HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM JERUSALEM: An update and some prayer requests

(Jerusalem, Israel) — ‎Happy New Year from the holy city of Jerusalem! Lynn and I are here on a quick trip. On Friday, I had the joy of officiating at the wedding of two dear friends — both of whom are strong followers of Jesus Christ — at the Ramat Rachel kibbutz & hotel here. I love this couple and their heart for the Lord. They asked me not only to lead the ceremony but also to share the Gospel with their many friends and family members in a loving and gentle way. What a joy to honor such a request! The rest of our time here has been celebrating Shabbat with Orthodox Jewish friends at a wonderful little dinner party; meeting with a number of Joshua Fund allies; and meeting with some Israelis who have read my books and have been curious about an evangelical Christian’s perspective on Bible prophecy. All have wanted to talk about the rising Iran threat. It’s weighing heavily on people’s hearts here as 2012 begins, and understandably so. Also, on Saturday I also had the opportunity to preach at a local congregation. Lord willing, I’ll post the notes from the wedding message and my Shabbat sermon when I get home in a few days.

As we head into a new years, let me say again thanks so, so much to everyone who prayed for and financially invested in The Joshua Fund in 2011. Lynn and I and the entire Joshua Fund team are so grateful to each of you. Here is a snapshot of how we were able to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus because of your help — please take a moment to read this report and share it with others. Just one example of God’s grace: we were able to expand the number of food distribution centers we support from 7 in 2010 to 12 centers currently, and thus currently bless more than 28,000 families in Israel with food and other humanitarian relief supplies. Please keep praying with us for God to pour out His amazing grace in the Mideast as 2012 will likely be dominated by the Iran threat and a possible major war. Also, please pray with us that the Lord would enable us to:

  • continue expanding our humanitarian relief efforts to care for poor and needy Jews and Arabs
  • stockpile more supplies ahead of the next war
  • continue educating and mobilizing Christians around the world to bless Israel and the people of the epicenter
  • continue encouraging, training and supporting harassed and persecuted followers of Jesus Christ in the Mideast
  • continue expanding our efforts to teach the Word of God to people throughout the Middle East and encourage them to begin studying the Bible for themselves in their own homes, just as Prime Minister Netanyahu has recently begun a Bible study in his official residence.
Above all, with the threat of war mounting day by day, would you join me personally in praying that the Church in the epicenter and around the world will be bold and courageous in giving everyone from Tel Aviv to Tehran the opportunity hear and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ before it is too late? Thank you so much. This year, may we all be guided by the words of the Apostle Paul — “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16) Amen, and God bless you.


(Jerusalem, Israel) —UPDATED: Iran is ratcheting up tensions here in the Mideast again this week. The mullahs in Tehran are threatening to shut down the critically-important Strait of Hormuz, through which 40% of the world’s oil is shipped. Were they to follow through on such threats, they could cause the price of oil to skyrocket and severely harm the U.S. and global economies. Iran is also planning to test-fire ballistic missile near the Strait. Meanwhile, Tehran is feverishly racing to produce an arsenal of nuclear warheads, has repeatedly threatened to annihilate the U.S. and Israel, and the world is doing precious little to stop them.

Yet this past week Rep. Ron Paul — the front-runner in several polls leading up to the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd — revealed how oblivious he is on the Iran threat and foreign policy and national security more generally:

Several GOP presidential contenders took issue with Rep. Paul over his Iran comments.

  • The strongest and most detailed response came from former Senator Rick Santorum, who called Paul’s approach to Iran “dangerous.”  “Ron Paul is from the Dennis Kucinich wing of the Democratic Party on national security,” Santorum said, referring to the liberal Democratic congressman who ran for his party’s nomination in 2008. “I don’t think that qualifies as a full-throated conservative.” Santorum went on to tell the Des Moines Register: “Iran’s latest threat, this time to test missiles, to seal off the Strait of Hormuz and block oil deliveries, demonstrates once again Iran’s unacceptable behavior, and the instability created by Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This highlights clearly why we can never allow Iran to have nuclear weapon capabilities. It also reveals the danger of the present administration’s refusal to have a clearly articulated plan for dealing with Iran growing nuclear threat, and their failure of having a comprehensive energy plan that includes drilling for energy right here at home. Even worse, President Obama’s weakness will only leave a power vacuum for nations like Iran and their militant socialist allies in Central and South America to fill. We can no longer sit by and do nothing, and we need a President prepared to once again stand up for American values around the globe. As President I will do just that.”
  • Romney took a milder approach, and didn’t refer to Rep. Paul by name, saying: “One of the people running for president thinks it’s okay for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. I don’t.”
  • Gingrich said, “”I think Ron Paul’s views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American….He’s not going to get the nomination. It won’t happen. The people in the United States are not going to accept somebody who thinks it’s irrelevant if Iran gets a nuclear weapon.”
  • Perry said, “You don’t have to vote for a candidate who will allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Because America will be next….I’m here to say: You have a choice.”

By way of context, here’s a look at how I’ve rated the various GOP candidates on Iran in the past.


Oh, give thanks  to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. – Psalm 118:29

As 2011 comes to an end, and as we celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas, I’d like to pass along some good news from Israel, for a change. With war clouds building in the Mideast, and poverty expanding, and uncertainty growing, Christians over the U.S., Canada and around the world are stepping up their efforts to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus in real and practical ways, just as the Scriptures command us. Christians haven’t always taken the Biblical commands to “love your neighbor” and “love your enemies” seriously. We haven’t always shown unconditional love and unwavering support to the Jewish people, much less the Palestinians. But more and more Christians are trying to do so today, and this is a genuinely good thing. The Joshua Fund is honored to be part of this trend. We are seeking to obey the Scriptures and make a difference. We’ve just posted our year-end report to our donors and we’re encouraged by all that the Lord is doing. Here are some highlights:

  • By God’s grace and your faithful prayers and financial support, The Joshua Fund has been able to increase the number of food distribution centers in Israel we supply and support from 7 centers a year ago to 12 centers today.
  • You’ve helped us to expand and improve the operations of the warehouse we rent in the center of the country, and we’re stockpiling more supplies for coming wars and other national emergencies.
  • As a result, this year you enabled us to touch the lives of 28,370 families in the epicenter with the love of Jesus Christ through food, clothing, medical supplies or other types of humanitarian relief.
  • What’s more, you’ve helped us sponsor Bible training conferences and pastor retreats for Israelis, Palestinians, Iraqis and Egyptians.
  • You’ve helped us broadcast the Word of God and the Gospel in the epicenter through Christian radio stations in the West Bank and Iraq.
  • Just this month, you enabled us to sponsor an evangelistic Christmas outreach to 1,200 Arab Muslims at three events around Israel (including 450 women, 350 men, and 400 children).
  • You’ve helped us to encourage and support harassed and persecuted believers in the epicenter.
  • In May, you enabled us to host the 2011 Epicenter Conference from Jerusalem which reached more than 50,000 people in 113 countries with the Biblical message from the Book of Joel — a message of prayer, fasting, repentance and the importance of returning to God and His Word.
  • Please read the full report, and reports from previous years so you can get a better sense of what the Lord is doing, and how you are helping.

Thank you so very much! Many serious challenges lie ahead in 2012, but we are deeply grateful to the Lord and to you for standing with us. Would you consider a generous, year-end, tax deductible financial contribution to The Joshua Fund? This will help us continue providing food, clothing and medical supplies to the poor and needy in Israel; stockpiling supplies ahead of the next Mideast war; educating and mobilizing Christians around the world; and teaching the Holy Scriptures in Israel and the epicenter. Thanks again, and may the Lord bless you according to Genesis 12:1-3 as you continue to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus.

— Joel C. Rosenberg, President of The Joshua Fund


Will GOP voters back appeasement towards Iran?

The latest poll out of Iowa shows Texas Congressman Ron Paul in the lead. This is troubling at many levels. Rep. Paul deserves credit for advocating sound money, a serious review of the Fed, and dramatically reduced federal spending. But as I’ve written before [and recently updated], Paul would be a terrible Commander-in-Chief and gets an “F” when it comes his Iran policy. Paul doesn’t understand the nuclear threat posed by the radical regime in Iran. He doesn’t understand the supremacy of martyrdom in the Iranian leadership’s value system. He doesn’t understand the genocidal, apocalyptic nature of Shia End Times theology. In fact, Paul takes an appeasement approach towards Iran. What’s more, he would severely slash military funding, zero out U.S. support for Israel, and take us into an isolationist foreign policy, even as the threat from Radical Islam worsens. Will GOP voters follow this disastrous approach? I pray not.

Consider this illuminating exchange between Fox News anchor Bret Baier and Rep. Paul where Paul happily concedes that if he were to win the GOP nomination, he would be “to the left of President Obama” on the Iran issue.

U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: IRAN COULD BUILD NUCLEAR BOMB WITHIN ONE YEAR: A few thoughts on how we should pray as we close 2011

>> ABC News/Newsweek: Vice President Biden says Taliban is not our enemy

>> Iranian-American arrested in Iran as an alleged CIA spy — shades of The Tehran Initiative

As we prepare to celebrate Hanukah beginning Wednesday night, we also find Israel increasingly endangered and isolated internationally. Consider the latest news from the epicenter: “U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Monday that Iran will have a nuclear weapon within one year, if not less,” reports Haaretz. “Speaking in an interview with CBS Evening News, Leon Panetta said that it would probably take a year for Tehran to assemble a nuclear bomb, but said that one provisio is if the Iranians have a hidden facility that ‘may be enriching fuel’ [in which case it could take Iran less than a year to get the Bomb]….’The United States does not want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. That’s a red line for us and that’s a red line, obviously, for the Israelis,’ he told CBS.” See CBS video here. Yet despite this rapidly growing threat, Panetta — and, more importantly, President Obama — are refusing to take decisive measures to neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat and help the Iranian people overthrow the evil regime in Tehran. What’s more, the Obama administration is publicly pressuring Israel not to even consider taking decisive steps of her own, including preemptive military strikes. This is unconscionable.

More than ever, Christians around the world need to show solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people. Here are two great articles I’d encourage you to read. The first is from the Jerusalem Post: “Tis The Season For The Church To Support Israel.” The second is by columnist Mona Charen: “Obama, Israel, and the U.S. — Obama has weakened the U.S. relationship with Israel.” The Lord was crystal clear in Genesis 12:1-3. He promised to bless individuals and nations who bless Israel, and curse those who curse Israel. It’s a promise repeated several times in Scripture. Given all the enormous economic, spiritual and geopolitical challenges facing the U.S. right now — and the growing danger that we will not only decline as a nation but implode if we don’t change course immediately — we dare not stop blessing Israel. We dare not ignore, abandon or turn on Israel and the Jewish people. The Lord will surely turn against us if we do.

As for me and my house, we are praying for the Lord to change the heart of our President and Defense Secretary and change them into wise, godly, decisive leaders for the next 12 months. At the same time, we are praying the Lord remove them from power our current administration and raise up leaders in Washington who truly understand how dangerous a nuclear-armed Tehran would be, who understand that the Taliban is our enemy, and will have the courage and convictions to stop Iran and Radical Islam, before it’s too late. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice,” wrote King Solomon (Proverbs 29:2, NKJV). We’re also praying for peace in the Middle East while we prepare for the possibility of war. And we’re praying for a revival of the Church and a Third Great Awakening of spiritual renewal to sweep the United States before it’s too late. Would you commit to pray with us for the same things as we close out 2011, especially as we celebrate the Festival of Light, and celebrate the Light of the world — Jesus the Messiah — who came to set us free from the darkness? This are very challenging times. But let us not grow weary in well doing. Not now. For the Lord is in charge, and He shall win the day.

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS INTRIGUED WITH “THE TEHRAN INITIATIVE”: Gave copy to Netanyahu; invited me to give briefing on Capitol Hill


A few days ago, I got a funny email from the Congressman. Here’s an excerpt (which he agreed to let me share with you): “Don’t think I told you exactly HOW I gave your book to Netanyahu. After we sat down [in the PM’s conference room], right off, Netanyahu said, ‘What book do you have there?’ I said it was the newest book from Joel Rosenberg who asked that I bring him a copy. He said, ‘Let’s see it.’ I pushed the book across the table, not realizing how incredibly slick his conference table was. It went so fast across the table that it knocked his nameplate backwards and bumped his cup of coffee. We all thought was about to go in his lap. Everyone laughed but me because of how close I came to knocking everything in his lap.” He also sent me a picture taken by the PM’s official photographer. It was snapped at the very moment when the Congressman’s face registered horror, and while everyone else in the room was beginning to laugh. I’m not at liberty to post the photo, but it’s priceless.

Then, the two Congressman — both Republicans — ordered 242 copies of The Tehran Initiative and sent them to each of the Republican Members of the House, with a note encouraging them all to read it. Yesterday they had me come up to Capitol Hill to discuss the Iran threat. I agreed and met with about 30 Members and some legislative staffers. We specifically focused on the central premise of the novel: “What if an American President, well meaning though he may be, miscalculates with regards to Iran. What if he waits too long to take decisive action to neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat and to do everything possible to help the Iranian people overthrow and replace the evil regime in Tehran? What if Iran gets not just a single nuclear warhead, but a small arsenal — six, eight, ten warheads? What would Iran do at that moment? What would Israel do? What would the U.S. do?” Clearly, this is not a fictional premise but one leaders in Washington are grappling with right now. Some Congressmen asked for more details on Shia Islamic eschatology, and why I believe it is driving Iranian foreign policy. Some asked for me to compare and contrast Shia End Times theology with Bible prophesy. I shared with them about my recent visit to Auschwitz and we discussed the similarities between the current moment and the late 1930s. The meeting was off-the-record, so I can’t tell you who attended or discuss more details about what was said other than the broad strokes. But it was a fascinating discussion and I was encouraged by how seriously some leaders in Washington are taking the Iran issue. I encouraged them to keep educating fellow Members of the House about the Iran threat, and to keep pushing the White House (and the GOP presidential candidates) to develop more detailed plans to stop Iran and to stand with Israel. I reminded them that with all the other economic, fiscal and social crises we face, the last thing we dare do is turn our backs on Israel in defiance of Genesis 12:1-3.

I share these anecdotes because I’ve been encouraged to see how the novel is capturing people’s imagination, and spurring them to action, not just in Washington but all over the country and even internationally, including in Israel. Indeed, I’ve received remarkable emails from all kinds of people who are reading the novel and then giving copies to family members, friends, neighbors, and even their pastors and rabbis. Some are doing this to educate friends and loved ones about the gravity of the Iran threat. Others are giving the book to encourage people to pray more for Israel. Others are giving the book as gifts to those whom they want to read and seriously consider the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is woven into the story. I’m excited by all of this and grateful to each of you.

How about you? To whom are you giving the book for Christmas or Chanukah or for any other occassion, and why? I’d love to hear your story — please post them on our “Epicenter Page” on Facebook. Thanks so much, and Merry Christmas!


This is worth watching — and sharing with others Christians, here at home and around the world. It’s not often that you hear an Israeli Prime Minister mention the name of Jesus. Yet Netanyahu has recorded a warm Christmas greeting for “all the Christian citizens of Israel,” as well as to Christians around the world. He also invites all Christians to come visit Israel and see the places where the Bible came to live. Amen. No Israeli Prime Minister better understands the deep friendship evangelical Christians have with Israel, or that Israel has no better or more faithful and enduring friends than those who have a deep faith in Jesus Christ. So let’s continue to be praying for the Prime Minister and for all the people of Israel this Chanukah and Christmas season. Let’s continue to mobilize Christians around the world to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, as The Joshua Fund continues to do. And let the name of Jesus — Yeshua in Hebrew — be lifted up among all this Christmas season, just as it was amongst the Israeli shepherds in the field outside of Bethlehem so long ago. “In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring  you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:8-14)

NETANYAHU TO START BIBLE STUDY IN HIS HOME: Pray that all Israelis follow his lead and begin reading the Word, like in the days of King Josiah

I read a fascinating story in the Jerusalem Post this morning and it gave me fresh hope for the nation of Israel. “Taking a page out of David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin’s playbook, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will begin hosting a regular Bible study group in his official residence for researchers, public officials and invited  guests, “reports the Post. “Netanyahu announced the establishment of the study circle on Friday at a ceremony marking 30 days since the passing of his father-in-law, Shmuel Ben-Artzi. The study group will be named after Ben-Artzi, a noted poet  and Bible teacher. Both Ben-Gurion and Begin, when they each served as  prime minister, hosted regular Bible study groups. Netanyahu said he was establishing the class to perpetuate love of the Bible.” Interestingly, in recent years Netanyahu — who has never described himself as a religious person — appears to have been developing a deeper interest in Bible study. In January 2010, Netanyahu delivered an address at Auschwitz saying the prophecies of Ezekiel 37 have come to pass in our lifetimes. In March of 2010, Netanyahu’s son, Avner, won the National Bible Quiz in Israel. In July 2010, Netanyahu told Larry King that he likes to study the Bible on Saturday mornings with his son, Avner.

These are excellent steps by the Prime Minister, and he should be commended for them. Indeed, let us pray that the study of the Word of God has a powerful, personal impact on the Prime Minister and his family and each of his colleagues and guests. Let’s pray that many Israelis would follow the Prime Minister’s lead and begin reading the Holy Scriptures again, and that Bible studies in people’s homes would spring up all over the Land of Israel. Let’s pray that pray that more and more Israelis would develop a new and deeper curiosity about Bible prophecy, both the dramatic prophecies in the Scriptures that have already been fulfilled, and those that will come to pass soon, including the all-important prophecies about the Messiah.

Such a national reawakening to the importance of the Scriptures has happened before in Israel’s history. Remember men like Nehemiah, Ezra, Josiah, and Joel? These were beloved governors, priests, kings and prophets whom the Lord used to turn the Jewish people back to the Scriptures and the need for national and individual prayer, fasting and repentance. One of my favorite examples is found in 2 Kings 22. I’d encourage you to read it afresh, for it is the remarkable story of King Josiah. At the age of 8, Josiah took the throne. When he was 18, he instructed the temple to be cleaned and renovated. In so doing, he learned that a long forgotten copy of the Scriptures had been found in the temple. Indeed, someone brought him the dusty scrolls and read the Word to the king. “When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes” in repentance for all of Israel’s sinful ways, and his own. Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest and several other servants, “Go, inquire of the Lord for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the Lord that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.” In 2 Kings 23, then, comes the equally amazing story of King Josiah gathering all the people of Israel tand reading the Word of the Lord to them. Together, convicted of their own sins, they chose to make a covenant before the Lord to obey His all of His commandments. “Before him,” the Bible says, “there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his might, according to the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.” Let us pray that Israel once again experience a national renaissance of hunger for the Word of the Lord. Amen.

A REPORT FROM AUSCHWITZ: Sobering images, sobering questions.

Visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau in November 2011.

“So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary. O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name….O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” (Daniel 9:17-19)
          In November, after teaching on Bible prophecy and God’s love for Israel and the Jewish people at a wonderful, pro-Israel evangelical church in Germany , I had the opportunity to travel to Krakow, Poland with the pastor of that church and his wife, and a dear pastor friend from the U.S., and his wife. Together, the five of us spent a day touring the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps not far from Krakow.  None of us had ever been there before. None of us will ever forget the experience. More than 1.3 million prisoners were brought to the camps by the Nazis during World War II. Of those, 1.1 million were exterminated in the gas chambers and the crematoria. One million were Jews. So many of them were children.
          It is difficult to describe my emotions as a Jewish person as I stood inside one of the Nazi gas chambers. Or walked through rooms filled with enormous glass cases filled with human hair. And glasses. And shoes. And suitcases from all over Europe. How can one explain the inexplicable? With the help of my eldest son, Caleb, I’ve produced a short video report from Auschwitz that we’ve posted on The Joshua Fund’s website to share with you, at least, some of the images that my colleagues and I saw at the camps. At the end of the video, you’ll also see an excerpt of a speech that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered in 2010. He said that the prophecies of Ezekiel 37 regarding the “Valley of the Dry Bones” were fulfilled during the Holocaust and the subsequent resurrection of the State of Israel. I couldn’t agree more. I hope you’ll take a moment to watch the video and encourage your friends and family to watch it as well.
          My time at Auschwitz raised many sobering questions. Among them: Why was the world silent for so long? Why didn’t the U.S. and the allies take decisive action to stop Hitler before it was nearly too late? Why didn’t the Church do more to rescue Jews? As difficult as these questions are to answer, more difficult still are these: Why is much of the world largely silent again today as Radical Muslims in Tehran and elsewhere in the Middle East threaten to annihilate Israel and the Jewish people? Why are the U.S. and our allies refusing to take decisive action now to neutralize the Iran nuclear threat before it’s too late?
          That said, I am glad to be able to report some good news: More and more Christians are repenting for the Church’s sins against the Jewish people in the past. The Church is mobilizing today to bless Israel and the Jewish people in ways that to her shame she did not in the 1930s and 1940s. More followers of Jesus Christ are hearing and heeding the call to learn, pray, give and go to the work of the Lord and caring for Holocaust survivors today than ever before. More Christians are helping persecuted Jews emigrate to Israel than ever before. More Christians are helping to feed and clothe the poor and needy in Israel than ever before. More Christians are visiting the Holy Land and meeting Israelis and learning about the past, present, and the future of the Promised Land and the Chosen people than ever before. Not all. And not enough. But more than ever. This is good, but more must be done. Evil is rising once again. Israel faces existential threats. The world is increasingly turning a blind eye to the fate of the Jews. Now evangelical Christians are the best friends that Israel and the Jewish people have. We cannot undo the past. But we can ask the Lord to forgive us and ask Him for the courage to be faithful to the Scriptures and to the Jewish people in the times in which we live. We can bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus, according to Genesis 12:1-3. We can show unconditional love and unwavering support, come what may. This is the heart of The Joshua Fund. That’s what’ our work is all about. And visiting Auschwitz was another powerful reminder to me personally that this work is more vital and urgent than ever.
          As 2011 ends, therefore, I see the gathering storm on the horizon, but I am not frightened or discouraged. I know the God of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. I know He is moving powerfully. I know the Lord is taking what man meant for evil and turning it for good. Indeed, the Lord is moving powerfully to care for His people, Israel, and turn their hearts back to Him and His Word. And for this reason I rejoice. I look forward to 2012. I’m determined to stay the course, and I hope and pray that you will be, too.
          “Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord.’” (Ezekiel 37:11-14)

COVERT WAR HEATS UP IN IRAN AND MIDEAST: Will it be enough to neutralize nuclear threat, or will Israel launch preemptive strikes in 2012?

Covert op gone awry? Iranian TV shows image of a supposed American stealth surveillance drone. (photo: ABC News)

>> See new video blog on the “State of the Epicenter: 2011”

>> Friday update: New Washington Post editorial slams White House for sending “the wrong signals to Iran”

A major “hot war” in the Middle East may be coming in 2012. But  evidence continues to mount of an aggressive “covert war” already being fought inside Iran and the Middle East. The goal: to neutralize Tehran’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs before it’s too late. Mysterious explosions are occurring. Iranian scientists are disappearing. Top secret U.S. stealth drones are being used — now one has been down and captured by the Iranians. There is little doubt that the Israeli Mossad is involved in some of these operations. The question is how extensively the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies are involved. In my new political thriller, The Tehran Initiative, the main character — David Shirazi — is a CIA operative sent deep inside Iran to use “all means necessary” to pinpoint, disrupt and sabotage Iran’s nuclear threat before Israel launches preemptive strikes. We can only hope the CIA is being this aggressive. But the White House and State Department continues to pursue a policy of appeasement towards the wicked regime in Tehran. Now the Obama administration is even trying to water down tougher new Iran sanctions passed by the Senate last week, 100 to 0. Why? Such actions are foolish and reckless, and are making the prospect of an Israeli first strike more likely, not less. Keep praying. It may be a long, tough year ahead.

>> To financially contribute to The Joshua Fund — helping us provide food, clothing and medical supplies to the poor and needy in Israel; helping us stockpile supplies ahead of the next Mideast war; and helping us educate and mobilize Christians around the world — please click here