PREPARE FOR JESUS COMING RETURN

This following testimony is from Cody Archer. Cody Archer, along with his wife, Liat, help lead the youth group at Ahavat Yeshua and work together in Revive Israel’s international department.

In preparation for the coming prophesied persecution, it is important you read Cody’s testimony now to help you prepare for what lies ahead.

The following verses from Revelation reveal how believers are to overcome Satan in the “end times” just prior to Jesus return, first to rapture the saints, and then to return to earth with the saints to rule and reign in the Millennium.

“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Revelation 12:11

We all want to be in the centre of God’s will for our lives as we approach the time of Jesus return, so it is important we understand what is ahead, remembering that even Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, agonised over what was ahead of Him.

According to global statistics, over 200 million followers of Yeshua are undergoing high levels of persecution today—primarily in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. But, I believe the Scriptures teach that the time is coming when such persecution will be the norm in every country of the earth.

“When I was a new believer in my early 20s, a leader in my life spoke prophetically over me: “Cody, go deep in God’s Word now, because there will be a time in the future where it will be taken away from you, probably because you will be put in prison for your faith.” What an encouraging word for a new believer, right? I took that word seriously and have continued to devote much time to meditating in God’s Word almost daily for the past decade.

Heart Training

As I study the end times, one of the themes that continues to catch my attention is that of persecution. More and more in my quiet times, I have been picturing myself being arrested, beaten, put in prison and even martyred for my faith. I am training my heart now to walk in love for Yeshua and stand up for my faith when those times of extreme pressure come.

My sense is that this heart posture is almost nonexistent in most of the Western church today. Even If you and I don’t end up facing high levels of persecution, I believe it is wise to prepare our hearts, and the next generation, for what is coming.

What Is Coming?

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So what should we be preparing for? Here are some Scriptures I have been meditating on:

  • “But before all these things [read the preceding verses: false Messiahs, wars, great earthquakes, famines, pestilences, fearful sights], they will seize and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons” (Luke 21:12a). If you think you will get raptured out before persecution and trouble come, you will be in for a big shock.
  • Luke 21:16 warns us that biological and spiritual family and friends will betray us and put some to death.
  • “You will be hated by all for My name’s sake” (Luke 21:17). Consider this word: “all.” Atheists, people of other religions and humanistic, secular society may tolerate us at some level today, but this tolerance won’t last forever. Are you ready to be hated by all?
  • “They will put you out of the synagogues. Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he is offering a service to God” (John 16:2). The deception will be so deep that people will think they are doing God’s will by killing us.
  • Before Yeshua returns, new laws will be passed against believers, rendering us criminals in the eyes of the world. Calling the nations to turn from their sins and not budging on Yeshua being the only way to God will be seen as major obstacles to global peace. Because lawlessness will abound and the love of many will grow cold, we should not expect human help or mercy when attacked, but instead the plundering of our possessions, major lies and attacks through media, lawsuits, fines and imprisonments (Isaiah 24:5-6, Matt 24:12, Heb 10:34).
  • The Antichrist will be granted to make war with the saints and overcome (Daniel 8:23-25, Rev. 13: 7). I believe prophetic patterns in Scripture like in Esther 3 and Daniel 3 where laws were passed forcing people into false worship and the destruction of the Jewish people will emerge again before Yeshua returns.
  • “As it was in the days of Noah and Lot, so it will be also be in the days of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26; see Luke 17:26-30). The wickedness, violence and sexual perversion seen in the days of Noah and Lots are rampant again today and will continue to be directed against believers in an ever-increasing way (Gen. 6, 19).

One day, Jews and Christians will be the most hated people on the earth. But do not despair about the future; there is good news! The greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit and harvest of souls will be happening simultaneously with this global persecution (Acts 2:17). There will be a remnant of faithful believers in every nation who will obey God over man (Acts 5:29) and not love their lives unto death (Rev. 12:11).

Lord, help us to apply Yeshua’s exhortation to watch and pray always, that we would be strengthened to resist compromise, sin and fear (Luke 21:36).”

UNDERSTANDING THE TIMES CONCERNING JEWS, ARABS AND THE MIDDLE EAST

Avner and Jonathan provide wonderful testimonies of growing up as Jews and how they came to learn about Jesus as their Messiah. Two very different accounts which is helpful in understanding Jews and how we can reach out to them.

Avner Boskey of Final Frontiers Ministries was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home. Since coming to faith in Yeshua (Jesus), he has lived in Israel for more than 20 years, where he has become an expert on the Middle East. He joins Rabbi Jonathan Bernis for a discussion about Israel today, the Palestinians and how God’s passion for the Jewish people and Israel affects all Believers. Avner is the author of a great book: Jews, Arabs and the Middle East: A Messianic Perspective.

“And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written” – Romans 11 what do we do with that Scripture?

What is God is calling us to do with regard to prophesied increased persecution coming to Jews in the last days. Please pray for wisdom in this regard.

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IS INCREASING RAPIDLY

 As the nonpartisan Pew Centre records, Christians are the most persecuted religious minority in the world. And there is in the West an appalling reluctance to discuss this issue or take any action in connection with it.

The scale of the persecution is enormous. According to Mike Gore, chief executive of Open Doors, the leading Protestant non-governmental organisation working in this area, persecution of Christians is now worse than it has been at any period since biblical times. “I would say the persecution of Christians is increasing rapidly,” he says.

Bernard Toutounji, head of the equivalent Catholic body, Aid to the Church in Need, makes a similar judgement: “The situation is continuing to get worse, especially in Pakistan, China and across the Middle East. The Western world in general is asleep at the wheel.”

Open Doors estimates about 215 million Christians in different parts of the world face serious, ongoing persecution. The true figure, Gore thinks, is higher as this encompasses only the 100 biggest nations. Another widely held estimate is that about 250 Christians are killed for their beliefs every month. These estimates are naturally ­imprecise but no one really disputes them.

Pakistani hardliners call for Asai Bibi’s execution. Picture: AFP

The fate of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman condemned to death on a ludicrous charge of blasphemy, could be decided as early as this month.

In 2009 she made the awful mistake of drinking water from a well. For this she was abused and told that as a Christian she was unclean and could not therefore share anyone else’s drinking cup. There was an argument, and she and her family were badly beaten.

During the beating, she confessed to blasphemy. A long and tortuous legal process ensued and she was subsequently sentenced to death. After nine years in jail, Bibi was finally acquitted on appeal last October. Her confession under torture could not be relied on.

Her suffering didn’t end there. Huge mobs demonstrated against her in the streets, demanding her death. An Islamist group appealed against her acquittal, and this could be determined this month.

For a time after she was released, Bibi had to move from house to house in fear of her life. She is now, with her husband, in a protected situation at an undisclosed location.

Hers is one of very few cases of the persecution of Christians to pierce the determined Western indifference to Christian suffering in many parts of the world.

Yet Bibi’s plight has not produced the response from governments you might expect. Britain and the US have not offered her asylum. But all the leading Western nations are in active discussion about her fate. I am pleased to report that Australia is taking a strong stand against persecution of Christians

Canada has been the most forward, suggesting it will take Bibi and her family and offer them a safe life. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton of Australia has said: “If the discussions with Canada fall through, we will facilitate bringing Asia Bibi to Australia.”

Foreign Minister of Australia, Marise Payne tells The Weekend Australian: “Australia is deeply concerned about restrictions on Christian communities imposed by some governments and non-state actors around the world.

“Bringing attention to restrictions on religious freedom is a key priority of our current membership of the UN Human Rights Council. We will continue to use every possible avenue to express Australia’s opposition to the targeting of Christian communities internationally.

 

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.

 

REJOICE AND BE GLAD WHEN PERSECUTION COMES

“Dear friends, do not be astonished that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice and be glad. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, who is the Spirit of God, rests on you.” 1 Pet 4:12–14

Peter does not want Christians to lose hope in the midst of adversity, which is the reason he exhorts them to keep perspective and look ahead and even rejoice of that future day when Christ’s glory is revealed.

Jesus gave the disciples the following warnings about the time of His second coming so we will be prepared for persecution in the “last days”.

“For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And many will be offended , will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up to deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:7-13

These are tough words and only those who truly know God, who trust God with all their heart will endure to the end.

We need to be able to say like David: ” You are my strength and shield; My heart trusts in Him and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.” Psalm 28:7

You will be helped by God. He will be with you through the coming times of trouble, persecution. You need to keep an eternal focus. Hence the title of this blog: living eternal now.

ANTICHRIST AND DECEPTION

Another important teaching from Nelson Walters on the “end times” Most Christians and prophecy teachers focus on the physical implications of the Great Tribulation. Jesus and Paul focused primarily on the spiritual implications – especially on the deception of Antichrist which will lead to the falling away. In this video learn how Matt. 24, the Parable of the Ten Virgins, and 2 Thess. 2 are all interrelated and give important application for the church today.

STUDY SILENCED FOR SUGGESTING KIDS BECOME TRANSGENDER DUE TO SOCIAL INFLUENCE

A mainstream study by a Brown University professor is under fire from transgender advocates for suggesting that some children become transgender due to social pressure or influence, and not because they are born that way.

The study by Lisa Littman, an assistant professor of the practice of behavioral and social sciences at Brown’s School of Public Health, was published in PLOS ONE. Brown University since has pulled a press release about the study, according to the magazine Science. The study examined why some children experience transgenderism, which is sparked by a condition known as “gender dysphoria.”

“In on-line forums,” Littman wrote in the study, “parents have been reporting that their children are experiencing what is described here as ‘rapid-onset gender dysphoria,’ appearing for the first time during puberty or even after its completion.”

The gender dysphoria among the children “seemed to occur in the context of belonging to a peer group where one, multiple, or even all of the friends have become gender dysphoric and transgender-identified during the same timeframe.”

In other words, these children identified as transgender only because their friends did, according to the study.

“Parents also report that their children exhibited an increase in social media/internet use prior to disclosure of a transgender identity,” Littman wrote.

She surveyed 250 parents of children who suddenly developed gender dysphoria and found that “21 percent of parents reported their child had one or more friends become transgender-identified at around the same time,” according to the now-pulled Brown University press release.

Bess Marcus, dean of Brown’s School of Public Health, wrote in a statement that he had heard from university community members who argued the study “could be used to discredit efforts to support transgender youth and invalidate the perspectives of members of the transgender community.”

“[W]e believe firmly that it is also incumbent on public health researchers to listen to multiple perspectives and to recognise and articulate the limitations of their work,” Marcus wrote.

God will not tolerate children being deceived and abused this way. His return is imminent at which time His wrath is poured out on the unrepentant. Make sure you are in the centre of God’s will for your life right now, if you are unsure, get on your knees in prayer. Much of the denominational church is apostate, accepting the world’s take on transgenderism and gay marriage, so come out from them. Find a group of like minded believers and do church as in the Book of Acts. There are plenty of Home Church Groups you can connect with e.g wearechurch.com (Francis Chan)

CALIFORNIA SENATE PROCLAIMS, “YOU MUST STAY GAY (OR TRANS)!”

California lawmakers proclaim, “You must stay gay (or trans)! We will not allow you to explore the possibility of change.”

The Senate just approved AB 2943 with by a vote of 25-11. Next is the Assembly, then the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown, then the length and breadth of your great state.

In an August 16 email, Greg Burt, Director of Capitol Engagement, California Family Council, explained the significance of AB 2943, which has been dubbed the “Must Stay Gay” bill. He wrote, “With Thursday’s [Senate] vote, elected leaders told churches and those with biblical beliefs about gender and sexual orientation that advocating for their views could get them sued.” The implications of AB 2943 are staggering. Legal experts confirm that by targeting financial transactions, AB 2943 threatens religious non-profits, churches, and pastors who provide paid resources to help people practice their faith.”

This is nothing less than governmental tyranny, nothing less than an abuse of elected power, nothing less than an unholy mandate against the holy claims of God.

Church, will you sit back and take it? Or will you rise up as one, with all respect for your government, and say, “If people want help, we will supply it. We will practice our faith. We will not deny the life-changing power of the gospel to anyone.”

JEFF JOHNSTON

Stop for a moment and look at these smiling faces. Meet Jeff and David and April and others. Read their testimonies and hear their stories.

Some struggled with unwanted same-sex attractions for years. Some were out and proud homosexuals. Some identified as transgender. Others had their own unique story of sexual brokenness or addiction.

Yet every one of them testifies to radical change through the gospel and godly counsel. And under AB 2943, every one of them would be denied such godly help. Church, we have no choice but to act regardless of the cost.

If you get sued for doing what’s right, so be it. If you get arrested, so be it. Great is your reward in heaven! Our brothers and sisters around the world are being exiled or stoned or burned alive or imprisoned or kidnapped for their faith. Surely, you can take a little opposition for your faith in the United States.

Adapted from article by Dr Michael Brown, California Christians, Prepare for Civil Disobedience in Charisma Magazine

BILL WHATCOTT FACES TWO YEARS IN PRISON FOR PASSING OUT JESUS SAVES PAMPHLETS AT GAY PRIDE PARADE

A Christian bus driver in Toronto has been charged with a “hate crime” for distributing pamphlets saying homosexuality can lead to diseases and that Jesus can save gay people if they repent.

Bill Whatcott “distributed anti-gay material which promoted hatred toward the gay community,” Toronto Police Service said in a statement, adding that he was arrested in Calgary and later returned to Toronto.

The 51-year-old Christian man was charged with “willful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group, namely the gay community.”

The pamphlets he allegedly distributed said homosexuality is associated with sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV of the rectum, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says is true, according to The Federalist.

The pamphlets, which reportedly included negative remarks against the Liberal Party and left-wing politicians, also said that supporting homosexual acts without repentance could lead to “eternal peril,” and repentance to “the free gift of eternal life.” However, reports say that the pamphlets neither encouraged hate against homosexuals, nor advocated violence.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacts as he and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau (L) walk in the Vancouver Pride Parade in Vancouver, British Columbia, July 31, 2016.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a Roman Catholic, became the world’s first national leader to march in a gay pride parade when he took part in Toronto’s event.

Whatcott, who has been fired from his job, said he wasn’t given food for 24 hours while in jail, according to The Daily Wire.

“It might have been on purpose, because it didn’t happen, like — some inmates did go half a day without food — but they actually made me go a full 24 hours,” he was quoted as saying.

He said he was also denied medical attention for a leg injury. “I had a leg infection, and it was bad enough that I was brought to the hospital, but they simply refused to fill the prescriptions. So for four days I had no medications. The infection was actually going up my leg. I was a little concerned it was gonna go systemic.”

Hopefully, Bill was able to maintain an eternal perspective and be encouraged by these Scriptures:

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” Matthew 5:11

“If you are insulted and reviled for the name of Christ , blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you . On their part He is blasphemed , but on your part He is glorified.” 1 Peter 4:14

Trudeau has also supported Canada’s embrace of same-sex marriage, which stands against the Catholic Church’s definition of marriage between one man and one woman.

Months later that year, a poll showed that the majority of Canadians supported the expansion of the country’s non-discrimination laws to include gender identity. The Angus Reid Institute survey was conducted four months after Trudeau’s Liberal Party introduced a bill that would punish transgender discrimination with up to two years in prison for violators. Earlier this year, Ontario Province started allowing individuals born there to remove “male” or “female” on their birth certificates or opt for a “nonbinary” designation.

 

 

A MESSAGE TO ALL PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS

A Coptic Christian church’s worship service turned into a blood bath after a gunman opened fire, killing at least 11 people.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and many Christians were left wondering if they will ever be safe enough to worship Christ without fearing terrorism.

One young girl, Nesma Wael, was there when the attack happened and wrote a heartfelt message to the world published by BeeCatholic

“After Mass ended, I left the church with my cousin and my mother. My mom wore a cross around her neck, and all three of us were not wearing veils. In poorer neighborhoods, Muslim women often wear veils so they are distinguished from Christian women.

“As we turned into a side street, we saw someone on a motorcycle heading toward the church. The next thing we knew, the man crashed his bike after hitting a pothole. My mother ran up to him to help, reassuring him, as she said: ‘In the name of the Jesus Christ, are you okay?’ He got up quickly and in a blink of an eye he opened fire on us with an automatic weapon he pulled out from under his vest.

“As soon as my cousin and I saw the weapon, we hid behind mom, who shouted at us to run away; the terrorist first shot her in the arm, while she was trying to protect us; as we ran away, she fell down and could not escape with us. The distance between us and the terrorist when he first took out his machine gun was no more than a few feet. My cousin and I ran into a small supermarket, where the sales girl hid us behind the refrigerator; from our hiding spot, we watched the attacker looking for us. When he couldn’t find us he turned to mom again and fired more shots at her.

“All this happened in a few minutes. After the gunman left, we ran to my mother. Many people had gathered, but they all refused to touch my mom, to turn her over, even though she was still alive. I kept screaming for someone to help me, but no one did. I reached my uncle, who came right away.

“An ambulance pulled up, but the emergency workers refused to move Mama into the ambulance until they got permission from the security officials who were out in the streets, hunting for the terrorist, as well as another shooter who had attacked people in front of the church.

“A gun battle erupted, and people fled. My cousin, my uncle and I stayed with my mother. She looked at me, saying: ‘Do not be afraid, I’m with you. Obey your father and take care of your sister.’

“My mother remained laying in the street for about an hour. After the shooting stopped, I went back to the church to fetch my younger sister Karen, who is eight and had remained in church because the service for children had not finished yet—I saw three people I knew laying in pools of blood in front of the church; I knew they had been killed.

“By the time Mom was taken into the ambulance she had died.

I miss my mother desperately—I am happy because she is a martyr and I don’t feel afraid of the terrorists anymore. I was with her at the time of the attack and did not even get injured: it was God’s will to specifically choose her to go to heaven.

“I do not want to leave my country, but I certainly want to find a better chance to live and study, especially since our financial situation isn’t good. My dad, who is 35, works as a driver, but he has no regular work; my mother provided the main source of income for our family; she was a nurse at the Cairo Kidney Center. I hope to become a doctor of nephrology; that was my mom’s dream for me.

This is my message to all the persecuted people around the world: ‘Do not be afraid! Our lives are in God’s hands and we have to adhere to our faith.'”