PROPHESIED “END TIMES” EVENTS ESCALATING

Just a few days ago I posted AUSTRALIA IS FAST BECOMING A GODLESS NATION: A NATION UNDER GOD’S JUDGEMENT. That post was prompted by the re-election of Daniel Andrews to a fourth term as Premier of our second-largest State in terms of population, Victoria. If you have not read this post take a look to see how radically he has changed the State. Christians are now under intense persecution.

This morning I read that in the Northern Territory, parliament has passed major amendments to the anti-discrimination laws that remove protections from Christian schools. Hence, they now face an uncertain future after Parliament removed an exemption allowing faith-based schools to refuse to hire staff who do not agree with their values and ethos. Schools can no longer legally discriminate against staff and students if they disagree with their religious beliefs, sexuality, and gender identity. The anti-discrimination laws go further than those in any other Australian jurisdiction. The Bishop of Darwin Charles Gauci has previously threatened to close down all 18 Catholic schools in the Top End if the amendments were passed. The Christian Schools Association has also voiced concerns that it is an existential threat to faith-based schools. It’s NT chief executive Phoebe Van Bentum told the ABC the reforms would “completely remove the protections for religious schools to employ people of the same belief”.

Chief Minister Natasha Fyles defended the legislation saying: “We are putting equality into our workplaces and we are ensuring that those vulnerable Territorians when they are vilified, that they have protection.”  The Opposition Country Liberal Party said the bill “erodes freedom of speech and freedom of religion”. It has vowed to overturn the legislation if elected in 2024. The Australian Christian Lobby’s National Director for Politics Wendy Francis observes: “The NT Government has broken ranks with the Federal Labor Government, revealing a biased and hostile attitude against people of faith.” “The NT Bill forces religious schools to hire staff who do not adhere to the school’s beliefs. This is in direct opposition to Attorney General Mark Dreyfus’s public statement this month that religious schools can continue to build a community of faith by giving preference, in good faith, to persons of the same religion as the educational institution in the selection of staff.“

“The Bill also prohibits any act that “is reasonably likely … to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people”, meaning a person could find themselves in trouble for merely expressing their opinion in an email or social media post if it offends someone.” “Territorians will not forget this overreach by the Labor Government at the next election or the welcome commitment by the NT Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro to repeal the discriminatory elements of this bill”. Ms. Francis called on the Albanese government to “immediately deliver a Religious Discrimination Bill to protect every Australian’s right to freedom of association, religion and speech.”

Source: Vision Christian Media

How wonderful it is to have Biblical prophecy because Christians know what comes after the persecution and tribulation of these days. Many Scriptures tell us that celestial signs precede Jesus’ return first to take His elect to heaven before He pours out His wrath on an unrepentant world.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.Matthew 24:29-31

PROPHESIED “END TIMES” PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS ESCALATES

In Australia, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said biblical views on abortion and sexuality are, “appalling, intolerant, hatred, bigotry, and just wrong.”

Daniel Andrews, the Roman Catholic Premier of Victoria, has not only defied the God of the Bible, turned a deaf ear to the wider Christian population, but has specifically rejected the teachings of his own Church.

How quickly what we saw as foundational human rights such as freedom of speech, religion, and association are clearly eroding under the Andrews government, and other governments nationwide.

We should not be surprised as Jesus warned us that persecution/tribulation will escalate in the last days and that we will be hated by all nations for standing up for Jesus and His values.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.Matthew 24:9-14

While this life is fraught with many trials and tribulations, the sufferings we experience are to be counted as incomparable with the glories to come. This anticipation for glory sustains us and brings forth one major reason why we persevere: we hope in the age to come rather than in this broken and fallen age.

Paul says, that in the same way, this hope for glorification sustains us, the Spirit sustains us, for He knows precisely how to intercede on our behalf before the Father.

Where words and utterances fail us in our prayers, the Spirit transforms them into prayers that match the will of God. The Spirit’s work of intercession on our behalf is part and parcel of our endurance; we endure not only for the hope of the age to come but specifically because part of the Spirit’s work is to bring about endurance in us.

Human suffering has a purpose that culminates in glory. To make that even clearer: the purpose of our trials and sufferings is to bring us to the final redemption, where we see God face to face, free from the pain, devastation, and destruction caused by the curse of sin, our adversary Satan, and death itself.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION IN INDIA

Authorities in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh arrested seven pastors at a prayer meeting under the state’s “anti-conversion” law, which Christians have accused Hindu nationalists of using as a tool to persecute them.

The pastors were arrested during a prayer meeting they were holding in Mau district last Sunday, UCA News reported, adding that the pastors have been charged with “illegal assembly.”

The U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern said this past weekend that the Christians remained in jail.

“We will move bail applications and are hopeful that they will be out of jail soon,” the pastors’ lawyer, Ashish Kumar, was quoted as saying.

The police initially also detained 50 worshipers but released them the same day. Two Catholic nuns who were at a bus stop near the prayer house were also held at the police station for several hours until the evening, said UCA News.

“Police wanted to book the sisters along with the pastors but let them go after the pastors and the faithful said they were not part of the prayer group,” Father Anand Mathew, a member of the Indian Missionary Society, was quoted as saying.

india church, delhi
An Indian man walks outside a deserted Baptist church, as India remains under an unprecedented extended lockdown due to COVID-19 on May 5, 2020, in Delhi, India.

Uttar Pradesh is one of the several Indian states that have “anti-conversion” laws, which presume that Christians “force” or give financial benefits to Hindus to convert them to Christianity.

The law states that no one is allowed to use the “threat” of “divine displeasure,” meaning Christians cannot talk about Heaven or Hell, as that would be seen as “forcing” someone to convert. And if snacks or meals are served to Hindus after an evangelistic meeting, that could be seen as an “inducement.”

The ICC previously noted that India’s population data proves that the conspiracy of mass conversions to Christianity is a false claim. “In 1951, the first census after independence, Christians made up only 2.3% of India’s overall population. According to the 2011 census, the most recent census data available, Christians still only make up 2.3% of the population.” This is a sad state of affairs and Christians need to pray for India and God’s plan to liberate this nations from Satan’s clutches.

India ranks as the 10th worst country globally when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2021 World Watch List. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has urged the U.S. State Department to label India as a “country of particular concern” for engaging in or tolerating severe religious freedom violations.

Open Doors USA warns that since the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party took power in 2014, persecution against Christians and other religious minorities has increased. The group reports that “Hindu radicals often attack Christians with little to no consequences.”

“Hindu extremists believe that all Indians should be Hindus and that the country should be rid of Christianity and Islam,” an Open Doors fact sheet on India explains. “They use extensive violence to achieve this goal, particularly targeting Christians from a Hindu background. Christians are accused of following a ‘foreign faith’ and blamed for bad luck in their communities.”

This is further evidence we are in the prophesied last days before Jesus returns first to rapture the Saints and then to return with the Saints to set up His Millennium Kingdom. Time is short and the task is daunting but we know God is in control. Each of us just needs to allow the Holy Spirit to direct our steps so we complete the good works He has assigned for each of us.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10

work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.Philippians 2:12-13

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,Titus 2:11-13

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AFRICA NEW JIHADIST BATTLEGROUND

ISIS Affiliates Turning Africa into New Jihadist Battleground.

Steve Killelea tracks terror around the globe for the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace. He tells CBN News that the center of gravity for ISIS and other Islamic terror organizations is clearly moving.

“Sub-Saharan Africa now has a higher number of people killed through terrorism than in the Middle East and North Africa,” Killelea, told CBN News from his office in Sydney, Australia.

“When we look at the ten countries with the largest increases in deaths from terrorism, seven of those countries are in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Killelea. Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Niger, Cameroon, and Ethiopia are among those witnessing a spike in attacks this year.

The State Department’s head for counter-terrorism, Ambassador Nathan Sales, telling reporters during a digital press conference what it is that drives this wave of terror, whether in Nigeria or Mozambique.

“What we are seeing today is a committed ISIS affiliate that embraces the ISIS ideology, that embraces the ISIS tactics and procedures, that embraces the ISIS vision of caliphate with territorial control,” noted Ambassador Sales.

“Nigeria is where the most lethal and most active external Islamic State province is located,” Jacob Zenn, Africa analyst for Jamestown Foundation, told CBN News. I reported on it in my recent post, Last Days Tribulation where I suggest the fact Muslims are expecting their Messiah to burst on the world scene shortly could be linked to the prophesied “end times” Biblical Antichrist.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, now Africa’s Most Wanted man, wants to turn Nigeria Islamic, and force Christians, half its population, to either leave, convert to Islam or die.

“This is the most important country in Africa, the 10th largest oil reserves in the world, {and} the largest economy on the continent,” said Johnnie Moore, co-author of the new book, The Next Jihad. Moore told CBN News that what’s happening in Nigeria is nothing short of Christian genocide. “It’s the exact same playbook that ISIS used against Christians and Yazidis in Iraq. In fact, you might say that Boko Haram was the test case even before ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Boko Haram was already killing more people, Christians in fact than ISIS did at their height in Iraq and Syria.”

Twenty five active Islamist groups now operate on the continent. That’s up from just five to ten years ago.

This story was first published on CBNNews.com

RESPONSE TO PROPHESIED LAST DAYS PERSECUTION

Juan Riesco and his brother, Jose, were heirs to a flourishing family business — Nini’s Deli — in downtown Chicago. But it all came crashing down in early June, when the beloved eatery, owned by their foreign-born parents, found itself in the crosshairs of the increasingly progressive Black Lives Matter movement.

Having since left Chicago in the wake of the restaurant’s forced, permanent closure, Riesco told Faithwire he and his brother are focusing on ministry.

If they’re gonna protest,” he said, “we’re gonna preach.

Riesco, whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba and Mexico, was once lauded by numerous publications as an up-and-coming entrepreneur with a knack for viral branding. He had enjoyed so much success with the deli and his personal business, Chicago Native, that brands like Nike and Adidas launched collaborations with him. But when Riesco refused to wholly endorse the official Black Lives Matter movement, he and his family were made villains on blogs and news outlets, many of which labeled them as “racist” and “homophobic.”

Photo of Nini's Deli - Chicago, IL, United States. Nini's!
NINI’S DELI BEFORE CLOSURE
Photo of Nini's Deli - Chicago, IL, United States. If there's a line.. must be good and worth waiting for
NINI’S DELI BEFORE CLOSURE WITH FIVE STAR RATING ON YELP
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NINI’S DELI AFTER CLOSURE
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Rather than kowtow to the demands of a movement with which they harbor many disagreements, the Riescos stood firmly by their convictions. In early June, after being asked if they “believe Black Lives Matter,” Riesco published an official statement on the deli’s since-shuttered Instagram account. In it, he wrote he and his family believe “all people were created equal in the image of God.” The lengthy statement continued, “We believe that all black lives matter and we know that only God can bring about justice that is deserved.”

Riesco told Faithwire that, because of the success of Nini’s Deli, which had a five star rating on Yelp, locals were eager to see the restaurant throw its weight behind the Black Lives Matter campaign. Rather than totally embrace the movement, though, Riesco said it was important to use his platform to share his faith.

“I had felt in my spirit that I needed to, yes, take a stand [against] injustice, but also take a stand, most importantly, for Christ,” Riesco explained. “Because my business was so successful, by God’s grace, we had a lot of eyes waiting on us to make a statement about what was happening.”

“We used that platform — all those eyes on us, waiting to make a statement — to say, ‘We believe black lives matter, but we believe that because they’re made in the image of God,” he added.

However, by distancing themselves from the overarching Black Lives Matter movement, as other Christians have done, the Riescos drew the ire of many progressive protesters. After posting a statement to the restaurant’s Instagram handle on June 3, Riesco said “all hell essentially broke loose.

The Christian entrepreneur recalled receiving an onslaught of threats and promises to protest his family’s restaurant as a result of his statement on racial injustice. On Friday, June 5, just two days after the initial post to Instagram, Nini’s Deli shut down permanently as liberal protesters descended on the once-popular eatery.

Tensions only rose when Riesco’s brother Jose began brashly preaching during the raucous protest outside the deli, calling out many of the protesters for their “wicked agenda.” With his at times confrontational style, he talked about how his brother once identified as gay but “Jesus fixed him, straightened him

He also spoke out against the Black Lives Matter campaign’s affiliations with Planned Parenthood, the LGBT movement, and calls to defund the police.

Ultimately, the social pressure proved to be too much: the constant protests, the endless stream of social media posts slandering the restaurant, and the cancelled partnerships with big-name brands resulted in Nini’s Deli having to permanently closed its doors after a decade of business.

The pain of what they’ve lost remains fresh. Through tears, Riesco said he and his family “poured our hearts into loving our community, despite gender, despite sex, despite whatever you want to identify as.”

Nevertheless, even though the family company is gone, the Riesco brothers — both of whom became Christians at the deli — said they are “blessed.”

I was just sharing with our team yesterday that my circumstances have changed, but my identity in whom I trust hasn’t,” Riesco said, adding he is still in “a position of gratitude toward our God.”

Moving forward, Juan and Jose Riesco plan to dedicate themselves to ministry.

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS ESCALATES IN LAST DAYS

Over 4,000 people were killed in Islamic extremist attacks in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali in 2019, according to the U.N.’s envoy for West Africa and the Sahel Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

Since 2016, extremist groups including the Islamic State West Africa Province and Ansaroul Islam have carried out attacks throughout the Sahel region of West Africa. But attacks increased fivefold in 2019 — deaths rose from 80 in 2016 to 1,800 in 2019.

A Nigerian organisation claims that more than 350 Christians have been killed across the West African country since the start of 2020 and estimates that about 11,500 Christians have been killed since 2015.  “Nigeria has become a killing field of defenceless Christians,” the non-governmental organisation, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Intersociety, said in a new special report.”

IS and al-Qaeda's JNIM are both active in the Sahel region where they compete for power
IS and al-Qaeda’s JNIM are both active in the Sahel region where they compete for power

Jihadist violence has now spread from the country’s north to the western Boucle du Mouhoun region where rice and maize are produced and transported to other areas, resulting in a food shortages and might cut off food for millions more in the region, according to the Associated Press.

It is feared that the COVID-19 pandemic might exacerbate the situation at a time when 2 million people in the country are already facing food insecurity.

“If production goes down in this area and if movement restrictions due to the coronavirus drive up food prices in the markets, it could push numbers of severely vulnerable people to double or triple,” Julia Wanjiru, communications coordinator for the Sahel and West Africa Club, an intergovernmental economic group, was quoted as saying.

According to the U.N., the number of people displaced in Burkina Faso rose 1,200 percent in 2019. There are about 600,000 internally displaced people in the country as it is becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing humanitarian crises. 

Authorities in the Borno state of Nigeria said Wednesday that at least 81 people were killed in an attack on a nomadic community believed to have been carried out by militants aligned with the Islamic extremist groups Boko Haram or Islamic State West Africa Province. 

Signs of the End of the Age

Jesus said, “And when you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.” Luke 13:7-8

LAST DAYS PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IS ESCALATING

GOD”S WORD TELLS US CHRISTIANS WILL BE PERSECUTED IN THE LAST DAYS

If you are being used by God to bring many to Christ then you can expect to be the focus of Satan’s minions to stop you and discredit your efforts.

What has happened to Torben Sondergaad of The Last Reformation movement is stark evidence of the extent of the persecution coming our way. You need to watch this video. The following short summary by Torben should get your attention.

I have waited many months to share this with you. This is somehow the hardest and most emotional video I have ever done. But it is also a big relief to finally get this out. Yes, we are seeking Asylum in America, and I would like to share some of the crazy things that have happened in the last six months. We have experienced a crazy and organised persecution from many sides – a persecution that ended up with us leaving Denmark with 8 suitcases, in order to not go to jail, or lose our kids. Later, even going through a spiritual battle like never before, ending up in a hospital, thinking I was going to die. But it has also been a time with fasting and a closeness to Christ that I have never experienced before… How God has come to us, again and again, when we couldn’t take any more… How a man I didn’t know gave me a lot of money in an airport, and how we saw very strong miracles!