VIDEO Iran has world’s ‘fastest-growing church,’ despite no buildings – and it’s mostly led by women: documentary

 

Sept 27, 2019 By Caleb Parke

A new film tells the story of the “fastest-growing church” in the world, an underground, persecuted Christian movement in a country known for exporting radical Islamic terrorism — Iran.

People in Iran, a Muslim-majority nation, are fleeing Islam in droves as believers bow their knee to Jesus and become aggressively pro-Israel, according to the documentary “Sheep Among Wolves Volume II.”

“What if I told you Islam is dead?” one unidentified Iranian church leader says in the film, which was directed by Dalton Thomas and produced by Frontier Alliance International Studios.

“What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran?” he continues. “What if I told you no one follows Islam inside of Iran? Would you believe me? This is exactly what is happening inside of Iran. God is moving powerfully inside of Iran.”

IRAQI CHRISTIAN SURVIVES BEING BURNED ALIVE BY ISIS 3 TIMES: ‘[JESUS] SPOKE TO ME’

The pastor adds: “What if I told you the best evangelist for Jesus was the Ayatollah Khomeini? The ayatollahs brought the true face of Islam to light and people discovered it was a lie…After 40 years under Islamic law — a utopia according to them — they’ve had the worst devastation in the 5,000-year history of Iran.”

More Iranians have come to faith in Jesus in the last 20 years than the 1,300 years since Islam swept through Persia-combined.

More Iranians have come to faith in Jesus in the last 20 years than the 1,300 years since Islam swept through Persia-combined.

Thomas calls the movement “the Iranian awakening.”

“It owns no property, no buildings, no central leadership, and is predominantly led by women,” he said in a statement.

NORTH KOREA PROPAGANDA VIDEO DETAILS CHRISTIAN MARTYR’S ‘MISSION FROM THE ENEMY’ TO BUILD UNDERGROUND CHURCH

Named after the Bible verse Matthew 10:16 which says, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves,” the documentary claims “Muslim-background Iranians are leading a quiet but mass exodus out of Islam and bowing their knees to the Jewish Messiah — with kindled affection toward the Jewish people.”

But the new believers in the Islamic Republic face great risks.

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION CLOSE TO ‘GENOCIDE LEVELS,’ LARGELY IGNORED DUE TO ‘POLITICAL CORRECTNESS’: REPORT

“We know that if they get us, the first thing they will do to us as a woman is rape us and then they will beat us and ultimately they will kill us,” one believer said. “This is the decision we have made that we want to offer our bodies as sacrifices. Because I have this thought when I wake up, that when I leave, that door I might not come back.”

A leader of the Iranian underground church explains their goal is not planting churches but rather making disciples, the majority of whom are women.

MORE ON FAITH

“Disciples forsake the world and cling to Jesus ’till he comes. Converts don’t,” the leader said. “Disciples aren’t engaged in a culture war. Converts are. Disciples cherish, obey, and share the word of God. Converts don’t. Disciples choose Jesus over anything and everything else. Converts don’t. Converts run when the fire comes. Disciples don’t.”

And a pastor explains everything they do underground is built on prayer.

“We find people of peace through prayer. We even find locations through prayer,” he says. “[Jesus] has come in their dreams or he’s come miraculously in their lives. When we hear this, we know that Jesus has gone ahead of us.”

Advertisements

The Servant of the LORD, Israel, the Messiah; Old Testament Parables and Miracles

The Servant of the LORD, Israel and the Messiah

Isaiah 42:1 – “Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.”

Comparison List of Israel and the Messiah
The Servant Israel The Servant Messiah
Similarities Similarities
Israel was Chosen by the LORD. Isaiah 41:8-9; Isaiah 45:4; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:1; Isaiah 49:7 The Messiah Was Chosen by the LORD. Isaiah 42:1
Israel was Formed by the LORD in the Womb. Isaiah 44:2; Isaiah 44:21; Isaiah 44:24 The Messiah Was Formed by the LORD in the Womb. Isaiah 49:1, 5
Israel was Strengthened and Comforted by the LORD. Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 42:6 The Messiah Was Strengthened and Comforted by the LORD. Isaiah 42:1
Israel was Hidden in the shadow of the LORD’S hand. Isaiah 51:6 The Messiah Was Hidden in the shadow of the LORD’S hand. Isaiah 49:2
Israel was Endowed with the Spirit of the LORD. Isaiah 44:3 The Messiah Was Endowed with the Spirit of the LORD. Isaiah 42:1
Israel was Honored by that LORD. Isaiah 43:4 The Messiah Was Honored by that LORD. Isaiah 49:5
Israel was A Light to the Nations. Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 51:4 A Light to the Nations. Isaiah 49:6
Israel Will give the Word of God and Justice to the Nations. Isaiah 51:4-8; Isaiah 42:21; Isaiah 42:24 The Messiah Will give the Word of God and Justice to the Nations. Isaiah 42:4
The LORD Is Glorified in Israel. Isaiah 44:23 The LORD Is Glorified in the Messiah. Isaiah 53:10; Isaiah 49:3
The Servant Israel The Servant Messiah
Differences Differences
Israel Despairs. Isaiah 40:27; Isaiah 41:8-10; Isaiah 49:14, etc. The Messiah is Not Discouraged. Isaiah 42:4; Isaiah 50:7-9 (also see Isaiah 49:4)
Israel is Rebellious and Sinful. Isaiah 48:4; Isaiah 43:27 The Messiah is Obedient And Sinless. Isaiah 50:5; Isaiah 53:4-6; Isaiah 53:12
Israel is Blind and Deaf. Isaiah 42:18-25 The Messiah Hears God’s Words and Obeys. Isaiah 50:4-5
Israel Suffers Gods Wrath Unwillingly. Isaiah 51:21-23, etc. Messiah Willingly Receives God’s Wrath. Isaiah 50:6; Isaiah 53:4-9; (also see Isaiah 50:7-9)
Israel Suffers for Her Own Sins. Isaiah 42:24-25; Isaiah 43:22-28; Isaiah 47:6; Isaiah 50:1 The Messiah Bears the Sins of Others Although He Did Not Deserve It. Isaiah 53
Israel Will Be Redeemed. Isaiah 43:1-7, etc. The Messiah’s Mission Is to Redeem. Isaiah 49:5

Isaiah 49:6 – “And he said, It is a small thing that thou should be My Servant… I will also give thee as a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.”

https://www.bible-history.com/old-testament/types-servant.html


Parables in the Old Testament

Habakkuk 2:6 – Won’t all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, ‘Woe to him who increases that which is not his, and who enriches himself by extortion! How long?’

There were many parables spoken in ancient times and especially in the Bible. The Hebrew word “mashal” referred to a comparison of a familiar earthly thing with a heavenly or spiritual truth that was to be understood.

Parables pointed to the fact that man is made in God’s image, he is of the earth but also of the divine. The power of a parable lies in its ability to use a simple every day experience to help the hearer to understand a truth set forth about God’s kingdom. Parables help man to perceive the difference between man’s kingdom and God’s kingdom. The parable leads the listener to a choice, to choose this day whom to serve.

Jesus confirmed all of the parables mentioned in the Old Testament (Luke 11:49-51).

Below is a list of several Old Testament parables.

List of Parables in the Old Testament
The Parables The Speakers The Bible Verses
The Poor Man’s Lamb Nathan to King David 2 Samuel 12:1-4
The 2 Fighting Brothers and the Avengers of Blood The Wise Widow from Tekoa 2 Samuel 14:1-11
The Escaped Prisoner A Prophet to King Ahab 1 Kings 20:35-40
The Fruitless Vineyard Isaiah to the house of Israel and the men of Judah Isaiah 5:1-7
The 2 Eagles and the Vine Ezekiel to the house of Israel Ezekiel 17:3-10
The Lioness and her Cubs Ezekiel to the house of Israel Ezekiel 19:2-9
The Boiling Cauldron Ezekiel to the house of Israel Ezekiel 24:3-5

2 Samuel 12:7 – “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says…”

https://www.bible-history.com/old-testament/parables.html


Miracles in the Old Testament

Mark 6:52 – For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

God did many miracles throughout the Bible, and in the Old Testament there were many miracles surrounding the nation of Israel that the entire world heard about. Below is a list of several Old Testament miracles. A Miracle is when God intervenes in a situation or event that cannot be explained in scientific terms or by human reasoning.

Jesus confirmed all of the miracles mentioned in the Old Testament (Luke 11:49-51).

List of Miracles in the Old Testament
The Miracles The Bible Verses
Egypt
Aaron’s Rod Is Turned into a Serpent Exodus 7:10-12
The 10 Plagues
1. Water Is Turned into Blood Exodus 7:20-25
2. Frogs Exodus 8:5-14
3. Lice Exodus 8:16-18
4. Flies Exodus 8:20-24
5. Murrain (Anthrax) Exodus 9:3-6
6. Boils Exodus 9:8-11
7. Thunder and Hail Exodus 9:22-26
8. Locusts Exodus 10:12-19
9. Darkness Exodus 10:21-23
10. The Firstborn Are Slain Exodus 12:29, 30
The Parting of the Red Sea Exodus 14:6, 21-31
The Wilderness
Healing the Bitter Waters of Marah Exodus 15:23-25
The Manna from Heaven Exodus 16:14-35
Water from the Rock at Rephidim Exodus 17:5-7
The Death of Nadab and Abihu Leviticus 10:1, 2
The Burning of the Congregation at Taberah Numbers 11:1-3
The Deaths of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram Numbers 16:31-35
Aaron’s Rod That Budded at Kadesh Numbers 17:8
Water from the Rock at Meribah Numbers 20:7-11
Lifting up The Brazen Serpent Numbers 21:8, 9
The Parting of the Jordan River Joshua 3:14-17
The Land of Canaan – Joshua
The Fall of Jericho Joshua 6:6-25
The Sun and the Moon Standing Still Joshua 10:12-14
The Land of the Philistines
Dagon Fell and Philistines were Cursed 1 Samuel 5:4-6
The Land of Israel –  The Kings
The Death of Uzzah for Touching the Ark 2 Samuel 6:7
The Withering Of Jeroboam’s Hand 1 Kings 13:4
The Destruction of the Altar at Bethel 1 Kings 13:5-6
Uzziah is Smitten with Leprosy 2 Chronicles 26:16-21
The Land of Israel – Elijah
Replenishing the Oil and Meal at Zarephath 1 Kings 17:14-16
Raising the Widow’s Son at Zarephath 1 Kings 17:17-24
The Sacrifice and Prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel 1 Kings 18:30-38
The Burning of the Captains and their Host 2 Kings 1:10-12
The Parting of the Jordan River 2 Kings 2:7, 8
The Land of Israel – Elisha
The Parting of the Jordan River 2 Kings 2:14
The Healing of the Waters of Jericho 2 Kings 2:21, 22
The Destruction of the Mocking Children at Bethel 2 Kings 2:24
Water Is Supplied to the Armies in Moab 2 Kings 3:16-20
The  Multiplication of the Widows Oil 2 Kings 4:2-7
The Raising of the Shunammite’s Son 2 Kings 4:32-37
Curing the Deadly Pottage 2 Kings 4:38-41
The Feeding of the 100 with 20 Loaves 2 Kings 4:42-44
Naaman the Syrian General is Cured of Leprosy 2 Kings 5:10-14
Naaman’s  Leprosy Clings to Gehazi 2 Kings 5:20-27
The Iron Axe Did Float 2 Kings 6:5-7
The Syrian Army Was Smitten 2 Kings 6:18-20
The Dead Man Was Raised by Touching Elisha’s Bones 2 Kings 13:21
The Mediterranean Sea – Jonah
Jonah is Released from the Great Fish Jonah 2:1-10
The Land of Israel – Isaiah
Destruction of Sennacherib’s Army 2 Kings 19:35
The Sun Dial Returned 10 Degrees 2 Kings 20:9-11
Babylon During the Captivity of Judah
3 Jews in the Fiery Furnace Daniel 3:19-27
Daniel is Delivered from the Den of Lions Daniel 6:16-23
The Writing on the Wall Daniel 5:22-31

John 6:14 – Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

https://www.bible-history.com/old-testament/miracles.html


Did God Promise You Prosperity?

by Cameron Buettel Monday, July 8, 2019

In the lead-up to the Truth Matters conference in October, we will be focusing our attention on the sufficiency, authority, and clarity of Scripture. Of our previous blog series, none better embodies that emphasis than Frequently Abused Verses. The following entry from that series originally appeared on September 25, 2015. -ed.

What does this verse mean to you?

Most of us have heard that question before—it lurks inside countless Bible studies and Sunday-school classes. It is a postmodern mindset that has become pervasive in the church.

When reading a book, an article, or a blog post, we implicitly understand that its meaning is bound to the author’s intent. The same ought to be true for Scripture—God alone is the arbiter of what He means through what He has revealed in His Word. Yet Scripture is now subject to the whims of the reader, who is prone to read personal experience into the text instead of discovering—and coming under—its objective truth. The worst forms of this are when people think they’re helping God—improving upon His perfection, sanitizing His story, and smoothing out the sharp edges of His truth.

Life is not as subjective as we might like to think. We don’t get to decide what a red light means when we approach a traffic signal. Bank managers can’t arbitrarily determine your account balance. And, thankfully, airlines don’t hire pilots who take the liberty to decide what “runway” means to them. It is absurd to think that we can approach God’s Word with lower standards. God says what He means and means what He says, always speaks without error, and has been kind enough to speak to us with simplicity and clarity.

The tsunami of topical preaching we see today has scarred the evangelical landscape. A topical message is not wrong in and of itself, but problems are inevitable when that becomes the main diet of a congregation. Pastors who preach texts divorced from their context invariably beget congregations who interpret texts divorced from the Author’s intent. The result is that too many believers today have a propensity to treat God’s Word as their own private smorgasbord of theology.

Another place you see this trend—interpreting verses out of context—in action is in choosing of a “life verse.” Many Christians like to pick a verse that speaks to them and try to make it the theme for their lives. It’s no surprise that none of the passages concerning God’s judgment make the cut. Instead, the spectacular promises of blessing and success reign supreme.

And sitting on top of the mountain of verses evangelicals frequently misappropriate and misapply is Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’”

It’s All About You

Unsurprisingly, Jeremiah 29:11 is a go-to verse for celebrity pastor, Joel Osteen. His takeaway is that “God desires to see you flourish in this life. He wants to see you come out of setbacks stronger, wiser, increased and promoted. He wants to give you hope in your final outcome and see you come to a flourishing finish.” [1]

Andy Stanley, pastor of America’s largest congregation, says “We may not know for certain everything our future holds, but we know that God thinks good thoughts toward us, to give us a future and a hope.” [2]

Rick Warren also typifies that me-centric approach in his book, The Purpose-Driven Life:

If you have felt hopeless, hold on! Wonderful changes are going to happen in your life as you begin to live it on purpose. God says, “I know what I am planning for you. . . . I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” [3]

One has to wonder if Osteen, Stanley, or Warren understand how badly they have misconstrued and misapplied God’s Word—and how they’ve misled their followers. They give zero acknowledgement to the Author’s original intent or His original audience when they rip this verse from its biblical setting. Reading Jeremiah 29:11 in context paints a starkly different picture and delivers a far more profound truth.

It’s Not About You

The nation of Israel had been taken by the Babylonians into captivity. The Temple, as well as the entire city of Jerusalem, was in ruins. Their king was in chains with his eyes gouged out. The glory of Israel as a nation was finished. But in the midst of that terrible situation, God spoke through His prophet Jeremiah:

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, “Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.” For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.

For thus says the Lord, “When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.”

Because you have said, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon”—for thus says the Lord concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your brothers who did not go with you into exile—thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, I am sending upon them the sword, famine and pestilence, and I will make them like split-open figs that cannot be eaten due to rottenness. I will pursue them with the sword, with famine and with pestilence; and I will make them a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse and a horror and a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, because they have not listened to My words,” declares the Lord, “which I sent to them again and again by My servants the prophets; but you did not listen,” declares the Lord. You, therefore, hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles, whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon. (Jeremiah 29:4–20)

In context, verse 11 is clearly not meant as a love letter or a promise of blessing to individual believers in the twenty-first century.

And here are a few other points to consider: How do Joel Osteen, Andy Stanley, and Rick Warren know that God is directly speaking to their congregants in verse 11 but not in Jeremiah 29:17–19, where God promises to send “the sword, famine and pestilence”? Have they considered that God’s soothing promises in verse 11 are delivered to Israel while He has His foot on their neck in judgment (Jeremiah 29:4)? What about the fact that those who received the promise in verse 11 would likely not live to experience its fulfillment seventy years later (Jeremiah 29:10). And in their egotistical exegesis, can they grasp the irony that Israel was in Babylonian slavery because they listened to prophets who tickled their ears (Jeremiah 29:8–9)?

There is something far greater and eternally significant that we learn from this story in its true context. God does not abandon His people! In spite of their sin, God was relentlessly faithful to His covenants regarding Israel’s future and His promised Messiah. Not even Babylonian captivity could prevent His promises from coming to pass.

Likewise His promises to us as New Testament believers concerning our calling and election are also unshakeable (John 10:27–29). And they provide far more lasting comfort than Old Testament verses plucked out of context and misappropriated for modern audiences.

https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B150925

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: