ISRAEL HAS BEST TOURISM YEAR EVER: Come to Israel with The Joshua Fund in 2013.

“Some 3.5 million visitors arrived in Israel in the past 12 months of Hebrew year 5772, 3% more than in 5771. Of this number, about 3 million are tourists who stayed more than one night in Israel (2% increase compared to last year),” reports Ynet News. “The greatest increase was registered during the Hebrew month of Iyar which includes the Passover holiday, with 354,000 visitors….The fact that 5772 was a record year for incoming tourism is a great achievement given the severity of the global economic crisis (especially in Europe, which is the source of the largest countries providing tourism into Israel) and in light of the problematic geopolitical situation in the region. Once again, tourism has proved itself to be an engine for positive economic growth  this year. Revenue from incoming tourism stands at NIS 18 billion (about $4.6 billion), an increase of 10% and NIS 2 billion ($500 million) on last year….’Against the background of the geopolitical challenges and the global economic crisis, the achievements are even greater,’ says Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov. ‘We will continue to work in the coming year to make a vacation in Israel more accessible, cheaper and more attractive for Israelis and tourists alike.’ The Tourism Ministry is currently preparing to welcome over 300,000 visitors who are expected to arrive in Israel over the period of the Jewish holidays.”

Have you been to Israel? Would you like to go? Please prayerfully consider coming on The Joshua Fund’s next “Prayer & Vision Trip to Israel.” It will be held June 25 through July 7, 2013 and includes admission to the 2013 Epicenter Conference. On behalf of the entire Joshua Fund team, I cordially invite you and your family to join us.

Yes, I certainly realize that war clouds are building in the Middle East. Yes,  my team and I understand full well that the chance of a major war between Israel and Iran soon is growing. We realize that will discourage some. But we are moving forward with plans for next year’s trip to Israel and Epicenter Conference. Why? Because we believe that more than ever it’s vitally important for sincere followers of Jesus Christ to be traveling to Israel, praying for Israelis and Palestinians, encouraging believers in the Land, studying the Word of God in the Land where much of it was written, worshipping the Lord in Jerusalem, and demonstrating our unconditional love and unwavering support for Jews and Arabs in the epicenter in real and practical ways. That’s why I’m asking those of you who truly love Israel and are truly “prayer warriors” to pray about this. If the Lord gives you the “green light,” then please register and plan on coming to Israel with us next summer. This trip is not for everyone. It is for those who know the Lord is telling them to participate. To learn more — and to register – please click here.


“Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday morning launched a large-scale surprise exercise in the north of country, on the orders of IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, amid rising chatter of a possible conflagration with Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah,” reports the Times of Israel. “The commander of the Artillery Corps, Brig. Gen. Roy Riftin, was overseeing the exercise, which involved standing troops from the Northern and Central commands, the Israeli Air Force, as well as reserve soldiers who simulated the emergency call-up routine. Toward the end of the day, forces from the Central Command were to be helicoptered to locations on the Golan Heights to take part in a live-fire exercise, according to the IDF Spokesman. The drill also comes amid growing concerns over the deteriorating situation in Syria and the fate of President Bashar Assad’s sizable chemical weapons stockpile. The IDF said that the exercise was a scheduled test of the army’s readiness to respond to a sudden attack on the country. On Wednesday, a defected Syrian general who was once in charge of the country’s chemical weapons said that Assad had drawn up plans to transfer the weapons to Hezbollah. A similar surprise exercise was held by the IDF last year. Earlier this month the IDF held a large exercise in the neighboring Galilee region and Gantz also observed another, smaller exercise on the Golan Heights.”

>> Haaretz: Former Syrian general: Assad planned to transfer chemical weapons to Hezbollah


“Every so often, the veil is lifted on the shadowy war of sabotage being waged against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Another of those moments arrived yesterday when Fereydoun Abbasi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, disclosed that his country’s most sensitive nuclear facility was targeted last month,” reports the London Telegraph. “On August 17, the power cables serving the Fordow Enrichment Plant were severed by an explosion, said Abbasi when he addressed the International Atomic Energy Agency. These power lines apparently run between Fordow and the nearby city of Qom.”

An Israeli news site reports: “Iran has accused the IAEA of reporting information that allowed ‘terrorists’ to cut electricity to centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear plant in mid-August. The Islamic Republic’s official news agency quoted Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), as saying, “We found a tiny explosive material placed inside the vacuum equipment of a centrifuge, aimed to damage the centrifuge. ‘Iran bought 200 vacuum items from overseas markets four years ago and the saboteurs waited until this equipment could be installed on the centrifuges.’ The Fordow nuclear plant is buried deep under concrete in the mountains of Iran, making it difficult if not impossible to destroy by an aerial attack. Assassinations of nuclear scientists, mysterious crashes of airplanes carrying physicists and generals, and cyber attacks have been carried out the past three years, presumably by agents working for Israel, to disturb Iran’s nuclear development.”

IS AMERICA IMPLODING? Podcast of my conversations w/Dr. Dobson over the future of our country.

This week, Dr. Dobson’s “Family Talk” radio program is airing several interviews that we taped in August concerning my recent book, IMPLOSION: Can America Recover From Its Economic & Spiritual Challenges In Time?  It was a fascinating conversation that covered not only how much trouble America and the Church are in today, but also hopeful stories from the First Great Awakening in the 1700s, and the Second Great Awakening in the 1800s, and whether there’s any prospect for a Third Great Awakening today. I hope you and your family will take some time to listen. Then, please share your comments with me either on our “Epicenter Team” page on Facebook or on Twitter (@joelcrosenberg). Thanks and please keep praying for revival for our country!

To listen to the first broadcast, “Is America Imploding? — Part One,” please click here. — The Family Talk website frames the broadcast this way: “With a federal debt over 16 trillion, and 54 million babies murdered through abortion, many wonder: ‘How much longer can America last?’ Joel Rosenberg addresses how to fix our economic irresponsibility and moral depravity.”

To listen to the second broadcast, “Is America Imploding — Part Two,” please click here. — Family Talk: “Last time, author Joel Rosenberg and Dr. James Dobson discussed the possibility that America could be on the edge of implosion, and how our only hope for survival is true revival. Hear more about how our nation got to this point, and how we can fix our problems.”

FOUR STORIES OF HOPE IN ISRAEL AS ROSH HASHANA BEGINS: Some rays of light amidst so much darkness

(Albuquerque, New Mexico) — Shana Tova! The Jewish New Year — known in Hebrew as “Rosh Hashana” — began last night. I can’t wait to get back home to Washington, D.C. later today and have some apple slices dipped in honey with my family. That’s a Rosh Hashana tradition, symbolizing the hope that the year ahead will be one of peace and sweetness and blessing for Israel and the Jewish people, as well as all of the people of the epicenter. That’s my prayer, and I hope it is yours as well.

As we end the 2012 Epicenter Conference and begin the new year, however, the news out of the Middle East looks grim. “The Iranian regime is ‘moving very rapidly to complete the enrichment of the [uranium] they need to complete a nuclear bomb,’ Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told CNN’s Candy Crowley on Sunday. ‘In six months or so they’ll be 90 percent of the way there.'” On NBC’s Meet the Press, Netanyahu noted that, “They’re in the red zone, in the last 20 yards, and you can’t let them cross that goal line, score a touchdown, because that would have unbelievable, grievous consequences for the peace of us all.” I interpret the Prime Minister’s comments to suggest that war could be coming in the next few days or weeks unless there are dramatic changes to the dynamic, such as the sudden fall of the current regime in Iran, or a sudden new and decisive willingness by the U.S. to take action to neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat.

That said, I’d like to share with you four stories of hope in Israel, some rays of light amidst so much darkness. These are four stories that were told at the Epicenter Conference, two by Arabs, and two by Jews, whose lives were transformed in the most unexpected and remarkable ways. One of them is a story of a young Jewish man hooked on drugs, selling drugs, stoned out of his mind, living on a dilapadated house boat, when he made the most incredible discovery of their lives: a supernatural encounter with Jesus that changed him profoundly, even though he fiercely resisted it at first. Another one of them is the story of a Palestinian Arab who grew up in Jerusalem and hated the Jewish people and joined the “intifada” — the Palestinian revolution against Israel — in the late-1980s. He was arrested seven times by the police and the Israeli Defense Forces. He was beaten and imprisoned. He was a heavy smoker and drinker. He was a wild man, lost and alone. But then something happened that changed his heart in ways he could never have imagined. He met Jesus Christ in a totally unexpected way, and he not only began to change his attitude towards God, but his attitude towards Israelis began to change as well.

By far, this was my favorite session of the Epicenter Conference, hearing these four men speak. Some of them were incredibly funny as they shared their stories. All of them were deeply moving. It’s impossible for me to capture this in print. So here is the link to the video of these four testimonies. I hope you find them as amazing and as encouraging as I did.

After each brother shared his story, Pastor Skip Heitzig then interviewed them further on a panel about what God is doing in the lives of others in the epicenter. You can watch that video by clicking here.

Here, too, is the link to all the different messages that were shared at the conference. You can watch them at any time, day or night, on demand and for free.

A special thanks to Pastor Skip Heitzig and his wonderful church staff for hosting us here in New Mexico. They were absolutely amazing.

Finally, by way of update, I’m so encouraged that we’ve received more than 58,000 visits to our conference website. More than 29,000 videos have been downloaded. And people have been watching the conference in all 50 states and in 99 countries around the world. Thank you so much for watching and sharing these messages with your family and friends. May God bless you and draw you close to  you as this new year begins.

>> Help The Joshua Fund care for the poor and needy in Israel, teach the Word of God in the epicenter, educate and mobilize Christians around the world to bless poor and needy Israelis, train pastors and ministry leaders in Egypt, strengthen the believers in Syria, and prepare for a possible major new war in the epicenter — please prayerfully consider a generous, tax deductible financial contribution to The Joshua Fund.


As The Joshua Fund’s 2012 Epicenter Conference comes to an end, evidence continues to mount that war is coming to the epicenter. More reason to pray for peace, but prepare for war.

“Battleships, aircraft carriers, minesweepers and submarines from 25 nations are converging on the strategically important Strait of Hormuz in an unprecedented show of force as Israel and Iran move towards the brink of war,” reports the London Telegraph. “Western leaders are convinced that Iran will retaliate to any attack by attempting to mine or blockade the shipping lane through which passes around 18 million barrels of oil every day, approximately 35 per cent of the world’s petroleum traded by sea. A blockade would have a catastrophic effect on the fragile economies of Britain, Europe the United States and Japan, all of which rely heavily on oil and gas supplies from the Gulf….In preparation for any pre-emptive or retaliatory action by Iran, warships from more than 25 countries, including the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will today begin an annual 12-day exercise….The war games are the largest ever undertaken in the region….The multi-national naval force in the Gulf includes three US Nimitz class carrier groups, each of which has more aircraft than the entire complement of the Iranian air force. The carriers are supported by at least 12 battleships, including ballistic missile cruisers, frigates, destroyers and assault ships carrying thousand of US Marines and special forces.”

>> To watch any of the videos of the various messages from the 2012 Epicenter Conference on demand — at any time, day or night, free of charge — please click here.

>> Help The Joshua Fund care for the poor and needy in Israel, teach the Word of God in the epicenter, educate and mobilize Christians around the world to bless poor and needy Israelis, train pastors and ministry leaders in Egypt, strengthen the believers in Syria, and prepare for a possible major new war in the epicenter — please prayerfully consider a generous, tax deductible financial contribution to The Joshua Fund.


I’m encouraged by the response to the Epicenter Conference. More than 10,000 people watched the “State of the Epicenter” message. People from all 50 U.S. states were watching, as were people from 99 countries. These countries included epicenter countries such as Israel, Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, as well nations that affect the epicenter such as Russia and China. Thanks to all of you who were watching. I pray you learned a great deal and will continue to keep watching as the conference unfolds.

Today, the 2012 Epicenter Conference continues here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The live webcast begins at at 10:30am eastern (8:30am mountain, 7:30am pacific time). We begin with a panel discussion on “Understanding Replacement Theology, and Why It Matters.” I will give a message on “Understanding the Scriptures Concerning Israel’s Neighbors.” And then we’ll hear from some dear Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian pastors and Bible college leaders. Tonight, at 8:30pm eastern, I will give the closing message on “The Future of the Epicenter in Light of Bible prophecy.” Please join us.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT GOD’S PROMISES TO ISRAEL? Does the NT abrogate or modify the OT promises?

The second night of the 2012 Epicenter Conference looked at two critical and important issues from two renowned Bible scholars.

* Dr. Norm Geisler spoke on “The Old Testament Scriptures, What They Say About Israel.”

* Dr. Michael Rydelnik spoke on “The New Testament Scriptures, What They Say About Israel.”

* Then I moderated a Q&A session with Drs. Geisler and Rydelnik.

I found both messages and the Q&A session absolutely fascinating, and I pray you find it’s helpful, as well.


The video of the “State of the Epicenter Conference: 2012” message is now posted at

>> UPDATE: Anti-American/Western protests spread to 20 countries

The Middle East and North Africa are in flames at this hour. Anti-American violence is rapidly spreading throughout the region — in Egypt, in Libya, in Tunisia, in Lebanon, in Yemen. An Israeli Arab official is warning of “Armageddon.” The region seems just days or weeks away from a major war between Israel and Iran. U.S.-Israeli relations haved reached an all-time low, with a prominent Washington Post columnist warning of “the abandonment” of Israel by the Obama administration. Meanwhile, fears of al Qaeda terrorism have shut down the University of Texas. As I said during my “State of the Epicenter” address on Wednesday night, yet again “the eyes of the nations are riveted on Israel and Jerusalem, the epicenter of the momentous events that are shaking our world and shaping our future.” You can click here to watch the video of that message. You can click here to read the prepared text of that message.

Please join us as the 2012 Epicenter Conference continues this evening. The live worldwide webcast begins at 9pm eastern (7pm mountain, 6pm pacific time) from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Tonight, we’ll look at several very controversial issues: Does the Bible say that God has chosen the Jewish people and promised the Holy Land to the nation of Israel? Do Jews have a “divine right” to the Land? What does the Old Testament say about the covenant and promises made to Israel? And does the New Testament reaffirm that covenant and those promises, or were those promises rescinded, or abrogated, or modified when Christ came in the 1st century? Leading Bible scholars Dr. Norman Geisler and Dr. Michael Rydelnik will speak. Then I will lead a Q&A session following their remarks.

Please pray for all the people of the epicenter right now. Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Please pray for wisdom for our leaders. Please pray for the persecuted and endangered followers of Christ in the Middle East and North Africa. Please pray for victims in the region, and their families and friends. Please pray for the Church to be bold and courageous in showing the love of Jesus Christ and sharing the good news of God’s love and forgiveness and eternal peace through faith in Jesus Christ. Please, pray, too, for the Lord to use this Epicenter Conference to help educate and mobilize Christians around the world to love Jews and Arabs and Iranians and all the people of the region and to serve them in the name of Jesus. Thanks so much, and may God bless you.

>> Help The Joshua Fund care for the poor and needy in Israel, teach the Word of God in the epicenter, educate and mobilize Christians around the world to bless poor and needy Israelis, train pastors and ministry leaders in Egypt, strengthen the believers in Syria, and prepare for a possible major new war in the epicenter — please prayerfully consider a generous, tax deductible financial contribution to The Joshua Fund.

VIDEO OF “STATE OF THE EPICENTER” MESSAGE NOW ON-LINE: Pastors, please mobilize churches to pray for Israel & Mideast this Sunday.

>> Krauthammer column on “the abandonment” of Israel

>> Israeli Arab Official Warns Of ‘Armageddon’ Over Anti-Islam Film

>> Unrest spreads in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen

Pastors and Christian leaders, please mobilize your congregations this Sunday to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, to pray for the nation of Israel, to pray for those killed and wounded in Libya and Egypt, and for the Father to let this cup of war pass. Please ask your people to pray for peace, while also realizing that sometimes God allows war. And if war comes, pray we will all be prepared to care for those who suffer as well as proclaim the good news of God’s love in a dark and darkening region.

That was one of the central themes of my opening address at the 2012 Epicenter Conference last night: “Pray for peace, but prepare for war.” Some 2,000 people attended and people watched online from all over the world. Here are a couple of excerpts from my opening message. The full text is now posted.

You can now watch the video of the message by clicking here.

I hope you find this helpful. Please also share this information with others via Facebook, Twitter, email and texting. And please join us on Friday night at 9pm eastern (7pm in Albuquerque) at as the conference continues. Thank you and God bless you.

>> Help The Joshua Fund care for the poor and needy in Israel, teach the Word of God in the epicenter, educate and mobilize Christians around the world to bless poor and needy Israelis, train pastors and ministry leaders in Egypt, strengthen the believers in Syria, and prepare for a possible major new war in the epicenter — please prayerfully consider a generous, tax deductible financial contribution to The Joshua Fund.