Be Very Alert! No 183

Be Very Alert! – By Val Hollard (NZ)

On Watch at the Door.                                                    No 183, November 4, 2014

PROBLEMS WITH PLAGUES

Jesus tells us in the Olivet Discourse and so does the book of Revelation that there will be pestilence in the last days. We don’t know if Ebola will turn out to be it, but we can learn a lot from what is happening now and prepare ourselves and hope that pastors would take time to prepare their congregations also. A leading science writer has warned that these kinds of diseases will wreak havoc in coming years. We are just seeing the beginning.

There are some things about Ebola which are of concern. One is the ease with which medical professionals have been falling victims. There is concern that it can travel in the air in aerosol form.

Another problem is the long incubation period of up to three weeks before a person can shows symptoms. There can be a few days when the victim is contagious and in contact with others before a diagnosis is made. Already many contacts have been spending time in quarantine.

A plague, or even fear of one, can affect a country’s economy. Even the Wall Street Stock market dipped for short periods. The closing of borders has created a trade problem in West Africa where there are now major food shortages. In Sierra Leone, data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization indicates that up to 40% of farms have been abandoned in the worst-affected areas. Food prices have increased but many are now out of work and can’t afford food even if it is available.

The Ebola virus has struck fear into the hearts of many people. When it was announced that an Ebola patient was in the Texas Presbyterian Health Hospital in Dallas, patients avoided the emergency department and cancelled appointments. A conference in Dallas was cancelled and people avoided going there.

In West Africa, some relatives of victims have been removing them from hospitals because they trust witch-doctors more than medical staff. In the church, we are seeing similar foolishness. Some Word/Faith preachers are saying that faith will keep Ebola from your house and are twisting Scripture such as Psalm 91 which says that no pestilence will harm you. We cannot expect to always have perfect health now but when we are taken up to be with Jesus we will be free from all pestilence.

False prophet Rick Joyner says that he has recently spent eight hours in heaven. There he learnt that Christians are capable of taking authority over Ebola. Indeed, he says there are certain people who are given “total authority over Ebola,” allowing them to cure people infected with the disease simply by being in their presence. “Somebody with Ebola, they come into the room, the Ebola is gone,” Joyner says. “That person is healed. It cannot live, cannot exist in their presence.”   Kenneth and Gloria Copeland believe you have to take authority over the Ebola demon and again quote Psalm 91:3. Copeland says we are now under the New Covenant and the curse of the Law can no longer affect us. So we are protected from every sickness, plague and disease by the blood of Jesus. The Copelands bind Satan and the demon of Ebola. “I plead the blood over me and my family,” they say.

These Word/Faith preachers twist and misquote Scripture to say that all believers should be leading healthy lives if they say all the right words against Satan and demons. This is an extremely dangerous teaching. God does heal and protect some people, but we are not guaranteed victory over Ebola.

We need to distance ourselves from such false teachers. They are dangerous. There have been instances in the past where Faith healers have pronounced people healed who have then thrown away their medication and ultimately died when medical intervention could have saved them. These people are putting Christianity in a bad light and there could be a serious backlash on the church. The media picks up on these things and makes Christians out to be morons.

When pestilence appears, how should Christians react? Firstly, we can pray and we should always pray, but medical attention should also be sought in suspected cases. Then we can trust God to do whatever He feels best. It has been heartening to hear four Christian survivors of Ebola publicly praising God and thanking Him for healing them when so many others have died.

Neither should we fear. All things will work together for the good of those who have been called according to God’s purposes. (Rom 8:28) We have been placed here at this time for a purpose, and a scare like Ebola may provide openings for sharing the Gospel and telling of God’s supernatural peace and joy that we can have in the midst of trouble. Our focus should always be on Jesus.

THE RISE OF ISLAM

In the 20thC, well-recognized as the bloodiest century in history, most of the killing, especially where large numbers are involved, has been done in the name of secular ideologies like political control, balance of power and expansionism. Religion had little influence. But now we are seeing a religion rising in numbers and power which has these same ideals – Islam.

Denis MacEoin laments, “Why is there no Muslim Peace Movement campaigning for an end to violence in Muslim countries? Why do Muslims… take to the streets to condemn democratic Israel, yet never march to protest Hamas’s use of Palestinians as human shields, or the violence of al-Qaeda, Boko Haram or any other jihadi group? Why not be angry at the way violent Muslims drag the image of non-violent Muslims in the mud?”

There are already “diversity training” programmes in place to which Christians are sent if they take a stand against Islam or homosexuality. Now there are “deradicalization programmes” for radical Muslims. Since the start of them, the number of radicalized Muslims has increased.

In Germany, the number of Islamic extremists is reported to be growing rapidly. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency estimates that some 6,300 people in that country are adherents of an ultraconservative strain of Islam known as Salafism.

According to experts, Al Qaeda spent less than $1 million on its 9/11 attack, but the Islamic State has found an even more cost-effective way to carry out attacks on US soil: inspiring psychotic sympathizers to commit “lone wolf” attacks that blur the line between random crime and terrorism. ISIS is turning American citizens into weapons by using a combination of grisly photos and videos of severed heads and mutilated bodies on the Internet and explicit calls to kill. This extremely effective technique requires no planning, coordination or logistics. ISIS is also encouraging supporters to stay home and carry out killings in their own countries.

Muslims are trapped because the Qur’an and the hadith, which make up the holy writ, all condone or command jihad and hatred for non-believers again and again.

Remembering that the more recent verses in the Qur’an repeal the earlier more peaceful ones (naskh, or abrogation), here are some which justify killing:

  • Chapter 9:5 Allah said, “So when the forbidden months are passed, so kill the polytheists (that includes Christians) wherever you find them and take them (as captives) and besiege them and lay wait for them with every kind of ambush so if they repent (and become Muslin) and perform prayer, and give the legal alms so leave their way free. Surely Allah is forgiving and merciful.”
  • 9:29 Allah says, “Engage in war with those who do not believe in Allah and the last day…and do not believe in the religion of truth among those who have been given the book (Jews and Christian)…”
  • 5:51 O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as friends.
  • 5:72 Infidels indeed are those who said, “Surely Allah is the Christ, son of Mary.”
  • 47:4 So when you meet those who became infidels, so chop off their heads until you have made a great slaughter among them.
  • 47:35 Do not be weak and do not call for peace when you have the upper hand.

What can be more deceptive than to claim that Islam is a loving, peaceful religion when the Qur’an contains over 300 verses that teach jihad, to hate, to kill and to destroy the Jew and Christians? Those Muslims who are called “radical” and “extremists” are being obedient to the Qur’an.

Meanwhile, the Western world is overcome by multiculturalism, human rights and its colonial past, and still believes that if you are nice to Muslims and give them what they want they will be peaceful. At the same time, Christians and Jews in the Middle East and parts of Africa are being sacrificed to the wrath of Allah. But it is not stopping with the Middle East. It is already descending on the West.

“My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

America is getting dangerously close to having a state religion and an underground church. A recent attack on the church comes from lesbian Annise Parker, mayor of Houston. She has proposed a new law which would allow men who identify as women to use the restrooms of their choice, and vice versa. This would ignore the rights of a multitude of men and women who would consider it a violation of their privacy and it would also open a way for cross-dressing men to practice their perversions.

Pastors in Houston have spoken out against the bill. The mayor’s office responded by demanding that these Christian leaders turn over their sermon texts relating to homosexuality and transgender issues so that Parker can examine them for evidence of discriminatory rhetoric towards the LGBT citizens of Houston. This demand has since been withdrawn, but the bill has gone through.

In Michigan, hundreds of pastors and Christian leaders are also speaking out in opposition to legislation that would take away their freedom to speak out against homosexuality and gay issues.

Speaking about what has happened in Houston, Pastor R.B. Ouelette of the First Baptist, Bridgeport, Michigan says, “I don’t know of another example of pastors’ sermons being subpoenaed, except for in Nazi Germany and Communist Russia. I find it ironic that the first example of that happening in America is from the LGBT community.” Pastors say they are prepared to go to jail if it comes to that.

A charter school in Southern California is facing the threat of a lawsuit for ‘purging’ Christian books from its library. Among the books purged was The Hiding Place, the story of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch woman sent to a prison camp by Nazis of WWII for helping Jews escape. The library was instructed to remove all books with a Christian message, authored by Christians, or published by a Christian publishing company. – “Book banning is just one step away from book burning.”

Britain’s official education inspector has informed an independent Christian school that it is out of step with ‘British values’ prescribed by the government and must invite someone from another faith, such as a Muslim imam, to lead assemblies or it risks being closed. The school is planning a legal challenge.

A Canadian mosque is teaching 4-year-olds how to behead. An Ontario mosque is coming under fire for using young Muslim children to conduct mock beheadings in a school play. A young boy can be seen sitting on the floor as another boy approaches him from behind with a machete. At the end of the play, the boy playing the part of the executioner announces, “Here are the heads.”

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