A Voice Denouncing Apostasy
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God
and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living
and the dead, and by His appearing and His
kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season
and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort,
with great patience and instruction. For the
time will come when they will not endure
sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears
tickled, they will accumulate for themselves
teachers in accordance to their own desires,
and will turn away their ears from the truth
and will turn aside to myths. — 2 Tim. 4:1–4
Jan Markell is truly a “watchman on the wall” (Isaiah 62:6). She loves her Lord and His Church. She boldly asserts that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. And she has dedicated herself to guarding His Church from both internal heresies and external attacks.
She is a very unlikely candidate to serve the Lord as a prophetic voice to our nation. She was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she grew up in a home with an Orthodox Jewish father and an elapsed Evangelical mother.1
When she was 11 years old, some Christian neighbors invited her to go with them to a nearby Baptist Church to hear the famous Messianic evangelist named Hyman Appleman (1902–1983). She later said that she was not sure she understood all that he was talking about, “but that man convicted me.”2
When she shared his message with her mom, she got convicted also and decided to get the both of them active in a church where they could grow in the faith. “We ultimately found a solid Baptist church, and we got very involved.”3 It happened to be a church where Bible prophecy was taught, and so, as a teenager, Jan began to learn God’s Prophetic Word.
Getting into Ministry
When she was 30 years old, Markell visited Israel, read Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth, and got involved with Messianic Judaism — all in one year’s time!4 For two years she worked with Jews for Jesus. Then, in 1982, she formed her own ministry and called it Olive Tree Ministries.
Those early years of ministry were very busy and exciting:5
When I began Olive Tree Ministries, I ministered in hundreds of churches, home fellowships, women’s groups, and even some men’s groups. Every week I would pile my small vehicle with a 12 string guitar, sound and audio–visual equipment, books, and a map and head toward destinations large and small. My audiences were enthusiastic as I shared messages focusing on Bible prophecy, Israel, Israel in prophecy, Christ in the Passover, Jewish evangelism and current events.
But this frenetic activity did not last for long. In 1985 she was forced to greatly curtail her ministry due to being afflicted with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.6 She battled this condition for 21 years until August of 2000 when she was very suddenly and miraculously healed.7
In April of 2001, with her new–found energy, Markell started a radio program on one local station. A year later, she started holding Bible prophecy conferences. As she put it to me in an email message, “I was in my 50s kind of starting over.”8
Today, her radio program is syndicated on the Salem Radio Network and is broadcast weekly over 850 radio stations. Her annual prophecy conference attracts an audience of 3,000 to 4,000 per day.9 Her listeners say “Jan is a reality check on the news.”10
When asked if she preferred to be called a Messianic Jew or a Christian Jew, she replied, “I am just a Bible believing Christian with a Jewish heritage.”11
Her mom died of cancer in 1987. Her dad became a believer in Yeshua in his waning years. Jan spent two years at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota where she earned an Associate degree. She has never married. Her ministry headquarters is located in Maple Grove, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis.
Jan Markell is a strong woman with strong opinions, but one interesting thing I discovered is that she often expresses her opinions through other people. She does this through the people she invites to speak at her conferences, through those she selects to interview on the radio, and through the authors she quotes extensively in her articles.
Israel in Theology
Being Jewish and a student of Bible prophecy, Markell has always been a staunch advocate in behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.
Like Bill Koenig, she has been an outspoken opponent of Replacement Theology. She has verbally blasted the Presbyterian Church USA, the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church for their criticism of Israel and their support of the Palestinians.12 She has also rebuked the World and National Councils of Churches, proclaiming that “ecumenism is their real god.”13
Markell takes the position that when a person or church embraces Replacement Theology, they end up with “replacement reality” because “reality gets totally skewed.”14 She argues that the refusal to recognize the re–establishment of Israel as part of God’s end time plan is “all a part of the end time falling away the Bible predicts,” and it will be a part of the rampant apostasy that will characterize the final days before Jesus returns.15 She says she knows there are some good people in these churches, “but for the sake of your soul and your family, may I urge you to flee unless you feel you can make a difference.”16
Markell has also taken a strong stand against another heretical doctrine that relates to the Jewish people. It is called Dual Covenant Theology. This is the absurd idea that the Jewish people do not need Jesus because they can be saved by following the laws of the Torah. She has declared that this viewpoint amounts to loving the Jews into Hell.17
She tells about attending “a night to honor Israel” at a Word of Faith church in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The pastor of the church ended the program by telling the audience of Jews and Christians that the Jews do not need to be saved because they are “automatically saved.” She labeled the pastor a “Pied Piper of Heresy,” and she said this “night to honor Israel should have been labeled ‘a night to curse the Jews.'”18 She concluded the article by observing that “ushering the Jewish people into Hell by withholding the Gospel is hardly blessing them or doing them a favor.”19
Israel in Politics
Markell gets absolutely livid when commenting on Israel’s mistreatment by our nation or in the realm of international politics. She thoroughly condemned President Obama’s deal with Iran in 2015, arguing that he had “lit the first match for World War III which will morph into Armageddon.”20 She declared that it was “the deal from Hell” and that Obama was nothing but “an agent of the Ayatollahs.”21
In like manner, she blasted Obama for his decision in December 2016 to lift the U.S. veto in the U.N. Security Council in order to allow the passage of a resolution of condemnation of Israel for building new apartments in disputed territory. This resolution also affirmed Palestinian authority over East Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall within the Old City.22
Markell blamed Obama for the resolution, saying it was just another attempt on his part to “humiliate and marginalize” Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.23 She likewise castigated the United Nations, branding it as “the most corrupt, tin–pot–dictator–driven, anti–American, anti–Semitic, American–resource–draining cesspool in the world.”24
Concern for the Church
God’s purposes among the Jewish people are central to Markell, but an even greater passion of hers is the purity of the Lord’s Church. This is the topic she has focused on in recent years, particularly due to the increasing influence of the apostate Emergent Church Movement.
In a recent email message to me, she stated, “My real burden today is the state of the Church.”25 She went on to say that she is “heartbroken” over what is happening to the Church today. “I have memories of the church of my youth,” she wrote, “…a church that was so solid, was prophecy and Israel focused, and talked about important things, not ‘seeker–sensitive’ issues.”26
The Erosion of the Evangelical Movement
Markell has pointed out repeatedly that the term, Evangelical, no longer has any meaning. At one time it stood for people who believed in the inerrancy of the Bible and believed the Bible should be our guide for all doctrines and morals. Today there are people calling themselves Evangelicals who are denying the fundamentals of the faith. In fact, the apostasy among Evangelicals has grown so great that it is now often difficult to differentiate them from the old mainline denominational liberal advocates of the Social Gospel.27
In a powerful article titled, “Liberal Evangelicals Don’t Represent Me,” Markell points out that in 2006 “Evangelicals jumped on the global–warming bandwagon.” In 2010, “immigration became the new Evangelical cause.” In 2011, came the “Circle of Protection” made up of those Evangelicals who were focused on protecting the poor from federal budget cuts. The climax came later that year when the National Association of Evangelicals decided to call for nuclear disarmament.28
In another article, Markell stated that “on the surface there doesn’t seem to be a dime’s worth of difference between the National Association of Evangelicals and the World and National Councils of Churches.”29 She added:30
For years the NAE focused on salvation issues. Not any longer…The NAE’s most recent press release…is their endorsement of “An Evangelical Declaration Against Torture.” Tell them you want an “Evangelical Declaration on Saving Lost Souls.”
“Christians should care about the poor,” wrote Markell, “but to me, poverty, climate change, war, immigration and women’s rights are not primary Evangelical issues.”31 Instead, she argued, “Evangelicals should be focused on soul winning:”32
Once again, we see a vain “fix the earth” mentality. The wrongs of this world cannot be made right until Christ’s return. Since that just might be soon, could we please go back to the fundamentals of soul winning, the calling card of Evangelicals for decades? We can’t fix anything on this planet because the devil is in charge right now. One of the things our government is assigned to do, and rightly so, is to protect its citizens. One of the things Evangelicals are to do is to share the Gospel. Nuclear disarmament is not a church issue. Somebody do a reality check.
In another article titled, “When Evangelicals Dine With The Wicked,” Markell castigated Bill Hybels, the founder of the “seeker–sensitive” approach to Christianity.33 She emphasized his annual “leadership conferences” that have featured “problematic” speakers like Jimmy Carter, Tony Blair and rock star Bono — among many others.
In response, Markell asked a series of penetrating questions:34
Will these speakers spur the attendees to share their faith with greater zeal?
How will the attendees grow spiritually from their exposure to these people?
How does this further the Kingdom of God?
Emergent Church Leaders
Markell has also written extensively about the dangers of the Emergent Church Movement and its leaders. She has called the movement a “dangerous fad” that is helping to undermine our nation’s Judeo–Christian worldview.35
This movement emphasizes mysticism, sensory immersion and opinions as opposed to biblical truths. In fact, many of its leaders would deny the existence of absolute truth. Many also denigrate the all–sufficiency of the Scriptures.
Some of Markell’s revelations about the movement include the following:
- The most visible leader of the movement, Brian McLaren, has stated “that not all people need to be Christians to follow Jesus — some may be Buddhists or Hindu followers.”36
- Richard Foster and Brennan Manning, both revered by Evangelicals, “have never met a mystical practice they didn’t endorse.”37
- Christianity Today magazine, supposedly the “house organ of Evangelicalism,” called the Harry Potter books “a wonderful Christmas gift for all.”38
- Markell’s alma mater, Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, claims to be an Evangelical school that is dedicated to “taking our faith in Christ and integrating it into everything we learn …”39 Yet, in 2009, the university sponsored an “Interreligious Symposium” promoting common ground between Buddhism and Christianity. Markell wrote the conference off with these words: “Bethel University throws its students to interspiritual wolves.”40
Markell has been particularly aggravated with Rick Warren, the highly influential pastor of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. She has focused on him because of his widespread influence among Evangelicals.
In 2009, she posted an “open letter” to Rick Warren in response to his appearance before the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).41 According to the Washington Times, Warren told that group that he envisions “a coalition of faith.”42 The Times also reported that “Mr. Warren was sparse in his mentions of Jesus and God.”43
In her open letter to Warren, Markell stated:44
Pastor Warren, you pleaded with 8,000 Muslim listeners…to work together to solve the world’s greatest problems by cooperating in a series of interfaith projects. You said, “Muslims and Christians can work together for the common good without compromising my convictions or your convictions.”
Pastor Warren, you needed to compromise the convictions of the Muslims in attendance. The hour is too late to withhold a Gospel message without which they will face a Christless eternity, and you will be held accountable…I have to conclude that you are more interested in ecumenical unity and solving AIDS, poverty and other social issues…You were given a golden opportunity that 99% of American Christians could never get.
Markell also noted in the open letter that Warren had been one of the Evangelical leaders who had signed the Yale University document in 2008 that apologized to Muslims “for all the evil deeds perpetrated against them by Christians.”45 She characterized his endorsement of that document as “pandering” and making himself “sound like a fool.”46 She concluded her letter by saying, “It seems to me that you are more interested in marching hand–in–hand with other faiths down the winding road to the coming one–world religion.”47
In January of 2011, Markell published another article about Warren which began with the question: “What on earth is Pastor Rick Warren thinking?”48 She then outlined the reasons for her question:49
- Praising Syria for its “religious freedom.”
- Sharing church–growth principles with synagogues.
- Being part of the leadership team or board of advisors to questionable organizations such as The World Economic Forum, The Council on Foreign Relations and Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation.
- Misquoting Jesus in The Purpose Driven Life by saying that He stated, “My return is none of your business,” when, in fact, the Bible emphasizes that His return is our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13).
- Embracing Kingdom Now/Dominion eschatology which says the Church will save the world through Warren’s global P.E.A.C.E. Plan — when we are on a cursed earth that only Christ’s return can save.
- Underplaying the issues of Hell, sin and repentance in his books.
Some Christian spokesmen have responded to Markell by condemning her for criticizing fellow Christian leaders — and in particular for naming them.
But how is the person in the pew supposed to deal with apostasy if they are unaware of those who are spreading it? The Apostle Paul was certainly not reticent about identifying the apostate teachers in his day. He named Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Timothy 1:20), Phygelus and Hermogenes (2 Timothy 1:15), Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Timothy 2:17) and Alexander the metalworker (2 Timothy 4:14). Paul even criticized Peter publicly for being hypocritical by living as a Gentile while insisting that Gentiles live as Jews (Galatians 2:11–14).
The critics always respond by quoting Matthew 7:1 which says, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” This passage must be referring to the judgment of motives, not words and actions. The fact of the matter is that Christians have an obligation to judge words and actions because the Bible commands us to test everything by the Word (Galatians 1:8–9 and 1 John 4:1). It is impossible to test something without judging it.
Paul complimented the brethren in Berea for testing his teachings by the Word of God (Acts 17:10–11). Likewise, Jesus commended the Church in Ephesus for testing self–proclaimed “apostles” whom He called liars (Revelation 2:2).
Mike Oppenheimer, a Messianic Jew who has an apologetics ministry called “Let Us Reason,” has addressed this issue in detail. He has written, “To watch our spiritual family being misled is negligence and is absence of true compassion.”50 “True love” he adds, “is not silent when people are being misled, hurt or abused.” He concludes:51
It is right to expose error and to name those who are teaching error. Faithful messengers will warn the sheep of heresy, and when needed, identify them by name.
The Relationship to Our Nation
So, how does apostasy in the Church relate to the disintegration of our nation? Because the Church is supposed to stand for righteousness, condemn evil, call for repentance and preach the Gospel. Our society is falling apart because the Church has stopped doing these things. In its desire to be accepted by the world, the Church has gotten in bed with the world, embracing the world’s demand for tolerance of all kinds of evils.
Addressing this fact, Markell has written:52
God raised this…nation up for several reasons. We have been a Gospel light to the world…We have been Israel’s “off–and–on” ally. Our Christian heritage has made us a compassionate nation. But I see a nation pulling away from the one true God and giving a voice to those who hate God or who have a skewed view of Him.
As evidence of what she calls “the great falling away,” Markell printed a list in January of 2008 of events in 2007 that evidenced an abandonment of the Judeo–Christian consensus this nation was founded on:53
- The Congressional Gold Medal was granted to the Dalai Lama.
- A Hindu opened the U.S. Senate with a prayer.
- A Muslim delivered a prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- A nationwide emphasis was placed on interfaith gatherings.
- Atheists became increasingly aggressive in their attack on God and Christianity.
- President Bush stated that “all religions pray to the same God.”
- The lead story in US News & World Report at the end of 2007 was about Protestants returning to Catholicism.
Christian apostates are not the only ones Markell blames for America’s demise. Like the other prophetic voices God has raised up, she points to the proponents of Humanism, calling them “Masters of Deceit.”54
Despite all her passionate concerns about the Church and American society, Markell does not despair.
One of the fundamental themes that runs through all her articles is: “Things Aren’t Falling Apart — They Are Falling In Place!”55 This observation is based on the many Bible prophecies that state that the end times will be characterized by apostasy in the Church and immorality, violence and chaos in society (2 Thessalonians 2:3 and 2 Timothy 3:1–5). Jesus Himself said that when He returns, society will be as evil as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37).
With regard to “things falling into place,” Markell has declared:56
Humpty Dumpty is having a great fall, but secular mankind cannot figure out how to put him back together. They think new elections, new laws, new treaties and new regulations will fix everything! They are clueless that the secular path always leads to folly…
We have passed the tipping point. Let’s hang on a little longer and be salt and light and try to delay the decay. There are still some faithful shepherds in some of our pulpits…Nothing is falling apart. Everything is falling in place. More distress is coming, and it will be heart–stopping and breathtaking. Judgment is upon us.
But Markell rarely ever ends one of her articles on a negative note. She usually concludes by emphasizing that although the world is facing unprecedented turmoil, Christians have a glorious hope based on the promises of God. A typical ending for her is this one:57
While we may be on the brink of global chaos, the true believer can take comfort in the fact that we are also on the brink of Jesus’ glorious return.
1) Personal email message from Jan Markell to the author dated April 24, 2017, page 2.
5) Jan Markell, “An Open Door Closes,” April 4, 2017, www.olivetreeviews.org/news/headlines/item/12501-an-open-door-closesjan-markell, page 1.
6) Email message, April 24, 2017, page 3.
10) Worldview Times, “Jan Markell,” http://old.worldviewweekend.com/world view-times/bio.php?authorid=23.
11) Email message, April 24, 2017, page 3.
12) Jan Markell, “Replacement Theology Leads to Replacement Reality,” January 8, 2008, www.moriel.org/articles-new/2015-12-06-13-34-02/jan-markell/item/706-replacement-theology-leads-to-replacement-reality.html, page 1.
14) Ibid., page 2.
17) Jan Markell, “The Dual Covenant Heresy: More End-Time Deception,” October 28, 2008, www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2008/10/dual-covenant-heresy-more-end-time.html, page 1.
18) Ibid., page 2.
20) Understanding the Times, “Why America is Absent from Bible Prophecy,” by Jan Markell, September-October 2015, page 3.
22) Understanding the Times, “2016: The Year America Betrayed Her Best Friend,” by Jan Markell, January-February 2017, page 1.
24) Ibid., page 2.
25) Email message, April 24, 2017, page 4.
27) Jan Markell, “Liberal Evangelicals Don’t Represent me!” November 24, 2011, www.wnd.com/2011/11/371169, page 1.
29) Jan Markell, “The NAE Heads Left,” March 21, 2007, www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=6084, page 2.
31) Markell, “Liberal Evangelicals…” page 1.
32) Ibid., page 2.
33) Jan Markell, “When Evangelicals Dine with the Wicked,” August 18, 2009, www.moriah.com.au/textarchive/willow-creekleadership-summit-2009.htm.
34) Ibid., page 2.
35) Jan Markell, “The Emergent Church: A Dangerous Fad or Solid New Movement?” January 11, 2008, www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=5390, page 1.
37) Jan Markell, “The New Evangelicalism,” November 5, 2007, http://old.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/print.php?&ArticleID=2680, page 1.
39) Bethel University, “About the University,” www.bethel.edu/about.
40) Jan Markell, “Bethel University Throws Students to Interspiritual Wolves,” November 10, 2009, www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=191, page 1.
41) Jan Markell, “When Contending Costs Everything,” January 18, 2011, www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2011/01/when-contendingcosts-everything.html, pages 2-3.
42) Jan Markell, “An Open Letter to Pastor Rick Warren,” September 4, 2009, www.olivetreeviews.org/e-updates/jans-articles?start=30, page 1.
43) Ibid., page 2.
44) Ibid, page 1.
45) Ibid., page 2.
48) Jan Markell, “When Contending Costs Everything,” page 1.
50) Mike Oppenheimer, “To Defend the Truth,” www.letusreason.org/defend-truth.htm, page 3.
51) Ibid., page 4.
52) Jan Markell, “America Distances God,” January 3, 2008, www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=6221, page 1.
53) Ibid., pages 1-2.
54) Understanding the Times, “Who Are the Masters of Deceit?” by Jan Markell, November-December 2015, pages 4-5.
55) Understanding the Times, “Things Aren’t Falling Apart — They’re Falling in Place,” by Jan Markell, January-February 2015, page 1.
56) Understanding the Times, “The Sea and the Waves Roaring,” by Jan Markell, November-December 2016, page 2.