All posts filed under: Bible

74 | Does the Ipuwer Papyrus solve the mystery of the Egyptian Guard?

In this podcast, I want to discuss an issue that has puzzled many people namely: why don’t we find any mention of the of the devastating 10 plaques or Israel’s departure in Egypt’s archaeological records. In fact, we do but puts the exodus about 300 years earlier than traditionally believed.

The Importance of Finding Your Calling

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Can you imagine walking everywhere standing on your hands? Or writing a book using your toes? Or typing out text messages with your forehead? The fact is that our body was designed by God with great beauty and precision, with each part of the body having an important and unique role. It’s exactly the same with the Body of Christ. Every believer has an important and unique role. And that means if you are a believer, you have a calling and a mission. Not only so, but rightly understood, every believer has an indispensable role, since the Body can only function at its full capacity if every member of the Body is functioning properly. Do you see yourself in this way – as someone called and graced by God – or do you consider yourself of no spiritual or practical value? “After all,” you might think to yourself, “I’m just a businessman.” Or, “I’m just a home-schooling mom.” Or, “I’m just a young person in college. What can I do?” …

When Mental Health Professionals Recognize the Healing Powers of Spirituality

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Critics of the COVID lockdowns often argued that, in the end, the lockdowns would do more harm than good, not just financially but also medically. One reason was that patients needing treatment would be less inclined to visit a doctor or hospital, increasing their health risks. Critics also pointed to the psychological aspects of the lockdowns, leading to increased loneliness, depression and even suicide. What about forbidding Christians (and other people of faith) from gathering together for worship, prayer, and ministry? What kind of impact did this have on the overall health and wellbeing of tens of millions of Americans (along with countless others worldwide)? Or, conversely, what positive role did faith play in the overall health and wellbeing of Americans during the lockdowns? A new article posted in the Scientific American, by David H. Rosmarin, and titled “Psychiatry Needs to Get Right with God,” addresses these very questions. The Cost of Not Gathering for Worship According to Rosmarin, “Spirituality has historically been dismissed by psychiatrists, but results from a …

Covid Long-haul and Faith

When I first was diagnosed with COVID back in early May, most people were compassionate and helpful. Some were not, They simply rebuked COVID and claimed that if I had faith, I would not get sick. When I kept getting more sick, some said it was my fault since I was not vaccinated. Others explained that COVID was a judgment of God on the evil of this world and, well, just saying. The bottom line is that the response to this Christian pastor and his ministry leader wife getting COVID were mixed.  Believer and non-believer showered us with everything from anger to love, shame to hope. Now that we’re long haulers of COVID poisoning, we have to make adjustments. I am not good at making life limiting adjustments. I’d rather be in some lonely back alley talking to people and feeding them then sitting on my couch waiting for an improvement or just a good day. The prognosis is unclear since the medical profession just doesn’t know. So, we don’t know. We don’t know if …

No Time for Cowardice

By Dr. Michael L. Brown According to the book of Revelation, “the cowardly,” along with a host of other sinners, like murderers and the sexually immoral, will one day be cast into the lake of fire (see Revelation 21:8). But what is so bad about being cowardly? Why is it such a serious sin? The Greek word used for “cowardly” also means “fearful,” and it is found two other times in the New Testament.  As explained by the Greek scholar Celsas Spicq, “Jesus reproaches the apostles for this psychological fear when they are terrified by the storm (Matt 8:26; Mark 4:40), because it involves a moral deficiency: they no longer have faith, or they have but little faith in the presence of the Savior, who has to reassure them.” In contrast, “when one relies on God, there is nothing to fear.” (From his Theological Lexicon of the New Testament.) So, there is something morally deficient in being fearful when Jesus Himself is with you. And in the situation described in the Gospels, when the disciples …

Canada’s earliest Christian prophets were Indigenous

In the midst of the stories of churches being burnt down and vandalized across Canada in response to the recent discoveries of unmarked graves at three Indian Residential Schools, another story is emerging out of Canada’s religious past. It provides an interesting history on the spread of Christianity amongst indigenous tribes in British Columbia, one that I had never heard of before. It makes me wonder if God is taking this bad and working it together for good as promised in Romans 8:28, because it is bringing to light how Canada’s earliest Christian prophets were in fact found among indigenous peoples. They were prophesying before the Azusa Street Revival, that broke out in 1906 in Los Angeles, which is credited as the break out of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts in North America. They had also developed the office of the prophet that would not be fully functional in the church until the revival in North Battleford, Saskachewan, Canada in 1948. In a fascinating story in the National Post by Terry Gavin stated …

Actor Kristoffer Polaha shares his life changing ‘but God’ moment

In a recent interview on Pureflix, Hollywood actor Kristoffer Polaha shared the amazing experience that turned his life back to God. He has appeared in several TV shows since he broke into acting in 2001 including CSI Miami, Bones, Hawaii five-0, and Castle and as well several Hallmark Mystery 101 TV movies where he plays the role of Travis Burke. He has also had several movie roles, including his most recent, “Wonder Woman 1984”. Kristoffer is also co-starring in “Jurassic World Dominion” that is scheduled for release in 2022. Born in 1977, Kristoffer grew up in a Christian family, but as he entered high school, he decided to take a break from his faith, but God’s miraculous intervention while he was in his second year of college caused him to renew his faith. He and a friend were walking down a street in New York City. Kristoffer, who was on the side nearest the traffic, suddenly got a strange feeling that he should be walking on the other side. He switched places, telling her, “I …

God’s Impossible Standards

Why does God have such impossible standards? No one can live up to them. Take the end of 2nd Corinthians chapter 10, verse 5 for example. It says to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. I don’t know about you, but I can’t do this. I don’t know anyone who can do this. Even Peter, the rock upon whom the Christian church was formed, couldn’t do it. Almost everyone knows the time he denied Christ, shortly after claiming he would die for him. You can read about this in Luke chapter 22. So, if Peter couldn’t meet the standards of God, how can we? The law God gave the Israelites in the Old Testament was a huge burden to them, and they just couldn’t live up to it. That’s why they had rituals and sacrifices to purify themselves from their breaking of the law and sinning against God and each other. That law was put into effect by God to show the Israelites their need for salvation. They could not be righteous on …

Now Is the Time to Preach Endurance Not Escape

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Living in America, it is easy to develop a theology of escape, one that says, “When times really get hard, God will remove us from the scene. When real tribulation comes, we will be long gone.” But is that the attitude we should be encouraging? Is not the gospel made for hard times? I’m aware, of course, that there are divergent views of the end times among Christians, including the debate over a pre-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture (or a variation of those themes; for my own views, see here.) Fine Christians can disagree on this, and my goal here it not to debate eschatology. We can agree to disagree and work together just the same. Instead, my goal here is to focus on our attitude. What kind of mindset should we have in a difficult time like this? What should our mentality be? In the last decade, Christians in Syria suffered bombing, hunger, torture, exile, and death. They did not escape the hard times. To this moment, Christians in Nigeria …

Is there a demonic side to COVID?

Bob Burckle serves as the president of the Eastern European Mission, whose primary goal is to print and distribute Bibles throughout Eastern Europe. Burckle has served as the organization’s president for 20 years. In an op-ed for the Western Journal, Burckle shared his miraculous recovery from COVID. The first hint that he was sick started with a complete loss in energy. He found it difficult to even stand up. After he went to the hospital, the nurse was shocked that he walked in, because the oxygen level in his blood was only 73%. His COVID test came back positive and along with that, doctors also diagnosed him with bacterial and viral pneumonia. He was immediately admitted to hospital and put on oxygen, a step below intubation. He was extremely sick, and Burckle felt that death was a very real possibility. But he sensed something else, Burckle also believed he was under spiritual attack from satanic sources and immediately put out a call to supporters for prayer as he lay in his hospital bed. So, can …

Did a personal prophecy play a role in actor Stephen Baldwin becoming a Christian?

With all the mockery Christians have received on the dozens of false prophecies given over the past couple of years, that then President Donald Trump would win a second term as US president, it is nice to see that legitimate prophecies have impacted people’s lives. Because it appears that a prophetic word played a key role in the salvation of actor Stephen Baldwin and his wife, Kenya, a Brazilian graphic designer. Their daughter, Hailey, also a believer, is married to mega pop star Justin Bieber. Stephen is also brother to actors Alec Baldwin and William Baldwin. Though, Stephen became a Christian shortly after the September 11, 2001 attack in New York City, in an interview with CBN, Stephen stated that the real transformation started before that tragic day, after they hired a young Brazilian woman, Augusta, as a nanny for their children. Within a week of her arrival, Augusta was singing songs about Jesus in Portuguese to the Baldwin children. Stephen said: “So we hired this lady from Brazil named Augusta, and the whole first …

Knowing God as a Forgiving Father

by Dr. Michael L. Brown As many of you know, before I came to faith in Jesus in late 1971 as a 16-year-old, Jewish, hippie rock drummer, I was a heavy drug user, even boasting about my drug use. I also broke into a couple of houses with my friends, as well as a doctor’s office. (The primary motivation was just to do something crazy.) Even more shamefully, I stole money from my father on several occasions when some of my friends needed a few bucks. This was the most despicable act of all. A few weeks after coming to the Lord, I was sitting in the kitchen one night talking with my dad, who was the senior lawyer in the New York Supreme Court. As we sat there alone, he asked me a direct question: “Michael, did you steal that money from me a few months back?” Not only had I stolen the money, but I had cut through the screen door in the back of the house to make it look as if …

Casting and thanking are keys to dealing with stress

According to an article published in Psychology Today, personal prayer provides several psychological benefits to the individual praying. The article entitled, ‘”Prayer and Mental Illness’, written by Rob Whitley, Ph.D., discussed two large studies that revealed prayer positively strengthens a person’s mental well-being. One study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, concluded that young adults who prayed daily experienced less anxiety and had a higher self-esteem and were more satisfied with life than those who didn’t. This was a large study involving several thousand students and even included follow up for several years after. Whitley cited another survey of 2,000 adult Californians experiencing mental illness, where 80% “agreed or strongly agreed” that prayer helped them during their struggles. This second study confirmed Whitley’s own research on African Americans, who stated that “regular prayer was a major factor in their recovery” from their struggles with mental illness. Stress is a significant contributor to physical and mental health problems. In 1 Peter 5:7, the Apostle Peter encourages us to cast or throw all our concerns and …

My Covid Experience

My experience with covid has been five weeks of struggling, and now I get to be a long hauler. I had most of the symptoms including respiratory problems, fatigue, coughing, aches and pains, and a general emotional and spiritual upheaval. I also developed two pneumonias, one bacterial and one viral. So, I was really ill with three severe respiratory illnesses at the same time Even now, as I start back into my daily activities, I am struggling with chest pain, hurting lungs, tiredness, loss of breath, and small bits of brain fog. Although it has been years since the last time I was really unwell, I experienced a difference with COVID. It wasn’t that it was fast. I mean really fast! Literally one day I was fine and within two days I was struggling to breathe. It wasn’t the severity or the wide range of symptoms that came with the virus that hit me the hardest. What really struck me as the most significant issue of this illness was the darkness that accompanied it. It …

The dangerous prayer that resulted in miracles

Do you want to see more answers to prayer and miracles in your life? If so I want to provide an example of a simple prayer from the Book of Acts that did exactly that. It came to mind as I was reading an article about Heidi Baker, 61, who works as a missionary in Cabo Delgado Province in Mozambique, a small country in Northern Africa along the India Ocean. Baker’s organization, Iris Global, runs orphanages and provides humanitarian aid in the province that is dominated by an Islamic extremist group called Al Shabab that has killed nearly 3,000 people through dozens of terrorist attacks since Baker established her ministry in 2017. According to Baker being a Christian makes you a target and several churches in the province have been burned to the ground in Al Shabab’s attempt to set up a Caliphate. In its most recent attack on Palma in March 2021, hundreds of terrorist stormed the town killing dozens of people and as well kidnapped children, girls for wives and boys as fighters. …

A broken heart can physically break your heart

According to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) an emotionally broken heart has the potential to physically damage a person’s heart. Though the condition called Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is rare, it is potentially fatal and is found most often in women. Researchers from Harvard stated that 90% of the cases involved women between the ages of 58 to 75. The research team from MGH stated that TTS occurs when a person undergoes a stressful event that results in increased activity in a person’s amygdala, an organ located on either side of our cerebrum that controls our memory and emotions. This in turn can cause increased activity in a person’s heart that can actually cause physical damage resulting in what is referred to as a “broken-hearted syndrome. According to the researchers, there are several things that can lead to this condition including such stress producing factors as: Death of a child or spouse Death of a pet Divorce or break up Job loss Infidelity Unfortunately, these type of events are a part of real life. God …

When taxes get too high

A recent article by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) provided a list of the top ten most taxed states in America, and they broke it down in an unusual way. They looked at the total amount of taxes a person paid in their lifetime. According to FEE, you would be a millionaire if you lived in New Jersey and were able to keep all the taxes you paid over the course of your life, that amounted to $932,000 or about half a person’s lifetime earnings (49.51%). This compared to the average amount of taxes, $525,037, paid by Americans in their lifetime. So by just moving to an average tax state an American family could potentially save over $400,000 in a lifetime. But we need to understand the actual tax bite varied because the average wage also differed by state. Though some states paid less lifetime taxes, their average wage was also less turning it into a proportionally higher tax rates. So based on percentages, here is the amount paid by the top ten highest …

God Is Not Discouraged

By Dr. Michael L. Brown The Scriptures often speak of God being grieved or angry. But they never speak of Him being discouraged. That’s because discouragement is not an “emotion” that exists within the Godhead. How could it? Discouragement would imply despair. Or hopelessness. Or defeat. And all of these emotions – to speak of the Creator in human terms – are totally foreign to Him. Ultimately, in Jesus, they should be foreign to us as well. Of course, it is only natural that, as human beings, even human beings who have a close relationship with the Lord, we will pass through seasons of discouragement. The burdens of life overwhelm us. Or our hopes and expectations are not realized. Or our lofty dreams come crashing to the ground. Or things take much longer than expected. Or it seems that there’s just too much suffering and pain. Or we disappoint ourselves, convincing us that we will always be failures. Or . . . you can fill in the blank. There are countless reasons for discouragement, and, …

Survey: Everyone missed the city on the hill

We have family that lives several hours away and as we drove home after a visit, we often end up driving during the night. And towards the end of our journey, I would find myself looking for the lights of our city radiating into the night sky as it offered hope, that our hours spent in a car would soon be coming to an end, and we would be home. In Matthew 5, Jesus also spoke of light telling believers that we are a light to the world, and a city on a hill that can’t be hidden. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV) During dark times, light offers guidance and …

God may have some questions for you

There is a verse in Isaiah that may add an interesting twist to your prayer life. Even those I will bring to My holy mountain,And make them joyful in My house of prayer.Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar;For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” (Isiah 56:7) In this passage, God says He wants to bring people to “My house of prayer” and then further on God describes that His house will also be called “a house of prayer for all the peoples.” Some have suggested that this special place on God’s holy mountain is not only a place where people gather to pray, but is also a place where God prays. What does this mean? Is God praying for us? Perhaps. We know that Jesus is sitting at God’s right hand interceding for us (Romans 8:33-34). But there may be more to this than that. Prayer in its most basic sense is communication, we are speaking to God. So is it possible …

Five signs of a ‘spirit of fear’

Several polls over the past few months reveal how the pandemic is being driven by fear, not the science. People’s perception of how serious COVID is goes far beyond actual reality. This past February, Frontiers in Psychology conducted two surveys of people in France to compare their perception of how bad COVID was with actual reality. According to their polling, the French believe that one in six people who catch COVID will die from the virus. If this is what you believe, a person would be living in absolute terror of catching the disease. But the reality is much different. In fact, only one in 400 died in France after catching the virus, with the vast majority over the age of 70. It is the elderly and those with underlying health conditions (often the same people) who are most vulnerable to the virus and need protection. Nevertheless, based on their flawed perception, the French believe over one million have died of COVID in their country instead of the actual death total of 107,000, in a …

Christian Do Your Job!

“Put me in coach, I’m ready!” How many coaches have heard this plea? And how many of us sitting on the bench are just waiting for our opportunity to shine, to show the world what we’re made of? In the past, a response may have been, “You’re not ready.” But now the response might be, “Put you in where?” A few years ago, it seemed like opportunities to shine were everywhere. Now, opportunities to just participate seem out of reach.  Ordinary life has been replaced by a blanket of illness and fear. This is even more complicated because of the credentials needed to participate. I have COVID at the time of this article. That means, according to our health authorities, I am immune from covid for about three months. A nurse told us that the vaccine immunity is for four months. Yet credentials to be put into the game include mask wearing, and in increasing cases, proof of vaccination. I get these things. I get that we need to feel safe. I also get that …

The counterintuitive church

It is one of those good news, bad news scenarios. No Christian likes persecution, and increasingly believers are being targeted for their beliefs in Western Democracies and as counterintuitive as it sounds, this may actually be good news for the church. According to a study by Nilay Saiya and Stuti Manchanda, published in Society of Religion, an academic journal, there is a strange anomaly in Christianity where it does better in places where it’s not the favoured religion and even faces active persecution, than in countries where it is embraced. The authors came to this conclusion after studying the growth and acceptance of Christianity in 166 nations between 2010 and 2020. The authors noted that of the ten countries with the fastest growing Christian populations today, seven of them involve nations that have low acceptance or even resistance to the Christian faith: Malawi, Uganda,  Rwanda,  Madagascar,  Liberia, DR Congo, and  Angola. Only three nations, where Christianity was politically and culturally accepted, made it in to the top ten: Tanzania, Zambia, and Kenya. Saiya and Manchand added …

Has God failed you?

By Dr. Michael L. Brown If God of the Bible is who the Bible says He is, then, by His very nature, it’s impossible for Him to fail. Then why ask the question, “Has God failed you?” It’s because, for all too many people, it feels as if God failed them. Perhaps you are one of those people? Maybe you suffered a devastating loss, something that was almost impossible to bear. But what made things even worse was that you felt abandoned by God. With tears of anguish you cried out, “God, where are You!?” To this day, you still wonder, “Where was God when I was hurting? Why didn’t He let me feel His presence? Why didn’t He speak to me or send help my way when I needed Him the most? What kind of God is that – if He even exists? Or was there something wrong with me?” Some of you wonder why your prayers for healing or provision or deliverance were not answered. As a result, you concluded that the Bible …

Reformed pastor denounces contemporary worship

A reformed pastor with a Presbyterian church recently caused controversy when he publicly criticized the styles of worship being used in many churches today. In his presentation to the Gospel Reformation Network conference, David McWilliams, who pastors Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, Florida, criticized the modern worship that is moving away from the hymns sung in traditional churches. In his presentation, Pastor McWilliams not only focussed on such trends as using smoke, lighting and video displays in sync with the music, but as well on the type of music being incorporated in these worship services. In his presentation, McWilliams noted: “For example, who can think that a service peppered with salsa rhythms will lead the congregation to worship God in reverence and awe? Or rock music. Will sentimental tunes or music that remind one of night clubs lead us to reverence and awe?” “Therefore, certain forms of music, attitudes, and actions are immediately excluded from worship by the one principle that we are to worship our God in reverence and awe.” It is an interesting …

Revival: When God Steps Down from Heaven

By Dr. Michael L. Brown In a certain sense, God’s presence fills the universe. Yet there are times in history when God manifests His presence in a particular place or in a particular way that is unique and distinct and powerful and transformative. We call those times “revival.” During such times in the past, children would say, “Did you hear that Jesus came to my village?” Preachers would say, “God stepped down from heaven.” Something had changed, and everyone knew it. As I explained in the definition I have used for revival for many years, “Revival is a season of unusual divine visitation resulting in deep repentance, supernatural renewal, and sweeping reformation in the Church, along with the radical conversion of sinners in the world, often producing moral, social, and even economic change in the local or national communities.” Note in particular those words “a season of unusual divine visitation.” That is the very essence of revival. There are passages in the Bible that describe God’s presence as being everywhere (see Psalm 139:7-12; Jeremiah 23:23-24). …

A call for accountability in the prophetic ministry

After dozens of major Christian ministries wrongly prophesied that Trump would win re-election as US president in November 2020, to say that the prophetic ministry has been left in tatters would be an understatement. But a new organization, Prophetic Standards, has been set up to call for accountability in the prophetic ministry. Because, despite this failing on the national stage, major prophetic networks are pumping out prophecies on a daily basis as if nothing happened. There is nothing wrong with that necessarily, but in my opinion each of those prophetic words should be tagged with a small notification on whether the individual wrongly prophesied that Trump would be reelected. People need to know how much they can trust these particular ministries. These individuals may still have bona fide ministry, but prophecy may not be one of them. Just because you have an internet connection and a YouTube channel does not automatically make you a prophet. But it seems these prophetic networks are more concerned about protecting the prophetic ministries than protecting the people they are …

An Eye for Eye is not what it seems

A recent story out of Iran exposes one of the biggest misconceptions that people have about the Old Testament law. The Daily Mail reports that five Iranian men are facing the prospect of having their fingers cut off after being accused of theft. Under the Islamic code, amputation is considered suitable punishment for theft in cases where the stolen goods are not recovered. In this instance, the five are charged with burgling over 22 houses. The International Observatory of Human Rights reports that over the past 20 years, there has been at least 129 instances of finger amputation in the country. And it’s not just fingers, depending on the crime people can even have their hands amputated. In 2015, a horrific story emerged of a ISIS militants in Iraq filling a man full of drugs before using a meat cleaver to cut off his hand. Though we consider this barbaric, many are quick to point out that the Old Testament law has a similar eye for eye punishment system. Where people could have their eyes …