CHRISTIAN MARTYRS ARE GROWING THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA

The death toll for Christians in Nigeria continues to rise to catastrophic proportions as the nation seems helpless or unwilling to stop bloodthirsty Islamic radicals targeting Christians in the region. Despite the Islamic terrorists group’s violence, thousands are coming to Christ according to Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs.

“Thousands of Fulani are following Jesus Christ. So this traditionally Muslim tribal group, ethnic group, thousands of them have left Islam behind and are now following Jesus Christ. So the church sees that and that tends to bridge some of these gaps, Nettleton said.

I have previously reported how the vicious Fulani Herdsmen reportedly marauded through Christian villages wearing camouflage and brandishing AK-47s, and burned down as many as 160 homes, leaving a trail of at least 39 murdered Christians in their wake.

Nigerian President Muhammed Buhari condemned the massacre of Christians on Twitter, calling them “vile, evil and satanic” and agreeing that the attacks seemed “clearly calculated” against Christians.

But despite President Buhari’s words, it appears the government has done little to stem the violence against Christians. Local religious leaders have even called for the president to resign, accusing him of leniency on the terrorists.

Another jihadist group Boko Haram—the vicious Nigerian jihadist army pledged to ISIS—orchestrated a deadly attack by disguising themselves as “preachers” and inviting Christian villagers to a service where they then massacred 45 congregants.

Earlier this year, Boko Haram violently abducted 110 schoolgirls from their village. Of those, five girls were killed while captive before 104 were ultimately released. Fifteen-year-old Leah Sharibu is still their prisoner because she refuses to bend to her captors’ demands that she renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam.

The violence against Africa’s Christians is spreading beyond the borders of Nigeria, and if no action is taken, will likely continue to sweep across the continent. In the natural this looks catastrophic which it is, but rest assured God is using it for His purposes.

In a recent deadly bus attack in Kenya the Al-Shabaab terrorists forced passengers to recite an Islamic oath and those who identified as Christian were mercilessly executed. Do these terrorists think this does the cause of Allah any good? Is this the God you would want to serve?

American Centre for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has gone directly to the United Nations, delivering a critical written submission asking for intervention for Nigeria’s Christians and warning of the grim outlook if action isn’t taken.

The least we can do is get our churches praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ in both the Middle East and Africa. Pray that they may understand what God is doing in each of these countries and cooperate with Him, to accomplish His purposes.

 

JOEL PROVIDES A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR MYSTERY BABYLON

Joel Richardson does a great job of examining Scripture to come up with an answer to one of the big Biblical mysteries – the identity of Mystery Babylon. I agree with Rabbi Walker, that what is so good about all of Joel’s books, is that he is not  dogmatic about his position, his conclusions. He simply lays out his case, based on Scripture and the historical facts, and leaves it up to the reader to come to their own conclusion. Let me know what you think of the video and whether you are persuaded to buy Joel’s book. I am reading it and producing a Power Point Sermon on it for http://www.powerpointsermons.net.

MANY KNOW JESUS AS THE LAMB BUT NOT THE LION WHO WILL RULE WITH AN IRON SCEPTRE

Believe this prophetic encounter Jeremiah Johnson had with our Lord is authentic, hence this post. Jeremiah Johnson planted and serves on the eldership team at Heart of the Father Ministry in Lakeland, Florida.

“As the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me, He said, “Jeremiah, many know the Lamb who went to Calvary, but few know the Lion who is returning to devour His Father’s enemies. The same wrath that was poured out on the cross will be the same wrath that will be poured out in judgement upon my return.

I am releasing apostolic and prophetic messengers who will trumpet my end-time judgements to the church and warn of the consequences of those who only know the Lamb of mercy and grace, but reject the Lion of judgement and wrath.

Many only know Me as the great intercessor, which I am, but I am also the coming King and judge. There is more than intercessory prayer. For I will teach My people in these last days how to pray kingly and judicial prayers. I will establish My government in the earth and make My enemies a footstool. I will rule and reign with an iron sceptre.

Jeremiah, many will be offended at My return! They have created a god in their own likeness and image and will deny Me when I come with all My glory, power and splendour! You must warn the church of the scoffing spirit that will come, of the overemphasis of My goodness and never teaching on My severity, of never proclaiming and warning of My wrath and judgement that is here now and is yet to come.”

The look in the Lord Jesus Christ’s eyes as He said these words to me was so intense, yet so deeply grieved. He then asked me if He could entrust me with these words, and I said yes. When I did, He turned around and vanished from my bedroom.

I shook for days and have still never recovered. I pray that those who have read this sobering encounter for the first time publicly will pray and seek the Holy Spirit concerning your own view of who Jesus really is and prepare yourself for the days ahead.”

DOES GOD USE CATASTROPHES AND DISASTERS FOR HIS PURPOSES?

The very fact that God established Israel as His nation and has used other nations to discipline Israel should demonstrate that God deals with nations.

We currently have a world in chaos with most nations in unparalleled debt. What is happening in France right now with ordinary civilians rioting on the streets of Paris?

Protesters clash with riot police near the Champs Elysees in Paris on Saturday. Pic: AFP

The riots in Paris over the weekend and going back to November 17 have their roots in the fact that France has run out of money.

President Emmanuel Macron imposed a new fuel tax because France’s budget deficit is running perilously close to the maximum allowed in the EU of 3 per cent of GDP and national debt is 100 per cent of GDP versus the 60 per cent allowed.

With cars burning on the Champs Elysee a week ago, Macron abandoned the fuel tax but that didn’t stop the so-called gilets jaune (yellow vests) movement taking to the streets again this weekend with even bigger, more ferocious protests, this time met with tear gas and rubber bullets.

In these “last days” Bible prophecy tells us that God uses catastrophes to bring people to the end of themselves when some will turn to Him. Large scale refugee catastrophes are being used by God to give them an opportunity to repent and come to Him. There are Christians who understand and and in step with what God is doing at this time. This video and the book The Mystery of Catastrophes – God’s Redemptive Purposes for the Global Disasters of the Last Days, shows us how God deals with nations using catastrophes

We need to see the big picture of what God is doing now. Get to see why and how God is using Joel Richardson and Nathan Graves to bring the big picture to Christians in these “last days” This is a great video by Joel and hopefully it will inspire you to buy the book: The Mystery of Catastrophe! and respond to it.

The centrality of Muslims to God’s end times purposes is clearly revealed in these resources. Global radical Islams central role will perhaps offend some, but it is true, and needs to be addressed so the church is awakened to God’s last days plans.

How should we be living in these last days. this book will help you to get on board with God’s end times program.

ARE YOU DESTROYING THE CHURCH?

“Hallowed be your name”. What is sacred? What is holy? Do we understand that our body is now the temple of the Holy Spirit and what that means?

Francis Chan will challenge you over how we deal with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Get your home group to watch this sermon.

Do we realise how dangerous it is to be a divisive Christian. Do we have a healthy fear of the Lord? We are not to destroy the temple of the Holy Spirit. Don’t say careless stuff to each other. Defend each other, no unwholesome speech to come out of our mouths. God will humble the proud. Help us to repent Lord, prune us Lord so we will produce more fruit.

Why John 17 unity? So the world will believe that Jesus is our Lord and Saviour.

CHURCH IS A PEOPLE WHO, NOT A PLACE AT

I love that mantra for church, because it makes it clear that the church is not a building but a people who take seriously the GREAT COMMISSION for the church to GO and make disciples.

Torben gives us a simple “model” of what to do when you gather with small groups to disciple each other.

The simple model based on JESUS IS THE CENTRE and IN (fellowship), UP (focus on God, communion a good start)  and OUT (take the Gospel to the world)

DOES GENESIS HAVE GAPS IN THE GENEALOGIES?

OT scholar: Genesis teaches a short timescale

More from Dr Travis Freeman. He serves as Professor of Old Testament at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville. He is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University (B.A.) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., Ph.D.). He has been a young-earth creationist for over twenty years and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society Creation Fellowship. He chats with Dr Jonathan Sarfati of Creation Ministries. Go to http://www.creation.com for more from Jonathan.

Sadly, many Christian colleges teach that there are gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11. Dr Freeman points out that there can be no time gaps, because: The biblical text gives the number of years between the births of the descendants of Adam in the line leading to Noah. By adding these numbers together, we can calculate the number of years from Adam to Noah. These numbers would be superfluous, even misleading, if generations are missing between fathers and sons. In fact, one strains without success to even imagine why the author of Genesis would include these numbers unless he meant to tie the generations together in a continuous sequence without chronological gaps.

“This type of genealogy seems to be designed for chronological purposes and never contains gaps, at least none that anyone has ever demonstrated. In fact, every biblical genealogy of this sort has been shown to be without gaps.Thus we can calculate that Genesis 5 and 11 record that about 2008 years passed between creation and Abraham’s birth around 1996 BC, thus rendering a creation date of about 4004 BC.”

Dr Freeman also pointed out that this understanding is hardly a novelty. Rather, “nearly all Bible scholars, Jewish and Christian, from the first century BC to about AD 1800 understood Genesis 5 and 11 as setting forth a no-gap chronology of ancient history. So, unless we are prepared to show how all of these scholars were wrong, we should reject the idea of gaps.”

Why was this clear understanding doubted from around AD 1800? Dr Freeman reminds us this is when old-earth ideas started to become popular in ‘science’, due to the Flood-rejecting uniformitarian dogma of Hutton and Lyell, explicitly designed to “free the science from Moses.” Long-age beliefs almost invariably come from such outside ideas being imposed upon the text, rather than anything in the text itself.

But don’t other genealogies, such as the Matthew 1 genealogy of Jesus, have gaps? Dr Freeman points out that this is a different genre, and a key difference is that Matthew 1 does not record the number of years between generations. This type of genealogy often contains generational gaps, that is, some names are omitted for the sake of brevity or symmetry.”

The doctrine of creation

One of Dr Freeman’s most popular classes is his ‘The Doctrine of Creation’, which he summarises in three statements:

  1. God created all things in six twenty-four-hour days about 4004 BC in mature form.
  2. God created all living things according to distinct kinds that were programmed to produce only their kinds but able to adapt to their environment within their kinds.
  3. God ravaged the earth with a catastrophic flood which began about 2348 BC, lasted about a year, covered the entire world, destroyed and rebuilt Earth’s crust, left behind millions of fossils, left behind vast coal and oil deposits, and permanently altered Earth’s environment.

Since Dr Freeman teaches at a school that affirms the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture, I asked how all that is supported by the Bible. He pointed out that Genesis 1 declares that God created all things in six days. He explained that when modified by a number or by the phrase ‘evening and morning’, the Hebrew word for ‘day’ always means a solar day, not an indefinite period of time, in the Old Testament.

Also, the same chapter describes Adam, Eve, fruit trees, and other living things as mature at the time of their creation, and it says that they would reproduce after their kinds. That is, one created kind did not evolve into another, leading eventually to a group of human-like creatures.

Dr Freeman also stresses that Genesis 7 and 8 describe the Flood of Noah’s day as year-long, worldwide, earth-devastating, and deadly to all land vertebrates but those on the Ark. These things would be responsible for the formation of most of Earth’s sedimentary rock layers and fossils. Moreover, it is encouraging that more geologists now recognise that catastrophism provides a better explanation for the geomorphology we observe today than uniformitarianism.

THE BIG PROBLEM WITH EVOLUTION OVER MILLION OF YEARS

O.T. scholar: Genesis teaches a short timescale

Johnathan Sarfati of Creation Ministries chats with Old Testament professor Dr Travis Richard (‘Rick’) Freeman

Dr Travis Freeman serves as Professor of Old Testament at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville. He is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University (B.A.) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., Ph.D.). He has been a young-earth creationist for over twenty years and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society Creation Fellowship

Many people in the church think that it’s OK to believe in evolution over millions of years. Dr Freeman points out severe problems. One of the most important for Christians is surely that “Jesus contradicted evolution and millions of years when he said that God created Adam and Eve at the beginning of creation (Mark 10:5–9), not billions of years after a big bang.”

Genesis-is-real-history

He further points out that a straightforward understanding of Genesis indicates that God created humans, animals, trees, and so on in mature form, and only a few thousand years ago.

Dr Freeman explains that real archaeology opposes long-age dogma, revealing no civilisations or historical documents older than a few thousand years. Geology also opposes this dogma, because creatures must have been buried quickly to form fossils, so the layers must have been deposited catastrophically. Also, there must be little time between the layers, because the contact lines are flat and largely erosion-free, and they have other features such as footprints that must have been preserved quickly.

How does creation matter to Christians?

Many in the church think of creation as a side issue. Naturally, Dr Freeman disagrees, and explains why it is actually foundational:

God has placed in every person the desire to know the answer to some basic questions about life, such as who am I, where did I come from, why am I here, where am I going, and how should I then live? The biblical doctrine of creation answers those questions and thus helps us understand the need for obedience to our Creator, including belief in the Gospel. The doctrine of creation also helps us believe in the accuracy of the Bible, because we see that its opening chapters are compatible with history and science.”

Indeed, it was very important to Travis personally. First, as a young man, he was an agnostic: “I did not know the answer to those questions, especially, how I should live. I was confused about the meaning of life, or if there even was a meaning. The confusion showed in my behaviour.”

However, when he was 32, a pastor shared the Gospel with him. Like many people, Travis “objected that the Bible and its Gospel could not be true because we humans came into being through billions of years of blind evolutionary processes.” Many would-be evangelists would try to change the topic. Fortunately, not this pastor, who was well informed:

“In God’s providence, the pastor was also a biology teacher at a nearby university. He informed me that evolution was not even a good theory, and certainly had not been proven. His comments spurred me on a journey to find out the truth for myself. I soon came across several books, including The Genesis Flood by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris, which exposed the flaws in evolution and showed how the Bible and empirical science actually agree. Once I saw the accuracy of the Genesis account of creation, I knew instinctively that the rest of the Bible must be true. So, I repented of my sins and believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now my life has meaning and direction—and may I add, great joy!”

We know of literally hundreds of people whose faith was ‘shipwrecked’ on the jagged reef of biblical compromise, but who, like Dr Freeman, were restored thanks to consistent biblical creation teaching. We trust that his encouraging testimony will help many more.

EXTENT OF DECEPTION IN THE LAST DAYS

Another revealing article from Creation Ministries (www.creation.com) this time from Lita Cosner. It demonstrates the extent of the deception that is occurring in these “last days” , which confirms the Bibles “end times” prophecies, “many false prophets will arise and a great falling away occurs, even the elect being deceived”, Matthew 24:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:3

Lita Cosner’s Report: A reader sent in a video by a Dr Tim Jennings, a Christian psychiatrist, about homosexuality, transgenderism, and Christianity, and asked us for a response. We normally do not respond to videos, because of the time involved to watch and fairly interact with such media, but we felt the teaching value in this case merited an exception.

Dr-Tim-Jennings

Dr Jennings calls out the Christian community for “a lot of ignorance and a lot of misinformation.” He believes that “We have to start with facts, we have to start with truth.” He asks, “Are you willing to look at evidence and facts or do you want to hold beliefs that are refuted by evidence, facts, and truth?”

But when he goes into these ‘facts’, we find that they don’t prove what he thinks they prove. Most of his arguments involve very rare abnormalities.

First, he brings out Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, where a person is genetically male (XY), but has no testosterone receptors, so the child develops to look outwardly female (but lacks a uterus and ovaries). Dr Jennings makes the first of many errors in his video when he says that all babies begin as females, and hormones, particularly testosterone, cause the baby to masculinize. At fertilisation, every individual is either genetically female (XX) or male (XY) (yes—there are a handful of intersex chromosomal conditions, most commonly Klinefelter’s—but these are rare), and the baby develops as a female or a male according to the genetics. Dr Jennings inadvertently acknowledges this when he says that the male baby has testes even with AIS.

The next condition is chimerism, the extremely rare condition where one embryo absorbs his or her fraternal twin early in development, resulting in one individual with two distinct sets of genetics. He claims that this can result in someone with both male and female DNA. So someone could have a male brain genetically, and a female body, and so on. Then he claims that epigenetic markers affect whether the brain is masculinized in the womb or not.

His AIS and epigenetic arguments basically say that hormones can determine someone’s sexual identity. But then the chimerism argument says precisely the opposite—that genetics determine sexual identity. Which is it? Of course, this discussion of chromosomal and developmental conditions leaves out the fact that most people who identify as homosexual or transgender are biologically healthy males or females with no ambiguity or genetic defect.

Then Dr Jennings goes in a completely different direction and notes that sometimes trauma can confuse a person’s sexual identity, and gives an anecdote involving one of his counselees. In that counselee’s case, resolving a trauma led her to realise that she was not a lesbian after all, but heterosexual. But how can we tell someone who is ‘naturally’ homosexual from someone who is confused because of a trauma? And how can we even ask that question when it is now forbidden to even raise that as a possibility?

Dr Jennings then turns to Romans 1, and says that “exchanging natural relations for unnatural ones” means that naturally heterosexual people were engaging in homosexual relations as part of Roman fertility cult worship. He argues Paul wasn’t talking about people who are naturally homosexual. But sexual orientation as a core element of our personality wasn’t even conceived of until less than 200 years ago. In the Roman world, free men in particular would engage in both homosexual and heterosexual acts with a variety of partners—the only thing that was taboo was for a free male adult to assume a ‘submissive’ role.

Then he criticises Christians with “imperial” and “legal” ways of reading the Bible. I think that’s extremely judgemental of him—my brain development was shaped in the womb to make me think in imperial and legal ways. In any case, he says that Christians think homosexuals should act like heterosexuals. That’s not true. Rather, Christians recognise that the Fall affects us in different ways in our bodies, our minds, and our relationships. All of us have to submit ourselves to Scripture which challenges each of us in different ways.

Dr Jennings says that we should present the truth in love, and this will leave people free. While I would agree with him about this principle, we would disagree vastly about the proper application. I do not believe it is loving to present a false gospel to any person that says that Christ is powerless to transform them—regardless of what needs to be transformed.

70th WEEK OF DANIEL

Daniel’s prophecy of the “70 Weeks” may be the most important prophecy in the Bible and the most amazing. Its sweeping panorama allowed the wise in ancient Israel to know the exact timing of the arrival of Jesus upon his first coming and His death.

Then, after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” Dan. 9:25. This part of the prophecy has occurred. The rest of the prophecy provides incredible details about Jesus’s second coming.

This sermon by Jonathan Cahn on Daniel’s 70 weeks is excellent. The only significant difference in my view of this prophecy and Jonathan’s, is the identity of the Antichrist. As most of you already know, I believe the Antichrist will be a Muslim , possibly the Mahdi, the Muslim Messiah and they believe his arrival is imminent.  The people of the prince to come that destroyed the city were not Roman.

This phrase about the coming prince is one of the most controversial passages in the entire Bible!  The Greek perfectly renders this thought. Jesus was going to destroy the city and Temple with the one that is coming. In this case that was Titus, the general of the Roman forces. Jesus destroyed the city using his agents, which just happened to be Titus and his soldiers. After examining a sampling of evidence from both ancient historians as well as the most cutting-edge modern scholarship to date, we may very confidently conclude that the ‘Roman’ soldiers in the Eastern provinces that destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple were in fact Eastern peoples – the inhabitants of Asia Minor, Syria, Arabia and Egypt. The people of the prince to come were from Middle Eastern countries that are now Muslim.