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Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

JOIN US NEXT WEEK FOR BOOK TOUR EVENTS AND Q&A SESSIONS IN FT. WORTH OR HOUSTON

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2010 at 2:02 am

UPDATED — KEY HEADLINES WORTH TRACKING:

Next week, I’m looking forward to traveling to Texas to doing two speaking and Q&A events.

1. Wednesday, Nov. 3 @ 6:30pm at McKinney Memorial Bible Church in Ft. Worth — for details, please click here

2. Thursday, Nov. 4 @ 7pm at Houston’s First Baptist Church — for details, please click here

I’ll be speaking about events and trends underway in the Middle East, and about The Twelfth Imam. I’ll  share about The Joshua Fund’s tour to Israel and the 2011 Epicenter Conference in Jerusalem next May, and invite you to come with us. We’ll also talk about how pastors and ministry leaders can bring a tour to Israel and the Epicenter Conference next year. And my favorite — I’ll answer as many questions as we can squeeze in.

Please join us at either or both events if you can!

AMERICAN JEWS TARGETED IN NEW “CREDIBLE TERRORIST THREAT”

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 at 11:39 pm

“President Obama said Friday that packages mailed from Yemen and intercepted in the last 24 hours contained explosive material and represented a ‘credible terrorist threat,'” reports the Washington Post tonight. “The packages, mailed via UPS and FedEx, were addressed to two places of Jewish worship in Chicago….”

>> To purchase The Twelfth Imam, please click here

>> To sign up for Joel’s free email updates, please click here

THE TWELFTH IMAM HITS #18 ON USA TODAY BESTSELLER LIST

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Thanks so much to everyone who is reading and enjoying my new novel, The Twelfth Imam. Today, we got the news that it hit #18 on the USA Today bestseller list of all books sold in the country this week, including hardcover, paperback, fiction, non-fiction, children’s and young adult.

>> FYI: I will be on the Janet Parshall Show on the Moody Radio Network from 6:05pm to 6:30pm (eastern) tonight.

BREAKING: PAKISTANI MAN ARRESTED BY FBI FOR PLOTTING TO BOMB WASHINGTON SUBWAY SYSTEM

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2010 at 9:26 pm

“A naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan was arrested Wednesday and charged with trying to help people posing as al-Qaida operatives planning to bomb subway stations around the nation’s capital, the FBI said,” reports the Associated Press.

The lead story on the Washington Post website reports: “Farooque Ahmed, 34, of Ashburn, conspired with people he believed to be al-Qaeda operatives to attack the stations at Arlington National Cemetery, Pentagon City, Crystal City and Court House, the indictment said. An administration official said Ahmed, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Pakistan, first drew the attention of law enforcement officials by seeking to obtain unspecified materials. He later became the target of an undercover sting operation, officials said. According to the indictment, in April Ahmed began to meet in hotels in Northern Virginia with people he believed to be affiliated with a terrorist organization. He agreed to conduct video surveillance of the stations, suggested the best time to attack and the best place to place explosives to maximize casualties, the indictment alleges.”

Developing….

TENSIONS RISE AS RUSSIA AND IRAN BEGIN TO FUEL NUCLEAR REACTOR: Meanwhile, new oil discovery in Israel

In Uncategorized on October 26, 2010 at 2:03 pm

>> Iranians planning to execute Christian pastor, but have temporarily delayed the execution — please pray

>> Pope urged to denounce archbishop’s ‘political stunt’ [of saying Jews aren't the chosen people]: Jewish groups call on Benedict XVI to condemn remarks denying Jews’ link to Land of Israel. ‘These latest moves will damage interfaith relations and embolden anti-Semites and terrorists,’ Simon Wiesenthal Center says

Tensions are rising in the Middle East this week amidst several new and troubling developments.

First, “Iran began loading fuel into the core of its Bushehr nuclear reactor Tuesday morning, moving closer to the start-up of its first atomic plant,” reports the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “Iranian and Russian engineers started moving nuclear fuel into the main reactor building in August but a reported leak in a storage pool delayed injection of the fuel into the reactor.” This is the latest evidence of the increasingly close strategic alliance between Russia and Iran. It is particularly concerning in light of the Iranian leaders’ belief in the imminent arrival of the Shia Islamic messiah known as the Twelfth Imam, and in light of the prophecies of Ezekiel 38 and 39 — what is known as the War of Gog and Magog — which indicate that Russia and Iran will form an alliance against Israel in “the last days” of human history, before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Second, a new report in a French newspaper indicates that the Iran-backed Shia Muslim terrorist group Hezbollah now has some 40,000 rockets and missiles in southern Lebanon aimed at Israel in preparation for an apocalpytic war involving the Twelfth Imam.

Third, in an intriguing sign of good news, “a new preliminary geological survey indicates 26 million barrels of recoverable oil worth $2 billion may be sitting underneath the sandy soil in the area of two kibbutzim in the Western Negev, near Gaza,” says a new industry report. “Besides the estimates of oil at a depth of 2,000 meters, or approximately 1.25 miles, the preliminary survey also reports an additional estimate of 12 million barrels of recoverable oil at depths of up to 4,000 meters, worth $900 at current prices. The area is adjacent to the small Heletz oil field, which so far has produced more than 16 million barrels of oil.  If the new field is drilled, it will be the first deep-well drilling in the area in decades.”

Meanwhile, off the coast of Haifa, an historic, $150 million drilling operation has begun to reach the massive natural gas fields discovered earlier this year. Some industry experts believe Israel will be energy independent in the next few years, and will become a net exporter of natural gas, most likely to markets in Europe. Lars Larson had me on his nationally syndicated radio show last night to talk about the game-changing nature of such developments, and the possible prophetic nature of these oil and gas finds. He alerted me to an interesting blog that has been tracking such events over the past week. I confirmed for Lars that in the Old Testament there are several End Times prophecies that petroleum will be discovered in Israel in the last days, as I detailed in my non-fiction book, Epicenter: How The Current Rumblings In The Middle East Will Change Your Future.

OTHER HEADLINES TO TRACK:

READER QUESTION: WILL THE TWELFTH IMAM BE RESURRECTED?

In Uncategorized on October 26, 2010 at 1:09 am

Here is a question a reader emailed me last week:I just read a statement on your website about the release of your new novel that deeply concerns me. You said, ‘I cannot say for certain that the Twelfth Imam will come to earth . . . But according to Bible prophecy, it is possible.’ You then buttress that statement by quoting Jesus’ warning to watch out for false christs. What disturbs me is the fact that it is one thing to say that some person claiming to be the 12th Imam might suddenly appear on the scene, but it is quite another to argue that it would be possible for the 12th Imam to return from the dead. You left the impression of the latter, and I think that is biblically unsound.”

Here is my response: “Thanks so much for your note, and the concern you raised…..To be clear, I don’t believe that if someone claiming to be the Twelfth Imam were to emerge that he would be someone resurrected from the 9th century.” The Twelfth Imam, if he comes, would be a false messiah, a human being, not divine, and most likely demon-possessed.

UPDATED: WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, THE VATICAN’S LATEST, PAINFUL PRONOUNCEMENT ON ISRAEL IS WRONG: Paul’s letter to Rome affirms that Jews are the chosen people

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2010 at 12:08 pm

A new headline in the Jerusalem Post reads: “Vatican synod calls for end to Israel’s ‘occupation’: At conference on Christians in the Middle East, US Melkite archbishop says: ‘There is no longer a chosen people.'” 

The New York Times headline reads: Bishops at Meeting Urge Israel to End Its Occupation of Palestinian Territories.”  The Times reported: “In a final communiqué at the end of a two-week-long meeting at the Vatican on the plight of Christians in the Middle East, the bishops also urged Israel not to use the Bible ‘to wrongly justify injustices,’ apparently referring to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. But in a news conference Saturday, the archbishop in charge of the committee that drafted the communiqué, Cyrille Salim Bustros, appeared to go further, saying the Bible did not justify a Jewish presence in Israel. ‘The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians,” he said. “Sacred scripture should not be used to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestine.’”

Here is a link to the official Vatican translation of the “Message to the People of God” that the synod fathers of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops approved on Friday, October 22, 2010.

The message in its entirety has several positive points, including this line: “The God who has given us the faith in our Eastern lands 2,000 years ago, calls us today to persevere with courage, strength and steadfastness in bearing the message of Christ and witnessing to his Gospel, the Gospel of love and peace.”

But with all due respect, the Vatican leaders who spoke out at the final press conference saying that the Jews are no longer the Chosen People and that the Bible cannot be used to justify Israel’s ownership of the Holy Land are wrong on this issue. The entire Bible — from Genesis to Revelation — makes crystal clear again and again the Lord’s love for the Jewish people, His decision to choose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their descendants for His very own, and His eternal promise to give the Holy Land to the Jewish people.

As such, it is the duty of all true followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to bless Israel and reaffirm her fundamental legitimacy and right to the Land. Yes, we should bless and love the Palestinians, as well, because our Lord Jesus said as a Jew living in Israel, “Love your neighbor,” and, “Love your enemies.” But we should never accept the false teaching that God has rejected the Jewish people or rescinded His promises to the nation of Israel. That simply is not Biblical.

In Genesis chapter 12:1-3, the Lord makes it clear He has chosen Abram to “make a great nation” and the Lord says to him, “I will bless you and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” In Genesis 13:14-18, the Lord specifically takes Abraham to the land we now call Israel and said, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are (the Jordan Valley), northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever.”

Doesn’t “forever” mean forever?

This promise is reaffirmed to Isaac, and later to Jacob, whose name the Lord changes to “Israel.” For example, in Deuteronomy 7:6-8, the Lord says to the children of Israel, “The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. The Lord didn not set His love on you nor choose you because  you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers.”

In Genesis 48:3-4, Jacob tells his son Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and He said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous, and I will make you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your descendants after you an everlasting possession.”

Doesn’t everlasting mean everlasting?

Interestingly, the Apostle Paul prophetically anticipated that the Christians in Rome would one day think that God would reject the Jewish people and His promises to them because many Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah. So Paul wrote this in his letter to the Romans, chapter 11, verse 1 and 2: “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.  God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew.”

The New Testament again and again affirms the Lord’s love for the Jewish people and for the nation of Israel. Indeed, in the Book of Revelation, we specifically see the nation of Israel regathered and playing a key role in the End Times. God defends Israel. God fights for Israel against her enemies. God blesses Israel and the Jewish people. And then the Lord Jesus Christ Himself comes with His saints to reign from Jerusalem. To deny such truths is to deeply and fundamentally misunderstand the Word of God.

May I encourage you, brothers and sisters, to share this message with others. Be kind towards the Catholic leaders. Let us show them the mistakes they are making, but do so in love. Let us also teach followers of Jesus Christ around the world the Lord’s deep love and compassion for the Jewish people, and His desire that they — and all people — come to faith in Messiah Jesus.

At the same time, please prayerfully consider becoming involved in The Joshua Fund to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus in real and practical ways. And please prayerfully consider coming to Israel and the Epicenter Conference in Israel next May. Thank you, and God bless you.

TONIGHT: LIVE, ONLINE Q&A EVENT

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2010 at 8:14 pm

At 6pm eastern on Sunday, I’ll be doing an evening of Q&A on geopolitical and spiritual trends in the Middle East during a live, online webcast from First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. We’ll talk about God’s love for Israel and her neighbors, the Iranian nuclear threat, Shia Islamic eschatology, the dramatic movement of millions of Muslims coming to faith in Jesus Christ throughout the Islamic world, and I suspect we’ll also talk a little about The Twelfth Imam. Please join us online, and please email or text in a question for me to answer tonight.

PENNSYLVANIA MUSLIM PROFESSOR CALLS FOR DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2010 at 12:48 pm

“Lincoln University [in Pennsylvania] History Professor Kaukab Siddique is in the eye of a new storm in the United States, after several statements he made calling for the destruction of Israel prompted US senators to urge an investigation in the matter. Speaking at a recent Labor Day rally, Siddique said: ‘We must stand united to defeat, to destroy, to dismantle Israel – if possible by peaceful means… For the Jews, I would say, ‘See what could happen to you if the Muslims wake up.’ And I say to the Muslims, Dear brothers and sisters – unite and rise up against this hydra-headed monster which calls itself Zionism….'”

>> To bless Israel in real and practical ways, support The Joshua Fund

>> Come to Israel with The Joshua Fund in May 2011 for a tour and the  next Epicenter Conference

THE JUAN WILLIAMS FIRING: NOW IS PRECISELY THE TIME FOR A NATIONAL CONVERSATION ABOUT THE THREAT OF RADICAL ISLAM: Especially when one jihadist said on ABC News this month the Islamic flag will soon fly over the White House

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm

>> Book tour speaking schedule – Next events: Saturday, 7pm @ Perimeter Road Baptist Church in Valdosta, Georgia (speaking and Q&A)…..Sunday at 10am & 6pm at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida (preaching in the morning service; the evening service will be mostly Q&A).

—————————–

UPDATED: That National Public Radio fired liberal commentator Juan Williams this week for publicly expressing on the Fox News Channel his anxieties about Muslims in America is appalling, but not surprising. NPR has long been hostile to the views of evangelical Christians and conservatives (example, example, exampleexample). Now, apparently, they are even hostile towards liberals who express personal sentiments on a conservative TV program. But the dustup is important not simply because it exposed once again the left-wing bias of NPR and demonstrated yet again why the network should not receive a dime of public funding. It was important because of the chilling implications over free speech in this country.

[UPDATE: Here is the full 6 minute clip of Juan Williams' discussion with Bill O'Reilly on Monday in which Juan carefully describes the difference between moderate Muslims and extremists]

Are we really not allowed to say in a post-9/11 world that Muslims traveling on planes make some Americans uneasy? What else are we not allowed to say? Should we not discuss the threat of Radical Muslims to Judeo-Christian civilization? Are we not allowed to discuss, as Juan Williams did on the Fox show, that the Times Square bomber told a U.S. federal judge that the defeat of the U.S. is “imminent” and Americans should “brace yourselves, because the war with Muslims has just begun. Consider me only a first droplet of the blood that will follow me.” Are we not allowed to express our concerns about what would happen if Radical Muslims acquired nuclear, chemical or biological weapons? Are we not allowed to discuss the Muslim leader in England who recently said Islam will one day rule the world and the Islamic flag will fly over the White House?

As I wrote last year in my non-fiction book, Inside The Revolution, the vast majority of Muslims in the U.S. and around the world (upwards of 90 to 93 percent) are moderate, peaceful people. They don’t believe in jihad. They are not suicide bombers or terrorists. They want good jobs, good schools for their kids, and the right to practice their faith without persecution or government interference. But as I also describe in great detail in that book, there is a small but important percentage of Muslims that are highly dangerous. They believe that Islam is the answer, and violent jihad is the way. Americans need to talk about both groups. We need to learn about and discuss the differences. We need to understand who the Radicals are, and who the Reformers are.

At the same time, we need to understand that there is a subset of Radical Muslims who are even more dangerous. They don’t simply want to terrorize us; they want to annihilate us. Chief among them are the “Twelvers,” a Shia Muslim cult who believe that end of the world is at hand, that the Islamic messiah known as the “Twelfth Imam” is coming to earth at any moment, and that the way to hasten the arrival of the Twelfth Imam is to annihilate two countries — Israel, which they call the “Little Satan,” and the United States, which they call the “Great Satan.” What makes these Twelvers especially dangerous right now is that they are running the current government of Iran. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is a Twelver, and says he actually met with the Twelfth Imam last July. Iranian President Ahmadinejad is a lifelong Twelver, and is actively seeking to build nuclear weapons. Both have publicly called for the annihilation of the U.S. and Israel, and said Islam will conquer the world and they are doing so for expressly religious purposes. (example, example, example, example, example)

The world is doing precious little to stop such men. The Obama administration certainly isn’t taking decisive action to stop Iran from getting the Bomb. So every day the danger grows that the Twelvers will get nuclear weapons and either use them against Israel, and then the U.S., or give those weapons to terrorist groups who will seek to obliterate their enemies. Now is precisely the time to talk about such things. Now is precisely the time to talk as Americans about our anxieties and our fears. This is why I wrote a new political thriller entitled, The Twelfth Imam, to help foster such a national conversation and to take people inside the story and to help them imagine what might happen if the world ignores the threat posed by the leaders of Iran.

NPR apparently wants to silence Americans who are concerned about the threat of Radical Islam. Thankfully, there are a multitude of other media outlets who permit and even encourage such a conversation. Good. It’s critically important, and getting Americans engaged in these issues is, after all, more needed than ever.

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