Religious leaders are warning that the United States is nearing a day of judgment based on its treatment of the nation of Israel.
What’s more, they say, signs in the heavens are coinciding with what is shaping up to be an unexpectedly controversial address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 3 and a fiercely contested Israeli election weeks later.
Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries warns that “our nation will be judged” based on whether the United States sides with or against the Jewish state.
Biltz believes signs in the heavens and correlations with feast days on the biblical calendar show such a judgment may be coming soon.
“When Netanyahu speaks before Congress on March 3, this is the day before the Fast of Esther when the enemies of Israel, specifically Persia/Iran, had planned to destroy the nation of Israel,” he said. “The next day is Purim, which celebrates the day Israel achieved victory over Iran. The timing significance of this is just as important as the timing of the blood moon.”
And this will be preceded two weeks earlier by a total solar eclipse on March 20, three days after the Israeli election, and coincides with Nisan, the beginning of the New Year according to the biblical calendar.
Such total eclipses only happen on Earth where they can be observed.
These prophetic warnings come amid unprecedented tumult in the American-Israeli relationship.
President Barack Obama and other leading Democrats say they will not be attending Netanyahu’s speech, and the White House condemned House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation as a breach of protocol.
Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, is circulating a letter signed by 22 other House Democrats urging Boehner to delay the speech.
Top staffers in the Obama administration are also heavily involved in the political opposition to Netanyahu, who faces an election on March 17.
“God tells us in Genesis 1:14 that the heavenly bodies were created to serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,” Biltz said. “But the word seasons is better translated as divine appointments, and here we have a solar eclipse and then a blood moon falling on the New Year and Passover respectively – all at a time when the Jewish state is under great persecution. God is trying to tell us something about a divine appointment.”
Pastor Ray Bentley of Maranatha Chapel in San Diego, California, enthusiastically agrees with Biltz and warns that Christians need to be “praying like they never prayed before.”
“Rabbis have a saying,” Bentley said, “that the word coincidence is not a kosher word. These kinds of signs show we are in a powerful, phenomenal time, a time of great testing for both Israel and the world.”
Bentley believes Israel is facing a “second Holocaust” and that Christians need to become more vocal in their defense of the Jewish state.
Pastor Biltz agrees and says the fact that Israel has become a partisan issue is nothing less than tragic.
“This shouldn’t be political,” Biltz said. “This is about the survival of Israel. Iran is the issue of the day. It is developing nuclear weapons. And our own nation will be judged depending on how it acts in this moment.”
Both Biltz and Bentley cited Joel 3:2 to justify their positions. The verse says the nations will be judged by God for having scattered the people of Israel among the nations and divided its land.
As Biltz puts it, “God says he will divide the sheep from the goats, one nation from another, and he will do it on the basis of those who supported Israel and those who didn’t.”
Laurie Cardoza-Moore, founder of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations and special United Nations envoy for the World Council of Independent Christian Churches, said Israeli-American nations are at a crucial juncture.“This is a critical turning point,” she said. “It seems that with Obama’s presidency, every year that goes by the relationship between Israel and the United States becomes more strained, and not because of the Israeli prime minister. The overwhelmingly majority of Americans support Israel and believe Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorism. But this president is trying to undermine Prime Minister Netanyahu.”
Cardoza-Moore believes Obama’s agenda goes behind simple opposition to Netanyahu.
“I see this as anti-Semitism,” she said. “The president of the United States has bought into the BDS movement.”
The BDS movement is the “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” campaign taking root on college campuses and in churches around the country. The goal of the campaign is to economically strangle the Jewish state to force concessions to the Palestinians.
However, Cardoza-Moore believes Netanyahu will receive a rapturous reception in Congress, “the body that really represents that American people. You will see standing ovation after standing ovation for this man.”