Culture Of War:  Rick talks with Cliff Graham about his new book in the Line of War series and about his new movie currently being produced in Hollywood that bring the stories of the Old Testament to life.  They also discuss the upcoming trip to Israel that Rick and Tim will be joining Cliff on where they will visit battlegrounds from the Bible times as well as modern day wars.

Air Date: 01/17/2017


Guests:  Cliff Graham and Rick Green


  • WallBuilders:American historical events, founding fathers, historical documents, books, videos, CDs, tapes, David Barton’s speaking schedule.
  • Israel Trips:Battle Tours
  • Cliff Graham: Cliff Israel’s Books

Listen:

Download: Click Here

Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast.  However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers.  Additionally, names may be misspelled because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Welcome

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture! This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re discussing today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and culture all from a Biblical, historical, and  constitutional perspective.

Our special guest today is Cliff Graham.  One of my, well probably my favorite author! He’s got a great series on David’s Mighty Men out.  Two series out.  And a second called Shadow of the Mountain and a new one coming out.

He has some incredible trips to Israel this year and next year where you can literally go see where a lot of these battles took place. He’s been a speaker at our our Patriot Academy, at the Legislators Conference. He is just a great friend to WallBuilders and the Green family. And I just really appreciate you, Cliff.  Thanks for joining us today!

Cliff:

Thanks Rick! It’s always an honor to be here man.

Cliff:

Hey, real quick at the beginning here.  Let’s give out your website now.  Is www.cliffgraham.com the best place to send folks?

Ciff:

Yeah that’s my that’s my personal website if they want to find out more about the Israel tours it’s just called http://www.goodbattletours.com/

Rick:

Alright, we will have links today to both of those sites. Before we jump into the Israel trips, Cliff, catch us up on the latest books, movie projects, and all the other things you got going.

Line Of War, Cliff Israel

Cliff:

Yeah. Well, as you know for a few years now I’ve been working on a series of books called the Line of War series about the battles of King David. I think most people think of King David.  They think of this little, peach fuzz faced shepherd boy who flung a rock at Goliath. And then they flash forward to Bathsheba and then the end. I’ve always thought that was a terrible way to look at his story because there’s so much more there.  

I always thought he was best understood not as a singer or other things like that.  He was those things. But he was best understood as a soldier. He spends more time in the Scriptures fighting than he does anything else. So I always thought, “What if we were to look at him from a soldier’s point of view?  How would we understand him?  Some of the sins he got into and some of the triumphs he had?”

David Was Best Known As A Soldier

You have to look at him through those lens to see what God was doing in his life in many ways. So I want to portray that in a very intense, gritty way. My heart was for men to be able to resonate with the Scriptures. I spent a long time in the military.  I was in the army for a while and then I finished up as a chaplain in the army.  

And one of the things that I saw there was always this challenge to teach men the Scriptures. They think it’s just Jesus petting lambs all the time and I thought this would be a good way to open up that door for them to sort of point them towards the Bible.  So they could see the stories of great passion and destiny and adventure and everything like that.

Bringing These Biblical Stories To Life

Rick

And it comes through,  especially with your perspective as a soldier.  In the way that you write, it’s like you’re in the battle and trenches with them.  And really understanding the Warrior’s mindset.

What I liked about was even though all the books are novels and it’s things that I haven’t done personally, it was like as I’m reading it is life lessons as well. I was like, “How can I apply this to my daily life?  My relationships with my wife and my kids and in my business and the other men in my life?”

So I just can’t recommend it highly enough, folks. I mean best and most incredible way to learn about David and his mighty men and the stories from the Old Testament.  Some of them, Cliff, what I love is you’ve taken even like a one verse story about some of these warriors and turn it into an entire story. You tell kind of the backstory through your research. I don’t know if you use the same word we call “faction” where you’ve stayed true to what the Bible says and what we know is true.  But you also filled in the gaps of what probably or certainly could have happened to really bring it to life.

These Were Flesh And Blood People

Cliff:

Yeah, I think that’s it.  You’re nailing it right there! In no way do you want to violate Scripture.  You take that as the filter everything gets sifted through.  And then you fill in some gaps with imagination.  And I always put a disclaimer in the front of my book’s that say, “This is fiction.  Please treat it as such.”

But I think that everything that’s in the Bible that shows up in the book is treated faithfully and accurately.  And everything that is meant to fill in the gaps is not to replace the Scriptures.  It’s to enhance a person’s experience as they think about the time period in the way that these people interact.

And as you know, Rick, a lot of people when they read the Bible, particularly the younger generations, they hear it like in an English accent somehow in their head.  That’s very stoic and very cold and lifeless.  I don’t know what baggage they bring to reading the Bible.

What we’re trying to do is to show people that these were flesh and blood people. They were real people.  They cried.  They laughed.  They had joy.  They were ferocious in battle.  They were lovers.  That’s obviously what these people were.

And I want them to come to life for people so that when they read the Bible they’re understanding that God has revealed this in his Word through real people. And it helps them understand and apply that into their own lives.

You know particularly with the soldiers and the stories I write, their names are listed in Scripture.  But we don’t know anything about them apart from a verse or two at a time. And so there’s a lot of room that I have to maneuver to create plausible scenarios to how they would have interacted with David.  And how they would have been a part of building that kingdom.

What Can You Do With Me God?

Rick:

Well, the Line of War series is absolutely incredible! I love it.  My boys have read it and absolutely love it.  And has been a great inspiration to them as well.  And my daughter has read it! I don’t know if I ever told you that my 16 year old daughter read it and absolutely loved it!

For her it was like, “Oh!  I want to marry a man like what Cliff Graham describes in these mighty men.” So it’s a great read for everybody.

We are going to take a quick break.  When come back, I want to talk about the next series that you did, The Shadow on the Mountain.  Because part of what I love about this one, where you go into Josh and Caleb is the challenge  Frankly and I don’t know if you intend it this way.  I’ll ask you to come back.  To men later in life, not sitting down but actually saying, “Hey God! What can you do with me in my 60s-80s?” I mean this is the story of Caleb is absolutely phenomenal.

Quick break.  We’ll be right back.  Cliff Graham, our special guest today! CliffGraham.com to see all of his projects.

And later in the program we’re going to be talking about these amazing trips to Israel that he’s going to be doing this year and next year.  You can go to  http://www.goodbattletours.com/ for that one. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.

Bring A Speaker To Your Area

Tim:

Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders.  And as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that makes America exceptional. And you might thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”

Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and bring a speaker to your area.

David’s Mighty Men Movie

Rick:

Welcome back! Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live! Author Cliff Graham with us today http://www.goodbattletours.com/ is one website you check out.  That’s his Israel trips we’re going to be talking about later in the program. Then Cliffgraham.com for the books and other projects.

Cliff, we were talking about the Day of War series in our in our first segment.  And I said I was going to jump right in the Shadow of the Mountain.  But actually, we should mention a movie is going to be made about the Day of War series.  You’ve got some pretty big names involved in this big Hollywood project!  We’re talking about a movie that’s going to be kind of like a gladiator version of the David’s Mighty Men.

Cliff:

Yeah.  It was picked up a few years back.  And it’s been in development for a while. I’ve been blessed to see the caliber of people who have signed on to it. Producers of very large movies you know. Spider-Man and Braveheart, movies like that.

And so they’ve been attached to this thing.  We’ve been developing it for a number of years. Working very hard on it.  And it’s getting close to that part where we’re wrapping up the casting and moving forward, Lord willing.

So yeah.  It was all of things where the filmmakers told me, “Hey to do this right, it’s going to take a while.  And we got to build all the pieces very carefully. But when we’re done it’s going to be something really worth keeping.” So we’re really excited about it.

The Long Road To Movie Making

Rick:

That’s gotta be frustrating for you, though.  As an author it’s like, “Hey the timeline depends on me.” You know, when I can finally finish my research for my book then people can get it and read it.

But with the movie it’s like, “What is this five years in the making thing? Let’s get this thing done.” But that’s how it is.  Especially to do it to the level you’re doing.

Cliff:

Oh yeah.  People don’t realize that most of those big epics they see in the theaters can take 5-10 years to make.  It’s a long process. One of the things I think the filmmakers wanted to do was to not take any shortcuts and cut any corners.  And that’s definitely been the longer, harder road.  

Anyone that’s been in the industry can tell you.  But at the same time, when it when it’s finally done it will show on the screen the care that was taken to do it right. Because everyone that’s involved in this at the senior level is a person of faith. They believe that this is God’s Word.  And so we want to do it right, as well as bring the horsepower of Hollywood has to bear.

Rick:

Yeah, good stuff, good stuff! Okay!  Let’s talk Shadow of the Mountain and this was really applicable to today.  Because in our culture I think we have a lot of Christendom that has taken the attitude of the 10 spies that came back from the promised land.  They were scouting it out and whined and cried and said, “There’s no way we can take it.”  And depressed the people.  And an entire generation had to die in the wilderness.

Empowering Elders

But the other two spies whom you talk about, Joshua and Caleb said, “No.  It’s going to be tough.  It’s obviously giants and fortified cities and all that.  But God’s given us the land.  So let’s take it.”

They had the right attitude but had to wait what 40 years or however long it was for that generation to die off to actually go do it.

But they had the right attitude.  And we need men like that and leaders like that in our in our culture today. So you’ve taken Caleb’s story and told it through his eyes.  Again, like the Line of War series and a really kind of gritty, powerful, powerful way. After doing a Line of War and David’s Mighty Men, what made you jump over to Caleb?

Cliff:

One of the things, one of the hats that I wear, like you, is I am traveling around and speaking. So I do all these events.  And I would run into men past about the age of 60, sometimes 70.  And it just seemed like they were lost, is the best way I could put it. It wasn’t necessarily their fault.  But the church and environment they were in didn’t know what to do with them.

It was almost like, “Thank you buddy.  You’ve been great.  We appreciate it.  All the help you’ve given for all these years now you’re relegated to being the hat rack guy or something.” So I always thought– those guys, they’d approach me.  And I would tell the story of Caleb in my sermons and messages and about how he was this old man.  His famous passage in the Book of Joshua where he walks up and he says, “I’m eighty five years old and I’m just as strong as I’ve ever been. So give me this mountain country so I can drive out giants.” It was just one of my favorite passages.

In the Power of God He Can Accomplish Anything  

His life story, there is very little is known about him apart from these fleeting glimpse we get. You know him as a young man with Joshua spying out the land.  He and Joshua bring back a good report of the land. They’re not afraid of making the people kind of buck up and get tough to take the land.

So God really honors him he says, “This is my servant Caleb.  I will give him his inheritance.” And I love that decades and decades later he says, “I’m just as strong as I’ve ever been.” And he’s 85 years old.  

And what I love about that, Rick, is that he’s not just as strong as ever been.  He is 85 years old. But he thinks he is.  He perceives himself to be.  And he knows that in the power of God he can accomplish anything that is before him.

So I always just loved his story.  Got to be fun to flesh it out, as sort of an old man looking back on his life through the years of fighting and building the promised land.  And so yeah, that was what I was drawn to.

Rick:

Well folks, it’s a great book a great read no matter what age you are.  But I enjoyed giving it to my dad, to my father in law, and to other men in my life that were in that in that age range you’re talking about. But again you know, our our kids, our whole family has read it and absolutely loved it. Shadow of the Mountain and that one is going to be a multi series as well right?

Cliff:

Yeah.  It’s a three part series. The first one released last year and the next one is coming up this year.

Battle Tours

Rick:

Alright.  Fantastic! So Shadow of the Mountain.  We talked about and Day of War. We’ve got to take another quick break. When we come back we’ve gotta talk about these Israel tours.

Man, I’m so excited about this.  This will be the first time I get to go to Israel! Our whole family is excited about it.  And I think our listeners are going to be really excited about it.  Because what you’re doing is a little bit different.  

It’’s got the all the incredible highlights of a of an Israel trip that people might have heard of in the past. But man, to have you along to actually tell these battle stories in the places where they happen is–  Man, I’m so excited about being able to participate.  It’s going to be phenomenal!

We will take a quick break.  Cliff Graham, our guest.  CliffGraham.com.   We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.

America’s History

David:

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. In the minds of many today Government is a purely secular institution and is not in any way to be joined to religious principles. The result is that too often our public policies are now enacted without any consideration of their spiritual consequences.

However, the Founding Fathers believed that even a political act should always be examined from a spiritual viewpoint. For example, in his inaugural address President George Washington declared, “We ought to be persuaded that the favorable smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” President George Washington believed that the blessings of Heaven would reside on this nation only so long as its national policies embraced Godly standards.

For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1 800 8 Rebuild.

Experiencing Israel With Cliff  

Rick:

Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live! Cliff Graham is our special guest today! We’re talking about his book series.  And also coming up is some amazing trips to Israel beginning this year.  Where you can kind of go relive the books firsthand see where it all happened.  And have Cliff literally give the commentary and other experts where you can learn about some amazing things.

So Cliff, you’ve been several times. What made you decide to take guys like me with you so we can go experience it as well?

Cliff:

Well, Great!  I’ve been over there enough when I was researching.  And I spent time over there, anyway. This is a natural part of my job.  You know to create the books and make sure that they’re faithful and everything.

And then I realized that with all the time and resources and money we’ve spent on marketing and promoting books I thought well, what if we did something different where I divided groups of people over and we just did these tours. And you know there’s nothing unique about that per se. You can find Israel tours out there through your church or other ministries. But mine is called the Good Battle Tour and it’s very specific to looking at the battlefields of the Old Testament.

A lot of off the beaten path places that the typical tour group doesn’t go. We see all the all the famous spots.  We see what I call the Jesus sites.  We see all that, the Sea of Galilee and all that.  But as anyone who has been there knows that everything is of stacked on top of each other over there.

We Will Take You To The Exact Location Where The Battles Were Fought

And so sometimes you may have a canyon or a valley or a hilltop that was very significant in the Scriptures but you know the tour bus just doesn’t take the time to go over there and look at it. And so I put together an itinerary and contracted with a very well established tour company over there to say, “Would you please build a 10 day itinerary that takes us to these places. And then I will give commentary while we’re there as to why they’re significant.”

So we will see all the famous things. But I guarantee you, you know it’s things like how do you fight from camelback like they did in the old days? We’ll go to see some camels.  We’ll ride them.  And we’ll talk about how they would have fought on them. We will go to the tops of mountains and say, “This particular spot was fought over 3,000 years ago for this reason.”

We’ll go to a canyon then we’ll say, “Ok, David defended this canyon against Philistines.  And then in the early part of 20th century the modern IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces had a tank battle here.  So you can see for 3,000 years, the very same patch of ground has been fought over.”

So I think taking that warfare based approach will really open people’s eyes to understand the Bible as really a description of conflict and of God preserving his people for all these years.

Rick:

But it is a power packed 10 days! In that 10 days the things that–by the way folks, you can see a list of this the entire itinerary on the website GoodBattleTours.com and click on itinerary it breaks it down day by day.

Appreciating Why It’s Important To Stand With Israel

I mean, what blew me away, Cliff, is that you know sometimes in one day for instance you’ll be at the tomb of Absalom, King David’s son.  You’ll be at the Wailing Wall.  You’re going to actually see and get commentary on things that happened not only like you’re saying in the Biblical battles.  But in the same day learn about so much about the Six Day War of 1967.  

Which I think will also give people an appreciation for Israel’s position over there and the difficulty of what they face. Because we hear about that stuff but it’s hard to fathom how difficult their situation is. How small, first of all, the land is and how narrow in some of those places it is that they have to defend.

Culture Of War

So I’m looking forward to this not only as an educational experience but for the people that we’re inviting to go as well. Everyone that goes, I think they’re going to come back with more of an appreciation for why it’s so important for America to stand with Israel.

Cliff:

Yeah.  It opens up your eyes to, like you said, it’s such a small area.  It’s so hotly contested.  And I think that there’s a there’s a culture of war that those people have always lived in that we as Americans just don’t understand.  We can’t fathom eating breakfast with our family in the morning and then getting in our Jeep and driving a few miles and fighting in the afternoon. We don’t we don’t have any concept of that, but they do.  That’s just that’s been their culture. Because they’ve been playing defense for so long. And it’s not just the Israelis.  There’s a lot to understand about the conflict over there and the tension that’s over there.

You Will Never Read The Bible The Same Way Again

It’s a very safe place to go visit. You know people hear things and get spooked and think, “Oh gosh who’s going to get us?” And you know, yeah, you’re still traveling to the Middle East but it’s a very safe place to visit. I’m bringing my wife and I’m bringing my kids and I feel very confident. There’s places in America, Rick, that are more dangerous. So so it’s well worth it.  

I really encourage people especially those who love the Word and just want to appreciate the Scriptures. The one thing we can guarantee and promise is you’ll never read the Bible the same way again. It just will put everything into context.  And then when you watch the news in the evening and you see whatever’s happening with Syria or Israel or in Palestine you’ll just do just have something to reference in your mind about, “Oh, I get why they’re fighting over that.” It just makes more sense you.

Why Israel Is So Safe To Visit

Rick:

Gotta take one more break. As we’re going to break though Cliff, as you mentioned even the safety issue.  I mean obviously for Israel, tourism is a huge deal.  So they pretty well make sure that these areas you’re going to, you don’t go if it’s not safe, right?

Cliff:

Oh 100%. I mean I’m not God and can’t guarantee.  At the same time that is their entire lifeline, their whole economy. Both Palestinian, Israelis, all of them depend very critically on the tourist economy.

Which is why when you see things happening over there it’s extremely rare that there is anything happening in the tourist districts or are happening to tourists. There’s millions of people a year that visit there and then they have no issues whatsoever. So it’s quite safe to go and I guess that I would encourage people to make the effort for it and not be spooked by something because they have a perception of it.

Rick:

Very quick break.  We’ll be right back. This is a bucket list item for Rick Green.  I’m telling you, folks.  I cannot wait to check this off! Looking forward to going with Cliff multiple times hopefully! GoodBattleTours.com is the website.  

We’ll be right back.  You’re listening to WallBuilders Live!

DVD On Common Core

David:
Hi friends! This is David Barton of WallBuilders. The current condition of education in America is abysmal. Not only is educational achievement plummeting, but every year, some 19 percent of high school seniors who graduate is completely illiterate. They can’t read at all but it was not always this way.
For generations, we taught students how to think. But after the progressives took over education in the early 20th century, things began to radically change. Education shifted from thinking to learning, which made the emphasis on the teachers rather than the students. And that elevated indoctrination above knowledge.

At that time, progressives also made massive changes in the way we tested students. They extended school from 8 to 12 years. They introduced graded education and they added compulsory education. Statistics prove that these changes have harmed education rather than helped it. And now the progressives are pushing common core.
In our new DVD on common core, we give you eight reasons why this current approach is so dangerous to our kids and our culture. We also show you an amazing history of education. So get this new DVD at WallBuilders.com.

Budget Friendly Israel Tour

Rick:

Thanks for staying with us today, folks! Cliff Graham has been our guest today.  And still with us for our final segment.  We’re talking about here in the final few minutes his Israel tour is coming up this year and next year.

Cliff, you’ve got several different dates available and people can go to the website and look at those.  I think May and June there’s one.  And then August and November of this year.  And then several more opportunities to go next year.

A 10 day trip and before we let you go today, I mean most people usually think, “Look I can’t go to Israel because it’s too expensive.” You’ve got this thing down to where people can afford to go.  And it’s kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity.  They can find out more about that in the price and everything by going to the to the website.

But I see it Cliff as this is not just a vacation.  This is something that’s going to strengthen your spiritual life.  It’s going to strengthen your perception of world events. A lot of our folks that listen are very plugged in to sort of the political realm and what’s going on. So I think it’s going to strengthen their appreciation of why certainly even the presidency is important in terms of what the position of a president is going to take on Israel.  And of course with the whole U.N. thing against Israel right now.  And President Trump is you know taking the opposite position of Obama. All of these things are incredibly relevant today.

Once In A Lifetime

Cliff:

They are! And like I said there’s there’s something about having a true grasp of context that can really shape and inform a discussion. I know that many of your listeners right now have been to Israel are probably nodding along with us saying, “Yep, it does help.”

That’s why I encourage, if you have been and you’re listening to tell someone about this opportunity. This is truly a once in a lifetime shot at it. You know Rick, I’m dragging you over there probably as many times you can take it.  Because I really do believe that it matters for people.  To not just understand the Biblical issues but the modern world and how Israel, this tiny little speck of land is such a player in people’s consciousness that.  There’s a lot behind that.

Even from an American history standpoint we can look at this and study it that same way. And so yeah, I do encourage people.  This is the rate that we have worked out has been subsidized and sponsored to a point where frankly, it’s just ridiculous how affordable this is.  And we worked very hard to make it that way. I can confidently say after having studied many ways of doing this there’s no one else that can quite offer what we can because of how our model set up. So yeah, I do encourage people to visit us at GoodBattleTours.com. Reach out to me and engage on it.

Staying Where The Local Israelis Stay

You’ll get an enormous experience out of this thing. Even just real quick– the places that we stay in, I mean a lot of tour groups go over and they stay in the big nice hotels.  And that’s great. We are staying in nice places as well.  But the hotels we’re staying in are called Kibbutz hotels which are the remnants of when the Israelis settled Palestine.

So they built these communal societies.  And so now they don’t have frontiers per se but they’ve sort of made the family business these hotels. So we’ll stay in some hotels on these Kibbutz  plantations that have bullet holes in the wall or that were they were instrumental in the Six Day War. It’s all very strategic and tactical.

So these are nice places to stay.  But it’s where the local Israelis stay, if that makes sense.  And you’re going to get a real sense of the flavor of what the real place is like.  And the history behind them is just profound.

Rick:

I wish we had time to read through the itinerary because I know how excited it would get folks. I could tell you without getting into specifics.  Folks, you have to check this out.  You have a chance to go.  Essentially you and your spouse could go for what it would have cost you with most other folks, almost two for one type situation. I’m super excited.  We’re going to a lot of Patriot Academy young people going as well this year.  Tim and Gabby Barton are going to be going.  It’s going to be an incredible year to learn so much about this history that we love. We read it every day in our Bibles but for the first time for me, I’m actually going to get to go see it and walk in it.

Visit Old Testament And Modern Day Battlegrounds

Cliff, to get to do with you after reading your books. And to bring to life those battles and the importance of them.  And then to get them modern side of it.  Whether it’s a Six Day War or what the Israeli folks are dealing with right now and and what their military is facing.  You’ve got opportunities even for us to visit with them.

So I’m excited, Bro! Looking forward to it! GoodBattleTours.com is the place folks can go to learn more. CliffGraham.com if you want to read the books or stay up to date on the on the movie coming out.  And all the other projects that Cliff is doing. So appreciate the way you bring this to life, Cliff.  It’s really helped my family and I know a lot of others as well.  So appreciate what you’re doing man.

Cliff:

Yeah, Brother.  And I appreciate you and your ministry and for the listeners who follow you guys.  I mean I know they’re blessed by it. And so I’m so looking forward to it. I hope as many people listen to you can join us if possible.

Rick:

Thanks for listening today, folks! You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live! You can find out more at our website WallBuildersLive.com. We’ll have links to Cliff’s websites as well on there to get you right over to it. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.   Cliff Graham, our special guest today.