WE NEED MORE ISRAEL FOLAU’S : COURAGEOUS FOR CHRIST

Thank goodness for articles like this one from Alan Jones in THE AUSTRALIAN.

“The issue around Folau is really quite simple. You either believe in God or you don’t. You are either a Christian or you are not.

But if you are a Christian, or claim to be a Christian and you do believe in heaven and hell, and the word of Jesus Christ, then you should be living according to God’s word.

Or are some people pretending to be Christians and picking and choosing which doctrines they will adhere to?

Israel Folau with his wife Maria at Kenthurst Uniting Church after a Sunday service. Picture: Hollie Adams

Israel Folau with his wife Maria at Kenthurst Uniting Church after a Sunday service

If you are a Christian, what Folau posted is truth. You might think it is out of date or not relevant or not contemporary, but a committed Christian believes in that so could not in any way be offended.

And if you are not a Christian, then there is no such thing as hell. So what is the kerfuffle?

Thank goodness for social media.

As I have said, it is clear Rugby Australia either can’t read or do not care about their constituency, or both. Or are they comforted by the fact that everyone on the payroll has toed the party line.

How extraordinary that not one single person on the payroll of Rugby Australia has dared to step out of line and say simply that this Folau issue is a heap of crock.

I was asked to write two pieces for The Australian last week. It is a matter of public record that they were viewed by more than 2.3 million people on my Facebook page. There were more than 10,000 individual comments.

On The Australian’s website, where you can only comment if you are a subscriber, there were 1900 further individual comments.

The overwhelming majority of these comments support Folau and his right to basic freedoms.

Rugby Australia argue that one of their values is “inclusiveness”, but they don’t want to “include” Folau; more importantly, they obviously don’t want to “include” the supporters of the game.

There is a golden rule in life. When you are digging a hole for yourself and getting deeper and deeper into trouble, it is a good idea to stop digging.

Yet here are Rugby Australia, on the wrong side of their constituency on almost every other issue, now isolating thousands of fans by prosecuting Folau for expressing his religious beliefs. The public comments are telling:

Carolyn: “Thank you Alan for such a well-written article. May God richly bless you for standing up and supporting this young man and the right of all Christians to share our faith.”

That is a touch indulgent, but Carolyn is surely entitled to her view.

Or, when Rugby talks “diversity”, does it really mean “uniformity”?

Fred: “If they drop Folau, I’ll drop rugby. No support, no going to games, no watching it on TV.”

Susan: “This is discrimination and humiliation of an individual on the basis of his religious beliefs. The only victim here is Israel Folau.”

Adam: “I spend $1500 a year on tickets to watch the Wallabies. This year I won’t be spending a cent. Leave Israel alone Rugby Australia.”

Cassie: “Why was Alan Joyce allowed to use his platform as Qantas CEO to push his agenda and Folau not?”

Maria: “Goodbye rugby union. I have been a fan of the Wallabies since I was young. You have lost me forever.”

Andrew: “I’m out. I’m done with rugby. I’ll never watch it again.”

John: “The RA Board needs to go and so does the CEO of Qantas.”

Corey: “Political correctness has infected all media and sports codes. Rugby Australia are scared to offend a 2 per cent minority.”

George: “The Folau incident is forcing us to ponder … are we still a Christian country?”

Gerrard: “It is amazing how politicians are praised for respecting our Christian traditions by not campaigning at Easter but Israel Folau loses his job for upholding the same traditions. Perhaps we need rugby sponsors who believe and uphold our western Judaeo-Christian values.”

At least Kent put a smile on our faces when he wrote: “My experience of hell is watching the Wallabies play.”

There are simple fundamental questions at work here. Can a sponsor include any conditions it likes to control the activities of all the employees of the organisation it is sponsoring?

Yet the same sponsor can enter a commercial partnership with countries that openly commit atrocities against gay people.

This has all reached farcical proportions. I see one headline which says: “If Rugby Australia doesn’t successfully expel Folau, World Rugby will have to.”

Are these people on something? This is brewing as a massive and expensive legal issue. There are tens of thousands of people signing petitions in support of a world-class player.

Rugby Australia seem to be driving the process as an employment contract breach. Folau and his supporters see this as an infringement of civil liberties; that citizens of this so-called free country should be entitled to share their religious beliefs.

All Folau has done is quote 2000-year-old scripture.

As Thomas Jefferson said in relation to the US constitutional right to the freedom of speech, expressing one’s own beliefs, is “neither picking my pocket nor breaking my leg”.

The politically correct do-gooders do not have to listen to or agree with Folau.

But if Folau was offering a Christian warning to so-called sinners, and he managed to rope us all in, I was made aware of a more significant warning only this week by someone who read what I had written.

I was reminded that Martin Niemöller, a German theologian, had been a prominent pastor of an influential parish in Berlin-Dahlem from 1931 until his arrest in July 1937.

His incarceration, first in Moabit Prison, then in Sachsenhausen and finally in Dachau in 1945 brought feelings of shame and guilt for some of his positions since 1933.

And it prompted his famous confession: “First, they came for the socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

What an incongruity on this matter that some speak out because money speaks; and some are frightened to speak out because money speaks.

If Folau is wrong, then do we burn the Bible?

The German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine once declared: “Wherever books are burnt, humans are destined to be burnt too.”

Folau now faces a code of conduct panel. His post was on April 10.

The hearing is on May 4. What does that say about justice delayed? And what anyway is the panel about?

Rugby Australia has ignored its own processes and protocols. Before any chance was given for Folau to defend himself, he has been punished, condemned, defamed and humiliated.

After all, NSW played last week. He was not picked. The Australian coach says he won’t be picked for the Wallabies.

The captain of Australia and NSW says he won’t play in the same team as Folau. Will selectors tell that young man that he doesn’t pick the team? Or has the whole show gone completely mad?

Do the professionally offended believe they have won? If Folau is finished, I am sorry but Rugby Australia is finished too.

The administrative changes that I have argued for, for months now, must immediately occur.

But on this issue, there can be only one result; and how the phalanx of people advising Rugby Australia don’t see it is unbelievable. Stop digging the hole. Stop further damaging the game. Stop dragging this mess out any further. Have the decency to practice the “inclusiveness” you boast about.

We need a leader to bring all parties together and start again. Rugby Australia and Qantas cannot win. If they win, Australia loses.

One final point. Please tell the volunteers and the battlers out there in clubland that Qantas should be made to pay for all the costs involved. Without their involvement, we would not be in this space. And if Qantas have not put the gun to the head of Rugby Australia, say so and I am happy to report it.

But back to where we began. Can someone in Rugby Australia read the judgment of the Federal Court in Brisbane 10 days ago in relation to the distinguished James Cook University professor Peter Ridd.

He too was sacked for expressing sincerely held scientific views.

The Federal court found the university’s treatment of this eminent professor was unlawful. Termination became vindication.

I suspect a similar outcome awaits Folau.

WHEN YOU BELIEVE – GREAT MIRACLES CAN BE ACHIEVED

In a new recording just ahead of Passover, which celebrates the exodus of the Jewish people from slavery, Kippalive, a talented group of God-fearing Jews, sings about the great miracles that can be achieved through faith.

The song is titled “Vehi She’amda| When You Believe.” Near the end, they sing in Hebrew about how God rescues the Jewish people from their enemies.

Watch and enjoy this melodic praise set in the beautiful land of Israel, celebrating God’s love and kindness, especially during this Passover season.

WHAT DOES A GOD INSPIRED REVIVAL LOOK LIKE?

A few years ago, Pastor Shane Idleman prayed, “Lord, bring revival to the churches.” Read the response God gave him.

“I was not ready for the response that followed. I felt impressed with these words: “You don’t want revival—it will ruin your schedule, your dignity, your image and your reputation as a person who is ‘well balanced.’ Men will weep throughout the congregation. Women will wail because of the travail of their own souls. Young adults will cry like children at the magnitude of their sin. With the strength of My presence, the worship team will cease playing. Time will seem to stand still. You won’t be able to preach because of the emotions flooding your own soul. You’ll struggle to find words but only find tears. Even the most dignified and reserved among you will be broken and humbled as little children. The proud and self-righteous will not be able to stand in My presence. The doubter and unbeliever will either run for fear or fall on their knees and worship Me—there can be no middle ground. The church will never be the same again.”

Pastors, do you truly want revival?

What about Christian leadership? Is it ready for revival?

Shane Idleman was recently asked for his take on the controversy surrounding Francis Chan speaking at what some call “questionable events.” He took time to pray while driving three hours to one of these events to meet Chan and hear him speak. Once again read the outcome.

Shane Idleman, left, with Francis Chan.

“When I met Chan backstage, I found him to be very humble and eager to listen as we talked about these issues. True to form, he also delivered a powerful message on repentance. Isn’t that our goal as preachers? The event moved me deeply during worship, and I had the opportunity to meet some of the other speakers such as Corey Russell and Derek Carr. Their passion for the lost and their heart for “genuine” revival was evident, as thousands came forward to recommit and renew their relationship with the Lord.

The irony is that when I try to tell it like it is, heresy hunters are not open, humble or teachable. The old adage “Don’t confuse me with the facts” comes to mind.

Why are emotional worship nights of prayer, and pressing into God, viewed as fanatical when these things are actually biblical? Why do I never see the heresy hunters at all-night worship services or broken by the Lord at the altar? This question demands an answer—and the answer is that many have never been filled mightily with the Holy Spirit. They can’t say, like Jeremiah, that God’s Word is in their heart like a burning fire (Jeremiah 20:9). 

NOW IS TIME TO BE DOERS OF THE WORD

If you have been following Nelson Walters of Gospel in the End Times YouTube videos, you will have learnt much already about what the Bible reveals about the timing of Jesus second coming. In particular, Christians can expect to be on earth during the tribulation and great tribulation predicted during the last seven years before Jesus returns to earth, to rule and reign the nations from Jerusalem. Jesus promised His elect would not experience the wrath of God, but the Bible is clear God’s wrath is poured out with the seven Trumpet and seven Bowl judgements. It is at the sixth seal, we read in Revelation 6:17 “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand.”

You will need to watch this video “How to Prepare for the Last Days” on YouTube just click on Watch this video on YouTube. It  will assist Nelson to keep these videos up on YouTube.

Now is the time to be doers of the word is the clear message of this movie length video, but Nelson also reviews the events that are unfolding in these last days that match Biblical prophecy. The initial impact of the last days events are already on us. God is bringing catastrophes to provide opportunities for Christians to witness and present the Good News.

FURTHER PROOF FOR CREATION AND BIBLICAL INERRANCY

Want to know why fossils are found where they are in the fossil record and how it fits within the creation paradigm? If you do then watch this short video. Palaeontologist, Dr Marcus Ross does a great job. It is just one of the excellent videos from Genesis is History. Make sure you check out the others. If you have not already watched it take a look at Incredible Design of the Human Genome with Dr Rob Carter, Marine Biologist. I posted it on this website at the end of March 2019.

REPENT IS THE KEY TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Extract from National Day of repentance http://www.dayofrepentance.org.

“From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17

Repent” was the first word Jesus preached (Matthew 4:17). It’s the key to come into His Kingdom. Thereafter repentance is a gift from God, a privilege and a vital spiritual discipline to purify as “a member of His royal priesthood.” (1 Peter 2:9). The Risen Christ calls each of us daily to be zealous to repent so that we can overcome and sit on His throne as He overcame and sits on His Father’s throne. (Revelation 3:19-21).
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10
Image result for picture of Scripture on repentance
Repentance, by His people called by His name, is the final step by which the Living God will hear from heaven, forgive sin and heal a nation.
The need for personal and national repentance has never been more obvious. The Lord’s Hand is needed to resolve extreme problems in every nation.  His strategy needs to be followed: IF His people called by His name humble themselves and pray, seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways, THEN He will hear from heaven, forgive sin, and heal a land. (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Since 2012 in the United States, April 30th has been proclaimed by a growing number of believers as a “National Day of Repentance”. This day was selected for several reasons:  it was the day George Washington (“so help me God”) was inaugurated in 1789; it was the day set aside by Congress and President Lincoln in 1863 for a “National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer”; it was the day picked by Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield for the same purpose in 1973 to address spiritually the national crisis over Watergate; and it precedes, and thus supports, the National Day of Prayer to be held this year on May 2nd.  Placing repentance before prayer adds to the power of the prayers, as iniquity is removed (Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:1-2; James 5:16).
Across denominations and boundaries, believers from other nations such as Australia, New Zealand, India and Malawi will join us on April 30th, interceding for us in their own repentance time and prayers that day.
Pray the currently sleeping Body of Christ, His Bride, will be activated.  When anyone repents, ALL BOATS RISE.  Many will experience the Truth and the JOY that follows repentance. The Lord may relent from the judgements we deserve. Proverbs 10:24 tells us: “the desire of the righteous WILL be granted.”  The repentance remnant will grow.  More preachers of repentance will surface.
A National Day of Repentance at the grassroots level on April 30th may also act as a preemptive step to avoid any division in Israel’s boundaries. The Living God states in Joel 3:2 that He will enter into judgement “on account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.”
May “repentance” be spoken among us more than ever before.  Please pass the word.  Ask your pastor to have a National Day of Repentance Service or organise a Bible Study of believers.  Join many of us, and in other nations, on Tuesday, April 30th, to take time to follow the Lord’s call to refocus on Him.

PRAYER, HOLY SPIRIT AND BOLDNESS

Another important message for the last days church from Francis Chan and David Platt.

Are we truly taking Jesus command to tell the good news to at least our circle of family and friends? We are all ambassadors of Christ, so need to be equipped to share our testimony and a simple presentation of the Gospel message.

Can I suggest one Gospel presentation that you can give on your mobile phone. It is called the Way of Life, go to http://www.thewayoflife.com.au to download it. This is just one of many that are available but I know this one has proved to be effective at least here in Australia.

Please let me know what you have found to be effective. Blessings, Ron

IS THE TIDE TURNING? WILL GOOD PREVAIL OVER EVIL?

Giant billboard launched in Times Square to oppose New York’s ‘abortion extremism’

The pro-life student association Students for Life of America is sponsoring a giant video advertisement this week in Manhattan’s Times Square, speaking out against New York’s “abortion extremism.”

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The ad is running for three days and ran while SFLA hosted its annual gala event in New York City on Wednesday.

This year, the SFLA gala is titled “Called to Bring Light to the Darkness.” The event is being held in a state that passed earlier this year a law that effectively legalises abortion until birth, something only seven other states had done previously.

The bill signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo garnered much national media attention and drew the outrage of pro-lifers across the nation.

“When I asked our supporters if they wanted to send a pro-life message in Times Square, the answer was a resounding YES,” SFLA President Kristan Hawkins said in a statement.

The video advertisement is 15 seconds long and is being displayed in a rotation along with other advertisements on a 50-foot-tall video screen.

The Ohio Senate and House passed a bill this week that would ban most abortions. Gov. Mike DeWine signed the legislation Thursday afternoon.

“The signing of this bill today is consistent with that respect for life and the imperative to protect those who cannot protect themselves,” DeWine said.

“Victory!” says Janet Porter, who authored the bill and began efforts to legalise it almost a decade ago. “All the credit, all the glory, goes to Jesus Christ, the author and giver of life.”

Porter also founded Faith2Action, the nation’s largest network of pro-family groups.

With the bill’s passage, Ohio becomes the seventh state to pass a law that ensures “if a heartbeat’s detected, the baby’s protected,” according to a Faith2Action release.

According to USA Today,

Under the bill, doctors would face a fifth-degree felony punishable by up to a year in prison for performing an abortion after detecting a heartbeat. The bill has an exception to save the life of the woman but no exception for rape or incest—in line with current state law.

The legislation was crafted in Ohio, but it has gained momentum nationwide. Ohio is one of four states to pass the abortion ban in 2019 alone. A similar bill sits on Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk.

Former Gov. John Kasich vetoed the abortion ban twice, concerned about the legal bill taxpayers would foot.

According to the Los Angeles Times,

Five other states have passed similar bans, two of which have been blocked by courts. Since conservative Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, Republican-led states have passed abortion restrictions in an effort to have the court overturn Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalised abortion. …

Opponents’ protests did nothing to budge a largely closed-mouthed GOP majority on the House Health Committee. Republicans won an 11-7 party-line vote that sent the bill to the full House, where it passed Wednesday. Republican state Rep. Candice Keller called the legislation “the most compassionate bill we’ve ever passed.” She rejected suggestions that everyone knows someone who has had, or will need, an abortion; that women will continue to have abortions, only unsafely; and even that reproductive rights are about women. “If we are really about empowering the women of Ohio and empowering the women of this country, we will begin to tell the truth about the abortion industry and the enormous amount of profit that is made on the backs of women,” she said. …

Republican Derek Merrin, chairman of the house health panel, said he was following his conscience: “My heart, Mr. Speaker, tells me it’s wrong.” Prohibiting abortions at the first detectable heartbeat means prohibiting virtually all abortions, said Dr. Michael Cackovic, a specialist in maternal fetal medicine at Ohio State University Medical Center. He said current standard practice, which involves transvaginal ultrasound, can reliably detect a heartbeat five to six weeks into pregnancy. “Essentially, that’s three to four weeks after conception, or one to two weeks after a missed period,” he said.

Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina and West Virginia each have some sort of proposed “heartbeat bill.”

The Georgia legislature passed a similar bill last month that is awaiting the governor’s signature.

Shawn Carney, president and CEO of 40 Days for Life, praised the bill. “This is yet another example that abortion is barbaric and Americans want to protect the most vulnerable among us,” Carney says. “The timing of this is crucial as many politicians openly, calmly and coldly advocate for infanticide. The current climate shows the tide turning for science and life after 46 years of legalised abortion.”

 

PREPARE FOR JESUS COMING RETURN

This following testimony is from Cody Archer. Cody Archer, along with his wife, Liat, help lead the youth group at Ahavat Yeshua and work together in Revive Israel’s international department.

In preparation for the coming prophesied persecution, it is important you read Cody’s testimony now to help you prepare for what lies ahead.

The following verses from Revelation reveal how believers are to overcome Satan in the “end times” just prior to Jesus return, first to rapture the saints, and then to return to earth with the saints to rule and reign in the Millennium.

“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Revelation 12:11

We all want to be in the centre of God’s will for our lives as we approach the time of Jesus return, so it is important we understand what is ahead, remembering that even Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, agonised over what was ahead of Him.

According to global statistics, over 200 million followers of Yeshua are undergoing high levels of persecution today—primarily in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. But, I believe the Scriptures teach that the time is coming when such persecution will be the norm in every country of the earth.

“When I was a new believer in my early 20s, a leader in my life spoke prophetically over me: “Cody, go deep in God’s Word now, because there will be a time in the future where it will be taken away from you, probably because you will be put in prison for your faith.” What an encouraging word for a new believer, right? I took that word seriously and have continued to devote much time to meditating in God’s Word almost daily for the past decade.

Heart Training

As I study the end times, one of the themes that continues to catch my attention is that of persecution. More and more in my quiet times, I have been picturing myself being arrested, beaten, put in prison and even martyred for my faith. I am training my heart now to walk in love for Yeshua and stand up for my faith when those times of extreme pressure come.

My sense is that this heart posture is almost nonexistent in most of the Western church today. Even If you and I don’t end up facing high levels of persecution, I believe it is wise to prepare our hearts, and the next generation, for what is coming.

What Is Coming?

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So what should we be preparing for? Here are some Scriptures I have been meditating on:

  • “But before all these things [read the preceding verses: false Messiahs, wars, great earthquakes, famines, pestilences, fearful sights], they will seize and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons” (Luke 21:12a). If you think you will get raptured out before persecution and trouble come, you will be in for a big shock.
  • Luke 21:16 warns us that biological and spiritual family and friends will betray us and put some to death.
  • “You will be hated by all for My name’s sake” (Luke 21:17). Consider this word: “all.” Atheists, people of other religions and humanistic, secular society may tolerate us at some level today, but this tolerance won’t last forever. Are you ready to be hated by all?
  • “They will put you out of the synagogues. Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he is offering a service to God” (John 16:2). The deception will be so deep that people will think they are doing God’s will by killing us.
  • Before Yeshua returns, new laws will be passed against believers, rendering us criminals in the eyes of the world. Calling the nations to turn from their sins and not budging on Yeshua being the only way to God will be seen as major obstacles to global peace. Because lawlessness will abound and the love of many will grow cold, we should not expect human help or mercy when attacked, but instead the plundering of our possessions, major lies and attacks through media, lawsuits, fines and imprisonments (Isaiah 24:5-6, Matt 24:12, Heb 10:34).
  • The Antichrist will be granted to make war with the saints and overcome (Daniel 8:23-25, Rev. 13: 7). I believe prophetic patterns in Scripture like in Esther 3 and Daniel 3 where laws were passed forcing people into false worship and the destruction of the Jewish people will emerge again before Yeshua returns.
  • “As it was in the days of Noah and Lot, so it will be also be in the days of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26; see Luke 17:26-30). The wickedness, violence and sexual perversion seen in the days of Noah and Lots are rampant again today and will continue to be directed against believers in an ever-increasing way (Gen. 6, 19).

One day, Jews and Christians will be the most hated people on the earth. But do not despair about the future; there is good news! The greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit and harvest of souls will be happening simultaneously with this global persecution (Acts 2:17). There will be a remnant of faithful believers in every nation who will obey God over man (Acts 5:29) and not love their lives unto death (Rev. 12:11).

Lord, help us to apply Yeshua’s exhortation to watch and pray always, that we would be strengthened to resist compromise, sin and fear (Luke 21:36).”