THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS IS NOT A FRINGE BIBLICAL ISSUE

Dalton Thomas does a creditable job of unpacking Daniel 11. The exegesis is sound and will help us all understand the events that will lead up to the emergence of the Antichrist on the world stage. Sadly, the church which increasingly is departing from belief in the inerrancy of Scripture stays away from these important Scriptures. Unfortunately, we also have those people who are bound up in “end times” conspiracies and predictions that throws it all into confusion and disrepute. However, the Antichrist is part of God’s plan that will test the body of Christ in the “last days” so we need to know these important Scriptures.

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.Matthew 24:21-22

KENYA HOUSE CHURCHES MOVEMENT

The following email and pictures were received from Pastor Charles Otieno of Migori, Kenya. Charles is one of three House Church leaders that I have connected to in Kenya through this website http://www.livingeternal.net. I am pleased to say that I played a part in connecting them and now in supporting their ministries.

Recent email and photos from Pastor Charles Otieno of Migori, Kenya.

And to all our brothers and sisters who share with us the same faith, and are followers of living eternal now (livingeternal.net).

Greetings to you all in Jesus name!

I am pleased to inform you that we have concluded our three days meeting, for all our church group pastors, elders, and secretaries. All went away pleased they had come.

The meeting was held with the purpose of giving training to our church group pastors, elders, and church secretaries, to help equip them fully for the work of God and in carrying out the great commission. It was also held to give a clear road map for 2021, for our Kenya house church group movement (KHCG).

As you all know well, the church is people, not a place, and therefore we are one church, meeting in 8 houses in Kenya (Acts 2:41-46), no paid pastors and no church building.

We are a movement that is committed to preaching and teaching on the last day’s church, which will be like the church described in the book of Acts, and the end time signs of Jesus second coming, to reign and rule here on earth for a 1000yrs.

Appreciation: We want to give our appreciation to the founder of living eternal now, and our international team leader, pastor Ronald Edwards for the great work he has been doing, of writing and posting various teachings on the livingeternal.net website.

Kenya Church Home Group Pastors: Jacktone, Calvince, Jacob, Charles, Maurice, Julius and Alfred
Pastor Maurice ministering to home group church pastors and elders
Home Group leaders taking notes during the three day meetings.
Home church pastors and elders intent on listening to “end-times” teaching.

My next project for the Kenya House Churches is to equip each, Charles, Alfred, and Samuel to participate in Zoom Meetings with me and other parachurch organisations that can help them grow in the Lord and understand the times (last days) and the church model as described in the Book of Acts. Charles demonstrates in his previous email, that I posted on this website, that he does. In addition, they can start using the PowerPoint Sermons I provide on my other website http://www.powerpointsermons.net. Sermons to prepare the church for end times and Jesus’ second coming.

I would appreciate help with this (KHCG) project and you can help by using the donations link on the Home Page. If you would like more information please contact me on ron@bakb.com.au

The following picture demonstrates the impact Covid19 is having all over the world. Pastor Alfred’s wife and daughter were infected with the virus and sadly Alfred’s daughter, Angela died as a result. Pastor Maurice in the black suite on the right conducted the funeral service. Seated is Angela’s brother being consoled by Pastor Jacktone. Pastor Alfred’s wife can be just seen on the left in red dress with white stripes. Pastor Charles wife is next to her holding a red sheet with white stripes.

HOUSE CHURCHES IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Global Catalytic Ministries (Transforming Muslims Worldwide Through Jesus Christ) is on the frontlines in Iran leading an explosive movement of Christianity. As I write this email, GCM is leading a movement of house churches over 700 strong and growing all over the Middle East!   It is one of the Church Movements that is making a difference for the Kingdom of God and is worthy of your support.

Actor Jim Caviezel of The Passion of the Christ film has just released a new film called INFIDEL. It’s based on the true story of Christian persecution in Iran.

2% OF MILLENNIALS HOLD A BIBLICAL WORLD VIEW

Although 61% of American millennials consider themselves to be Christian, just 2% of them were found to hold a biblical worldview, according to a recent study released by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University.

A biblical worldview, as previously defined by Barna, includes believing that absolute moral truths exist, and that such truth is defined by the Bible, as well as firm belief in six specific religious views. Those views are that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life; God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He stills rules it today; salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned; Satan is real; a Christian has a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people; and the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.

Considering the American Worldview Inventory 2020 study found that only 6% of American adults, in general, hold a biblical worldview, the fact millennials (18- to 36-year-olds) were at 2% is not surprising. Moreover, it helps to explain the degree of lawlessness erupting across the country.

Even a rudimentary understanding of the foundations of the American republic reminds us that unless the United States maintains spiritual unity under the hand of God, it will not be able to sustain the freedoms that have made the nation unique and desirable. The heart and soul of the nation pursue other gods and beliefs to its detriment as a nation. 

The existing church has not been able to stop the decline that has been evident over the last decade, the war is over and an escalation of persecution of believers is a forgone conclusion. As could be expected, God is raising up His church as described in the Book of Acts. Holy Spirit led leaders such as Francis Chan understood the call of God in this regard. For the past nine years, his family has been in San Francisco, where they started “We Are Church,” which has grown to 25 pastors. No buildings or paid pastors.

Francis is now in Hong Kong reaching out to the unsaved in countries such as Myanmar (Burma) and is seeing God work miracles as he never saw in his church of 5000 in California.

Francis Chan, joined by others in his Crazy Love Ministries, pray on a summer vision trip in Hong Kong.
Francis Chan, joined by others in his Crazy Love Ministries, pray on a summer vision trip in Hong Kong. (Courtesy of Kevin Kim)

GOD USES CATASTROPHES FOR HIS PURPOSES

In Acts 8, a massive disruption upset the Christian world. Led by Saul of Tarsus, massive persecution drove Christians from their home base of Jerusalem. Up to that time the new Christian movement was centered in Jerusalem and was confined to Jews. By the end of the book of Acts the church was more Gentile than Jewish and the church at Jerusalem was a side note. What made the difference? During the disruption, one church used it as an opportunity to innovate, and innovation changes the world.

In Acts 11:19 we see the Jewish Christians scattered from Jerusalem, where they were only telling other Jews about Jesus. But in Antioch it was different. The Christians there spread the gospel and opened their doors to both Jews and Greeks (innovation #1, Acts 11:20-21). Not only was this church open to non-Jews, but they also sought out Jews with scandalous pasts, creating an opportunity for the same Saul of Tarsus to provide leadership now that he had become a follower of Jesus (innovation #2, Acts 11:25-26). When a famine struck Judea, the church at Antioch is the first church recorded in Scripture to voluntarily collect resources and intentionally send it off to assist another church (innovation #3, Acts 11:27-30).

The COVID-19 crisis is another massive disruption (not interruption). This is the moment for the church at Antioch to rise up, to blaze boldly into the hybrid digital world we all now live in and spread the gospel in new and powerful ways. As church thought leader Carey Nieuwhof accurately questioned, “are churches behaving like malls in the age of Amazon?” I believe that churches that treat the COVID-19 crisis like a minor interruption are like malls, like the church at Jerusalem. If your church is waiting for this crisis to pass so that things can go back to normal, you might be waiting awhile. There will be a new normal we will eventually settle into, but it won’t be the old normal. A worldwide pandemic disrupts the world in ways that will forever change us. I believe that churches that leverage the massive disruption of the COVID-19 crisis are innovating in the age of Amazon, like the church of Antioch.

The above is an abbreviated version of an article by Pastor Josh Daffern of the Centreville Baptist Church Virginia USA “This is the Moment for the Church of Antioch to Rise Up”

Check out the first sermon “The Mystery of Catastrophes” I have put up on my revised website http://www.powerpointsermons.net

First slide of sixty three slides

MORE WISDOM FROM FRANCIS CHAN ON THE FUTURE CHURCH

Francis Chan, the Cornerstone Church founder said he believes God has given the Church an opportunity in the pandemic to grow and become “deeply intimate” with Him. Chan said he believes God is using the crisis to wake up Christians.

Chan questioned how effective the Church has been with religious freedom when compared to places like China where the Church is persecuted.

“When you look at the places where there is religious freedom and you compare those places to where there is not religious freedom, what have we done with the freedom? It’s just weakened the Church,” he said.

I’m grateful for the people who fight for religious freedom. I’m grateful to have it. At the same time, I’m not really afraid of losing it because I look at how the church is flourishing and how it actually looks like the Church of Scripture where there is persecution. And again, I’m not saying I’m wanting that or desiring that. But what I am wanting is to see a pure Church where people are devoted, they’re serious and they understand what it means to really follow Jesus. Then we can really be a light to the world,” Chan explained.

“God does not put us in a situation where we can’t be deeply, deeply, intimate with him and growing with one another. Man don’t miss this,” he said, noting that it’s a great opportunity for parents to become more hands one with the spiritual development of their children.

BEARING FRUIT AFTER 44 YEARS

We are never too old to be a true disciple of Christ, i.e. a disciple who makes more disciples. Listen to the amazing testimony of this Dutch couple who are now living the Christian life and bringing others to Christ. They are excited about what God is doing and will do each day. They are energised, happy, joyful and could not go back to the old church life that they lived for 44 years. You will be challenged by their testimony and hopefully it will cause you to follow their lead and connect with the The Last Reformation (TLR).

WANT TO BE USED BY GOD? FOLLOW MICHAEL TODD’S LEAD

More good sense from Michael Todd on church. Michael says many house churches stream Transformation Church’s services and use them to supplement small-group discussions. He’s very encouraged by this development, saying it reminds him of both the early church and Netflix all at once.

“It takes me back to Acts 2:42, where people gathered in homes, shared what they had, read the apostles’ teachings and talked about it,” Todd says. “Well, that’s what they’re doing on social media. They’re sharing about it. Friends are finding out about it. … We’re not facilitating it or doing anything. The reason Netflix blows up is because they provide content, but you decide how you want to watch it and how you want to use it. And as we’ve done that, we’ve seen salvation skyrocket. We’ve seen people get baptized. We’ve seen people go from being drug addicts or in different lifestyles or shacking up to being convicted or getting married.”

Transformation Church

Transformation Church has been particularly effective at reaching a diverse cross-section of young Millennials and Generation Z, a group often described by demographers as uninterested in religion. Todd disputes that point; he says what they are really uninterested in are frauds.

“They’re leaving the church because the church, in many respects, is a big business and a facade,” Todd says. “That’s why they’re leaving. This is the most authentic, self-aware generation that we’ve had in a long time, and they can smell a fake from a mile away. I think that’s why I’m appealing to this generation: Because they see it’s real. It’s authentic. If churches and leaders would value authenticity more, their Millennial and Gen Z attendance would go up tremendously.”

Put simply, if young adults are going to do something, they want to be 100% all-in, without any reservations. They don’t want to play church politics, pretend to be someone else or compartmentalize Christianity to Sunday meetings. They want to be free to be fully who God created them to be and hold nothing back in pursuit of Jesus. Because of that, Todd believes they can represent a threat to some “old guard” Christian leaders, but that they can also change the world for God.

“Nobody can tell me Millennials are not interested in God,” Todd says. “They’re not interested in a big business with no power. They can’t do that. …These young people? If they’re committed to something, they’re getting a tattoo of it, they’re changing their license plates to “SOLD OUT,” they’re telling all their friends. And so, it’s a bigger decision because they can’t do anything halfway.”

Todd says the beautiful thing about Transformation Church is that it’s as diverse as the kingdom of God. Whether young or old, digital or in-person, black or white, the movement is united around loving and obeying Jesus. And Todd says it’s his honor to serve as their pastor.

HELPFUL ADVICE FOR A VIBRANT CHURCH

It is interesting to read the comments of a pastor from  the Grace Capital City, which meets at the Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, D.C. It is a growing congregation, with Lead Pastor Chris Moerman estimating that about 80 percent of its membership is millennial. Whilst I believe church growth can be a problem and the ideal church is the one described in the Book of Acts which is home groups, Chris Moerman makes some useful comments on how to reach millennial’s.

“I would attribute this growth to a combination of genuine and authentic relationships, a vibrant spirituality expressed through worship, teaching and community, and a passion to give people a vision for God’s work in their lives that impacts not just their Sunday’s at church, but their everyday existence,” Moerman added.

“At The Table Church, we’re passionate about Jesus, we create ministry around peoples’ gifts and empower them to put those gifts into action. We also have fun, do our best to love people well and we’re obsessed with helping people experience community. All of these things resonate with millennial’s, but I think everyone is hungry for the same thing.” We’ve discovered that millennial’s are looking for the many things other age demographics are. They’re looking for a church where the mission is clear and the path to getting engaged in community is simple and easy,”

Lum told CP that “keeping a clear mission” and helping people “use their gifts in the context of community” have enabled his church to stay vibrant.

“Congregations should look like the cities where God has planted them. If you’re in a city exploding with young people, then your church should definitely be reaching young people,” said Lum.

“Pastoring millennials requires a different approach to giving, but I think it’s a healthy and much needed transition. Millennials don’t give out of guilt or obligation, but instead they want to know that their generosity is making an impact.” Lum added that a key feature of giving in his church was “transparency,” adding that “everything is an open book.” “We provide quarterly financial updates that highlight the impact of our congregants’ investment in our church and our community,” he said.

While some majority-millennial churches are thriving, others have become a source of concern for what some believe is too great a focus on reaching out to one generation.

Jessica Lair with New Season church, a multi generational, multi ethnic congregation in Sacramento, California, told CP about a time when she worked with a millennial-centred church in Los Angeles.

Lair argues that millennial-centred churches deprive themselves of good spiritual wisdom from other age groups. “We as a generation need to quit with the attitude of ‘we can do it better,’ because sometimes, we can’t do it better,” wrote Lair, herself a millennial. “We as millennial’s NEED the generation before us. I have learned more life lessons at a multi-generational church in seven months than I did at a millennial church in two years.”

IRAN: GOD IS WORKING IN MIRACULOUS WAYS

Hormoz Shariat, president and founder of Iran Alive Ministries says, “Christianity has more credibility and respect among a large number of Muslims than Islam itself”. “Iranian Muslims used to say, ‘Islam is good, and it’s just the government that has a problem.’ No, Iran has passed that point. It has come to the point that many say, ‘Islam has major flaws and problems itself.’ People are fed up with the hypocrisy of what Islam has done to this society. And every time things happen [in the news], another layer of the veil of Islam is removed. People look at what Islam is, and a greater number of people will be abandoning Islam and coming to Christ.”

Shariat told Charisma Magazine, one Iranian Christian called to tell him that he got arrested after starting house churches. He had to seek medical treatment for the beatings he received. But the man told Shariat, “Pastor, do not give up. Don’t worry about us. I had the honour of being tortured for Christ. Do you remember Psalm 23? I had the honour of experiencing that verse in the torture chamber. How can you experience that if your enemies are not there? My enemies are there, but my sweet Jesus was there also.”

Shariat has spoken to many Muslims through his work with Iran Alive Ministries and says many of them are frustrated with Islam. Mosques across Iran are reportedly emptying.

VISIONS AND MANIFESTATIONS

Iranians’ increasing rejection of Islam has made them more open to other religions, including Christianity. And Jesus is utilizing supernatural means to reach some of these former Muslims, sources tell Charisma.

Though many American Christians don’t believe Jesus physically appears to people anymore, Joel Richardson, who co-produced Sheep Among Wolves, Volume II, describes a recurring phenomenon in the Middle East that challenges that belief. Multiple people describe remarkably similar encounters in which a “man in white,” identified by many as Jesus, appears to them.

While interviewing a woman from Afghanistan, Richardson referenced cessationist theology: “John MacArthur, a well-known preacher here in the States, says that Jesus is not really appearing to Muslims. What do you have to say about that?”

The woman responded, “I don’t know who John MacArthur is, but I do know the man in white who has been appearing to Muslims.”

Henry says he’s met many Muslims in Iran who report seeing this “man in white.” He even says one Muslim he met wrote down the entire Gospel of John due to the “man in white” appearing to him and telling him to do so. This Muslim—who lived in a mud hut and had no electricity, gas or phone line—had never even heard of Jesus.

The man told Henry, “A man in white knocks on my door every night. And every time I open the door, I can’t look at his face, but he tells me to write these things down.”

“How long has he been coming?” Henry asked the man, and the man gave him the notebook containing the words he’d been commanded to write. Henry was astonished to discover it was the entire book of John, verbatim. He concluded that Jesus had been visiting the man every night. Eventually, Henry says, the whole city came to Jesus because of this man’s testimony, and he was forced to flee for his life.

Bagheri says these kinds of miraculous visitations by Christ are actually the main way Iranians come to faith.

Hope the trailer inspires you to get both films

DISCIPLESHIP

Richardson says discipleship in Iran is the main reason why their churches are flourishing. That said, the Western model of church—such as the typical Sunday morning services—doesn’t work well in Iran.

“The way that we in the West do church is not always conducive to discipleship,” Richardson says. “In that sense, I would say it’s the focus on Sunday church that can be the problem in the West. ‘Christian’ [in America] is defined by someone who goes to church regularly, whereas biblically, a Christ follower—a Christian—is a disciple; it’s someone who’s actively engaged in an obedience-based relationship.”

Evangelical efforts within Iran are strictly based on reaching individuals, such as family members and close friends, as opposed to large groups. One-on-one evangelism is the safest and most effective model for the Iranian community.”

The leadership is decentralised and it’s distributed. It’s not based around a particular individual or skill set or gifting. It’s built around an Ephesians 4 framework of empowering everyone in the body [of Christ] to be all things to all men with the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit being manifest through all of us. … The entire body of Christ should have the yoke of leadership upon them for disciple-making, for the apostolic, for the prophetic, for the evangelistic, for the pastoral and for the teaching.”

“Virtually every woman in Iran probably has faced some level of sexual harassment or outright rape or abuse, either by bosses or by family members, ” Joel Richardson says. “In a place of profound brokenness in that culture, the Lord is using the most broken. These women—in their healing and their restoration—are among the most deliberate and passionate [evangelists], now that they have been set free from so much of the pain they’ve had to endure.”

Women have not risen to power in the church out of a desire to rebel against authority, according to the documentary. They are gentle and submissive—and willing to risk their lives to obey the Great Commission.