Newsletter 126 Winter 2018

In this edition:

Flee the wrath to come

Jerusalem capital of Israel – calling the Palestinian bluff.

Off the rails – mixing Christ and Mohammed

Gender Confusion

Transgender – unrelenting pressure to destroy traditional morality

Twelve Revelations of Jesus Christ from the book of Revelation – Study 1

The end of a civilization – a state within a state

The Words of the “New” Spirituality – What Do They Really Mean?

Persecution – the world watch list 2018

Flee the wrath to come.

“What comes after death? Is it oblivion or conscious existence? Jesus Christ taught that after death comes judgment. He will be the judge consigning mankind to one of two destinies. Either we will enter eternal life and live with Him for ever or be thrown into the lake of fire suffering torment and destruction.”

“…… to suffer the wrath of God and be thrown into the lake of fire is ‘a horrific but preventable, tragedy’.”

“It is a tragedy which will affect not just a few but all who are living and have ever lived. Rarely is the alarm sounded. Frequently the wrong advice is being given.”

“God does not want any to suffer the tragedy of the lake of fire. In mercy He has provided a way of escape. But be warned, if we do not take that way of escape we will suffer the consequences.”

The above comes from the cover of a new booklet which I have prepared. ‘Flee from the wrath to come’ is a warning that after death comes judgment. This warning is rarely heard in churches and almost never outside church.

This booklet is a development of an article I wrote for Trumpet Sounds 124. In that article I posed the question, “facing such turbulent times what message would the head of the church, Jesus Christ, have us bring to the world?” John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. He preached a message of repentance and to flee the wrath to come.

Jesus will soon return. To prepare the way I believe that we need to follow the example of John the Baptist and warn of coming wrath.

I wrote the booklet ‘Watch’ for Christians. It is an encouragement to stand firm whatever may befall us before that day when Jesus gathers us up to be with Him. ‘Wrath’ is written for non-Christians, although it is a message which many in the church need to hear. The Lord has blessed ‘Watch’ by enabling the distribution of thousands of copies. To distribute booklets to Christians is one thing. To get the message into the hands of unbelievers is quite another matter. I trust that writing ‘Wrath’ is a beginning. Please pray the Lord will guide the next step which is how to make the message known.

If you would like to receive a copy of ‘Flee the Wrath to come’, please send me an email with your name and address.

Jerusalem the Capital of Israel

On the 21st January Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas gave a hate filled speech in which he denied Israel’s right to exist and wished on President Donald Trump that his “house should be destroyed.” In the speech he said that “Colonialism created Israel to perform a certain function. It is a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism, but rather used the Jews as a tool under the slogan of the Promised Land,”.

In her blog Melanie Philips commented as follows:

“Abbas’s speech has done two things. First, it has stripped the Palestinians’ Western backers of their fig leaves. They have been left supporting an openly unhinged Jew-hater. There is now no Palestinian Arab position they can pretend passes the basic smell test of decency and conscience.”

“Second, it showed he realizes the game is up. Palestinianism is over. Sure, there will still be attacks on Israelis – maybe now even more so. But the reason Abbas threw diplomatic caution to the winds is that he can no longer manipulate the global community. All he can now do is beat the tribal drums of bigotry in the hope of inciting yet more anti-Jew frenzy in the Muslim world.”

“For Trump has changed everything. He has refused to play along with the Palestinians’ lies and blackmail. Instead, he has started holding their feet to the fire. By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he explicitly acknowledged the unique historic connection between the Jewish people, Jerusalem and the Land of Israel. That connection, which predated Islam and the short-lived Arab colonial occupation of the land, destroys the false claim of indigenous Palestinian entitlement upon which the war against Israel has rested.”

“Trump has also cut in half the funds the US provides for UNRWA, whose unique and false perpetuation of fictional Palestinian refugee status is key to the Arab war against Israel. And if reports are to be believed, his peace plan will offer something well short of a Palestine state.”

“No less crucially, Abbas realizes that the wider Arab world no longer cares about the Palestinians’ cause. Those Arabs have more urgent considerations, such as stopping Iran from taking over the region, and they need the US and Israel to help them.” [end of quote]

President Trump has done what should have been done a long time ago. He has made clear that the Arabs need to negotiate and accept that they will not get all that they may aspire to.

In July 2000, President Clinton invited both Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel and Yasser Arafat for the Palestinians to a meeting at Camp David. He hoped that the outcome of this meeting would be an accord similar to the 1978 peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, brokered by Jimmy Carter. In retrospect Clinton said that no agreement was reached under his aegis because, although Israel under Barak, agreed to give up 96% of the West Bank, the Palestinians under Arafat “never said yes”. In his autobiography Clinton wrote, “they got close, but did not succeed. Arafat never said no; he just couldn’t bring himself to say yes. Pride comes before a fall”.

Clinton’s comment on Arafat exposes the fundamental misunderstanding which western nations have of the Palestinian conflict with Israel. It was not pride that prevented Arafat from saying yes. It was the foundational commitment of the PLO to the eradication of the state of Israel. Arafat told Clinton that the PLO had nullified the clauses in their charter which called for armed struggle against Israel. His words and actions demonstrated that nothing had changed. Subsequently Fatah denied that the PLO charter was ever changed.

For several decades, Palestinian diplomacy has operated on the principle that the longer they hold out, the more concessions are offered. They hope that Israel will be forced to make so many concessions that the state will no longer be viable. Intransigent diplomacy has gained results where armed struggle failed. With the recognition that Jerusalem is the historic capital of a Jewish state, Trump has called the Palestinian bluff.

Trump was warned that if he recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel there would be unrest throughout the Middle East. This proved to be another bluff. The media attempted to portray a few minor incidents as wide spread anger at the announcement. In reality there was very little response.

The Arabs are growing tired of being used as pawns in other people’s games. In Gaza it was the Saudi flag, not the stars and stripes which was burned. Hamas understood that the Unites States would not have recognised Jerusalem without the nod from King Salman. This angered the Saudi’s who wondered why they had wasted billions of dollars supporting the Palestinians only to be treated like that. Qatar’s news outlet Al-jazeera also aimed its anger at the Saudi’s.

Then there was Turkey. Following Trump’s announcement President Erdogan tweeted that he would turn the whole Muslim world against Washington. The next day President Erdogan sat down and signed an 18.6 million euro deal with Israel.

In 2015 a poll conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Public Opinion found that the majority of Palestinians living in Israel ruled East Jerusalem said that they would prefer to be citizens of Israel. A minority said that they would choose to be citizens of a Palestinian state.

Off the Rails

On Sunday 3rd December 2017 All Saints Church, Kingston upon Thames held a Milad, Advent and Christmas celebration. Milad is the celebration of Mohammed’s birth. The event was publicised as marking the birthday of Prophet Mohammed and looking forward to the birthday of Jesus. There was provision for prayer at the time of Asr and Magrib followed by cutting of the birthday cake and Rizwan’s ‘High Tea’.

Asr is the third of the five daily prayers recited by practicing Muslims. Magrib is the fourth of the five daily prayers. So we have an afternoon celebration in a church bookended by Islamic prayer. Mohammed is given the title of prophet while Jesus isn’t even referred to as Christ.

Islam regards Mohammed as greater than Jesus. He came to complete the revelation of God only partially received by the former prophets including Jesus. For the Christian Jesus is the full, final and complete revelation of God. He is the way the truth and the life. To concede any status to Mohammed is blasphemy.

Answers in Prophecy 

The meetings are held at The Barn Church, Francis Edwards Way, Bewbush, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 8GG

Sessions start with a time of worship at 6.50 pm and run until 8.45 pm on the second Saturday evening of the month. There will be a break for tea and coffee in the middle of the evening.

We will be looking at topical issues and also the destiny of various nations in prophecy.

10th February Persia – I will set my throne in Elam
10th March Syria – Damascus will be a ruinous heap
14th April Turkey – I am against you O Gog.

Gender Confusion

A little while ago it was the LGBT movement. Then it became LGBTQ. Soon ‘I’ was added on the end. But now it is LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP. For those that don’t know, that stands for; lesbian, gay, genderqueer, bisexual, demisexual, transgender, transsexual, twospirit, intersex, queer, questioning, asexual, allies, pansexual, polyamorous.” This heading comes from an inclusiveness teacher training day advertised in Canada. I am sure that someone must have been left off the list and therefore feels excluded. Perhaps it’s just the N for normal.

Transgender

According to the Sunday Times more than 2,000 children were referred by GPs, schools and support groups to the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic in London in 2017. The figure is a 20-fold increase in seven years.

Last year’s figures included two three-year-olds, nine four-year-olds, 21 five-year-olds and 23 six-year-olds. Some are being offered treatments not accessible in the past and for which there is no long-term research data available about risks. Yes, the article really does say that three, four and five year olds are being referred to the clinic because they question their gender!!

The clinic said that they had one eleven year old girl receiving hormone treatment to supress puberty because they identify as a boy. The clinic also said that “if a school just gets a whisper of a child who may be querying their gender within minutes they are doing everything to make sure that child is regarded as a member of the opposite sex right from the word go, that may not be the best for that child.”

Transgroup activists are pushing for children to be allowed to change gender identity more quickly and some feel the GIDS service is too cautious.

Peter Hitchens writing for the Mail on Sunday called “the idea that people are whatever sex they think they are a terrifying weapon in the hands of modern Thought Police. Whatever you say, you cannot possibly be right about this”.

“Express any opinion (apart from total submission), and within minutes you will be besieged by condemnation. It will be cleverly based on the idea that you are somehow being cruel to some troubled person, even though you aren’t doing this at all”.

Hitchens’ recognises that is just a pretext. “In reality, a whole moral and social system is being destroyed, and traditional ideas of male and female are the next target, now that husbands and marriage have been done away with. For once you begin down the road of sexual revolution, there’s no end. There will always be someone more militant than you”.

Capitulation

Christian Concern reports that the C of E has issued the following statement; “The House of Bishops welcomes and encourages the unconditional affirmation of trans people, equally with all people, within the Church, the body of Christ, and rejoices in the diversity of that one body, into which all Christians have been baptized by one Spirit.”

The church is in chaotic retreat. As Hitchens warns, for the militant Trans activists this is only a beginning. They will not be content until they have perverted the whole of society by destroying traditional morality.

Twelve Revelations of Jesus Christ from the Book of Revelation

Trumpet Sounds 122 carried an outline to a series of talks I was then giving under the title ‘Twelve Revelations of Jesus Christ’ from the Book of Revelation. Notes from the first of the talks now follow:

 INTRODUCTION Revelation 1: 1 – 5                     

Revelation is dramatic with mind blowing imagery. Some are frightened by it, others obsessed by it. The book opens with a blessing for those who both read and act on what is written in it. It closes with a warning that to add or take away from it endangers losing our place in the Holy City.

The blessing that comes from reading Revelation is the assurance that Jesus has already won the victory over Satan. Satan’s final overthrow and ejection from this world are just a matter of time.

Seven times in Revelation those who keep the faith are referred to as blessed.

Those who read and keep what is written in it, (Rev 1: 3).

Those who die in the Lord, (Rev 14: 13).

Those who watch, (Rev 16: 15).

Those invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb, (Rev 19: 9).

Those who are part of the first resurrection, (Rev 20: 6).

Those who keep these words of prophecy, (Rev 22: 7).

Those who do His commands [washed their robes], (Rev 22: 14).

Receiving the blessing requires keeping what the book teaches. Therefore we need to study it in order to be blessed by it.

Besides the blessing there is an assurance that the time is near. God will delay no longer than necessary to complete His purposes. What may seem a never ending age to us in this life is nothing compared to eternity.

The revelation of Jesus Christ

This is not just a revelation given by the Father to His beloved Son, or even a book which reveals things to come. The opening words state that it is ‘a revelation of Jesus Christ’. Each section brings a new revelation of the character of Christ.

This is the first of twelve articles each of which will study an aspect of the character of Christ as revealed in Revelation.

The writer is introduced as John. The early church fathers attribute Revelation to the Apostle John. Written towards the end of the first century when John was about 90 years old and imprisoned on the island of Patmos.

It is a book which comes from the highest authority. The introduction states that the originator is God the Father. It is transmitted via the Son, then an angel, to John who wrote down what was revealed.

Purpose

The teaching of Revelation applies to every age but especially for those living at the end of the age. It encourages those who are facing persecution and martyrdom. It also warns sinners of the inevitability of judgement.

 THE GLORIFIED CHRIST Revelation 1: 5 – 20

The first revelation is of the glorified Christ. We tend to think of Jesus as the carpenter of Nazareth or the teacher wandering the foothills of Galilee. The incarnate Son of Man humbly living a life here on earth. We will never meet that Jesus. That is the Jesus of history. We meet here the glorified Jesus

John records that he was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day. Early on Christians started meeting on the first day of the week. (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16: 2). It was not until later, in the 2nd century AD, that the first day of the week became referred to as the Lord’s Day. Some translations read “In the Spirit on the Imperial Day”. On the Imperial Day all the peoples of the Roman Empire were required to swear allegiance to the Roman Emperor as Lord. Refusal to worship Caesar as Lord could result in exile or death.

Revelation was given during the reign of the Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD). Domitian, who was obsessed with his own deity, insisted on being called “Lord and God”. The cult of Emperor Worship was viciously applied especially in Asia Minor. It was the Roman way of unifying the empire. You could have your own gods but the emperor had to be one of them. On this day, many John knew and loved, were under intense pressure to renounce their faith and worship Caesar. While John is interceding for those he loved, the Lord brings this message of encouragement for the churches of Asia. The grounds for that encouragement are set out in John’s brief introduction. Jesus Christ is:

‘the faithful witness’.

A reminder that Jesus became one of us and suffered for us. “He humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on the cross”. (Philippians 2: 8). He knows what it is like to suffer and to be tempted but not give up. (Hebrews 2: 18). He will be both with us and ask less of us than he went through Himself.

first born of the dead’.

An encouragement to know that whatever this life brings, we have a glorious future. Because Jesus was raised we can be sure that we will be raised from the dead.

‘the ruler of the kings of the earth’.

Jesus has won the victory. He is now sovereign. Power can only be exercised on earth with His permission. (Ephesians 1: 20 – 22)

‘To Him who loves us’.

He loves us whatever our outward circumstances. However dark our situation we cannot be separated from His love. (Romans 8: 35 -39)

‘and has loosed us out of our sins by His blood’.

We are forgiven not because of our efforts but due to His sacrifice. If it were by our own efforts, we would always question if we had done enough to earn His forgiveness. (Ephesians 1: 7).

‘kings and priests’.

The world may despise us but whatever the world may think, our status is settled. We are now in royal service.

Look, He comes with the clouds’.

He is coming again to judge the world. Those who have suffered for Jesus in this life will soon be rewarded. (2 Thessalonians 1: 6 – 10). Israel will repent and receive her saviour. (Zechariah 12: 10).

The world will mourn when Jesus appears. The return of Christ will be the ultimate disaster. They will know that the one so long scorned has returned as the Judge. For the Christian it will be pure joy.

The Glorified Christ

We are now introduced to the Jesus of the present. This is the Jesus to whom we address our prayers. A long time before this vision, John had glimpsed Christ as He is now seen. On the mount of transfiguration, Jesus was revealed in His eternal glory. (Matthew 17: 2)

As John is intently interceding a loud authoritative voice breaks in. John is commanded to write and send. His prayers are answered with a word for the seven churches which he once cared for. The word is not one of instant relief for the present suffering.  Instead he receives an assurance of Christ’s final victory.

John turns and sees seven golden lampstands which we are told represent the seven churches. Among the lampstands is one which John recognises as the Son of Man. John would have remembered how that when Jesus said He was the Son of Man, it condemned him to the cross. (Matthew 26: 64). Jesus was a referring to Daniel 7: 13, 14. At the trial the High Priest recognised it as a claim to be the Messiah. In a later vision Daniel saw what John now sees (Daniel 10: 5 – 8). Ezekiel also saw a similar vision by the river Chebar. (Ezekiel 1: 26- 28).

At the Last Supper John records how he lay on Jesus’ breast. Jesus was like a close friend or brother. The glorified Jesus invokes a different response. Ezekiel, Daniel and John all respond in the same way. They fall at His feet as if dead.

‘The First and the Last’ is a title of the Lord, the King of Israel. (Isaiah 41:4, 44:6).

This same Jesus, now glorified, still loves and moves among His people. He speaks to the churches and their pastors on the state of their faith, commending what is good, and correcting their faults.

He will warn us of the dangers of failing to correct the things which are going wrong, while at the same time assuring us that He is concerned to ensure that we come through.

For the pastors of the churches there is a special encouragement. Jesus doesn’t just walk among them. They are held as seven stars in His right hand.

John saw Jesus die. He also saw Jesus after the resurrection. Jesus has conquered death, He is alive for ever more.

This is the Jesus before whom one day each of us will have to stand and give an account of our life (Romans 14: 12). Before those eyes of fire nothing is hidden. (Hebrews 4: 12, 13). Like John on that day we will fall at His feet as if dead. There will be no arguments which we can put forward to justify our actions. No explaining away of what we have thought and done.

On that day we will understand as never before that it is by grace that we have been saved through faith, not by works but by the gift of God. (Eph 2: 8-9).

 The end of a civilisation

In a recent article in the magazine ‘Causeur’, Christian Moliner, a French intellectual, made the following proposal. “We can never convert the 30% of Muslims, who demand the introduction of sharia law, to the merits of our democracy and secularism. We are now allowing segregation to take place that does not say its name. Rather than veil the face or adopt unimaginable measures in democracy (remigration, forced evictions of the most radical), why not establish a dual system of law in France?”

In other words He is proposing that, because Muslims are not willing to integrate, now is the time to allow the development of a state within a state. That subsidiary state would have its own education system, hospitals and Sharia law. Moliner is recognising that this state within a state already exists and proposes that the best way to deal with it is to accept reality.

The article had the provocative heading “To avoid civil war, let’s divide France”. Moliner believes that to leave things as they are will inevitably provoke a violent backlash. This is because a nation always rests on a fundamental pact, a minimum of laws which all approve. That is no longer the situation in France where a significant minority wants to be governed under their own law.

For fear of appearing Islamophobic, governments have allowed radical practices to spread throughout the country. The veil can be worn at school and work. Halal meat is served in canteens. Soon it will no longer be an offence to prevent someone eating during Ramadan. Any disagreement with Islamic teaching will be seen as blasphemy and punished as incitement to racial hatred. Moliner warns Christians that they will have their rights under the law but will need to be discrete.

Is a state within a state the solution to containing a minority which does not want to integrate? If the present status quo were to continue it may be that this solution would work. How long will Muslims remain a minority? One forecast predicts that France will be a Muslim majority nation within 40 years. As the Muslim population grows so will the boundaries of the areas which they effectively control. At that point they will without question impose their culture on the rest of the nation. The French will have to accept their new status as Dhimmis in their own land. Moliner believes that before that time comes there will be a backlash which will amount to a civil war.

The whole of Europe is facing the same problem of how to deal with a minority which will not integrate. A 2014 study of Moroccan and Turkish Muslims in Europe found that 65% regarded Sharia as more important than the laws of their country.

In the past I have written that ‘Babylon Mother of Harlots’ is more than the Roman Church. It represents the whole of apostate Christendom. Her judgment will come through the beast kingdom of Islam. Revelation says that the Lord will put it into the minds of the kings who support the beast to hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. We are seeing throughout Europe the steady progress toward that day of reckoning.

As we witness a civilisation crumbling how should we as Christians respond? Primarily we are to obey Jesus’ command to watch. That involves both a knowledge of Bible prophecy and, like the sons of Issachar, an understanding of the times. In 1 Peter 4: 7 to 11 we are encouraged to “be serious and watchful in our prayers” and then to have “fervent love for one another.” That love includes hospitality and using the gifts God has given to bless the church and glorify Jesus. As the days grow darker we are to look up. One thing is certain Jesus Christ will return in glory. He is coming to take up the reins of power to rule the world.

The Words of the “New” Spirituality – What Do They Really Mean?

More New Age buzz words which you may hear used in church. A full list can be found in ‘D is for Deception’ by Kevin Reeves published by Lighthouse Trails Research

Ancient Wisdom: The supposed laws of the universe that, when mastered, enable one to control one’s own reality. Another word for metaphysics or occultism.

Christ Follower: While there is nothing inadvertently wrong with this term, New Christianity/New Spirituality proponents have captured the term to say a ‘Christian’ is a dogmatic, preachy, uncaring, irrelevant person, whereas a Christ follower doesn’t preach or carry around a Bible (which they say makes unbelievers/unchurched uncomfortable) but rather becomes integrated into the culture, absorbing the culture. Whereas a Christian is set apart, the Christ follower focuses on relationships, community, and social justice, they say. It is the idea that you can go for Jesus, but you don’t have to identify yourself as a Christian or part of the Christian church (for more on the term Christ follower, see:  http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=4810).

Kingdom of God: New Spirituality believes the kingdom of God can be brought to earth through humanity becoming one. When they use this term, they don’t mean it in the sense the Bible uses it but rather it is a kingdom based on the unity of all mankind and man realizing his divinity. There is no Cross in this kingdom.

Red-letter Christians: A term promoted by Tony Campolo and other ‘progressive’ emerging figures who say they follow the red letters of Jesus in the Bible. They focus primarily on Christ’s words of love and forgiveness but disregard His words about judgment, sin, and evil.

Spiritual Disciplines: The supposed disciplines used in Spiritual Formation for the purpose of becoming more christ-like. These can include fasting, prayer, good deeds, and always includes the ‘discipline’ of contemplative prayer (e.g., solitude and silence). The Desert Fathers practiced extensively self-denial and disciplines which, as Paul indicates in Colossians 2:20-23, only provide “an appearance of wisdom in religion and false humility.”

Taize: Taize is an ecumenical interspiritual community in France. Taize worship is a prayer service consisting of meditative singing and periods of silence in order to reach a contemplative state.

Vintage Faith or Vintage Christianity: A spirituality that goes back to former practices, but not as far back as the apostles, and Jesus, teachings in the Bible. They say we need only look back to Catholicism and early century monks and mystics.

Persecution

The Open Doors World Watch list for 2018 covers the 50 countries where it is most dangerous to follow Jesus. In these countries there are 215 million Christians who experience a high level of persecution.

For the 16th year running North Korea is ranked as the most dangerous country, with Afghanistan rated second.

The spread of radical Islam continues as the foremost oppressor of Christians. Of the 50 worst countries, 38 are Muslim majority nations, while Islam is behind the extreme persecution in 8 out of the top 10 worst nations.

The rise of religious nationalism is given as another cause of persecution. Hindu nationalism is on the rise in India and Nepal. Buddhist nationalism is being used by the governments to marginalise religious minorities in Burma and Sri Lanka.

There is a grass roots revival of Islam in central Asia. Azerbaijan has joined Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan on the list. Pressure on Christians is coming two ways, from both the government and from within society.

The removal of the Kim family dynasty might relieve the lot of Christians in North Korea. In Muslim majority countries the removal of despotic leaders brings no relief. In Iraq, Syria and Libya the plight of Christians has worsened with the removal or weakening of the strong dictator.

Under Communism the persecution of Christians was due to the philosophy of a particular regime. Under Islam it is cultural, stretching back 1400 years. The Christian, as also with members of other faiths, is regarded as inferior owing allegiance to the Muslim. For the time being they are tolerated as Dhimmis; but as inferiors, they suffer attacks, false accusations, denial of rights, forced marriages, destruction of property and other forms of persecution.