Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem

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

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  • Oct 20, 2014

    The Numbers Matter

    The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, a part of the Israeli intelligence community, is an invaluable source for understanding the jihadists’ agenda.

    Recently, the ITIC released a report, in meticulous detail, shedding light on the numbers of Palestinians killed in this past summer’s Hamas War.

    The importance of the breakdown is multi-layered. Of major importance is the revelation of how Hamas conducted its terror war against Israeli civilians…by putting their own citizens in danger.

    The ITIC concludes that slightly more than half of those killed were Palestinian civilians, put in harm’s way by Hamas. One can rightly wonder why American and European political leadership, religious figures, and media types refuse — refuse — to acknowledge that Hamas is responsible for the horrible loss of life.

    Look, I’ve been to the region many times, and as a Christian Zionist, I can say that it grieves me to see Palestinian civilians slaughtered by those who claim to lead them. I have Palestinian friends, both in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and the continued imprisonment of them, by Hamas and the PA, is heartbreaking and enormously frustrating.

    A fascinating note in the ITIC report shows that Palestinian leadership actually recruits adolescents. This is an emotionally devastating reality.

    A photograph in the report shows Wassim Nasr Shurab and his brother, Iyad Nasr Shurab, members of the PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] Al-Quds Battalions, killed in Khan Yunis in July. Both are pictured in a photo from a few years ago, holding a rocket launcher and other weapons, proving that they are recruited as adolescents.

    My friend and colleague, Chris Quintana (pastor of Calvary Chapel Cypress, CA) recently posted on Facebook one of the most lucid statements I’ve yet seen, and its appearance was startling when one considers that few religious leaders and no political leaders to my knowledge inform the American public in the way Chris did.

    He pointed out a crucial truth in the Terror War. We all often hear that “only” about 10 percent of Muslims worldwide are radicals. A few conservative whistle blowers (like Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, and Pam Geller) point out that if this is true, at least 100 million Muslims are radicals!

    What Chris pointed out, though — and this helps explain in macrocosm the report on how Palestinians are radicalized — is that a full 90 percent of Muslims worldwide are Sunni, and the Sunnis are predominant among terrorist leadership.

    In other words, one could legitimately argue that we can flip the previous numbers and assume that the vast majority of Muslims at least internally agree with jihadist ideology.

    (By contrast, the Iranian leadership is Shia, the “competition” with Sunnis in Islam. So, neither outcome is anything less than chilling.)

    To the point of the Hamas War against Israel, the Jewish state is dealing not only with jihadist leadership, but a radicalized society fed a diet of hate for decades. This is the spotlight on the Shurab brothers. A tragedy of epic proportions.

    Until world leadership steps up and admits the true nature of the problem, the jihadist agenda will continue to advance.

    I am confident Israel will deal with its problems and survive.

    I’m not confident at all about the rest of us.

    Oct 13, 2014

    Obama & Friends

    Anna Baltzer is a young “activist” closely associated with the BDS Movement (Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions), aimed at Israel. It is one front in a multi-front war against the Jewish state. Whereas Hamas is physically confrontational, BDS is a key part of the cultural terrorism that attacks Israel relentlessly.

    Active in social media, including Twitter, Baltzer seeks to mobilize Jew-haters among evangelical Millennials, and the mainline churches. Recently, she circulated a document among folks in the United Church of Christ, urging BDS activism. The UCC, of course, vies with a couple other denominations for the crown of most leftwing. It is also the church-of-choice for Barack Obama. In fact, the UCC is where he learned at the feet of Jeremiah Wright.

    (To better understand Obama and his associates, I strongly recommend two books: Dupes — How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century, by Paul Kengor, and Saul Alinsky: The Evil Genius Behind Obama, by Jerome Corsi.)

    One can simply let eyes fall on a page of Baltzer’s document and find a lie. For example:


    “•Present – Occupations and unconditional US support for Israel continue”

    This is absurd, but because so many don’t know much about the Arab-Israeli conflict, propagandists like Baltzer get away with it. She knows very well that Obama & Team work tirelessly to undermine Israel in myriad ways. “Unconditional US support” is a Big Lie.

    It is interesting to note that even among pro Israel activists, there is often confusion as to why Obama does what he does regarding the Jewish state. His public rebukes of Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu, and his open contempt for the premier are actually not difficult to understand, given his absolutely radical associations and education. Certain UCC leadership (like the now-retired Wright) are virulently anti-Israel, and this is where Obama attended church for two decades. Beyond that, his associations with communists and his embrace of totalitarians provide clarity when considering his animus towards Israel.

    In the document she circulates, Baltzer presents a list of “sources” of information. Almost comically, they are the usual suspects of leftists and propagandists. One could ask: when listing biased sources like Electronic Intifada and B’tselem (Amnesty International also makes the list), why doesn’t Baltzer also list sources like StandWithUs and Israel National News?

    The answer is obvious: demonizing Israel is more important than truth.

    The networking among anti-Israel propagandists is vast, much more widespread than even pro Israel activists are aware. For example, the Anna Baltzers of the world mix easily with young evangelical leaders who are helping infect the American Church with rabid anti-Israel propaganda. On Facebook, Baltzer has thousands in her network (as an aside, many pro Israel activists do not even use social media; this is one example of the gap in effective communication via networks).

    A further interesting example of Baltzer’s influence can be found from an Amazon review of a DVD she produced. Notice the bizarre claims of this person:

    “I am a Christian who in the past had believed and taught the standard Zionist line. What changed my perspective was when a friend challenged me with the question of, ‘What if Jesus were serious about loving one's enemies?’ Conservative Evangelical Christians completely reject this possibility with objections such as, ‘Just wherein loving your enemies does it say not to kill them?’ and ‘Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to kill them.’. Fortunatley I examined the issue and as I came to embrace these words of Christ my theology was shaken to its foundation.”

    Question: do Christian Zionists really say (or even think) things like: “Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to kill them’?

    Do they?

    Have you ever once heard anyone say such a thing? Only a disturbed person would say such a thing, obviously. So the next question I have is this: are such quotes real, or are they fabricated?

    I know the answer and so do you: anti-Israel and anti-Christian Zionist activists lie about their ideological opponents. Quotes are routinely fabricated, in order to give a particular slant on a story. The manipulation of language is one of the biggest stories in the American Evangelical community, yet few are aware of it. Most simply don’t know they are being lied to continuously.

    The above quote, from Anna Baltzer’s network, uses lies to promote a pro Palestinian worldview. Notice how seamlessly it fits the grotesque, gargantuan lies that come from the Oval Office.

    At the end of the day, the massive, relentless, and diabolical propaganda war against Israel is fueled by liars like the president and young activists (mentored by older ones) who despise Israel and despise Jews.

    It’s really not hard to figure out the roots of this terrible reality.



    Oct 6, 2014

    A Non-Starter

    Every time Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes a breath, his critics pounce. As I often do, I am thinking of American political and religious leaders.

    In an interview this week, Netanyahu said that if there is to be a Palestinian state, “everyone” will have to adjust their ideas of what sovereignty would mean. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post:

    “Netanyahu, who filmed the interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria during his stay last week in New York, said that the only way to ensure that territory ceded by Israel does not turn into a ‘third Iranian enclave around Israel’s border’ is to have a long-term Israeli security presence inside a future Palestinian state.”

    It’s a given the Palestinians will reject/attack Netanyahu’s position.

    I expect, though, that his vicious critics within the religious/political community will pounce once again, from their ivory tower in the West.

    In the interview, Netanyahu spoke about concrete realities, a main one being that were Hamas to take over the West Bank, mere mortar fire could paralyze Ben Gurion Airport.

    Forget rockets and missiles.

    Further, Netanyahu made clear that he has a thorough understanding of the problem, something his critics do not grasp:

    “The Palestinians have made clear that they are adamantly opposed to any protracted Israeli security presence anywhere in a future Palestinian state, including along the Jordan River.

    “Asked about Israel’s assessment of the strength of Islamic State, Netanyahu – who just a month ago put the figure of Islamic State fighters at 10,000, or about half that of Hamas – said Sunday that they have ‘several tens of thousands by now. It’s growing by day because they’ve got about 2 million petrodollars revenue a day.’

    I’ve seen the Jordan River Valley, and it is an absolute necessity that Israel maintain control of the area. A failure to do so would leave them with their backs to the sea, in the event of an attack, and an attack would surely come. This week marks the 41st anniversary of the Yom Kippur War; Israel has been dealing with lethal threats for decades, and Netanyahu (who fought in ’73, while a student at M.I.T.) is dealing with more of them than perhaps any Israeli leader.

    Remember, the Palestinian refusal — they call Netanyahu’s analyses a non-starter because they wouldn’t even consider it — to accept an Israeli security presence in the Jordan River Valley brings to mind the 1970 attempted coup by the PLO, in Jordan. The Palestinian refusal to seriously address Israel’s legitimate security needs is a key indicator that they not only don’t care about such concerns, but they in fact are the primary threats to Israeli security.

    As Netanyahu continues to make more sense about the realities in the Middle East, look for his critics to drift further from reality, as their Jew hatred rises.

    Sep 29, 2014

    A Major Award!

    One of the joys of my life centers around the friendships I have within the pro Israel community, whether the groups or individuals are Jews or Christians. For 20 years, I’ve advocated for Israel in some form or another.

    I like to keep readers informed of terrific sources to do just that, and so I was recently glad to hear that my friends at Untold News are preparing to present awards to top Israeli innovators — folks who work tirelessly to make the world a better place. Frankly, if Israel’s enemies put as much into these endeavors as they do to destroying the Jewish state…well, that’s another story.

    Marcella Rosen, the founder of Untold News, recently announced that the group will hold an awards dinner to honor innovators on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at the Harmony Club in New York.

    “We will offer a $10,000 cash award for each recipient,” Rosen says. Untold News will also send the recipients on a short media tour to Philadelphia, Boston, and New York City. “We plan to do this annually,” Rosen adds. The awards will recognize inventions of the last year.

    Untold News features stories about Israeli achievers who excel in improving technological, agricultural, and medical fields. Whether it’s fish farming, desalination, or providing world-class medical care regardless of a patient’s background, Israel provides hope for millions around the world. These stories serve as a dramatic counterweight to the negative portrayals of Israel from international media.

    Rosen feels the awards dinner will serve as a further spotlight on stories unknown to much of the general public. She is excited about the focus on innovators.

    “Criteria are that they improve the human condition and have a ‘wow factor,’ and have a global impact. In each case, there are two applications: from scientific institutions and universities. Those interested in applying for consideration should get a dean or professor to endorse their nomination. Each applicant also must be an Israeli citizen.”

    The two categories — science and technology — promise to focus on “up-and-coming” innovators. Rosen also emphasized that applicants must be able to speak English well enough to be interviewed by media.

    “We want to celebrate the inventors and we want to get press coverage, to see how Israeli has impacted lives,” Rosen says. “People really aren’t aware of this and Israeli is such a valuable partner to the US.”

    Ten nominees will be selected, and the names will then be sent to a jury. A single meeting will produce the winners.

    The jury will be made up of prominent American academics, businesspeople, and others. To date nine have signed on:

    • Joel Citron, venture capitalist, CEO, Tenth Avenue Holdings
    • Dr. Barry Coller, Chief Medical Officer at Rockefeller University
    • Alisa Doctoroff, President, UJA
    • Margie Fox, Chief Creative Officer at Devries
    • Heidi Jacobus, CEO of Cybernet Systems
    • Eric Kandel, Nobel Laureate and professor at Columbia
    • Morris Offit, CEO of Offit Capital
    • David Schizer, just stepping down as Dean of Columbia Law School
    • Tony Tether, former head of DARPA ($3 billion US government department to expedite scientific progress)

    I encourage Christian supporters of Israel to check out Untold News at, and use the information to tell those within your circle just how much good the Jewish state does for an international community that should be grateful.

    Sep 22, 2014

    Of Prophecy and Israel

    Obvious statement alert.

    We live in such odd times.

    The past month has brought news of convulsions in the Bible prophecy movement: transitions among decades-long ministries. The announcement of new groups. And, as always, the growing mocking from skeptics (ironically, I’m talking about fellow Christians, ranging from Reformed types, to Mark Driscoll, to Millennial sources).

    By extension, the immense pressure being brought to bear on Israel the past two decades is only getting worse. Here at “Israel Watch” and RR, the erosion of support for Israel among American evangelical leaders is an ongoing story. This week brought news that the Palestinians are once again preparing to petition the UN for recognition of statehood. This surely is one of the most bizarre developments of our time, as the Palestinian Authority is run by a gang of criminals who still have many friends in high places.

    What is on my mind this week: what are you, the reader, seeing in your own churches and circles of influence with regard to how Israel is perceived and how Bible prophecy is perceived.

    Yes, I’m aware that the landscape “doesn’t look good.” What I’d like to know, though, is how you are your friends are penetrating the darkness through Israel advocacy or the teaching of Bible prophecy.

    For example, a dear friend of mine is working quietly in his (Reformed) church to introduce Bible prophecy concepts. Another friend is a retired minister who circulates online Israel advocacy resources to his circle of active pastor friends.

    I believe very strongly in efforts like these. We can’t all be Christians United for Israel (CUFI), or Tim LaHaye or Dave Reagan. Most of us have “smaller” platforms and what most don’t realize is, those smaller platforms make a difference.

    We are where we are. Some of us think that even with the challenges in our world, it is a marvelous and wondrous time to be alive. We are seeing prophecy unfold every day.


    So…if you are so inclined, let me know how it goes in your circles. Good or bad feedback is what I’d like to have, a realistic assessment of what the landscape looks like.

    I sincerely believe that RR readers are family, especially in these perilous times.

    Thanks for all you do out there.


    Sep 15, 2014

    The Jew Haters

    Near where I live — in the middle of America — I once stopped for gas at a local convenience store. On the counter was an unusually titled tabloid-style paper. I picked one up and began to thumb through it. Very quickly, I realized it was a white supremacist rag. An ad inside led me to a book published…locally…and in the book, the “author” alleged that the Jews were a product of the union of Eve and Satan.

    The insanity of it all was overwhelming. We live in the age of science and reason, right?

    Yet, it always amazes me to learn of more mind-numbing anti-Semitic filth bubbling up from the international community. MEMRI ( has uncovered a weird production from Iraqi TV. As the Iraqis deal with the demonic entity known as ISIS, this is what they’ve come up with:

    “With Islamic State dominating the world stage with its brutal mass murders, gruesome videos to world leaders and omnipresence on social media, Iraq – perhaps the hardest-hit nation by the self-proclaimed caliphate – has taken to the airwaves to give its take on the root cause of the extremist group.

    “A satire show, broadcast on an Iraqi TV network, depicts an arranged marriage between Satan and a Jewish woman. As celebratory music plays in the background, wedding preparations are underway in an arid Middle Eastern desert. The marriage ‘has a purpose,’ the man officiating the wedding exclaims, as the video turns to the bride and groom. ‘We will name our child ISIS,’ the parents-to-be say in unison.

    “Much to their pleasure, after taking their vows, the happy couple has a child, an ISIS fighter – who emerges from an egg, fully equipped for battle.

    “As Satan and his Jewish wife raise their ‘ISIS-ling,’ the controversial rituals of the rising terrorist group are mocked, from the infamous black-and-white Islamic State flag, to the many ‘throat slittings,’ to various forms of punishments inflicted on ‘infidels’ and the rest of the extreme Sharia laws.”

    To all this I say, How long, O God, will the world mock your people?

    When the human mind cannot explain evil, the human mind blames the Jews. Whether it’s a small southern town in the United States, or a Middle Eastern country that at one time was literate and urbane — all seem to try and explain bad things by blaming the Jews.

    This issue is this: because the majority of the world rejects God’s revelation, as given in the Bible, the world opens itself up to all forms of evil, including thoughts and deeds.

    One day soon, the Lord will return and set things right. He will rule with perfect justice and righteousness, and He will show Himself completely to the world that has mostly rejected Him.

    I welcome that day, not only because His Chosen People will finally and forever dwell in safety, but because He will heal for all time the damaged and insane minds that have endangered the Jews and blamed them for millennia.

    As Thomas Ice often says: “Maranatha!”

    Sep 8, 2014

    Air and Sea in Gaza

    For some watching the summer war between Hamas and Israel, it is passing curious that the Gaza terror group keeps ramping-up pressure. Why continue lobbing rockets into Israel, when you know you can’t win?

    The same reason Barack Obama continues to dismantle America: he’s not stupid, he’s pragmatic and on-task.

    Hamas knows that the international community dislikes (at best) Israel and Jews. They know that. By increasing pressure, they move closer to the day when the international community (UN, media, political structures) will attempt to force its will on the Jewish state.

    So it is that Hamas had the temerity to demand of the Palestinian “unity government” (the cobbled-together union of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority) that a seaport and airport be built in Gaza!

    On the face of it, the idea is unworkable and, as they say, a non-starter. Israel will never allow such infrastructure toe-holds to be obtained by the Palestinians, who would use an airport and seaport to launch all-out war on Israel.

    That’s why Hamas is demanding these things. As reported in the Jerusalem Post:

    “Hamas said the Palestinian ‘national consensus’ government should start building an airport and seaport in the Gaza Strip.

    “If Israel objects to the move, it will have to answer to the international community, Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, said on Saturday.”

    And there you have it. Hamas understands that the more it murders Jews at the same time presenting itself as a victim, the closer we get to the day when the international community (biblically, “the nations”) will finally blow a gasket with Israel.

    In a sane world, Hamas would be brutally crushed, never to be heard from again. They are killers, pure and simple. But we don’t live in a sane world. We live in a world where American power is no longer used to save innocents, Russia is expansionist, Iran intimidates the West, and Islam wishes to impose a new caliphate on the rest of us.

    Plus, Israel is in the crosshairs for defending itself.

    Israel actually has decent coordination with Egypt at the moment, but the situation in Egypt is fluid, so no one knows how long that will last. Were the Gazans to gain a seaport and airport, it would embolden the jihadists and pose a grave threat to Israel.

    Notice how savvy are Hamas leaders:

    “Former Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh reiterated on Friday his movement’s refusal to disarm.

    “During a Friday prayer sermon in Gaza City, Haniyeh said the ‘weapons of the resistance are sacred like our cause and land. We will agree to disarm on condition that Israel is also disarmed and leaves our lands.’

    “Haniyeh called on Abbas to sign the Rome Statute in order to join the International Criminal Court and prosecute Israeli leaders for war crimes against Palestinians.”

    (This is the same Haniyeh whose family is treated in deluxe Israeli hospitals.)

    Look for this type of pressure to increase, as we speed ever closer to the time of the end.

    Stay in the Word and guard your heart.

    Sep 1, 2014

    The Burgeoning Threat

    This week, I wrote a piece for the Times of Israel (, warning again about the growing attacks on Israel and Jews, from America’s evangelical leadership. This time, the Huffington Post allowed Wheaton professor Gary Burge to spread more of his propaganda.

    Although many pro Israel sources lament this very troubling trend, most aren’t aware of how we got to this place. That background is what continues to fascinate me, and I think it’s important to understand what forces and conditions led to this moment, when Israel has a new threat to deal with: Evangelicals Against Israel.

    The current American Church — which I would argue is now virtually synonymous with the Church Growth/Seeker-Driven model — is a strange mixture of liberalism and corporate structure.

    When Peter Drucker and Leadership Network made the decision to infiltrate evangelicalism a few decades ago, they selected certain up-and-comer pastors like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, who would be open to ecumenism and center-left perspectives. With regard to Israel, Hybels and his wife, Lynne (co-founders of the Willow Creek Association) had been mentored by pro Palestinian sources for years. Warren, of course, loathes Bible prophecy because it conflicts with his agenda of creating the Kingdom of God here, now.

    It took a long time, but these change agents managed to begin changing the landscape in the American church, with regard to Israel and Zionism.

    We now have Burge and many others advocating for the Palestinians.

    But what were the other contributing factors to this erosion of support for Israel?

    I’ve discussed before how liberal scholarship kicked into high gear in this country more than 100 years ago. Harry Emerson Fosdick, the famous “preacher” of the early last century, began to wage open warfare against Bible-believing Christians, and the results of the famous Scopes “Monkey Trial,” in Tennessee (where evolutionary concepts were mainstreamed and marketed) contributed to a marginalization of Christians.

    This was the stage-setting period, which would take decades to bear fruit for liberals. The key idea was to introduce doubt in people’s minds about the Bible and in particular, the Old Testament.

    In Calvin Johnson’s terrific book, “Beyond the Point of No Return,” we discover the beginnings of this agenda:

    “The institutions of learning responsible for preparing the preachers for the pulpit had turned to humanism and universalism by at least the 20’s and 30’s. Most had adopted Darwinian humanistic psychology.”

    Further, Johnson gives specifics that show an opening was created by these liberal teachers:

    “Neo-Orthodoxy gave credence to two Biblical truths – the sinfulness of man and the need for a life-changing encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. However, it did not accept the miracles and the historical events of the Bible as true.”

    The liberal, mainline denominations were already attacking the veracity of the Bible’s creation accounts in Genesis, and then they began casting doubt on the very origins of the Jewish people: the accounts of Abraham, Moses, Joshua…all were relegated either to myth or the misty realm of “semi-legend.”

    Do you see how this would build a foundation to undermine Israel’s legitimacy later? In point of fact, many, many evangelical leaders would later forge a disconnect between modern Israel and the ancient Israelites.

    Let me be clear: there is plenty of evidence that the modern Israelis are the direct descendants of David, Mordechai, Gideon, etc.

    To allege otherwise is bizarre? Yet, major evangelical leaders have done just that. Men like Chuck Colson, D. James Kennedy, and Maxie Dunnam (former president of the only evangelical seminary of the United Methodist Church, Asbury) have denied that modern Israelis are connected to the biblical patriarchs.

    This, my friends, is how we have arrived at a place where Israel’s natural alliance with the U.S., and specifically, evangelical Christian, is now in peril.

    As I’ve stated many times, NOW is the time to commit more time to prayer, Bible study and, by extension, advocacy for Israel wherever you can.

    We are in the endgame. Let’s finish well.


    Aug 25, 2014

    The Fiends

    As Israel fights —  with arms and legs tied behind its back — a barbaric terror group (Hamas), the international community of course sides with…the jihadists.

    Some would say this is due to fear of the terrorists themselves: “If we give them Israel, they’ll leave us alone.”

    However, I think it’s due to the spiritual sickness known as Jew hatred. It’s simply a case of “sophisticated” people in Europe and the West favoring a different shade of anti-Semitism than does Hamas/ISIS/Al Qaida.

    As ISIS beheads innocents in the Middle East, and Hamas murders Jewish children, Western media aid the jihadists by fingering Israel as the culprit. It is madness on a colossal scale. An item this week, noted by HonestReporting, is particularly galling.

    TIME magazine is reporting that Israeli soldiers are “harvesting” organs from dead Palestinians. HR shows that the report is false (, and it all calls to mind the worst dupes of all: “evangelical Christians.”

    In December, 2009, Relevant magazine, published by Cameron Strang, ran a story also raising the blood libel against Israel. The story was a reprint of a European story, and Relevant made maximum effect of the macabre tale by using the headline: “Israel’s Reprehensible Organ Program.”

    Like the PLO-generated propaganda that writer Donald Miller peddled in 2012, these stories falsely accuse Israelis of being fiendish, Nazi-like predators bent on destroying Palestinians.

    But if one considers that bearing false witness against the apple of God’s eye is a, well, fiendish thing to do, then it becomes clear the “evangelicals” are on the wrong side of history. Much like British clergy like Stephen Sizer, who accuse Israel of being in the same league as ISIS.

    It’s an upside-down world, one that increasing numbers of Bible-believing Christians no longer recognize. As we watch the world descend into madness, and into an immoral sewer that destroys minds, it is important to remember that God is in control: yesterday, today, and forever.

    Aug 18, 2014

    Q Ideas

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

    I would encourage you to check out Q Ideas at

    From the website, we learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Now, let’s read on:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The God of Israel is watching.



    Aug 11, 2014

    The Gathering

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

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

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

    Additional information is also available:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Along with us, the friends of the Jewish state.

    Aug 4, 2014

    The Demon Hordes Advance

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

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

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

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

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

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

    You answered correctly: there isn’t any.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Jul 28, 2014

    “We Will Succeed”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    After all, we also know Who fights for them.

    Hamas is in a lot of trouble.


    Jul 21, 2014

    A Protective Edge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Jerusalem Post is also reporting similar tactics:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Jul 14, 2014

    The Rockets’ Red Glare

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

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

    I suspect the Israelis are lining up their ducks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Book it.