Tuesday, 4 November 2008

November 21-23, 2008: Three Days of Prayer and Fasting for Iran

In response to a year of persecution and the imminent passing of a law making the death sentence mandatory for all Muslim men who turn to Christ and life imprsonment for Muslim women who turn to Christ, Iranian church leaders are calling for prayer and fasting from November 21 – 23, 2008.

They know they have no influence in the courts of men – but they want to take their case to the courts of heaven.

And like Esther of old, the queen of Iran who told Mordecai to ask all the people of God to pray and fast for three days, so Iranian Christian leaders are asking the world-wide church to also set aside these three days for prayer and fasting.

If you are a prayer leader in your church, please contact other intercessors to be involved in these three days, and please approach your pastor to see if special prayers for Iran can be made at your church service on Sunday November 23.


The growing church in Iran is under attack. Since April there have been at least fifty three arrests of people whose only crime is their faith in Jesus Christ. The arrests are not localised, but have happened in all of Iran’s major cities…Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Shiraz, Kerman, and elsewhere. Sometimes people have been released the same day, others spent months in prison, some still remain behind bars. Many of them have had to pay exorbitant fees for bail and face frightening court cases. Some have suffered physically while in detention and it is believed that one elderly couple died as a result of being beaten up. These are only the arrests that get reported: it is likely there have been many more.

All of this has been happening against the ominous background of legislation going through the Iranian parliament that will make the death sentence mandatory for any man who leaves Islam and chooses another faith. Women will face life imprisonment for the same ‘crime’. Click here to read more about this legislation.

Despite the persecution, the church in Iran continues to grow rapidly. The Word of God is reaching many in the country and many believers are determined to courageously share Christ with their countrymen. Christian leaders in Iran believe that the church will continue to grow very rapidly in the next five to ten years, such is the openness of Iranians to the Gospel.

We urge Christians world wide to pray and fast on behalf of the church in Iran.

Pray for all those who have been arrested and intimidated. Pray that the Lord will be their Rock, Deliverer and Shield. (Psalm 18:2)
Pray that despite the persecution, Christians will be “encouraged to speak the Word of God more courageously and fearlessly.” (Phil 1:14)
Pray against the law of apostasy. Pray that the severe mandatory punishments regarding apostasy in Iran’s new penal code will not enter the statute book. Pray that many millions of Muslims will see the evil of this law and will hunger for spiritual truth and salvation.
Click here for more details about persecution in Iran in 2008.

Thanks you for praying for Iran.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

'No God' slogans for city's buses

Bendy-buses with the slogan "There's probably no God" could soon be running on the streets of London.

The atheist posters are the idea of the British Humanist Association (BHA) and have been supported by prominent atheist Professor Richard Dawkins.

The BHA planned only to raise £5,500, which was to be matched by Professor Dawkins, but it has now raised more than £36,000 of its own accord.

It aims to have two sets of 30 buses carrying the signs for four weeks.

The complete slogan reads: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

As the campaign has raised more than anticipated, it will also have posters on the inside of buses as well.

The BHA is also considering extending the campaign to cities including Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Professor Dawkins said: "Religion is accustomed to getting a free ride - automatic tax breaks, unearned respect and the right not to be offended, the right to brainwash children.

This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think - and thinking is anathema to religion
Professor Richard Dawkins

"Even on the buses, nobody thinks twice when they see a religious slogan plastered across the side.

"This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think - and thinking is anathema to religion."

Hanne Stinson, chief executive of the BHA, said: "We see so many posters advertising salvation through Jesus or threatening us with eternal damnation, that I feel sure that a bus advert like this will be welcomed as a breath of fresh air.

"If it raises a smile as well as making people think, so much the better."

But Stephen Green of pressure group Christian Voice said: "Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large.

Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large
Stephen Green of pressure group Christian Voice

"I should be surprised if a quasi-religious advertising campaign like this did not attract graffiti.

"People don't like being preached at. Sometimes it does them good, but they still don't like it."

However the Methodist Church said it thanked Professor Dawkins for encouraging a "continued interest in God".

Spirituality and discipleship officer Rev Jenny Ellis said: "This campaign will be a good thing if it gets people to engage with the deepest questions of life."

She added: "Christianity is for people who aren't afraid to think about life and meaning."

The buses with the slogans will run in Westminster from January.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Christians Murdered in Iraq

This prayer request came to me today from Pastor Nabil. Thank you for joining us in prayer for them. This is the general area where I was to have spoken two weeks ago but was not able to attend. It is an area that is usually not so hard for Christians as long as they are quiet.



هذه الرسالة هي طلب للصلاة من أجل العراق و شعب العراق خاصة مدينة الموصل (نينوى) و المسيحيين هناك.

في الأيام ال4-5 الماضية, تم قتل حوالي 25 مسيحي (البعض يقول حوالي الأربعين) في مناطق متعددة من المدينة لأسباب سياسية ودينية. كنا نسمع في الماضي عن عمليات خطف و تهديد وطلب فدية أو جزية لكنهم الان يقتلون من دون سابق أنذار. الحكومة لم تتخذ أي اجراء و لم تغطي الصحف ووكالات الانباء القصة حتى اليوم الثالث. الكثيرون تركوا كل شي وفروا الى المدن والقرى المجاورة حيث يعيشون في ظروف صعبة للغاية (بعض العوائل تنام في سياراتها).ززالخوف والقلق يملأ الاجواء. أننا نصلي صلاة استغاثة. للناس الذين يقومون بهذه الاعمال من اجل "الله" أن يعرفوا الله الحقيقي, لكل المسيحيين ان يقتربوا لشخص يسوع أكثر في هذه الظروف الصعبة, للعوائل التي فقدت من تحب, التي فقدت منازلها, أن لاينسوا أننا لن نفقد أبدا المكان الذي يعده المسيح لنا في مملكته. وأخيرا للمسيحيين في المناطق الأكثر أمنا ان يتذكروا قول يسوع و يعملوا به "لان من سقاكم كأس ماء بأسمي لأنكم للمسيح, فالحق أقول لكم أنه لايضيع أجره" مرقس 9:41.

ستكون هناك فترة صوم من اجل العراق وشعب العراق بكل طوائفه وأديانه مثل الأيام الثلاثة التي صامها أهل نينوى في زمن يونان..لكي تجذب معاناة شعب الرب العيون في كل مكان نحو شخص الرب...

دعونا نصلي يدا بيد للسلام من عند ملك السلام بأسم يسوع المسيح...

"ومهما سألتم بأسمي ذلك أفعله ليتمجد الاب في الأبن, أن سألتم شيئا بأسمي فاني أفعله" يوحنا 14:13-14.

نعمة وسلام ربنا يسوع المسيح مع جميعكم..

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ the Lord,

This email is a prayer request for Iraq, the people in general and especially the city of Mosul (known also as Nineveh) and the Christians there.

During the last 4-5 days around 25 Christians (some say 40) were killed in the streets in different parts of the city for religious and political causes, in the past people used to be kidnapped, threatened pay a ransom to be freed...well now they're being killed without prior notice...the government haven't done anything so far! Even the media didn't cover it till the third day. many Christians fled to the near by villages and cities where they're living under severe conditions (families are actually sleeping in their cars), fear and worries fill the place...We're Praying an (S.O.S) prayer for the terrorists who think that they're doing so for God to wake up and know who’s the real God. For the Christians the believers and the nominal ones to get closer to Jesus, for the many families who lost a loved one, their houses and money that they’ll never forget that no matter what we lose, we’ll still have the places Jesus is preparing for us in Heavens… and finally for Christians who live in the safer area that they remember and do as Jesus asked “For whoever will give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you are Christ's, most certainly I tell you, he will in no way lose his reward”. Mark 9:41.

We’re starting to fast to 3 days for Iraq and its people like the days people of Nineveh fasted at the time of Jonah. For that our suffering will turn the eyes towards our savior…

Let’s life our hands together asking for Peace from the King of peace in Jesus’ name

“I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it." John 14:13-14

Grace and peace to all of u.

Sunday, 12 October 2008


‘Thou shall not be afraid of the terror by night
Nor of the arrow that flies by day’
. Psalm 91:5
The testimony of Major Mark Goodwin-Hudson

My father was a School Chaplain. At the age of eleven, at a Scripture Union Camp, I went forward when I heard the words of Jesus, ‘I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock; if any man opens the door I will come in and sup with him.’ I surrendered my life to Christ, confessed my inability to earn my salvation, and was born again.

My goals as a teenager were, however, not very Godly. I joined the army in the Blues and Royals and was successful, coming top in a number of courses. But then disaster struck. Training on the Brecon Beacons I drank some contaminated water from a stream and caught a virus which was as unidentifiable as it was incurable. After being sick with chronic fatigue for eighteen months my military career in 1995 at the age of twenty-six seemed to be finished.

During this time God began to work on me as the Potter works on the clay. I accepted that the God of the Bible could and would act the same way today. I went to a Spirit filed Church and one evening went forward for prayer. I had been reading about Jacob wrestling with God and this is how it felt. I was laid out on the floor for two hours. As I repented of many sins including vainglory, lust and drunkenness it seemed like each one was a battle. At the end I was exhausted but felt liberated. I was baptised with the Holy Spirit and later spoke in the supernatural language of the Spirit known as praying in tongues.

But I was still sick! Despite this I was married in 1996 to a wonder woman called Alice. How she coped with me I will never know. Then on Valentines Day 1997 an old university friend called to see me. He had been a corrupter of men’s souls until he became a Christian. Now he was a missionary. He told me ‘Ask God to heal you from your heart’. Then he gave me a sharp punch in the stomach and said, ‘You are a warrior. Be violent. Cry out to God. Pray in tongues!’ As I did so the Holy Spirit came upon me and I was completely healed. Immediately I ate my heart out, I was so hungry! The doctors were pleased and amazed. For the next two weeks I was on fire for this great God and no doubt a real pain to everyone.

Ten years later in the summer of 2007 I was commanding a squadron of the Blues and Royals that was posted to Iraq. One evening I was boarding a transport plane with sixty-eight others at Basra. At this point the Holy Spirit punched me almost physically in the stomach with the urgent command, ‘PRAY!’. So I walked up the whole fuselage to a seat at the far end praying loudly in tongues with the authority of Almighty God to annihilate whatever the powers of darkness had planned for us.

Some time later, as we touched down at a remote northern desert strip, there was a series of very loud bangs and the plane veered off sharply to the left. A wing of the plane had been torn off and the side of the fuselage was on fire. We had been ambushed! The immediate threat was that we would meet a storm of machine gun fire and that the fuel tanks would explode. Inexplicably there was no machine gun fire, the plane did not blow up, and we all escaped without casualties.

One of the worst crimes a soldier can commit in the battlefield is to lose his weapon. One of my men came to report that he had lost his 9mm pistol. I told him that God knew where it was and that I would ask God to help him. He scowled back at me in unbelief. I sent him off with a land rover and driver to look for it, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Three days later we were on the move. The desert was littered with camel dung and other debris. Suddenly a Fijian trooper called Guan Ebeci, a believer, called out to his driver to stop. He had seen something. He got out and picked up the missing pistol. Throughout the Bible there are over thirty instances of deliverance coming on the third day. This was another one!

Shortly afterwards my squadron had to drive through a town known to be a hotbed of insurgents. The Australian commander of that section told me that they did not dare enter the town because of the casualties they had sustained. The enemy were well armed and could be expected to attack us with mines, sniper fire, rockets and anti tank weapons. For our protection we had only un-armoured soft bottomed land rovers with a couple of helicopter gun ships on either side. But more important fervent prayer to the God who is our shield!

As we approached six police cars erupted from the city gate tearing towards us like demonic hornets as if to scare us off. We drove four kilometres through the town. It was eerie. Not a soul on the streets. Not a dog barked. Not a shot fired. We came through unscathed. A staff officer at Divisional HQ told me later that he could not get out of bed the next morning because he dreaded hearing the news of the massacre that must have taken place. The commander of the insurgents was, we heard, summarily sacked. The Lord had put fear into the hearts of the enemy just as He did to win battles in Old Testament times.

Just before we returned home I was given orders to snatch a top insurgent leader, a twenty one year old psychopath. He had kidnapped and personally shot in the head from behind eighteen Iraqis who had been working at the Airport. He was known to be leaving Basra in a convoy of six pickup trucks and heading for safety in Iran to get treatment for an injured leg received when he was targeted by a US missile. I had two helicopters with twenty-two men in each and another helicopter with two men.

As I prayed about this the Lord rebuked me for my lack of love for this man, murderer though he was. Jesus died for murderers! I was told to pray that he would not be killed. Up to this point every subject of a snatch had died in the inevitable ensuing firefight. As his convoy left Basra they split up into a group of two and a group of four. I placed my two helicopters to intercept the second group while I sent the third helicopter, with two SAS men who had providentially been loaned to us, to deal with the first group. They flew the helicopter so that it sat a few feet above the lead car and turned it over with the down draught, disorienting the occupants. The second car vanished. A door of the first car opened. Out came a man with a stick! It was our man. He was bundled into the helicopter and taken to a secure place.


Monday, 29 September 2008

Belief in God 'really can relieve pain'

Research at Oxford University has found believers can draw on their religion to endure suffering with greater fortitude, suggesting Christian martyrs may have been able to reduce the agony of torture or slow death.

Academics at The Oxford Centre For Science Of The Mind gave electric shocks to 12 Roman Catholics and 12 atheists as they studied a painting of the Virgin Mary.

They found Catholics seemed able to block out much of the pain. Using brain-scanning techniques, they also discovered that the Catholics were able to activate part of the brain associated with conditioning the experience of pain.

The experiment is one of a series being conducted by the academics, a group of scientists, philosophers and theologians from different departments at the university.

A sparking device was strapped to the back of the participants' left hands to deliver an electric shock.

The scientists then asked them to contemplate two paintings, Sassoferrato's 17th Century Virgin Mary and Leonardo da Vinci's 15th Century Lady With An Ermine.

The researchers hoped that the face of the Virgin Mary would induce a religious state of mind in the believers, while da Vinci's secular painting was chosen because it did not look dissimilar and would be calming.

They spent half an hour inside an MRI scanner, receiving a series of 20 electric shocks in four separate sessions while looking at either the religious or non-religious picture.

The Catholics said that looking at the painting of the Virgin Mary made them feel 'safe', 'taken care of' and 'calmed down and peaceful'.

More significantly, they reported feeling 12 per cent less pain after viewing the religious image than after looking at the Leonardo.

The front right-hand side of their brains lit up on the scanner, indicating that the neural mechanisms of pain modulation had been engaged.

There was no such brain activity among the atheists, whose pain and anxiety levels stayed roughly the same throughout the experiment.

Writing in the scientific journal Pain, the researchers concluded that at least some religious believers can moderate their pain by thinking about it more positively.

Psychologist Miguel Farias, one of the team, admitted that a similar effect may be produced by non-believers if a sufficiently powerful image was used.

He said: "We would need to find a picture of someone they feel very positive towards, such as a mother or father."

The Anglican Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Tom Wright, welcomed the findings. He said: "The practice of faith should, and in many cases does, alter the person you are.

"It can affect the patterns of your brain and your emotions. So it comes as no surprise to me that this experiment has reached such conclusions."

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Comment from an Indian

The Situation in Mangalore continues to be Tense, with Churches being damaged and innocent people being injured by the attackof the Civil Forces. Fear is spread across the whole city, with the Bells of all the Churches tolling and the people crying out for Vengence and mercy at the Same time.
A few Questions that arise.

Why was this crime perpetuated in the first place?
Why is the Government acting as a mute spectator?
Why are churches still Damaged?
Why are women and Children hit by the police?
What right does the police have to enter a private Church compound and Cane the people involved in Prayer?

The Government however, continues to support the Bajrang Dal. In statement earlier, Mr. V S Acharya the Home Minister of the Government of Karnataka “Condemned the Attacks” and mentioned that Bajrang Dal was not involved in. I smell a foul game here, When Bajrang Dal themselves claimed responsibility How did the Home Minister know it was not them? It was our mistake of getting the BJP government into Power and now if they cant protect the people of the land they must GO! and there are no two things about it.

I urge upon all my fellow Indian brothers to continue to put in your feedback and comments and make and prayers too. At the end of it all….Even if the Courts and the Governments do not listen to us, the Lord will and his love will never fail…. Lets get together in prayer for our people and for those people who are hurting us. Lets pray that God bless their families and them.

However, for all that has happened I say this again and I say this boldly, This day I am ashamed of being an Indian. But on the other side I will continue to pray for the peace of this Land.

Attack on Churches: Mangalore under Seige

Mangalore September 14, 2008: The Sangh Parivar has struck again in Mangalore! Initial reports say that this morning on Sunday, September 14th 2008, they entered the Monastery of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration at Milagres, Mangalore in the heart of the city and desecrated the Blessed Sacrament.

The reports that came in later said that they had entered and desecrated many of the churches in and around Mangalore.

In the past few days the Sangh Parivar has been distributing booklets at the gates of schools to the school children and in public places. These booklets have contained inflammatory contents which would be a great cause for disturbance of communal harmony in Mangalore and in Dakshina Kannada.

Update: 8.00 pm 14/9/2008
First Person Account - Sr Joy BS

There was a big gathering on the road in front of the Milagres hall, Mangalore. We were all sitting in protest against the incident mentioned above. Most of the political leaders, sisters and fathers, and a big number of lay people both men and women were present. At about 5:30 pm there was some verbal altercation between the youth in the protest group and the police who had gathered in very large numbers and Fr. Francis Serrao SJ was addressing the protesters, when the police charged at the peacefully sitting protesters with lathis and began to cane them left and right. They also fired tear gas shells without any warning and forced the protesters to take shelter in the Milagres Hall.

This is the way the government machinery was used to fulfill their aim and it certainly gave the impression that the perpetrators of the crime will be let loose even this time.

On the other hand, a TV news channel reported that there was stone pelting on the police. When the police force was ready with everything to beat us with, including their bullet proof shields, lathis and tear gas shells, the news channel reported only that there was stone pelting by the crowd. Luckily for us, another channel showed a very good picture of police men pelting stones and tear gas shells.

Many youth were hurt by the heavy lathi blows. One of the sisters, Sr Pramila of Sisters of Charity of Mangalore was hit with a stone from the police while she was right inside the gate of the Milagres Church Hall. She was injured very badly and taken to Fr. Mullers Hospital and it is not yet known about the state of her eye.

We ask you all to pray for us and for peace in our region. We need your prayers and perhaps some united action; a glimpse of which we experienced today.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Christians in Crises in India

I am attaching the news from Orissa for your fervent prayers.
I am sure you will mobilize prayers, pray that peace will return to Orissa.
Please pray that the Government will have wisdom and to deal with issues and the families and churches that suffered will be re-habilitated.

1) NUN BURNT ALIVE: A nun was burnt to death on 25th, Monday, after an orphanage was torched in at Phutpali in Bargarh district in Orissa during a bandh called by Hindu nationalist parties. Twenty children, who were at the orphanage, managed to escape but a priest suffered serious burn injuries in the attack.

2) RASANANDA PRADHAN TORCHED ALIVE: Another person, Rasananda Pradhan, was burnt to death when his house was set ablaze at Rupa village in Kandhamal district.

3) INFLAMMATORY SPEECHES TARGET CHRISTIANS: During the bandh inflammatory speeches spreading hatred against the Christian workers and the community were given by the VHP leaders. To gain the mass support,the activists have also carried the body of Swamiji throughout the town.

4) CHURCHES BURNT ALL ACROSS ORISSA STATE: Churches were attacked in Khurda, Bargarh, Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Koraput, Boudh, Mayurbhanj, Jagatsinghpur and Kandhamal districts as also in the state capital, police sources said, adding 40 houses were set ablaze in Phulbani town.

5) BUSES AND VEHICLES TORCHED: Mr. Mishra Digal was beaten up, while the motorcycles of Mr. R. K. Digal and Jitendra were burnt. Several buses at Gee Udaigiri in Baliguda were burnt.

6) PULBANI CHURCH RANSACKED: The Church at Phulbani,and several other churches at Phiringia were attacked and ransacked. Pastor D. Tatson's house was vandalized and his property burnt.

7) KAKRIGUMA CHURCHES VANDALISED: Churches in Kakriguma have been targeted by the mob that reportedly damaged the Assembly Of God Church and the Philadelphia Church.

8) WORLD VISION STAFF FLED FOR SAFETY: World Vision India office ransacked and the Staff has also fled to jungle for protection.

9) CHRISTIANS TAKE SHELTER IN FOREST FOR PROTECTION: A police camp at Barakhama was also attacked by the Hindu fundamentalists. With several houses being burnt down and people being made homeless, many Christians,particularly from Nua Sahi, Munda Sahi and Suna Tonga have fled into forests for their lives.

10) NUN RAPED: A young Catholic Nun of the Cuttack Bhubaneswar diocese working Jan Vikas Kendra, the Social Service Centre at Nuagaon in Kandhamal was reportedly gang raped on 24th August 2008 by groups of Hindutva extremists before the building itself was destroyed.

11) SENIOR PRIEST AND NUN INJURED: Fr Thomas, director of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre in Kanjimendi, less than a kilometer away from the Social Service Centre, and another Nun were injured when the centre was attacked. They were taken to the police station in a disheveled state as the armed mob bayed for their blood. The Pastoral centre was then set afire.

12) BALLIGUDA CHURCH BUILDINGS DESTROYED AGAIN: On 24th August 2008 evening lynch mobs at the block headquarters of Balliguda, in the very heart of Kandhamal district, which had seen much violence between 24th and 26th December 2007, attacked and destroyed a Presbytery, convent and hostel damaging the properties.

13) CHRISTIAN BOYS HEADS TONSURED: The mobs in Balliguda caught hold of two boys of the Catholic hostel and tonsured their heads.

14) PHULBANI CHURCH DAMAGED: On 25th august 2008 morning followers of the late Lakshmanananda Saraswati damaged the Catholic Church in Phulbani, the district headquarter town.

15) MOTHER TERESA BROTHERS ASHRAM ATTACKED: Mobs attacked the Mother Teresa Brothers' residence and hospital in Srasanada, destroyed once before and rebuilt two months ago, and beat up the patients.

16) BHUBANESWAR BISHOP'S HOUSE ATTACKED: On the morning of 25th August 2008, violent mobs made several attempts to enter the compounds of Catholic Church and Archbishop's house in the heart of the Capital of the State of Orissa. They could not enter because of the police presence. They threw stones at the guesthouse of Archbishop's House, damaging windows.

17) DUBURI PARISH: Another group of fundamentalists entered presbytery in Duburi parish, managed by the SVDs and destroyed and damaged property. Two priests of the parish are missing.

18) Mr. Jamaj Pariccha, Director of Gramya Pragati, is attacked and his property damaged, vehicle looted and burnt.

19) A Baptist Church in Akamra Jila in Bhubaneswar is also damaged.

20) Christian institutions like St. Arnold's School (Kalinga Bihar) and NISWASS report some damage.

21) BOUDH DISTRICT [Adjoining Kandhamal]: Fundamentalists enter the Catholic parish church and destroy property. People are fleeing to safer places. But nothing seems safe.

22) MUNIGUDA: Muniguda Catholic Fathers and Nuns' residence have been damaged.

23) SAMBALPUR: HM Sister's residence (Ainthapalli) has suffered damage.

24) PADANPUR: One priest is attacked and admitted to a hospital. Hostel boys and the in charge have moved away from the place.

25) MADHUPUR: Madhupur Catholic Church currently under attack.

26) SMALL CHURCHES: Attempted violence on small churches in various districts, including Padampur, Sambalpur near GM College, Talsera, Dangsoroda, Narayanipatara, Muniguda, Tummiibandh, Tangrapada, Phulbani, Balliguda, Kalingia, Chakapad, Srasanranda.

27) VILLAGE CHRISTIAN HOUSES ATTACKED: Houses attacked on forest hamlets of Balliguda, Kanjamandi Nuaguam (K.Nuaguam), Tiangia (G.Udayagiri), Padangiri, Tikabali.

28) KALAHANDI DISTRICT: Houses burnt even though the district is more than 300 kilometers from the place where Swami Lakshmanananda was killed.

29) PASTORS' HOUSE BURNT: Pastor Sikandar Singh of the Pentecostal Mission beaten up and his house burnt in Bhawanipatna.

30) KHARIHAR: 3 Christian shops were looted and burnt. Pastor Alok Das and Pastor I M Senapati beaten up.

31) AAMPANI: Pastor David Diamond Pahar, Pastor Pravin Ship, Pastor Pradhan and Pastor Barik beaten up and chased away with their families.

32) NAKTIKANI: Mob surrounds village to attack Christians.

Sunday, August 31, 2008
Pregnant Lady Cut to Pieces in Orissa
7 Month's Pregnant, Kamalini Naik Cut into Pieces for Her Faith
As narrated by an independent writer:
Mrs. Kamalini Naik's husband was asked to become a Hindu for which the fanatics threatened to kill his mother. Seeing his mother under their grip Mr. Naik denounced his faith.
Then they called his wife Kamalini Naik who was 7 months pregnant. She strongly stood for her faith in Christ and immediately the fanatics cut her into pieces and her one and half year son in front of her husband and other Christians
Sunday, August 31, 2008

The government has sent forces, it is reported. A delegation of Christian leaders under the leadership of Archbishop Vincent Concessao, the President of National United Christian Forum of CBCI, NCCI and EFI, met the Home Minister Shri Shiv Raj Patil and submitted a memorandum. The Home Minister assured the delegation all necessary steps have been taken to maintain peace and harmony and protect the innocent. He also expressed his helplessness by stating that police protection cannot be given in all villages.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Man Sues Church for $2.5M After Being 'Felled by Holy Spirit'

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A man says he was so consumed by the spirit of God that he fell and hit his head while worshipping.

Now he wants Lakewind Church to pay $2.5 million for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Matt Lincoln is suing after the church's insurance company denied his claim for medical bills, he said.

The 57-year-old has had two surgeries since the June 2007 injury but still feels pain in his back and legs.

He said he was asking God to have "a real experience" while praying.

Lincoln said he has fallen from the force of the spirit before but has always been caught by someone.

Lawyers for the church said other congregants saw him on the floor laughing after his fall. They said he failed to look out for his own safety.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Todd Bentley – A Summary By Keith Malcomson 20.08.08

I believe we have entered one of the most important times for the Church in recent history. Never has the Church been so blind, naked and poor as at this present time. After a trail of so-called revivals (Toronto, Pensacola, Florida) we find that the Church Internationally is terribly sick and so very easily deceived. The so-called 100 day revival held in Lakeland Florida by Todd Bentley is the grand summary and climax of where the church has been led by a host of famous Apostles, Prophets, Teachers and Evangelists who have been followed by multitudes of blind local shepherds who in turn have led their congregations into a ditch.
With the first news and sight of this new type of revivalist, the tattooed and pierced Todd Bentley, we were told once again not to judge and simply accept that this is Gods new type of Millennium Revivalist. Bentley is a 32 year old Canadian Charismatic Evangelist who styles himself as the first of a new wave of healing evangelists.
Explosive Revival?
How did all this begin? Todd Bentley went to Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida, to hold five nights of meetings for Pastor Stephen Strader starting on the 2nd of April 2008. These meetings suddenly and dramatically exploded into what was quickly called by many the first great revival of the new millennium. As great crowds gathered from all over the nation, and then the world, they were compelled to move to bigger buildings and finally to a large stadium. The leaders of the previous revivals and apostolic movements of recent decades jumped immediately on the band wagon saying this is of the Lord.
This has been the first so-called revival in history to be broadcast live into literally millions of homes and churches across all five continents. It was God TV that quickly took up the task of broadcasting the meetings into more than 200 countries with a potential audience of 400 million. On top of this 550,000 different computers have logged into the webcast to watch the meetings directly. Todd Bentley’s ministry, Fresh Fire Ministries, reported that their website received as many as 6 million hits in one month causing them to struggle with the overwhelming response not to mention phone calls and emails without number which have taxed their infrastructure and human resources almost to the breaking point.
At one such meeting Bentley proclaimed, “Entire cities are about to come under the glory of God … I’m talking about in America...I feel that what’s going to be released tonight is a city-taking, nation-taking anointing...We’re going to the cities, then the nations. My dream has never been for a mega-ministry, it has been for a movement. I want to be part of a movement.”
Medical Evidence for Healings
This so-called revival did not go unchallenged. Loud international concern and criticism arose and requests came for medical evidence for the constant claims of healings, miracles and resurrections from the dead that filled the public pulpit each evening. Bentley’s response was to inform those concerned that his team of interns were working 80 hours a week collecting medical records and other proof of healings so that the Lakeland Outpouring would become “one of the most well-documented revivals in history.”
Of course God TV who were broadcasting the meetings proclaimed any criticism of Bentley to be demonic.
However, very soon Bentley and Pastor Strader were asking genuinely concerned leaders to stop asking for any proof. Strader came up with the weak argument that by American law they could not provide medical evidence, which is untrue. When finally some was forthcoming it was scant to say the least. It is important to understand that the claimed miracles were most often never checked or verified before being aired, they were taken at face value.
All those I have read and heard from who have raised questions and concerns over the Lakeland Revival believe the miraculous is still for today including the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. All of these believe in the work of the Holy Ghost in a real manifest life-changing way but they also believe in applying scriptural testing’s to all claims of Holy Ghost revival.
Such concerns not only came from more sound Pentecostal and Evangelical leaders but from leaders within a wide verity of Charismatic groups. One such report was from Robert Ricciardelli who writes for Charasma Magazine. He said, “Truth is there are very few people being healed in Lakeland. I have worked with Charisma Magazine editor Lee Grady in discovering how many false reports have been released as facts.” Reference those raised from the dead he said, “We have investigated the 20 plus "raised from the dead" claims as we want to report them to the media, and they cannot be verified, but were only called in, or sent in from an email. This is not responsible reporting, and leaves many questions, which also adds to the claims of hype and embellishment."
While Pastor Stephen Strader was trying to bring the number of resurrections down to 13 Todd was raising the number to 27 and more. Again Robert Ricciardelli says, “When we questioned staff members, and former staff members about Todd, many used the same words to describe him, Pathological Liar.” A pathological liar is someone who embellishes his stories in a way that he believes will impress people. The difference between a liar and a pathological liar is that the latter believes or has made himself believe the lie he is telling.
Those who hold a leadership position in the American Pentecostal-Charismatic world who are very open to a real work of the Holy Ghost but also discerning in appraising this revival reported very little evidence to support the many claims on the platform concerning the miraculous. Of course the main (number 1) argument used to prove that this revival is of God which is put forth by its followers is that ‘people are being healed, miracles are happening.’ Most if not all of these base their conclusions upon what they see on a television screen on stage or upon reports of healing.
Apostolic Backing
By the 24th June Peter Wagner, John Arnott, Rick Joyner and others were on his revival platform proclaiming themselves as Apostles and Prophets who had the power to commission Todd Bentley Apostolically and to endorse and promote this new revival.
Wagner said to Bentley on the platform: “This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley, your power will increase, your authority will increase, your favor will increase, your influence will increase, your revelation will increase. I also decree that a new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry. A new life force will penetrate this move of God. Government will be established to set things in their proper order. God will pour out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error. New relationships will surface to open the gates to the future.”
Days later Bentley responded by saying, “I am no church historian, but I do not know of any other time in history, since the book of Acts, when so many different apostles and so many different prophets and movements and leaders [been represented] This is so much bigger than [anything else] ever before. The devil is shaking in his boots because the apostles are gathering and the prophets are gathering.”
Separation From Wife
Bentley has spent most of the last four months away from his home and his wife. It was just revealed two week ago that Todd has filed for separation from his wife Shonnah, due to “significant friction in their relationship.” Filing for separation is the first step towards divorce. It seems that they have been receiving marriage counselling for the past several months and that there have been problems for years. The past four months of revival meetings only “exacerbated existing issues” in their marriage.
The very latest news is the following which I have taken from Bentley’s Fresh Fire Ministries website,
“...Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life.” - From the Board of Directors, Fresh Fire Ministries.
The Fresh Fire Board of Directors emphasized the separation was not due to infidelity by either spouse. It is obvious however that Todd was involved in this so-called “unhealthy relationship” before he filed for separation from his wife. This suddenly brings an end to what many professed would be the greatest revival yet. And so Bentley’s departure comes two weeks earlier than the August 23rd date announced earlier this month. He believed that August 23rd would mark the beginning of carrying this revival around the world to many nations’ including Britain in September and October. Instead he has been stepped down from public ministry.
This is not the first time an extra-marital relationship has come up for Bentley. Pastor Strader confessed that the same thing happened three years previously. A number of key leaders have known all through this concerning his previous problems yet kept quiet. In fact they are the very ones who most supported this revival. These same leaders were involved in his restoration previously. That time it was private, now it is public.
Also John Arnott of Toronto has commented that “excessive drinking” was also a problem. It seems every day brings some new thing we did not know of before. It is also coming to light that the apostles and prophets who commissioned Bentley during the revival have for years known that there have been problems in Bentley’s personal life.
The following clip shows Bentley's very sad Family performance during the revival.
Points of Real Concern
The following are just a few points of deep concern. Much more could be said, listed and verified but I hope this is sufficient for all who love Christ Jesus and His Word of Truth.
1. Immoral Prophets promoted.
First of all Todd has promoted immoral and heretical prophets. Bob Jones was disgraced years back both morally and doctrinally in the days of the Kansas City Prophets. Even John Wimber would not let him pray for women. Yet this so-called prophet is given first place by Todd. We could say much about this Prophet’s strange beliefs but enough for now.
Then there is Paul Cain, he has been strongly promoted on the revival platform by Todd. They make much of the fact that Paul Cain in 1999 prophesied that a healing revival would come to Florida. What was he doing secretly in 1999 that no-one knew of until a few years later? He was in a homosexual relationship with a young man and also regularly getting drunk. This was made public by men like Rick Joyner and Jack Deere.
But now the same Paul Cain who has supposedly repented, been forgiven and restored to ministry is on this revival platform and hailed a hero. In the following Utube snippet you will hear Paul Cain at the revival professing to have remained celibate all his days and now with the ability to discern purity in Todd’s young men. Watch both of these clips.
So these are Todd’s two key Prophets whom he promoted in the midst of a so-called revival both of whom were caught out in gross immorality. That concerns me. When we add to this the fact that Todd did serve time in prison, albeit before his so-called conversion, for paedophilia we have a worrying scenario.
The same Charismatic leaders (men like Rick Joyner) who protected Bob Jones and Paul Cain will also protect Todd Bentley at this time. Birds of a feather...
2. “Bam”. Todd is now famous for constantly praying for people with “Bam...Bam...Bam.” (Just watch any of his programmes). Why does he do this? Pastor Stephen Strader gives the answer. Because Florida is the home of Disney World and Todd likes to watch lots of cartoons. On those cartoons when dynamite explodes you see a “Bam” on the screen and so “Bam” is a codeword for the Holy Ghost. This is hard to believe but true.
3. Angels.
The following report concerning Emma the Angel was given by Todd on his own website which was later removed as it became a point of great controversy.
“Now let me talk about an angelic experience with Emma. Twice Bob Jones asked me about this angel that was in Kansas City in 1980: "Todd, have you ever seen the angel by the name of Emma?" He asked me as if he expected that this angel was appearing to me. Surprised, I said, "Bob, who is Emma?" He told me that Emma was the angel that helped birth and start the whole prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s. She was a mothering-type angel that helped nurture the prophetic as it broke out. Within a few weeks of Bob asking me about Emma, I was in a service in Buelah, North Dakota. In the middle of the service I was in conversation with Ivan and another person when in walks Emma. As I stared at the angel with open eyes, the Lord said, "Here's Emma." I'm not kidding. She floated a couple of inches off the floor. It was almost like Kathryn Khulman in those old videos when she wore a white dress and looked like she was gliding across the platform. Emma appeared beautiful and young—about 22 years old—but she was old at the same time. She seemed to carry the wisdom, virtue and grace of Proverbs 31 on her life.

She glided into the room, emitting brilliant light and colors. Emma carried these bags and began pulling gold out of them. Then, as she walked up and down the aisles of the church, she began putting gold dust on people. "God, what is happening?" I asked. The Lord answered: "She is releasing the gold, which is both the revelation and the financial breakthrough that I am bringing into this church. I want you to prophecy that Emma showed up in this service—the same angel that appeared in Kansas city—as a sign that I am endorsing and releasing a prophetic spirit in the church." See, when angels come, they always come for a reason; we need to actually ask God what the purpose is. Within three weeks of that visitation, the church had given me the biggest offering I had ever received to that point in my ministry. Thousands of dollars! Thousands! Even though the entire community consisted of only three thousand people, weeks after I left the church the pastor testified that the church offerings had either doubled or tripled.

During this visitation the pastor's wife (it was an AOG church) got totally whacked by the Holy Ghost— she began running around barking like a dog or squawking like a chicken as a powerful prophetic spirit came on her. Also, as this prophetic anointing came on her, she started getting phone numbers of complete strangers and calling them up on the telephone and prophesying over them. She would tell them that God gave her their telephone number and then would give them words of knowledge. Complete strangers. Then angels started showing up in the church.

I believe Emma released a financial and prophetic anointing in that place. That was the first angel that I have ever seen in the form of a woman. Some angels I've seen seemed like they were neither male nor female. However, Emma appeared as a woman who was like a Deborah, like a mother in Zion. When she came, she began to mentor, nurture and opened up a prophetic well. The people in the church began having trances and visions and the pastor began getting words of knowledge and moving in healing. That congregation also saw more financial breakthrough than they had ever seen before.
Todd even believes that he has a special commission from God to make Christians believe in these Angels. He has made them more central than Christ. If you do a thorough study on Todd you will find that for years he has had a great many angelic visitations which he makes much of. Not only is there Emma but also one called Winds of Change, another called Revelation and yet another called Promise. I believe these are fallen dark angels that over the past 20 years have invaded and directed the Charismatic Movement. Although Todd and others defend his visitations by a female Angel called Emma, in his recent book (published June 2008) called Reality of the Supernatural World, he changes one significant fact about this angel. He says,
“...He appeared young–about 22 years old–but old at the same time. It was as though he carried the wisdom, virtue, and grace of Proverbs 31.”
He has said he likes to feel the presence of Angels and when aware of their presence it is easy for him to release miracles “and other stuff that God wants to do.” He encourages people to pray for the ability to feel and see angels and for a release of their activity. Concerning an angel that was called Healing Revival he said,
“In our ministry over the last year, this angel has come frequently and on many different occasions. When He comes I get a gift-the ability to diagnose people's sicknesses with my left hand. At times this angel brings words of knowledge; I get very accurate details from God including people's first, middle and last names as well as nicknames, the year they were injured, the color of their vehicle and the state they are from. Many other people have also seen or had contact with this angel in the meetings. And whenever this angel shows up the miracles go off the charts. Instead of a few healings, we'll get three blind eyes in one night or maybe a cripple guy gets out of a wheel chair.”
4. Commending Himself.
Todd makes many claims that the angels who accompany him are those which were with John G. Lake and William Branham. He works hard to identify himself with the great healing revivalists. He has had Jack Coe’s son on his platform promoting him. He strongly uses his association with prominent leaders, past and present, to give himself credence. When you see these men on platform together they are not labouring in making much of Christ but in commending and promoting each other. When Paul the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians he laboured this point,
“Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?” (II Cor.3v1). “For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.” (5v12). “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (10v12).
How did Paul commend himself? It was in his honest, correct handling of the Word of God and by a life that lined up with it. II Cor.4v2, “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.” He refused to distort or add to the message. He commended himself by faithfully handling Gods truth without mixture.
Todd gives numerous testimonies of visits to heaven, astral travel, talking with the Apostle Paul and such like. All of this is to prove that he is God’s man of the hour. He does not believe that these experiences are sovereign acts of God for he clearly believes that he can bring about these experiences. He says, “I realize that the only thing to get us into the throne room was my conscious decision to think about what it looked like in the heavenlies at that moment in the service. I had also begun to acknowledge the angelic realm. So it appears that there is something about the angelic host that brings spiritual experiences. Are you ready for these types of experiences today?!”
Paul even had an experience of being caught up to the third heaven” – paradise, which he does not relate for 14 years. In that state he “heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” All such acts of discretion by Paul were to keep himself out of the picture and to make much of Christ and His Word. Paul stood on Mars Hill with the great philosophers of the day and met them on their own ground of debate and logical reason. The result was little fruit. After leaving Athens for Corinth in what state of heart did he go?
1Cor.2v1-5 “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
When Paul left Mars Hill he determined that when he arrived in Corinth he would know nothing among them but Christ and Him crucified. Let us return again to such simple Biblical ministry rather than name dropping of preachers and Angels and of extraordinary testimonies that do not line up with God’s Word. To be faithful in proclaiming God’s Word is better than testifying of man or of heavenly experiences.
5. Word of God is Not Authoritive.
It is very plain that Todd Bentley constantly refers to experiences for his authority and not the Word of God. Many experiences he has had and shared cannot be verified by the Word. When questioned about manifestations at Lakeland that could not be found in the Bible he said,
“Some people desire Scripture for every manifestation of God - for every detail of every God-given, Holy Spirit inspired vision, dream, encounter, or demonstration of the supernatural realm of God manifested on the earth. While I firmly believe that we're to defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I don't believe we're to defend divine manifestations of God, because they are proof within themselves of the Gospel, wherever the Word of God is sent forth. Discern yes, but defend, no. Consider that many of the "greater" things that Christ said we would do hadn't even been done yet and weren't recorded in the Bible.” And again “Someone once said that limiting revelation is like trying to fit an ocean into a cup. God is continually restoring truth and light to His Church. Therefore, we should place no limit on further revelation.
We need say no more on this vital issue. Todd believes in experiences beyond the boundary of God’s Word. If that is so who can challenge anything that happens? This puts someone’s experience beyond all testing by the Word of God. Yet we are commanded by God to test all things and prove all things by Gods plumb line – His infallible Holy Ghost inspired Word.
When Jesus took Peter, James and John up on the Mount where he was transfigured before them in glory, they watched on as he spoke with Moses and Elijah. Then they heard the audible voice of the Father say “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Mat.17v1-8). What was the result? They fell on their faces in fear. When they looked up again “they saw no man, save Jesus only.” This is the end goal of every true manifestation. Years later Peter says of this amazing experience, “We have a more sure word of prophesy” speaking of the written Word of God.
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (II Pet.1v16-21).
There has been a terrible departure from the written Word of God in this hour – this is apostasy. We must return and test ALL things by it. The Holy Spirit who gave it will never contradict it.
6. Catholic Charismatic.
Someone’s foundation and background is very important. Todd was discipled amongst Catholic Charismatic’s. This is where he got his grounding. He testifies to the fact that the hottest (best) meeting he was ever in was Monday night meetings at Catholic Mass. Now although all the popular Charismatic leaders of our day – Benny Hinn, Brian Houston (Hillsongs), Joel Edwards of the British Evangelical Alliance and a great host of others, believe the Pope is a man of God and that Catholics are saved, any true discerning Christian who knows their Bible and who knows the present official teaching of Rome will know that she has not changed and that true Christianity is not found within her.
For the first time in 400 years born-again, Bible believing, Blood washed Christians are being confused on the issue of the Catholic Church. Any genuine Christian who returns to the written Word of God will acknowledge that the Catholic Church is experiencing apostasy, not revival, renewal or reformation. Any mature believer or leader especially a true Revivalist would never be blind to Rome’s abominations. Neither would they be ignorant as to Rome’s blaspheme in the Mass and denial of Christ’s finished work at Calvary. Every true revival for 400 years has called people out of this Roman system why have things changed?
Below is Todd’s own testimony concerning his background.
7. Demon possession.
Todd testifies that after salvation when in a state of fervently loving Christ, His Word and evangelising lost souls he was demon possessed. When at a Catholic Charismatic house meeting the “Lord” spoke to him “audibly” and told him he had a demon in him. This initially shocked him but when he approached the leader he began to manifest after which 25 demons were cast out of him. During this experience he was writhing on the floor like a snake cursing and blaspheming. Can I ask why the Lord was not able to tell him that there were 25 demons in him? And if he could have been on fire for God and yet “demon possessed” then does that mean that he could still have been demon possessed in this revival?
8. Tattoos & Studs
Todd Bentley is the embodiment of what the Charismatic-user friendly-carnal church of recent years has yearned for. God has given them their requests but sent leanness into their soul. He has given them the leaders they desired. Anyone who has seen much of Todd will take note of his tattoos, pierced lip and his casual dress of jeans and t-shirt. On the so-called revival platform at Lakeland, Todd arrived wearing a t-shirt with “JESUS Loves me & MY TATTOOS!” written on it.
Where does this practice of tattooing and body piercings come from? Has it been copied from great men and woman of God over the past 2000 years? Is it a practice that has been copied from the early Church in the Book of Acts? Or has it appeared in Church history during times of great revival? The answer is NO.
It has always been a pagan practice in every culture where it was found. It was a sign of rebellion against God and was associated most often with false worship and false spirits. All through the OT and the NT this was a practice of a pagan culture which the Church was called to evangelize. Nowhere will we read of the early church donning tattoos or piercings in order to reach the world or to be acceptable unto it. That is a brand new teaching spurned by an apostate church.
It is a medical fact that tattooing runs the risk of various diseases such as Hepatitis C and AIDS. The reason is that the needle used to give the tattoo will pierce the skin up to 3000 times a minute. Very often tattoo shops around the world will not be the most hygienic of places. This is just a very simple fact.
In Lev.19v28 we read, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” Young’s Literal translation says, “...and a writing, a cross-mark, ye do not put on you; I am Jehovah.” The Amplified “...nor print or tattoo any marks upon you; I am the Lord.” These simple commands are guarded and signatured by God Himself with the fact that He is the LORD. That settles all issues.
Some will say that this command in Leviticus is OT Law which we are no longer under. The next verse, v29 says “Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.” This specific command is not repeated in the NT does that make it obsolete?
Let’s look at Jacob who was before the law and was a man who was simply seeking after the Lord with all his heart. Notice in the following scriptures that to put away strange or foreign gods from among Gods true people included the earrings that they had picked up from the surrounding pagan culture and even the clothing of the local pagan culture.
Gen.35v2-5, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
Because there are so many pagan practices copied from the world in today’s church the fear of God is no longer on the world around us. Because we look, act and speak like them – making no difference, there is no fear of our God anymore. In Acts chapter 5 when Ananias and Sapphira were struck down dead for lying to the Holy Ghost we are told the fear of God came upon the people.
Act 5:11-14 “And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)”
Such a true act of separation and judgment on sin kept false converts out but brought many true genuine believers into the Church. Tattoos and body piercings have always been a part of the pagan world surrounding the Church but now for the first time in 2000 years these practices are inside what is called the Church. Selah.
We have fulfilled what the LORD spoke through Hosea concerning the Church of his day, “And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.” (2v13). When the church backslides it takes upon itself the appearance of the world, of a prostitute and of a harlot. It mimics the ways, looks and trends of the world around it.
Again when we read of the false counterfeit church of Revelation 17, which is in the time of the last of the last days, we see she is a Harlot. What we see in these present revivals is a harlot church and spirit? Why do I say that? Because she looks, acts and speaks like one.
What Now?
The latest greatest tattooed revivalist has been stood down from ministry. So what will happen next? It is sad to say that many are already saying that this is no reflection on the genuineness of the Lakeland Revival (so-called). All through Scripture a preacher’s attitude, actions and lifestyle were integral to the message he preached. For the messenger to be blemished was to blemish the message. But not in today’s revivals. The Holy Ghost will keep on working even with unclean vessels.
Give it a few months or a year and I am sure many will demand that Todd Bentley returns to the pulpit to carry on his revival ministry. In today’s church preachers who fall into adultery, homosexuality, heresy and every type of sin are gladly welcomed back as long as they have a dynamic, charismatic ministry with many supernatural testimonies to entertain. If the so-called church ignores what has just happened in this revival and restores Bentley back to carry on as before I believe this whole movement will end in gross immorality.
I do however believe that the Lord has used this as a last wakeup call to His true Remnant. Especially those who have been duped, deceived and caught up in these false winds of revival in recent years. Many are now shocked, I pray that they are shocked enough to return to God’s Word and to Christ as central in all things.
The Great Delusion & Genuine Revival
Although I believe the end of the age will be marked by deception, as Christ warned, and by false teachers, prophets and apostles who come with lying signs and wonders, I do not believe that the day of Revivals are over. We are indeed watching God hand over an apostate church to great delusion but I do believe that we are on the verge of a genuine Bible-based, Christ-centred, Spirit-led Revival that will gather in one last harvest from among the lost, deceived and confused multitudes through a Holy Remnant that will preach the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. This revival will be a holiness revival when the Bride will make herself ready for the coming of the Bridegroom.
1. End day Deception.
Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Mk.13v4-6), Christ marked out the last days just before He returned again as some of the most deceptive the world has ever known. This would not be just deceit in the world but deceit in the church. For many would come in the last hour saying that Jesus is the Anointed One. It will be such people who have come to deceive in this last hour and they shall be very successful in their task.
“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Mat 24:11-12), At the fore of this deception will be false prophets, those who seem to have gifted prophetic ministry yet they will lead into deception. This great wave of deception will be marked by an increase of iniquity. Remember this is in connection with the church. Because of iniquity abounding on the left and right the love of many will turn cold. Deception has completed her work when the hearts grow cold.
2. False Miracles.
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Mt.24v24), I believe that these false Christ’s will not just be people proclaiming themselves to be Christ. The name Christ means anointed one. There will come many in this last hour proclaiming them-selves to be anointed of the Holy Ghost – this will be a key mark of these deceivers of the church.
And note we are told that they will “shew great signs and wonders.” They will perform supernatural acts that many will believe could be done by no other than God Himself. In the Old and New Testament signs and wonders were Divine tokens given to Gods messengers. This seeming vindication of God will mark the last day’s deceivers. All this is focused at true believers, the true Church.
Deut.13v1-2, “If there arise among you a prophet…and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass…” We are warned in these verses of Prophets who work signs and wonders yet lead away from the true God and His truth. They are to be utterly rejected even if a miracle is worked and the thing they spoke does come to pass. Pharaohs Magicians and Balaam the prophet fall into this category.
“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
…And he doeth great wonders…And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;” (Rev.13v11, 13-14), Notice that thee False Prophet at the end of the age has the appearance of the Lamb, of Christ, but he speaks like the Dragon, the Devil. His message gives Him away. He does great wonders and miracles which deceive many.
I know that earlier in this article we have noted that many of the supposed miracles claimed vanished into thin air in this recent revival but we must be prepared for the fact that the Bible warns that in these days false prophets will come to deceive who actually perform miracles. Anyone who is impressed with the miraculous alone will be deceived in this hour. What we now see will finally climax in the manifestation of Satan in human flesh, the Devil incarnate. This is the mystery of iniquity that is presently at work in these so-called revivals.
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (II Th.2v9-12),
He will come in the working or the energy of Satan working signs and lying wonders. Is it any wonder then that he gives his messengers “lying wonders”. Only those who have received the love of the truth of God’s Word and who believe and obey it will be preserved in these days.
3. End Day Revival.
Because of the above scriptural facts many genuine believers have come to believe that there will be no revival at the end of the age before Jesus returns. Let me note a couple of things. First, Revival is not just an act of God or something which happens to the Church, it is God Himself coming to His people. Second, His purpose in doing so is always to bring His Church back to a normal healthy state. What happens at the point of Revival is not the normal experience which is to be continued by the Church but what is produced by it is to be the normal state of the Church.
Revival is a resurrection from the dead, a supernatural intervention, a sovereign undeserved act of Divinity; it is a deliverance from utter extinction, a restoration to the original pattern and a dramatic unparalleled unexplainable jump forward in the purpose of God to gather in a great harvest of souls.
Revival is integral to the Character of God. He is the God of Revivals. It is within His nature to step forward in the darkest night, at low tide, when His remnant despairs of life itself, and intervenes by manifesting who He is. It is a manifestation of His own character and nature. Only God can produce what Revival defines. The continued hope of Revival is carried in a great host of Bible promises. Every Old Testament Prophet was not only a proclaimer of Gods judgement against His disobedient people but they were also Prophets of Revival. We could fill pages with such promises.
The Church was birthed in Revival. This was the beginning of the fulfilment of Joel’s prophesy. It was the first outpouring. It was the Former Rain. Such outpourings were periodic. Miracles, signs and wonders followed the preaching of Christ crucified, buried, resurrected and ascended. But before long Jude arises to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints which was being assaulted by false prophets and teachers. John arises to deal with decay, backsliding and apostasy in the Church. Will she ever again shine forth glorious or march as an Army with banners?
Yes, especially in the past four hundred years. The genuine revivals have been without number. Are we told that this hope of revival must come to an end? Or are we told of a day when all such help, deliverance and recovery is cut off from the Church? No, Never. For how long can we expect to see a continuation of that which began at Pentecost?
Joel gives us the answer. Until“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” (Joel 2v31). While there is a Church on earth and a sun in the sky the hope of revivals, outpourings and recoveries will always be present. In the midst of this terrible apostasy we are told,And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Mat 24:12-14). Every apostasy of the end days has a BUT (Isa.60v2; II Thess.2v3 & 2v13; II Tim.3v13-14; Heb.6v4 & 6v9).
What will the Church look like at the end of the age? Amidst deception, iniquity abounding and apostasy she will be enduring, continuing and moving forward. What will she be doing? She is preaching the gospel of the kingdom, not just any gospel, but the very same gospel that Paul and the apostles preached. Where? In all the earth, every nation. Why? For a witness unto all nations. What is a witness? “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Act 1v8). The Church as we see it in the Book of Acts is the witness. She will be doing at the end of the age what she was doing at the beginning and by the same Holy Ghost power from on high.
Remember that the Church in Mt.25 as seen in the five wise virgins is a picture of the end day church. She Revives from her slumber just before her Bridegroom comes. The last Midnight Revival is upon us, let us be up and working for the night comes when no man shall labour.
May God preserve you from the Great Delusion sweeping the Church and prepare you for a genuine Heaven Sent Revival.
God Bless you,
Keith Malcomson

Monday, 18 August 2008

Todd Bentley has agreed to refrain from all public ministry for a season

There follows an excerpt from a letter……..

“From the Board of Directors
The Fresh Fire Ministries Board of Directors
Aug 16, 2008

From the Board of Directors

We wish to thank all of our friends and partners for the overwhelming flood of support and compassion we have received as a ministry on behalf of Todd and Shonnah Bentley. The many phone calls and emails of concern from people who genuinely love the Bentleys and Fresh Fire Ministries have been a great encouragement to all of us here during these past few days. In particular, the rallying of support and prayer for Todd and Shonnah by prominent leaders within the Body of Christ has been a beautiful indicator of the maturity and grace the Lord is bringing to his Bride.

We wish to acknowledge, however, that since our last statement from the Fresh Fire Board of Directors, we have discovered new information revealing that Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life.

On behalf of the Fresh Fire leadership and the Board of Directors we wish to apologize to our friends and partners and to the larger body of Christ and to ask for your forgiveness. We are truly sorry for the pain many of you must feel and so regret that in the midst of great revival, the enemy has found a way into our camp. To those who have stood by us, we wish to thank you for what in many cases has been years of support. Thank you for your financial giving towards the vision of this ministry, and thank you especially for your prayers. For those of our partners, friends and supporters who may be struggling with the recent disclosures and finding continued support of this ministry in conflict with either conscience or conviction, we release and bless you with all our hearts and trust that God will redeem in your hearts the good that He has accomplished in your lives through this ministry. It is our sincerest hope and prayer that the Lord bless you and bring you into your fullest destiny in Him………

more at this link: http://charismamag.com/cms/news/archives/081308.php