This story from Voice of the Martyrs is just one of many demonstrating the truth of these words.
It is the story of Sergei Bessarab who was shot to death in a small city called Isfara, where he had planted a church.
Sergei Bessarab became a Christian in prison as a result of another man also named Sergei who had prayed for Bessarab’s salvation. The two men had met in prison while Bessarab was serving time for his criminal activities.
In prison, Sergei prayed every day that Bessarab would come to Christ. But Bessarab was less than grateful for his friend’s concern. “Don’t waste time praying for me,” Bessarab told him.
Sergei remained steadfast in prayer, however, and Bessarab did eventually bend his knee to Christ. This should be a lesson for all of us. Keep praying, particularly for family members and loved ones. The former criminal became a bold witness for his Saviour both inside the prison walls and, after his release, as a pastor on the outside. In addition, he made frequent return visits to the prison to share the gospel with inmates.
Soon after, Bessarab and his wife Tamara moved to Isfara and planted a church, which began to grow as Muslims turned to Christ, a headline in the local paper asked the pointed question, “What’s Going to Be Done About Sergei Bessarab?”
On Jan. 20, 2004, the son of a local mosque leader answered the question, shooting and killing Bessarab as he strummed his guitar during his nightly time of worship, Scripture reading, and prayer.
When the young man who killed Bessarab was convicted and sent to prison, Christians were waiting there to meet him. In God’s amazing providence, the killer was eventually assigned to a cell with a Christian prisoner who had been led to Christ and discipled by Bessarab!
And over time, the mosque leader’s son became Bessarab’s spiritual grandson, placing his trust in Christ.
Think about it, Bessarab was once a convicted criminal. Many would have written him off spiritually. His killer, a Muslim was also far from God, and some may have written him off as well. But God’s grace can reach any heart.
Picture the final chapter of this story: Pastor Sergei Bessarab stands worshiping before God’s throne with the man who ended his life on earth and perhaps the two may be working together on this earth again during Jesus’ soon coming Millennial Kingdom.
“Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6
Is Jesus enthroned in your life? Is allegiance to King Jesus central to your life? If not, then it is unlikely you will rule and reign with Jesus in His Millennial Kingdom.
An important and neglected part of the Gospel Message is Jesus return to this earth to fulfill the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants and the prophecies of the O.T. prophets that has Israel’s Messiah ruling and reigning over all the nations of the earth from a totally renovated/restructured Jerusalem. How many pastors are talking about the need for Christians to prepare now to rule and reign with Jesus on this earth.
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10
“Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6
Moreover, Jesus and the Saints will need to rule with a rod of iron even though we are told Satan is bound for one thousand years . The curse has not been lifted off this earth. This earth still has one thousand years of existence in its fallen state before it is finally destroyed with fire. Jesus will rule and reign on this earth for one thousand years and then the unthinkable happens Satan is released and he gathers an enormous army from those who are living under the reign of King Jesus and His Saints to come against them. It is not a battle, fire comes down from heaven and destroys them. Even with Jesus and the Saints ruling on this earth in what must seem like paradise in comparison to today people will still rebel against God reigning over them just as Satan and one third of the angels did.
This earth and heaven is then destroyed and what follows is the second resurrection of the dead, the White Throne Judgement and only thena New Heaven and Earth where sin/rebellion is no more along with no more pain, suffering and death.
Ruling with a rod of iron in Jesus Millennial Kingdom
“The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” Revelation 2:27
“From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron.” Revelation 19:15-18
What will life be like in the Millennial Kingdom? Does God reveal in His Word what it will be like? Yes He does, and I will be revealing much of it on this website as I believe this is what God has called me to do with the final years He has allocated for me on His Earth. I am presently working on a new website http://www.millennialkingdom.net where House Church leaders in particular will be able to access PowerPoint sermons and videos on the Millennial Kingdom.
To encourage you to search God’s Word for information on the Millennial reign of Jesus on this earth, we will take a look at what the Scriptures say about the new Jerusalem. Did you know the entire world will be restructured when the wrath of God is poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements? Did you know that the new Jerusalem will be on the highest mountain in the world?
“The cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” Revelation 16:19-20
“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,” Isaiah 2:2
“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it,” Micah 4:1
The mountain’s great height emphasizes Jerusalem as the centre of world authority, for all the nations will flow to it.
The millennial Jerusalem is nine times larger than the current city.
Jerusalem – A new city, A new name – The Lord is There, A new Temple
The temple is located outside the city, in the northern section of the sacred land given to the priests and it alone is bigger than the current city of Jerusalem.
The millennial Jerusalem sits on the highest plateau and has two rivers flowing out of its east and west sides. A totally new construct.
The land surrounding Jerusalem will have been transformed into a plain. It will run from Geba in the north to Rimmon in the South. The plain will contrast with the then highly lifted Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14:10)
Geba and Rimmon/Beersheba marking respectively the northern and southern limits of Millennial Israel. (2 Kings 23:8)
I hope the above has encouraged you to do your own research: Isaiah and Ezekiel are replete with information on the Millennial Kingdom. You will note that I have quoted from Isaiah, Ezekiel, Micah, Revelation Zechariah and 2 Kings in the above post. I will be posting more on the Millennial Kingdom in the months ahead as the “end times” prophesied events continue to play out.
God’s word reminds believers that “for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28, ESV). Meaning, ultimately, COVID-19 will be good for the church of Jesus Christ. Of all the things believers are promised in scripture, bodily safety is not one of them. In fact, it says the opposite!
We are told by the Apostle Paul that “all who desire to live godly lives shall suffer” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Aside from whatever physical and emotional scars the coronavirus might leave upon the body of Christ, we can be sure that, in time, this event will produce wonderful fruit. As backwards as it may sound, Let’s welcome this reality. It is as Charles Spurgeon once said, “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages”.
The ugly idol of personal safety has plunged its jagged thorns deep inside the hearts of not only American Christians bot those in most affluent nations. Decades of excessive comforts and conveniences have created lazy, self-serving, inward-looking Christians. Many have forgotten how to trust God for provision. Instead, we have looked to ourselves, our stocked supermarkets, our full refrigerators, and our 401ks (pension plan) to provide the assurance that our future’s are secure. Throughout history, God has often allowed outside forces and tragedies to remind His people to look only to Him for comfort and assurance. We should remember this as we wander into the unknown of the Coronavirus pandemic. Lest we forget, the Israelites wandered the desert 40 years as they learned to trust God for daily provisions.
Whatever trials the days ahead may bring, it seems certain our faith will be tested. How will you choose to respond?
Extracted from a great article Christians, COVID-19, and the Dangerous Idol of Personal Safety by Jack Wells, www. patheos .com
The book of Nehemiah vividly demonstrates that God is all-powerful and able to accomplish his will, both in individual lives and in nations. Nehemiah’s prayer in Neh. 9 focuses on praising God for his sovereign and powerful acts: God created the heavens and earth (Neh. 9:6), called Abram from Ur, and gave the land to Israel (Neh. 9:7-8, 22-25). The miraculous signs in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, and the provision of guidance, food, and water in the wilderness all demonstrate God’s power over man and nature to provide for his people (Neh. 9:9-15).
The Lord had sent the Israelites into exile after generations of persistent sin (Neh. 9:26-27). Now he was fulfilling part of his promise to restore them (Neh. 1:8-9).
NEHEMIAH HAD CONFIDENCE IN GOD
Nehemiah had confidence to pray and lead because he knew that everything that happened was part of God’s sovereign plan. This same confidence in God’s sovereignty led Abram to leave Ur and by faith go to an unknown land (Genesis 12:1-3; Hebrews 11:8-10), caused Rahab to trust in God (Joshua 2:9-14; Hebrews11:31), and prompted Hezekiah not to give in to the demands of the Assyrian king Sennacherib (2 Kings 18–19).
Confidence comes when people believe that God will keep his promises and complete the work he has started in their lives.
“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
How about you? Where do you lack confidence? Can you think of any promises God makes that you can rely on as a source of confidence? Share some of God’s promises that have given you confidence in the Comments section and I will share them on LEN. Love to get feedback.
What is the most important thing we can do to destroy the works of the enemy? In this live stream, Pastor Alan DiDio of Encounter Today interviews Mario Murillo about these exact questions and more! A new generation is arising who have been baptised in fire, who are prepared to lay down their lives for Biblical truth who prophecy truth regardless of the consequences.
You need to watch this video probably more than once. It is one hour long but you can do it in 20 or 30 minute segments.
Often we do not see the real Jesus because we’re too busy looking at ourselves—it’s easy for our own flesh to get in the way. Repent daily, asking the Holy Spirit for His help and His mercy to see Christ as He truly is. We need God’s mercy and grace everyday.
Reflect on the names of the Lord. What awe, reverence and worship they should evoke in the spirit of every true believer:
“And thou shalt call His name JESUS” (Matthew 1:21, kjv). He is the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Wonderful Counsellor, Holy One, Lamb of God, Prince of Life, Lord God Almighty, Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Root of David, Word of Life, Author and Finisher of Our Faith, Advocate, The Way, Dayspring, Lord of All, I Am, Son of God, Shepherd and Bishop of Souls, Messiah, The Truth, Savior, Chief Cornerstone, King of Kings, Righteous Judge, Light of the World, Head of the Church, Morning Star, Sun of Righteousness, Lord Jesus Christ, Chief Shepherd, Resurrection and Life, Horn of Salvation, Governor, The Alpha and Omega.
Jesus: The Lord of All Things
The secret of theabundant life, is Christ and Christ alone. We must see the real Jesus.We must have a correct vision of who He is and, therefore, who we are representing and serving during our time on earth. Only then will we begin to rediscover the authority, glory and power of His majesty.
One of the most revealing images of the real Jesus is found in Colossians 1:13–20. Here we find Him to be “the image of the invisible God . . . .
“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell.”
What a mighty God we serve! The whole universe, everything that we can see and cannot see, was created for Him. He is head of the Church and our Lord. We were made for Him and His pleasure.
Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,Let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising loving kindness, judgement, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the LORD. Jeremiah 9: 23-24
Jonathan Cahn does a great job of showing how God has been in control of nations down through history. How each nation deals with God’s nation, Israel, determines its fate – bless Israel and the nation is blessed, curse Israel and the nation is cursed.
The book of Joshua is a brutally stark reminder that God is ultimately judge of all the nations. God leveraged Israelites as His instrument of judgement on the nations of that land for their sins, just as hundreds of years later God would leverage the Babylonians to pass judgement on the nation of Judah for its sins. God is sovereign judge over all the nations.
Read what Job said about God controlling nations:
“He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. They grope in the dark without light, and He makes them stagger like a drunken man.” Job 14:23-25
In the last days, before Jesus returns to rule and reign on a restored earth, God says He will gather the Jewish people back to their land. He did this in part in 1948 and then gave them back Jerusalem in the Jubilee year 1967. We can be sure all of the rest of the end times biblical prophecies will unfold exactly as given.
Anyone interested in what God is doing and will do in the years ahead need to listen to Jonathan expound the relevant “end times” scriptures.
The only disagreement I have with Jonathan is on the identity of the Antichrist. Jonathan says, he will be a Roman, based on Daniel 9:26-27. I believe he will be from the Middle East, the long awaited Muslim Mahdi. In Daniel 9:26-27, we see that it is the people of the ruler shall destroy Jerusalem. The people groups that made up the four legions that Titus led were the ancient enemies of the Jewish people, from lands that surrounded Judea.
“And the people of the prince (ruler) who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war, desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:26-27