ENEMIES OF CHRISTIANITY DECLARING NEW WAR ON RELIGION

I came across this article written last year by a non Christian, Andrew Bolt who can see more clearly than Christian leaders the coming persecution.

CHRISTIANS, prepare for persecution. Open your eyes and choose stronger leaders for the dark days.

I am not a Christian, but I am amazed that your bishops and ministers are not warning you of what is already breaking over your heads.

How mad that Queensland’s Education Department can now warn schools against letting students praise Jesus in the playground. The department has put out reports telling state schools “to take appropriate action if aware that students participating in (religious instruction) are evangelising to students who do not participate”.

It gives examples of what students must not say in the playground — such as “knowing about Jesus is a very important thing”, or “God, please help us to use our knowledge to help others”. Nor may students hand out Christmas cards or decorations.

What do these bureaucrats fear from children inspired by Christ?

Is it that stuff about loving your neighbour? Or that instruction to respect the dignity of every human life that makes Christians the enemy of totalitarians?

But this ban on playground talk of Jesus is only the most shocking salvo of the new war on Christians.

Pastor Campbell Markham is facing an anti-discrimination complaint arising from blog posts he wrote relating to the marriage debate.

Last week, two Christian preachers were summoned to Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Tribunal for preaching their faith’s stand on traditional marriage and homosexuality.

Hobart pastor, Campbell Mark­ham and street preacher David Gee, from Hobart’s Cornerstone Church, were denounced by an atheist offended by, among other things, Markham quoting a verse from the Bible.

We’ve seen this before. Hobart’s Catholic Archbishop, Julian Porteous, was two years ago ordered by this tribunal to tell by what right he spoke against same-sex marriage.

How cowed the churches have been before this looming persecution, now picking off vocal Christians, one by one.

Just this year, Sydney University’s Student Union threatened to deregister the university’s Evangelical Union unless it stopped insisting members declare their faith in Christ.

Meanwhile, same-sex marriage extremists bullied Coopers Brewery into taking down a video of a Christian MP Andrew Hastie debating same-sex marriage, and lobbied IBM, PwC and Sydney University to punish staff belonging to a Christian group opposed to gay marriage.

Last week, 70 pro-Safe Schools activists picketed a church to abuse people at an Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) meeting as “bigots”.

A sign explaining why Coopers Beer is not being served at a hotel earlier this year.

Last year, an ACL meeting was cancelled after the hotel venue was bombarded with threats.

The state-funded SBS joined in by banning an ad by Christians defending traditional marriage, yet ran one for an Ashley Madison dating service for adulterers.

The Greens are the political wing of this attack on Christianity, and are demanding churches lose their legal freedom to hire only people who live by their faith.

The media, too, often cheer this war, using as their excuse the sexual abuse of children by some priests and ministers decades ago. Rarely do they admit the average gap between the alleged offences by Catholic priests and the lodging of complaints is 33 years. That suggests the churches did crack down on paedophiles decades ago.

But this vilification has had its effect. The Census shows the proportion of Australians calling themselves Christian has dropped from 74 per cent in 1991 to 52 per cent now.

No wonder, when the weaker churches cower before the persecution.

Last week, some even licked the boots of the anti-Christian ABC when it launched yet another attack, smearing churches as the haven of wife-beaters.

Christians are more inclined to volunteer, donate and keep families together, surveys show.

This ABC series led off with a ludicrously false claim: “The men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians who attend church sporadically.”

A week after I proved this untrue, the ABC edited its reports to replace that false claim with another: “Overall, the international studies indicate that intimate partner violence is just as serious a problem in Christian communities, as it is in the general community.”

Wrong again. Professor Bradford Wilcox, author of the American study the ABC cited as proof, complained “the (ABC’s) story … does not square with the evidence that church ­going couples, in America at least, appear to be less likely to suffer domestic violence”.

In fact, Christianity produce better citizens in many ways. Surveys show Christians are more inclined to volunteer, donate and keep families together. So what do the enemies of Christianity wish to achieve by smearing, silencing and destroying this civilising faith? What would they replace it with? With the atheism that preaches every man for himself? With Islam? Or with the green faith that has not inspired a single hospital, hospice, school, or even soup kitchen? Yet the persecution is starting. Are the churches ready?

Since this article was written Australia now has legislated same sex marriage and as a result the transgender activists have escalated their agenda beyond my belief. People these are “last days” and we have moved into “fast forward”.

THE REMNANT CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS

There is always a true remnant left during times of apostasy and persecution.  It is the surviving vestige of the body of Christ that remains true to biblical principles in spite of cultural opposition. Elijah the prophet found out that God always preserved a remnant, by His grace, that held true to the faith.  1 Kings 19:18 “Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” and Romans 11:5 “Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

Characteristics of the “remnant church”:

1. More entrenched in the word of God as the world opposes them.

The more resistance they face, the remnant church will become more resolute in their faith. Instead of compromising the message of the Word, they may change their method of presenting the gospel but will never consider watering down biblical ethics, values and the message of the cross of Jesus Christ.

2. Vilified in society.

The remnant church was merely unpopular but has now reached the point of being hated. It is very apparent that Christian values are constantly mocked, such as by shows like The View, The Late Show With Steven ColbertReal Time With Bill Maher and the like.

3. Preach counter-cultural biblical messages.

Remnant pastors will continue to preach the gospel of Christ, which always has vast implications related to human sexuality, the sanctity of human life, the definition of marriage and family and such, albeit they apply the gospel to cultural issues in a wiser, more winsome way. The remnant church will remain faithful in preaching the gospel in spite of the backlash they will receive from church attendees and the public.

4. Produce committed Christians and make disciples.

Liberal, progressive, compromising churches are shrinking, while conservative evangelical churches are still growing in numbers but the big growth is happening in “house churches” that are committed to growing disciples. It takes great sacrifice to believe in Jesus in the midst of hostile environments (consider the Christians still living under persecution in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Northern Nigeria, Sudan and similar regions.) Compromising churches produce wimpy believers and the remnant church produces committed disciples.

5. Experience the presence and power of God.

The first century church was a hated minority, yet great power and the presence of God accompanied its ministry! (Acts 3-5.) The more difficult it is to confess the truth of the gospel, the more God shows off His glory! Where sin abounds, grace does more abound (Rom. 5:20).

 

6. Excluded from mainstream secular evangelical churches and denominations.

Presently, it is still not as easy for the average person to discern between remnant and compromising churches. As the heat gets turned up more and more, compromising pastors and churches will choose to accommodate culture and compromise Scripture, thus making a clearer distinction between the remnant and mainstream church.

7. The remnant church will impact the world for Jesus Christ.

God allows difficult circumstances to weed out the un-committed followers from the committed followers (Gideon’s army of 300 in Judges 7.)

As it was during the days of Elijah, the early church period, and the time of the confessing remnant church in Nazi Germany, only the remnant has what it takes to bring about change! Only the remnant church has the conviction, the sacrifice, the devotion, the endurance, the message and the power to change the world. The compromising church will enjoy their temporary popularity in the present time, but those who are wise and turn many people unto righteousness will shine as the stars forever and ever (Dan. 12:3).

8. The remnant church will endure, whilst the compromising church will experience the wrath of God.

In Malachi 3:16-18 God promises that He has written a book of remembrance for those who speak of Him and fear His Name. The reward for them (the remnant) is that He will spare them as a man spares his son. The implications of this are vast. Whilst the children of the compromising church will probably become agnostic, the children of the remnant will carry the torch of Christ to the next generation, which will increase in strength and do greater works (John 14:12). The remnant church goes from strength to strength and faith to faith (Rom. 1:17). Meanwhile, the compromising church goes from strength to weakness and from faith to apostasy and eventually into oblivion.

I pray God will help us remain faithful to the end and participate in the remnant church!

adapted from article by Joseph Mattera in Ministry To-day – Characteristics of the Modern-Day remnant Church.

ENGAGING THE TRANSGENDER DEBATE WITH TRUTH AND GRACE

Christians in Western culture today have to deal with subjects that even 20 years ago would have been almost unthinkable to most. And the issues of gender and sexuality are among the toughest that confront Christians today—recently, the Nashville statement was released as one attempt to define the Christian view of sex and gender.

The important question is: how do we maintain a biblical worldview when simply believing that there are two biological sexes, readily identifiable in humans and determined by genetics, is now considered by many to be hate speech?

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Andrew T. Walker’s book God and the Transgender Debate seeks to help Christians walk through some of the complicated issues surrounding the discussion of transgender individuals.

One of the most helpful aspects of Walker’s book is that before he addresses the facts, he addresses the attitude with which we as Christians should come to the debate. He points to the compassion that Jesus showed to hurting people, even when he was correcting their unbiblical practices and ideas:

Jesus loved people. That’s important for me to remember as I write a book with the word “debate” in its title. And it’s good for you to remember as you read a book with the word “transgender” in its title. Because at its heart, this debate isn’t about a debate. It’s about people: precious people made in the image of God who are hurting, who are confused, who are angry, who are scared, who may have been told by their family that they are unwelcome. It’s about some people who are delighted with how culture has shifted when it comes to gender identity, and other people who are concerned about how culture has shifted (p. 14).

However, the grace Walker calls for in responding to transgender individuals does not exclude the truth taught in Scripture regarding what it means to be a man or a woman.

How we got here

To properly respond to the transgender issue, we have to understand how culture got to the place where we can be confused about such foundational truths regarding human identity. He points to various elements including the loss of Christianity’s influence in key areas of the culture and the rise of radical individualism.

The Christian’s foundation

In a context where fundamental definitions of human identity seem up for grabs, it’s necessary to return to the foundations of where the Christian worldview comes from. Walker identifies God, the Creator, as the authority. Furthermore, the Gospel shows that God is good and wants what is best for us. “A crucified Creator is a God who has the authority to tell us what to do, who has the wisdom to know what is best for us, and who has proved that he can be trusted to tell us what is best for us” (p. 44).

Furthermore, God has designed mankind as male and female. “Maleness isn’t only anatomy, but anatomy shows that there is maleness. And femaleness isn’t only anatomy, but anatomy shows that there is femaleness. Men and women are more than just their anatomy, but they are not less” (p. 54). And because this is such a foundational designed aspect of humanity, rebelling against this part of our identity “can never result in happiness, flourishing, and joy, whatever it promises” (p. 55).

However, this does not mean that the church should fall into the trap of enforcing stereotypical expressions of maleness and femaleness. Walker cites examples such as a boy preferring to play with dolls or a girl who prefers to watch football as examples where someone may mistakenly try to enforce stereotypes of what is considered acceptable for boys or girls, even though there is nothing inherently sinful about a boy playing with a doll or a girl watching football (p. 55).

Part of the reality of living in a sinful world is that we are all marred by sin, but the Gospel offers hope for restoration, and Walker beautifully expresses this truth.

Engaging the culture like Christ did

Walker helpfully gives specific advice about how to engage the issue without neglecting either truth or love, including how the church might respond to the conversion of transgender people and advice for talking with children about transgenderism, including children who feel like they might be transgender. One chapter is devoted to answer 12 ‘tough questions’ people have about practical issues related to the transgender debate.

As Christians, we are called to be prepared to engage the culture with biblical truth and the love of Christ. If we hope to share the Gospel with people who are confused regarding gender, we need to be educated about the biblical issues involved. And Walker’s book gives a good introduction to how Christians can think about this issue and engage the culture.

SATAN WILL DO HIS UTMOST TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE

President Donald Trump has declared that the United States of America will be a great nation provided its citizens remain open to the grace of God.

Speaking Thursday at the 66th annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., President Trump spoke about the link between faith in God and national greatness.

As long as we open our eyes to God’s grace and open our hearts to God’s love, then America will forever be the land of the free, the home of the brave, and a light to all nations,” said Trump.

“When Americans are able to live by their convictions to speak openly of their faith and to teach their children what is right, our families thrive, our communities flourish, and our nation can achieve anything at all.”

Trump also touted the religious heritage of the United States, pointing to such things as the national motto “In God We Trust” on the money and “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, adding that “throughout our history, we see the story of God’s providence.”

“Our rights are not given to us by man, our rights come from our creator. No matter what, no earthly force can take those rights away,” stated Trump.

“That is why the words ‘Praise be to God’ are etched atop the Washington monument and those same words are etched into the hearts of our people. So today, we praise God for how truly blessed we are to be American.”

Trump’s remarks were part of the annual National Prayer Breakfast, a major DC-area event that features several members of Congress, world leaders, religious leaders, and other honoured guests.

The event is derived from the weekly prayer breakfast meeting held by members of the House of Representatives during the congressional sessions.

Republican Congressman Randy Hultgren of Illinois and Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist of Florida co-chaired the 2018 National Prayer Breakfast. Rep. Hultgren explained to the attendees how the weekly meetings work.

“We eat, we sing, we share praises and prayer needs. Then one of our members shares their stories and we pray,” explained Hultgren as part of opening remarks.

“We walk into that room as Republicans and Democrats, people from different generations, regions, and backgrounds. We do come in with our differences, with our strongly held views, but we always walk out with a little more understanding, more together, and more unified.”

During the introduction, Rep. Crist spoke about a wrist band that he got from a doctor that had the words of the Golden Rule, in which Jesus said “do unto others as you would have done unto you.”

“I wear it every day. I do so to remind myself that even in this noisy, conflicted, and sometimes acrimonious world of politics, that we want to treat everybody, everybody the way that we would like to be treated,” said Crist.

“I hope you all will take this sentiment with you today when you leave, remembering how Jesus wanted all of us to live, fairly and compassionately.”

 

SCHOOLS ARE ‘PROGRAMMING’ CHILDREN, IMPOSING TRANSGENDER IDEOLOGY

LAST DAYS GENERATION WILL CALL EVIL GOOD AND GOOD EVIL

A former intelligence professional (‘programming’ expert), who is a historian of the Soviet Union, is warning that schools in America are starting to embrace a propaganda operation designed to squash thought and demand allegiance to political correctness and gender ideology.

How Schools Are 'Programming' Children, Imposing Transgender Ideology: Propaganda Expert

Speaking before attendees gathered at the Family Research Council office in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Stella Morabito, senior contributor to The Federalist, unpacked both the content and processes of a group called CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (SEL).

“Social and emotional learning,” she explained, is becoming all the rage in the public education policy realm and if left unchecked it will result in a monolithic, nationalised mandate demanding conformity to the politically correct dogma of the day. In other words, it is a massive state-sponsored propaganda operation intended to isolate and control people, including kids, about how to feel and relate to people.

During her presentation, Morabito showed video footage of CASEL advocates and experts opining about why this kind of education is needed. They say it is because it is the only way children will acquire “life skills” and children, who are bound to become “self-directed,” are “crying out” for this, noting that data show that approximately 40 percent are “chronically disengaged” in school. CASEL’s  curriculum is being implemented in certain places in the U.S, especially in urban areas.

“Both the content and process of CASEL are statist in nature … think of it as Groupthink 10.0: We’re the government and we’re here to help. The net effect is to build a collective mindset,” Morabito explained.

The CASEL video also explains how educators “need the whole child,” and the academic content in any subject is now a “commodity” and is less important than SEL instruction since kids can access the internet for such knowledge. CASEL aims to “mobilise” this curriculum — where the dominant emphasis is kids being taught to be self-aware, how to regulate their emotions, build relationship skills, and demonstrate responsible decision-making in their schools and communities — to get it into every school in the nation.

One of the board members of CASEL is Linda Darling-Hammond, who was domestic terrorist Bill Ayers’ choice to be President Obama’s Secretary of Education. Morabito mentioned that CASEL has several partners whose pet agendas include everything from  social and economic globalism to transgenderism. Much of this radicalism comes out of Chicago, she noted.

She went on to say that she believes there are some decent people who have fallen into the trap of utopian thinking, which by nature is always collectivist. Utopian thinking disregards the individual to build a predictable, mechanical world that demands mass control over everyone’s lives and relationships, essentially programming them down to what they can and cannot say.

Morabito took a brief detour to explain that the takeover of relationships begins with undermining the family, specifically marriage, and the groundwork for this has been laid for some time. She referenced the work of gender legal theorist Martha Fineman who argued that state recognition of the institution of marriage should be abolished. Fineman observed that once that happened “a lot more regulation (protection)” would occur once interactions between individuals within families were removed from behind the veil of privacy that now shields them. Those behaviours would then be “judged by standards established to regulate interactions among all members of society.”

But this collectivising of relationships where conformity to the regulations of the smallest minutiae is insisted upon actually diminishes relationships, Morabito argued. And a prime example of this is the growing presence of gender ideology and pronoun protocols.

Forcing people to use words and pronouns that do not correspond to their biological sex but of their choosing “destabilizes thought because it totally undermines the entire structure of our language,” her accompanying powerpoint presentation read. One language is overhauled, thoughtfulness and conversation is replaced with “conditioned emotional reflexes that creates a mob mentality not allowing for differences of thought.”

Most partners of CASEL reportedly promote regulating speech in such a way.

Power elites have always utilized propaganda through psychological manipulation to coerce the masses to bend to an agenda, and over time false premises, like the notion that “sex is assigned at birth,” slowly make their way into law, Morabito explained.

During Q&A, someone in the audience asked, half-jokingly: “Isn’t using the proper pronoun [of someone’s choice] just good manners?”

Morabito, getting the joke, smiled and replied, positing: “Well, my preferred pronouns are ‘I’ and ‘me.’ So I want you to refer to me every time you talk about me, Stella … use ‘I’ and ‘me.'”

“It’s not a matter of manners when you’re talking about the destabilisation of the entire structure of our means of communicating with each other, which are basic rules of grammar and syntax that aren’t supposed to be an infinite list — which is really what it is growing to be.”

 

SAFEST PLACE TO BE IN THESE LAST DAYS

Love this presentation by Jonathan Cahn. He will challenge you as he did me on how we must live in these last days. Be an overcomer: “Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world”. “Arise and shine for your light has come.” It is time for the church to be like it was in the Book of Acts.

Hear the amazing testimony of how God organised the publishing of Jonathan’s best seller – The Harbinger.

CAN WE KNOW THE DAY OF JESUS’ RETURN?

Joel Richardson discusses Jesus’ warning in the Olivet Discourse not to set dates for His return. When Jesus’ said, “No man knows the hour or day” was He actually using a well known Jewish idiom, or does this phrase simply mean what it appears to be saying? Correctly answering this question is critical for serious disciples of Jesus in these last days.

Let’s be about the Lord’s business, don’t waste time on date setting. He has called us all to the Great Commission, to tell others the Good News of Jesus first and second coming. However, Jesus also called us to WATCH, to be alert to the signs He also gave in the Olivet Discourse of the “end times” so we will not be deceived and fall away when tribulation comes.

AMERICA STILL UNDER JUDGEMENT: WILL TRUMP PROVIDE A REPRIEVE?

GOD RELEASED THE BEST SELLING BOOK “THE HARBINGER” TO WARN AMERICA OF THE JUDGEMENT GOD WAS RELEASING ON THE NATION. HE ALWAYS PROVIDES A WARNING. HOW HAS AMERICA RESPONDED? LISTEN TO JONATHAN CAHN GIVE AN UPDATE.

WE ARE IN THE LAST DAYS, ARE YOU LIVING ACCORDINGLY?

THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF THREE ABOMINATIONS THAT BRING JUDGEMENT

  1. KILLING OF INFANTS – 60 million abortions since Roe versus Wade.
  2. SEXUAL IMMORALITY – same sex marriage in 2017.
  3. IDOLS & OTHER GODS – The Hindu goddess Kali (death)was featured in a show on the Empire State Building

Image result for new tower in New York lit up with rainbow coloursImage result for picture of kali on empire state building

RESTORE THE GLORY OF GOD

 What the church needs most right now are God-appointed leaders who are jealous for His glory.

Years after Samuel’s ministry was established, David rose to restore the glory of God back to its rightful place (see 2 Sam. 6).

Image result for picture of King David leading the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem

‘Now, O Lord God, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as You have said. So let Your name be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel.’ And let the house of Your servant David be established before You.’ 2 Samuel 7 :25

When God-appoints men to leadership, their first agenda is to make sure the glory of the Lord is restored and dwells where it belongs.

The ark did not belong in the Philistine camp, Abinadab’s house or Obed-Edom’s house (see 2 Sam. 6). It belonged in the temple of the Lord. David gathered all the choice men in Israel with an eagerness and a zeal to restore that which was lost.

I believe the highest priority on God’s heart for 2018 and beyond is the restoration of His glory in His church.

True leaders are always seeking to find grace in God’s sight, and like Moses, they will not lead without the presence of God.

The greatest concern of a godly leader is for the church to be separated from the world and wholly consecrated to God. A true leader’s longing and desire is to see the glory of God and have it restored among His people (Ex. 33:15-18).

It is not popularity, bigger buildings, increased attendance and more money that has priority in the hearts of godly leaders. It is the glory!

Men who live close to the heart of God know that it is only His glory that will change everything.

It’s time for the glory, the manifested presence of God, to return to our churches, our personal lives, our homes, our thinking, our conversation and our conduct. The glory of God will break us from going through the motions, and make everything new, fresh and alive again.

Here are some mindset changes we must make to recover the true glory of God:

  1. Don’t be impressed by the trappings of the production of the church and fooled by its big names and big conferences.

Elaborate buildings, large numbers of people and an increasing flow of cash have fooled much of the modern church. The church did not begin with that focus, and yet somehow, modern church principles have put the emphasis on attendance, buildings and cash.

Another meeting, another offering, another song, another convention, another banquet, another special speaker, another concert, another project, another program … and so ‘church life’ continues, but the changed life remains scarce. If the horse is healthy, the cart will be pulled. If the horse is unhealthy, making the cart more attractive is useless.” —Roy Farias

I’m afraid there is a large gap separating the culture of the modern Western church from the heart of God as revealed through Jesus in the Gospels and through the early church.

How do you convince a believer that what they have is a counterfeit if they’ve never witnessed the real? I’m afraid so much of it is New Age gobbledygook and psycho-babble tainted with false motives and a desire for filthy lucre at the root of our agenda. We have so irreverently cheapened and merchandised God’s sacred gifts and grieved the precious Spirit of God. Let’s stop this mess! This is not Kabod (the heavy glory). This is Ichabod—further evidence that the glory has departed.

Holy is the Lord.

  1. Restore the culture of the kingdom of God.

The sad truth is that in much of the church world, the culture of the kingdom of God has been lost to the culture of hype, greed, religious politics, a Hollywood Jesus and the professional business of the church to such an extent that many churches resemble a political machine or a corporation more than God’s culture.

God’s culture begins with the family, the home, making disciples through life relationships, reaching and caring for others with the gospel and the love of God.

The true disciples of Jesus are losing their taste for the shallow and superficial, and are separating themselves from those entangled in the appearance of spirituality. Many people have become disenchanted with the church because of hurt, misuse and abuse, religious politics and leadership caught up in the things of the flesh. People are looking for depth in the Word and in their relationships, a free-flowing move of the Spirit, personal empowerment and leadership that does not play political games.

Word received by John Fenn, World Wide House Church Network.

“See what I see, many small churches and ministries investing in relationships, walking in love, pouring their lives into each other; this is where the Spirit is moving today. There is a revolution taking place in my body, a revolution of relationships, discipleship and love. This will affect whole communities and economies.

See what I see, many churches all over the world in which people are accountable to one another, working through conflicts, walking in love and growing as my disciples. That is where my Spirit is moving today.

Many are running to and fro asking, ‘Where is the next move; what is the next season of the Spirit?’ And I say to you that it is under their very noses. They stumble at the supernatural work in their midst and refuse to humble themselves and be taught because they seek the sensational and that which appeals to the outward man. They fail to recognize the true move of God because it must be spiritually discerned. —John Fenn

  1. Return to the preaching and practice of the cross.

The cross-less gospel is the greatest lack in Western Christianity today and the reason for many of the church’s failures and the biggest reason why it is becoming increasingly difficult in many places of the world to tell the difference between a real Christian and non-Christian.  Listen to the following quote from a hero of the faith who knew God deeply and experienced His glory:

“The way into the glory is through the flesh being torn away from the world and separated unto God.” — Smith Wigglesworth

I believe God’s promises are true, and I am all for instilling hope in people, but sometimes the best thing the church can hear are the warnings, rebukes and roadblocks of what is actually hindering revival, the glory of God and His promises from coming to pass.

There is a new gospel and new so-called national prophets—really, wolves in sheep’s clothing. The false prophets Jesus warned would lead many astray in the last days. They speak peace to all those who have itching ears for something new and exotic and they cause them to trust in a lie, and subtly supplant within their hearts rebellion against the Lord (Jer. 28:15-16).

adapted from article by Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS INCREASING IN CHINA

An evangelical megachurch was destroyed by Chinese Communist authorities late last year in the country’s northern Shanxi province, sparking fears among Christians that the persecution they suffer will soon get worse.

China Aid said that Chinese military police detonated explosives inside Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen, destroying the $2.6 million house of worship, which was owned by the Christians who worshipped there.

A demolition crew broke apart the remaining pieces of the church after the explosion with diggers and jackhammers.

Lampstand’s head Pastor, Yang Rongli, had previously spent seven years in prison on charges of assembling a large crowd to disturb traffic order, and has been under police surveillance since his release in October 2016.

Describing the demolition, the pastor was quoted as saying that at first, police surrounded the church.

“Patrol wagons guarded the church. Workers smashed the church’s glass. At this point, excavators are digging into the church, but we are not allowed to enter or watch.”

“The village head and the police from the local police station warned all the believers against entering the church. Now, we really have no idea what is going to happen.”

The order to demolish the church reportedly came from China’s top officials, who control the military police.

“The repeated persecution of Golden Lampstand Church demonstrates that the Chinese government has no respect for religious freedom or human rights,” said ChinaAid President and founder Bob Fu.

“ChinaAid calls on the international community to openly condemn the bombing of this church building and urge the Chinese government to fairly compensate the Christians who paid for it and immediately cease these alarming demolitions of churches.”

The Guardian reports that a Catholic church in the neighboring province of Shaanxi was also demolished in a similar fashion last month, which is stoking fears among Christians that the widespread crackdown on churches continues in full force.

As many as 1,200 crosses have been removed from churches in Zhejiang province since 2015, with officials arguing that many of the demolitions have been down to building code violations.

A local pastor, who asked not to be named, said that he saw “more police than I could count” at the site, preventing worshippers from approaching.

“My heart was sad to see this demolition and now I worry about more churches being demolished, even my own,” he said. “This church was built in 2008, there’s no reason for them to destroy it now.”

The Associated Press noted that the evangelical megachurch had a congregation of 50,000, and had been targeted by police on a number of occasions. Officials reportedly hired thugs to smash the church and take its Bible during the crackdown in 2009, when Rongli was arrested.

Christians have protested against church demolitions, with a video captured in Shanxi in August showing a clash between Catholics and government representatives who were using bulldozers to destroy church property.

As mentioned in my last post, approximately 215 million Christians now experience high, very high, or extreme levels of persecution; that means 1 in 12 Christians live where Christianity is “illegal, forbidden, or punished,” according to Open Doors researchers.