As Faith Bible Chapel in suburban Denver celebrated its 36th annual Israel Awareness Day Oct. 19 with a Holocaust exhibit, Jewish-style music and dance, an Israel display, Mediterranean cuisine and high-caliber speakers from the United States and Jerusalem on Sunday, the keynote address by a Texas pastor was sobering and optimistic.
In the week leading up to the event in Arvada, Colo., keynote speaker and Pastor John Hagee told an international audience that the first case of Ebola in his home state, the teetering economy and sputtering financial markets, as well as warnings from "rational voices" of an attack on the U.S. by radical, jihadi Islamists, are troubling.
Faith Bible Chapel Pastor George Morrison struck a festive tone at the culminating event, "A Night to Honor Israel," welcoming Holocaust survivors, members of local, national and international Jewish communities, state representatives and candidates for political office in November.
Morrison and his wife, Cheryl, the church's elders and members recognized in the 1970s the biblical mandate to bless Israel and the Jews and, for nearly 40 years, Faith Bible Chapel's annual observances have attracted 1000s of secular and religious Jews and Christians to the Colorado congregation.
"The battle for Jerusalem has begun," Hagee, the founder and national chairman of Christians United For Israel (CUFI), told a worldwide audience Oct. 14.
The pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Hagee cited a Wall Street Journal report of a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barak Obama in which the two leaders "vigorously disagreed over giving east Jerusalem to the Palestinians."
"Americans need to recognize the historical fact that the Palestinians have absolutely no historical claim to the land of Israel. There has never been, historically, an autonomous group of Palestinians who ever existed," Hagee says.
Before 1948 they were Arabs living in Arab nations, and Yasser Arafat fabricated the need of the Palestinians to have a part of Jerusalem as part of their capitol, according to Hagee.
"Now why is Jerusalem so special? Because in the Bible Jerusalem is the city of God and, according to Second Chronicles, the sixth chapter, God has chosen that city for Jesus Christ to sit upon it and to rule the millennial kingdom."
On the other side is the kingdom of darkness that wants the antichrist to have part of that city so he can put his image up to have the world worship him, Hagee says.
"I want every American to hear this very clearly. The prophet Joel says in the third chapter, 'I (God) will bring all nations,'—and hear that phrase 'all nations' which includes America—'into judgment ... for they have divided up my land'—the land of Israel.
"God says when any nation divides up the land of Israel, it is subject to judgment. And dividing up Jerusalem is dividing up the land.
"Our president is dead set on dividing up Jerusalem. God is watching, and He will bring America into judgment.
"There are grounds to says judgment has already begun because the president has been fighting to divide Jerusalem for years now," Hagee says, pointing to Ebola, the economy and terrorist threats as signs of judgment.
Hagee points to a recent poll that indicates 72 percent of Americans support Israel and a mere 16 percent the U.S. Congress. Put another way, Israel is five times more popular than the Congress, according to the poll.
"I think it would be a wonderful thing if that 72 percent of Americans would go to the polls and bring us some new leadership in Washington that would stand up with Israel, speak up for Israel and not harass Israel to give up the land that God has given to them," says Hagee, who recently published Biblical Positions on Political Issues.
Morrison is a CUFI regional director who connected with Hagee after traveling to his first "A Night to Honor Israel" event in San Antonio. CUFI today has 1.8 million members and is the largest, pro-Israel organization in the U.S.
A news analyst and commentator based in Washington, D.C., Erik Stakelbeck, says he's excited by Faith Bible Chapel's support for Israel, inviting members to a July CUFI Israel Summit in the nation's capital.
"I don't want to end the night on a somber note talking about Ebola, a teetering economy, Iran and its nuclear ambitions," Stakelbeck told the audience. "So I'll say this is an exciting time to be alive; you are seeing prophecy fulfilled and headlines reflect the Bible's predictions."
Shaul Amir, who served two terms as Shaliach to Denver from Israel directing the Allied Jewish Federation's Israel Center for seven years until 2009, spoke about current events in the Middle East and in Gaza.
The International President and CEO of Bridges For Peace, Rebecca Brimmer, urged Christians to pursue relationships with Jews through education and benevolence, as well as express the love and mercy of God to Israelis.
Broadcast in the U.S., 249 nations and globally on GETV.org, Hagee urged American Christians to cast ballots in November's elections with pro-Israel candidates and issues in mind.
An offering for CUFI on Campus, a college and university arm of the pro-Israel organization, educates students from a biblical justification for supporting the Jewish state. An offering from the Colorado event is earmarked for CUFI on Campus.
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