is a general feeling right now in Israel that the Palestinians have launched a third “Intifada,” a torrent of terrorism aimed at all Jews.

    Kissinger is well aware of the situation.

    “[Israel should] make contributions by the understanding it shows for the psychological and historical problems of the people with which it lives in the same territory. But things cannot be accomplished in a final manner in a single negotiation.”

    With barbaric Islamic groups burning the Middle East, there is little chance of any long-term deal in the Arab-Israeli conflict and in fact, there is unprecedented (and largely unknown to the public) close cooperation going on between Israeli and Arab security forces. Iran looms large for all interested parties, including the Saudis, and the green light given to Muslim Brotherhood-backed terror groups, by Barack Obama’s limp-wristed 2009 speech in Cairo has all nervous.

    Kissinger also addressed the all-important relationship between the U.S. and Israel, and seemed to downplay current tense feelings between Washington and Jerusalem.

    “In the years ahead,” Kissinger said, “there are a number of principles that the United States has to keep in mind. What it will defend or seek to achieve even if it has to do so alone. What it has to achieve only together with others, and finally, what is beyond its capacity.

    “The survival of Israel and the maintenance of its capacity to build the future is one of those principles that we will pursue even if we have to do so alone.

    “It is crucial for the United States to develop a conception of the future that we can sustain over a long period of time,” he said. “And part of that consensus must be a realization that Israel is, has been, a representative of the principles in which America believes. It is the one country on whose geopolitical support America can always count.

    “In America we have come to think that peace is something that can be contracted in a single effort…” he concluded. “The fact is that we are engaged now in a process without end, but a process which needs our convictions and our commitments and in which the friendship between Israel and the United States is an essential element.”

    Kissinger, who fled Germany during the Holocaust, knows about what he speaks regarding these issues. It is unknown if he is indeed the kind of malevolent character described by conspiracy theorists, but his speech in New York was refreshing and important, especially as Israel attempts to navigate difficult and choppy international waters.

    Henry Kissinger is a man who knows many secrets. And today, Benjamin Netanyahu is more tempered and wise and experienced as the leader of the most unique nation on Earth.

    Let us all resolve to pray harder for our Jewish friends worldwide, and those who inhabit the glorious state of Israel.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

     

    Nov 10, 2014

    The Year of Supporting Bibi

    During his first premiership, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was roundly criticized by the left, especially media in his own country. One brave journalist even penned a column titled, “The Year of Hating Bibi.”

    Today, we lament the shabby and crude treatment given to Netanyahu by our own government.

    It seems that almost every day, there is a news item about how the troubles in the Middle East are somehow Netanyahu’s fault.  The White House recently weathered yet another scandal, this one involving a high-placed official offering a crude remark about Netanyahu.

    Then, just last week, Israel’s own daily newspaper, Ha’aretz, published a cartoon of Netanyahu flying a plane into a high-rise building.

    It’s stunning that anti-Semitism has reached such levels.

    Yet all is not lost. As the left flexes its muscles in criticizing Netanyahu, his supporters are rallying, too. I would prefer that more evangelical leaders in America would follow suit, but we take what we can get.

    My friends at the America-Israel Friendship League are offering their influential support to the Israeli leader, and it is instructive for us, I think, to read it and consider that when things get tough, we should keep proper perspective.

    Kenneth Bialkin, Chairman of AIFL, commented:

    “It is particularly moving that the words of the leader of Israel come during the Days of Awe, the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur when Jews reflect on their sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kippur.  The image of a leader of Israel bringing a message during the Days of Awe to the representatives of the entire world warning of the imminence of a great danger threatening to world peace is suggestive of the warnings during the biblical period of the Prophets of Old.  It is to be devoutly hoped that the peace-loving people of the world heed the warning of the Prime Minister of Israel.”

    What a wonderful thought from Bialkin. But it is not simply a statement of affection and support. It is a clear signal that those who covet freedom and defend high ideals are engaged in the practical work of supporting Israel. It is an every day job, and one cannot help wondering if indeed those Prophets of Old are watching to see how we respond to this latest epoch in the history of the Jewish people.

    Let’s make this the Year of Supporting Bibi.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

     


    November 3, 2014

    (This is my 400th “Israel Watch” for RaptureReady. It is one of the joys of my life to live in this community of believers, and I want to thank Todd and Terry for their faithfulness, encouragement, and support. Per the subject of the following column, Palestinian advocate Porter Speakman, Jr. recently referred to me as a “RaptureReady tool.” Thank, you; I’m proud of the association. Much love to all of you at RR. Jim)

    The Subversives

    I began actively advocating for Israel in 1995. The large shadow of the Oslo Accords, which bonded Israel’s security with the newly created Palestinian Authority, was all.

    Many things have happened since then, of course. Today I want to discuss a common theme at “Israel Watch” the last couple years, but with a greater sense of urgency.

    The Palestinians and their many international friends — growing in number weekly now — undermine and seek to destroy Israel in myriad ways. I have become convinced that this implacable enemy of the Jews and the Jewish state is unreachable in terms of true peace efforts.

    Let me qualify that statement. I believe them to be unreachable unless they publicly, clearly acknowledge that Arab rejectionism and the global jihad agenda are the root cause of the conflict.

    This is not happening.

    As a Bible-believing Christian and committed Christian Zionist, I believe — I know — one of the greatest threats to Israel and her supporters today comes from within the (often) self-appointed evangelical leadership community in the United States.

    A Jew-hater like Stephen Sizer, the Anglican vicar from the UK, is still outside the borders of the U.S. and while his influence in the international community is somewhat significant, his reach is limited in convincing American Christians that Israel is the real problem in the Middle East.

    So, let me ask you a question: If you were a Palestinian leader wishing to undermine Israel in the U.S., how would you do it?

    I’ll answer the question from my perspective: I’d reach straight into the very heart of Evangelicalism in the greatest nation on Earth. I’d seek to weave an elaborate and well-choreographed lie about Israel and her supporters, and tell it loudly and often to rank-and-file American Christians.

    I would first launch this plan by getting close to evangelical leaders. I would garner invitations to influential conferences. I’d accept invitations to speak in churches all over America.

    And above all, develop my lie with honeyed words.

    This is what’s happening in America right now. The erosion of support for Israel in American churches is the greatest underreported story around. I have hesitated to say publicly just how dire the situation is, because I know our enemies love it and it emboldens them. Yet I feel compelled to speak in the limited way that I can.

    I know virtually every pro Israel Christian organization in existence. Many are personal friends. I love them and feel it’s mutual. They do tremendous work.

    Yet a few recent conversations leave me troubled. There is a tendency to want to appear “moderate” when advocating for Israel.

    The other side has no such approach. They are relentless, vicious, and subversive. Brian McLaren, much more in tune with Eastern religion than any evangelicals he purports to move among, agreed with Palestinian propagandist Naim Ateek in claiming that Christian Zionists are a bigger threat to Palestinians than jihadists.

    Not a peep from the American evangelical community. The grotesque and malicious charges laid at the feet of Christian Zionists, by those who have “crept in unawares” into the Church, are met with silence by leaders like Bill Hybels. He and his wife, Lynne, have been befriended by Palestinians since the ‘70s…why? Because the Palestinians are smart and realize that the quickest way to finish-off pro Israel support in the American Church is to get friendly with the leadership.

    This they have done and are doing. At an alarming rate.

    No, the other side does not follow any mythical rules of war. They lie all the day long and promote the Palestinian Narrative, which claims that almost all the problems in the Middle East are Israel’s fault.

    For today, let me site just one example. This week, I had discussions with three people in the pro Israel community in the U.S. The topic was whether the Green family — of Hobby Lobby fame — have been misunderstood in terms of their purported support for the Palestinians.

    Let me say specifically what I mean.

    Three years ago, I broke a story about the film (http://www.wnd.com/2011/12/374717/), “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” produced by EGM Films, a project funded and emotionally supported by Mart Green, head of Mardel Christian bookstores (his brother, Steve, runs Hobby Lobby, founded by their father).

    The film is anti-Israel (see it and decide for yourself), and when I interviewed the director, Jim Hanon, he told me that he had begun the project by visiting Hezbollah chief Sheik Nasrallah, in Lebanon.

    (How weird is that?)

    You need to understand that Nasrallah is a murderous jihadist who openly advocates for Israel’s destruction. Hanon told me on the record that he found Nasrallah to be personable. This is akin to Neville Chamberlain thinking he could appeal to Hitler.

    Mart Green produced this film with part of his fortune. EGM Films has generous office space at Hobby Lobby headquarters in Oklahoma City.

    Now, some of my pro Israel friends are telling me that the Green family has been “misunderstood” on this issue. Well, my answer is two-fold:

    A) I have no idea what David and Steve Green and the extended family think about Israel or any of this. B) What I know is that Mart Green produced an anti-Israel film and when I attempted to interview him about it, he couldn’t find the time.

    This week, I will attempt — again — to interview him about this subject, because evidently, there’s been enough pushback about the film that someone connected to the family has claimed at least privately that they have been misunderstood.

    The Green family gave upwards of $100 million to Oral Roberts University a few years ago. Mart Green became the chairman of the board of regents at ORU. Let me be clear: in my view, he bought that seat, and it stands to reason that his advocacy for the Palestinians will now find its way into the heart of the Pentecostal world.

    (The Greens also contributed $10.5 million to Liberty University, now run by Jerry Falwell Jr. Jonathan Falwell now pastors Thomas Road Baptist Church and is growing in influence among evangelicals. Although these men have given no public evidence that they would be influenced by the seeping views of a Mart Green with regard to the Palestinians, they move in all those circles. There is a new ecumenism speeding like a freight train throughout evangelism, and people with strong views on things like the Arab-Israeli conflict are quietly shunned or shown the door. I am telling you point-blank that buying influence among top evangelical leadership can yield a marketing bonanza for Palestinian propagandists down the road. It’s done incrementally.)

    In 2012, some of the aforementioned leadership was also responsible for a screening of the “O Little Town of Bethlehem” film to a group of Pentecostal leaders at Regent University. Sami Awad, Palestinian propagandist, also spoke at the gathering.

    What is happening right at this moment is that a well-orchestrated, well-funded effort by the Palestinians is proceeding nicely. That agenda is to infiltrate — infiltrate — American evangelical churches with Palestinian propaganda.

    Period.

    I am asked, consistently by friends, if I’m sure of my claims. I’ve been sure for years, because I can document it. I suspect that I am asked repeatedly because the true horror of the implications are too much to wrap one’s mind around. It’s easier to keep repeating our own propaganda that “the vast majority of evangelicals support Israel. The truth is not as bright, but it’s realistic.

    Moderation is not the way to advocate for Israel today, my friends. One does not have to resort to the maliciousness and ad hominem arguments put forth by opponents of Christian Zionism.

    But if anyone thinks this fight is not open warfare over the right of Israel to exist, he is deluding himself.

    Honestly? I wish top Christian Zionist leadership would name names and tell people what’s going on in this story.

    It isn’t that the Palestinians are attempting to co-opt the mainline — the United Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. They’ve already done that, decades ago.

    What they are doing right now is burrowing deep into the very heart of Evangelicalism: the Assemblies of God, the wider Pentecostal world, the Southern Baptist Convention, etc. Astonishingly, they attempted in 2013 to infiltrate the Calvary Chapel Association, which was rebuffed.

    I don’t know what Mart Green really thinks about all this. He won’t talk. All I know is that he is friendly with people who don’t like Israel.

    Here is another of One Man’s Opinion: if the Greens are privately claiming they have been misunderstood regarding this film, then I publicly call on them to say so. Tell us exactly where you stand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and what you think about the film produced by Mart Green. Are they more concerned about losing customers if the customers really know about the Palestinian connection?

    I’m not sure. Let them go public with their views on Israel.

    If the Greens have been duped — specifically, if Mart Green has been duped — let’s have it out in the open and have him go on record with a statement.

    Meanwhile, his friends in the Palestinian community continue to promote a worldview that is no different from that of the PLO, long sworn to Israel’s destruction.

    Our ideological opponents want us to be moderate and accommodating and have symposiums and dialogue.

    While they are using brass knuckles, and a sockful of nickels on their Christian Zionist opponents.

    jim@prophecymatters.com