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Asteroid ‘2018 AH’ will pass earth on Dec 27, 2021

The Jerusalem Post had an interesting article on 2018 AH, an asteroid that will pass earth on December 27, 2021. In astronomical terms, it is not huge. The asteroid is about 100 meters in size, the equivalent of the Washington Monument. And there is little chance of it hitting the earth, because it will cruise by at a safe distance of about 4.5 million kilometres. But this is not the first time 2018 AH made an appearance. As the name suggests, it zoomed by earth in 2018. But there were a couple of interesting things about that earlier visit that caught my attention. First it was only 296,758 kilometres away when it slipped by earth, which means it was nearly 100,000 kilometres closer to earth than the moon (384,000 kilometres). The second thing that concerned astronomers is that they had no idea it was coming. They only saw it two days after it had already zoomed by. Apparently, it had approached on a trajectory from the sun, making it impossible to see. So what would …

The Solution to Offense

By Rick Renner I was once offended by a missionary who lied to me and led me into a web of deceit that hurt me deeply. What really hurt was that I had trusted this man and had such a high regard for him. But when I discovered what he had done — and that he had done it deliberately — it was like a knife had been plunged into the depth of my soul. Every time I saw that brother and how casually and unrepentant he behaved about what he had done, the devil twisted that knife in my back another turn and caused that deeply intense pain to be inflicted all over again. I really didn’t know what to do to resolve the situation. I felt the missionary should be held accountable for what he had done to Denise and me and to our ministry — but there was no way to hold him accountable that we could find. So he just drifted away freely, facing no consequences for the deep wound he …

Former Bethel leader talks about the church’s gold-dust glory clouds and grave soaking

Though I have never attended a service at Bethel Church in Redding, California, I have listened to sermons by its founder, Bill Johnson. I am almost hesitant to admit that I actually enjoyed his messages, because in recent years, several have publicly announced that they will no longer be using Bethel worship music in their services. This is due in part to some controversial practices that have showed up a Bethel, including grave soaking, gold-dust glory clouds and what some allege is an over emphasis on angels. The church has also been accused of not calling ambulances when people are in serious need of medical attention. Of course, that is one side of the story. So, I was keenly interested when a former minister at Bethel, Carrie Lloyd, recently wrote an op-ed for Premier Christian, where she addressed several of the mega church’s controversies providing a counterbalance to these accusations: The gold dust There have been several reports of what appears to be gold dust showing up during services. Pastor Johnson referred to it as …

Why evil things happen in the world

A complaint commonly heard today is why does an all powerful God allow evil to happen on earth. Though this argument is often used by atheists to disprove the existence of God, Pew Research Center recently surveyed Americans to discover if the average person blames God when bad things happen? Its survey of 6,500 Americans in September, that included nearly 1,500 Evangelicals, found that the majority do not blame God when terrible things take place, such as the recent COVID pandemic that saw millions die. According to Christianity Today, the survey revealed several interesting results: 86% of Americans believe (44%) or somewhat believe (42%) that ‘sometimes bad things just happen.’ 70% of Americans believe that bad things are consequences of our own decisions; 70% also believe that bad things happen because of the way societies are structured; 70% believe men have a free will that allows them to act contrary to what God wants us to act; and 80% believe in the Biblical God (58%) or a higher power (22%), but say that suffering is …

Three words revealed God’s purpose and plan for this man’s life

God has a plan and purpose for every person and I saw an example of this in a heartwarming story involving Doug Provenzano who coaches football in the West Valley Army Youth football in Litchfield Park, Arizona. Faithit writes that Provenzano has coached hundreds of kids (5 to 14 years of age) over the years, but in a post on Facebook, he wrote of one young boy that God sent into his life. God had a plan and a purpose for Provenzano. In 2016, a young third-grader named Marquise showed up with a tattered shirt, one sock, and a “hair cut that was 5 months past due.” Marquise asked if Provenzano could teach him how to play football. Provenzano said he could, but added that the program was expensive, and he needed to know where Marquise’s parents were. The young boy said: “My mom died and I don’t know where dad is, but my Auntie takes care of me.” As he heard that story, God immediately spoke three words to Provenzano, revealing the unique purpose …

Kyle Rittenhouse and those pastors in Jail: What side are we on?

We all know the name “Kyle Rittenhouse” by now. Only a few teenagers have become as famous as him, in modern times. He is probably as well known as Greta Thunberg, who made a speech at the United Nations, and she was invited at the age of fifteen. Kyle Rittenhouse walked alone, into a dangerous riot, with a loaded gun, and he was seventeen. If he was my son, and I saw him walking out with a gun, I would call him back and tell him to stay home. I am not choosing sides in the arguments about his trial, I just think some things are too dangerous for a boy acting alone, with a gun. Apparently he shot three people, and two of them died. We know there was a trial by jury, and Kyle was acquitted on all charges. This has produced and explosion of arguments, and much celebrating on one side and intense anger on the other side. So, what should we, think? I am speaking as a Christian. My best advice, …

78 | What the Septuagint Bible tells us about fallen angels and spiritual warfare

We are living in perilous times as governments of all political stripes seem intent on restricting people’s liberties and freedoms, either under the guise of protecting us from COVID or banning speech that some consider offensive, because it disagrees with their beliefs. In this podcast, I discuss the Septuagint’s odd translation of a Bible verse in Deuteronomy that may help explain why this is happening.

A Holy Jealousy for the Reputation of the Lord

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Revival is often birthed when we get to a place of spiritual desperation, when we are sick and tired of the way we are living, when we have had it with our halfhearted commitments, when we cannot live any longer without a breakthrough. Revival can also come when we are grieved and burdened over the state of the society, when the sins of our generation mount up to heaven and we know that judgment is near. That also drives us to our knees in intercession and repentance, leading to an outpouring of mercy from on high. But there is something else that can spark revival, something else that moves us to prayer and grips us with deep travail: jealousy for the reputation of the Lord. Our hearts are broken because our Master’s name is maligned. Our souls are grieved because the people of the world despise their Creator. And it is all because of us. When We Make Him Look Bad The Lord’s name is mocked because of our failures, …

Jase and Missy Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame share their experience with Muslim refugees in Greece

Miss Missy, the wife of Jase Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame, recently shared a remarkable story about their recent trip to Greece, where they spent time with refugees from Iran and Afghanistan, who were fleeing radical Islam. The couple were visiting a ministry that was working specifically to meet the spiritual and physical needs of the people who have risked their lives to get to Greece. In an interview with Faithwire, Miss Missy said they me they met a family who had made the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean. The husband had bought passage for his family, including his wife, eight-year old daughter, and 40-day old son from a human smuggler, and they were joined by 40 other people on a raft. There was chaos during the journey, when the raft started breaking apart and people were falling off. The husband was holding their baby when he saw his wife was having trouble. He handed the baby to their eight-year-old daughter and, after rescuing his wife, turned and found that their baby had fallen into …

Poll: The vast majority believe governments should not force Americans to violate their religious beliefs

A recent poll by Summit.org, found that the vast majority of Americans believe in religious freedom, despite the messages we are receiving from the mainstream media and some politicians, that Christians must bow to secular authority and opinions. The poll, conducted by McLaughlin and Associates, asked 1,000 Americans, who were likely voters, if they agreed with the statement that government has the right to force religious people to participate in practices that would violate their religious beliefs. Seventy-five percent said that the government does not have the right to force a person to violate their religious beliefs, and only 16% believed that government should be able to do this. Of course, once politics were thrown into the mix, the number varied, with 80% of Republicans and 78% of Independents stating the government does not have the right to violate a person’s religious beliefs. While still in a clear majority, only 64% of Democrats held the same position. And in a second question, people were asked if they agreed with a statement by America’s founders “that …

Migration or Immigration: Why are so many people crossing borders?

You have probably heard about caravans of people, forming in Central America and travelling to the US border, and then crossing into the US and claiming to be refugees. You might have also heard that many refugee claimants decide that the US does not have what they need, and then cross into Canada. That might have stopped, with the COVID crisis. Governments can say that they are keeping people out for health reasons. If the COVID crisis declines enough, that route for migration will start again. There are other migrant routes. People travel across the English channel to Britain in small boats, usually from France. They also want to live in a new country, and thousands are trying. Some find a boat with room for them, and cross over to England, or drown. I have crossed the channel on large ferries, and once on a large hovercraft. That was interesting for me, but I would never want to sail in those rough waters in a small boat. There are also people who travel from Africa, …

YouVersion Bible app hits 500,000,000 downloads

Life Church announced on Wednesday, Nov 10, 2021, that its popular Bible app, YouVersion, has been downloaded over 500 million times. The announcement was made in conjunction with its verse of the day: “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) Life Church based in Edmond, OK was founded by Pastor Craig Groeshel, and launched the app in 2008. In an interview with the Christian Post, Bobby Gruenewald, who was behind the app’s development, said that their goal was to increase the Bible’s availability to people and hopefully increase people’s readership. But it was a journey. In 2005, Gruenewald, who is a pastor at Life Church, was standing in a security line at Chicago’s O’Hara airport when he came up with the idea of using technology, such as a website, to promote Bible reading. He also came up with a name, and by the time he was …

Don’t be intimidated

This fall, there have been several reports of attacks on Christians in both North America and around the world. Some have died for their faith. It would be easy to be intimidated by this, but God wants us to “to take courage.” Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14 ESV) Here are a few of the stories: In Compton, California, Reginald Moore, the 65-year-old pastor of Upper Room Christian Church was shot and killed on Oct 24, 2021 as he was leaving his church after leading a Bible study. Members of the church said they refused to be intimidated by the violent attack. In Nashville, TN, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced that it is offering a $1,00 reward for any information on who was behind the Molotov cocktail thrown at Axis Church on Sept 13, 2021. Though the firefighters were able to put out the fire before it destroyed the building, it nevertheless damaged the sanctuary and the equipment the …

Biblical warfare: How Assyria conquered Lachish and how the Jews tried to defend it using a chain

Archaeologists from Israel and America have released a report confirming how the Assyria’s King Sennacherib was able to conquer the small Judean city of Lachish. The interesting battle, recorded in Isaiah, says during his invasion of Judah, the Assyrian King was able to conquer Lachish (Isaiah 36:1-2) and then surrounded the city of Jerusalem where Sennacherib’s representatives taunted the city and Judah’s King Hezekiah with its imminent destruction if Hezekiah didn’t surrender (Isaiah 36:4-24). After King Hezekiah called on God, the prophet Isaiah delivered a prophetic word that King Sennacherib would hear of trouble brewing causing him to withdraw and return to his homeland, which is exactly what happened (Isaiah 37:5-7). The archaeologists released a report on the remains of a massive ramp that the Assyrian army built up to the city’s walls, confirming details of the Lachish’s destruction found engraved on walls in Nineveh, which was then the Assyrian capital. The large wall carving, where Sennacherib brags about his defeat of Lachish, shows a huge ramp had been built up the city’s wall, located …

Danger

The difficulty of travel when we first moved to the Soviet Union cannot be exaggerated. For example, because the whole USSR was gripped with deficits multiple decades ago, people never knew if they’d be able to find gasoline for their car. In the town where Denise and I lived, there was rarely gasoline at the gas station.

Actor Chris Pratt says listening to Christian music relieved his depression

In a recent Instagram post, Hollywood actor Chris Pratt stated that as he was going through a recent bout of depression, he listened to Christian music while jogging, and it provided an almost immediate release for the actor famed for his leading roles in Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Premier Christian News reports that the depression started after an uproar over an earlier post Chris had made, where he thanked his wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger, for giving birth to a healthy daughter. He was immediately attacked by trolls who accused Pratt of mocking his previous wife who had given birth to a son nine weeks early, who consequently experienced health issues including visual impairment. Of course, this was not Pratt’s intent, but the trolls were relentless and had previously gone after Chris because of his Christian faith. In his post, Chris explained what happened: “Good morning, everybody. I went to bed last night really kind of upset and depressed, and I woke up feeling crappy, and I didn’t want to work out. “I …

Our other COVID fear: Do we still have rights?

You have probably heard the news about people in Australia who are demonstrating in the streets. Their concern is something about COVID restrictions, and the way their government treats them. I am not Australian, and I’m not a medical specialist, but there seems to be a growing fear around the world. People are concerned about the loss of their rights, with restrictions for safety, in a health emergency. A few days ago, I was driving in a town close to where I live, and I saw some people holding signs. I saw only three people holding signs, near the courthouse. They were friendly, and they waved at the cars driving by. Probably they were demonstrating about civil rights and COVID restrictions. We all hope that COVID will dry up and go away soon. Eventually it will. Where I live, due to health-care restrictions, there is a debate about our rights. That includes the three friendly demonstrators that I saw, and the crowds can be much larger, and less friendly. We also get advertising from the …

Is a burnt car, a sign of the times?

A recent story in a Canadian newspaper, the National Post, reveals the subtle changes taking place in our culture that Jesus said would be one of the indicators that we are entering the end times. Ironically, it involved a car crash that took place on a Sunday, Oct 31, 2021, when two teens crashed into a tree near Springwater, Ontario, Canada. The resulting crash caused the vehicle to catch fire and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reported that instead of helping the two teens, who were struggling to get out of the burning vehicle, those passing by were more interested in videoing the event. According to OPP spokesperson, Liz Newton, videos of the crash, that ended up on several social media sites, showed several cars slowly driving by instead of stopping and helping the two escape. Fortunately, the two teens survived, when a police officer stumbled upon the scene and was able to pull them out. The two remain in hospital with serious injuries. The OPP added that no charges have been laid against those …

77 | What to do with a strange memory

FOLLOW OUR PODCAST ON (search opentheword): Itunes Stitcher Spotify Google Play IHeartRadio TuneIn Podchaser PODCAST NOTES: Hi, my name is Dean Smith and in this podcast, I wonder: am the only person in the world who suddenly has flashbacks of things that happened to them decades ago. Well it happened to me recently and involved an incident of something that took place probably 45 years ago. It was the 1970s. I was in my twenties and driving an old Rambler station wagon. It was a dusty grey colour, probably 15 years old when I bought it. But along with my Toyota Previa, was the most reliable vehicles I have ever owned. I was just saved and attending a young people’s Hippy church, a Jesus People church, where everyone had long hair, including the girls. Back then, I had hair past my shoulders and one of my friends had hair down to his waist. And today, I have sadly resorted to shaving my head, because I am basically bald. It’s very sad. Anyway, I had put …

Did the Apostle John see programmable currency?

With digital currency such as Bitcoin emerging, there are several reports of governments stating their intention to introduce digital currencies at a national level, replacing cash. However, many have raised privacy concerns about such a currency, as it will be programmable and could easily be associated with your identity through such things as a social security number. As a result: Governments will be able to track every purchase you make. Governments will know automatically know how much money you have in your accounts without having to go through courts and a bank But there are other concerns about the programming aspect of this digital currency, because not only will governments be able to monitor your spending, they will also have the ability to control it, if they so choose. For example, it could be set to restrict a person’s purchase of a weapon if they haven’t completed the proper application forms, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But it could also be used to limit a person’s ability to purchase other items if the …

Riches Are Not Always Measured in Dollars and Cents

By Rick Renner When the renowned theologian St. Thomas Aquinas visited the Vatican in the Thirteenth Century AD, Pope Innocent IV invited him to view the breathtaking treasures that had been amassed by the Church. With great pride, the pope told him, “No longer can the Church say, ‘Silver and gold have we none’!” To this, St. Thomas Aquinas answered, “Holy Father, that is very true indeed. But neither can we say to the poor and afflicted, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk!’” It is good for us to remember that some of the poorest churches in history have been spiritually rich and some of the wealthiest churches in history have been spiritually poor. Church buildings may be adorned with gold, silver, and treasures, but they are often vacant of the true riches of the Holy Spirit. A church’s coffers may be filled and its congregation may include many wealthy people, but that is no guarantee that the church is truly rich. In God’s eyes, many financially prosperous churches are actually spiritually famished, while …

Are you a Bible Thumper? Is there a cure for that?

Have you noticed how people argue these days? You can win any argument if you give the other side an ugly name. I hear a lot about “Anti-Vaxxers” where I live, and I know some people who fit the description. The problem is that some of them are friends, and I don’t like to mock and sneer at my friends and neighbors. Also, if we think a woman is pushy and demanding, we can call her a “Karen” but the same problem applies. Other people deserve our respect. When I was young and living at home, I said the forbidden words “Holy Rollers” and both of my parents got angry, and told me never to use those words in their house. They reacted as if I was swearing. I was surprised, but they probably received that insult before I was born. I learned the lesson from my parents. An insult is not an intellectual argument. We also have an insult for Christians “Bible Thumper.” If you don’t like that person and their beliefs, just apply …

I Refuse to Accept the Current State of the Church

By Dr. Michael L. Brown I refuse to accept that the Church as we know it in America and the West is the very best the Church will ever be. I refuse to accept that the anemic, divided, often powerless version of the Church that we are so accustomed to seeing here is the only version we will ever see in this world. Not if the Bible is true. Not if Jesus is Lord. Not if the Holy Spirit has been poured out. Not if God’s promises are real. To the contrary, because the Bible is true. And because Jesus is Lord. And because the Holy Spirit has been poured out. And because God’s promises are real. We will see a glorious Church, walking in grace and victory and purity and power. We will see a bride fit for her Groom. We will see the Messianic community that He Himself is building. And the very gates of Hades will not overcome that Church. That is God’s vision and that is God’s promise, because of which …

The benefits of meeting in Jesus’ name

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:19-20 NIV) Jesus told His disciples that where two or three gathered in the Lord’s name, Jesus would also be there. And the previous verse suggests that this gathering together should probably include a time of prayer. It tells us several things, but most importantly that we have to deliberately meet together in the Lord’s name. In other words, two or three Christian men watching a football game together does not necessarily qualify as gathering in Jesus name, though it could. Because, there is a church in our city where Christians have developed a home group around football. Though they have this common secular interest, the purpose of the group is spiritual. They are gathering in Jesus’ name. And when we deliberately do this, Jesus says that He will be the …

Families of abducted missionaries in Haiti say they have forgiven the gang members

The families of 17 missionaries and their families (including five children) who were kidnapped in Haiti by the violent 400 Mawozo gang have recently issued statements on the website of Christian Aid Ministries that they have chosen to forgive the gang for the kidnapping. This follows on the heels of a video released on Oct 22, 2021 by the gang’s leader, Wilson Joseph, who goes by the name of ‘Death without Days,’ where he stated that every one of them would be killed if his ransom demand of $1 million each was not met. He said, “I swear by thunder that if I don’t get what I’m asking for I will put a bullet in the heads of these Americans.” Several of the family members have since responded that they have chosen to forgive the kidnappers, with some stating they are in fact praying for the salvation of the gang members: “We are interested in the salvation of these men, and we love them.” Parent of one of the hostages.” As a family, we are …

Archaeologists discover rare depiction of Balm of Gilead

Archaeologists working with Israel Antiquity Authority announced they have found an amethyst seal that has an engraving of the Balm of Gilead on it, a plant mentioned several times in the Bible. It was found on the road that ran between the Shiloah pool and the Jewish Temple. The discovery of the small amethyst, that was probably used as a signet ring, is extremely important. Though there have discovered several references to the plant and depictions of other vegetation such as olives and vines, this is the first time they have discovered a depiction of the plant that was source of the Balm of Gilead. In addition to an engraving of a Balm of Gilead branch with several fruit hanging from it, that Prof. Shua Amorai-Stark said was “unlike any of the fruits we have encountered to date,” there is also an image of a bird, believed to be a dove. Archaeologists believe this was a signet ring that would impress an image on clay or wax verifying that a document came from the owner. …

I will show you a better way

When we find ourselves in a messy situation where there is confusion and doubt, I wonder if there isn’t a message in it for us.  And, maybe the message is the Holy Spirit saying, “hold on here, slow down because I want to show you a better way through these circumstances.  The Bible talks about God making the path of life known to us. “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” (Psalm 16:11) This verse expresses God’s desire for us to know Him and experience happiness in our lives. There is a better way of doing things. It’s what happened to me several year’s back. I was in a very uncomfortable situation in our church, where I was experiencing rejection from people. No matter what I did, or how hard I tried to gain their approval, nothing changed. In fact, the rejection seemed to get worse. I wanted to defend myself and attack back, and as long as I continued …

Healing

By Rick Renner How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil….— Acts 10:38 During our early years in the former USSR, I preached a series of meetings in Riga, Latvia. Several thousand people showed up for these special services — many of whom were first exposed to our ministry through our TV program — and our team witnessed thousands of people come forward to surrender their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It was absolutely thrilling to see people’s response to the Gospel message. After all the meetings were concluded, the local church leader who organized the event came to me and asked me to pray for his disabled teenage son. His boy had suffered severe, permanent injuries after being physically beaten by a gang of hoodlums. In fact, they smashed his head into the concrete street so many times with such force that his brain had become dislodged from his skull. He was literally …

The devastating power of words

Recently, Tom Clark, podcaster and writer, shared an interesting story on Charisma News of something that happened to him at the 50th class reunion of his former high school. He was approached by a 69-year-old man, who he had not seen for 50 years. Until the man introduced himself, Tom didn’t even recognize his former teammate from the high school football team. Then the man made a strange request and asked Tom for forgiveness. Since he hadn’t seen the man for over five decades, Tom had no idea what he was talking about, but said he would readily forgive, but wanted to know what he needed to forgive this man for. The man said, ‘forgive me for dropping that touchdown pass.’ At that moment, Tom remembered the incident and words he had spoken to the young man after he had dropped a touchdown pass during a high school football game: “Can’t you catch? You’re ruining my passing percentage!” The man had never forgotten those impactful words, and a half a century later they were still …

Going the ‘extra mile’ of forgiveness in Zimbabwe

In Matthew 5:41, Jesus was referring to an interesting privilege available to Roman soldiers when he told his disciples, ‘If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.’ It’s where we get the idiom used today, about ‘going the extra mile.’ It is based on a Roman law, that allowed a Roman soldier to compel any idle, able-bodied man or a man walking in the same direction, provided he was not a Roman citizen, to carry the soldier’s armour for one thousand paces or approximately a mile. Jesus taught if a soldier required this of you, instead of resenting and fighting it, a person should forgive and offer to carry the soldier’s armour two miles. In the verse prior to this, Jesus also taught if a man steals your shirt, then give your cloak as well. And CBN reports that this is the attitude that Craig Deall and his family took in 2003, when the Zimbabwe government seized their farm, without compensation. It was part of the government’s land reform policy …

Father gives ‘Glory to God’ for the birth of their miracle baby

Earlier this year, João Prudêncio Neto, posted a video on Instagram celebrating the miraculous birth of his baby daughter, Giovanna. The video showed both João and his son, David, who was holding the new born, weeping with joy. According to CBN, João shared that he became sterile shortly after the birth of their son and doctors told Neto and his wife, Karolinne, that they would be unable to have further children without fertility treatments. But they very much desired another child and prayed daily for a miracle, and described the arrival of Giovanni, as a “miracle that only Jesus could provide,” as Karolinne became pregnant without the couple going through any medical procedures or surgery. Neto wrote: “I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard me when I cried for help,” Psalms 40:1. After I had our firstborn son David, I became infertile. It was impossible to be a parent again with zero spermatozoids production. My wife@karolinneprudencio was healthy and also dreamed of having another child. Until the Lord Jesus healed …