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How would Israel launch a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear program and what might be the blowback? Novel series explores chilling scenario. (Limited time special offer: each novel only $5)

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2015 at 9:48 pm

WeeklyDeal-graphic(Denver, Colorado) — What if an American President fundamentally miscalculated and inadvertently allowed Iran to build not just a single nuclear warhead but a small arsenal of nuclear missiles?

What if an Iranian leader — driven by his Shia End Times theology — believed that the only way to hasten the coming of the Islamic messiah (known as the Twelfth Imam), establish a global caliphate and bring about the End of Days was to launch nuclear attacks to annihilate Israel (the “little Satan”) and the U.S. (the “great Satan”).

What if an American President then tried to pressure an Israeli Prime Minister not to launch a preemptive military strike on Iran’s nuclear program, but the Prime Minister decided to order the attack anyway? What might such an attack look like? How might it unfold? And what might be the blowback? Would Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas rain missiles down on the Jewish State, and unleash waves of suicide bombers against Israel and her allies? How would Israel counter such a retaliatory strike?

These are the questions I explored in a trilogy of political thrillers several years ago, starting with The Twelfth Imam, continuing with The Tehran Initiative, and concluding with Damascus Countdown.

If you have never read the series before, I’d encourage you to read them this summer and encourage your family and friends to read them, too. For a limited time, you can order the novels directly from my publisher, Tyndale, for just $5 each. And there are big discounts for bulk orders. To learn more — or to order directly — please click here.

I wish I could say the novels were merely fictional speculation on a highly unlikely scenario. But the events of the past few weeks have, I’m afraid, increased the possibility that such an Israeli first strike on Iran’s nuclear program could actually happen. Consider the following:

One of the key questions — in the novel series, and now in real life — is whether the CIA would really know if and when and where Iran began building nuclear warheads, and could they discover such developments early enough for the U.S. to act decisively to neutralize the Iranian threat?

And if the U.S. didn’t detect an Iranian nuclear breakout — or did but wouldn’t take decisive action — would Israel?

Given the disturbing trend lines in the Middle East right now, I hope you’ll find this trilogy of novels both riveting and informative.

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With ISIS on the rampage, “is this the end of Christianity in the Middle East?” So asks a must-read feature story in the New York Times.

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2015 at 6:21 pm
(source: New York Times)

(source: New York Times)

(Denver, Colorado) — In my recent novel, The Third Target, a New York Times reporter  criss-crosses the Middle East, trying to understand and explain to the world the rise of the Islamic State and the objectives of its leaders. Among the questions my fictional character — J.B. Collins — is trying to answer:

  1. Why are ISIS jihadists are so blood-thirsty?
  2. Why do ISIS leaders want to establish an Islamic kingdom or caliphate?
  3. Are ISIS leaders are really serious about slaughtering and/or enslaving all of the Christians of the region, in addition to annihilating Jews and all Muslims who don’t subscribe to their theology or eschatology?

What he discovers is evil beyond his worst nightmares — a Satanic movement determined to rob, kill and destroy everyone in its path, and particularly Christians.

Now, in real life, a must-read feature story has been published in the New York Times magazine by a reporter who has crisscrossed the epicenter, documenting the slaughter of Christ-followers by ISIS, and asking the provocative but very relevant question: “Is this the end of Christianity in the Middle East?”

I highly recommend that you read and share the article with others. But I also urge you not to be discouraged. Here’s why:

  • Bible prophecy is clear that wars and revolutions will increase and intensify in the Middle East and around the world in the “last days” as the return of Christ draws increasingly near. “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” (Matthew 24:6-8; see also Luke chapter 21, Ezekiel 38-39, Zechariah 12-14, etc.)
  • Bible prophecy is also clear that persecution of Christ-followers will increase and intensify in the last days before Jesus returns. “[T]hey will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.” (Matthew 24:9)
  • The prophecies found in the Biblical book of Revelation indicate that many Christians in the Middle East will be martyred for their faith. “When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.” (Revelation 6:9-11)
  • The prophecies of Revelation also make clear that many followers of Jesus Christ will specifically be beheaded in the last days before the Lord’s return. “I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God…” (Revelation 20:4)
  • That said, Bible prophecy further makes clear that amidst all the wars and persecution of believers in the last days, the good news of God’s offer of salvation and forgiveness and eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will be communicated to every person in every nation, including throughout all of the Middle East. That is, as chaos and carnage spread, the boldness of Christians to share the Gospel with all those who are lost — including throughout the Muslim world — will also deepen and intensify. “This Gospel of the kingdom [of Jesus Christ] will be preached in the whole world, as a testimony to all nations, and then the end shall come.” (Matthew 24:14)
  • Not only will all people in the Middle East (and around the world) hear the Gospel during the End Times, so many will repent and receive Christ as Savior and Lord that the total number of new believers will be difficult to count. “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God…” (Revelation 7:9-11)

In short:

  • yes, this is the most dangerous moment in the history of the Middle East for Christianity — Satan and the forces of evil are on the rampage in the region
  • but no, this is not the end of Christianity in the epicenter — rather, this is the dawn of Christianity’s greatest waves of evangelism, conversion and discipleship.
  • Even now, millions of Muslims are converting away from Islam and becoming truly devoted disciples of Jesus Christ, as I have written about in my non-fiction book, Inside The Revolution, and in blog columns like this one.

I’ll discuss this more at the August 6th event I’ll be speaking at in Denver. (please click here to register).

For now, here are excerpts from the New York Times article:

  • One hundred years ago, the fall of the Ottoman Empire and World War I ushered in the greatest period of violence against Christians in the region. The genocide waged by the Young Turks in the name of nationalism, not religion, left at least two million Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks dead. Nearly all were Christian. Among those who survived, many of the better educated left for the West. Others settled in Iraq and Syria, where they were protected by the military dictators who courted these often economically powerful minorities.
  • From 1910 to 2010, the number of Christians in the Middle East — in countries like Egypt, Israel, Palestine and Jordan — continued to decline; once 14 percent of the population, Christians now make up roughly 4 percent. (In Iran and Turkey, they’re all but gone.) In Lebanon, the only country in the region where Christians hold significant political power, their numbers have shrunk over the past century, to 34 percent from 78 percent of the population. Low birthrates have contributed to this decline, as well as hostile political environments and economic crisis. Fear is also a driver. The rise of extremist groups, as well as the perception that their communities are vanishing, causes people to leave.
  • The Arab Spring only made things worse. As dictators like Mubarak in Egypt and Qaddafi in Libya were toppled, their longstanding protection of minorities also ended. Now, ISIS is looking to eradicate Christians and other minorities altogether. The group twists the early history of Christians in the region — their subjugation by the sword — to legitimize its millenarian enterprise. Recently, ISIS posted videos delineating the second-class status of Christians in the caliphate. Those unwilling to pay the jizya tax or to convert would be destroyed, the narrator warned, as the videos culminated in the now-­infamous scenes of Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians in Libya being marched onto the beach and beheaded, their blood running into the surf.
  • The future of Christianity in the region of its birth is now uncertain. ‘‘How much longer can we flee before we and other minorities become a story in a history book?’’ says Nuri Kino, a journalist and founder of the advocacy group Demand for Action. According to a Pew study, more Christians are now faced with religious persecution than at any time since their early history. ‘‘ISIL has put a spotlight on the issue,’’ says Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, whose parents are from the region and who advocates on behalf of Eastern Christians. ‘‘Christianity is under an existential threat.’’

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The darkest headlines I have read in years.

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2015 at 11:34 pm

“The Satanic Temple is set to unveil its…monument in Detroit.” (AP/CBS Detroit)

UPDATE: Satanic statue unveiled in Detroit (Daily Telegraph)

Earlier this week, I flew back to the U.S. from Israel for several speaking engagements.

In the coming days, I speak (and blog) about the crumbling U.S.-Israel alliance, the Iran nuclear alliance, the horrific advance of the Islamic State across Syria and Iraq, and what happens to America, Israel and the nations of the Middle East according to Bible prophecy.

But I need to draw your attention to some of the most troubling headlines I have seen in years. The news in the Middle East is dark and getting darker, to be sure. But the headlines here in America are getting very dark as well — mass shootings around the nation, the slaughter of nine Christians inside the black church in Charleston, the 12 shot in a Louisiana movie theater, and four Marines gunned down in Chattanooga, all of which happened in July alone; Planned Parenthood executives caught discussing how best to sell hearts, lungs and brains from aborted babies; and now the unveiling of a sculpture of Satan in Detroit in what is being promoted as the largest public Satanic ceremony in American history.

No, this is not fiction. These are not plots of my future novels. This is all happening across America this month.

Consider the following:

I am absolutely sickened by these videos in which Planned Parenthood executives discuss — so coldly, so cruelly — the selling of human body parts over a lunch of salad and wine.

Captured on tape by the undercover video sting operation of a pro-life organization, these two executives discuss without shame or remorse how they would be happy to ask doctors who perform abortions on human babies to be extra careful to kill the babies in such a way that their livers, lungs, brains and other body parts can be extracted intact and sold. One Planned Parenthood leader says the babies can be killed in a “less crunchy” way. The other casually jokes that she’d like to make enough money from the sales of these body parts to buy “a Lamborghini.”

Have you watched the videos? Please do, and please share them with others. People need to know the truth. The mainstream media is giving some coverage to the story, but not nearly enough. This is sick. This is barbaric. This is the stuff of Dr. Mengele and the Nazis, and it isn’t happening on the other side of the world in Auschwitz; it is happening right in America every day.

Planned Parenthood is an organization that kills more than 300,000 babies in the womb every year. It also receives more than a half-billion dollars a year of federal money — that’s right, your taxpayer dollars and mine. Congress should immediately cut off all taxpayer funds to the group. PP should be investigated for criminal activity (it is illegal to sell body parts for profit). Congress should also immediately pass pending legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks. And pro-life legislators and activists in Washington, D.C. and the States need to make a new push to end abortion once and for all in this nation.

Since 1973, more than 57 million babies have been aborted in this country. Their innocent blood is crying from the ground for justice, and God is listening. If we do not plead for His forgiveness and turn this thing around, judgment is coming.

These headlines alone would be horrific enough. But it gets worse. Consider this headline just published today:

Here are excerpts from this story, published by the Associated Press and CBS News in Detroit:

  • A group is planning to unveil an 8-foot-tall bronze statue featuring a goat-headed Satan in Detroit during a gathering that’s being billed as the “largest public satanic ceremony in history.”
  • The Satanic Temple has said Saturday’s private event will be open only to people with tickets, $25 each.
  • Invitations to “The Unveiling” summoned guests to prepare for “a night of chaos, noise, and debauchery… Come dance with the Devil and experience history in the making.” The event location is not being announced publicly and is known only to those with tickets.
  • The group said the bronze Baphomet monument, which weighs about one ton and has never been seen before in public, “is not only an unparalleled artistic triumph, but stands as a testament to plurality and the power of collective action.” The statue, which backed by an inverted pentagram and flanked by statues of two young children gazing up at the creature, shows Satan with horns, hooves, wings and a beard.
  • The group went on to say the unveiling event “will serve as a call-to-arms from which we’ll kick off our largest fight to date in the name of individual rights to free exercise against self-serving theocrats.”
  • Photography is strictly prohibited at the 18-and-older event unless, of course, you’re a $75 VIP ticket holder. Those partygoers will have an exclusive opportunity to be photographed seated on the Baphomet monument…..
  • The statue had been planned for the state Capitol in Oklahoma City until Oklahoma’s Supreme Court banned a monument of the Ten Commandments on Capitol grounds.
  • Detroit was ultimately selected for the unveiling because The Satanic Temple in the city has a “strong congregation,” with more than 200 registered members….

It is sobering how rapidly evil is rising in this country, how brazen, how public. We need to humble ourselves. We need to get on our knees. We need to seek Christ’s forgiveness and His mercy on this country. We need to do it now, or we will face the consequences foretold in the Bible thousands of years ago.

Consider just one passage of many:

At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; 10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.” (Jeremiah 18:7-10)

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