CHURCH GROWS UNDER PERSECUTION

For the gospel did not did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, … 1 Thessalonians 1:5

Missionary strategists have been reporting for some time that Iran is experiencing the most impressive surge of church growth on the planet. Elam Ministries in England says more Iranians have become Christians since 1979 than in the previous 1,300 years. Some organisations estimate that there could be as many as 800,000 to 1 million believers in the country.

The political, economic, and spiritual situation in Iran resulted in a deep spiritual hunger for truth. Iran may be a closed land, but the people have open hearts. Iranians today are seen as the most open Muslim people to the Gospel in the world. As Elam reported, more have become Christians since the revolution than the previous 1,300 years put together.

But Iran is also one of the most difficult places on earth to be a Christian because of persecution from the hard-line Islamic government. Believers are jailed and tortured. Churches are forced to meet in secrecy. Yet one ministry there has reported that so many people are being converted they can’t keep enough Farsi Bibles in stock to give to new believers.

Iran-church

Elam Ministries says Iranian churches typically have between eight to 12 members only. To stay safely off the radar, the small churches multiply quietly. But this method of small-group discipleship actually produces stronger Christians than a bigger church would. Elam also reports that many people make decisions for Jesus after watching Christian television broadcasts.

In May of this year, Iran’s intelligence minister, Mahmoud Mahmoud Alavi, gave a speech to Muslim clerics in which he publicly decried the alarming growth of Christian faith. He announced that mass religious conversion to Christianity is “happening right before our eyes.”

Iran’s revival is also gaining more attention because of the new film Lambs Among Wolves, Vol. 2, a documentary produced by Frontier Alliance International Studios. One unidentified church leader in the movie asks: “What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran? What if I told you no one follows Islam inside of Iran? Would you believe me? This is exactly what is happening inside of Iran.” If you have not seen Lambs Among Wolves Vol 1 & 2 then do so and spread the word amongst your Christian friends that these videos are great evangelism tools. Joel Richardson (Joels Trumpet and The Underground) works with Frontier Alliance and I am confident that I have promoted these videos on previous posts.

SUKKOT – A CELEBRATION FOR ALL NATIONS

Every year more and more Christians are travelling to Israel to join the Jews in celebrating Sukkot or as it is better known to non Jews as the Feast of Tabernacles.

The two-thousand-year-old separation between the church and Israel must come to an end. It’s already beginning.

As in ancient times the destruction of Jerusalem sealed the separation of the two, so the restoration of Jerusalem in modern times has ushered in their reconciliation. It is the church’s Jubilean return.

Everything is returning to what it was at the beginning including the world to its pagan roots.

Exactly as prophesied the true church is separating from mainstream culture and the apostate institutionalised church that is compromising with the world and its increasing Godless values.

The following picture is from the Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) in 2013. Look at all the nations represented even back then. The next picture is from Sukkot 2015 when many more came exactly as prophesied.

This short presentation shows that the Jews realise that something special is happening here which can only be orchestrated by God.

P.M. and G.G. at National Prayer Breakfast

Prime Minister Scott Morrison launches book on “The History of Prayers in Parliament” at the National Prayer Breakfast and the Governor General David Hurley gave the Prayer Breakfast Address.

Four hundred and fifty people attended the Australian National Prayer Breakfast in the Great Hall Parliament House Monday morning October 14th, 2019

The Governor General David Hurley gave the Prayer Breakfast Address. He made it clear that only with God do we have stability, certainty, simplicity and clarity. Without God, volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity are certain. He gave illustrations with Bible verses concluding with the words of Jesus “Into your hands I commend My Spirit” Luke 23:46

How blessed we are in Australia to have committed Christians filling the two most senior roles in the country. This was only achieved with much prayer. How good is it now, to have our nations leaders taking the lead at the National Prayer Breakfast.

IS TRUMP DRAINING THE SWAMP AS PROMISED?

Even before Trump’s January 2018 State of the Union Address, his administration had waded into the swamp and begun the cleanup process, fully embracing 64 percent of the agenda items proposed by the conservative Heritage Foundation for changing the way Washington works.

Pulling America out of the Paris Agreement on climate change turned out to be a major public relations victory for the president, sending a warning salvo across the bow of Washington, D.C.’s entrenched climate-change lobby and earning plaudits from his anti-globalist base.

Ending Obama-era regulations on net neutrality was another.

Then proposing and passing a once-in-a-generation tax reform package—over the objections of legislators from both parties—was an important sequel leading to, contrary to some media warnings, higher take-home pay and bonuses for American workers.

Using the provisions of the Congressional Review Act, the administration worked with Congress to eliminate 14 regulations adopted in the waning days of the Obama administration. The president made it clear he intended to wage war on over  regulation and began by lifting Obama’s moratorium on coal leases on federal lands. He then instructed all executive branch agencies to review all new rules, with the goal of eliminating two regulations for every new one. By year’s end, the administration had withdrawn, delayed or made inactive 1500 proposed regulations, saving more than $8 billion in lifetime net regulatory costs, with the promise of increasing savings to $9.8 billion with regulatory cost-cutting in 2018.

Another priority of President Trump’s agenda is the nomination and confirmation of conservative constitutional judges, perhaps best illustrated by the appointments of Justice Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. Trump also appointed and gained confirmation for 12 circuit court of appeals judges before the end of his first year in office. This was the largest number of appellate judges confirmed during the first year of any American president. However, the challenge would become more complicated the following year, as more than 90 of the president’s appointments were blocked in the Senate.

Nominating and confirming strict constitutionals to the federal bench, as the Trump team has repeatedly pointed out, is an important step in reducing bureaucratic entanglements since most federal cases are settled at the appellate level. As many as 8,000 cases are filed before the Supreme Court each year, which is far more than any court can consider. Plenary review with oral arguments by attorneys for both sides is granted in about 80 cases each term, and as many as 100 cases may be disposed of without plenary review. Only one of every 700 cases heard by the appellate courts will find its way to the Supreme Court, so reducing the number of activist judges, eliminating needless bureaucracy and resolving disputes at the earliest possible level is a victory for the rule of law.

And by God’s grace, we will see an increase in this kind of victory in the Supreme Court. I encourage you to read more about this topic in Steve Strang’s Trump Aftershock.

CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS

According to a 2016 time study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 34% of the workforce works on the weekend. The U.S. workforce is approximately 160 million. That means over 54 million work on the weekend. That’s staggering. Moreover, this situation will be mirrored in most developed nations.

The two fastest-growing demographics working on weekends are entrepreneurs and those with more than one job. The rise of the entrepreneurial society and the gig economy virtually guarantees this weekend workforce will increase, probably substantially.

If someone works either day, Saturday or Sunday, they are not likely to attend Sunday services. For Saturday workers, Sunday becomes their day off after a tough work schedule.

The reasons for not doing weeknight services are rarely theological. If your church has Sunday-only service or services, you are missing out on reaching one of three working persons. I really don’t think most church leaders realise how huge this number is.

The weekend workforce is not a future trend; it is a staggering present reality. Some churches will adjust and seek to reach these workers. Sadly most won’t.

As most readers of my post know, I believe in the last days the persecuted church will be like that described in the Book of Acts, like it was in China during the time of Mao, like it is now in Iran and many of the other Muslim countries. As well, pastors like Francis Chan have already discovered large churches are not focused on training up disciples who are then in turn capable of training up more disciples. Small groups of people totally committed to one another as they were in the early church is the model that is capable of completing the great commission.

LAST DAYS FAMINE/DROUGHT

“And there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places. Matthew 24:7

Are we seeing this end times scripture being fulfilled in our time?

Approximately 106 000 farm animals have perished so far due to drought in Chile, reports confirmed on October 5, 2019.

This year’s dry spell is the country’s worst in six decades, leaving crops destroyed and dead animals in the field. Mostly goats, cattle, and sheep died due to a lack of water and fodder and about 37 000 family farms need aid in central Chile according to the agriculture ministry. Petorca locals pointed out that the long-term issue is the mismanagement of water sources.

Drought in Africa leaves 45 million in need across 14 countries

Failed rains across eastern Africa, southern Africa, and the Horn of Africa are seeing another dire season for farmers, increasing food prices and driving up the aid needs of tens of millions of already vulnerable people across the three regions.

All told, more than 45 million people will struggle to find enough food across 14 countries in 2019, many feeling the compounded effects of years of drought. It’s the second time in three years that an El Niño event has disrupted weather patterns.

A historic drought in India is so severe that it’s now visible from space

A historic drought in Chennai, the sixth-largest city in India, is so severe that it’s now visible from space. The city’s 4.6 million citizens are rationing every drop of water, restaurants are closing early and companies are scaling back their operations as Chennai tries to survive a heat wave with 99 per cent less water than it had at the same time last year. The state government is shipping in water on trucks, but those trucks can’t replace the now dried-up lakes that once fed the city.

Heat, hardship and horrible harvests: Europe’s drought explained

Europe’s searing temperatures have this summer transformed normally lush pastures to a dusty brown in a matter of weeks. The drought, especially in northern and central parts of the continent, has had a devastating impact on crops.

Heatwaves, record temperatures and disastrous precipitation in the first part of the summer have caused the drought, according to the World Meteorological Organization. April and May were the warmest on record when it comes to average temperatures across Europe, it’s been claimed.

Dead things everywhere: is Australia facing the summer from hell?

Valley water storages in the Macquarie are sitting at 11%. In the Namoi, in north-west NSW where water shortages have been acute, they’re at 1.5%. The Border Rivers, in the region between the NSW and Queensland border, are at 6%. In Sydney, dam storages have dropped below 50% for the first time in more than a decade. It’s one part of the climate crisis playing out across much of the country. A different year, similar story. Most places are drier than usual, warmer than usual.

NSW is experiencing one of the most severe droughts on record, with the Central West, Far West and North West regions the worst affected to date.

HOLY SPIRIT POWER

“The Spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.” Proverbs 20:27

A lamp requires oil to function. The Holy Spirit is the oil. You must be born again with the Holy Spirit to be holy, to function as God intended.

Man’s Spirit was always meant to be the vessel for the Holy Spirit, to produce the fruit of the Spirit in man; love, joy, peace patience, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, kindness and self control.

Listen to Dave Wilkerson talk on Getting to Know the Power of the Holy Spirit.

RABBI ARI EXPLAINS YOM KIPPUR

By: Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel

Yom Kippur is a time when we are forced to focus on our mortality. We take inventory of what we have done. We evaluate our ‘spiritual worth.’ Just like Yom Kippur is the day of judgement, so, too, we must prepare ourselves for the ultimate Day of Judgement. And that is what I want to focus on in this article.

apocalypse
PREPARING FOR THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT

We also make use of Yom Kippur to recommit ourselves to leading a life worth living. We recommit to being good people whose lives are filled with meaning. We also want to ensure that we get ourselves the ‘best seats’ in the World to Come.

The Talmud tells us that we will be asked four questions when we one day reach heaven.

The first question is “Have you been honest in your business dealings?

But make no mistake, it doesn’t merely refer to our honesty in money-related dealings. It also comes to include the questions: “Were you honest in your relationships? Were you a good neighbor? A good husband? A good father? Were you honest and did you give all your endeavors your best effort?”

The next question will be “Did you set aside time for Torah study?”

This too, is a much more loaded question than meets the eye. It comes to include such things as: “Did you pursue education? Did you strengthen your Judaism? Did you seek knowledge or did you prefer ignorance when it came to Torah observance? Did you live by the Torah’s values? Did you teach your children our heritage”?

Then we will be asked: “Did you try to have children?”

This, too, is of course, a loaded question. But it is so much more than that. It also includes: “Did you spend time with your family? Did you treat your wife properly? Did you try to provide for those dependent on you to the best of your ability?”

And finally, there is the question: “Did you look forward to redemption?”

I would suggest that this includes: “Did you work hard to build a better future for yourself and those around you? Did you give up when things weren’t getting tough or did you try, try, and try again? Did you support the State of Israe,l which represents Jewish redemption in our day?”

As we enter Yom Kippur it is these many question that should be on our mind. May we be able to give Him the right answers.

GOVERNMENTS HELL BENT ON DESTRUCTION

Regular use of cannabis doubles the risk of psychotic symptoms ­including schizophrenia and is closely associated with anxiety disorders, depression and ­psychosis, says official advice to the Morrison government triggered by the passage of new laws in the ACT.

The briefing paper prepared for Health Minister Greg Hunt reveals extensive links between cannabis use and adverse mental health affects, which have “broadened considerably” as marijuana is decriminalised.

In the three-page brief obtained by The Weekend Australian, the Health Department lists five “key issues” or research findings to consider after the ACT Legislative Assembly passed a ­private member’s bill allowing adults to possess 50gm of cannabis and grow two plants. Individual households can have up to four plants.

The ACT is set to be the first jurisdiction to allow personal cannabis use.
The ACT has become the first Australian jurisdiction to legalise the possession, use and cultivation of small amounts of cannabis.

The department notes there has been a sizeable body of work analysing the adverse physio­logical and mental health effects of recreational cannabis use, des­pite marijuana being decriminalised only in a small ­number of jurisdictions.

It points to research from the US state of Colorado that found daily or near-daily cannabis use was associated with the development of a psychotic disorder.

The review of medical literature also examined Australian research, which concluded that regular cannabis users doubled their risk of experiencing psychotic symptoms — including schizophrenia — and were at an increased risk of screening positively for psychosis.

“The evidence base regarding adverse health effects linked to cannabis use has broadened considerably since the gradual decriminalisation, and in some cases legalisation, of the substance in certain international jurisdictions,” the department says.

“Adverse health outcomes as a result of regular cannabis use are not limited to mental health and psychotic symptoms.”

The department advised that a 2018 Canadian Medical Association Journal report found an overwhelming volume of evidence outlining the biological harm of cannabis use, including brain changes, adverse cognitive outcomes, negative pregnancy outcomes and testicular cancer.

The briefing also says a psycho­active component in cannabis called tetrahydrocannabinol, the main chemical responsible for the drug’s psychological effects, increased by almost 30 per cent throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. This was linked to exacerbated symptoms of anxiety, depression and psychotic symptoms in “naive” users and increased psychotic symptoms and dependence in “experienced” users.

In Colorado, the first US state to legalise marijuana, emergency department visits due to cannabis increased slightly while the acute effects of THC — including hallucinations, paranoia and delusional beliefs — markedly increased with higher doses.

Government sources said the departmental advice was a “devastating confirmation” of the health and mental health effects of recreational cannabis and urged ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr to explain what health advice he received before supporting the legislation.

God’s word tells us that lawlessness will increase in the last days and this is just further evidence to support that premise.

SUPPORT FOR PREWRATH RAPTURE

The Prewrath Rapture positions the rapture at the trumpet blast of the seventh seal . Jesus said believers would not endure the wrath of God that is poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements but He said that we would see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15). It is at the end of the sixth seal that we are told ‘For the great day of His wrath has come.” (Revelation 6:17) At the seventh seal; The Rapture occurs and then the wrath of God begins to be poured out on the unrepentant. Much the same as Noah, his family and the animals enter the ark, God closes the door, and the wrath of God is poured out.

The Rapture

Believers will experience tribulation even great tribulation meted out by the Antichrist but at the same time Christians will shine brightly in the darkness with many turning to Christ despite the persecution it brings.

Dr Alan Kurschner of Eschatos Ministries explains how the greek grammar in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 supports Prewrath.

The Greek grammar in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 clearly supports the prewrath interpretation that those two events: 1. apostasy and 2, the lawless one revealed, will occur first, before the day of the Lord.

“Let no one deceive you in any way; for the day of the Lord will not come unless [ean mē] the apostasy comes first [prōtonand the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3

A couple of simple cross-references of the same Greek construction in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 to other biblical examples will demonstrate that the pretribulational view skews Paul’s message. The Greek is constructed with the conditional “unless” (ean mē) coupled with the adverb “first” (prōton), which results in placing the conditional events sequentially before the main event.

For example, John 7:51: “Our law doesn’t condemn a man unless [ean mē] it first [prōton] hears from him and learns what he is doing, does it?”

That is to say, before the event of “condemnation,” two events need to happen first: (1) hearing from the accused, and thus (2) learning what he is doing. The two events do not happen “during” the condemnation, as the flawed pretrib Greek analysis would have it. Rather, they occur before the verdict of condemnation.

Next Mark 3:27: “But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless [ean mē] he first [prōtonties up the strong man; then [tote] indeed the house can be plundered.”

That is to say, the strongman is tied up first, before the house is plundered (the “then” [tote] confirms this).

These two examples that share the same Greek construction with 2 Thessalonians 2:3 suffice to illustrate Paul’ message that before the day of the Lord begins, two events must happen first: the apostasy and the revelation of the man of lawlessness. Only then can the day of the Lord begin.