Missionaries step up efforts to convert Jews, public launch at Temple Mount

Jewish leaders and organizations benefitting from Christian Zionists can no longer claim ignorance.

By Ellen W. Horowitz. Vision Magazine

If you haven’t heard the “good news” yet, multitudes of multi-denominational evangelical and messianic Christian “friends” of Israel are currently engaged in 21 days of fasting and prayer for Jews to repent and convert to a belief in their man-god.

The “Isaiah 62 Fast” culminates with Pentacost2023, a May 28th event to launch a decade of global evangelism – the lion’s share being focused on Israel, Jerusalem and the Jews.

All of this, including communion, is to take place on the southern steps of the Jerusalem Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, and will be televised to millions via GodTV and other Christian networks.

Why is this event different from other global Jesus-centered “pray  for the peace of Jerusalem” happenings?

Well, it seems the organizers, led by Pastor Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC), are not in sync with “Jewish Standard Time” which they believe has caused a delay in the return of their lord and savior.

Jews are clogging up the end-times works by not embracing Jesus. And so charismatic church leaders like Mike Bickle, Lou Engle, Jason Hubbard and many others have decided to try accelerating the clock by gathering millions of intercessory missionaries to take a more pro-active stand.

Now there is a palpable urgency to the agenda, and it’s no surprise to this writer that a number of Israel’s stalwart Christian Zionist “friends” are collaborating with and even spearheading the movement. Grape-picking volunteers, and those running lone soldier and aliya centers, which regularly partner with the Jewish Agency for Israel and other quasi-government organizations, are firmly on board, as is Israel’s vast network of messianic missionary organizations.

In his Isaiah 62 Church letter, Bickle expounds as follows:

“Israel’s national repentance and confession that Jesus is Messiah  is deeply connected to Jesus’ second coming and to life from the dead for the whole earth. In this fast we are exalting the supremacy of Jesus, focusing on the connection of God’s blessing on Jerusalem to fulfilling the Great Commission. We can do so much more together in… unity.

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your [Israel’s] sins may be blotted out…” etc…etc…etc…

More oxymoronic than comforting, Bickle makes it clear that this is a “global Esther moment” and that 100 million intercessors “will stand with Israel as anti-Semitism continues to increase until the coming of Jesus.”

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Journalist and author Sarah Posner has for years investigated the intersection of politics and religion in the United States and Israel. She understands Mike Bickle and his agenda vis-a-vis Israel and the Jews very well.

“Regardless of whether you are on the right or the left, a hawk or a dove, AIPAC or J Street, a full accounting of Bickle’s teaching would lead you to conclude that Bickle is not interested in Jewish history or in Israeli reality… his public views on Israel are entirely devoted to an end-times prophecy in which Jews and Israel must repent for not accepting Jesus as the Messiah. Bickle’s teaching is unequivocal: Jews must accept Jesus in order to accomplish God’s will that Jesus return to Jerusalem to rule the world from his throne on the Temple Mount. It’s hard to imagine how a Zionist of any stripe would define this position as pro-Israel.” –The Forward, February 23, 2016

But that was back in 2016, when pastors and their affiliated politicians still scrambled to do damage control when the Jewish community got any whiff of toxic winds blowing in from mega-church sermons involving hunters, fishers, Hitler and the Holocaust.

And indeed, back in the day, everyone from the Anti-Defamation League to Christian Zionist/messianic leaders were quick to condemn Bickle’s theological rhetoric. But Posner’s concerns were quickly swept under the rug by reckless Jewish leaders who can’t keep their house in order for fear of losing “friends.” One need not be a prophet of doom to know that, due to this gross lack of foresight, one day something big and menacing was going to crawl out from under that rug. It seems that day has arrived.

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Today, talk of fleeing Jews and invasions coupled with conversionary campaigns and a global evangelical thrust (directed at Muslims too) can be openly  preached in Jerusalem – within a stone’s throw of the Temple Mount.

Calls for mass evangelism of the Jews or peoples of any other faith is an affront to the integrity of Jerusalem and all that it stands for. And yes, many would deem it antisemitic – perhaps even “Lutheresque.”

Mike Bickle’s IHOPKC & co. is a horse of a different color. And with no effective counter-missionary measures in place and unbridled freedom of expression, Israel is incapable of reining-in brazen missionizing campaigns, or even caring about them.

It’s interesting that Bickle recently paid homage, in a Charisma News interview, to the aging or deceased pro-Israel “spiritual fathers,” singling out John Hagee and Pat Robertson in particular. It almost seemed to be a “step aside brothers, there’s a new church in town” moment.

With change in the air, it’s imperative that Jewish leadership and those Israelis hell-bent on faith-based alliances take another look at the meanings behind evangelistic refrains such as “the God of Israel” and “Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.”

We are likely not on the same page of the same book at all.

Bickle doesn’t leave much room for denial amongst the Jewish leadership when he says, “Jesus is the god of Israel” and “the unsaved Jews… who don’t believe in Jesus – they don’t know who the god of Israel is. They think He’s the God of Israel, the God of Moses in heaven. They don’t know it’s literally Jesus.”

And IHOPKC’s answer to the question of “Why do we so value praying for Jerusalem and Israel?” isn’t much better. But it is consistent and transparent:

“Israel’s national repentance (Act 3:19) and confession that Jesus is Messiah (Mt. 23:39) is deeply connected to Jesus’ second coming, the Great Commission, and “life from the dead” for the whole earth (Rom. 11:15). Jesus will not return until the leaders in Jerusalem acknowledge Him as Messiah according to Psalm 118:26.”

Clearly, the Jewish leadership involved in these relationships can no longer claim that “the evangelicals are our best friends – don’t ask questions or bite the hand that feeds you!”

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Nor can they even claim “we didn’t know.”

Last week, Dr. Yael Ziegler of Matan concluded her Tanach (Old Testament, Prophets and Writings) class with this salient point: “Not knowing Tanach is not an intellectual failure, it’s a moral failure… In order to be a moral people we have to know. You have to be aware of what’s going on around you. To have morality you have to open your eyes and look around you.”

I started to pen this piece on Jerusalem Day, but needed to take a break lest a spirit of Tisha B’Av disrupt what should be a day of gratitude and celebration. Shabbat gave me a welcome reprieve, but then after Havdala [ceremony marking the end of the Sabbath) – on Rosh Ḥodesh Sivan (the first day of the Hebrew month of Sivan) – I found myself writing about this noxious stuff once again. I totally sacrificed my peace of mind and lost some sleep to boot. But I’m more mother than martyr and far more concerned about Jewish continuity and morality than eschatology and “theoidiocy.”

Now it’s almost the Festival of Shavuot [during which the biblical convert to Judaism Ruth is celebrated), and  I’d like to thank and acknowledge the righteous gentiles who joined us by naturalizing into the people of Israel, leaving evangelical and messianic missionary congregations and who now work day and night to try and explain and expose this material to those who will listen.

Welcome to the Jewish introspective struggle. It’s uncomfortable and obligatory.