GOOD NEWS: GOD’S WAKE UP CALL IS WORKING

Considering the content of my last post, GOD IS FORCING CHURCH TO CHANGE, I was delighted to read the results of the recent Joshua Fund Survey.

A March 20 National Survey indicates that nearly half of the country now believes that the deadly coronavirus pandemic sweeping the Nation and the Globe is a “wake-up callfrom God, and one-third see this as the “last days” foretold by the Bible.  This new key finding was revealed in the Joshua Fund’s survey. According to the survey, some 44% believed that the current pandemic is a “wake-up call for us to turn back to faith in God” and “signs of coming judgement,” said the Joshua Fund, a charitable organisation created to mobilise Christians to “bless Israel and her neighbours in the name of Jesus.”

According to Joel Rosenberg, creator of the Joshua Fund, “millions are turning to God, the Bible, and Christian sermons for answers, some of them for the first time. That may be the most important silver lining in this crisis so far.”  One-third of respondents of this poll also said they fear the end really is near. The Joshua Fund said that “29% said they believe that this crisis indicates that ‘We are living in what the Bible calls the ‘last days.’”

However, as can be seen from the following chart, 63% of the non Christian respondents said that the crisis has not changed their mind. They still have no interest in God or spiritual matters. Sadly, 50% of Christian respondents said they have no more interest in God or spiritual matters as a result of the pandemic.

BEMA SEAT JUDGEMENT OF THE SAINTS

The most telling Scripture on how to perform well at the ‘Bema’ seat of Christ is found in 1 Corinthians 3:10–15. The Bema seat judgement of the Saints will occur after The Rapture of the church prior to the wrath of God being poured out on the earth with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements. While it is possible to hide the true quality of one’s service for Christ in this life, at the Bema seat judgement all will be openly displayed for what one’s true motives were.

The TRUTH under FIRE: The JUDGMENT SEAT Of CHRIST – PART 1 of 3

“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:10–15.

“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

The office each of us is given during the Millennial reign of Jesus on this earth will be based on the reward you receive at the Bema seat judgement.

“Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” Daniel 7:27

If you start living eternal now you will begin to consider how you will fair at the Bema seat of Christ.

CORPORATE PRAYER CHANGING NATIONS

In the early Church, unity was so strong that Scriptures speak of a “great grace” that was released in the city.  This grace opened the door to miracles, signs, and wonders, and salvation’s on a daily basis (see Acts 4:32-34).  Earlier in this same chapter, it speaks of their daily fellowship and breaking of bread.  Because of these things, God’s grace empowered them to do far beyond what they could have done in the natural.

We need to rise up in our corporate spiritual authority to displace the illegitimate authorities that are seeking total control of our nation. Intercessors can shift the atmosphere in their cities through prayer, worship, and a corporate spiritual authority far greater than any demonic threat or attack.  The posture of our hearts and the words from our mouths determine the atmosphere in a place.  The power of our praises and our prayers can shift atmospheres in a room, a building, a neighbourhood, and even an entire city.

Image result for pictures of corporate prayer groups

This should be our desire as we come together as watchmen in prayer over our cities and nation.  We can pray in such agreement with heaven that the atmosphere over the city begins to be permeated with the grace and favour of the Lord.  Our spiritual adversary will continually find ways to spread fear, chaos, turmoil, and hopelessness over the land.  It is our responsibility to displace those demonic spirits by keeping our corporate prayer altars ablaze.  We must use our authority in Christ to displace rulers in high places and declare the work of the cross and the power of Christ’s resurrection.  Let’s agree together to speak life instead of death, order instead of chaos, and faith instead of fear. If you are not already in a prayer group, prayerfully do so.

FAITH AND FEAR

This study is especially relevant considering the fear we see evident in the world as a result of the Corona Virus Pandemic. For Christians, this should be opportunity time, when we can tell those that are fearful, the good news of what Jesus Christ has accomplished for those that are prepared to repent and avail themselves of His saving grace.

Corona virus is a sign of the times and things like this will become more and more prevalent. Scripture prophesies, God will escalate a shaking of the cosmos with earthquakes, famines, pestilences and more, as the time of Christ’s return draws near. Those that don’t know God have reason to be fearful.

It is very significant that the first words Adam spoke to God after he had sinned, after he had disobeyed God were, “I was afraid” (Genesis 3:10).
The faith he had in his heart was turned into fear. This is why faith and fear are so closely related. They are almost identical. They work the same but they produce opposite results.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2

This verse of scripture sets out the two basic spiritual laws at work in the
world: the law of the Spirit of life (in Christ Jesus) and the law of sin and death (in Satan). Webster’s dictionary defines a law as “an established principle.” You can depend on a law to work the same way every time. The two laws in Romans 8:2 are reciprocals.

Satan is a created being. He has no creative power. He did not put spiritual laws into motion. He just perverts the laws that are already there. Sin is righteousness perverted. Death is life perverted. Hate is love perverted. Fear is faith perverted.

Satan has used that perverted spiritual force of fear to kill, steal and destroy.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.Romans 8:14-15

If you will put faith to work, it will always overcome fear. Love always
overcomes hate. The counterfeit is never as powerful as the real thing.

When you separate yourself from God and from His Word, you separate yourself from life. Adam separated himself from life, and what happened? He died spiritually first and then began dying physically.

In the last days Jesus tells us in Revelation 2:10: “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days, Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life.”

JESUS SECOND COMING (2)

As a result of my previous post with the same title, I received the following information from a friend in Brazil, Dr Eber Stevao DDS, PhD. I met Eber at an International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) Conference in Israel. It contains a lot of useful information so I thought I would pass it on.

The entire Bible contains 31,103 verses. If we just take verses which talk about prophetic things in general, they come out to 8,352 verses or 26.85% of the Bible. Of all those 8,352 verses, a total of 6,312 (75.57%) have already been fulfilled. Evidence enough to prove the Bible is inspired by God and inerrant. It also means there are only 2,040 verses or 24.43% of those 8,352 verses yet to be fulfilled and we can expect they will be fulfilled exactly as prophesied. So, from the entire Bible, there are only 6.55% of prophetic verses awaiting for God´s appointed time for their completion and they need to be used to reach non believers with the Gospel of Christ and wake up a sleeping church.

For anyone interested in end times bible prophecy, Eber recommends the works of Dr. John Barton Payne. “He was a professor at the Covenant Theological Seminary, and spent his whole life (57 years, short but very productive life) to only study Bible prophecy. He ended up writing these books which are fundamentals to anyone who is interested in learning more about Bible prophecy: “The Unity of Isaiah: Evidence From Chapters 36-39” (1963), “Biblical Prophecy for Today” (1978),”The Goal Of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks” (1978), “Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy” (1980), “Theology of The Older Testament” (1980), “The Expositor´s Bible Commentary” (several editions), and “The Imminent Appearance of Christ” (2011), among dozens of others about Bible Prophecy. He separated all Bible prophetic verses categorising them about those related to Israel, Church, Anti-Christ, Christ return, etc. . All his writings can be found at the *PCA Historical Center, St. Louis, Missouri under J. Barton Payne Manuscript Collection. Collection #024 and Box #248.

Payne said that out of those 2,040 verses, these all come together to predict 215 facets about Christ return to the earth. Those 215 are specific predictions from God about the end of the world. All those events are now in the process of being fulfilled. Just look at the news today. Inside of those 2,040 verses (6.55% of Bible) we can find descriptions about these events which are coming: The Tribulation, The Rapture and Second Coming of Christ, The Day of God´s Wrath, The Judgement Seat of Christ, The Millennium, The Great White Throne. God warned us that these events will happen so we better be prepared for them.

I hope these few paragraphs can help your readers.”

TWO GENDERS – MEN AND WOMEN AND THEN THEIR BEHAVIOUR

Sex is a behaviour, not a gender. We see the leftists’ efforts in the courts and in society to change that. Moreover, blindly and ignorantly, denominations have altered what the Bible says and yielded to this perversion. It’s a lie that Western culture in particular has swallowed. But the truth is, there are men, and there are women. The rest is behaviour.

The fact is that the word “homosexual” wasn’t invented until 1892, when a German book on sexual perversions was translated into English (Psychopathia Sexualis was the German book).

Have you seen this old quote from Gore Vidal?: “Actually, there is no such thing as a homosexual person, any more than there is such a thing as a heterosexual person. The words are adjectives describing sexual acts, not people.” (From Gore Vidal: Sexually Speaking). This fact has been lost on millions of people across the world. Even Christians have subtly allowed homosexual behaviour to be elevated to the status of gender in their minds. The LGBTQ movement seeks to elevate their behaviour to gender status. But one of their best-known members, Gore Vidal, had it right.

God created male and female with sexual union between the two being first for procreation; anything outside that is merely behaviour.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10, some translations unfortunately use the word “homosexual,” when actually there is no Greek word for that (the Bible was canonised way before 1892). The word that is used in the aforementioned references is “arsenokoites,” and it just describes a male-to-male sexual union. Behaviour. The Bible mentions no other gender besides male and female. There is no gender called “homosexual” or “transgender” either. That is a behaviour.

Jesus said that in the “last days” before His return that people would increasingly reject God and His values “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.Matthew 24:12

“that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?2 Peter 3:3

when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8

IRAN AND ISRAEL IN PROPHECY

Israels Defence Minister Naftali Bennett warned Iran that Israel would not merely strike proxies, Islamic Republic targets will be targeted as well.

Israel’s defense minister issued a stern warning to Iran on Tuesday, saying that Jerusalem was “changing the paradigm” and would no longer content itself with striking back at the Islamic Republic’s proxy forces in the region.

Speaking at a memorial event in northern Israel, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said, “When the octopus tentacles hit you, you must fight back not just against the tentacles, but also make sure to suffocate the head of the octopus, and the same applies to Iran.”

The time has come, said Bennett, to move from fighting against Iran’s proxy forces to confronting the regime directly. “For years on end, we have fought against the Iranian tentacles in Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip, but we have not focused enough on weakening Iran itself. Now we are changing the paradigm. We are now engaged in an ongoing effort to weaken the Iranian octopus through economic, diplomatic and intelligence measures, as well as with military means and various other approaches.”

Israel’s northern border remains a source of concern, said Bennett, adding, “The relative quiet does not confuse us, and the Israel Defense Forces is ready for any scenario.”

Image result for pictures of Hezbollah forces on Northern border of Israel
UN peace keeping forces patrolling Lebanese side of Israeli border

Bennett concluded his remarks with a message to the regime: “You have no business being in Syria, and so long as you continue to build terrorist bases there, we will co ntinue to increase the strikes against you.”

He said that Israel was not going to stop targeting Iran, “and Iran must not make the mistake of thinking otherwise.” He vowed to “continue denying Iran a foothold on our northern border” and said Israel “was making sure to constantly exact a price until we reach the ultimate goal: driving Iran out of Syria.”

As explained in my previous post, what we see playing out above is part of the bigger picture explained in Daniel 8 with Iran (Ram) exerting its power to dominate the Middle East with its end goal of destroying Israel. Let me repeat what I said Scripture reveals, about what is playing out here and the opportunity it provides in evangelism.

Scripture provides us with a picture of what is unfolding here: Daniel 8:4, tells us that initially the ram (Iran/Shia) will succeed in conquering east, west and north only to enrage the goat (Turkey/Sunni) with its aspirations for a revived Ottoman Empire. The goat defeats/tramples the ram (Daniel 8:7). We then learn that because the revived Ottoman Empire/goat becomes too strong, it is broken up into four (EU or USA or Coalition as before?), “and out of one of them came a little horn (Antichrist) which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land” (Daniel 8:9).

Christians should use these prophecies in evangelism. We know how “end times” event play out. There are far more prophecies about Jesus second coming than there were of His first coming. Jesus admonished the Pharisees “for not knowing the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:44. I am sure He would likewise scold church leaders today for not warning His church of apostasy and coming escalating tribulation. Already, we see much of the church compromising with the world and discarding biblical truth on sexuality and marriage. Keep your eyes on the Middle East and you will see Biblical prophecy unfold.

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS

Millions of Christians across the globe live in perpetual fear that they will be punished, harmed — or even killed for merely practicing their faith.

Thank goodness for the following Scriptures:

Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17.

In light of that eternal glory being achieved for us by our momentary troubles, Paul offers the following words of eternal perspective: “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Corinthians 4:1

Worldwide persecution continues to be at a fever pitch, with varying degrees of affliction for those who openly embrace the Bible.

This tragic reality is more than evident in Open Doors USA’s latest “World Watch List,” an annual report that offers “an unparalleled glimpse into the 50 places around the world where it costs the most to be a Christian.”

According to the stunning 2020 report, more than 260 million Christians live in places where there is a high level of persecution, amounting to one-in-eight Christians worldwide. The “World Watch List” gives a lens into some of the most unthinkable scenarios. “It’s the foremost grassroots data on the persecution of Christians,” Open Doors USA president and CEO David Curry recently told The Pure Flix Podcast. It gives us an idea about the trends of religious liberty generally.”

He said there are restrictions in most places of the world, but that the areas of extreme oppression will likely shock those unfamiliar with the dire scenario. From government seizure of property and social exclusion to violence and murder, there is a wide range of ways in which Christians can be oppressed for their faith.

“The most dangerous country where persecution was most intense was North Korea,” Curry said. “But as far as violence, Nigeria pops up [high] on our list.” The government of North Korea, for instance, has “great control over every sphere of life,” Curry said, with people who are found with scripture or who are suspected of being a Christian at risk of losing everything and being sent to labour camps.

In places like Nigeria — the 12th most dangerous place to be a Christian on the 2020 list — Islamic extremists with the Boko Haram terror group use extreme violence. “Such violence often results in loss of life, physical injury, as well as loss of property,” the report reads. “As a result of the violence, Christians are also being dispossessed of their land and means of livelihood — and Christians with a Muslim background also face rejection from their own families.”

Nine Killed, As Many Injured In Boko Haram Raids In Nigeria: Reports
Boko Haram fighters killed nine people and injured nine more in the attacks

Should we be surprised at the increased persecution of Christians? We should not be, as Jesus revealed to us what it will be like just prior to His return. It will be a time of tribulation even great tribulation such that Jesus said, “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Matthew 24:22

Open Doors collects the “World Watch List” data through a network of researchers who are on the ground all over the globe.

AUSTRALIA EXPERIENCES UNPRECEDENTED WEATHER EXTREMES

God is shaking all that can be shaken in Australia, and elsewhere for that matter, exactly as prophesied by Him in the “last days” before Jesus returns. What we are experiencing right now with on going rain and flooding is unprecedented following what seemed endless drought and fires. I have extracted these headlines from newspapers reports on these events.

Why These Australia Fires Are Like Nothing We’ve Seen Before

More than 16 million acres have gone up in flames. And it has happened in populated areas, unlike most of the world’s other blazes of this scale. Millions more acres have burned in other parts of the country.

The modern world has never seen anything quite like these Australia fires. What sets these blazes apart, in terms of their size, is that they are happening in populated areas. Until now, fires this large happened mostly in places like northern Canada or Siberia, where few people live and blazes burn largely uncontrolled.

“What we’re seeing in Australia, in a completely different environment, are fires that are approaching or even exceeding the magnitude of things that we only saw in the most remote forested regions in the world,” said Ross Bradstock, the director of the Center for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales.

A man tried to protect his property in Lake Conjola, New South Wales, on New Year’s Eve.

Wet and Wild as Bureau of Meteorology warns of Dangerous Floods

Wild weather is lashing both sides of the country, with NSW and Queensland being warned of life-threatening flash flooding, cyclone Damien smashing WA’s Pilbara coast, and tens of thousands left without power across three states.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) stated on Saturday it was shifting its state operation centre’s focus from fires to floods as the weather helped bring the number of active blazes down to 37, extinguishing the huge Currowan Fire in the Shoalhaven Region, which had burnt for 74 days and and destroyed 312 homes.

“With significant focus shifting from fires to floods, the NSW RFS state operations centre has now been reconfigured to operate as the NSW State Emergency Services (SES) Sydney Zone Operations Centre in support of statewide flood operations,” said NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.

The heaviest rains in more than two decades have swamped large tracts of NSW and Queensland, bringing a dramatic end to the bush fire season but leaving more than 100,000 residents across the two states without power as ­authorities warn that the worst of the deluge is still to come.

CAN WE BE JOYFUL IN SUFFERING?

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!Philippians 4:4

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.James 1:2

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:18-20

God hates evil and He commands us to hate it as well so so these verses certainly don’t mean we are to rejoice in evil, per se, However, we should believe Romans 8:28, which tells us God will work all things together for our good, including evil things that happen to us.

Believing this frees us to thank God in the middle of difficult and even evil circumstances, knowing that in His sovereign grace, He is accomplishing great, eternal purposes in us through these things. We walk by faith, believing in what God has done, is doing, and will do to bring a good end to all that troubles us. Choosing to rejoice, recounting our blessings in the midst of trials, affirms trust in God.

This response requires faith that God lovingly superintends our challenges. Viewing our sufferings as random or obsessing over someone else’s bad choices that caused our sufferings robs us of happiness. A weak, small, or faulty view of God always poisons the well of our contentment.

Being Spirit controlled is inseparable from giving thanks in everything. The more we grow in our understanding of God’s attributes, the happier we become.

.The deeper our knowledge of God’s character, the deeper our reservoir of strength, perspective, and happiness in hard times. Who is this God we are to trust? What is He really like?

Scripture teaches that we have a God who loves us and is sovereign over the universe, including all evil. We can’t be happy, and remain happy, without believing in the sovereignty of a loving God. The beauty of the Christian worldview is that while we’re encouraged to take initiative and control what’s within our power, we also know that the enormous part of life we can’t control is under God’s governance.

Scripture tells us, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleasesPsalm 115:3. It assures us, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.Proverbs 16:9. And since God is eternally wise and good and happy, and we’re not, we’re far better off with Him, not us, in control.

Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17.

In light of that eternal glory being achieved for us by our momentary troubles, Paul offers the following words of eternal perspective: “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Corinthians 4:1

This article is excerpted from Randy Alcorn’s book Does God Want Us to Be Happy?

Addendum: When times are difficult, hard, and bring sorrow, then remember, chose to bring to mind, the wonderful deliverance Jesus has achieved for you. Then put on the garment of praise.  The spirit of heaviness will depart – no need to let things depress us and get us down. He will never leave us nor forsake us, He will bring good out of every situation for us. God is good. Sometimes it takes effort to start to praise God – especially if we come from a dark place, a place of difficulty or even a place of tragedy. Yet be transformed by the renewing of your mind, and sing and shout your praises to God, breakthrough into the inexpressible joy of the Lord – it is the place of strength for life.