Special Guest Comment: Interview With Ann Graham-Lotz
The daughter of the prominent evangelical minister, Billy Graham, Anne Graham Lotz, founder of AnGeL Ministries, is a second-generation lover of Zion. Her father Billy was a forerunner in Christian support of Israel, leading his thousands of followers to support the Jewish state politically at a time when this relationship was just beginning. Recently diagnosed with cancer, Lotz sees her illness as a means to take that relationship with the Jewish State even deeper and internalize it into her personal spiritual service. Born one week after the State of Israel, she has frequently described herself as being ?entwined? with Israel. When she was diagnosed with cancer, Lotz?s prayers for her own health naturally included Israel. ?Could it be that God has given me a message for her that I am living out in my own experience?? she wrote in December while undergoing chemotherapy. ?Just as my cancer is a potentially fatal disease, is Israel also in danger of being attacked in a potentially fatal way? Just as my cancer struck suddenly and unexpectedly through no fault of my own, will Israel also be struck by her enemies suddenly and unexpectedly through no fault of her own?
Just as I have had to turn to God to be my defender, refuge and strength throughout this cancer journey, is it time also for Israel to turn to the God of her father, to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? The God of Moses and Joshua and David? Now, before it?s too late.? ?And this is the message God has placed on my heart for you and me? for God?s people. It?s time, once again, to: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ?May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.? It?s time to pray for Jerusalem and for the whole House of Israel. If you agree, please join me in prayer,? she asked the people in her ministry. In an interview, with Breaking News Israel Anne responded to the following questions …….
Breaking News Israel: You see your life as entwined with Israel. For Jews, this is implicitly enacted by living in Israel and keeping the commandments. What does that mean for you and how do you believe other Christians should take this on?
Ann G L: ?As a Bible-believing, evangelical Christian, I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah. In the New Testament, Jesus told an interesting parable about a fig tree. He said that when its twigs get tender and it puts forth leaves, we know that summer is near. He went on to say that the last generation of human history would be the generation that sees the fulfillment of this. I was in Israel twice during 2018. The first time was in July when I was invited to address the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast. I felt a kindred spirit I had not felt before from several Israeli leaders. The second time was in July when I led a tour of 200 people on a thrilling Prayer and Prophecy Tour. Lotz gave a parable taken from the New Testament about a fig tree that unexpectedly bears fruit after being barren. ?I believe that Israel?s rebirth in 1948 was the budding of the fig tree that supernaturally came to life after almost 2,000 years of dormancy,? Lotz said. ?This is where I come in. I was born on May 21, 1948, exactly one week to the day after Israel was declared a nation by the United Nations and formally recognized by the United States. So if the last generation begins in 1948, then it?s my lifetime.? ?As for how other Christians should take this on, I believe that each of us should live our lives as though we are going to be standing face to face with the Messiah at any moment. I believe we should live our lives so that we have no regrets five minutes before He appears.?
Breaking News Israel: Did you learn to love Israel from your Abba, a highly respected man? If so, how did he teach this to you?
Ann GL: ?I have to smile as I give an emphatic ?Yes! I did indeed learn this from my heavenly Abba!? God the Father opens my mind and heart, enlightening me as I read my Bible. But I understand you are speaking of my earthly father. Up until the day he moved to Heaven, he and I spoke of the living hope we have. In fact, he gave me one of the treasured books from his library. The author is noted simply by three initials, W.E.B. The book was first published in 1898, fifty years before Israel was reborn. And yet the author, simply based on his understanding of Scripture, was firmly convinced that Israel would be reborn. He was convinced that the Jews would return from all over the world and reestablish their ancient homeland as a viable nation. Interestingly, I have been told that Prime Minister Netanyahu has also read this book and quoted from it in one of his own books. W.E.B. was a Christian who was also an early Zionist.? ?While my earthly father did not teach me about my link to Israel, he firmly believed in Israel?s God-given right to exist.? This belief played a major role in Israeli history. Billy Graham, who passed away almost one year ago, played an instrumental role in persuading then-President Nixon to provide an emergency airlift of essential arms that rescued the Jewish state from the overwhelming Arab onslaught during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Breaking News Israel: You believe that Israel is in grave danger. The difficulty is that many have become complacent, relying on appearances, on the seemingly powerful IDF. Many Israelis, especially those who live in Judea and Samaria, feel that American Jews have chosen liberalism over Israel. We feel abandoned in our time of need. As they turn to Christian supporters of Israel for help, they are also finding them to be brothers in spirit. Is this how you see it? If this is true, this may be an unprecedented coming-together. Why and how are Christians awakening to this, and what is it?
Ann G L:: ?While I believe there are many Jews in America who support Israel, the impression certainly is that the majority are much more liberal in their perspective. Evangelical Christians, for the most part, support Israel because we read and believe our Bibles. Speaking for myself as representing evangelicals, I believe when God told Abraham that He was giving the land to Abraham and his descendants forever, that He meant ?forever.? When God told Abraham to walk over the land that God was giving him, God wasn?t speaking spiritually, He was speaking practically, physically, and literally. I believe that the Jews are God?s uniquely chosen people whom He loves.? ?I also believe, according to the prophets, that Israel will be the epicenter of the world in the last generation. The Prophet Ezekiel describes a valley of dry bones that remarkably seems to be a description of those who survived the Holocaust. Ezekiel indicated the ?bones? would return to their ancient land, and remarkably rise up to be a vast army of people. In my lifetime, I have seen the fulfillment of that prophecy.? ?Ezekiel also prophesied a terrible invasion of Israel from the north that has not yet been fulfilled. Some people today believe this prophecy will be fulfilled in a war with Russia, Turkey, Iran, and other nations, when God supernaturally intervenes to save Israel for the purpose of turning her back to faith in Himself.? ?As recorded in the book of Judges, Israel?s history was filled with people who did what was right in their own eyes instead of following the Lord. When they rebelled against God, they were attacked by their enemies, then cried out to God to save them.
In answer to their cry, God would send a deliverer?Gideon, Samson, Deborah, etc. Israel today has been in their land for seventy years, but they as a nation have not turned to the living God of their fathers. I believe God may allow Israel to be attacked by her enemies, so that she will cry out to God, and He will send a deliverer. My thought is that this time the deliverer will be the Messiah.? ?There are an increasing number of evangelical Christians who are tracking world events in the light of Biblical prophecy. Thousands of us believe that time is very short?that human history is running out?that the Messiah is soon to come. I believe that the Spirit of God is stirring in the hearts of His people, opening our eyes and hearts, giving us an increasing awareness of the times in which we are living. For myself, I have felt very strongly that it?s a time for evangelical Christians to pray for the peace of Jerusalem as we never have before. In fact, during the weeks before Christmas, when I was wrestling with cancer treatments as well as preparing to celebrate, I felt an overwhelming burden to not only pray for Israel, but to get as many other people to pray for her as I could. God seemed to impress on me that just as I am 70 years old, so is the modern state of Israel. Just as I had been surprisingly attacked by cancer, Israel was in great danger of a surprise attack from her enemies.? ?As I was posting the call to prayer, a friend living in Jerusalem sent me a picture of an almond branch that was blooming in December in Israel. I immediately thought of Jeremiah 1:1-14 when the budding almond branch preceded God announcing judgment that would come on Israel from the north. The day after I posted the call to prayer, I was given information about the tunnels that Hezbollah had built under the northern border with Lebanon. I knew God was confirming my burden to pray?a burden that resulted in thousands of people joining me in praying for Israel?s peace and protection.?
The LORD bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on all of the land given to the Jewish people by the GOD of Israel. Please pray that all Israel will turn back to their GOD. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for a breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray Divine protection for all of the soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom ….. David & Josie
This Week’s News Items
1. Quick Arrest of Suspect in Brutal Murder of Israeli Teenage Girl Times of Israel News Feb 9th On Friday, Israel Police identified Ori Ansbacher, 19, as the Jerusalem murder victim whose body was discovered on Thursday evening. While a judicial gag order was imposed protecting details related to the investigation, initial reports indicate that ?signs of violence? were found on Ori?s body. Police discovered her body in Ein Yael, a popular Jerusalem nature area nestled between the Biblical Zoo and the Arab village of Walaja. Ori was reported missing on Thursday, and was fulfilling her year of national service at a youth center in Jerusalem and was remembered by her parents as a ?a holy soul seeking meaning with a sensitivity for every person and creature and an infinite desire to correct the world with goodness.” Security forces arrested a suspect in Ramallah late Friday for the murder of Ori and the forensic evidence at the scene tied the suspect to the murder ?without question? Police said. Authorities have labeled it a ?nationalistic crime? given Irfayia?s family openly identifies with Hamas and the fact that Irfayia has distributed material for the terror group. Given the ghastly nature of Ansbacher?s killing, several Israeli politicians have called for the death penalty. Pray for the family of the young woman – that this tragedy in their family will bring them to faith in Yeshua.
2. US Army Buys Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System World Israel News Feb 7th The U.S. Army announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to purchase Israel?s Iron Dome missile defense system. The agreement is historic, marking the first time Israel has sold a standalone weapons system to the U.S., which typically fields weapons that are superior to other countries. While Iron Dome has been in operational use by the Israeli Air Force since 2011 and proven effective in combat, it should be noted that the U.S. Army will assess a variety of options for its long-term defence solutions.? Israel?s ministry of defense in a statement on Wednesday said, ?The Iron Dome system will be tested as a defense system for deployed U.S. military forces against a wide range of ballistic and airborne threats, and will be tested in the long term as part of a range of possible responses by the U.S. military to defense against air threats.? Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benjamin Netanyahu said: ?A great achievement for Israel, this is yet another expression of the strengthening of our strong alliance with the U.S. and an expression of Israel?s rising status in the world. Israel has an Iron Dome and an iron fist. Our systems know how to deal with any threat, both in defense and in attack. I would not recommend our enemies to try us. ? Pray that Israelis and Americans will realise that the Messiah of Israel is a much better and eternal defense system.
3. Dramatic RIse in Anti-Semitism in the UK World Israel News Feb 7th\ The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom has set a new record for the third year in a row, according to a report by the Community Security Trust (CST). In 2018, 1,652 expressions of hatred of Jews were reported across the country, which represented a 16% jump from the previous year. The number for 2017 showed an increase of 3% over 2016. The vast majority of incidents ? 1,300 ? consisted of verbal invective, hate mail, and graffiti. Nearly three-quarters of the incidents took place in London and Manchester, home to the largest Jewish communities in the U.K. Most of them ?involved verbal abuse randomly directed at visibly Jewish people in public,? the CST stated, while almost 25% were found on social media. In a statement that accompanied the report, CST noted the reasons for the rise in numbers. ?This pattern of consistently high incident totals suggests an enduring situation in which people with anti-Semitic attitudes appear to be more confident to express their views; while incident victims and reporters may be more motivated to report the anti-Semitism they experience or encounter,? it said. The report specifically noted that nearly 9% of the incidents ? 148 of total ? had to do with disputes over alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, which has been especially dogged by accusations of Jew-hatred in its ranks since Jeremy Corban became its leader in 2015. Over 10% of the incidents (173) reflected the perpetrators? hatred of Israel. Only 13 incidents were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs. Pray that Jews in the UK and all the nations wake up to the dangerous future they face if they refuse to come home to Israel while they can.
4. Iran Reveals New Missile and Underground City Jerusalem Post Feb 8th Iran’s Revolutionary Guards inaugurated a surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range of 1,000 km (621 miles), the semi-official Fars news agency reported, further ignoring Western demands that Tehran halt its missile program. Fars published pictures of an underground missile factory called “underground city,” saying the “Dezful” missile was a version of the Zolfaghar missile that has a 700 km range and a 450 kg (992 lb) warhead. Iran says it has missiles with the range of up to 2,000 km, which puts Israel and USA military bases in the region within reach. The EU has stepped up criticism of Iran’s ballistic missiles program, while the block remains committed to a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers. A 2015 UN resolution that enshrines the nuclear deal “called upon” Iran to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons. Pray that the Western leaders stop compromising with the evil Iranian regime
5. Iran Building New Secret Missile Site in Syria Jerusalem Post Feb 8th Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah are establishing a missile factory on the outskirts of the Syrian town of Safita, Israel has revealed. Israel?s strategy, according to the report, is to make the efforts public to thwart the construction and success of the factory, which is supposed to be where Iran will turn Hezbollah?s missiles into precision-guided munitions, capable of striking targets in the Jewish state with unprecedented accuracy. The Israeli report claimed that a front organization named ?Anas Group? was created to purchase materials from Italy, China and other Asian nations, and that the factory is currently run by Jamal Said, said to be a known figure in the field of missile production in the Middle East. Speaking in the UN in Sept. 2018, PM Benjamin Netanyahu pressured the international community to pay attention to Israel?s findings and inspect Iran?s movements in Syria. Netanyahu at the time revealed several sites in Beirut, where he said Hezbollah attempted to convert ground-to-ground missiles to precision missiles. Pray that Israel will succeed in destroying all Iranian weapons in Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
6. PM Netanyhu Warns Iran INN News Feb 11th Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday threatened the Iranian regime with destruction after an Iranian military leader threatened that the Islamic Republic would raze major Israeli cities if the US attacked it. ?I don?t ignore the threats from the Iranian regime, but I?m also not intimidated by them,? PM Netanyahu said in a video uploaded to social media. ?If this regime makes the terrible mistake and tries to destroy Tel Aviv or Haifa, it won?t be successful, and it will be the last anniversary of their revolution they will ever celebrate.? The threat came as Iran marked the 40th anniversary of its revolution with rallies and marching that featured chants and banners calling for ?Death to America,? and ?Death to Israel.? Monday?s celebrations in Tehran were also a backdrop to the military?s display of Iranian-made missiles, which authorities showcase every year during anniversary celebrations. Yadollah Javani, deputy head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps political bureau, said during a rally that Israel would pay if the US attacked Iran. ?The United States does not have the courage to shoot a single bullet at us despite all its defensive and military assets. But if they attack us, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,? Javani was quoted as saying. Pray that what ever Iran plans for Israel will fall back on their own country
7. Israel Confirms Strike Against Iranian Forces in Syria United With Israel New Feb 12th Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to reporters before departing for Poland on Tuesday, explaining that Israel enjoys ?very good relations? with every country in the region ?except Syria.? He also confirmed Israel carried our an air-strike in Syria a day before. At least 2 Iranian National Guard soldiers were killed and several injured. According to Netanyahu, the focus of Wednesday?s Mideast conference in Warsaw will be Iran, an issue he says ?unites Israel, the United States, many countries in the world.? Wednesday?s conference is co-hosted by the U.S. and Poland and its official focus is Mideast peace and security. Around 80 countries are participating, including Israel. Iran was not invited, nor will the Palestinians have any representation at the summit. Netanyahu says he doesn?t think the Trump administration?s ?Deal of the Century? peace plan will be discussed. Rather, he says, participating countries will address ?the most important topic for Israel’s security, namely, Iran.” Pray that Iran will not be foolish enough to retaliate against Israel for the continuing attacks against its forces in Syria.