CBN reporter Erick Stakelbeck today broke a fascinating story that the Iranian government has produced a video explaining why the current turmoil in Egypt, North Africa and the Middle East is consistent with Shia Islamic prophecy and indicates the return of the Twelfth Imam is very close. I have seen a 28 minute excerpt of the video and was interviewed for the story. It’s a grave development for Israel and the U.S. because it reinforces the notion that the Iranian regime believes chaos and carnage in the epicenter are essential to the Mahdi’s coming. To see the CBN story, please click here.

PS — I’m in Europe this week co-leading a pastors retreat through the Book of Colossians, so I won’t be able to post as often as usual. Thanks for understanding.

MOST PRO-ISRAEL GOVERNMENT IN THE WORLD FALLS: Canada’s PM Harper loses no-confidence vote

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, as I’ve written before, is the most pro-Israel leader on the planet. So today’s events are troubling. “Canada’s minority Conservative government was defeated in a non-confidence vote on Friday, setting the scene for a federal election in early May,” reports Reuters. “Legislators in the House of Commons voted by 156-145 to back the motion, which was presented by the main opposition Liberal Party.” That said, it may be too early to count Harper out. The New York Times is reporting that today’s no-confidence vote may end up “triggering an election that polls show the Conservatives will win.” Harper could put together a new coalition government and reemerge as Prime Minister. Let’s be praying for our friends up north. 


The woman who was killed in yesterday’s horrific terrorist bombing in central Jerusalem was an evangelical Christian tourist from Great Britain. The police identified the 56-year-old woman as Mary-Jane Gardner.  “She was an evangelical Christian tourist [and] a volunteer at the Bible Translators Society at Yad Hashmonah,” a moshav run by believers, said Calev Myers, director of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, an Israeli civil rights organization that defends the legal rights of Christians and Jewish believers in Jesus. “Please pray for peace and comfort for her family and friends.” Developing.

BOMBING IN JERUSALEM: Also, more rockets/mortars hit southern Israel

>> VIDEO: CBN runs interview with me on growing Iranian interest in the coming of the Twelfth Imam

UPDATED AT 12:15pm EASTERN: Israel is suddenly facing a new wave of terrorism. A bombing in central Jerusalem today has killed a 59 year old woman and injured at least 38. More rockets and mortars hit southern Israel today, after 50 were fired at Israel last Saturday alone. A new report indicates that since the end of the Gaza operation in January 2009, 282 rockets and 193 mortar shells have been fired into Israel. The IDF is retaliating, but several innocent Palestinians have been killed in the process. Please pray for the Lord to bring peace to Jews and Arabs on both sides of the border, and healing to the victims.

To read a more detailed story on this new wave of violence to hit Israel and the growing possibility of a new war in Gaza — plus see prayer requests — please visit the article on The Joshua Fund’s website.


MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell said last week on his program: “The Book of Revelation is a work of fiction describing how a truly vicious God would bring about the end of the world. No half-smart religious person actually believes the Book of Revelation. They are certain that their God would never turn into a malicious torturer and mass murderer beyond Hitler’s wildest dreams.”

It was an extended rant, and I would encourage you to watch the entire segment. It was sad to see someone so certain that the Bible is so wrong. Let’s pray for the Lord to open Mr. O’Donnell’s eyes that he might see and understand the truth and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord in these last days before Christ’s return.

For the record, I have no doubt that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. I fully believe that includes the Book of Revelation. What’s more, I am certain that those who read and study the prophecies in Revelation will be blessed, as the first three verses of the first chapter indicate: ”The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

How about you?

FRANCE LEADS, U.S. FOLLOWS, BUT THE WAR AGAINST GADDAFI IS ON: Yet U.S. backs away from regime change

A Libyan fighter jet was shot down today by rebel forces.

A third war in the Islamic world and involving Western forces is now underway, this time in Libya, “Operation Odyssey Dawn.” President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, however, are taking great pains to say that the U.S. is not leading; we are only helping. Remarkably, the French are taking the lead in this new war, under the direction of President Nicolas Sarkozy, Europe’s new “W.”

“As a part of this effort, the United States will contribute our unique capabilities at the front-end of the mission to protect Libyan civilians and enable the enforcement of a no-fly zone that will be led by our international partners,” President Obama noted on Saturday from Brazil.  “And as I said yesterday, we will not — I repeat — we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground….Make no mistake. Today we are part of a broad coalition.”

“We did not lead this,” Secretary Clinton stressed in Paris on Saturday at an emergency summit on the Libyan crisis. “We did not engage in unilateral actions in any way, but we strongly support the international community taking action against governments and leaders who believe as Gaddafi is unfortunately doing so now.”

Why is the world’s only superpower not taking the lead in such a critical foreign policy arena? Why are we letting the French (and the British) set the pace? Who would have thought we would have ever heard in our lifetimes the sentence, “The French are taking the lead in military action” anywhere, much less in an Arab Muslim country? There are many theories.

Stranger still is that “regime change” is no longer an American objective. That’s right, the White House is no longer saying that removing Libyan madman Moammar Gaddafi is one of our strategic goals, even though it has been for weeks. Consider the troubling series of recent statements:

Let us pray for U.S., French, British, Canadian and other forces that are now in harm’s way to protect the Libyan people from slaughter. Let us pray for Gaddafi and his entire regime to be brought down, even if that is no longer the administration’s stated goal. Let us pray for our leaders to have true wisdom, discernment and courage in this situation. Let us pray, too, for every Libyan man, woman and child to hear and understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and for believers around the world to find effective ways to support and encourage the persecuted Church in Libya.

Finally, let us pray for the Lord’s will to be done. As the Hebrew Prophet Daniel once prayed (Daniel 2:20-23):

         “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
         For wisdom and power belong to Him.
    21“It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
         He removes kings and establishes kings;
         He gives wisdom to wise men
         And knowledge to men of understanding.
    22“It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
         He knows what is in the darkness,
         And the light dwells with Him.
    23“To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,
         For You have given me wisdom and power;
         Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,
         For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”


IRAN, ISRAEL AND THE THREAT OF ANNIHILATION: Modern Day Lessons From The Book of Esther

>> NEW JOSHUA FUND VIDEO BLOG POSTED:  7 minute video discusses how Esther and Mordechai dealt with the Persian threat to “annihilate” the Jews so long ago, and how we can bless Israel as Iran threatens the Jews again today

>> SATURDAY 4PM EASTERN: U.S. launches cruise missile attacks against Libyan targets

We’ve just posted on The Joshua Fund website a new article I’ve written called, “Iran, Israel and the Threat of Annihilation: Modern Day Lessons From The Book of Esther“. It includes fascinating excerpts from a new CNN interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Piers Morgan on the Iranian nuclear threat and the savage killing by Islamic Radicals of an entire Jewish family in Israel while they slept. I hope you’ll take a moment to read it.

NOTE: The holiday of “Purim” commemorating these events begins Saturday evening. If you’re a pastor or Bible teacher, would you consider preaching and teaching on the Book of Esther? If you’re a father or mother, would you consider taking some time this weekend to take your children through the Book of Esther and help them understand God’s love for the Jewish people and His heart for saving them when they prayed and fasted?





After weeks of inaction by the U.S. and our allies, Egypt has become the first government to actually begin supplying arms to Libyan rebels — including assault rifles and ammunition — to fight against the evil and brutality of Col. Gaddafi’s forces.  Good for them.

In a rare development, the Arab League last week actually suspended Libya’s membership in the organization, recognized the rebel faction as the legitimate government, called on the non-Arab world to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and take military measures to protect innocent Libyans being slaughtered by the forces of Gaddafi. Aside from Egypt, the Arab nations don’t seem willing to take actual military action themselves. They want the non-Arab world to do it for them. But I give them credit for showing resolve they didn’t show against Saddam Hussein, and haven’t shown against the Iranian regime, at least on paper.

Now, with Gaddafi’s forces gaining the upper hand, and his threats against innocent men, women and children growing more vicious by the day, and the Libyan people crying out for real help and not just words, the U.N. is finally moving, too. “The United Nations authorised military action to curb Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday, hours after he threatened to storm the rebel bastion of Benghazi overnight, showing ‘no mercy, no pity,'” reports Reuters. “‘It’s over. The issue has been decided,’ Gaddafi said. ‘We are coming tonight…We will find you in your closets.'”

As I wrote on March 10, the U.S. and other free nations should be arming Libyans to protect themselves from slaughter and possible genocide and assisting them in a variety of other ways. Had Washington and NATO done this quickly and decisively, many lives may have been saved. Instead, the West has dithered in the face of evil, issuing statements and holding meetings and wringing its hands. A week ago, I was reluctant to support military strikes and a impose a no-fly zone because I didn’t want the U.S. military to get sucked into a war the White House wasn’t serious about waging or winning, and which isn’t central to our national interests in the Mideast. That said, I cautiously support military action now (but not a full invasion) because other measures weren’t taken at all, people are dying, and this evil must be stopped somehow or another. After all, should Gaddafi be allowed to get away with this evil bloodbath, he will gain strength, feel vindicated, and project even more evil and violence, as will other tyrants in the region, notably the Iranians.

Let’s be clear and consistent: the God of the Bible loves the people of Libya, He loves the Arab people and He has a prophetic plan for them, just as He loves Israel and the Jewish people and has a plan for them. We should love the Libyans and all Arabs, too. The Lord Jesus Christ came to die for all people everywhere — Jew and Gentile — to set us free from sin and death and to give us eternal life and abundant life. Christ told us to love Israel. He also told us to love Israel’s neighbors and her enemies. We should, therefore, care what happens to the people of Libya. We should pray for them to be free, spiritually and politically. The Church should mobilize to reach every Libyan with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to strengthen the persecuted believers in that Biblical country.

Worth noting is that traditional left-of-center allies of President Obama are growing appalled by his unwillingness to show any kind of leadership on Libya. A few examples:


ARE WE LISTENING? God is trying to get our attention through the traumas in Japan & the Mideast

>> Audio of Janet Parshall’s latest interview with me on events in Libya


The focus of our upcoming Epicenter Conference in Israel in May is from the biblical Book of Joel in which the Hebrew prophet warns us that “the Day of the Lord is coming” and “surely it is near.” That day of great trial and judgment seems closer this week as we see events around the world going from bad to worse. Bible prophecy tells us that the Lord is trying to get our attention. He is seeking to focus all nations on our desperate need for His love and His mercy. Is the world listening? Are you?

JAPAN: The situation in Japan is horrific and deteriorating. With multiple nuclear reactors in various stages of meltdown, Japan is bracing for a potential radiation catastrophe. Meanwhile, news reports say thousands of people are still missing after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, “millions short of power and water” and “fear [is] everywhere.” The quake, one of the worst in recorded history, “shifted Japan coast about 13 feet” and “knocked the Earth 6.5 inches off its axis,” say experts. Please pray for the people of Japan. Pray that the Lord would have mercy on them and comfort them and provide for their immediate needs. Pray, too, that the Lord would draw their attention to Himself, and they would turn to Him alone for hope and life in these desperate times.

The Lord Jesus Christ said that in the last days, “there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven….There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Luke 21:11,25,26) Why? To get our attention. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22, KJV) This will intensify towards the end. And what have we seen in recent years? Consider just a few recent examples:

ISRAEL: Five years ago this week, IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was captured by the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza. Evidence suggests he is still alive, but he has not yet been found and there seems little sign that Hamas will release him. Israelis are still grieving his loss. They are remembering Gilad this week, even as Iran tries to smuggle 50 tons of arms to Hamas to capture or kill more Israelis. Christians around the world need to remember Gilad, too. If you don’t know anything about him, please click here. If you’ve never prayed for him, please start. If you have prayed for him, would you pray for him every day for the rest of this month?

  • LAST WEEK: Deadly earthquake hits China’s southwest
  • LAST MONTH: Earthquake in New Zealand kills at least 75, hundreds still trapped under debris in Christchurch 
  • FLASHBACK — FEBRUARY 2010: Multiple catastrophic earthquakes, war rumors echo “last days” prophecies
  • FLASHBACK — JANUARY 2010: Bible says Israel, world to face major earthquakes in “last days,” but experts say Israel not prepared
  • FLASHBACK — JANUARY 2010: Haiti earthquake, catastrophe of Biblical proportions
  • FLASHBACK — OCTOBER 2009: The earth is groaning (South Pacific tsunami)
  • Pray that the Lord God of Israel would rescue him, and redeem him, and comfort him and his family and his nation. Let us remember the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for” (Isaiah 40:1-2)

    PALESTINIANS: Please pray, too, that the Lord would rescue and transform members of Hamas as well, and bring their leaders and followers out of bondage to radical Islam, just as he has saved and rescued Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of one of the founders of Hamas. Amidst so many wars, and rumors of wars, and lawlessness and heartbreak — including the slaughter of an entire Israeli family by Palestinian terrorists this week — please pray that the Lord would draw the attention of all Israelis and Palestinians to Himself in these last days, and cause them to read His Word and receive Him into their hearts as the only way of peace and eternal security.

    LIBYA: Gaddafi and his evil forces are winning. Libyans are dying. The world is doing virtually nothing. Please pray for the people of Libya to be set free from this evil tyrant and for all Libyans to turn their attention to the Lord and to the good news of His great love, revealed through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. And pray for the Lord to strengthen the persecuted believers there.

    BAHRAIN: Please pray for the Lord’s will to be done in the Persian Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain, home of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet. The king there is a Sunni Muslim, while 70% of the population is Shia. Now Bahrain is experiencing serious unrest, protests and riots in recent weeks, all encouraged by Iran. The Saudis — who are Sunnis — have sent troops to help quash the Shias. [UPDATE from NYT: Forces Rout Protesters From Bahrain Square.] The Shia regime in Iran is crying foul. There are serious implications for U.S. if Bahrain falls to Iran. Please especially pray for the people of Bahrain to turn their eyes to the Lord and — like all the people of the epicenter — to hear the gospel and choose faith in Jesus Christ. Pray, too, for the persecuted Church in Bahrain.

    >> Do you know God personally? Have you ever read a concise explanation of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Please click here.

    >> Join the “Epicenter Team” on Facebook for instant updates on Mideast events and trends, Bible prophecy, The Joshua Fund, and prayer requests.

    REMEMBERING GILAD SHALIT: And Japanese crisis described as an “apocalypse”

    Pray for Gilad Shalit, still held captive by Hamas in Gaza.

    Please pray for Gilad Shalit, the IDF soldier who has been held captive by the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza for five years as of this week….Please pray that the Lord would rescue him, and comfort him and his family and his nation….let us remember the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for” (Isaiah 40:1-2)

    Ynet News: Israel observes 5 minutes for Gilad Shalit — Tens of thousands of Israelis show their support for campaign to free kidnapped soldier, block roads across Israel. Shalit family, supporters protest outside prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem. ‘Public is waking up,’ campaign head Shimshon Libman says