WHY DO PEOPLE FOLLOW JESUS?

The biggest reason people followed Jesus wasn’t because of what he taught. In fact, most probably wished Jesus would stop talking because every time he talked he upset them. People followed Jesus because of His miracles. Because He healed the sick. and fed them. We all like free healthcare and free food.

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. John 6:10-11

This was such an impactful miracle that it is the only miracle that is recorded in all four eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Once the people realized what Jesus had just done, they responded exactly how you would expect:

After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, He withdrew again to a mountain by himself.” John 6:14-15

What the Jews wanted more than anything else was a political and military ruler that could defeat the Romans. They were ready to join His army and that’s why they tried to force Him to become their king. 

As things progressed, the crowds grew more frustrated. Again, the crowds literally wanted to make Jesus their king, and he disappeared. So they went after him.

So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.John 6:24

When they caught up with Jesus, He said to them, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.” John 6:24-26

Jesus saw straight through them. They weren’t interested in the Kingdom of God, they just wanted a free meal. That ended up being a real sticking point between Jesus and the crowds because He performed legitimate signs and wonders to prove His divinity. But they weren’t interested in getting to know the Blesser so much as they wanted His blessings. They weren’t interested in the Giver, they just wanted the gifts.

But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)John 6:61-64

They wanted to follow Jesus on their terms, they wanted Jesus to give them what they wanted. As Jesus continually reminded them, it doesn’t work like that. Jesus did not come to be a genie in a bottle who would grant magic wishes to anyone who said a magic prayer. Jesus came to do something much more majestic.

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

And He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God. John 6:65-69

We all need to ask ourselves why we follow Jesus. Has the Word been sown on good soil? Are we bearing fruit “thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the Word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the Word that is sown in them.

And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the Word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the Word, immediately they fall away.

And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the Word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the Word, and it proves unfruitful.

But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the Word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” Mark 4:14-20

KENYA HOUSE CHURCH MISSION TRIP

The KHC discipleship mission trip to Seme sub-county of Kisumu ended well today, Monday, September 12th. 2022

GOSPEL  MEETINGS:  The holy spirit worked mightily and powerfully in our midst, touching and convicting many souls to repent of their sins. As a result, many people believed in Jesus Christ and realised He was the promised Jewish Messiah who would come first to die for our sins but also to come again to rule and reign in the Millennium.

At one point, in the home of Mr. Paul Otuoma, his brother Mr. Gordon Onyango testified about not having believed for many years in the Trinity – He said he was a Jehovah’s witness follower, and he believed only in the Oneness of God.  After him sitting under our teaching and hearing pastor Melkio teach on the Trinity, his heart was broken and he believed in our gospel message. He also agreed to become part of the newly founded Seme House Church.

At the home of Mr. Bonface Maganga, an atheist and homosexual after sitting under our teaching, he acknowledged the authority of God and his supernatural power. He repented for his sins of rejecting God and practicing homosexuality. He surrendered his life to Jesus and was baptized. He has now become part of the newly founded SEME house church.

MARKET PLACE EVANGELISM:   At the Kombewa trading centre, we ministered healing and salvation to a demon-possessed man who for many years has been walking around the place naked, talking to himself, and eating food from the waste bin. We prayed for healing, restoration, and salvation for him. Instantly, his mind came back to normal. He believed and was baptized. Everybody at the Kombewa trading center was amazed to witness this miracle. After the miracle, Pastor Jactone and Julius gave him some money to buy clothes and a pair of shoes. Also, his relatives were now prepared to take responsibility for him. Hopefully, he will join the newly founded SEME House Church.

 BAPTISM BY IMMERSION:  Many who believed in Jesus and the gospel message of repentance and salvation were baptized in the nearby dam. We baptized both men, women, and youths aged 18 years and above. A total of ten people were baptized.

God ministered through us to many people at tent meetings and outdoor evangelism meetings. Many souls were won back to Christ and many miracles of healing demonstrated the Holy Spirit’s presence.

NEW HOUSE CHURCH FORMED: Seme house church is found in Seme, sub-county of Kisumu.

The newly formed house church comprises 15 people, excluding children. Mr. Bonface Maganga Odhiambo will be the pastor overseeing the Seme House Church.

REQUEST FOR BIBLES: There is a great need to provide the members of this new house church with copies of the Bible. We ask that our brothers and the LEN team help to provide these needed Bibles. If you would like to help you can do so by clicking on the Donate icon on the Home Page. This icon was added just for donations to the Kenya House Church Movement.

GLORIOUS PROMISES OF GOD

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.John 14:12-13

Jesus was speaking to his disciples from the heart, in the knowledge that the cross awaited. Contextually, he is talking about his miracles, urging his disciples to believe in him as the Son of God because of the works he has done in their sight. Caught up in the Spirit, he prophesies that those who believe in him, including believers down through the ages, will perform the same, and even greater miracles. In the power and effectiveness of his children, Father God will be glorified. What a glorious promise!

Also, Jesus’ initial statement is that we would do the miracles He had done. The additional clause of ‘even greater things will you do builds on that, rather than diminishes it. 

Most denominational churches do not see or believe miracles occur today so have lost faith in the word of God.

The consequences of believing false traditions over the word of God are serious. We lower our expectations of God, reducing his incredible promises to match our experience. By doing so, we lose our hold on faith, because we are no longer clinging to his Word – our grip has been transferred instead to the tradition, and we are well adrift of the truth. Once we drift from the truth of God’s active, compassionate, interventionist love, and the promises of his miraculous provision, deliverance, and healing, we lose sight of who God is altogether. We paint a lesser picture and worship it instead.

The testimony of Francis Chan is very revealing in regard to miracles. When he was pastoring a church of 5,000 in California and esteemed highly in the World because of the size of his church and authoring best-selling books like Crazy Love he never saw or expected to see miracles.

Speaking during the virtual International Association of Healing Ministries conference this week, Chan said, “What I do know is for many years I didn’t believe in healing, I didn’t believe in miracles, it was pretty much what I was taught in seminary.

“Humbly, I have to say, I used to ridicule people who spoke in tongues or prophesied or believed they could heal, even though when I personally read the Scriptures, I saw this available.”

Earlier this year, Chan shared that he and a team of other Christians supernaturally healed several people in a rural village in Myanmar, including a little boy and girl who were deaf. 

“Every person I touched was healed,” the Crazy Love author said in a sermon delivered at Moody Bible Institute’s Founders Week Conference.

“OK, this is craziness to me. I have never experienced this in 52 years,” he testified then. “I’m talking like a little boy and a little girl who were deaf. We laid hands on her and she starts crying and smiling. These are not Christians who have even heard about Jesus, and she’s freaking out. We lay hands on her little brother, we lay hands on him, and he starts hearing for the first time.

Do you think Francis wants to go back to his church of 5000? No, in fact, he is setting up House Churches with no buildings or paid pastors.

YOUNG EARTH AND DISTANT STARLIGHT (PART 1)

Creation Week entailed a series of miracles.

Throughout the account in Genesis 1, the Bible says that God spoke things into existence—eight times, “And God said … ”. And after He spoke, it is often concluded with, “and it was so”. The New Testament tells us,

“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” (Hebrews 11:3)

The word of God brought the universe into existence from something that is not visible, something, unlike ordinary visible/tangible matter and energy. This is consistent with the scientific conclusion that the matter and energy that comprise the universe cannot be eternal. Thus, the cause of the universe must be supernatural.

And so the Bible describes the Word of God as powerful:

“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

The New Testament tells us that this agency of God, the Word by which He created everything, was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. (John 1:1–3)

Genesis 2 tells us that God made the first man and woman. He took dust and made the man, Adam (Genesis 2:7), and took his rib and fashioned the woman, Eve, the mother of all.

I have never had anyone demand that I explain to them how God made a man from dust. And yet there is this demand that we explain how God could have created the stars such that we can see the light from distant stars.

Distant star cluster

The Genesis account makes it clear that the creation of the heavenly bodies was just as miraculous as the creation of the first people:

And God said, “Let there be lights … And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.” (Genesis 1:14–16).

Was this any less a miracle than the creation of the man from dust? And yet there is a demand for a naturalistic explanation for how God did this! This seems to me to be quite inconsistent and unreasonable to demand such a thing as a condition of believing the Bible’s account, especially the timeframe.

It’s also interesting that the timeframe of six days with the seventh day of rest—the basis of our 7-day week (Exodus 20:11)—underlines the miraculous nature of God’s actions. And that is part of the problem for those who don’t or won’t believe the timeframe, such as theistic evolutionists and long-age creationists. When they refuse to believe the timeframe, they then tend to think of ‘creation’ in a naturalistic way, over billions of years. And then secular ideas of how things came to be take precedence over the Bible’s clear account. Thus the miraculous nature of Creation Week takes a back seat and so we have this demand for a naturalistic explanation for how we can see distant starlight.

The bottom line: Creation Week involved a series of miracles, one after the other. Thus, these are things for which we can provide no natural explanation. We do not know how God could speak the stars into existence, and thus we cannot know how He created things in such a way that we can see the light from celestial objects millions and billions of light-years distant.

In other words, the question tacitly denies the supernatural nature of the Creation Week events. In doing so it robs God of His omnipotence and limits Him to work only in ways that we can understand. This results in a very diminished view of God. In effect, those who do this are constructing a god compatible with their own limited understanding, which is a form of idolatry.

Go to http://www.creation.com for the entire article.

MIRACLES TODAY

Craig Keener’s new book: Miracles Today: The supernatural work of God in the modern world. is not about miracles that took place in the first century (see his outstanding two-volume tome Miracles for that); this book is about miracles that occur today.

Miracles Today: The Supernatural Work of God in the Modern World. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2021

Keener is not one to throw ideas against walls to see if they’ll stick. Keener is one of the best-known scholars of the Bible and early Christianity in the world today. He is careful with his research and documents everything. The point of the book, as the back-cover states, is to demonstrate via examples “that miraculous works of God, which have been part of the experience of the church around the world since Christianity began, continue into the present.”

This stated goal is admirably accomplished by Dr. Keener. He commences the book by addressing a few preliminary questions. What is a miracle, anyway? Why do some people assume that miracles don’t happen? Do many people witness miracles? Do only Christians report Christian healings?

He then launches into the main portion of the book in which he briefly relates the details of hundreds of well-attested miracles, but especially healings. This middle section comprises about 75% of the book proper. At the end of the book, Keener addresses a few more key questions people often wonder about miracles. Why don’t we see more miracles in the West? What is the role of faith? What about when healing is temporary? What does the Bible say about non-healing?

Let us not be tardy in praying for the sick but be on time in step with the Holy Spirit.

I appreciate Keener’s candid honesty in acknowledging that most blind people who have received prayer are still blind, and most dead people prayed for are still dead (pp. 137, 202). He comments, “What we call miracles are still the exception rather than the rule,” (p. 221). But his main point is that whether you or I have personally witnessed a dramatic miracle or not, many significant and verifiable miracles have occurred and still occur in answer to the prayers of God’s people all around the globe.

One other thing I appreciate about this book is Keener’s acknowledgment that more dramatic miracles occur more frequently on the frontlines of Christian evangelism than they do where the church is well-established (pp. 31, 33 135, 183, 201, 203). He still affirms, however, that such dramatic miracles sometimes happen in the West, too (pp. 151, 203).

Practically, this book reminded me to stay expectant when I pray. In any way He chooses, and at any time He chooses, God may do something momentous to display His glory and help those who witness His mighty acts of mercy to trust Him more fully.

WHEN GOD’S DISCIPLES GO MIRACLES FOLLOW

Missionaries working with Southern Baptist Convention (IMB) reported baptisms were up 81% from 2019 to 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available), and salvation testimonies continue to pour in.

The increases are particularly significant in a denomination where many cite missions as their reason for joining and staying.

Typical Testimony: A 53-year-old Thai man with chest pain went to see an IMB medical missionary outside Bangkok. The man collapsed in the clinic and regained consciousness only after the IMB missionary, a physician, performed emergency medical procedures.

As they waited for an ambulance, the man prayed to receive Christ, prompting the doctor to ask, “When did you start to become interested in God ’s story?”

National IMB missionary preaching to Thai congregation

The man pointed to the place on the floor where he collapsed and said, “Right there. Before that, I had never been interested at all. But when I collapsed, I heard God call my name three times, and I knew he was warning me.”

That wasn’t an isolated incident, according to IMB reports. The evangelistic surge, missiologists say, is attributable to the fact we are there (obedient to God’s call), the pandemic, and the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. Several years ago under David Platt, IMB transferred ministries from missionaries to national partners.

“We have seen the Holy Spirit working across the globe in mighty ways,” said Wilson Geisler, IMB director of global research. One missionary team “saw the first believers among an incredibly tough-to-reach people group.” Another “saw more people coming to faith in 2020 than in the previous three years combined.

Jesus promised that in the last days before His return the GOSPEL, the GOOD NEWS, the only good news in a time of tribulation will be proclaimed throughout the whole world. Do you want to be part of the team proclaiming the GOOD NEWS? You can be like David (“I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.” Acts 13:22), just obey the indwelling Holy Spirit.

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: 14

IMPORTANCE OF BAPTISM AND PUBLIC TESTIMONY

Singer and actress Jana Kramer was baptized Sunday, and offered a touching proclamation on her Instagram page, writing that she has found “healing” in Jesus and now realizes she was “never alone.”

“I don’t have the words yet…I will…but for now… ‘In the name of Jesus, there is healing,’” Kramer wrote in her initial post. She then shared an emotional video of the baptism. You can find it on Instagram.

Christian celebrities and fans responded with encouraging and touching affirmations.

“Praise the Lord,” actress Candace Cameron Bure wrote. “And all the angels sang in Heaven and rejoiced! Praise His holy name!! A step in faith reaps an eternal reward.”

Former “Bachelor” star Ben Higgins added, “Amen.”

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The Great Commission

Afterward, he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. “And he said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name, they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18

LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Another amazing video from Torben. This video is of Torben’s last week living for Christ in Florida. Letting the Holy Spirit guide his steps. This is how we all should live the Christian life.

You will love this video! Watch the first minute, and you will want to see more!

Torben’s message:

“Our heart is that people out there will experience Christ, get born again, and then start to live this amazing everyday life led by the Holy Spirit. They will see miracles! This is for you. If you don’t know where to start, then visit http://www.TheLastReformation.com/ start and watch some of the movies, or go through the online Pioneer School. Read our book The Last Reformation about how we need a reformation of the church back to this life. Don’t stop before this is your life!”

Blessings Torben Sondergaard

SUPERNATURAL HEALING MIRACLES

An upcoming documentary film examines medical evidence of miracle healings to challenge sceptics and close the gap between the hard sciences and the supernatural.

The “SEND PROOF” documentary by filmmaker Elijah Stephens explores the ways in which miracle claims can be corroborated by looking at X-rays, MRI scans and other follow-up medical examinations. In the film, he interviews evangelical scholars and some of the most prominent voices in Pentecostal and charismatic Christian circles.

Stephens worked closely with the Global Medical Research Institute and interviewed board-certified doctors, scientists, an atheist medical historian who believes in miracles, and some of the leading sceptic and atheist voices who assert that, when examined closely, miracles never withstand empirical scrutiny. 

Stephens’ personal journey through his own doubts and the intellectual journey he took is interwoven in the storyline. At one point in the film, he recounts how frustrated he became with the idea of making the movie even as he felt God calling him to do it. The movie explains how, in 2015, he was at his house and his friends started texting him saying that Shawn Bolz, a prophetic minister who was speaking at Bethel that day called out his name from the stage. Stephens immediately jumped in his car and high-tailed it to the church.

When he arrived, Bolz, who had never met Stephens prior to that day and knew nothing of his filmmaking aspirations, gave him a stunningly accurate word, telling him that the Holy Spirit was breathing on the project and how it was going to impact medical professionals and others. 

For Christians who are hesitant to embrace charismatic theology and practice, the filmmaker hopes that the contributions from biblical scholars like Craig Keener of Asbury Theological Seminary, J.P. Moreland of Talbot School of Theology (Biola University), and Gary Habermas of Liberty University will lead them to reconsider what they believe about the supernatural.

BEST NEWS EVER TOLD

The GOSPEL is the best news ever.in human history. Consider what God, our heavenly Father, did to make it possible for mankind that had rejected His sovereignty at THE FALL to be restored back into a right relationship with Him.

Adam was told that death would be the result of eating from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil> Yet Eve and he chose to disobey God and eat it being deceived by another being, a spiritual being, that had already chose to disobey God, Satan, also known as the Devil. Mankind thus bought death and suffering into a word that was originally created perfect.

God’s plan to restore mankind is beyond our comprehension and it is only because God originally made us in His image to be in relationship with Him does He reach out to us by His Holy Spirit to make Himself known.

The most remarkable part of God’s plan is that He, Himself entered His world in the person of His Son, Jesus to pay the price of mankind’s disobedience – death. It is important to understand Jesus came exactly as prophesied in God’s Word given through His prophets.

God has demonstrated that He wants a relationship with each of us. He has done this ever since Creation by working with individuals that trusted Him. It is why it is so important we know His Word (The Bible) is inerrant, it conveys the true history of this world and of His working with individuals.. Events such as Noah’s Flood, The Tower of Babel, Israel’s exodus from Egypt and above all Jesus resurrection from the dead were all real events. Satan has contrived with strategies that are demonstrably untrue, such that the world made itself via evolution and therefore miracles are impossible and that God’s intervention in His world with miraculous events such as Noah’s flood are myths. In the case of Noah’s Flood this is despite the fact most nations around the world have a flood story in their origins.

Delivering the Gospel, the best news this planet has ever heard should be a joy for us to deliver and we should be anxious to share it with everyone. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer. He is also the one who convicts unbelievers of sin so He will direct us to those people that need to hear the Good News if we are available to be led by the Spirit and are saying each day, as Jesus did when He walked this planet, not my will but yours, Lord be done today.

Time is short, brothers and sisters in Christ so let us get about our joyous task of delivering the best news ever told. Your own testimony of what God has done and is doing in your life is an important part of the Good News. So too is Jesus prophesied soon coming return to put things right.

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They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Rev. 20:5

This fallen world will experience the rule and reign of Jesus with the Saints for 1000 years before this world is destroyed by fire. The second resurrection of the dead and the White Throne judgement follows and only then will believers join Jesus and God the Father on a new earth and heaven. Jesus work is complete and He hands over sovereignty of the new earth to the Father. All unbelievers have been relegated to the Lake of Fire, punishment and a second death.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.Revelation 2:11

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6

Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8