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If You are Over 60, You Could be Part of the ‘Joshua Generation’

By Dr Michael Brown If you’ve been in church circles over the years, you may have heard people refer to “the Joshua Generation,” meaning young people who are full of spiritual fire and zeal, ready to make an impact for the Lord. But if we want to be accurate biblically, while the people Joshua was leading were all under 40, he himself was at least 60.  How do we know this? The math is simple. He was one of the 12 leaders sent out by Moses and the people to spy out the land of Canaan while the nation of Israel was still in the desert. He and his colleague Caleb came back with a good report. “It’s true,” they said, “that there are giants in the land. But God is with us and we can take the land.”  The other 10 spies, however, were totally negative. “They will kill us all! We’re doomed to die!” (This is a paraphrase; for the actual text, see Numbers 13-14.) Unfortunately, the nation as a whole believed the …

Russia closing down non-orthodox churches and arresting pastors in its illegally seized territory

According to a report by Release International based in the United Kingdom, Russian forces that have illegally occupied parts of Ukraine are shutting down non-Russian Orthodox churches and in some instance arresting their pastor, Premier Christian News report. This includes the closure of a Grace Baptist Church in Melitopol on Sept 11, 2022, which was raided by armed Russian troops during its Sunday morning worship service that was being broadcast live. Melitopol, located in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast region of East Ukraine, was occupied by Russian forces in late February. The Russian soldiers entered as church members were singing a hymn. They ended the service, took down the names of all the attendees and arrested several of those leading the service. The senior pastor, Mikhail Brisyn was ordered to leave the city within 48 hours. Other churches were also raided and shut down in August including Melitopol Christian Church, which has a 1,000 seat auditorium and is the city’s largest church. But the raid of a church in the small town of Chkalovo revealed what may …

What does the Bible say about ghosts?

With Halloween around the corner, what does the Bible have to say about ghosts? Most of us are probably familiar with the story in the Gospels, when the disciples were crossing the sea of Galilee on a stormy night and thought they saw a ghost. Because of the storm, everyone was already apprehensive and Christ who had chosen to remain behind, joined them a bit later, walking out to them on the water. Seeing this apparition hovering over the rolling waves, the disciples immediately were fearful that they were seeing a ghost. They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” (Luke 24:37-39, NIV) The Greek word, ‘phantasma’, translated ghost by most modern translations in this verse, referred to how people believed that the souls of the dead could still …

Masterpiece Bakeshop is back in court again

Jack Phillips, a Christian baker based in Lakewood, Colorado, is back in court again after a transgender woman asked his company, Masterpiece Cakeshop, to make a cake celebrating her transition to a woman, CBN reports. The shop had initially agreed to make the cake, but then changed its mind, when told about the intent of the cake. The transgender woman took the shop to the Colorado Human Rights Commission which ruled the baking company had violated the transgender woman’s rights by refusing to make the cake. Phillips, who is being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), stated in the first court case that he did not agree with the idea that a person could change genders, After losing the initial court challenge, Phillips is appealing to Colorado’s Supreme Court arguing that people should not be forced to support or promote views that they do not agree with, calling it a violation of a person’s free speech. ADF noted: “No American should be bullied or banished from the marketplace simply for living and working consistently with …

Are you Conspiritual? Are we being lied to?

Since 2011, we have had a new word, in English “Conspiritual.” Any description of these ideas is probably negative, from people who don’t like them. New ideas start on the “fringe” and mainstream, and powerful people usually criticize and reject them. Over time, ideas on the fringe grow and become more popular, and they can even become mainstream thinking; truth for most of us. So, expect negative sneering, for now, and more enthusiasm later: We should know what is happening, in our world, and we should know what will happen soon; what is growing. This is not a conspiracy theory, new ideas are growing all the time, and some of them will be very powerful. Brace yourself. Conspiracy – We know what conspiracy theories are. When some important event happens, we might think that some sinister group is using its power, and manipulating events for some secret reason. Right now, we have conspiracy theories about the destruction of natural gas pipelines in Europe. We have many conspiracy theories about the COVID Pandemic, including the idea …

Poll: Teens more open to Christ than many realize

A recent poll conducted by the Barna Group discovered that a significant percentage of teens around the world have a favorable impression of Jesus, Premier Christian News reports. Barna, a national American-based research group, conducted the survey of 25,000, 13 to 17 years olds in 26 countries, on behalf of several Christian groups, including Alpha, Biblical and World Vision. It was a surprising result considering that only 22% of those surveyed expressed having made a personal commitment to Christ. This meant that though 78% may not have been Christians, many still looked upon Christ positively: Based on these survey results, it’s obvious that Jesus needs to be front a center in all our ministry activities. “Our data suggests that although this generation may not deeply engage with Jesus,” David Kinnaman, CEO of Barna Group said. “They are open to him, and when they do engage, they experience positive effects. It is our goal to offer a picture of the rising generation to the Global Church so that we may support and engage teens in relevant, …

The confluence of Technology and COVID restrictions

A confluence is defined as several flowing streams meeting or gathering together at one point and merging together. It can refer to actual rivers joining or as I will use it in this article, ideas converging at the same moment in time. Over the last couple of years, there has been a convergence of several ideas that may be paving the way for what the Apostle John saw emerging in the end times the mark of the Beast that would be used to control people’s ability to buy or sell. The first stream, the chip Most recently, CBN had an article about a popular TikTok star, known as ‘The Chip Girl,’ with over three million followers, who has been showing the world the benefits of having a chip inserted in your hand. Burgundy Waller, who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, is married to a man she describes as a ‘tech genius.’ Two years ago Burgundy had a chip her husband developed, inserted into her hand. In her TikTok videos, Burgundy shows the benefit that the …

Can dreams be a form of evangelism? The conversion of an ex-Muslim suggests they can

A Christian man, who had converted to Islam, turned back to Christ after people prayed for God to send a dream of Jesus, CBN reports. Raised in a Christian home, Mike Westerfield considered himself a religious man. He had attended a Bible college and occasionally preached at his local church, but his faith was challenged when he started visiting some Muslims at a local prison in Florida. In particular, this group challenged Westerfield about his belief in the Trinity and began to give him Islamic literature. This eventually led to Westerfield becoming a Muslim. This was not a shallow conversion. Over the next 12 years, Westerfield actually attended an Islamic university with the intention of becoming an Imam. But despite his conversion, Westerfield would eventually start questioning some of the things that he was discovering in Islam, which he described as “deception and lies” in an interview with IfoundtheTruth.com. This led to him reexamining Jesus. He turned to several apologetic groups, such as Lee Strobel, and Abdu Murray, an ex-Muslim, who had become a Christian …

The Real Mary Magdalene

By Eric Lyons

The name “Mary” appears 54 times in the New Testament. There is Mary, the mother of Jesus (Matthew 1:18), Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2), and Mary, the mother of James and Joses (Mark 15:40), who is likely the same as the “other” Mary (Matthew 27:56,61; 28:1) and “the wife of Clopas” (John 19:25).

Eugenics: Should we breed the best people?

Are you well-bred? Do you know people who are ill-bred? Do you respect your betters? Does your family get the respect that it deserves? This is another line of questioning: The first questions come from popular thinking that is more than a hundred years old. The last two are modern. Where does thinking like this come from, besides someone’s imagination? One old source is Social Darwinism. When Charles Darwin published his ideas about “The Origin of the Species” he looked back in time, to the beginning of life. Darwin’s ideas were retrospective, he directed us back in time, to origins. He had a theory about where we came from. Charles Darwin’s ideas were very popular, and evolutionary thinking came to us like a revolution. I believe one reason for the popularity of Darwin’s backward-looking ideas, is that some people looked forward. In England, for example, people saw classes in society; as superior upper classes, who were born to rule, and the inferior lower, and working classes, who needed to know their place. That is ancient …

Iran? Russia? and maybe China? What is happening to our world?

The news is getting scary. You have probably heard that people in Iran are demonstrating against their government, and things are getting violent. The news, where I live, is that an army base has been attacked. In Russia, there are other problems. We know about the Russian army attacking Ukraine, a close neighbor. It’s now a complicated story, and the Government of Russia is bringing compulsory military service, to keep their effort going. Apparently, people in Russia are not happy about this, and they are demonstrating in the streets. Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of landmass. In China, things seem to be more peaceful, and there doesn’t seem to be a violent crisis. COVID lock-downs are still happening, but young adults are not getting married and having babies, and the population is declining. A younger generation of new adults is distracted by the stress of living, in their country. This may seem trivial, but over time, a smaller population will mean a smaller economy, and that will be a smaller …

When were you called?

The 700 Club recently shared the testimony of how a homeless drug addict came to Christ after Jesus appeared to him. And what struck me as much as anything were the words that Christ spoke to this man. Joseph grew up in a dysfunctional home. Both his mom and dad were drunks and drug addicts and continually fought. His dad was also physically abusive. By the time he was five, his mother’s memory was starting to fail, and it finally reached the point, she could no longer remember who Joseph was, and he ended up being raised by his violent father. As he grew older, Joseph turned to drugs and became addicted to meth and cocaine. He then turned to selling drugs, which proved quite profitable. But after nearly being killed at the age of 28 in a robbery, Joseph sold everything he had and turned to living on the streets. A few months later, in an act of desperation, Joseph cried out to God asking why his life turned out the way it did. …

The significance of five ‘unblemished’ red heifers that were delivered to Israel

Recent news about the arrival of five ‘unblemished’ red heifers at Tel Aviv’s International Airport in Israel has caused quite a stir among those who study end-times prophecy. The red heifers were sent from Texas and were previously inspected by Jewish Rabbis to confirm that they were unblemished. What is interesting is that Evangelical Christians helped in the procurement of the cattle. The Mosaic Law required an unblemished red heifer to be sacrificed for the sins of Israel outlined in Numbers 19. It involved one of the most key sacrifices associated with the Temple. And according to a Christian website, theIsraelguys.com, the arrival of the red heifers is important prophetically because it paves the way for building the third temple in Jerusalem: “According to rabbis and leaders in the Orthodox community, these heifers could be used to reinstate many of the practices of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, even before the 3rd Temple is rebuilt. “[…] “At the welcoming ceremony, the small group witnessed the unloading of the heifers, recited blessings of thanksgiving, sang and …

Expressing gratitude leads to a happier life, poll reveals

A survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Motivosity, in July 2022 has concluded that the more thankful people are, the happier they are, StudyFinds reports. The poll involving over 2,000 Americans found that 65% of those surveyed who said they were very happy in life were also those who most often (always) expressed gratitude for things done for them. The survey also found that of the 35% who stated that they regularly expressed gratitude for their lives, 62% said they were also ‘very satisfied’ with their lives. Along this vein, the survey found that on average Americans expressed gratitude six times a month for kindnesses that someone had done for them and said they also received the same amount of expressions of gratitude. The survey also discovered that Americans living in the Southwest part of the US, 75%, were most often to express gratitude for things done to them while those living in the Southeast (68%) and Northeast (63%) were least likely to express gratitude. According to Motovosity VP Logan Mallory there is a …

Is organized religion dead? Are Christians history?

Have you heard that organized religion is in decline, at least in North America? Apparently, we are witnessing a huge increase in people who claim to have no religious membership, especially in the United States. This increase in “nones”, people with no religion, and a decline in religious memberships has been happening for at least twenty years. This is a cultural trend, and the decline may be happening in other parts of the world. In 2014, Rowan Williams the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury said that the United Kingdom was a post-Christian society. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, where organized religion also controls the government, a young woman, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, was arrested recently, by the religious Morality Police. She was not wearing a head covering. She was supposed to wear a correct head covering, as a Muslim woman, but many women in Iran want to drop that requirement from their lives. Mahsa was arrested and detained, and somehow, she died in custody. Possibly, the police were too aggressive. Apparently, the reaction against that expression …

Taxes and the Bible

According to a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, the average American family spent more money paying their taxes, than they did to buy such essentials as food, clothing and medical care. According to the reports, that year the average American family handed over $16,729.73 for their federal, state, and municipal taxes while only paying $15,495.28 for their food, clothing and medical bills. Taxes, unfortunately, are a necessary part of government. And in the Gospels, we have an odd collaboration taking place when the Herodians and the Pharisees joined up to try to attack Christ on the issue of taxes (Matthew 22:15-22). The Herodians were a group of Jews who actually supported Herod and Rome, while the Pharisees were on the opposite end of the political spectrum. They believed in a national Israel, free from Rome. But that old saying my enemy’s enemy is my friend rang true here. The two had one common enemy, Jesus, and because of that, they could be friends for a few minutes. And the two …

When Gorbachev was the Antichrist

By Dr. Michael L. Brown

Are you old enough to remember when Christians thought that Mikhail Gorbachev was the antichrist? After all, he was the whiz kid who came out of nowhere and was shaking the Soviet Union. Perhaps he also aspired to take over the world? And then he had that mark on his forehead. Some said it looked like a dragon! Could he be the man?

God’s light shining in dark places

While the world seems to be getting darker, God’s light is breaking through in unusual places. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association announced an unusual move of God in Mongolia, a small nation wedged between Russia on its Northern border, and Communist China to the south. With a population of 3.3 million, it functioned as a satellite state of the old Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991. At that point, Mongolia embraced a market economy and democracy. Today, over 51% of the people are Buddhist and as a holdover from its atheistic days under Marx-Leninism, just over 40% have no religion. Christianity makes up over 2% of the population. The two days of meetings featured, Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham at meetings in Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar, which were sponsored by nearly 250 of the country’s churches. Christian Post reports that over 17,000 people attended the meetings held in the city’s main arena and on the last night, over 2,000 Mongolians came forward to receive Christ. Organizers were even surprised by the number …

Poll: Majority of American pastors do not believe Christians are required to tithe

A recent survey conducted by the research group, Barna, discovered that the majority of American pastors do not believe that the Bible requires Christians to tithe, Christian Today reports. The study, entitled, Revisiting the Tithe & Offering, found that only 33% of church leaders surveyed believed that Christians should give 10% of their income to the church. Of the 67%, who did not believe that Christians are required to tithe, 21% believed the amount given should be sacrificial and 20% believed that whatever believers donate, it should be an amount that they are willing to give As well, 70% believed that a tithe doesn’t have to be strictly financial. This was the same position that the ancient Jewish Rabbis took on the tithe that Jacob pledged to the House of God in Genesis 28:22. During the night, Jacob had a dream of angels ascending and descending on a ladder to heaven. He took the stone that he used as a pillow, declared it to be the House of God and pledged a tithe to it. …

Survey reveals a growing concern about the beliefs of Evangelical pastors

In Romans 12:2, the Apostle Paul encourages believers not to be conformed to this world. The Greek word, suschēmatizō, translated conformed means to fashion or according to Mounce’s Greek dictionary to assimilate oneself so that you comfortably fit in. And a recent survey conducted by Arizona Christian University’s Cultural Research Center is setting off alarm bells about what is happening among Evangelical pastors, as it seems a significant percentage are being assimilated by our modern culture. The survey, entitled American Worldview Inventory 2022, asked 1,000 senior pastors their opinions on over three dozen beliefs. This included pastors of Liberal denominations or churches who don’t believe the Bible. I would not call them either churches or pastors from a Biblical perspective, as most function as little more than social groups, and based on their declining numbers, not very good ones. However, what is concerning are the responses of those who claimed to be evangelical, Bible-believing pastors. The survey revealed that a significant percentage of them are starting to conform to the values of the world. The …

Creation or Evolution? What are the fossils telling us?

Brasilodon: That sounds like the name for something old, like a fossil. Scientists recently analyzed fossil teeth from an ancient lizard skeleton, that was excavated in Brazil. In geological time, this little lizard lived when the first dinosaurs appeared, about 225 million years ago. The geological era is known as the Early Triassic, not long after the Permian-Triassic mass extinction event, which seemed to allow the dinosaurs to dominate the Earth. According to scientists, that event was the greatest mass extinction ever. The estimate is that more than 70% of land animals and more than 90% of the species in the oceans, died out. The analysis of the tooth from a fossil Brasilodon showed something interesting. That little animal was not a lizard, it was a mammal. It is described as “shrew-like” which means it was the size and shape of a rat. So, why does this matter? This information is Earth-shattering. One little animal, that looked like a rat, could change our understanding of where life came from. Darwin would struggle to explain this …

The Pit and the Path

In Nehemiah 2:12-16, there is an interesting story. After arriving at the ruins of Jerusalem, Nehemiah desired to inspect the damage. At one point, he must have got off his sure-footed donkey, because of the rubble “Then, I went on to the Fountain gate, and to the King’s Pool, but was no room for the animal that was under me to pass.” (Nehemiah 2:14 NKJV) Nehemiah wanted to check out the damage to the walls himself. He needed eyes on the problem and did it secretly without others unduly influencing his survey. He soon learned how bad it was. Before you can enjoy the blessings and refreshments of the Fountain’s Pool, you must clear away the rubble. This was an ancient problem, played out many times and in many ways. The word in Hebrew for rubble means, ‘ashes, dust, earth, ground, mortar, rubbish.” The root word literally means ‘to be dust.’ Nehemiah understood that the issue was more than just a physical one, but it was also about people. Sometimes, the path to our call …

Extraordinary find confirms the Bible’s smallest details

What I like about Biblical archaeology is how it consistently confirms some of the smallest, seemingly irrelevant details, mentioned in Scripture. In 1 Kings 10, we have a bit of an idea of King Solomon’s wealth gained through tribute paid by subdued nations and as well taxation of those doing business in his realm (1 Kings 10:14-15). One of the displays of Solomon’s wealth is found in a description of the king’s great throne, which is described as being “covered with ivory and overlaid with fine gold” (1 Kings 10:18-20). It also had a huge rounded back, and appeared to have a full-sized lion on either side of the throne. There were also six massive steps going down to the palace floor, with a lion on both ends of each step (12 in total). But in the midst of this grandiose description, the first thing the writer noted is that Solomon’s throne was decorated with ivory, and it is mentioned before the gold and lions. This is not surprising because ivory was considered more valuable …

Do ‘big’ dreams make a difference?

“All things are possible to him who believes!” (Mark 9:23 ESV) Does believing for big things make a difference in our walk with God? Well, a recent survey conducted by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) has concluded that thinking big makes a difference when it comes to church planting and church growth, Christian Post reports. The ECFA conducted a survey of new church plants in order to determine the best strategies for growth. Many of these involved plants by larger multi-site churches and other denominations. One aspect that the survey uncovered is that the group’s vision of success does seem to make a difference in how successful the church will ultimately be. The study came to this conclusion after comparing the end results of those groups who expected their church would multiply by ten times in five years, with those who did not believe their church would multiply in five years. The survey found that those who had big dreams grew ten times faster than those who didn’t While the big-vision churches reported …

Did the Levites serve as police in ancient Israel?

According to the Mosaic Law, the tribe of Levi did not receive an inheritance in the Promised Land, instead the 11 remaining tribes set aside 48 cities across Israel where the Levites were allowed to live. The Levites were also given pasture land around those cities, but did not actually own the land themselves, as the ownership remained with the tribe. Though the Levites filled an important religious role in Israel, it is important to note, that not all Levites could work as priests, only those who were descendants of Aaron, Israel’s first High Priest were allowed to fill the role. Spread across Israel in this way, the Levites were responsible for teaching the law, setting up and maintaining the tabernacle and later the temple. They undoubtedly helped with the logistics of the sacrifices and also played musical instruments and sang in choirs as part of the worship. But one little-known role that the Levites held in Jewish society was that of police. We see the first indicator of this in Numbers, when we are …

Exorcism, Casting Our Demons: Do we still do that?

Do you remember the movie “The Exorcist”? Did you watch it? That film is a horror movie from 1973. I am old enough to remember when everyone was watching it, and talking about it. Strangely, I have never seen the movie, but all my friends did. For a few weeks, they all became religious. To help us remember, here is a video trailer: That is scary! The whole point of a horror movie is to entertain us and to make a lot of money for the producers. I’m sure “The Exorcist” did both. It was the first horror movie nominated for an Academy Award, and the highest-grossing horror movie, until 2017. We are still entertained by exorcism stories. Recently, a news story came from a Bible Camp in Saskatchewan, Canada. At least one adult, and some boys at the camp, did an exorcism on one boy. So far, the police have investigated, but they have not brought criminal charges. Apparently, exorcism is not illegal in Canada. Some people from the Camp claim that they did …

Short-Term Gratification vs Long-Term Satisfaction

By Dr Michael L. Brown

A few years ago, I was buying some new clothes to wear on a series of episodes on Christian TV. The salesman, a seasoned pro with a very good eye, picked out some blazers, slacks, and shirts, and after trying them on, I made my final selection. It was only then that I discovered the prices on these items, expressing my surprise out loud. In response, the salesman said something that stayed with me. Allow me to share it with you here.