In Acts 8, a massive disruption upset the Christian world. Led by Saul of Tarsus, massive persecution drove Christians from their home base of Jerusalem. Up to that time the new Christian movement was centered in Jerusalem and was confined to Jews. By the end of the book of Acts the church was more Gentile than Jewish and the church at Jerusalem was a side note. What made the difference? During the disruption, one church used it as an opportunity to innovate, and innovation changes the world.
In Acts 11:19 we see the Jewish Christians scattered from Jerusalem, where they were only telling other Jews about Jesus. But in Antioch it was different. The Christians there spread the gospel and opened their doors to both Jews and Greeks (innovation #1, Acts 11:20-21). Not only was this church open to non-Jews, but they also sought out Jews with scandalous pasts, creating an opportunity for the same Saul of Tarsus to provide leadership now that he had become a follower of Jesus (innovation #2, Acts 11:25-26). When a famine struck Judea, the church at Antioch is the first church recorded in Scripture to voluntarily collect resources and intentionally send it off to assist another church (innovation #3, Acts 11:27-30).
The COVID-19 crisis is another massive disruption (not interruption). This is the moment for the church at Antioch to rise up, to blaze boldly into the hybrid digital world we all now live in and spread the gospel in new and powerful ways. As church thought leader Carey Nieuwhof accurately questioned, “are churches behaving like malls in the age of Amazon?” I believe that churches that treat the COVID-19 crisis like a minor interruption are like malls, like the church at Jerusalem. If your church is waiting for this crisis to pass so that things can go back to normal, you might be waiting awhile. There will be a new normal we will eventually settle into, but it won’t be the old normal. A worldwide pandemic disrupts the world in ways that will forever change us. I believe that churches that leverage the massive disruption of the COVID-19 crisis are innovating in the age of Amazon, like the church of Antioch.
The above is an abbreviated version of an article by Pastor Josh Daffern of the Centreville Baptist Church Virginia USA “This is the Moment for the Church of Antioch to Rise Up”
Amanda (not real name) and her husband come from a small Muslim village in Northern China. Amanda had a secret. She was a fortune-teller. Word began to spread that Amanda was exceptionally good at her ‘craft’ of fortune-telling, and people travelled from other villages to ask guidance about their future and seek solutions for their problems. But then Amanda was struck by a mysterious illness. One day she awoke and was unable to move any of her limbs. Her husband rushed her to hospital, but the doctors were unable to diagnose the problem. “I was so afraid,” Amanda recounted. “Somehow I just knew God was punishing me. I knew I must have done something to displease him.” Amanda’s sister was a Christian and visited her in hospital.
She told Amanda, “Jesus is the only Saviour for all mankind.” That night Jesus revealed himself to Amanda in a dream. “In the dream, I was in a taxi and it was very dark outside,” Amanda recalled. “We were driving into complete darkness. Suddenly, three men wearing white robes with radiant light all around them appeared on the right-hand side of the car. I couldn’t see their faces, but they told me it was time for me to make a choice. As quickly as they had appeared, they were gone. “Then two men wearing black robes appeared to the left of the taxi. They approached me and tried to entice me to join them on their side of the car. Something drew me inexplicably to the pure white robes, so I got out on the right-hand side of the taxi.
“I woke from the dream and knew immediately that one of the men in white robes was Jesus, and that I was to follow Him. I prayed right there in my bed and immediately the paralysis left my body. It has never returned.” Miraculously, her husband experienced the same dream months later, and also came to faith. Amanda’s ‘craft’ has been changed by her encounter with Christ. Now, when people come to ask for wisdom and solutions to their problems, Amanda points them towards Jesus. She prays that he will illuminate their lives with his truth and love. But Amanda’s conversion hasn’t been free of persecution. When her father-in-law found out that she had become a Christian, he lost his temper and began to treat Amanda and her children with contempt.
“On one occasion, I had to go out, so I left my children in the care of their grandparents,” Amanda shared. “When I came back, I found bruises on their faces. My heart just broke.” To this day, Amanda’s children are afraid of staying with their grandparents. In spite of the persecution from her relatives, Amanda continues to share the gospel with others. Many have found the Lord, and up until the coronavirus crisis began, they were meeting once a week to read the Bible and pray together. Even in the hardest places to follow Jesus, his light is continuing to shine through believers just like Amanda.
Turkeys mad man President Erdogan has outdone himself in this outburst on August 30th 2020. It is understandable that Mossad, Israel’s Central Intelligence Agency now believes Turkey is a bigger menace than Iran.
Erdogan begins his diatribe with: “We are not a nation with an army. We are a nation that is itself an army altogether,the Turkish Armed Forces have become the hope of all the oppressed victims, Muslims worldwide. Anyone who dares challenge us on land, sea, or air. We do not escape from the battle, we do not hesitate to give martyrs and veterans in this fight. Even if the steel armoured walls surround the West, we will destroy them all with our faithful chest. We believe these are the days that we were promised by Allah. And so it continues with Erdogan describing the leaders of Greece, France, North African, and Gulf countries as being greedy and incompetent.
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.” Matthew 24:6-8
The battle lines have been drawn, Erdogan vs Israel. Is the Gog and Magog alliance of nations forming before our eyes? This video by Nelson Walters follows on from and supports my previous posts on Daniel 8, concerning the Ram (Iran) and the Goat (Turkey) conflict.
Does the 100 year old Lausanne Treaty expiring in 2023 hold the clue to the nations found in the Gog and Magog alliance of Ezekiel 38? Is the career of Tayyip Erdogan a match for that of Adolph Hitler? Is Erdogan using Hilter’s playbook to rise to power? Watch this Nelson Walters video to find out. You will see Erdogan has no concern for his people, they are pawns in his power play.
Is Bible Prophecy happening right now in the Middle East? When most see the recent actions of Iran and Turkey they think the Middle East is falling apart. But is it actually falling into line with what the Bible has predicted right from the start? Has the prophecy in Daniel 8 started to be fulfilled? What are the implications for the near future of the Middle East?
To learn even more about what the Bible says about Middle Eastern nations in the end times watch Nelson’s series on the book of Daniel.
Will the recent Abraham Accords help initiate End Time Prophecy like Ezekiel 38 (Gog and Magog), Daniel 8, Zechariah 6, and Isaiah 28?
UAE and Bahrain to sign the Abraham Accords with Israel at the White House Tuesday, as the two Arab nations establish full relations with the Jewish State.
The Israel–United Arab Emirates peace treaty or the Abraham Accords was agreed to by Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on August 13, 2020. If an agreement is signed, the UAE will be the third Arab country, after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, to sign a peace accord with Israel, as well as the first Persian Gulf country to do so.
Is the recent Abraham accord the first step in establishing an alliance of nations in the southern Middle East that will become allies of Israel in the end times? Does this explain why certain nations are included in the Gog Magog struggle in Ezekiel 38 and why others are not? Does this explain why the Daniel 8 Prophecy takes place? Will this be the Covenant in Isaiah 28? Nelson Walters will help you answer these end times questions.
If you have not read my previous post ” The Ram of Daniel 8 is pushing West, North and South” posted on the 7th of September then can I suggest you do so before watching this ominous video featuring President Erdogan of Turkey.
As I explained in the previous post, we are already seeing what is prophesied in Daniel 8 about the ram (Iran) pushing West, North, and South. It is already underway and probably will continue, however, the prophecy below from Daniel 8 indicates that Iran’s aspirations to become the dominant Muslim force in the Middle East is short-lived. It should be remembered that Iran is Shia, approximately 10% of Muslims whereas Turkey is Sunni the dominant group of approximately 90%.
“As I was considering, behold, a male goat (Turkey) came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. He came to the ram (Iran) with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath. I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.” Daniel 8:5-8
Listen to President Erdogan voice his ominous warning to all who stand in Turkey’s way to be a revived Ottoman Empire and to be “the last of army of Islam”.
In the video below Fulton Sheen believes the world and global economy have been forever altered by Covid-19. Fear, lack of forethought and inaccurate statistics caused people, governments and businesses to overreact and make short sighted decisions with long-term consequences. How will we move forward when the basic framework for predicting what will happen next, no longer exists? Close on the heels of Covid and literally overnight, anarchy broke out and all of a sudden American citizens were declared to be racists and our police officers villains. All these things are sure signs that all things are being shaken. Matthew 24, Luke 21 & Mark 13, all foretold of these events and warned us to be watchful, ready and prepared, we are also encouraged to be men and women who understand the times and know what to do. The goal of this message is to define what happened, discuss where we are at the moment and what happens next. (You can download a PDF with more of Fulton’s thoughts under the video)
The Barna Cultural Research Centre report found that only 6% of Americans adhere to a biblical worldview.
Sixty percent of Americans do notbelieve that human life is inherently “sacred”. The word “sacred” is defined by the researchers as “having unconditional, intrinsic worth.” However, more than two-thirds believe human beings are “basically good.”
We would argue that seeing humans as “basically good” runs “counter to the foundational biblical teaching that human beings are created by God and made in His image but are fallen and in need of redemption.
George Barna, who founded the Barna Group, said in a statement that the view of mankind being “basically good” is negatively influencing current debates over law enforcement and systemic racism. “A movement to defund police departments might make sense if people are innately good. People with a humanistic worldview argue that crime and violence happen because of poverty, bad parenting, systemic discrimination, and other external forces,” stated Barna. “Yet crime statistics, political tensions, tendencies toward anger and hatred, and America’s moral deterioration and confusion suggest that we are neither innately good nor that emotional responses to empirical challenges will solve the problems.” Barna went on to argue that one “cannot change the hearts of people by outlawing racism.
“You will not create peace by passing laws and forcing compliance,” Barna contended. Every society can benefit from specific systemic changes, but any systemic changes designed to transform the culture will be short-lived unless the hearts and minds of the people who populate that system are transformed first with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.