FORMER LGBTQ CHRISTIANS JOURNEY TO FREEDOM IN JESUS

Today’s culture tells people who are homosexual there is no other way and there is no ‘cure,’ but Christians who were once LGBTQ have a different story to tell. And they’re telling it in a new documentary.

Men and women who once embraced gay relationships and transgender identities bravely share how their lives and their sense of self completely changed after coming to meet Jesus.

Just some of the ex-LGBTQ Christians sharing their story in the upcoming ‘Here’s My Heart’ documentary are Brooklyn Wojo, who identified as lesbian aged 12 and transgender at the age of 18, before meeting Christ and being born again.

Kaya Brown, 22, was homosexual for 10 years and struggled with gender confusion during that time until she had a powerful encounter with Jesus on her grandmother’s living room sofa.

Ieacha Lusk was a lesbian for 19 years and homeless for 12 years before God removed her desire for another woman in 2015.

Casual gay sex, drinking and clubbing were all the norm for Davon Johnson before starting his own spiritual quest into his sexual identity and landing at the feet of Jesus.  Today he is a minister and husband.

Joshua Buchanan spent his high school years feeling confused about his sexual identity before fully embracing the homosexual lifestyle at community college. He tried drugs, partying and homosexual relationships before hitting rock bottom in 2009 when he was diagnosed with HIV. That’s when he started going to church and met God in a magnificent way before fully accepting Christ into his life at an altar call. His identify was never the same again and he went on to graduate from Heritage Bible College with a degree in Worship & Music.

The documentary is being put together by MJ Nixon, author of The Journey Back Home and a member of the Refuge Ranch Atlanta deliverance ministry.

She’s not documenting these powerful stories as an outside observer; rather she herself also struggled with same gender attraction before experiencing a fundamental change in her heart after meeting Jesus.

‘The Lord started showing me all these people that I knew in the different groups and communities that I’ve been a part of in the last six years since I’ve been saved,’ she told The Activist Mommy.

‘All these men and women who have powerful testimonies of only the power of God being able to set them free from being transgender, being bisexual, being homosexual.’

She has so many hopes for her documentary. One of them is, of course, to give a witness to the power of Christ.

But that’s not all, though; she also wants to ‘equip the body of Christ on how to minister more respectfully to the LGBT community.’

And importantly, she wants the documentary to minister to those within the church who deny that homosexuality is a sin.

‘What I have found is that one of the hardest groups to reach is the Christians who believe it is OK to live this lifestyle and love Jesus,’ she said.

‘I look at Romans 1:26 I cannot deny that this is unnatural. No matter how much I try to justify it, it’s unnatural. When God showed me the truth of His Word, it set me free. And I couldn’t look at it and say ‘no God, I wanna live the way I wanna live.’

extracted from article by Rachel Howard in Christian Post

MORE BIBLICAL END TIMES PROPHECIES UNFOLDING IN OUR TIME

NFOLDING
Are we seeing a revival of the fourth kingdom (“Great image of a Man consisting of four sections) as outlined in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7. I agree with Joel Richardson, and other end times commentators, that the fourth kingdom was the Ottoman Empire initiated AD 632, shortly after the death of Muhammad, as an Islamic Caliphate which later became the Ottoman Empire and officially ended in 1923.

As Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, continues to consolidate power in the formerly secular nation, one of the foremost experts on Middle East geopolitics is sounding a desperate warning. Erdogan is just getting started. “I’ve been saying this for 12 years,” said Joel Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of “The Islamic Antichrist” and “Mideast Beast.” “I’ve said for years: ‘Watch Turkey. Watch Turkey. It’s going to become a radical nationalist Islamist nation.’”

Richardson, who has closely followed Middle East politics in his effort to spread the Gospel in the region and who chronicled rising Turkish nationalism in his film “End Times Eyewitness,” sees a deeper pattern unfolding as Erdogan continues his rise: something embedded within the pages of Scripture. He argues Turkey and Iran are on a path to conflict, and it will be Turkey that will eventually lead a coalition of Islamic nations against Israel.

“I believe Turkey is going to lead this coming Antichrist coalition,” he said.

“The Turks want to revive the empire that ruled the Middle East for 500 years. And I believe that in the midst of that, the Saudis, who are in league with the United States, are going to be a tremendous roadblock to Turkey re-establishing the historical caliphate, the Islamic form of government. And it’s for that reason that I think eventually we’ll see Turkey, and all the nations that come under her sway, eventually turn on Saudi Arabia, and as the prophecy says, devour her and burn her body with fire.”

Also relevant Turkey’s vote: The real end-time headline by Jake McCandless

“The silence of the world’s great democracies as the Middle East’s one great democracy slips toward authoritarianism has been deafening for Turks,” wrote Elliot Ackerman in Foreign Policy. Steven Cook suggested in the same publication Erdogan’s recent election victory means the end of modern Turkey itself, as Erdogan derives more inspiration from the Ottoman Empire than the secular, democratic values of Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.

The Bible tells us a number of events will take place just prior to the return of Jesus. Generations of Christians lived and died without witnessing one of these signs. Many of these events have taken place and the current events in the Middle East are prophecy unfolding in our time.

Will our generation be a witness to them all? Those prophecies already fulfilled:
Israel Back in the Land – God promised to bring the Jewish people back into the land of Israel before He returned (Jeremiah 23:7-8). He said He would call them from “among the nations” (Ezekiel 39:28), from “the farthest corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12), and from “north, south, east, and west” (Psalm 107:3).
 He promised to welcome them home from the lands where they were scattered (Ezekiel 20:34). When they did, He promised to return and establish His everlasting kingdom (Isaiah 11:11-12).
The Jews Back in Jerusalem – Jesus said armies would surround Jerusalem, destroy the city, and enslaves its citizens. This happened in A.D. 70 when the Roman legions did exactly that.
 Jesus then said people other than the Jews would control Jerusalem for a time, then the Jewish people would once again control Jerusalem. When they did, Jesus promised to return (Luke 21:24-28). Since 1967, the Jewish people have been in possession of Jerusalem and will be celebrating their 50 year reunification this June.
The Gospel Preached Throughout the World – When asked about the end of the age and the signs of His coming, Jesus said to look for a very specific sign.
He said the gospel will be preached throughout the entire world. Every nation will hear it. And then? And then, the end will come (Matthew 24:14). For centuries after the crucifixion, the gospel was confined to a small area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
 In the past two centuries, Christians have brought the gospel to every nation in the world. Today, missionaries are in every nation.
The Bible is translated in hundreds of languages, and the message of Jesus is sent around the world by radio, TV, satellite, and the Internet. Our generation is literally on the verge of spreading the gospel to every last person on earth.
An Increase in Travel and Knowledge – Six hundred years before Jesus, an angel gave Daniel a special message. He said “travel and knowledge” will increase in the end times (Daniel 12:4). For centuries of human history, dramatic gains in travel and knowledge did NOT take place.
Yet the last two hundred years have seen explosions in the speed and frequency of travel as well as the amount and availability of knowledge.
Arrival of the Exponential Curve – Jesus said a variety of global signs will come before His return and the end of the age. These signs will be spiritual, natural, societal, and political in nature. And He said they would appear in a distinct way – “like birth pains” (Matthew 24:3-8).
 This means the frequency and intensity of these signs will increase as we near His return. Our generation has seen the exponential increase in earthquakes, war and famine Jesus said to look for.
In the 20th Century alone, more people died from war and famine than lived on the earth when Jesus spoke these words.
Israel Surrounded by Enemies – The Bible says enemies will surround Israel in the end times. Those enemies will say “Come, let us wipe away the nation of Israel. Let’s destroy the memory of its existence” (Psalm 83:4) and “Let us take for ourselves these pastureland’s of God” (Psalm 83:12).
Ezekiel said Israel’s neighbours will say “God has given their land to us” (Ezekiel 11:14-17),  and “Israel and Judah are ours. We will take possession of them. What do we care if their God is there?” (Ezekiel 35:10).
 Ever since the rebirth of Israel in 1948, the daily headlines have included these Bible verses. Israel’s Muslim neighbours claim the land of Israel for themselves, and they have no regard for the God of Israel.
 Israel’s Exceedingly Great Army – Ezekiel said, in the end times, Israel will field “an exceedingly great army” (Ezekiel 37:10). Zechariah said Israel will be like a fire among sheaves of grain, burning up the neighbouring nations (Zechariah 12:6) and even the weakest Israeli soldier will be like David (Zechariah 12:8).
Since 1948, Israel has fought no less than four conventional wars against its neighbours. Despite being outnumbered more than 50 to 1, Israel has achieved overwhelming victory every time.
Denial of the Signs – Almost two thousand years ago, Peter issued a warning. He said in the last days people will mock the idea of Jesus returning.
They will make fun of those who believe in the Second Coming and say exactly what we hear today – things like, “I thought Jesus was coming back?
What happened to His promise? Generation after generation has said He’s coming. Yet, since the beginning of the world, everything has remained the same!” (2 Peter 3:34).
Conclusion
 Despite the naysayers, Jesus is coming, and the signs indicate that ours is the generation that will witness His return.
The convergence of all these signs confirm it. Jesus Himself said to look for these signs, and when you see them, He said you can know His return is near. He’s right at the door (Matthew 24:33).
 In fact, He said the generation witnessing these signs will not pass away before He returns (Matthew 24:34).
Jesus warned us not to be caught sleeping when He returns (Mark 13:36). He commanded us to watch.
 Today, the signs of His return are all around us. Jesus is coming, and it can’t be said enough… Now is the season of His return.

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com

GOOD ADVICE FOR 2017

While timely Rhema revelation is uplifting, the church must return to confidence in the logos. The infallible written truth of God’s Word – The Holy Bible.

Looking for Answers pic

When timely prophetic words are given, we should value them highly. However, don’t seek after them. Don’t crave for them. God knows when you need them. What we can’t do without, even for a day, is the Word of God, the Bible. We need for the Holy Spirit to reveal new truths in fresh new ways. Keep a Holy Spirit journal to record these new revelations.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever” (Is. 40:8)
“Forever, O Lord, Your word is established in heaven” (Ps. 119:89)
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35)
I exhort you to open the Word of God daily. The wealth it contains will transform your new year much more powerfully than a low level prophetic word ever will.

Consider some of the following verses and begin your quest to encounter God through his Word. Take note of the promises and also of the conditions associated with them. May the fear of the Lord delight you. May your new year be marked by fresh revelation and trust in God’s mighty Word.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1).

“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways” (Deut. 28:7).

“Sacrifice a thank offering to God, and pay your vows to the Most High, and call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will glorify Me” (Ps. 50:14-15).

“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. Now a slave does not remain in the house forever, but a son remains forever. Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed'” (John 8:34-36).

“Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

I have listed just a few verses.  Now go ahead and receive the remaining promises in the Bible that are waiting for you in the New Year. There are thousands.

SUPERNATURAL CONVERSION OF MUSLIMS

How often, do we mistakenly believe the church in the west has to send missionaries to the unreached people groups of the world, otherwise they will never hear the gospel and get saved.

Those of you who have read Heavenly Man by Brother Yun, realise that after Mao came to power in China, Christian Missionaries from the west were deported or killed. The Chinese church went underground, now with its total dependence on God. Has God built His church through forty years of persecution under Mao? Yes! emphatically Yes! He has, and much like the early church, they experience all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including the miraculous.

Well the same is true in the middle east, Muslims are coming to Jesus without coming into contact with missionaries from the west. God is not waiting on Western workers to reach the peoples of the world!

God always takes the initiative. He is always seeking ways to reveal Himself in the darkest corners of the earth.

live-as-christian-die-as-christian

Nik Ripken in his book, The Insanity of Obedience – Walking with Jesus in tough places, reveals that more than 90% of Muslim background believers had come to faith without the help of an outsider or a believer from another culture.

Hence if Muslims are coming to Jesus (and they are), and if these conversions are not currently aided by Western workers (and they are not) then exactly how are these conversions happening? This question is of course crucial.

It was discovered that for Muslim Background Believers (MBB’s), there are three major components in their journey to faith in Jesus.

DREAMS & VISIONS

First most experienced dreams and visions which set them on a spiritual pilgrimage. In talking to hundreds of MBB’s, they heard repeatedly of a period of time lasting three to five years when dreams and visions were present and life-shaping in their pilgrimage to Jesus. It was very common for them to hear a voice without a body speaking to them and they knew it was Jesus or on occasions thought it was the angel Gabriel (Gabriel is significant, because it is believed that he gave the Qur’an to Mohammed). It was common to see a bright white light. A strong desire to get and read a Bible was common (Qur’an refers to Jesus as the “Word of God”).

It is interesting, to many Muslims, dreams and visions are not considered to be miraculous events; they are in fact quite common. What is miraculous, is how God breaks into those dreams and visions and overtime leads the seeker to begin a spiritual pilgrimage. The dreams and visions are not salvific. The dreams allow God to get the recipients attention and eventually lead them to Jesus.

Strangely, when these dreams and visions begin, a Muslim will typically turn to the mosque for answers and explanations. This is of course, the natural place a Muslim would seek answers. Typically, a first question to a spiritual leader in the mosque was “What do these dreams mean? Interestingly, spiritual leaders in the mosque invariably affirmed that the dreams and visions are from God, and they will often tell the seeker that the instructions in the dreams need to be followed. Strangely also, is that when God begins to break into their consciousness through these means, Muslims begin to visit and pray in the mosque like never before. The males may grow a long beard, change the way they dress, become a conservative practitioner of I slam.

The next steps are radical and usually involve the seeker asking questions of their Muslim spiritual leader that he cannot answer to their satisfaction. Questions such as, “How can I know God loves me?” and “How can I be sure I go to paradise when I die?” The answer from the Muslim leader to both questions will be, “Well, you can’t know that.” Often the seeker will be harshly commanded to stop asking such questions and to simply submit to Islam and obey the Qur’an. At some point, unanswerable questions like these will lead to frustration. And often, within three to six months, the seeker will leave the mosque and look for answers elsewhere. In most cases the seeker will never return to the mosque.

ENCOUNTERS WITH THE BIBLE

Always as part of the MBB’s spiritual quest, there were dramatic encounters with the Bible. Often these encounters were miraculous. Bibles are simply not available. In some cases, Muslims simply began to dream about the Bible (God’s Word), but still have no idea where to find one. In Central Asia, one seeker, who had been attempting to find a Bible for months, went to an all male market and there, a stranger simply appeared in the busy marketplace and handed him a Bible. The stranger simply said, ” the Holy Spirit told me to give this to you”. He then disappeared into the crowd. In another case, a seeker having been told in a dream to get a Bible, wandered through a bookstore filled with green Qur’ans. There at the back of the shop was a single blue covered book which he was drawn to, it turned out to be a Bible, which of course he purchased. Another female Muslim seeker shared her dream about a Bible with her family and discovered that her father was also a seeker who shared his bible with her. Nik and his team heard many stories like these and because of the miraculous way these seekers obtained their Bibles they treated them as prize possessions and read the voraciously. Most had read their Bibles through multiple times even up to twenty one times before coming to faith in Christ. What this meant is that most MBB’s have a profound knowledge of Scripture before making their faith decision. Nik concluded that “Where there is no Bible, there is no salvation” .

The centrality of Scripture to this salvation process is so important. The dreams and visions even required that kind of encounter with the Bible. And that kind of encounter is indispensable to the conversion process. This of course poses a big problem for the seeker who cannot read and there are many Muslim women who are illiterate. Fortunately, there are Christian radio stations able to get there signal into Muslim countries and report some success but no doubt God is also using MMB’s to witness to them.

ENCOUNTERS WITH IN-CULTURE OR NEAR CULTURE BELIEVERS

After dreams and visions, miraculous encounters with the Bible then third, there are encounters with in-culture and near-culture believers. These encounters often take the form of “divine appointments” where someone simply appears on the scene to provide guidance, counsel and instruction.

In Scripture, these kinds of encounters happen frequently. Philip’s meeting with the Ethiopian eunuch, Ananias role with Saul to become Paul and many others. How did the Ethiopian eunuch have the Isaiah scroll? Likewise, how do Muslim seekers get a Bible, but miraculously.

Nik also discovered that Western missionaries can be a negative, as they can fear persecution and avoid it at all costs. Also, dreams and visions are not the norm for most missionaries so would they be able to discern what God is doing. Moreover providing a Bible is no problem which would deprive the MMB of God’s miraculous provision. If an outsider provides everything for the seeker what is left for the Holy Spirit to provide?

It is obvious that God is perfectly able to draw people to Himself and our task is not to co-opt this process but to prayerfully discern what He is doing and join Him as insrructed. Much like Philip with the Ethiopian eunuch, God brings him into the story miraculously at exactly the right time and takes him out again just as suddenly and miraculously.

This is obviously not the only way God works but clearly we see that He needs to be directing the work. Our role is supportive, in league with Him. One role in particular, that Nik saw God use MMB’s to initiate, was to start churches particularly of the Book of Acts variety.

Bring on the persecution Lord, if it means we get to experience YOU more, to know You love us, and are providing what we really need to build our relationship with You. Give us a hunger for Your Word like these MMB’s we have read about.

It is great to know, You are constantly reaching out to the lost. Help us Lord to get in step with You.