PERSECUTION AIDS THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL

Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.” Acts 8:4

We can see it played out in the death of Stephen. The religious communities’ rejection of Stephen, to the point of stoning him, caused the believers to run for their lives. If not for this rejection, Philip would never have ended up in Samaria. And what happened there? Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.

Image result for picture of Phillip being stoned for preaching the Gospel

“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralysed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” Acts 8:5-8

A great revival broke out. The more the believers were persecuted, the more they spread out, fulfilling the words of Yeshua to start in Jerusalem, and then go to the ends of the Earth .

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

“Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (Acts 8:4).

And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matt. 24:14)

Of course, we can see it played out in the Middle East and Africa where the church is under intense persecution by the greatest antichrist spirit of all, Islam. On this website, on a recent post, “Church Grows Under Persecution” I record the story of the rapidly growing church in Iran. Check it out if you haven’t already done so.

May we be like Paul who said:

“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:8-11

ARE OUR CHURCHES PREPARING US FOR THE COMING TRIBULATION?

Jesus taught explicitly that one of the ways you will know His return is imminent is you will see the Antichrist claiming to be God in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.

“So when you see the abomination of desolation–spoken about by Daniel the prophet—standing in the holy place. . .  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24:15-22)

Paul confirms that the Antichrist will come before Jesus returns to Rapture the Saints:

“Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat in God’s temple, displaying himself as God”                         (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4).

John records numerous instances in the Book of Revelation of Jesus warning the saints to become Overcomers of the beast’s system (e.g. Revelation 14:9–12).

In the light of all these Scriptures, why do so many hold on to the Pretribulation Rapture position? Could it be, because we don’t want to believe that God would put us through the intense persecution that the Bible tells us Christians will endure during the last seven years before Jesus returns? It is described as a time of tribulation and great tribulation after the midpoint when the Antichrist “takes his seat in God’s temple, displaying himself as God”.

None of us like the thought that we may have to die for our Christian faith under the regime of the Antichrist. But it is God’s will that ultimately matters. He knows better than us, therefore we need to trust His will because it is all-wise, all-good, all-sovereign.

I am reminded of Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways”, says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts your thoughts.” 

It may be God’s will that we confront the Antichrist system. We need to trust God, as have many martyrs before us, that He will be with us in the ordeal. What an honour it would be; to be a witness for the true God of the universe, to give glory to Him and to receive a martyrs crown. Pray God will give us the strength to stand up boldly for Him.

God may very well call us to be a Daniel and stand up to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idol. Or Daniel’s companions, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach) and Azariah (Abed-Nego) confined to the fiery furnace. Or to be a David and stand up to Goliath when he mocked and blasphemed his God. 

Many churches in America and many in Australia stay away from the  subject of “end times” altogether, but many also preach the Pretribulation Rapture position, in both cases they are not preparing their congregations for the coming tribulation. Even worse they are not challenging their congregations about the urgency of the hour and the need to get about our Father’s business and obey Jesus command to preach the Gospel and make disciples.

 

 

LAWLESSNESS IN THE LAST DAYS

Jesus said that just before His return to rule and reign in the Millennium with a rod of iron, that the world would be in a state of lawlessness, as in the days of Noah. God has told us exactly what will unfold in the years before He returns. The Old Testament, written hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, contains over 300 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled through His birth, life, death and resurrection. Sadly, the religious people of His day, the Sadducee’s and Pharisee’s didn’t get it and whilst there are far more prophecies about Jesus second coming than His first coming, the religious people of our day are not getting it as well. Wake up church.

“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man (JESUS) be.” Matthew 24:37

The following report reveals that the world is totally out of control and governments have run out of options to fix it. Whilst these are the figures for the USA, let me tell you the numbers for Europe, China, Japan are worse. What follows is anarchy and we are seeing it more and more as is shown in France with the Yellow Vest movement.

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, America’s national debt was 22 trillion dollars on December 31, 2018. 

The U.S. will have had a deficit in 88 out of 100 years and only 4 out of 62 years with a surplus.

America can’t even balance a single year’s budget, much less start paying down its net debt. We regret to conclude realistically THE ACCUMULATED DEBT IS UNPAYABLE.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the interest expense on debt is expected to increase 186% to $929 billion annually by 2029 — surpassing all categories except for Medicare and Social Security. That is almost a trillion dollars annually! While these projections assume interest rates on 10-year Treasury bonds will remain below 3.8%,

A ONE PERCENT HIGHER-THAN-EXPECTED INTEREST RATE ON THE 10-YEAR BONDS WOULD ADD ANOTHER $1.9 TRILLION IN OVERALL INTEREST EXPENSE! 

 

CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS

Expect God’s judgement on His church in these last days.

Both Ananias and Sapphira, together with Simon the sorcerer, attempted to introduce into the glory of the early Church corrupt values that would have defiled and greatly diminished her glory. However, it was stopped at the door and the glory was protected and allowed to increase.

In like manner, the true judgements of the Lord that produce holy fear and genuine repentance will return to the Church in these “last days”, so there can be a thorough cleansing and the glory of the Lord can be restored. Already, we see a great falling away in the church as it compromises with the world’s values. This will increase as tribulation builds: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” Matthew 24:9.  But we also know the “end times” church will receive Holy Spirit power, as in the early church as described in the Book of Acts, so that “this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14

Smith Wigglesworth prophesied correctly back in 1927:

“There must be special preparation for the return of Christ and at least half of all believers will be totally unprepared. We have to see that these days have to come before the Lord can come. There has to be a falling away. I want to speak to you very exactly. All the people which are pressing into and getting ready for this glorious attained place where they shall not be found naked, where they shall be blameless, where they shall be immovable, where they shall be purified by the power of the Word of God, have within them a consciousness of the very presence of God within, changing their very nature and preparing them for a greater thing and causing them to be ready for translation.

This is the day of purifying. This is the day of holiness. This is the day of separation. This is the day of waking. O God, let us wake today! Let the inner spirit wake into consciousness that God is calling us.”

What an appropriate call for our day. Let us prepare now for what Jesus is calling us to do preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to our circle of contacts, our community where God has placed us.

PREPARE FOR JESUS COMING RETURN

This following testimony is from Cody Archer. Cody Archer, along with his wife, Liat, help lead the youth group at Ahavat Yeshua and work together in Revive Israel’s international department.

In preparation for the coming prophesied persecution, it is important you read Cody’s testimony now to help you prepare for what lies ahead.

The following verses from Revelation reveal how believers are to overcome Satan in the “end times” just prior to Jesus return, first to rapture the saints, and then to return to earth with the saints to rule and reign in the Millennium.

“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Revelation 12:11

We all want to be in the centre of God’s will for our lives as we approach the time of Jesus return, so it is important we understand what is ahead, remembering that even Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, agonised over what was ahead of Him.

According to global statistics, over 200 million followers of Yeshua are undergoing high levels of persecution today—primarily in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. But, I believe the Scriptures teach that the time is coming when such persecution will be the norm in every country of the earth.

“When I was a new believer in my early 20s, a leader in my life spoke prophetically over me: “Cody, go deep in God’s Word now, because there will be a time in the future where it will be taken away from you, probably because you will be put in prison for your faith.” What an encouraging word for a new believer, right? I took that word seriously and have continued to devote much time to meditating in God’s Word almost daily for the past decade.

Heart Training

As I study the end times, one of the themes that continues to catch my attention is that of persecution. More and more in my quiet times, I have been picturing myself being arrested, beaten, put in prison and even martyred for my faith. I am training my heart now to walk in love for Yeshua and stand up for my faith when those times of extreme pressure come.

My sense is that this heart posture is almost nonexistent in most of the Western church today. Even If you and I don’t end up facing high levels of persecution, I believe it is wise to prepare our hearts, and the next generation, for what is coming.

What Is Coming?

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So what should we be preparing for? Here are some Scriptures I have been meditating on:

  • “But before all these things [read the preceding verses: false Messiahs, wars, great earthquakes, famines, pestilences, fearful sights], they will seize and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons” (Luke 21:12a). If you think you will get raptured out before persecution and trouble come, you will be in for a big shock.
  • Luke 21:16 warns us that biological and spiritual family and friends will betray us and put some to death.
  • “You will be hated by all for My name’s sake” (Luke 21:17). Consider this word: “all.” Atheists, people of other religions and humanistic, secular society may tolerate us at some level today, but this tolerance won’t last forever. Are you ready to be hated by all?
  • “They will put you out of the synagogues. Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he is offering a service to God” (John 16:2). The deception will be so deep that people will think they are doing God’s will by killing us.
  • Before Yeshua returns, new laws will be passed against believers, rendering us criminals in the eyes of the world. Calling the nations to turn from their sins and not budging on Yeshua being the only way to God will be seen as major obstacles to global peace. Because lawlessness will abound and the love of many will grow cold, we should not expect human help or mercy when attacked, but instead the plundering of our possessions, major lies and attacks through media, lawsuits, fines and imprisonments (Isaiah 24:5-6, Matt 24:12, Heb 10:34).
  • The Antichrist will be granted to make war with the saints and overcome (Daniel 8:23-25, Rev. 13: 7). I believe prophetic patterns in Scripture like in Esther 3 and Daniel 3 where laws were passed forcing people into false worship and the destruction of the Jewish people will emerge again before Yeshua returns.
  • “As it was in the days of Noah and Lot, so it will be also be in the days of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26; see Luke 17:26-30). The wickedness, violence and sexual perversion seen in the days of Noah and Lots are rampant again today and will continue to be directed against believers in an ever-increasing way (Gen. 6, 19).

One day, Jews and Christians will be the most hated people on the earth. But do not despair about the future; there is good news! The greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit and harvest of souls will be happening simultaneously with this global persecution (Acts 2:17). There will be a remnant of faithful believers in every nation who will obey God over man (Acts 5:29) and not love their lives unto death (Rev. 12:11).

Lord, help us to apply Yeshua’s exhortation to watch and pray always, that we would be strengthened to resist compromise, sin and fear (Luke 21:36).”

HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE LAST DAYS

This video series by Nelson Walters on How to Prepare for the Last Days is much needed by the church so I encourage you to circulate the series widely to friends and families.

Most Christians believe we’re in the end times , but do nothing to prepare. That is why Nelson put together this video, “How to Prepare for the Last Days. It first answers three fundamental questions:

1. Have the end times begun?

2. I’m saved, what else do I need to do?

3. What are God’s purposes for the end times?

Once these questions are answered, everyone will want to see the rest of the video to learn Jesus’s special commands for the last days and the believers’ role in them.

God uses catastrophes for His purposes. The book Mystery of Catastrophes is a great resource to show what God is doing in these last days through catastrophes such as what we are seeing in the Middle East. God plans to bring more catastrophes across our paths to provide us with opportunities to present the love of God and the Gospel to the lost.

I have a power point sermon – The Mystery of Catastrophes (based on Joel and Nathan’s book) up on http://www.powerpointsermons.net for Home Group/Church use.

The following video is video 3 in the 9 part series. The whole series is about 2 hours in duration. I recommend of course that you schedule to watch all 9, but this video is a good starting point.

END OF ALL THINGS IS AT HAND

Peter gives clear instruction on what believers need to do at the time of the end of all things. 

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God (Holy Spirit) supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:7

Note that Peter concentrates on the state of church, how important it is for individuals to be serious and watchful in our prayers, to have fervent love for one another, no grumbling, no gossip, to not grieve the Holy Spirit nor quench His work in our lives so that “God may be glorified through Jesus Christ to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever”

Peter understood that fiery trials will come during the end times:

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” 1 Peter 4: 12-14

Jesus warns us to expect tribulation and even death but also tells us that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24: 9-14

The powerful cry, “Jesus is coming!” is seldom heard in God’s house today. Very few Christians live with a sense of expectancy, looking and yearning for Jesus’ return. How has this happened? The New Testament gives many warnings that mockers will appear in the last days, ridiculing the doctrine of Christ’s coming.

Peter writes, “There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” 2 Peter 3:3-4. This mocking can be heard today: “What does anyone have to fear? All things continue just as they always have. There is no reason to fear a Judgement Day, because it simply isn’t coming.”

Jesus gives a warning to church leaders. 

““Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.” Matthew 24: 45-47

It is the reason I am posting this warning here on http://www.livingeternal.net and putting up resources – power point sermons and videos for the end times church on http://www.powerpointsermons.net

 

 

CHRISTIAN MARTYRS ARE GROWING THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA

The death toll for Christians in Nigeria continues to rise to catastrophic proportions as the nation seems helpless or unwilling to stop bloodthirsty Islamic radicals targeting Christians in the region. Despite the Islamic terrorists group’s violence, thousands are coming to Christ according to Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs.

“Thousands of Fulani are following Jesus Christ. So this traditionally Muslim tribal group, ethnic group, thousands of them have left Islam behind and are now following Jesus Christ. So the church sees that and that tends to bridge some of these gaps, Nettleton said.

I have previously reported how the vicious Fulani Herdsmen reportedly marauded through Christian villages wearing camouflage and brandishing AK-47s, and burned down as many as 160 homes, leaving a trail of at least 39 murdered Christians in their wake.

Nigerian President Muhammed Buhari condemned the massacre of Christians on Twitter, calling them “vile, evil and satanic” and agreeing that the attacks seemed “clearly calculated” against Christians.

But despite President Buhari’s words, it appears the government has done little to stem the violence against Christians. Local religious leaders have even called for the president to resign, accusing him of leniency on the terrorists.

Another jihadist group Boko Haram—the vicious Nigerian jihadist army pledged to ISIS—orchestrated a deadly attack by disguising themselves as “preachers” and inviting Christian villagers to a service where they then massacred 45 congregants.

Earlier this year, Boko Haram violently abducted 110 schoolgirls from their village. Of those, five girls were killed while captive before 104 were ultimately released. Fifteen-year-old Leah Sharibu is still their prisoner because she refuses to bend to her captors’ demands that she renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam.

The violence against Africa’s Christians is spreading beyond the borders of Nigeria, and if no action is taken, will likely continue to sweep across the continent. In the natural this looks catastrophic which it is, but rest assured God is using it for His purposes.

In a recent deadly bus attack in Kenya the Al-Shabaab terrorists forced passengers to recite an Islamic oath and those who identified as Christian were mercilessly executed. Do these terrorists think this does the cause of Allah any good? Is this the God you would want to serve?

American Centre for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has gone directly to the United Nations, delivering a critical written submission asking for intervention for Nigeria’s Christians and warning of the grim outlook if action isn’t taken.

The least we can do is get our churches praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ in both the Middle East and Africa. Pray that they may understand what God is doing in each of these countries and cooperate with Him, to accomplish His purposes.

 

MARK OF THE BEAST: MICROCHIP IMPLANTS?

End-Times Scholar: Microchips Are Scary Next Step to Control Population

A technology growing in popularity allows computer chips to be implanted under the skin. It brings to mind the “mark of the beast” prophesied in Revelation 13:16-17. For the first time in history, technology has made it possible.

Christian activists, including conspiracy theorist Mark Dice, the author of a book titled The Resistance Manifesto, make the link between chipping of humans and the biblical mark of the beast prophesied to be a future requirement for buying and selling.

It will be very attractive to governments in order to control people and their finances. Moreover, they can put a positive spin on its implementation. It has so much potential for good that it is almost inevitable that governments will want to use this,” Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end-of-days author, said. “They can’t afford prisons and policing anymore for the expanding populations. Rather than put someone in prison, they can make it impossible to exit their home. If they identify a criminal, they can remotely shut down their car, deny them access to money and food. A lot of people will be deterred from non-compliance with the law.

The process is relatively simple. An identifying integrated circuit device or Radio-frequency identification (RFID) transponder encased in silicate glass approximately the size of a grain of rice is implanted under the skin using a device similar to a syringe. Local anaesthetic is used during the procedure. The use of sub-dermal RFIDs for domestic and farm animals is widespread and some countries require them to be implanted This was first done by a physician in 1998 and was approved for use in humans by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2004.

Proponents of this new technology claim a myriad of benefits. Some companies currently recommend implantation for their employees for security purposes. Locks and elevators can be paired with sensors so that only specific people can open a door. Computers can use the sensor to identify users when they log on, allowing them to access files and systems specific to them. Using the chip as “biopayment” in place of a credit card is in the developmental stages and could lead to a cashless society. It is also feasible to create a smart gun that will only allow the owner of a gun to fire it. Theoretically, a GPS-enabled chip could one day make it possible for individuals to be physically located anywhere on the planet. The chip can link to an external database containing vital medical information for emergency use. This would be especially useful in cases of dementia or where the patient is uncooperative. It can also be used by law enforcement agencies to identify subjects and track their movements. Both of these applications raise serious concerns about civil liberties.

Folks we are in the “last days”, are you prepared for the coming tribulation spoken of by Jesus and Daniel.

 

A MESSAGE TO ALL PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS

A Coptic Christian church’s worship service turned into a blood bath after a gunman opened fire, killing at least 11 people.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and many Christians were left wondering if they will ever be safe enough to worship Christ without fearing terrorism.

One young girl, Nesma Wael, was there when the attack happened and wrote a heartfelt message to the world published by BeeCatholic

“After Mass ended, I left the church with my cousin and my mother. My mom wore a cross around her neck, and all three of us were not wearing veils. In poorer neighborhoods, Muslim women often wear veils so they are distinguished from Christian women.

“As we turned into a side street, we saw someone on a motorcycle heading toward the church. The next thing we knew, the man crashed his bike after hitting a pothole. My mother ran up to him to help, reassuring him, as she said: ‘In the name of the Jesus Christ, are you okay?’ He got up quickly and in a blink of an eye he opened fire on us with an automatic weapon he pulled out from under his vest.

“As soon as my cousin and I saw the weapon, we hid behind mom, who shouted at us to run away; the terrorist first shot her in the arm, while she was trying to protect us; as we ran away, she fell down and could not escape with us. The distance between us and the terrorist when he first took out his machine gun was no more than a few feet. My cousin and I ran into a small supermarket, where the sales girl hid us behind the refrigerator; from our hiding spot, we watched the attacker looking for us. When he couldn’t find us he turned to mom again and fired more shots at her.

“All this happened in a few minutes. After the gunman left, we ran to my mother. Many people had gathered, but they all refused to touch my mom, to turn her over, even though she was still alive. I kept screaming for someone to help me, but no one did. I reached my uncle, who came right away.

“An ambulance pulled up, but the emergency workers refused to move Mama into the ambulance until they got permission from the security officials who were out in the streets, hunting for the terrorist, as well as another shooter who had attacked people in front of the church.

“A gun battle erupted, and people fled. My cousin, my uncle and I stayed with my mother. She looked at me, saying: ‘Do not be afraid, I’m with you. Obey your father and take care of your sister.’

“My mother remained laying in the street for about an hour. After the shooting stopped, I went back to the church to fetch my younger sister Karen, who is eight and had remained in church because the service for children had not finished yet—I saw three people I knew laying in pools of blood in front of the church; I knew they had been killed.

“By the time Mom was taken into the ambulance she had died.

I miss my mother desperately—I am happy because she is a martyr and I don’t feel afraid of the terrorists anymore. I was with her at the time of the attack and did not even get injured: it was God’s will to specifically choose her to go to heaven.

“I do not want to leave my country, but I certainly want to find a better chance to live and study, especially since our financial situation isn’t good. My dad, who is 35, works as a driver, but he has no regular work; my mother provided the main source of income for our family; she was a nurse at the Cairo Kidney Center. I hope to become a doctor of nephrology; that was my mom’s dream for me.

This is my message to all the persecuted people around the world: ‘Do not be afraid! Our lives are in God’s hands and we have to adhere to our faith.'”