Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag is a 27-year-old Sudanese woman, sentenced to death because of her Christian faith.
Monthly Archives: May 2014
Missionary Quotations: Heidi Baker1
Street Preaching Tonight
It was different tonight than it’s ever been.
It began pretty much the same as usual, but at some point I noticed the Hare Krishna’s dancing their noisy way towards us.
With their colourful clothes, tambourines and dancing they make it all but impossible to preach the gospel. They usually pull up in a wide circle in front of where we are preaching and dance and sing for sometimes 10-15 minutes.
Usually we get pushed to the sidelines amongst all the colourful chaos and the tourists bustling to take photos of them. Standing on the sidelines politely waiting for them to finish their worship ceremony to their false god is absolutely frustrating. It feels like Satan has got one over on us.
Something I’ve learnt: if you give Satan an inch – he will take a mile.
We are in a spiritual battle and being on the city streets you cannot forget it.
So tonight as they approached I grabbed the microphone and began preaching. As they came up to us I kept going. They waved to me, I waved back. I was polite, but not polite enough to stop. I preached:
“Jesus said ‘I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by Me”.
They kept going. I kept going: “There is no other name under heaven by which man can be saved, than the Name of Jesus!” Sometimes I just called out “Jesus! Jesus!” over their noise.
They stayed for maybe two minutes then gave up and left.
But then it happened…
As I was preaching, I began weeping.
Yes, weeping. In front of lots of people. It was weird. I couldn’t stop it. I felt God’s heart breaking for these lost sinners. I felt Him yearning for them to come home. It wasn’t me being emotional or sad – it was Him calling to them through me. I wept as I preached to them His heart.
But then I stopped preaching because I began to think. That can be a problem whilst preaching. The anointing lifts off when you start to really think, especially if you wonder what people are thinking of you. Now I kind of wish I kept going because that’s never happened to me before and I think I probably stopped it before God was done. Sorry Lord.
Important point: I believe God wants to raise up preachers who are broken for the sins of the people.
You see, there are preachers who preach the cold, hard truth of the gospel. They want the authority that gives them, but they don’t take any responsibility for the people.
Then there are preachers who in response to the above have taken out most of the truth of the gospel and replaced it with psychology or self-help or something else human. They want to take responsibility for the people, yet they have no God-given authority to do so.
God is raising up those who will “speak the truth in love”. We can get rid of neither love nor truth, and that is what so many have done.
God gives authority to those who will take responsibility. And being willing to take responsibility for others brings authority.
We need to speak the whole truth of the gospel – yes, including sin, the law, hell and judgment. BUT we need to speak the truth from a heart that has been broken for the people’s sins. We have no right to be preaching to people about whom we couldn’t care less. That is not God’s heart. That has never been His way. Think of Moses, Samuel, Jesus, Paul… We need to be willing to take responsibility for them by standing in the gap and interceding.
Preaching and intercessory prayer go hand-in-hand
Authority and responsibility go hand-in-hand
May our mighty God bless you!
“If sinners be dammed, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one GO there UNWARNED and UNPRAYED for.” Charles Spurgeon
We Need to Pray for our Sister
This pregnant Christian woman is facing hanging, after receiving 100 lashes, for apostasy. She has been sentenced by an Islamic court in Sudan. Her lawyer is going to appeal. Please pray for this sister and her family:
Rousing the Bride
Now arise My precious Darling,
Wake up you sleepy-head.
It’s time to uncurl from these blankets
To get up out of bed.
My Bride, it is morning
The day is far spent
Come rise My love-
Away with Me-
For the time that is left.
Open your eyes,
And see the sun
Look – there it is arising
If you look
You will see
Just beyond the horizon
I want you to see My love
For whom it is
I came to die.
It is something that will wake you,
But you need to decide,
Will you open
Or keep closed shut
Those dear, drowsy eyes?
For to see
Is to share the pain
Of an intercessor’s sighs
Out there is a road
It is long and it is dusty
The people there are many
And on their way to destruction
All along that road are ones
For whom I go searching:
And the bloody
I came so that they have life
And I’m going to them now
My Bride, I want you with Me
To My Father’s house
Come with Me My love
Raise up that heavy head!
To the road I am going
Oh will you leave
This comfy bed?
Cold out there?
Yes it is, that’s for certain.
All along that wide road
You will be buffeted,
Perhaps even broken.
Don’t you see?
We’ll be together
You’ll be with Me
Where I am,
Together to abide.
Stick out your toe.
Will you toss them aside?
Let them see your beauty shine
For lo, I am with you always
Place your hand in Mine.
The Bride-groom is rousing His Bride from her comfortable bed of luxury. Let us respond to His call and pray for an awakening.
May God bless my brothers and sisters in our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ’s Name. Amen
Jesus I love You, But Not Your Word
Many times I said it. Even though I had always read the Bible, even from a young child. I read it a lot. I memorized verses even. I believed it was truth, I believed it was the Word of God. And over and over God used His Word to teach me and to speak to me.
But I didn’t love it.
I certainly didn’t desire to read it or look forward to reading it. I did it because I knew it was the “right” thing to do.
Then one day I watched that old “Jesus” movie…. In it Jesus picks up the scroll of the Old Testament in the Temple preparing to read from it. But before he reads Isaiah 61 he kisses the scroll. That simple act convicted me.
I blurted to the Lord in almost desperation: “Jesus, I love You, but I don’t love Your Word. Not like that.”
I knew I loved Jesus. I loved Him with my whole heart and soul and mind and strength. I could see that “in the volume of the book it is written of Him”, I knew that Jesus is the Word made flesh. And it didn’t make sense to me. If He really is the Word made into human flesh, and if I really loved Him, how could I not love His Word as well?
Well of course there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn’t make myself love it nor desire it.
Actually, there was one thing I could do – and that was to be honest with Him about it.
So I was. I just kept telling the Lord what was in my heart.
“Lord I love You but I don’t love Your Word.”
Then gradually my prayers began to change : “Lord, give me a love for your Word. Make it real to me.”
It took some time, but one day I realized that I could honestly say that I now loved His Word. And I still do. I LOVE it. I desire to read it. I can’t wait to find more treasures in it. I can’t wait to discover my Jesus concealed in the pages of the Old Testament and find His beauty and grace revealed in the New Testament. I love reading the apostles revelations and teachings in the epistles. I often cry as I read it now, I am so blessed with this wonderful, old Book. There is nothing like it.
So what’s the difference now? The Book certainly hasn’t changed.
No, the difference is that now the Holy Spirit is bringing life where before there was death.
This principle is true not only with reading the Word of God, but with everything in the Christian life – doctrine, preaching, church meetings, worship, fellowship, prayer, giving to the poor… it can all be dry and lifeless. It may all be cold, dead duty, ritual or tradition with no life in it if it’s done in the power of the flesh.
Without the Spirit of life breathing His life into something, anything, there is in fact, a ministration of death. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, so when He is in something – whether it is prayer, reading the Word, preaching- there is reality there. There is Life. It rings true to us, it ministers life to us and we are changed by it.
A long, eloquent prayer may bring death…. If there’s no anointing of the Spirit.
A sermon with all the right doctrine may minister death to the hearers…. If it’s not infused with the life of the Spirit.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is not an added bonus or extra in the life of a believer – His ministry of Life is essential. As Watchman Nee said “We either minister life or death. There’s nothing in between.”
Let us pray for the reality of the life of the Holy Spirit in every part of our lives, worship and ministries.
God bless you!
A Harlot, an Emergent and a Pope Walked into a Bar…
There can be no doubt that the emerging religious synthesis between the Emergent Church and the Mystery religions is part of Satan’s plan to usher in a false religion. A One-World religion, paving the way for the Anti-Christ, is coming. In fact, the unity of all religions in a One-World system is a stated purpose of the New Age/occult (The Emergent/New Age Connection)
But when “Christianity” begins to say the same thing as the occult then it is time to wake up and take notice of what is going on.
This began all the way back in Genesis at the Tower of Babel. This is not a “new” or “re-imagined” Christianity, but rather an ancient scheme of Satan designed to bring together a united rebellion against the only true God.
But how will Satan do it?
The West is actually no longer Post-Modern. We are past that point now. Right now we are “emerging” from Post-Modernism into post-Post-Modernism.
Integral Consciousness is an “emerging area of discourse” within philosophy.
Where Post-Modernism de-constructed the foundations of absolute truth, Integral Theory/Spirituality, promoted by Ken Wilber, seeks to build a new platform of truth and reality. This new platform is created by bringing together a synthesis of the “best of pre-modern, modern, and postmodern reality. It is portrayed as a “theory of everything” and offers an approach “to draw together an already existing number of separate paradigms into an interrelated network of approaches that are mutually enriching.” (source: wikipedia)
Think of it like this: Post-modernism philosophy broke down (de-constructed) everything that we previously had accepted as truth – whether it was in art, design, philosophy or religion. The broken bits and pieces of truth’s foundation were left lying around for anyone to pick up and create whatever truth they wanted out of the mess. Every part equally true and important as the next, a level playing field of truth was created (otherwise known as “relativism”).
(I am engaging poetic licence at this point): Now along comes Satan, rubbing his hands at the field of broken truth. He picks up all the “best” bits of these broken truths and starts fitting them together until gradually a form emerges…. The best way to entice and seduce humanity? “Peace – they all want that: I’ll put that bit of Buddhism in;… “Love” , yes, that will stick – a bit of Jesus’ teachings will do here; ….Unity – ooooh that’ll really get ’em going – I’ll take that New Age concept of unity and stick it right in the middle there. Hmmmm – now what to stick it all together with…? – Aha! Human Integral Theory – that will be the glue.”
You may wonder how this post-post Modern philosophy will be sold to humanity. The answer is simple: Pride – the oft-proven and thus oft-repeated method. Human pride in philosophy and intellectualism is appealed to by Satan and used to aid his plans.. As we saw in The Emergent-cy of Post-Modernist Christianity , philosophy does influence and shape culture.
Satan is now using human Integral Theory to re-construct a new reality out of the debris of post-modern deconstructionism.
This is the philosophical Tower of Babel.
This philosophical Tower of Babel will then be expedited by mysticism into integrating all religions, including a form of Christianity, into a synthesis of the “best” of each religion. (See: Mysteries and Mysticism) This will create a false religious system which the Bible calls the “great harlot” or “Mystery Babylon”:
Mystery Babylon the Great
“And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written:
BABYLON THE GREAT
THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH
And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her I marveled with great amazement.”
Notice the beast which the woman sits on – the false religious system will “ride on” the united One-World government. The tenth horn on the beast’s head is the Anti-Christ, which is also riding on the One-world government.
It is crucial to understand that what is occurring within the Emergent Church, and the world at large, is opposed to Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus Christ is God’s appointed Ruler. He came to earth the first time as the humble, obedient Lamb. The second time He is coming as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Judge and Ruler. God has exalted Him far above all rule and authority.
This knowledge absolutely infuriates Satan. Satan hates Jesus with an undying passion. He is jealous of Christ’s authority and position – for this is the very position to which he tried to exalt himself (see Isaiah 14:12-15). When Satan sets up the anti-Christ as the authority on earth it is his way of trying to usurp Jesus Christ’s rightful authority as King of kings. Satan ultimately wants to be worshipped and will receive worship through this person of anti-Christ. The anti-Christ is a substitute of the real Christ. We must realize that when absolute truth is attacked, down-graded or dismissed, it is a direct attack on Jesus Christ Himself. Truth is not a disembodied philosophy nor theory. No – Truth is a person – Jesus Christ. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” said Jesus Christ, John 14:6.
Anti-Christ – is a counterfeit “Christ” opposed to the true Christ.
The great harlot – is a counterfeit religion opposed to the true Bride of Christ.
Make no mistake: there is another “Christ”.
And this false Christ is already making headway into the Church.
Integral Theory/Spirituality and the Emergent Church
So has Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory entered the Emergent Church?…
Rob Bell: “For a mind-blowing introduction to emergence theory and divine creativity, set aside three months and read Ken Wilber’s A Brief History of Everything.” Velvet Elvis, pg 192
Brian McLaren: on “A Theory of Everything and “The Marriage of Sense and Soul”
“These two books by philosopher Ken Wilber are not the next Christendom Christian books, but the way of thinking Wilber promotes and exemplifies which he calls integral thinking and which I call emergent thinking is powerful and important, in my opinion.”
“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.” 2 Corinthians 11:3, 4
(On Jan. 21, 2014, Kenneth Copeland Ministries received a personal video message from Pope Francis calling for “unity” which caused a leader to declare “Luther’s protest is over!” (ie Protestantism) Watch his message here and Kenneth Copeland’s reaction to it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eulTwytMWlQ)
- More on Integral theory and the New Age
- Emergence theory and the Emergent Church
Missionary Quotations: CT Studd
CT Studd gave up professional cricket to become a missionary to China, Africa and India. In a letter home, upon the approach of his soon death, C.T. Studd wrote of the outstanding events of his life:
“As I believe I am now nearing my departure from this world, I have but a few things to rejoice in; they are these:
1. That God called me to China and I went in spite of utmost opposition from all my loved ones.
2. That I joyfully acted as Christ told that rich young man to act.
3. That I deliberately at the call of God, when alone on the Bibby liner in 1910, gave up my life for this work, which was to be henceforth not for the Sudan only, but for the whole unevangelized World.
My only joys therefore are that when God has given me a work to do, I have not refused it.”
Going to be with His Lord in 1931, C.T. Studd’s last word he spoke was “Hallelujah”!
Praise the Lord
Jesus and Incense
In Jesus and the Altar of Incense we saw that the Altar itself is a type of Christ, pointing the way to Him.
As the Altar of Incense fore-shadowed Christ, so too the incense offered on the Altar also fore-shadows Him. This is how:
|Old Testament Shadow||New Testament Reality in Jesus||The Church’s Application|
|It was made of a delicate blend of four different spices. Each spice had to be of equal quantity, exactly balanced.||Jesus Christ is the One in whom is perfectly balanced grace and truth, holiness and love, righteousness and mercy.||Christ lives His holy life through the Church, as His Body. “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”|
|Each spice had to be crushed to a fine powder before it was added to the incense.||Christ was “wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities”. He was smitten, stricken, crushed. His perfect, sinless life poured out.||This points to “death to self”, the humbling of the believer.|
|Salt was added to the incense – salt is a seasoning and a preserver||Salt points to the holiness of Christ and the flavor of His life.||The Church is the salt of the earth –a preserving agent.|
|The incense was burned on the altar in front of the Ark of the Testimony.||Christ went through the fire of affliction in His sufferings and ultimately His death on the cross.||Our faith is tried by the fire of affliction and suffering.|
|The incense sent up a sweet perfume which entered the veil into the Holy of Holies, surrounding the Ark of the Testimony.||Christ’s sinless life of obedience was as a sweet perfume unto God. Christ has entered the veil and has made the way open for us too through His shed blood.||We are now able to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”|
|Aaron was to burn the incense in the morning and the evening when he also attended the lamps.||“As Christ ministers to the Church interceding for His own, He trims the wicks of the lamps and supplies the oil of the Spirit.”(1)||We are to pray in the Holy Spirit. “Prayer is the key for the day, the lock for the night” Corrie Ten Boom|
|No strange incense was to be offered on the altar, nor was anyone to make for themselves the incense. It was to be holy to God.||Points to Jesus being the only Way to the Father, there is no other Name under heaven whereby man can be saved.||It’s only through faith in Christ that we are saved. We are to have no other gods before Him. We are to pray in Jesus’ Name.|
|The incense was to be “perpetual…before the Lord”.||Points to Jesus as our High-Priest “who ever lives to make intercession for us.”||We are commanded to “pray without ceasing”. Our life is to be a perpetual prayer unto the Lord.|
The Golden Censer
“Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil. And he shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die” Leviticus 16:12-13
|Old Testament Shadow||New Testament Reality in Jesus and the Church|
|On the Day of Atonement the High Priest brought a golden censer full of fire and a handful of incense into the Most Holy Place. He put the incense on the fire in front of the Ark so that the cloud of incense covered the mercy seat. He then sprinkled the blood of the sin offering upon the mercy seat.||The mercy seat is a picture of Christ Himself. The sprinkled blood points to Christ’s shed blood. The censer of incense is significant of Christ taking the prayers of His people within the veil to God’s presence, on the basis of His shed blood. Read also Revelation 8:1-5|
Incense is simply an Old Testament shadow or type of prayer and intercession. God is no longer interested in the shadows or types, but rather in the eternal realities to which these shadows point.
He is extremely interested in the prayer and intercession of His Church. For the life of a believer to be truly saturated in prayer is well-pleasing to God.
“Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” Ephesians 6:18
- Page 49, The Tabernacle of Moses, Kevin J Conner
Jesus and the Altar of Incense
“The New is in the Old concealed, the OId is in the New revealed.”
The Tabernacle of Moses was built as an earthly copy of the true, heavenly Tabernacle. As the earthly, temporal priests ministered at the earthly Golden Altar, (or the Altar of Incense),on behalf of the Israelites, so too our eternal Great High Priest ministers at the true Golden Altar in Heaven, on our behalf.
In New Covenant Hope:Jesus Our Priest we saw that Jesus was made Priest by an oath:
“God has sworn and will not relent: You are a priest forever, according to the Order of Melchizedek” Psalm 110:4
The ministry of the priesthood in the Tabernacle of Moses points to Jesus Christ’s ministry now as our Great High Priest. Understanding the principles concealed in the Tabernacle of Moses unlocks so many wonderful eternal treasures about the One we love, Jesus Christ. It also relates to us as believers in our ministry of prayer and intercession.
The Altar of Incense itself is a type of Christ:
|Old Testament Shadow||New Testament Reality in Jesus||The Church’s Application|
|It was made of acacia (or shittim) wood. Acacia wood was a very durable, non-decaying wood.||Wood points to Christ’s human nature.Non-decaying wood points to His incorruptible, sinless humanity.|
|It was overlaid with gold||Points to Christ’s Divinity/Godhood|
|It had four horns on each corner of the altar. Horns are the strength and power of an animal.||Points to all power given to Christ in heaven and earth.||Points to the gospel of Christ going to the 4 corners of the earth under the authority of Christ’s Church|
|On the Day of Atonement blood from the Sin Offering was applied to the horns of the altar and sprinkled seven times.||It is Christ’s blood that was shed on Calvary (or the Brazen altar) which forms the foundation of His ministry of Intercession.||The blood of Jesus allows us to stand before a Holy God and gives power to the incense of prayer.|
|It had a crown (or moulding) of gold around it.||Points to Christ being the King-Priest||The Church joins Christ in His King-Priestly ministry as a kingdom of priests.|
|It was 2 cubits high, making it the tallest piece of furniture within the actual Tabernacle||Points to the highest ministry of Christ now on behalf of the Church – prayer and intercession||The highest ministry of the Church is also intercessory prayer|
|It was in the Holy Place, in front of the veil, before the Ark of the Testimony. It was the nearest piece of furniture to the Shekinah Glory of God.||Points to Christ’s earthly life of prayer and His ascension to the presence of God in His High-Priestly ministry.||Points to the place of prayer being the closest place to the presence of God.|
“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2
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