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.'”

WHITNEY HOUSTON SINGS JESUS LOVES YOU

The evening before she was found dead in her Hollywood hotel room, the superstar vocalist performed an emotional rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” at the Tru nightclub in Hollywood.  “I’m gonna go see Jesus. I want to see Jesus,” she told her friends following the performance.

Her voice was truly a gift from God — and in her final performance, she used it to give him the GLORY. Even through her trials and tribulations, she knew she had a Saviour. If you’ve never seen this, watch it now.

Houston’s earliest songs were sung at church, and she often spoke of her strong Christian faith. Indeed, according to BeliefNet, Whitney spoke of “really wanting to see Jesus” shortly before her untimely death.

 

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.

 

 

 

HOW A WELL KNOWN SECULAR JEW CAME TO FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST

Edgar Award-winner and New York Times bestselling novelist tells of his improbable conversion from agnostic Jewish-intellectual to baptised Christian and of the books that led him there.
No one was more surprised than Andrew Klavan when, at the age of fifty, he found himself about to be baptised. Best known for his hard-boiled, white-knuckle thrillers and for the movies made from them—among them True Crime (directed by Clint Eastwood) and Don’t Say a Word (starring Michael Douglas)—Klavan was born in a suburban Jewish enclave outside New York City. He left the faith of his childhood behind to live most of his life as an agnostic in the secular, sophisticated atmosphere of New York, London, and Los Angeles. But his lifelong quest for truth—in his life and in his work—was leading him to a place he never expected.
Klavan’s coming to faith took place over a process of many years where he wrestled with many philosophical quandaries and the author is quick to point out that reason can only get you so far.

CP asked Klavan how important he thinks experiencing God is in light of how contemporary culture values thinking over feeling, particularly the reasoning that what we think is objectively true and the things we experience are subjective and therefore invalid.

Among other things, Klavan noted, the subjective experience of falling in love with his wife over the course of many decades was an epiphany of sorts; love showed him that just because something might be subjective it does not mean it is not real.

“That led me to start to think ‘Now, wait a minute, maybe if you can be deceived in your subjective perceptions, then maybe you can be right in your subjective perceptions,” Klavan said.

Along the way, Klavan’s rejection of atheism was in part because he found important truths in places many devout Christians rarely look. Klavan told The Christian Post that one of the most important engagements he had with a work of art was with French author and philosopher Marquis de Sade.

“De Sade wrote some of the most sadistic pornography — some of the most disgusting stuff I ever read — and his books are laced with atheistic philosophy. And when I read that atheist philosophy and I saw that pornography that accompanied it, I said to myself, ‘That is honest atheism. That is only true, truly reasoned atheism I ever saw, that if you wanted to be an atheist, this was the logic of it and it turned me away.’ I turned my back and walked away from it.”

“So here’s this ugly guy but writing brilliant art, brilliant psychopathic art, that contained a truth that I needed to find,” he continued.

“The one thing I would love to see Christians do, is to stop leaping to condemn art that doesn’t immediately echo their deeply held beliefs. Because I truly believe that all great art is speaking truth. God is god of the real world, he’s not God of fantasy land. When you shut people off from the ugliness of life, from the physicality of life and the passion and the lust that are in the Bible and in the arts, you shut people off from the real God,” he said.

“I think that the arts are one of the ways that human beings relate their inner experience to one another. And I think in that inner experience is where we are going to find our faith and find our God. So learn how to read the arts, learn how to read something that repels you, it actually may have a truth inside that people need to know.”

When asked what he would most like readers to take away from his memoir, Klavan reiterated the importance to examining the evidence for faith for oneself, against the fierce cultural tide of unbelief.

“You have to step out of that current, as hard as it is, and see the world fresh and start to find the truth from there,” Klavan said. “Because as the X-files always told us, the truth is out there. And it really is staring you in the face, and it really is speaking to you, singing to you, virtually, from every corner of the world.”

“The Jews are the chosen people of God and they brought the notion of God back into humanity after we lost track of it after The Fall, they were the doorway for God to re-enter the world and people hate them for it. To take it even one step further, people hate the Jews because they hate God, and you hate God because you hate yourself. I really do think that that is the failure to accept original sin.”

“And I feel like if you will experience my story with me, it might resonate. You might turn to your own life and say, ‘You know, once I start to listen I hear that song and it might help to draw you out of this tide that is washing you in something that is utterly untrue,” he concluded.

Andrew Klavan’s story demonstrates that God can use whatever, whenever to bring us to a knowledge of the truth – His truth about His world. A world which He judged on one occasion (Noah’s worldwide flood that laid down all the fossils), and He tells us in His Word that He will pour out His wrath upon all the earth again in the not to distant future, if my reading of the signs are correct.

 

 

 

Another great testimony from an indigenous brother and his granddaughter.

Let us declare with Pastor Anthony: “Today, I stand for righteousness. Righteousness will exalt a nation. We proclaim that this nation will have righteousness. We will go back to the cornerstone, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, and build our foundation on truth (God’s Word). Truth will build our family house. Trust in the word of God will establish and confirm our house.”

Watch Ps Anthony Edwards Snr. and Tilly Fejo’s story below:

2016: Another prophecy that resonates with all I am hearing from our Lord.

At the foot of the Cross

Recognize this prophecy is directed at the church in America, but its core message is relevant to us all. It is an abbreviated version of a prophecy given by Clay Nash. It appeared in the latest edition of Charisma Magazine. Clay serves on the team of Network Ekklesia International along with Dutch Sheets and Ken Malone as well as Global Spheres with Chuck Pierce and C. Peter Wagner.

“Many are asking what this year will bring. I want to seek to communicate some things God is revealing to me and how they will mesh together this year.

The first word I am hearing out of His heart and Spirit is “surrender.” Jesus in His humanity asked His Father to let His cup pass from Him, only to surrender by stating, “Not My will, but Your will be done.”

The Lord spoke to me, “Those who surrender to My will are going to reap where they have not sown this year.” Surrendering is not just a decision but a process.

The second word I have heard is “to sharpen our focus.” I have determined that, this year, I will be as “intensely intentional” as I can possibly manage. I am not just sharpening my focus to do things right, but intentionally sharpening my focus to do “right things.” The airways are so full of sounds, and the sounds are distracting, to say the least. It is time we clear our slate and press in to recognize His voice.

The Scriptures state in John 10: “My sheep hear my voice” and the voice of a stranger they will not follow. It is not about not hearing the other sounds that fill the airways; it is about allowing the authority of His sound alone to have any influence.

The third word I hear is “harvest.” The harvest that is at hand will be unprecedented in nature. This will prove to be an authentic harvest, producing disciples and not just converts.

Now I want to address a word that God has been building in me for over a year now. This word is a word of caution and direction to the church and the leaders in our nation. A word that I pray can be heard by leaders far and wide and those with greater influence and those with significant but smaller sphere of influence.

This final word I have heard is, “Will you continue to pursue your Rachel as your desire or will you focus on the Leah of your life and produce a legacy of inheritance?” Joel 3:14 says, “Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of the decision.”

God began to speak to me about His church in our nation (USA): “Will you, My chosen, continue in your performance and preferences or will you surrender to a stance of submission, to obedience? Will you seek to impress the Ancient of Days in how well you look, how well you perform, and how well you speak or will you discern your heart and see that what is done is to impress those you desire to lead? Will you continue to make your worship so that it is the centre of your focus rather than My Presence and manifested presence?

I desire your obedience to emanate from your love for Me.

I have set before you a time to make wise decisions based on My will and a way that is not convenient. Will you seek to allow your preference to guide you, or will you yield, and allow My conviction to speak deeply to you and bring your heart to a place of surrendered passion?

“Will you choose Rachel—she who is beautiful, fancy and dignified—as the desire of your heart? Will you allow her beauty, the convenience of her attention and her dignified ways to influence your preference? I would desire that you shift in your attention and choose Leah—she who is plain, simple, undignified and uncomely, even dimmed eyed. For Leah, the ministry I have set before you, is surely not that which is attractive or convenient. For Leah will not attract the masses and give a look of success, but it will be the significance of your choice of Leah that can shift this nation from seven hard years of increased warfare and produce “deliverers” for this nation.

“It can be that even as from Jacob and Leah came forth a descendant, Moses, My deliverer, so it can be again. I desire to birth deliverers who can bring awakening that will establish reformation. It can be, says the Lord, as you choose Leah, out of obedience, over Rachel, no longer seeking to excel in the performance of how you look, but bringing forth an obedience that will produce fruit that will remain. From your obedience, I will birth a line of successors as strong as Moses and David. So choose to do My will and do not allow your desire to override My will.”

I ask us all to search our hearts and answer these following questions as we apply Matt. 6:6 (Message) “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace.”

Will we turn from that which impresses and engage the grace which produces?
Will we turn from the relocation of sheep from one holding pen to another?
Will we allow God back into our worship with simplicity?
Will we allow the Holy Spirit to be Lord once again, bringing God’s liberty to our services?
Will we turn from the fear of man and allow the Holy Spirit to do whatever He wills even if it offends church attendees?
Will we turn from needing the mass in attendance to finance our man-designed programs?
Will we realize that it is time to properly position ourselves by empowering the saints to move forward and do the works of God?
Will we remove the Rachel of ministry and no longer trust it as “eye candy” that draws attention to us and our ministry?
I pray this word pierces hearts to the point that services are called off and ministries are suspended until a fresh word from heaven penetrates hearts and causes not only a shift but also a tipping point in our nation.”

The church is the USA needs to repent of not listening to God and not doing His will. Sadly the church in Australia is in a similar position to the church in the USA.