The inaugural “Prophecy in the News” conference, hosted by Breaking Israel News in Jerusalem on Monday, brought together journalists, government officials, thought leaders, and religious leaders to proclaim the powerful message that Biblical prophecy is, indeed, coming to life today.
With 200 attendees at the Bible Lands Museum and thousands of viewers watching the live feed online, the conference reached a wide audience of Bible believers eager to understand more about the connection between prophecy, religion, and the media.
Twenty expert panelists, including member of Knesset Rabbi Yehudah Glick, head of the Republican party in Israel Marc Zell, Prophecy News Watch founder Kade Hawkins, and Christian Breaking News’ (CBN) Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell, delivered their inspiring, enlightening and sometimes surprising thoughts on Jerusalem’s Jubilee, Israel and the media, the practical future of prophetic fulfillment, and the challenges and triumphs of religious reporting.
“Redemption is coming to the world and people are trying to understand it,” explained Yaacov Hayman, Chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, during his panel, of the need of more and more people to understand the news through a religious lens.
“God has brought a famine to the world. But people are not hungry for food or thirsty for water. There is a famine for the word of God,” Hayman declared to applause from the audience.
In addition to spiritual hunger for prophetic fulfillment, the conference touched on its physical manifestations in the Land of Israel, with panelist AnaRina Heymann calling the evidence “irrefutable.”
“When you come to the City of David, you know that this is where it happens,” said Heymann, who works at the archaeological site where the original city of Jerusalem stood. “It’s irrefutable. So when UNESCO comes and tells me we have no heritage there, I show them the Freedom of Zion coin. This coin was minted 2,000 years ago. And at that stage, the message didn’t come true….And now suddenly we sit here, and we can see how Zion has been liberated.
“In the City of David, you see rational, stable prophecy fulfillment taking place as God said.”
Several panelists emphasized the interfaith nature of the unprecedented event. David Nekrutman, Executive Director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC) in Jerusalem, spoke about the conference as an example of the important work being done to bring Jews and Christians together.
“We have to appreciate the miracle of a remnant within Christianity and a remnant within Judaism willing to go ahead and pioneer a path to make this relationship happen,” he urged. “To know each other, and understand each other.”
Even the less prophetic topics were infused with Biblical understanding as the panelists repeatedly demonstrated that religion and media are fundamentally inseparable. During a panel discussing anti-Israel media bias and the rise of “fake news,” JNS journalist Alex Traiman used an apt Biblical parable to explain why today’s media consumers struggle with finding truth.
“When you talk about the media being a double edged sword, and the fact that this is the Prophecy in the News conference, well, who was the first prophet?” he asked. He said that the first prophet was Adam, whose first test was not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge.
“Today, the Tree of Knowledge is the internet and the media,” he explained. “Do we eat from the tree or do we not? Do we want to turn to the good, or do we want to turn to the evil?
“The role of a journalist in the era of fake news is to be the single spark of light, and we know as the people of Israel that, as one nation amongst many, and living in a dark world, not only is the light very powerful, but it’s very attractive as well.”
The conference concluded with a literal act of prophecy as the Christian attendees recited a verse from Psalm 126, which describes the return of the exiles to Zion and the recognition of this great act by non-Jews.
A Song of Ascents. When Hashem brought back those that returned to Tzion, we were like unto them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing; then said they among the nations: ‘Hashem hath done great things with these.’ Psalms 126:1-2
In one voice, the members of the nations present told their Jewish friends, “The Lord has done great things for you.”
The moving moment was a clear proof of a comment by Rabbi Yehudah Glick at the opening of the conference: “Today, if you don’t see prophecy happening, you better buy yourself a new pair of glasses.”
To watch videos of panels from the Prophecy in the News Conference, click here.