MORE ON THE GOG/MAGOG WAR FROM JOEL

What we see unfolding in the Middle East is a lead up to the “end times” wars prophesied in the Bible.

Listen to Joel talk about what is unfolding now  – conflict between Iran (Shia) and its neighbours as it attempts to exert its dominance on these Muslim nations. This is already happening with Iran troops in Syria and Iraq and its proxies, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

What follows in Daniel 8:5-8 is the prophesied Goat with a single horn (Turkey) trampling the ram (Iran). This is Turkey’s (Sunni) response to re-establish a revised Ottoman Empire.

These all proceed the final Gog/Magog war.

Gabriel told Daniel three times “for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.” I believe we are living in the time of the end when we are seeing these prophesied events unfold. We are fast approaching the final week (shabua) of the Seventy weeks prophesied in Daniel 9:24-27.

PASTOR GETS FIRED – IMPOSSIBLE TO PUT NEW WINE IN OLD WINE SKINS

When the church reaches out to the community, God turns up and Holy Spirit gifts are manifest. Why then would the pastor who started this move out into the community be fired. Listen to this pastor tell his story and decide what is the truth about the church in these “last days”.

Jesus said we will see division and strife in the church: “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.” Luke 12:51. As the church moves away from the inerrancy of Scripture we will see more division in the church. Come out from your church if you see compromise. It is impossible to put new wine into old wine skins.

The unity movement in the church in these “last days” is a move to one world church submitted to the Antichrist as revealed in Biblical prophecy. Deception is rife, but remember Jesus said in the “last days” that even the elect will be deceived.

LOSS OF JOB FOR STANDING UP FOR GOD’S VALUES

Russell Berger, the former CrossFit exec who lost his job after tweeting that celebrating pride is sin, recently gave his side of the story in a lengthy interview on Apologia Radio.

“I think it’s a really sobering and a disheartening example of where we are as a culture,” Berger said to Durbin. “Simply by expressing those views, which again have been pretty standard views for the historic Christian faith over thousands of years, that view is no longer tolerated and in fact it’s a view that’s so divisive and so intolerable that it’s the kind of thing you can’t say and expect to keep your job.”

Berger urged Christians to be prepared, because at any moment the social media “mob” could be turned on you.

Image: Screenshot

“It’s a really powerful and important lesson that all Christians should be aware of. This is a very common and very effective strategy that’s being employed by a certain segment of the LGBTQ community in terms of basically silencing any view that disagrees with their beliefs,” he warned. “You just need to be aware of that and be prepared for that should you make the decision to weigh in on a subject like I did. You have to understand that the pressure will be applied to you, but it will also be applied  to your employer, it will also be applied to your family members, it will be applied anywhere where those who are outraged by what you said think they can harm you. And that’s just the reality of the situation unfortunately.”

Jesus warned us that persecution comes with standing up for Him and God’s values particularly in the “last days”.

Already we are seeing a great falling away in the church as it compromises with the world’s values, once again it was prophesied in Scripture. Many of the large denominations have approved gay marriage and homosexual and transgender church leadership.

FALSE TEACHERS IN THE LAST DAYS

Sadly teachers abound in Bible Colleges and churches who deny the inerrancy of Scripture. They deny the Bible teaches a direct connection between God’s original acts of creation and His absolute control of every event in time.

The doctrine of creation teaches that God made the physical world using language. He then formed man in His image and gave him the ability to use words to know the world. This includes man’s capacity to record past events and accurately communicate them to others.

This control includes accurate communication through His prophets about real events which He brings to pass. As Isaiah tells us:

“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: ‘I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, who frustrates the signs of liars and makes fools of diviners, who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish, who confirms the word of his servant and fulfils the counsel of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited,’ and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built, and I will raise up their ruins.’” (Isaiah 44:24-26)

According to Isaiah, there is no essential division between function and matter, language and event, theology and history. One need only read Isaiah 40-48 to see that God forms real materials for specific functions. He explains His words and deeds in space and time through His servants the prophets. He directly connects theology to His actions in history.

Dr. Nicholas Perrin, a professor of Biblical studies at Wheaton who specialises in Gnosticism in the early church, explains this essential connection between God and history:

“God made history and history matters. Apart from the conviction that our faith is a historical faith, we are left only to cast about. But, when we are fully persuaded that sacred history meshes with the history in which we live and move and have our being, that is when biblical faith becomes a real possibility…. The heart-and-mind value of reconnecting the biblical world with the ‘real world’ can hardly be overstated. Somehow in our confused modern-day thinking, we have managed to put asunder what God has joined together.”

Is it any wonder then, that although Biblically false, Christians in the USA believe:

70% of Christians believe Jesus was the first being God created

66% of evangelical Christians say heaven is a place where all people will be reunited with their loved ones.

54% of Christians believe everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature.

It follows that many church denominations are accepting gay marriage, homosexual and even transgender pastors/leaders. The Bible gives us many examples of God bringing judgement upon Israel and other nations that transgress His laws, why do we think He will not do so today. Jesus said that prior to His Second Coming people would be like they were in the days of Noah. They will call good evil and evil good. Wickedness will abound.

A time of increasing tribulation is coming for believers but eventually God’s wrath will be poured on the unrepentant during the trumpet and bowl judgements. At the sixth seal (Revelation 6:17), we read “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand.”

In these last days, it will be imperative you are in a church that believes in the inerrancy of God’s Word. The Bible provides a true history of this world and all of the prophesied events in both the old and new testaments have come to pass. Proof it is God’s Word.

GOD’S MESSAGE FOR OUR YOUTH

Tens of thousands of people flocked to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Sunday evening for Harvest America 2018, which included gospel music and a message by Southern California Pastor Greg Laurie, who invited the crowd to respond to the Gospel.

Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, shared about his difficult childhood, and how he got into drugs and alcohol. “I was going downhill fast … I was too cynical, too hard … but Christ changed my life one day. I didn’t plan on it, but it happened,” he said.

In today’s culture, he continued, people think they can be happy only if they get rich and famous. But, he added, the “bottom line” is that “fame and wealth, possessions, all the things this world has to offer … will not make you happy.”

In one week alone, he said, two celebrities — television personality Anthony Bourdain and fashion icon Kate Spade — took their own lives. Last year, 45,000 Americans took their lives, he added.

“I’m not here tonight to talk to you about religion. I’m here to talk to you about a relationship, a friendship, with God,” Pastor Laurie told the crowd.

“There is someone who loves you and someone who values you. And He’s called Jesus Christ,

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“Do you have hope tonight?” the California pastor asked the audience. He further asked if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is “living inside of you right now”? If He is, Laurie stressed, then you’d know for certain. (Strictly speaking, Laurie should have asked if the Holy Spirit is “living inside of you right now” then you’d know for certain. Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell all believers that understand the sacrifice on “The Cross”, His Son, Jesus Christ made on their behalf.)

We all are sinners and fall short of God’s glory, and we can’t do anything personally to make this right, he continued. And because of sin we will face judgment one day, he said. “But the good news is that God loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ on a rescue operation to planet earth,” he explained.

Jesus was born in a manger, led a perfect life and died a perfect death. “And then He rose again from the dead,” he told the crowd, and added that Jesus died in our place more than 2,000 years ago.

When the evangelist asked people to come down to the center of the stadium if they wanted to pray to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, thousands did.

Following the tradition of late evangelist Billy Graham, the preacher featured John 14:6 (Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.) in front of his pulpit. “I was inspired to carry that ‘Evangelistic tradition’ forward tonight,” he said.

article by  Anugrah Kumar , Christian Post Contributor  

DOES JESUS BRING UNITY OR DIVISION?

Torben Sondergaard speaks out about the false unity that is being promoted by Pope Francis.

He says, “This video will provoke many of you out there. But I am tired of seeing how people are falling for the lies of the Catholic Church in the name of unity. Jesus did NOT come with unity but with a sword of division. He came with the truth that brought division. Please listen to this video and help me to get it out there (I agree with Torben). Some will accuse me of going against what God is doing, because they love what is happening right now all over the world, where the churches are coming together in the name of unity. They are wrong or I am totally wrong. Please do your own research and not only follow them or me. Maybe start to see this video here and ask yourself: How can anyone accept a pope/church like this as a brother in Christ? How can anyone work with them? It is time to say something against this and draw away from this lie.”

WHITNEY HOUSTON SINGS JESUS LOVES YOU

The evening before she was found dead in her Hollywood hotel room, the superstar vocalist performed an emotional rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” at the Tru nightclub in Hollywood.  “I’m gonna go see Jesus. I want to see Jesus,” she told her friends following the performance.

Her voice was truly a gift from God — and in her final performance, she used it to give him the GLORY. Even through her trials and tribulations, she knew she had a Saviour. If you’ve never seen this, watch it now.

Houston’s earliest songs were sung at church, and she often spoke of her strong Christian faith. Indeed, according to BeliefNet, Whitney spoke of “really wanting to see Jesus” shortly before her untimely death.

 

THE ULTIMATE PRODUCT – WHY DON’T PEOPLE BUY IT?

Salvation through faith in Jesus is the ultimate ‘product’:

  • ETERNAL LIFE IN A NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH WHERE THERE IS NO PAIN AND SUFFERING
  • IT’S AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE
  • IT’S FREE
  • REJECTING JESUS (THE PRODUCT) CONSIGNS YOU TO AN ETERNITY IN HELL (SEPARATION FROM YOUR CREATOR AND HIS GOODNESS FOREVER)

“For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame…., for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 11-13

We are all involved in selling on a day-to-day basis, often without even knowing it. A dictionary definition of selling is ‘to persuade someone of the merits of’, or, to ‘cause someone to become enthusiastic about’ something.

And there is scriptural support for the idea that we should be more ‘calculating’ (or strategic) in our witnessing. In 1 Corinthians 9: 20-23 we read how Paul was strategic:

“To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”

Sales professionals simply take what is second nature to us all, refine it, and apply it to specific situations to maximise their chances of success.

What follows is not intended to be prescriptive of how we should witness to the lost. We are all different and, as such, we relate to people in different ways. Hopefully, many of you are already using a lot of the techniques I’m about to share, often without even realising it. But if you’re about to take the first step in your evangelising, or you are frustrated by your efforts to date, I hope this might help.

Laying the foundations

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”  1 Peter 3:15–16

Be prepared

When you witness to an unbeliever, you will be asked questions. It’s important that you can either answer these questions or, at the very least, direct them to a place where they might find the answers. But it’s pointless having all the answers if you never actually take the step to talk to an unbeliever about Jesus.

Prepared to give an answer

The Gospel message provides an answer to the predicament of every person—we are all sinners in need of salvation. Once this ‘cornerstone’ is in place, we have a sure foundation from which to confidently answer objections to the message.

Being equipped with answers will help you to overcome objections and give you confidence to step out and share the Gospel. This is where Creation Ministries International resources are so valuable. Probably the best place to start is with the Creation Answers Book, which has easy to understand answers to over 60 most asked questions on creation, evolution and the Bible.

You should also familiarise yourself with creation.com, so that, if you don’t know the answer to a question, you can recommend a place they can go to find the answer (and the search terms the person might use for best results). It can also be helpful to have tracts to give away (e.g. creation.com witnessing cards).

To everyone who asks

Successful sales people will actively seek to generate selling opportunities. Moreover, the Great Commission is a command – “go and make disciples of all nations” Matthew 28:19.

Making a sales presentation will usually involve an invitation, either in the form of an appointment, or at least a request for information about a product. Evangelism is similar—yes, we should always be looking for opportunities to start a conversation about Jesus (the easiest way is simply to tell (or, remind) people you’re a Christian). But ‘everyone who asks’ implies an invitation to give the reason for the hope we have.

The invitation(s) might be obvious: e.g. “Why are you a Christian?” Or they might be subtle: e.g. a throw away comment about Jesus, Christianity, another religion, or a news item with an evolutionary bias, etc. You just have to be prepared to recognize them when they arise. And don’t beat yourself up if you miss an opportunity (we all miss opportunities). Put it down to experience and work out ways to be better prepared next time.

Gentleness and respect

Successful selling requires persuasion, not pressure, and this is even more the case with evangelism. In most cases, you will effectively be telling someone that their whole worldview is wrong. This can be very confronting! Gentle persuasion is less likely to cause offence and, in the event of a negative reaction, is more likely to leave the lines of communication open for future discussions.

Respect is equally important. First, we are all made in the image of God, with responsibility for our decisions. We must always respect a person’s right to choose their own destiny, no matter how wrong we believe that choice to be. Second, respect implies a relationship. You cannot respectfully tell a person their worldview is wrong if you don’t know what that worldview is.

Before sharing the Gospel with someone, it’s important you take time to get to know them (if time allows). The easiest way to do this is to ask questions and be a good listener. We humans like to talk about ourselves and asking questions invites people to do just that. In the process, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate a genuine interest in who they are and what they believe. They, in turn, will be more comfortable in speaking to you, and will be more likely to listen when you speak to them.

Ask open-ended questions that require more than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. For instance, questions prefaced with ‘Who?’ ‘What?’ ‘Which?’ ‘Why?’ ‘When?’ ‘Where?’ and ‘How?’ Look for common interests and shared views and highlight these as they come up (as Paul would have done). If the conversation becomes more worldview-centric, ask clarifying questions and make a mental note of anything they may tell you that you can use to make the Gospel message more personal to them and more relevant to their life.

Whatever you do, don’t assume anything about the person you’re speaking to that you haven’t heard from them personally. When the time is right, it can be remarkably easy to steer the conversation to what you believe, simply by saying something like; “That’s very different to how I view the world.”

The reason for the hope that we have

Our ultimate aim should be that the people we witness to will place their confidence and faith in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. This is the hope that we have for ourselves, and the hope we should have for others. It may not happen at the first meeting, the second meeting, or for many years. We might not even be present when the decision is finally made (if it is made at all) but this must be our goal from the very beginning.

To this end, the most important part of witnessing is the Gospel presentation and you need to get it right. Prepare, commit to memory, and practice your Gospel presentation. It should be biblically sound, containing all the major features and benefits of the Gospel message, starting with the ‘very good’ Creation of Genesis 1. It should be logical, easy to understand and concise.

It should explain the features of the Gospel, but should focus on the benefits, the reason(s) for the hope that we have. To use a sales analogy, no-one buys a refrigerator because it has a motor, insulated walls and shelves (the features). We buy a refrigerator because it keeps drinks cold and food fresh (the benefits).

Don’t cut corners. Just as you shouldn’t assume anything about another person’s worldview, don’t assume they have a clear understanding of the Gospel, even if they tell you they do. In this increasingly secular world, if an unbeliever has any understanding of the Gospel at all, it is likely to be a distorted version.

As you grow in confidence, you may be able to weave into your Gospel presentation some of what you have learnt about the person you’re witnessing to. A good sales presentation is designed to turn ‘wants’ into ‘needs’, the theory being that a person is much more likely to ‘buy’ if they are convinced they need something, rather than just wanting it. This same process can also be applied to evangelism. For example; most honest people, when confronted with questions of mortality, will admit they want to know what happens when they die. You can point out that, logically, they need to find the answer to this question before they die, because, once they’re dead, it’s too late to do anything about it.

Those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ

Competition is a fact of life. Sales people are always on the lookout for ways to convince potential clients that what they have to offer is superior to the opposition. Successful sales people do this by highlighting the positive features of their own product and subtly, rather than overtly, undermining the competition. However, if there is anything in a competitor’s sales presentation that is perceived to be inconsistent, or false, it will be (and should be) ruthlessly exploited.

How much more will this be the case with evangelism, where we must contend with an enemy who “masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14) but also “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Don’t make Satan’s job any easier. Everything about your Gospel presentation, and your answers to the questions you are asked, must be internally consistent (without contradiction). In doing so, you give yourself the best opportunity to convince people that the Christian worldview, alone, is externally consistent (true).

This is where those who attempt to fit evolution and millions of years into the Bible get it so wrong. By attempting to make Christianity conform to the world’s version of origins, they open the door to accusations of inconsistency and outright, deliberate deception. If the Bible can’t be trusted in the first chapters of Genesis, why would anyone trust what it says about Jesus?

Militant anti-theists will always rage against the Christian worldview simply because they have an anti-God agenda. We do ourselves, those to whom we witness, and the God we serve, a disservice by trying to appease them. Keep a ‘clear conscience’. Let Satan and his minions argue the benefits of their own worldview rather than allowing them to point out inconsistencies in yours!

Be prepared for success

When a decision is made to buy, a good salesperson will have a procedure in place to finalize the sale and an after-sales support program designed to ensure long term buyer satisfaction. In the same way, you need to plan what you will do when someone indicates that he/she is ready to commit to Christ.

First, and foremost, you should encourage them to acknowledge and confess their sin (1 John 1:9), turn to God in repentance (Acts 20:21), and believe in Jesus for remission of their sin and for salvation (Romans 10:9John 3:16).

Then, help them to put in place the tools they’ll need to grow and defend their newfound faith. This should include: encouraging them to read the Bible and pray, helping them find a Bible believing church in their area, and suggesting they seek out Christian friends and join a Bible study group. You might also offer to stay in touch and disciple them.

Last, but not least, make sure they know where to go if they have questions. Introduce them to CMI materials; Creation Magazine (you might start by giving them one of your back issues), the Creation Answers Book, and the wealth of biblically based, God-honouring resources at creation.com. That way, they too will be prepared to give an answer.

Be prepared in the heavenly realms

One last piece of advice (this one’s definitely not learnt from the business world); before you do anything, cover yourself in prayer.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel and pray that you will recognise these opportunities when they present themselves. Pray for the boldness to speak God’s truth into the lives of friends, family, workmates, new acquaintances, etc. Pray that you will have clarity of thought and mind and that you will be able to answer the questions you might be asked. Pray for open hearts and open minds, that your efforts will bear fruit and that you will have success.

And pray, in particular, that you, and those you witness to, will be protected from the arrows of the enemy.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

The above article has been taken from the CMI article – More effective evangelism Lessons from the business world – Laying the foundations by Mark James, published, 5 June 2018 http://www.creation.com

 

CHRISTIANS: TIME TO BE BOLD AND COURAGEOUS

Like never before, Christians are being challenged by God to honour Him by standing up for their belief in Him.

Jennie Finch and Jelene Hinkle are to be commended for their stand which invariably costs from a worldly perspective. I am sure it was not there motivation, but they have built up treasure in heaven which is eternal (Matthew 6:19-21)

Jennie Finch on 'Dancing With The Stars'

Olympic athlete and Dancing With the Stars contestant Jennie Finch refused to perform to a popular new Janelle Monae track, citing her Christian faith and desire to honour God. The song, “Make Me Feel,” is sexually suggestive and was deemed to be a “little too risque” for the athlete.

According to the Kansas City Star, Finch was struggling with the song all through rehearsals until she finally made a phone call to producers saying she was not prepared to dance to such a sexually charged track.

“It’s not what I’m about. I need to follow who I am and stand up for what I believe in,” Finch explained on the hit show.

United States defender Jaelene Hinkle (19) and midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) and defender Kelley O'Hara (5) celebrate.

Last year, a Christian soccer star, Jaelene Hinkle, withdrew from the United States Women’s National Team after the team decided to swap out their normal jerseys for LGBT Pride jerseys in international matches.

Hinkle withdrew from the United States soccer roster in June citing “personal reasons.” This came at a time where she was called to play in international games versus Sweden and Norway.

United States defender Jaelene Hinkle 19 and midfielder Carli Lloyd 10 and defender Kelley O’Hara 5.

Hinkle’s resignation from the team came two weeks after the U.S. men and women’s national teams announced that they would be wearing LGBT pride jerseys in support of the June pride month.

GOD’S VALUES/GOD’S WORDS ARE NOW UNACCEPTABLE

“Happy pride everybody!” Canadian television host Jessi Cruickshank begins, while being met by a throng of cheers from the impressionable young children who took part in the video celebrating gay pride month.

This video is produced by the Canadian government. Take a look at the video and you will realise that this generation is being taught that God’s values/God’s Word are unacceptable, they are offensive and teach hate. At the same time, the Canadian government is beginning to ban certain “offensive” Bible verses. This is all happening at such an alarming rate, it just reinforces we are in the “end times” and need to know we are in the centre of God’s will for our lives. We need God’s heart for the lost, and have a sense of urgency to complete the great commission.

After asking the kids if they know what gay pride means, she says “that’s absolutely right, it’s a celebration of sexual diversity,” She then explains, “I’m not gay, but I’m a gay ally.” Cruickshank then puts the children on the spot and asks them if they, too, are gay allies.

“Are you gay allies?”

“Definitely!” the children respond. Cruickshank then goes on to ask the children a series of questions, including if they know what it means to come out of the closet and what their views on gay marriage are.

The conversation then takes a turn to gay icons, which ends up being a list of gay celebrities. But things take a darker turn when Jodi Foster is mentioned, and one of the kids thinks Foster is a boy. “Jodi Foster is a woman,” Cruickshank interjects. “And she made me question my sexuality when I was a child, because I liked her so much. And she was nude in the film Nell, not that I remember watching it several times as a child.”