Friday, August 30, 2013

World Changing Faith: Profile on King David (Pt4of4)

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

What happened in the Dead Sea that proved that David was a man after God's own heart?

We're going to continue our study of the faith of King David, trying to understand how he who was an adulterer and murderer could be described in the Bible as a man after God's own heart. We will continue looking at three examples from King David's life which demonstrate that he did indeed have a deep relationship with God.

There is a third event in David's life that clearly demonstrated his intimacy with the Lord. For that story, we must look towards the Dead Sea.

A large marker stone was placed by the Dead Sea many years ago to mark the lowest point on the surface of the earth. When I first came to Israel in the 1970's it read 1,291 feet below sea level. But, if we were to bring this marker up to date, first of all we would have to move it a quarter of a mile down and then we would have to change the reading to 1,378 feet. That's a drop of 87 feet since the 1970!

The reason for that drop is the Dead Sea is rapidly receding. It's receding because it receives very little water anymore. The reason for that is that the water coming down from the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River is pulled out on both sides by the Israelis and the Jordanians and used for irrigation.

The Dead Sea is 42 miles long and 11 miles wide. It is still over 1,000 feet deep despite the fact that its level is dropping rapidly. Its mineral and salt content is so high that nothing can live in it. As a result, it is a dismal body of water surrounded by a barren wilderness.

If you were in the Dead Sea part of Israel, the only thing you would think of is water, not the Dead Sea water, but drinking water. The heat there is so oppressive that one can die of dehydration very quickly.

King David used to come to the Dead Sea frequently to hide out from King Saul. When he was in the area, he was always thinking about water. Amazingly, there is still to this day an abundant supply of fresh water at a place called Ein Gedi. Ein Gedi is located just up a long path dotted by ibex, often seen because they graze in the area.

Isn't it amazing to find such an abundant supply of fresh water out there in the middle of a terrible wasteland? The water comes from two spring-fed streams. And, just think, it's been flowing for over 3,000 years!

Often when David was pursued by his enemies, like King Saul, David would flee out into the area, knowing that water was there. But, so did King Saul, and often the king would cut him off so that David and his Mighty Men ended up in the desert, living in caves, with only the water that they had brought with them. After David was crowned the king of Judah but before he was crowned the king of all of Israel, the Philistines attacked both Hebron and Bethlehem and drove him out of those towns. He began to flee in this direction, but they knew of this desert fresh water, so they cut him off. David and his Mighty Men were left stranded out in the desert, living in caves using only the water they had brought with them.

One night, as David and his Mighty Men sat around the camp fire, David grew nostalgic. He began to think about his hometown of Bethlehem and sort of in an off-hand nostalgic moment he said, "You know what I would like more than anything else in the world right now? I would like a taste of the water from the well in my home town of Bethlehem." After saying that, he crawled into a cave and went to sleep.

His Mighty Men looked at each other and said, "Well, if that's what David wants, that's what David's going to get!" And so, three of them spent the rest of the night going across the desert, sneaking through the Philistine lines at the threat of their lives, and getting a pail of water. They had to come back through the Philistine lines again, and march back across the desert.

The next morning, when David got up, he looked off into the sunrise and he stretched and he rubbed the sleepy from his eyes, and then he looked down and there were three of his Mighty Men sitting with silly grins on their faces. He looked at them and he asked, "What's up, guys?" They said, "David, look by your feet." When David looked down, he saw a pail of water. He asked of his men, "What is this?" They replied, "David, that is a pail of water from your hometown of Bethlehem." He said "You mean, you went across the desert last night and risked your lives to get this water for me?" And they said, "Yes, David, that's what you said you wanted."

Without even thinking, instinctively, David reached down, picked up the pail of water, and before the astonished eyes of his men, he poured the water out on the ground as a drink offering to Almighty God. Then he said to his men, "This water is too valuable to drink. The only thing that can be done with it is to give it as a sacrifice to God." Wow, that's what I call a man with a heart for God!


What Made David Different

People always ask, "How could David be considered a 'man after God's own heart,' when he was such a sinner? After all, he committed adultery with Bathsheba, he lied about it, and then he arranged to have her husband killed."

The answer is that David was human like you and me. And, like you and me, he was a sinner who sinned mightily. But, he never made excuses for his sin, nor did he wallow in sin, as did his son Solomon. When he sinned, David always turned back to God in genuine repentance.

Consider, for example, the prayer of repentance David wrote after his adultery with Bathsheba. It is recorded in Psalm 51, "Be gracious to me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

Keep in mind also that during most of his life, David lived in a constant awareness of God, and put God as his first priority.

I think the message of David's life for you and me is that there is no sin so dark and hideous that it can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ — if you we are willing to repent and reach out to God in faith. And that, my friends, is truly good news!

Let's end where we began, with Psalm 27. It begins with these words, "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life, whom shall I dread?" David was not afraid of life.

The Psalm concludes with these words, He writes, "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." David was not afraid of death. The two greatest fears of mankind are life and death. David feared neither because he trusted in the Lord. Do you?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

World Changing Faith: Profile on King David (Pt3of4)

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

What happened in Kiriath Jearim that proved that David was a man after God's own heart?

We're going to continue our study of the faith of King David, trying to understand how he who was an adulterer and murderer could be described in the Bible as a man after God's own heart. We will continue looking at three examples from King David's life which demonstrate that he did indeed have a deep relationship with God.

David's exceptional relationship with the Lord was also often manifested in another way — through worship.

About seven miles west of Jerusalem there's an Arab town called Abu Gosh. In biblical times it was a Jewish town named Kiriath Jearim. Today, believe it or not, the village of Abu Gosh is best known as the site of the Elvis Presley service station. It features two bigger than life statues of Elvis. The interior walls are plastered with Elvis album covers, and Elvis music plays 24 hours a day.

Across the street from the station is the "Hollywood of Israel" where Israeli movies are made in huge sound studios. Behind the movie lot is the location of a lovely moshav called Yad Hashmona. A moshav is a collective village like a kibbutz, but the difference is that at a moshav people own their own houses. The moshav, which looks like an Alpine village, was built with lumber supplied by Christians in Finland. The moshav is occupied by Messianic Jews who make their living by building furniture.

Up a hill from the moshav and adjacent to the movie studios is a French Catholic Church called the Church of the Ark of the Covenant. The steeple of the church features a statue of Mary holding the Christ child while standing on the Ark of the Covenant. It is symbolic of the fact that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophetic significance of the Ark.

Everything about the Ark of the Covenant was prophetically symbolic of the Messiah. The Ark was made of wood, which was a symbol of the fact that the Messiah would be human. It was overlaid with gold, which was a symbol of the fact that the Messiah would be also divine.

Inside the Ark were three items: one was a pot of manna, another was the tablets of Moses that the Ten Commandments were written on, and a third was Aaron's rod that budded. Each one of these had prophetic significance. Take for example the pot of manna. It was symbolic of the fact that the Messiah would be the Bread of Life. Then there was Aaron's rod that budded, which was symbolic of the fact that the Messiah would die and come back to life, just as that rod did. And, the third thing was the tablets of Moses which were an indication that the Messiah would perfectly obey the Law of God and fulfill it in every respect.

On top of the Ark of the Covenant was a lid that was called the Mercy Seat. On each end there was an angel and their wings touched over it. Once a year the high priest would walk in and he would sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat. This was a prophetic symbol for when the Messiah died that the spilling of His blood would make it possible for all of us to be reconciled to God, because the spilling of that blood would make it possible for the mercy of God to cover the Law of God.

The church marks the spot where the Ark of the Covenant was stored in a farm house for almost 70 years.

The very first time that I ever visited the Church of the Ark of the Covenant I had a startling experience. I'd like to tell you about it.

I had a pilgrimage group with me, and when I finished my lecture about the site, one of the pilgrims requested that we sing the song, "We Are Standing on Holy Ground." So, we stood and started singing that song. The second phrase of that song is, "And I know that there are angels all around." Just as we began to sing that, I lifted my hands, looked up at the ceiling, and lo and behold there were angels all over the ceiling!


Journey of the Ark of the Covenant

Let's review for a moment how the Ark of the Covenant came to rest in the farm house of a man named Abinadab.

During the period of the Judges, the Children of Israel became increasingly rebellious toward the Lord. Near the end of that 400 year period of time, the Philistines sent an army against Israel. Incredibly, the Israelites decided to take the Ark of the Covenant out of the Holy of Holies and carry it into the battle with them. They believed that if they did that, God would not allow the Philistines to win. In short, the Israelites treated the Holy Ark like it was a rabbit's foot that would bring them good luck.

Needless to say, the Lord was outraged over this desecration of the Ark and the fact that the Israelites were putting their faith in an idol rather than in God. In the ensuing Battle of Ebenezer, the Philistines routed the Israelites. They captured the Ark and then they proceeded to Shiloh where they destroyed the Tabernacle of Moses. Thus began the strange odyssey of the Ark.

The Philistines took the Ark to their capital of Ashdod where they put it in the temple of their fish god, Dagon. But, each morning, they found the statue of their god lying face down on the ground. Then, people began to experience a plague of tumors. That's when the Philistines decided the Ark was a hot box they needed to get rid of. They sent it first to Gath, then on to Ekron, but both towns suffered calamities. Finally, they decided to put it on an ox cart and just head it back toward Israel. The ox cart wandered from town to town until it finally ended up right in Kiriath Jearim, where the Ark was stored in the farm house of Abinadab.

The book of First Samuel says the Ark stayed in the house of Abinadab for 20 years, but that must be a reference to the last 20 years that Samuel served as a judge of Israel. I say that because we know it continued to remain there during the 40 years of Saul's reign and during the first seven years of David's reign. So, it was there a total of 67 years!

The amazing thing is that the Tabernacle of Moses had been rebuilt in Gibeon, which is only two or three miles from there, yet no one cared enough to come get the Ark and return it to the Holy of Holies. The forgotten Ark became a symbol of Israel's apostasy.

But, David had never forgotten it. And after he became king of all of Israel, which is seven years after he had been crowned King of Judah, he decided that the first priority of his kingship would be to bring the Ark to Jerusalem as a symbol of his determination to bring God back into the heart of his nation. According to Psalm 132, David took an oath that he would not sleep indoors or on a bed until the Ark of the Covenant had been returned to its proper resting place. David's top priority as the king of all of Israel was to lead the nation into a spiritual revival with their God. And so, David came to Kiriath Jearim.

The priests put the Ark on their shoulders and they headed toward Jerusalem. David, in his delight, took off his outer priestly robe, and he began to dance before the Ark. He skipped and he shouted, he clapped his hands, he turned in circles. He began to shout "Hallelu et Adonai! Hallelu et Adonai!"

I'm sure that some who were viewing this were saying to themselves, "This guy is making an absolute fool out of himself!" Well, that's exactly what David's wife, Michal, thought when she saw him dancing before the Ark as he entered Jerusalem. She was mortified by his unkingly behavior, and she told him so in no uncertain terms when he got home. I love David's reply. He said to her, "Honey, you ain't seen nothing yet!" In short, he was more than willing to be a fool for the Lord's sake.

The story ends with a sobering thought. We are told that because of her criticism of David's worship, Michal's womb was struck barren by God. The message is that God takes worship very seriously, and we had better be very cautious about criticizing anyone's worship.

And so you have it, David in Kiriath Jearim is yet another example of David's incredible dedication to God.


The in the fourth and part of this study of the faith of King David, we will look at the third of three examples from King David's life which demonstrate that he had a deep relationship with God.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

World Changing Faith: Profile on King David (Pt2of4)

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

What happened in the Valley of Elah that proved that David was a man after God's own heart?

We're going to continue our study of the faith of King David, trying to understand how he who was an adulterer and murderer could be described in the Bible as a man after God's own heart. We will be looking at three examples from King David's life which demonstrate that he did indeed have a deep relationship with God.

The first example occurred when David was a teenager. The event took place in the Valley of Elah.

Those of you who are familiar with biblical geography will recognize that name immediately. It is the site where David confronted the Philistine giant named Goliath. The Israelite army was located on high bluffs over on one side. Then there was the Valley of Elah in between, and over on the opposite bluffs was where the Philistine army was located.

When David arrived on the scene, the two armies had been camped facing each other for a period of 40 days. Each day the Philistine giant, Goliath, would come down into the valley and taunt the Israelites, daring any of them to come out and fight him, and promising that if they could kill him the whole Philistine army would surrender. But, King Saul and all his men were terrified of the giant, and no one would accept his challenge. That is, no one until David arrived on the scene.

David had walked from Bethlehem to deliver food to three older brothers who were soldiers in King Saul's army. When David heard the giant's taunt, he was bewildered by the fact that no one was willing to take him on. David cried out, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should taunt the armies of the living God?"

David immediately went to King Saul and requested permission to confront Goliath, but Saul refused. He said David was too young and too inexperienced in warfare. David responded by pointing out that he had killed both a lion and a bear while protecting his sheep. He then declared, "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, he will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."

Saul then agreed for David to go, but first he clad him with armor. The resulting scene must have been absolutely hilarious, for young David was so burdened down by the heavy armor that he could hardly walk! David decided to cast the armor aside and get five smooth stones from the creek bed.

I've been to the Valley of Elah many times, and because I've been there many times I know how hard it is to find five smooth stones, because over the years tens of thousands of tourists have come and walked up and down the river bed and picked up about every smooth stone you can find. In fact, I don't even know why there are any stones left.

David picked five really smooth stones. Then what he did was take his shepherd's bag, pulled out his sling, and put the five stones in the bag. He then went forth confidently to meet Goliath.

David came running at Goliath with a slingshot in his hand, and when Goliath saw him he said, "What am I, a dog, that you should come at me like this?" That's when the young teenager made his famous declaration, "You come with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted." Then David declared, "The battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into my hands."

David took one of his smooth stones from his shepherd's pouch and he put it inside of his sling. He began to swing it around his head, then he threw the stone. It hit Goliath right in the center of his forehead. Goliath fell on the ground dead. David went over and took Goliath's huge sword and chopped his head off. And, at that, the Israelites cheered and attacked and chased the Philistines all the way back to their coastal cities, killing many of them along the way.

The contest with Goliath revealed that David had a deep, intimate relationship with the Lord and a great trust in Him.


The in the third part of this study of the faith of King David, we will look at the second of three examples from King David's life which demonstrate that he had a deep relationship with God.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Turmoil in Egypt - Is it Prophetic?

Nathan JonesPDFBy

Is the turmoil going on in Egypt prophetic?

Egypt has torn itself apart as their people riot and their military topples one government after another. What started out as the Arab Spring uprising has turned into a dark winter for Egypt. Hope naively is in the air that democracy and freedom will replace the old order, but fear is also tangible as the specter of Islamic Sharia Law rises to choke Egypt in its militaristic submission to Allah.

Delving below the politics, students of Bible prophecy are deep in discussion over whether Egypt is engaged in some kind of prophetic fulfillment.

A recent "Christ in Prophecy Journal" blog poll of 354 people looked to see where people believed Egypt stood in the prophetic light. As expected, 170 respondents (48%) wisely chose that it was too early to tell. Still, 71 respondents (20%) believe Egypt is experiencing Isaiah 19, and 63 respondents (17%) believe we are witnessing the beginning of the Psalm 83 prophecy. To a lesser degree, some believe Ezekiel 38-39 or Daniel 11:40-45 are in order. Some even, after the close of the poll, suggested Ezekiel 29:12 is beginning.

Egypt Poll

What do each of those prophecies mean, and are they truly being fulfilled today? Let's take a look.

Isaiah 19

"I [God] will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian... I will hand the Egyptians over to the power of a cruel master, and a fierce king will rule over them, declares the Lord." - Isaiah 19:2a,4

While Isaiah's oracle against Egypt certainly sounds relevant to today with Egyptian rising up against Egyptian for or against the latest government, it is still up in the air whether they will be given this cruel tyrant to rule over them. It is indeed possible that the Muslim Brotherhood will regain power among the turmoil and place the people under strict Islamic law. Or, this could ultimately be talking about the coming Antichrist.

Morsi Demonstrators

Clearly other parts of this oracle haven't occurred yet. Verse 5 tells of the Nile drying up and the canals (Suez?) stinking. Verse 18 tells of five of Egypt's cities being taken over so they "will speak the language of Canaan." Even more amazingly, the people will turn from their idols and "swear allegiance to the LORD Almighty" and "he will respond to their pleas and heal them" (verse 21-22). God will even go as far as building a road from Assyria (modern day Iraq) through Israel to Egypt and proclaim "Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance" (verses 23-25).

Prophetically, it could be that Egypt has started on the path of Isaiah 19's prophecy which starts with Egypt's fall, but without a shadow of a doubt Isaiah 19 describes Egypt's final future in Christ's Millennial Kingdom. Along with Jeremiah 12:14-17, it is revealed that Egypt as a nation will make it into Jesus' Millennial Kingdom, though populated by believers, and not living under any judgment.

Egyptian Supreme Court

So, is Isaiah 19 happening today? No, most likely not. This prophecy has all the markings of a yet future fulfillment happening during the Tribulation with its blessings ending up in Christ's Millennial Kingdom.

Ezekiel 29:12

"I [God] will make the land of Egypt desolate among devastated lands, and her cities will lie desolate forty years among ruined cities. And I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries." - Ezekiel 29:12

Are the Egyptians facing a desolation and scattering of its people for 40 long years? One would think so until they read on to Ezekiel 29:19 and 30:10 which shows that the Lord promised that He would "put an end to the hordes of Egypt by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon." Historically then, although there's no archaeological record of this happening, we can take the Bible at its word that this event happened over 2,500 years ago.

A slim possibility exists that there may be a future fulfillment of Ezekiel 29 as well. During the coming Millennial Kingdom, if any nation doesn't send representatives to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, they will then suffer drought (Zech. 14:16-19). The Egyptians are singled out in this warning, which suggests they could also see a 40-year exile during that period if they persist in their stubbornness, making Ezekiel 29:12 also yet future. I give this only a very slight nod of the head, though, because God's praise for Egypt during the Millennium recorded in Isaiah 19:23-25 would seem to rule out the harshness of exile.

Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39

"With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you... the Hagrites [Egyptians]." - Psalm 83:5-6

Psalm 83 is a prayer calling down judgment and justice upon Israel's neighboring enemies. In Psalm 83, all the nations that are listed have modern equivalents to the nations that today surround Israel: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Gaza and Egypt. Israel has never fully subjugated those lands as the prayer calls, especially since they became a nation once again in 1948.

Ezekiel 38-39, called the Gog-Magog prophecy, foretells a coalition of Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, the Sudan and a number of other Islamic nations uniting together to try to destroy Israel and carry off her wealth. God stepping in to defeat this overwhelming army is nothing short of miraculous and would change the face of world politics as we know it. The Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog Battle creates three main results: 1) The world knows God exists and protects Israel, 2) all of Israel's hostile Muslim enemy countries are defeated, and 3) Israel leaves its secular humanism to accept God (though not His Son until the end of the Tribulation).

Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39 are bundled together here because noticeably absent from the Gog-Magog coalition are the countries that directly border Israel. It would appear Israel would have to deal with their hostile neighbors, possibly subjugating them, for the requirements of Ezekiel 38-39 to fall into place.

If anything happening in the Middle East today is fulfilling Bible prophecy, it is that we are witnessing this very day the formation of these coalitions. Iran has set up proxy states through Hamas and Hezbollah and no matter who comes to power in Egypt they still seethe to wipe Israel off the map. Israel has the world's most effective army which could easily subjugate those neighbors. Israel could not defeat Russia along with Iran and Turkey coming from multiple fronts, and so God will have to step in, just as He told Ezekiel He would.

The fall of these Middle Eastern governments today is endangering any peace treaties made with Israel and solidifying the relationships between these Islamic nations against Israel. The danger level towards Israel is being kicked up to maximum and it is possible that any day soon we could see a Psalm 83 scenario unfold.

Daniel 11:40-45

"He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt." - Daniel 11:42-43a

Earlier in Daniel 11 we get a stunning play-by-play of the ongoing battle between the dynasties of Alexander the Great's generals. These kings are consecutively labeled the "King of the North" (Syrian Seleucids) and the "King of the South" (Egyptian Ptolemies). This portion of prophecy was fulfilled in such jawdropping accuracy in the decades following Alexander the Great that it's led some to claim that Daniel was written after their fulfillments.

Starting with Daniel 11:36, the picture clearly becomes a prophecy about the future and describes the military campaign of the Antichrist in the Middle East that occurs at the end of the Tribulation. The Antichrist's preoccupation with persecuting the Jews and Tribulation Saints emboldens some of the nations under his control to rebel, and he's forced to deal with the King of the North (possibly Syria or one of the regions controlled by one of his 10 Kings) and the King of the South (possibly Egypt or another of his 10 Kings).

Egypt is certainly wrapped up in this prophecy, but it's very much a Tribulation-centric prophecy and not something we are seeing in today's headlines.

Summary

No matter who rules Egypt, the peace treaties with Israel are coming to an end. Unbounded by treaties, armed by Iran, and united by Islamic hatred of all things Jewish, all prophetic indications reveal that the nations surrounding Israel will attack in a Psalm 83 scenario. Following sometime soon after, an outer ring of Muslim nations will attempt to destroy Israel based on Ezekiel 38-39's Gog-Magog Battle. We are very close.

Monday, August 26, 2013

World Changing Faith: Profile on King David (Pt1of4)

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

How could King David, an adulterer and murderer, be described as a man after God's own heart?

The shepherd's fields of Bethlehem is where David, the son of Jesse, grew up and where he tended sheep. David the shepherd rose to become the King of Israel, and he proved himself to be a skilled military leader and a gifted poet and song writer. But, David was also a liar, an adulterer, and a murderer. How then, could he be described in the Bible as "a man after God's own heart?" And, what is the relevance of his life to you and me today?

We're going to begin our search for understanding King David in the city of Jerusalem and in his writings.

Next to the Dormition Abbey is a medieval building that was constructed by the Crusaders. The Crusader building occupies a very historic site — it is the place where the Last Supper of Jesus and His disciples was held. It is also the site of the first church in Jerusalem — the Messianic-Jewish church headed up by James, the brother of Jesus.

On the same site is the traditional tomb of David, located on the first floor directly below the Upper Room that marks the site of the Last Supper. This, of course, is not the true site of David's tomb, since the Bible says he was buried inside the ancient City of David, which is some distance away. This tomb was constructed by the Crusaders who were thoroughly confused about biblical history and biblical sites.

Whenever I go to Israel and step inside and visit the traditional tomb of David, before entering the tomb it is necessary for all males to wear a hat such as a yarmulke. Normally, when I come there, I read David's Psalm 23.

Let's read something different, taken from Psalm 27:1. "The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?" He then proceeds in verse four to say, "One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple."

I'm reminded of a very important event in the life of David when I see the Tower of David. It's on the west side of the Old City near the Jaffa Gate. This morning during my personal devotions I turned to Psalm 144 and I was reminded of this site. David wrote, "Blessed be the Lord my rock, He is my lovingkindness and my fortress. He is my high tower, and my deliver. My shield and the one in whom I take refuge."

Nearly all Christians are familiar with the story of how God gave David's son Solomon one request before he succeeded his father as king. His request was a selfless, magnanimous one — that he might be given wisdom so that he could rule wisely. Just think, he could have asked for wealth; he could have asked for military power; or an empire that encompassed the then-known world, but no, he asked for wisdom, and God was pleased.

What most Christians do not know is that David also made one basic request of God, and what he requested was a thousand times more profound. As Psalm 27 reveals, David requested intimacy with the Lord. Let's read it again, Psalm 27:4, "One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, And to meditate in His temple."

This overwhelming desire to experience the Lord's presence was a constant theme of David's poetry. For example, in Psalm 26, he wrote, "O Lord, I love the habitation of your house, and the place where your glory dwells." Likewise, in Psalm 69 David cries out, "Zeal for Your house (the Temple) has consumed me." David loved the Lord with all his heart, and he yearned for fellowship with the Lord above all other things.

Now, of course, it is one thing to write such sentiments, but it is quite another to live them. Our actions always speak louder and truer than our words. So, what about David's actions? Did they reflect his words? Did they demonstrate an intimate relationship with God? I think they did, and I want to give you three examples.


The in the second part of this study of the faith of King David, we will look at three examples from King David's life which demonstrate that he had a deep relationship with God.

Friday, August 23, 2013

World Changing Faith: Profile on Elijah (Pt4of4)

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

Does Elijah still have a future ministry to carry out? And, if so, what will it be?

I want to conclude this study on the faith of Elijah by reminding you that the ministry of Elijah is not finished. The Old Testament ends with a prophecy that Elijah will return to this earth before the Day of the Lord, that is, before the Second Coming of Jesus. I believe Elijah will be one of the two great witnesses which the book of Revelation chapter 11 says will be sent by God to call the world to repentance during the first three and a half years of the Tribulation. Bible prophecy experts generally agree that Elijah will be one of those witnesses.

They disagree over the identity of the second witness. Some argue he will be Moses, because he performs miracles similar to those of Moses. Also, Moses and Elijah were the ones who appeared at the Transfiguration of Jesus.

The second witness could very well be Moses, but I think it is more likely that he will be Enoch. Both Enoch and Elijah were raptured to Heaven without experiencing death. Both were prophets, but there was a difference between them. Enoch was a Gentile. Elijah was a Jew. And, it seems appropriate to me that the Lord would supply both Gentile and Jewish voices to call the world to repentance during the Great Tribulation.

Elijah

Elijah had a great ministry during Old Testament times. His ministry continues today because his message is so relevant to our day and time. But, his greatest ministry is still in the future when he will return to help prepare the way for the Second Coming of the Messiah. His message then will be the same as it was in Old Testament times, and the same as it is today. The Scriptures say, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If Jehovah is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him."

A choice must be made, for there is only one road to the one and only true God. Jesus put it this way. He said: "I am the Way, I am the Truth, I am the Life; no one comes to the Father but through me." Put aside the false gods of your life. Embrace Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and He will lead you into a personal relationship with the one and only true God.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

World Changing Faith: Profile on Elijah (Pt3of4)

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

What can we learn from the faith of Elijah and apply to our own lives?

Dr. Reagan: We are going to continue to study the life of the Prophet Elijah, one of the most interesting persons in the Bible, by discussing the story of Elijah's confrontation with the prophets of the false gods of Jezebel in 1 Kings 18. We have asked Don McGee, the founder and director of Crown & Sickle Ministries, and Nathan Jones, Web Minister for Lamb & Lion Ministries, to give us some application.


Know God Exists

Dr. Reagan: Nathan, what do you see is the application of the story of Elijah to say the nation or to the Church today?

Nathan Jones: Elijah clearly proved to the people of that time that God exists. And, God clearly proves that He exists to the people of this time through the Bible which is His Word, through the complexity of Creation, and from the lives that are changed when people give their lives to Him by asking for salvation. So, today, we need to take that evidence and act on it and believe.

As a nation, we need to turn to the Lord and proclaim, "Yes, God exists!" We as a nation need to repent and ask Jesus to be our Savior and Lord of our nation once more.

Personally, I think we each need to shore up our faith on the fact that God does exist. We get a little timid thinking, "Well, it's been 2,000 years now. Is God even still around anymore?" But, God does exist, and our faith can stand on that fact.

As a Church, we need to not let false doctrine into the Church. We need to be as brave as Elijah and confront the false religions and teachings of Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, and so forth. We need to declare to them, "You all are wrong! You are false! The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from the Bible is the real deal."

Dr. Reagan: Boy! I'd say "amen" to that, because I think one of the biggest problems in the Church today is that the Church has been invaded by the world's attitude of tolerance. Just tolerate anything and everything. Elijah would not have been popular today.

Nathan Jones: Not at all. If these advocates of tolerance would just wait a little while longer, they'll witness Jesus coming back, and there's all the evidence they could ask for right there.

Dr. Reagan: Now you get me preaching on that!


Make a Choice

Dr. Reagan: Don, what do you see as the application of the story of Elijah?

Don McGee: Nathan made an outstanding application in that I believe we need a lot of Elijah's and Amos' today. I like those two guys, because I think we need to confront evil.

But, you know, there's something else in this story that sometimes hides in the background. We don't really think about it as preachers so much because we like giving the action to people. We like to talk about the fire and the sacrifices and all that. But, what we see almost in a subtle way in the background, is the people watching. Notice their attitude. They said to themselves, "We really don't know if Yahweh is God, and we're really are not convinced that Baal is God, so we're going to watch this contest and we're going to see what happens." That's so descriptive of the spiritual mind-set of people today, and I'm not talking about the pagans and the heathens. I'm talking about people who warm a few square inches of pew cushion every Sunday morning.

Dr. Reagan: Well, yes, I would say that's true. I love the way Elijah really makes the application of his message so simple. He just simply says to the effect, "Hey, if you're God is Yahweh, chose Yahweh. If it is Baal, then chose Baal, but you've got to make a choice."

In the world today, people want everything. They want there to be many different roads to God, like there's the road of Buddhism and the road of Hinduism and the road of Judaism and so forth. They want so many different roads, but Jesus said, "I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life. There's no other way to God except by me." People need to make a choice.

Peter Marshall gave one of the greatest sermons I've ever heard in my life. I heard it on a tape, and it was all about this topic. When he got to the end of his sermon he said, "I say to you, the message of Elijah is this: if you're God be Yahweh, choose Yahweh. If you're god be Baal, choose Baal... and go to Hell!" I thought, "Boy, he preaches like Amos!"


God Has Your Answers

Dr. Reagan: Nathan, tell us something else that the story of Elijah has impacted you with, maybe for our society as a whole.

Nathan Jones: I think when it comes to our society, many talk philosophy. They want to know, "What is the meaning of life? Why do I exist? What is my future?" Well, the Bible answers all those questions. We don't have to sit around scratching our heads and wondering if there's an answer out there.

God exists! He has a future for us. He has a plan for us. He has an eternity prepared for us in love. Everything that society searches for, God has the answer to.

But, we get scared of God's path, both individually and as a society. We want to find our own way to God which will allow us to continue sinning. When you make the decision for God, you have to give sin up, that's true, but you get so much more in return.

Dr. Reagan: Amen! I think those are some very good applications for both our society and the Church.


Unique Interpretation

Dr. Reagan: I'd like to end this discussion of the faith of Elijah with something on a little lighter note, because this has been some pretty heavy application. And, the lighter note is this. About a year ago we had a special edition of our Lamplighter magazine on Elijah and his confrontation with the prophets. A lady called me and she said, "I'm the teacher of a youth class, and I really appreciated your story. It helped me to tell them the story of Elijah, so I appreciate your magazine, but I want to tell you something funny that happened." She continued, "After I got through with the whole story, I turned to the children and I asked, 'Who knows why Elijah put all that water on his sacrifice? The prophets of Baal didn't do that, why did he put so much water on there?' She said a little girl's hand shot up immediately and the girl said, 'It was for the gravy!'"


The the fourth and last segment on our study on the faith of the Prophet Elijah, we'll look at Elijah's future ministry.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

World Changing Faith: Profile on Elijah (Pt2of4)

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

How long are you going to hesitate between two opinions? If Yahweh is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him.

We are going to continue to study the life of the Prophet Elijah, one of the most interesting persons in the Bible, by recounting the story of Elijah's confrontation with the prophets of the false gods of Jezebel in 1 Kings 18. We have asked Don McGee, the founder and director of Crown & Sickle Ministries which is located in Amite, Louisiana, to tell the story.

Don McGee


Elijah vs. the Prophets of Baal

The account of Elijah and his confrontation with the prophets of Baal is found in 1 Kings 18. It's one of my favorite accounts in the whole Bible.

One of the reasons I really enjoy reading and studying the account of Elijah is the way that he conquered the enemies of God — by the power of the Spirit of God working within him. That's an application for us even today, and something that I'll explain in just a little while.

One of the major things that we see as we begin the story is how Elijah confronts the pagan King Ahab. And folks, this is something that we see very little of today, for there is very little confrontation with evil. But, Elijah had no problems, no qualms whatsoever, about going up to Ahab and pointing his bony finger in his face and saying to the effect, "You are the problem, Ahab. It's not me! The fact that there's no rain on the face of the earth is not my problem. God has withheld rain because of your choices and your decisions and the leadership posture that you have with our people."

Next, Elijah challenges Ahab to a contest. The interesting thing is that Ahab actually took him up on the challenge. Elijah tells him, "We're going to finish this thing. You get your prophets of Baal, and you get your prophets of Asherah, and we're going to go to Mount Carmel, and we're going to see who is God."

I don't understand what Ahab was thinking at this time. Ahab was a pagan king and he had to know at least to some degree that the worship of Baal and the worship of Baal's consort Asherah was all hogwash. There wasn't anything to it, and yet he took up the challenge. Now, folks, this is interesting, because it tells us the depth of deception that Ahab was living in. Did he believe that he could really win this contest? I think that the key thought when we examine this is that Ahab was deceived.

Notice the great question in chapter eighteen and verse twenty one. Elijah approached the people and said, "How long are you going to hesitate between two opinions? If Yahweh is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him." It says that the people didn't answer him a word. This is indicative that the people were so steeped in paganism that there was really no conviction in their heart about the God of their forefathers. So, they said, "Okay, this is something that we're going to want to watch."

Elijah

Elijah made the challenge. He threw down the gauntlet. He actually told them in verse 25 that the pagans get the first shot. So, this is what they did. He said, "Bring us two bulls. I'm going to take one and I'm going to offer the sacrifice, and you take one and you offer your sacrifice, and whichever God sends fire to consume the sacrifice, he is God."

You have to understand that there were a lot people standing out there watching this thing. They were aware of Ahab and Jezebel and the corruption that was in their administration. They knew a little bit about this raggedy-looking old prophet who suddenly appeared on the scene, but they didn't know a whole lot about him. So, they're interested in what's going to happen here, because the result of this confrontation would set the spiritual posture for their nation.


The Victor

Well, what happened? Elijah did three things.

First thing that Elijah did is that he told the people and told the prophets of Baal and Asherah, "You go ahead and start your operation." And they did. The Bible said that they went through all kinds of incantations. He said, "Since you're so numerous, choose for yourself one bull and prepare it first." And they took the bull and they started their little raving. It says they screamed from morning until noon, "Baal answer us!" The recorder said there was no sound, for no one answered. It says that they did their lame dance around the alter they had made. That was the first thing Elijah did. He gave them their shot, and they went from morning until noon and nothing happened.

Then Elijah removed all doubt about deception in his own sacrifice. He said about the time of the evening sacrifice, about 3 o' clock, he said, "Okay, guys, you've had your turn. Now it's my turn." So, he took some stones and he rebuilt this alter that had been there evidently for some time, and he piled the stones up again, and he took some wood and he put it on the alter. He then took his bull and he sacrificed it. He killed it and he put it on the alter. He then told some people to pour water on this thing. And, the reason he did that, was because he wanted to remove all question about the integrity of what he was about to do. They poured water all over the sacrifice.

And then, the third thing he did is that he ordered a simple prayer. Notice the simple prayer that he prayed. He said, "Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Let it be known today that you are God in Israel and I am your servant and at your word, I have said these things. Answer me, Lord. Answer me so that these people will know that you, Yahweh, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back."

The Bible says that God sent fire from heaven! Actually, this is the first example of a nuclear strike that we have in the history of humanity, because God sent fire from heaven. Not only did it consume the sacrifice, but it consumed wood, and folks, only a nuclear reaction can consume stone and dust. It took care of everything. God just didn't say "I am God." He said, "I am God, and you better not forget it". This is what God did with this magnificent demonstration of His power. Not only did this test demonstrate that Yahweh was God, but it demonstrated that Elijah was His spokesman.

I pray God's blessings upon us as we study this story and renew our faith.


The the third segment on our study on the faith of the Prophet Elijah, we'll have Evangelist Don McGee and our Web Minister Nathan Jones provide some applications from Elijah's life of faith that we can use today.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

World Changing Faith: Profile on Elijah (Pt1of4)

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

How does the story of Elijah demonstrate that faith and bravery go hand-in-hand?

We are going to study the life of the prophet Elijah who is one of the most interesting persons in the Bible. He was a bold and fearless prophet who never died and whose ministry is yet to be finished in the future. For a fascinating glimpse of this man's life and message, we'll begin our study into the faith of the Prophet Elijah by looking at the spectacular city of Haifa in the nation of Israel. The city is not mentioned in the Bible because it did not exist in Bible times, but Mount Carmel which the city rests on is.

Haifa is located on the Mediterranean Sea coast about 65 miles north of Tel Aviv. With a population of almost 300,000, Haifa is the third largest city in the country, after Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It is located at the north end of the Mount Carmel mountain range that runs for almost 30 miles southeast of Haifa, separating the coastal plain of Sharon from the Valley of Jezreel, or as it is known to Christians — the Valley of Armageddon.

Haifa is Israel's major industrial center. It is the location of one of the nation's two oil refineries, and it is the home of many high-tech companies like Intel, IBM, Microsoft and Motorola. It is also one of Israel's two modern ports, the other being Ashdod to the south of here. The gold domed building located on the side of Mount Carmel is the tomb of the founder of the Baha'i faith, an eclectic religion that was founded in Iran. Its headquarters were moved to Haifa in the 20th century due to persecution in Iran.

Temple in Haifa

The reason I mention Haifa is that it is the area where the prophet Elijah carried on his ministry. In fact, almost directly at the base of the mountain is an ancient cave that is considered to be the place where Elijah lived and taught.


Living in a Dark Time

Elijah, whose name means, "My God is Jehovah," appears suddenly in the Scriptures in 1 Kings 17. All that is said about him is that he was a "Tishbite from the land of Gilead." Now the term "Tishbite" is believed to refer to his hometown, probably named Tishbe. Its location is unknown. Gilead is an area to the east across the Jordan River in the modern day nation of Jordan. In biblical times, it was part of the land that was allotted to the tribe of Manasseh. Elijah came to this area for the purpose of confronting his king, who was a very evil man by the name of Ahab.

Keep in mind that when Solomon died, his kingdom was divided into two parts — the Southern Kingdom of Judah and the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The Northern Kingdom was the rebellious one. When Elijah appeared on the scene, that kingdom had existed 60 years and had experienced seven kings, and all of them had been evil in the eyes of God. The most evil was Ahab. He had married a Canaanite woman named Jezebel, and she had led the king and his people into the worship of false gods like Baal and Asherah.

Baal was the god of rain and agriculture, Asherah was a fertility goddess who was considered to be the mother of Baal. Jezebel, who is one of the most evil women portrayed in the Bible, pushed these gods on Ahab to the point that she talked him into exiling the Levitical priests and killing the prophets of Jehovah. In short, Jezebel was determined to extinguish the worship of Jehovah by the ten Jewish tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

To say the least, it was a dark, dark time in the history of that kingdom. The people were wallowing in idolatry and the prophets and priests of the true God, Jehovah, had either been killed or they were in hiding. It took a lot of courage for Elijah to suddenly appear as a prophet of God and confront King Ahab with his wickedness. But, that's exactly what Elijah did.

Elijah told Ahab he was going to show him who was the true God of Israel. He said he was going to call for a drought, and that it would not rain for over three years. In fact, he said it would not rain again until he called for it to do so. And, the drought began immediately. This was, of course, a direct challenge to Baal because he was considered to be the god of rain.

Three years later, Elijah confronted Ahab again, and Ahab called him, "the troubler of Israel." Elijah's response was again a very bold one. He said, "I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father's house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and have followed the Baals."

Elijah then challenged the king to a test of their gods, and Ahab accepted the challenge. He sent 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah to confront Elijah at a place on the top of Mount Carmel. Mount Carmel at a site about 15 miles southeast of Haifa. It is a place that is called in Arabic, El Muhraka, which means "the place of burning." It is the traditional site where Elijah had his confrontation with the prophets of Baal and Asherah.


Valley of Armageddon

Now, before we discuss Elijah's contest with the prophets of Baal, let's pause to discuss the Carmelite monastery that is located at the top of Mount Carmel. I want to tell you something, it provides a scenic view that is absolutely breathtaking. From the rooftop you can get one of the best views in all the land of the Valley of Jezreel, or as it is called in the book of Revelation, the Valley of Armageddon. When Napoleon saw this valley in 1799, he declared in amazement that, "all the armies of the world could maneuver their forces on this vast plain." He proceeded to defeat the Ottoman armies in a battle here.

Valley of Armageddon

The valley stretches for 30 miles from the Haifa area southeast across the northern part of Israel to the Jordan River. In the center of the valley is a domed shaped hill called Mount Tabor. It is the traditional Catholic site of the Transfiguration. I don't personally believe the Transfiguration took place on Mount Tabor for a number of reasons, the most important being that there was a Roman fortress located on top of the mount in the time of Jesus.

There is one event we know for sure took place on Mount Tabor, and that was a great Israelite victory over the Canaanites during the period of the Judges. You see, Mount Tabor was where the battle took place in which the army of Israel was led by Deborah and Barak.

Back on the top of Mount Carmel, by a grove of trees, there is a statue of Elijah killing the prophets of Baal, which I'll show you in the next segment.


The the second segment on our study on the faith of the Prophet Elijah, we'll have Evangelist Don McGee recount the story of Elijah's confrontation with the prophets of the false gods of Jezebel.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Snowden Revelation of "Solar Virus Armageddon" Shocks World

Is a solar virus coming to plunge the world into chaos?

(Note from Nathan Jones: I found this recent article by August Rosado of Today In Bible Prophecy Ministries a fascinating read. August is a good friend of Lamb & Lion Ministries and a frequent guest on our television show "Christ in Prophecy". While it's pretty clear that the current administration listens to a lot of bad advice, how they act on that advice is inherently important to us all. August ties some connections together based on the Snowden leaks and presents a possible outcome based on what will eventually be fulfilled prophecies. Whether what's supposedly soon to occur with the sun will result in these prophecies being fulfilled remains to be seen, but the article makes one think of the many possible scenarios that will launch the Tribulation.)

August Rosado


Fear of a Solar Flip

Edward Snowden, the most wanted man on earth today, continues to leak information as he enjoys asylum under the protection of Russia. He has bounced from country to country seeking refuge and fleeing US prosecution. There is a $1 billion dollar bounty on Snowden to bring him back to America to face charges of espionage.

Snowden also leaked information to the British newspaper, The Guardian, about the US eavesdropping known as Prism. He told The Guardian that the US government was spying on other countries via eavesdropping on phone conversations, email, and search engines. The US government was not only eavesdropping on European Allies, but on unsuspecting American citizens as well.

Snowden made another remarkable revelation in which he said that the Obama Administration fears a raging pandemic due to solar storms that may very well alter life on this planet as we know it. Snowden provided Russian authorities with a USB flash drive that contained information from the Ministry of Health. This report contains 20,000 pages from the US State Department's 2004 shocking report, in which President George Bush said, "Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in war and disasters; that disruption and conflict will be endemic features of this life and concluding that once again warfare would define human life."

Glen Greenwald, an American reporter in Brazil, said he also has the 20,000 pages of Snowden's leaked top US classified secrets. He is afraid to release them because of the Obama's Administration's "open kill order" on those who leak those files.

The MOH report said that this coming fall or winter, a massive reversal of the sun's magnetic field would not only severely effect our weather and radio transmissions, but would also genetically create mutant deadly viruses. This coming "solar flip" will kill millions in an apocalyptic-type catastrophe.

A report released in 1990 by two British scientists, said that solar activity (sunspots) were related to every incident of viral influenza epidemics and pandemics in human history. Snowden released documents that reveal dangerous type viruses like Influenza A H7N9 and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED). These have killed millions of pigs in the US this year and show no sign of stopping.

The Snowden leak also revealed that the US government purchased 1.5 billion rounds of ammo in 2012 and will purchase another 1.6 billion rounds in the next four to five years. The Obama Administration fears "social anarchy" will develop as tens of millions of Americans die and the economy collapses due to what the MOH says will be, "the worst pandemic disaster in human history."

Folks, this story is not from some Christian fiction or some sensational prophecy website, but from the Ministry of Health themselves, and what they are saying is a page right out of Bible prophecy.


The Coming Judgments

Revelation chapters 6, 9, 15 and 16 speak of a global catastrophe upon the world that will result in a global holocaust.

Revelation 6:8 speaks of a fourth of mankind being killed just from the first four Seal Judgments.

Revelation 6:12 records the Sixth Seal Judgment which results in a devastating earthquake, the sun being blacked out (black as hair, John says), and the moon becoming as blood, probably due to nuclear fallout.

The Seventh Seal Judgment in Revelation 8:1 contains another series of sevens to hit the earth — the Trumpet Judgments.

Revelation 8:7 says the third of trees and grass was burnt up, and verses 8-9 tell us that a great mountain burning with fire (possibly a large missile of some sort in great size) will contaminate the sea killing all fish life.

Revelation 8:10 records the Third Trumpet Judgment as a star falling from heaven hitting the drinking waters. This is possibly a nuclear missile re-entering earth's atmosphere and polluting the drinking water. Verse 11 calls the star "Wormwood," and in the Russian language they would call Wormwood "Chernobyl."

Revelation 8:12 records the Fourth Trumpet Judgment as the sun, moon, and stars are blacked out, possibly due to radiation fallout.

Revelation 9:2 speaks of the Bottomless Pit being opened, spewing such thick black smoke that it blots out the sun and decreases the oxygen, which will suffocate people. Only nuclear fallout can create such a devastating effect on mankind.

Revelation 9:18 speaks of another third of mankind being wiped out — one and a half billion people — due to these atmospheric convulsions from the Seal and Trumpet Judgments.

Then come the Bowl Judgments. Revelation 16:1 records the Vial or Bowl Judgments. Verse 2 speaks of grievous sores on those people who took the Mark of the Beast. Radiation can cause severe burning and blistering boils on the human body. Verse 3 again records the oceans being contaminated and killing all sea life. Verse 4 records all drinking water being contaminated and killing men.

Verses 8-9 speak of men being scorched with fire. Again, they could be severe burns due to intense heat from a nuclear blast. Revelation 16:10-11 speaks of blistering sores in men's mouths so that they chew on their tongues to relieve the pain. Because of these plagues they blaspheme God.

Second Peter 3:10-12 tell us of the earth being destroyed by fire, as well as Zechariah 14:12. Isaiah 24:6 tells us that the earth will be destroyed by fire.

With this news story, and more revelations by wanted fugitive Edward Snowden, the stage is being set for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Slaughter of Christians in Nigeria

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

In 1999 a pro-democracy movement in Nigeria successfully ended the nation's 33 years of military dictatorships, and a Christian was elected president. Prior to that time Nigeria had been ruled primarily by dictators from prominent northern Muslim families. When the Christian was elected, 12 Muslim controlled states in northern Nigeria responded by imposing Islamic sharia law in open violation of the Nigerian constitution.

In April of 2011 another Christian from southern Nigeria by the name of Goodluck Jonathan was elected President in what Western observers declared were the "freest and fairest" elections in the nation's history. The Muslims in the north responded to the outcome of this election with an explosion of violence.

The level of the violence was staggering. In a period of 48 hours, 764 Christian churches were torched, 204 Christians were murdered, more than 3,100 Christian-operated businesses were set ablaze, and over 3,400 Christian homes were reduced to rubble.

Muslim Rioters

Since that time a jihadist terror group known as Boko Haram has been attacking Christians relentlessly, burning their villages and churches to the ground and killing as many people as possible. Thus far, the national government has done nothing to stop the violence, nor has it provided relief aid to the Christian communities. The government's inaction is most likely due to a fear that any intervention would ignite a religious war that would lead to the secession of the northern states.

The situation has become so bad that Nigeria now leads the world in Christian persecution! During 2012, 70% of all the Christians killed globally for their faith were murdered in Nigeria.

Mass burial of Nigerian Christians

The President of Nigeria recently offered to give the members of Boko Haram complete amnesty if they would stop their murderous rampage. This offer outraged Christian leaders. The leaders of Boko Haram mocked the offer, saying they had done nothing wrong. They continue to present themselves as "freedom fighters" who are trying to liberate Nigeria from Christian dominance.

In the midst of all this chaos, there is a wonderful man of God by the name of Standfast Oyinna who is attempting to minister to the thousands of Christian refugees who have been burned out of their homes. His life has been threatened repeatedly, but in fulfillment of his name, he has decided to stand fast and do everything he can to assist his brothers and sisters in Christ.

Pastors

We have had an ongoing relationship with Standfast for over 30 years. We know him well. He is a dedicated and trustworthy servant of the Lord. What makes his situation particularly interesting is that his particular tribe considers themselves to be of Jewish descent.

In one recent Muslim attack, a young Christian minister by the name of Chidi Abuwa had to flee with his wife and baby, leaving behind two of his older children whom they could not find. When they were able to return to the village, they discovered it had been burned to the ground, and many of the children had been thrown alive into wells. Chidi and his wife were heartbroken. We joined with Standfast and his people in praying that Chidi's children would ultimately be found alive. Two weeks later, a family returned to the village with Chidi's children. The Abuwa children had been playing with theirs when the attack occurred, and all of them had fled together into the jungle. They lived on herbs and crickets for two weeks, until they felt it would be safe to return.

Due to generous donations from our supporters, we have thus far been able to send a total of over $40,000 to Standfast to use for relief aid. Each time, he sends us a detailed record of how he spends every penny.

Please pray for God to surround him with protecting angels, and pray for the effectiveness of his relief efforts. Also pray for the national government to take decisive action to protect Christians. And please consider a special donation for the relief efforts. Just designate it for Nigeria.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tribute to Three Stalwart Bible Prophecy Teachers

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

The small world of full-time Bible prophecy preachers and teachers has recently lost three of its stalwarts.



Grant Jeffrey
Grant Jeffrey (1948-2012)

The first to be called home to His Lord was Grant Jeffrey, a Canadian who passed from this life in May of 2012. Grant was a prolific writer on Bible prophecy themes. In 2000, his novel titled By Dawn's Early Light, which he co-wrote with Angela Hunt, won the Christy Award for futuristic Christian fiction. Grant also served as the host of a weekly television broadcast called "Bible Prophecy Revealed." Grant was working on a new book called, One Nation Under Attack at the time of his death. The book was completed by his colleague and fellow Canadian, Jack Kinsella.



Jack Kinsella
Jack Kinsella (1952-2013)

Jack was born in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. At age 16 he joined the U.S. Marines and served 6 years. He then completed a 20 year career as a law enforcement officer in North Texas, after which he headed back home to Canada. He devoted the rest of his life to the study of Bible prophecy and became a highly skilled writer. For several years he served as the head writer for the television program "This Week In Bible Prophecy," and also edited the magazine with the same name. He later became a researcher and writer for his friend and mentor, Hal Lindsey. In 2001 Jack founded "The Omega Letter," an online daily Christian intelligence digest analyzing current events in light of Bible Prophecy. Jack's insights will be featured in Dr. Reagan's new book about the signs of the times and in the ministry's new series of television interviews about the book of Daniel. Jack died in March of this year.



Dave Hunt
Dave Hunt (1926-2013)

Dave was an expert in apologetics as well as Bible prophecy. He was a graduate of UCLA and worked as a CPA before starting to write in 1973 about the impact of secularism on the Church. He became well known in 1985 with the publication of his book, The Seduction of Christianity. In 1992 he formed a ministry named The Berean Call, located in Bend, Oregon. Dave died in April of this year. His ministry is continuing under the directorship of his long time friend and colleague, T.A. McMahon.