FROM CRUISE SHIP TO WAR SHIP

WE RECOMMEND YOU LISTEN TO THIS VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM KIM!

In these last years, so many people have left “the cruise ship” and joined “the warship”. They’ve found out that church is not just about having fellowship, but it’s about making disciples. And everyone who goes from just fellowship to discipleship, from cruise ship to warship, are seeing incredible fruit.

Kim is just one amongst many pastors, leaders, elders, and Christians who are stepping out of their comfort zone, and not just talking about, dreaming about, but OBEYING the Word of God. When they do, they see God doing amazing things but also face persecution because they are impacting Satan’s territory. Please watch this video, and join the warship with us!

Have you seen the Last Reformation free movies where they show more about this life? You can do that at the link here: https://thelastreformation.com/movies

STUPIDITY ABOUNDS IN OUR GOVERNMENTS, SCHOOLS, AND UNIVERSITIES

In this Sept. 8, 2018, file photo, a drag performer by the name of Champagne Monroe reads the children’s book “Rainbow Fish” to a group of kids and parents at the Mobile Public Library for Drag Queen Story Hour in Mobile, Ala. The Drag Queen Story Hour is coming to northern Nevada. Two drag queens plan to read stories to children at the Sparks Library on July 20, 2019, according to the Reno Gazette Journal. (AP Photo/Dan Anderson, File)

If your child attends almost any university in America (or Canada or anywhere else in the English-speaking world), the odds are that your child’s decency, intellectual acuity, faculty of reason, character, and moral compass will be damaged, perhaps permanently. A good example is the teaching of evolution as fact and banning the teaching of intelligent design despite many leading Ph.D. scientists like Dean Kenyon former Professor of Biochemistry at Stanford University and author of the evolutionary textbook Biochemical Predestination are now saying that the breathtaking complexity of DNA (instruction manual) and the micro machinery of a single cell can only be explained by intelligent design and therefore a Creator.

The worse news is that sending your child to almost any elementary school or high school — public or private — is fast becoming equally toxic. More and more schools are being taken over by left-wing ideologues and by non ideologues who lack the courage to confront the ideologues.

Once infected with leftism, these schools teach children to hate reason, tradition, Christianity, whites, excellence, freedom, and masculinity. To cite one example, thanks to a million-dollar grant from Bill Gates through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Oregon Education Department has announced that teaching there is “one right answer” in math — yes, in math — is an expression of white supremacy. Why, then, would an Oregon parent who cares about his or her child’s mind, send that child to an Oregon school?

God commands us to call out stupidity. This is especially the case if it is stupidity that is divisive to the faith delivered, once and for all, and to human flourishing in general. Moreover, without judging, how can we expect to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission to disciple the nations?” (Matthew 28:16-20). Moreover, if mankind is to be governed at all, then it must be through the basic precepts of the Christian religion and not in accordance with his own wild speculations and base desires.

The stupidity I am speaking about has to be distinguished from raw intelligence or the lack thereof. Dietrich Bonhoeffer identified in the German people of his day (including the church’s leaders), a kind of stupidity that is independent of raw intelligence. Nevertheless, it is a stupidity that supports evil and, in doing so, is itself a kind of evil. This stupidity is, in one sense, worse than the malice spawned by those at the top of society’s food chain. It is not evil in its essence but in its effect.

Konrad Kellen, writing the introduction to Jaques Ellul’s classic treatise on propaganda, confirms Bonhoeffer’s understanding of the stupid person, who is often quite intellectual. It is the educated intellectual who becomes the primary target for and vehicle of propaganda:

A related point, central in Ellul’s thesis, is that modern propaganda cannot work without “education”; he thus reverses the widespread notion that education is the best prophylactic against propaganda. On the contrary he says, education, or what usually goes by that word in the modern world, is the absolute prerequisite for propaganda.

Ellul is clear in his analysis: the “intellectual” is the most vulnerable in society to modern propaganda. Kellen summarizes Ellul’s reasons for thinking so:

1) they [intellectuals] absorb the largest amount of secondhand, unverifiable information; 2) they feel a compelling need to have an opinion on every important question of our time, and thus easily succumb to opinions offered to them by propaganda on all such indigestible pieces of information; 3) they consider themselves capable of ‘judging for themselves.’

Thomas Sowell, in an interview on his book, Intellectuals and Society, corroborates Ellul’s analysis, coming roughly to the same conclusions as the Frenchman. Sowell presses the issue of intellectuals and the unrecognized errors of their ways, arguing that it is their public role as “intellectuals” that forces them into so many mistakes in judgment. Sowell points out that these public intellectuals have a “huge ego stake” in their theories. The fact that high-level universities will not countenance intelligent design to be taught as an alternative to evolution and yet the former Professor of Biochemistry at Stanford University and author of Biochemical Predestination, Dean Kenyon used to teach evolution now says that the discovery of DNA and the electron Microscope that revealed manufacturing factories inside cells and transport dev

Being confident in their own powers of intellection, and desiring to safeguard their societal roles, they are unwilling to entertain evidence that contradicts their views. Further, as “public intellectuals,” (a relatively recent social category in the history of human affairs), they feel they must pronounce on every domain of human life. This is how they stay relevant and powerful in the eyes of the culture they claim to serve. Finally, this intellectual class is driven by novelty. They are progressives in character and disposition because to acquiesce to something like past wisdom or prior modes of thought would be to diminish their identity as the truly smart ones in society.

The Bible clearly teaches that truth is objective, eternal, and inseparable from God’s character. Anything that contradicts the truth is a lie—but, of course, to call something a “lie” is to pass judgment. To call adultery or murder a sin is likewise to pass judgment—but it’s also to agree with God. When Jesus said not to judge others, He did not mean that no one can identify sin for what it is, based on God’s definition of sin. In the end, I am not really going after the person him or herself. Rather I am pointing out a noetic effect (how sin affects the mind) of sin that we all can manifest.

Stupidity, Bonhoeffer writes, in playing a supporting role to evil, “is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice.” Malice, unlike stupidity, can “be protested against” and “exposed,” and, if need be, “prevented with force.” But one cannot protest, at least not much or very directly, the stupid person. One can try to expose the stupid in their dullness of mind, but the stupid have abandoned reason for the sake of a poetic narrative (or “poetic truth” as Shelby Steele calls it). They have exchanged reason for an emotional drama and, as such, they are irrational. The lie they have imbibed, which has consumed them, possesses an emotional appeal that overwhelms any lack of logical substance or factual basis. The stupid have jettisoned rationality for a cultural story, one which is essentially rhetorical and a blatant embellishment of the truth. Bonhoeffer says that when it comes to stupidity like this, “we are defenseless [against it].”

This stupidity, he goes on, does not necessarily have to do with intellect. There are many who are intellectual (high IQ) yet still stupid. This intellectually gifted yet stupid person acts like a drone, and no matter how many facts are presented to the contrary, he boldly holds on to the “slogans” or “catchwords” that have “taken possession of him.” This stupidity has more to do with human nature in general than with IQ. People are either “made stupid” or they “allow [stupidity] to happen to them.” In America, this making stupid comes mainly through education.

It is a particular form of the impact of historical circumstances on human beings, a psychological concomitant of certain external conditions. Upon closer observation, it becomes apparent that every strong upsurge of power in the public sphere, be it of a political or religious nature, infects a large part of humankind with stupidity.

It would even seem that this is virtually a sociological-psychological law. The power of the one needs the stupidity of the other.

The process at work here is not that particular human capacities, for instance, the intellect, suddenly atrophy or fail. Instead, it seems that under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence, and, more or less consciously go with the flow.

The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings.

Yet at this very point, it becomes quite clear that only an act of liberation, not instruction, can overcome stupidity. Here we must come to terms with the fact that in most cases a genuine internal liberation becomes possible only when external liberation has preceded it. Until then we must abandon all attempts to convince the stupid person.

This state of affairs explains why in such circumstances our attempts to know what ‘people’ really think are in vain and why, under these circumstances, this question is so irrelevant for the person who is thinking and acting responsibly. The word of the Bible that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom declares that the internal liberation of human beings to live a responsible life before God is the only genuine way to overcome stupidity.

But these thoughts about stupidity also offer consolation in that they utterly forbid us to consider the majority of people to be stupid in every circumstance. It really will depend on whether those in power expect more from people’s stupidity than from their inner independence and wisdom.

WILL YOU SING OF GOD’S FAITHFULNESS?

Steven Curtis Chapman’s latest song “STILL” chronicles the ways God has remained faithful despite life’s twists and turns — both the good and the bad. There have been some extremely difficult times for Steven such as the following: Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, adopted their daughter Maria Sue from China in 2004. Just a few years later, when their daughter was five years old, one of the Chapmans’ sons accidentally struck Maria Sue with an SUV in the driveway, tragically ending her life.

The “Cinderella” singer-songwriter said he has been most encouraged in his faith by the biblical stories from the Old and New Testaments of people who overcame profound trials, seemingly insurmountable doubts, and unimaginable hardships yet still found solace in the presence of the Lord.

“The story of Peter, you know, walking on the water — it’s not just the story of him, ‘Man, he walked on the water,’” Chapman said. “What I’m encouraged by is the fact that he sank and he took his eyes off Jesus and he freaked out and he feared and Jesus pulled him up and he learned from that process.”

“I’m so glad that God didn’t edit out those vulnerable places in the lives of even His followers in Scripture,” he continued. “In fact, He let some of those most vulnerable failures be written right into the story, and that gives such encouragement to me. … Even as I’ve had this platform and this opportunity, it’s been very important that I stay very honest and that’s really the only thing I have to offer, anyway, is just the honesty through my music and my songs.”

Throughout his career, Chapman added, it has been “important” to be “honest and vulnerable” with his life “so that others can be encouraged by that.” It is a great song I hope you are encouraged by the lyrics as I am.

HOW ISRAEL HAS TRANSFORMED THEIR LAND

The Yatir Forest, like most of Israel’s forests, was hand-planted by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). Since 1964 they have planted more than four million trees here. This stunning area covers approximately 40,000 dunams (10,000 acres) and is located in the Southern Hebron Hills.

The town of Anim is located there. In the 4th Century, a massive synagogue was built here, which was in use into 7th Century. It was built on the highest point in town (in accordance with Jewish law). The synagogue’s ruins and frame are very well preserved and its built-in benches and Torah ark are still seen here.

And in the hill country… Anab, and Eshtemoh, and Anim.Joshua 15: 48-50 All cities and towns of Judah.

In the 7th century, Anim (and most of the Southern Hebron Hills) were mysteriously abandoned. This was possibly due to the breakdown of central rule at the end of the Byzantine period and early Islamic period.

Since Anim was on the edge of the desert at a time of weak governance, living in such proximity to desert warriors may have become too dangerous. The fact that the town wasn’t destroyed physically by conquest and not many material goods were found, suggests that the people who left took their movable property with them, lending credence to this theory.

In the later Islamic period (circa 13th and 14th century) a small Islamic village existed here, and a mosque was built on top of the synagogue (during excavations in the 1980s, archeologists removed the mosque, which had been inactive for centuries, and found the synagogue under it). By Ottoman times, the town was abandoned and has since laid in ruins. Until the JNF planted the forest the area was largely desert.

However, Ezekiel prophecies that when the Lord returns to rule and reign from Jerusalem, Israel will be even much better than it is now, it will be like the garden of Eden.

And they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord; I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.Ezekiel 36:35-36

DIVINE DESIGN

A clinical look at life’s complexity, design, and ultimate causation

The universe, our planet, and life itself have the appearance of being designed. Even many atheists acknowledge this. But they are quick to dismiss it as an illusion—the product of time, chance, and the laws of nature. They say the science is settled: Everything just evolved; there was no intelligent input, and no design.

However, the scientific consensus is terribly wrong, as distinguished surgeon, David Galloway, shows in this new book about intelligent design. Drawing on extensive clinical experience with the human body, Galloway examines its complex, integrated systems, demonstrating that intelligent design is the only reasonable explanation. Galloway goes on to show how the idea that life and consciousness arose spontaneously is deeply unscientific and contrary to the evidence. He also helpfully explores the question, How can ‘science’ get things so terribly wrong?

Filled with fascinating examples (both from history, and Galloway’s own long medical experience), illustrated in full colour, and with a short ‘take home message’ at the end of every chapter, Design Dissected is an engaging read. It is written from an Intelligent Design perspective (i.e. it doesn’t directly discuss God or the Bible), and comes highly recommended by some of the biggest names in the Intelligent Design movement.

OVERVIEW (excerpt from the Introduction)
The structure of the book is built around three sections. Firstly, in Enigmata, I have outlined the means by which the great questions of science have been tackled. We will see how scientific truth has sometimes even been ridiculed before finding acceptance. We’ll discover how scientific conclusions can be contaminated by presuppositions of various kinds and consider reductionism as an enterprise to uncovering causation. To put it another way, we need to address the question of whether we can support the idea that natural processes are entirely sufficient to produce what we find in the living world, or not. I also offer a warning about the dangers of scientism – that is, the assumption that science is equipped to answer every ultimate question.
The second section, Layers of Perplexity, aims to reveal why the conventional understanding of the origin of life and of biological complexity fails to carry the intellectual weight it is required to bear. I have used examples from human systems and even considered the discipline of origin of life chemistry. Each of these demonstrates that a naturalistic understanding offers a completely inadequate explanation for the intricate and nuanced systems that underpin our existence.
The final section, Thinking about Thinking, opens the mystery of the origin of consciousness and asks the questions of ultimate reality that, for many, seem to be just too difficult and are therefore consigned to the ‘consider it later’ pile!
RECOMMENDATIONS
“[Galloway] argues that explaining the origin of such systematic organization [in the human body] as a result of purely unguided natural processes stretches the limits of credulity. Instead, he makes a compelling case that this integrated and informational complexity provides powerful evidence of real, not just apparent, design. A fresh and original discussion of the evidence of intelligent design in the living system. Highly recommended.” — Dr. Stephen C. Meyer
“By far the strongest evidence that a system was deliberately designed is the very structure of the system itself. … David Galloway regales the reader with tale after tale of the wonders of the human body—and of the disasters that result when a part fails. By the end of the book, his conclusion that the body was purposely designed becomes self-evident.” — Dr. Michael J. Behe
“I strongly recommend this most impressive and thought-provoking book.” — Prof. Frank G. Dunn
 AUTHOR – David Galloway is a Scottish surgeon who trained in Glasgow, London, and New York City. He conducted original research in the causes and cellular mechanisms of some common cancers and developed a specialist practice in their surgical treatment. He was a Consultant Surgeon in Glasgow and a Former President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. He is also a Fellow of numerous medical and surgical Colleges and has held academic appointments in Glasgow, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong.

Available from Creation Ministries International – http://www.creation.com

SCIENCE TAKES THINGS APART: RELIGION PUTS THEM TOGETHER

Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? Professor John Lennox, Oxford mathematician, bioethicist, and Christian apologist says that we have lost our sense of real meaning and our moral compass. He also says the media is totally committed to secularism, materialism, and relativism. God is no longer relevant. He is no longer permitted at the table in discussions of how this world will be managed and controlled.

How foolish the world has become. Has this taken God by surprise? Of course not, His Word, the Bible tells us that the world will be like it was in the days of Noah (godless and lawless just as we see unfolding today) just before Jesus returns first to take His Saints to heaven to protect them from the wrath of God that is poured out on this earth. After which, Jesus returns with the Saints to rescue Israel and destroy the Antichrist’s army at the Battle of Armageddon. Jesus then begins His Millennial reign on this earth with the judgment of nations.

For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.Matthew 24:37-39

Evidence-based faith is essential says John Lennox. The universe is rationally intelligent. Just look at DNA, it is complex intelligent information that controls the machines in every cell so that we can function as intelligent beings. Creation by an omniscient Creator is the only option. Evolution by random chance is nonsense.

John Anderson (former MP Australia and deputy leader of the Liberal Party) is joined by Professor John Lennox for a profound conversation centered on the current and future impacts of artificial intelligence technology. They discuss the shortcomings of science in the search for universal truth, the factors behind rising secularism in the West, China’s rapid AI implementation, our growing desire for immortality through biomedicine, and the true meaning of ‘faith’.

In 2020, Lennox published 2084 – Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity, which covers key developments in technological enhancement, bioengineering, and AI. In the book, he discusses the current state of AI – its benefits, dangers, and future implications. Over the past 15 years, Lennox has been part of numerous public debates defending the Christian faith, including debates with Christopher Hitchens, Michael Shermer, and Richard Dawkins.

You will love this video for what you will learn and hear from such a gentle, humble but eminently wise man. You will come to love John Lennox.

GOD IS IN CONTROL OF HISTORY

Is there a connection between biblical prophecies, current events, our personal lives, and the spiritual realm? Yes, there is and Jonathan Cahn shows us how God has been in control of events throughout history. This has immense ramifications for each of us in how we should be living our lives. How much time are you spending in God’s Word? It is the only reliable source of the truth about God and the world He created.

I will follow this up with another of Jonathan Cahn’s videos, The Mystery of God and His Will for Your Life. Watch out for it. Both of these videos will change how you view the world and how you live in it. At least, I hope they will.

AUSTRALIA JETTISONING ITS CHRISTIAN ROOTS

Bob Katter MP addressing the media July 28th 2022

KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter, has used a media address in Canberra today to slam the continued persecution of Christianity, after learning the Senate Chief has proposed to ban morning prayers[i].

An enraged Mr Katter used the opportunity to hold up the Holy Bible and rattle off a plethora of recent examples of religious persecution in Australia. He showed solidarity and support to the seven Manly Sea Eagles players, who stood down to defend their religious beliefs, praising them for their conviction.

“This Book for 5,000 years has been the heartland of religious belief, a concept that there is something bigger than me, but in sharp contrast, the persecutors believe that there is nothing bigger than themselves and their opinions,” Mr Katter said.

“For 5,000 years the persecution of the people who believe in this Book have been on public record. I will not go through the persecutions that go back to the dawn of time.  I’ll just mention one – just one.

“During WWII, six million people were murdered in cold blood, many in gas chambers, for no other reason than what they believed.  And remember, the Torah is based on the first five Books of the Hebrew Bible.

“This continued persecution is well and truly alive today. Just have a look at what’s happened to these seven boys from Manly. They have been persecuted for no other reason than they have moral conviction and whether you agree with their convictions, or not, is irrelevant.

“The conviction shown by these seven men is heroic and every decent member of society should admire them. Whether you agree with them or you don’t, they have stood up for what they believe in at great personal sacrifice and that is truly admirable.  

“This is what the people of self-righteous arrogance have done to them:  they have had their jobs taken off them, taken their family security off them, taken their incomes from them, they have put the house they live in in great jeopardy, their futures, their aspirations – all in jeopardy. 

“According to news reports[ii] today, these players have been confined to their houses; they have been locked up.  Apparently, they are doing this to protect the players, but do you know what they said to the First Australians when they rounded them up in chains and sent them to Palm Island? They said, “we are doing this to protect you.”

“To think that this is happening in Australia today is sickening. We Christians have no illusions that we are now under persecution.  

“First, they targeted the Hollingsworth and biggest church in Australia. He was torn to pieces. Having finished with the biggest church in Australia, they then started on the leader of the second biggest church in Australia. Tore him to pieces.  

“Then they turned to the Evangelicals. They started on Israel Falou. They took his whole life away from him and destroyed his career because he made a quote from this Book. He was punished for his quotation of this Book. Yet for 5,000 years people have based the foundation of entire societies on its teachings. More than half the world believes in this Book, or in parts of it.

“Is it an unreasonable thing to quote from a book that more than half the population is committed to?  In Australia it is!

“And now, we have been told today by some that we cannot say prayers in the Parliament. We can show allegiance to some lady in England, but we cannot say prayers.

“So, to my fellow Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, and people of other religious belief, I say this to you – Please will you circulate the names of those who persecute you. We must stop this cold-hearted persecution. They got Pell, they got Hollingworth, got Folau, they have got the Manly boys, so when will they start on you?!”

God is in control of all events in His world. This nation is setting itself up to come under God’s judgement. Perhaps we are already seeing His judgement with the floods and other calamities besetting this nation.

GOD ORDAINS WHATSOEVER COMES TO PASS

 

Can I suggest that before you read this post you read or re-read my post “The Key to Evangelism is God’s Power” on June 30th, 2022.

If we go into evangelism understanding that in some cases, God actually uses the proclamation of truth as a means to close one’s mind from repentance, we can guard our hearts by recognizing that God ordains whatsoever comes to pass. What that means with respect to evangelism is that sometimes, the preaching of the gospel actually serves as the means through which an individual’s heart is hardened against God. In other words, not every instance of proclaiming a message of repentance is designed by God to bring the people who hear it to repentance and faith. In fact, Scripture often demonstrates the opposite is true—that the proclamation serves to condemn the recipients rather than restore them. A great example of this is found in the commissioning of the prophet Isaiah:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go, and tell this people: Keep on listening, but do not perceive; keep on looking, but do not understand. Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed.” Then I said, “Lord, how long?” and He answered, “Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant, houses are without people and the land is utterly desolate. the Lord has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. Yet there will be a tenth portion in it, and it will again be subject to burning, like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains when it is felled. The holy seed is its stump.” Isaiah 6:8-13

Many tend to focus on Isaiah’s answer to the commission, but the focus of the passages itself is on the content of the commission, which is fleshed out in verses 9-12. The Hebrew denotes the continuing nature of the commands to be given to the people in v. 9, yet also the subsequent result. The Israelites will be commanded by the prophet to continually be in a state of listening, but they will never come to understanding; they are to be continually in a state of seeking out understanding, but they will never come to an understanding. They are to constantly seek after God—yet they will not find Him. In other words, they will be given an impossible task and the preaching of the prophet himself will only solidify this reality. In v. 10 the prophet is actually commanded—the imperative form of the verbs is used here—to render their hearts insensitive (lit. fat), their ears dull (lit. heavy), and their eyes dim (lit. pasted shut). As Brevard Childs puts it, “The prophet is to be the executor of death, the guarantor of complete hardening. His very proclamation is to ensure that Israel will not turn and repent.”

Notice the prophet doesn’t ask any questions concerning the fairness of God’s edict in v. 11, but rather the duration for which he is to heed this commission. The answer, of course, is devastating. The prophet’s work of preaching a message that will only harden the hearts of his people will not be completed until the Lord has rendered the capital cities desolate and carried the Israelites away to captivity.

The passage plainly suggests the purpose and result of the prophet’s commission is to be an agent God uses to harden the hearts of those who hear him. In other words, his message, though one riddled with calls to repentance and faith in Yahweh and a future restoration of the nation, will never be heeded by the people because it only serves to intensify their immediate judgment. The promise of v. 13 still carries with it the tones of judgment simply because like their fathers before them who died off in the desert, they will die off in captivity. Thus, even this promise serves as a means of hardening their hearts against the Lord.

This theme comes up time and again not only throughout the book of Isaiah, but the other prophets as well, and likewise, in the New Testament. The prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah are called to a similar path as Isaiah, where they will preach a message of judgment and salvation, yet they will not be heeded (Ez. 2:7; Jer. 7:27). Christ Himself taught in parables for the express purpose of concealing the truth of the Kingdom of God, lest those whom it was not granted to would hear and repent (Matt. 13:10-16; Mk. 4:10-12; Lk. 8:9-10). The apostle Paul even picks this idea up when he speaks of God giving mankind up to the lusts of their hearts, dishonorable passions, and a debased mind (Rom. 1:18-32). When you look through the entirety of the Old and New Testaments, what is plainly seen is that God is at work to harden the hearts of whom He desires, which is most clearly expressed in Rom. 9:6-29. In every instance where the edict is rendered a “lost-cause” against the recipients of the message, the truth of God has been made self-evident so that man is without excuse.

None of this is a matter of controversy in Scripture. Instead, election and reprobation are simply part of the cosmic reality of judgment and salvation unfolding before us as the plan of God is revealed. In the midst of this, Scripture unabashedly upholds the tension between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility without much qualification. The important thing to note in all of this is that it is not as if those under this severe indictment from the Lord are under it without cause. In every instance, the people have either forsaken the covenant or rejected their Creator willingly. The commission of Isaiah serves to show us this reality quite clearly, in that chapters 2-5 give clear evidence that the people plainly rejected the terms of their covenant with God, and as a result, He would send the prophet to seal their fate.

To put it in as blunt of terms as I can: there was no hope for their escape from judgment, as God made it an impossibility for them to hear the words of His prophet and repent. The fullness of the consequences had come upon that generation, showing the patience of the Lord had long been extinguished. The only thing one is left to conclude then from the call given to Isaiah is that his words would not serve to be a message of hope; his words tell them, “I have been given a command by Yahweh to preach in such a manner that your hearts become hardened, your ears become blocked, and your eyes become darkened.”

What all of this means for the church then is that we are simply to be found faithful to the task of heralding God’s message. We are to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth, which for most people, means you are to bring the gospel into your workplaces, friendships, families, and so forth. All that is required of you is to look to where God has placed you currently and simply be found faithful to the task of proclaiming the good news to those who are dead in their sins. It requires that we not be ashamed of the good news of the gospel, which includes not being ashamed of the bad news of God’s judgment against sin. Whatever the result of that proclamation of the gospel may be, whether a hardening or a softening of the heart, God effectually uses this message for His purposes. We may not necessarily like the implications of God using our proclamation of judgment and salvation to effectively harden an individual’s heart. We may not believe the implications of this are even fair—but we ought to remember in the midst of everything that we don’t want fair because our idea of what’s fair doesn’t square with God’s.

The gospel is a scandal to the world because it sees the murderer, rapist, racist, and the like, on equal footing with the sweet old lady who doesn’t confess Christ—and offers them all the same grace of God in Christ. What that very simply means is that the gospel is not barred from anyone on the basis of their own doing or choosing, but rather, on the sovereign choice of God Himself. If those who struggle with evangelizing were to focus on the sovereignty of God in evangelism, it would free many a burdened soul up to take joy in the work that God has given them, realizing that whether the person they share the gospel with rejects or receives it, God is glorified in accomplishing His work through the preached word.

Adapted from an article by Grayson Gilbert “God ordaims whatsoever comes to pass: including your suffering” http://www.patheos.com

REVIVAL AND PERSECUTION IN THE END TIMES

Both are possible and Jesus told us that this is what will happen before He returns, first to raise the dead in Christ and then rapture the Saints that are alive, before pouring out His wrath upon an unrepentant world.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.Matthew 24:9-14

I met Jonathan Cahn by chance at breakfast at the Leonardo Hotel in Jerusalem. I was ordering an omelette at breakfast when a voice behind me said, I will have one of those too. I looked around and could not believe I was looking at Jonathan Cahn. Surprised, I said, Jonathan Cahn! He replied that’s right. Wanting to keep the conversation going, I asked, what are you doing here, Conference? No! he replied, I am here on vacation, I have not been well. I was handed my omelette, so I returned to my table, but I immediately asked the Holy Spirit why had I met Jonathan at this time. Was there a purpose? Immediately, the Holy Spirit told me to share with Jonathan why I was in Jerusalem and what was happening at the Gathering that I was attending in the large International Convention Centre opposite the Knesset. Jonathan was sitting at a table with his wife and children so my immediate reaction was no, I should not interrupt them, but the Holy Spirit then added why I needed to tell him. He needs to know that 1500 of the 3000 at the Gathering are Chinese. So I went to the table and first apologised for interrupting their breakfast, but I said, that I believed the Holy Spirit wanted Jonathan to know what God was doing in Israel at this time. I then asked him if he knew that 3000 Christians were here in Israel for a Gathering – no speakers just to worship and hear from God. Jonathan said no, he was not aware of the Gathering and was surprised at the number of Christians attending. I then dropped the “bombshell” 1500 of the attendees were Chinese a large portion from mainland China. No way, was Jonathan’s response. 1500 Chinese came to Jerusalem to pray and offer their support to their Jewish brothers and sisters. Jonathan knows what God is doing in America, but had no concept of the extent of how God is using Chinese Christians to impact the world, even Jerusalem.

Jonathan is God’s prophet for America at this time issuing warnings that America needs to turn back to God or receive His judgement. His book The Harbinger warns America that God had already sent nine warnings to America starting with 9/11, the attack on the World Trade Centre and as America has not heeded those warnings further judgement is inevitable.

If you have not heard Jonathan before you will be blown away by his revelation of Biblical prophecies.