How The Apostles Died/ The Death of Jesus

I feel this article needs to be reprinted and it is of great importance to all of our faith in Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah.

Dear Friends,
Please take the time to read all of this — very interesting and really give us something to think about….!   And, please forward to all your friends. 
 
Have a Very Blessed Day!!!
Bill
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I’ve NEVER, EVER SEEN THIS ALL IN ONE PLACE BEFORE!

1.   Matthew
Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia.  Killed by a sword wound.

2. Mark
Died in Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by Horses through the streets until he was dead.
 3.  Luke
Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous Preaching to the lost.
4.  John
Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution In Rome.  However, he was miraculously delivered from death.  John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison Island  of  Patmos.  He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos.  The Apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey.  He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

5.  Peter

He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition, it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die In the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

6. 
James

The leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.  When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club.
* This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.
 

7.  James the Great

Son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus Called him to a lifetime of ministry.  As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem.

The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer Walked beside James to the place of execution.  Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

8.  Bartholomew
Also known as Nathaniel was a missionary to Asia.  He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey.  Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

9. 
Andrew
Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece.  After being whipped severely by seven soldiers, they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony.  His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: “I have long desired and expected this happy hour.  The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.”  He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.

10. 
Thomas
Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent.

11. 
Jude
Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.
 
12.  Matthias
The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.
 St. Paul

Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in
A.D. 67.  Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire.  These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

Perhaps this is a reminder to us.

That our sufferings here are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles and disciples during their times for the sake of the faith.  And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake:  But he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 
Faith is not believing that God can;
it is knowing that God WILL!”
 
Jesus’ Death:For the next 60 seconds, set aside whatever
you are doing and take this opportunity!
Let’s see if Satan can stop this.

THE (SCIENTIFIC) DEATH OF JESUS
At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to death.  At the time Crucifixion was the “worst” death. Only the worst criminals were condemned to be crucified. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus, unlike other criminals condemned to death by Crucifixion, Jesus was to be nailed to the Cross by His hands and feet.
Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long. The nails were driven into His wrist. Not into His palms as is commonly
portrayed. There’s a tendon in the wrist that
extends to the shoulder. The Roman guards knew
that when the nails were being hammered into the
wrist that tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support himself so that He could breathe.
Both of His feet were nailed together. Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that
impaled His feet to the cross.  Jesus could not support himself with His legs because of the pain, so He was forced to alternate between arching His back then using his legs just to continue to breathe.  Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage.

Jesus endured this reality for over 3 hours. Yes, over 3 hours! Can you imagine this kind of suffering?  A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding.  He was simply pouring water from his wounds.  From common images, we see wounds to His hands and feet and even the spear wound to His side…  But, do we realize His wounds were actually made in his body.  A hammer driving large nails through the wrist, the feet overlapped and an even larger nail hammered through the arches, then a Roman guard piercing His side with a spear.  But before the nails and the spear Jesus was whipped and beaten.  The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body.  The beating so horrific that His face was torn and his beard ripped from His face. The Crown of thorns cut deeply into His scalp.  Most men would not have survived this torture.  He had no more blood to bleed out, only water poured from His wounds.  The human adult body contains about 3.5 liters  (just less than a gallon) of blood.  Jesus poured all 3.5 liters of his blood; He had three nails hammered into His members; a crown of thorns on His head and, beyond that, a Roman soldier who stabbed a spear into His chest..

All these without mentioning the humiliation He suffered after carrying His own cross for almost 2 kilometers, while the crowd spat in his face and threw stones (the cross was almost 30 kg of weight, only for its higher part, where His hands were nailed). Jesus had
to endure this experience, to open the Gates of Heaven, So that you can have free access to God.  So that your sins could be “washed” away.  All of them, with no exception!  Don’t ignore this situation.
JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR YOU!

He died for you! It is easy to pass jokes or foolish photos by e-mail, but when it comes to God, sometimes you feel ashamed to forward to others because you are worried of what they may think about you.  God has plans for you, show all your friends what He experienced to save you.  Now think about this! May God bless your life!  60 seconds with God…

For the next 60 seconds, set aside what you’re doing and take this opportunity!  Let’s see if Satan can stop
This..  All you have to do is:
1.  Simply Pray for the person who sent this message to you.
2. Then, send this message to people.  The more the better.
3.  People will pray for you and you will make that many people pray to God
for other people.
4.  Take a moment to appreciate the power of God in your life, for doing what pleases Him.If you are not ashamed to do this, please, follow Jesus’ instructions.


He said (Matthew 10:32 & 33): “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before My Father in heaven; but whosoever denies Me before others, I also will deny before My Father in heaven.”
Yes, I love God. He is my source of life and my Savior. He keeps me alive day and night.  Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”. Philippians 4:13.

This is the simple proof.  If you love God and you are a believer and trust in salvation through Christ Jesus, send this to all those you love.

God Bless You All and meet every need! 

Obama signs bill that protects makers of genetically engineered crops from federal courts

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President Obama approved a temporary spending bill this week that averted a government shutdown but also riled a slew of groups that say one provision protects Monsanto and other makers of genetically modified seeds and crops from federal courts.

The so-called Monsanto Protection Act essentially requires the Agriculture Department to approve the growing, harvesting and selling of such crops, even if the courts rule environmental studies are incomplete — undermining  the judicial review system and posing potential health risks, critics say.

The biotech rider was included in spending bill HR 933 and signed Tuesday by Obama, despite White House protests and at least two petitions, including one by the group Food Democracy Now that got more than 250,000 signatures.

Critics have also attacked Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, accusing the Maryland Democrat of allowing the rider to be added to the continuing resolution without a proper hearing.

Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, described the situation as a “hidden backroom deal.”

“Sen. Mikulski turned her back on consumer, environmental and farmer protection in favor of corporate welfare for biotech companies such as Monsanto,” he added. “This abuse of power is not the kind of leadership the public has come to expect from Sen. Mikulski or the Democrat majority in the Senate.”

On Friday, Mikulski’s office issued a statement that appeared to attempt to take the blame away from the senator, saying the provision was included in legislation completed in fall 2012, before she became chairwoman of the committee.

“Senator Mikulski understands the anger over this provision,” the statement reads. “She didn’t put the language in the bill and doesn’t support it either.”

Kimbrell called the statement a “positive first step” and said the Center for Food Safety and others have now set their sights on making sure the six-month provision in not included in future legislation.

He said Democratic Sens. John Tester, Montana; Kirsten Gillibrand, New York; Patrick Leahy, Vermont; Mark Begich, Alaska; and Richard Blumethal, Connecticut, already oppose the rider.

Tester told Politico that the deal worked out with Monsanto, the world’s biggest producer of genetically modified crops and seeds, was simply bad policy.

“These provisions are giveaways, pure and simple, and will be a boon worth millions of dollars to a handful of the biggest corporations in this country,” he said.

And such major groups and food companies as the National Farmers Union, the American Civil Liberties Union, Stonyfield Farms and Nature’s Path also purportedly oppose the rider.

A blog posting on the Stonyfield website in December 2012 appears to validate Mikulski’s argument that the rider was added before her committee appointment.

“Even if the courts find that a (genetically engineered) crop shouldn’t be planted until more research is done about its safety, no one could stop that crop from being planted, even temporarily,” the posting states. “This provision clearly tells us that Congress thinks public health and safety should take a back seat to the expansion of GE crops. The good news is it’s not too late to tell Congress that this is one holiday surprise we don’t need.”

FAU Professor In “Jesus Stomping” Incident Placed On Administrative Leave

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The professor embroiled in a educational firestorm over his classroom practices has been placed on administrative leave.

Officials at Florida Atlantic University announced the move against Dr. Deandre Poole after receiving a complaint from student Ryan Rotella, who claims he was unfairly suspended from class for not writing the word ”Jesus” on a piece of paper and stomping on it as part of a class exercise.

The schools said removing Dr. Poole from the classroom was “for safety reasons” after the incident garnered a lot of media attention.

The controversy has even caught the attention of Governor Rick Scott, who called on University System Chancellor Frank Brogan to thoroughly investigate Rotella’s claims.

“As we enter the week memorializing the events of Christ’s passion, this incident gave me great concern over the lessons we are teaching our students,” Scott wrote in the letter.

Rotella, a deeply religious Mormon, told CBS12 that he was offended and refused to participate in the exercise.

“Anytime you stomp on something it shows that you believe that something has no value. So if you were to stomp on the word Jesus, it says that the word has no value,” said Rotella.

Rotella said he voiced his concerns to his teacher’s supervisor and later learned he was suspended from the class.

FAU said Dr. Poole was conducting a classroom exercise from a textbook entitled “Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition” and released this statement to CBS12: ”Faculty and students at academic institutions pursue knowledge and engage in open discourse. While at times the topics discussed may be sensitive, a university environment is a venue for such dialogue and debate.”

Governor Scott inquired about the allegations because it raised questions about “the lessons being taught in our classrooms.” He said he wanted a report on the incident and how it was handled, as well as a statement of the university’s policies to ensure such “lessons” don’t occur again.

State University System spokeswoman Kim Wilmath said officials would work closely with FAU in preparing a response to the governor’s concerns.

“The State University System prides itself not only on its commitment to academic freedom, but at the same time, it’s awesome responsibility to the people it serves,” she said in a written statement. “We are gratified to know that FAU has apologized for any offense the exercise has caused and has pledged never to use this exercise again. Clearly, there were things the university could have done differently by its own acknowledgement.”

The governor didn’t seem satisfied with the apology, saying it was “in many ways inconsequential to the larger issue of a professor’s poor judgment.”

“The professor’s lesson was offensive, and even intolerant, to Christians and those of all faiths who deserve to be respected as Americans entitled to religious freedom,” Scott said in his letter. “Our public higher educational institutions are designed to shape the minds of Florida’s future leaders. We should provide educational leadership that is respectful of religious freedom of all people.”

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Florida University Under Fire Over ‘Jesus’ Classroom Exercise

How dare anyone to do such an outrageous act to the Living Son of God!

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A Florida university has come under fire over a professor’s controversial classroom assignment that asked his students to write “Jesus” on a sheet of paper and then to step on it.

The incident earlier this month at the Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, has prompted the school to issue an apology and led to a call from Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott for an investigation.

“I am deeply disappointed in the recent actions of Florida Atlantic University faculty that raises significant questions over students’ rights and the lessons being taught in our classrooms,” Scott wrote in a letter to the head of Florida’s state university board on Tuesday.

The classroom exercise was conducted as part of a course on intercultural communication at the public university.

It called for students to write the words “Jesus” in big letters on a piece of paper, place it on the floor and then to step on the paper. Students were then asked to describe how they felt.

School officials said the instructor told students they could choose whether to participate in the exercise, which was based on an example in a study guide to a course textbook and intended to provoke a discussion of cultural symbols.

In a recent statement, Florida Atlantic University said it will no longer use the exercise after it sparked criticism from some students.

“It was insensitive and unacceptable. Based on the offensive nature of the exercise, we will not use it again and have issued an apology to the community,” the statement said.

In his letter, Scott said he wanted more than just an apology from the school.

“The professor’s lesson was offensive, and even intolerant, to Christians and those of all faiths who deserve to be respected as Americans entitled to religious freedom,” he wrote.

“I’m requesting a report of the incident, how it was handled and a statement of the university’s policies to ensure this type of ‘lesson’ will not occur again,” Scott added.

Passover: Promise and Fulfillment

The Feast of Passover commemorates God’s redemption of Israel from its 400-year enslavement in Egypt. Over 3,000 years ago, the children of Israel suffered under the severe oppression of the Pharaoh. As the Book of Exodus records, God sent Moses to deliver them from the Egyptians, but Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt for the Promised Land.

Due to the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart, God proceeded to pour out a series of ten plagues upon the Egyptians, culminating in the final plague, the slaying of firstborn sons of Egypt. God protected the Israelite children with the marking of the doorposts and the lintels of their homes with the blood of a lamb (Ex. 12:1-30).

The Jewish people commemorate this event every year through a ceremonial meal known as the Passover Seder. Throughout the world, Jewish families gather to remember the events of the Exodus and to celebrate the faithfulness of the God of Israel. The word “seder,” which in this instance means order or procedure, refers to the retelling of the account through a special book known as the “haggadah” (telling of the story). One of the most important purposes of the Passover Seder is to teach the sacred history of the Jewish people to the children of each emerging Jewish generation.

There is an added dimension of celebration for Jewish and non-Jewish followers of Jesus the Messiah, for Jesus celebrated this meal with His disciples on the evening before His death. Known in Christian faith as the Last Supper (Mat. 26:17-30), the New Testament records how the Passover elements of the unleavened bread and the wine have become the basis of the Lord’s Supper, or Communion.

As Jesus and the disciples celebrated God’s redemption of Israel, Jesus foretold how His death would provide redemption from sin (Mat. 26:26-29). The themes of Passover prepared the nation for the redemption God provides through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Enslavement

Passover

The children of Israel served as slaves under the oppression of the Pharaoh (Ex. 1:11-12; 6:6).

The Messiah

After Adam and Eve’s rebellion, humanity fell under the oppression of slavery to sin and death (Rom. 6:20-21; Eph. 2:1-3).

The Lamb

Passover

God redeemed Israel through the sacrifice of a lamb without any defect (Ex. 12:5). He instructed the people to sacrifice the lamb and to spread the blood upon the doorposts of their homes with hyssop (Ex. 12:21-22).

The Messiah

John describes Jesus as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). In the same way as the Passover lamb was without defect, Jesus was without sin (2 Cor. 5:21). This is why Paul tells us to remember how the “Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed” (I Cor. 5:7).

Blood

Passover

God redeemed Israel from Egypt through the shedding of blood. When God passed through the land of Egypt, He saw the blood of the lamb on the top and sides of the doorframe; therefore, He passed over the Israelite homes and did not allow the destroyer to take the lives of their firstborn sons (Ex. 12:23).

The Messiah

The Bible teaches us that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sins (Heb. 9:22). Jesus tells us that through His blood, He provides the forgiveness of sin (Mat. 26:28). He is the Lamb who was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5).

Matzah

Passover

During the week of Passover, the Jewish community abstains from eating anything containing leaven and eats only unleavened bread, or matzah (Ex. 12:19-20). When the Israelites fled Egypt in haste, they did not have time to wait for the bread to rise while it baked.

The Messiah

The Bible presents leaven as a symbol of sin (Mat. 16:6-12; 1 Cor. 5:6-8). Jesus was without sin, meaning without leaven (2 Cor. 5:21). Symbolically, Jesus was crucified at the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Bitter Herbs

Passover

The Torah prescribes three necessary elements of Passover: the Lamb, Matzah and Bitter Herbs (Ex. 12:8). The bitter herbs remind the Israelites of how the Egyptians embittered the lives of the slaves in Egypt.

The Messiah

For believers, the bitter herbs represent how Jesus delivers His people from the bitterness and sorrow of sin and brings joy to our lives.

Redemption

Passover

The story of Passover represents God’s redemption of Israel out of Egypt.

The Messiah

God fittingly chose the celebration of Israel’s redemption from Egypt as the day to redeem the world through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Land

Passover

God delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt in order to bring them into the Promised Land.

The Messiah

In the same way, God delivers followers of Jesus from a dominion of darkness to bring them into His kingdom (Col. 1:13), and reminds us that one day God will fulfill His promise to establish His earthly kingdom in Jerusalem.

First Fruits

Passover

Following Passover, God commanded the nation to offer the first fruits of their harvest on the first day following the Sabbath; therefore, on the Sunday following Passover, God instructs Israel to offer the first fruits of their harvest as an offering (Lev. 23:9-14).

The Messiah

On the Sunday following Passover, Jesus conquered death and rose from the dead, coinciding with the Feast of First Fruits. As the first fruit of the resurrection, Jesus gives hope to His people that they shall likewise follow Him into eternal life (1 Cor. 15:20-23).

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Torah Commentary – Pesach “Passover” – Now What?

Pesach “Passover”

Exodus 33:12 – 34:26

Ezekiel 36:37 – 37:14
John 19:38-21:25

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Now What?

The night had been filled with emotion as the Hebrews ate of their Passover meal in haste. On the one hand was a sense of excitement about what the coming days would bring as they prepared to make their journey out of Egypt. On the other hand was a sense of despair as the sun rose the next day and they looked toward a country they had once called home, a prosperous land that was now in ruins. The wails of mothers who had lost their firstborn during the night could still be heard as far away as Goshen. The panic of the people of Egypt could be felt in the air. This morning they were being told to turn their backs on the land they had once called home and to pack their new possessions, and do it quickly. The prophesied time of return to their true home was at hand. They were the generation chosen to see the events unfold.

It was all happening too fast though. Many of the people felt that life was out of their control. They wondered if the timing was truly real or if this man Moses was really sent by Elohim. Who did he really think he was anyway? Why him? This is not the way they had all imagined the end of their life in Egypt would be. What about my job? Don’t I need to give a two-week notice or something? How about a forwarding address? These were all questions that went through the minds of the Hebrews as they prepared in haste to leave the place they had once called home. Yes, the sun was rising from a quite sleepless night. But although the sun was especially bright that day there was a darkness of confusion that filled the hearts of many Hebrews. What would this day bring? They were afraid to ask!

Centuries later. Many years had passed since that celebrated day in Egypt. History recorded the events with great detail. The promised redemption had come just like He had said it would. But this morning was different. The confusion of three million Hebrews so long ago could not compare to the confusion of this day. The lives of a handful of men and women He had referred to as His family had taken a turn they had not seen coming. Life seemed to be not only on hold, but had stopped altogether. Confusion, anger, despair and fear were only a few of the emotions that gripped them. Night had come hours early the day before. The sun was now rising over the Mount of Olives, but no outward light could help the darkness they felt on this morning.

The events of Egypt had brought the faithful together so many years earlier. They had provision and they had a leader. But for the disciples, the One whom they had looked to for everything was now gone. He was dead and from their distance and vantage point they stared at a stone, rolled in front of the entrance to a tomb. They stared in wonder. How could they have been so wrong? Why had they not listened to their family members who had told them this new life would never work out? Why had they strayed from the ways of the religious leaders of the day? Why had they not just followed the traditions they had been taught as children? Confusion and despair gripped them all and would only grow worse in the coming days.

But there were words He had spoken to them in the final days rolling around in the back of their minds, just barely out of their grasp. What good would those words do them now though? He is dead. The life, the redemption from the Romans, that seemed so sure just hours before, was now impossible. He is dead! But what are those words they kept trying to bring to the front of their minds?

We usually read the Scripture far too fast, do we not? We forget that verses that are read in moments may have taken days, weeks or even years to live out in reality. The tragedy of missing this concept is that we miss one of the great points of scripture, which is to learn from the example of those who walked before us. With that said, what are we to learn here? Many things of course, but very high on the list is to remember that His plans normally do not come to pass the way that we thought they would. Another one would be that in the end His plan was always better and accomplished a far greater work for our lives than the plan we had dreamed up.

Let us all take some time in this Shabbat, the days between Passover and the end of Unleavened Bread to consider the lives of the people who were leaving Egypt as well as those who lived the long days just after the death of Yeshua. The days prior to His resurrection. Maybe as we consider their uncertainty of the future and the emotions they must have dealt with, it will help us to prepare our own lives for another fulfillment of prophecy, the one that is happening right before our eyes.

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Daily Bible Reading – March 30, 2013 – English Standard Version

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Matthew 24:1-31

Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple

  Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple.  But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

Signs of the Close of the Age

 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?”  And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray.  For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.  “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.  And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.  And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.  And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.  But the one who endures to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

The Abomination of Desolation
“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house,  and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.  And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!  Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.  And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.  Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you beforehand.  So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.  For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
The Coming of the Son of Man
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

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“NICKY, JESUS LOVES YOU!” – David Wilkerson Today

“NICKY, JESUS LOVES YOU!”
by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]
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I am not against using modern methods in ministry. We employ many such things
in our ministry but we do not receive our direction from these “ministry
tools.” We spend time on our knees, seeking the Lord for direction in every
area of outreach. Yet, prayer is a lost practice among many ministries today.
They rely on computers and modern methods rather than on Christ.

Today, “experts” have taken over the reins of the church. Sin is seen in
psychological terms and called a “disease.” A drug addict is said to have a
“weakness.” Altars have been replaced with counseling rooms. Prophets of
holiness have been replaced by psychologists and social workers spouting the
latest man-centered jargon. In short, Jesus is being dethroned—and Freud is
being exalted.

Fifty years ago God led me to start a ministry to drug addicts and alcoholics
in New York City. We had no money and no how-to books, only total dependence on
the Holy Spirit. A sign in our offices read, “No one shines here—only the Holy
Ghost!” During our chapel services, we prayed, “Lord, our help isn’t in
psychology or psychiatry, but in the Holy Spirit. We can’t work on the head
unless you change the heart!”

Nicky Cruz, one of the first gang members we encountered, was a killer at
heart. A psychiatrist we knew took an interest in his case. After spending an
entire day with Nicky, the psychiatrist decided Nicky was incorrigible,
hopeless. (Little did this man know that Nicky delighted in confusing all “head
doctors.”)

Yet Jesus had other plans for Nicky, and Christ accomplished in five minutes
what the experts said could not be done. Nicky was not psychoanalyzed; his head
wasn’t examined. No, God sent an arrow into his heart and that arrow was the
truth of the gospel: “Nicky, Jesus loves you!”

In a single moment, out went Nicky’s heart of stone, replaced with a heart of
flesh. Nicky wept, hugging us all. He was supernaturally transformed by the
power of God after society’s experts had written him off.

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Judgement of a Righteous God

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While all eyes are turned upon the topic of homosexual marriage, it is an important time to turn their attention to the issue that is most important: THEIR SALVATION.

Voters are deceived into thinking this is an issue for the courts and federal regulation. School students are deceived into thinking this is an issue of equal rights. Both are wrong. Laws cannot make “good” what God calls evil. Courts cannot sanctify as a “marriage” what God did not sanctify (See Genesis 2:24). Everyone needs to be educated by what God says about these matters.

God is the Ultimate Judge, far above the Supreme Court or any other court of man. And He will decide all cases set before Him. We must bring all eyes to the fact that we will be judged by a holy and righteous God. No amount of “rights” will save their soul. Only faith in the shed blood of the only begotten Son of God can save them.

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Christian Pastor Pens Emotional Letter to Wife Detailing Horrific Abuse in Notorious Iranian Prison

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In January, TheBlaze first told you about Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen imprisoned in Iran on charges that he was evangelizing in the militantly-Islamic country. Since his detention began, the faith leader’s situation has worsened.

It’s well documented that Iranian prisons are horrific in their treatment of inmates, with rampant abuse. In a letter to his wife, Abedini shared some of the physical and mental abuse that he has sustained while being held at the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran.

According to the letter, the pastor has been denied medical treatment because of his faith. This has resulted in pain, discomfort and mental anguish.

“The nurse would also come to take care of us and provide us with treatment, but she said in front of others ‘in our religion we are not suppose to touch you, you are unclean. Baha’i (religion) and Christians are unclean!’ She did not treat me and that night I could not sleep from the intense pain I had,” Abedini wrote in his note to his wife Naghmeh.

Perhaps the most moving portions of the letter recap on the pastor’s own inability to recognize himself amid the changes that his face and body have gone through as a result of the harsh conditions. Equally moving was the pain Abedini observed in his parents’ eyes as he saw how worn down they had become as a result of resiliently — yet unsuccessfully — fighting for his release.

But the most surprising sections of the letter focus on forgiveness, a concept that would be difficult for most to fathom, considering the unpalatable and dangerous situation that the pastor finds himself in. Yet, he spends a portion of the letter outlining his love for Naghmeh and talking about the essential forgiveness that is often necessary in life.

“I forgave the prison doctor who did not listen to me and did not give me the medication that I needed. I forgave the interrogator who beat me,” he wrote. “Every day when I would see the interrogator and for the last time when I saw him, I forgave him. I smiled at him and with respect shook his hand and I said my goodbye.”

Read the entire letter below:

Hello to my dear love and wife,

When I saw my family for the first time behind the glass walls, I could see my mom four meters away. As she approached me and saw my face, she broke down and could not get closer. She was crying. I understood what she felt because after weeks of being in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, I also got to see my face in the mirror of an elevator that was taking me to the prison hospital. I said hi to the person staring back at me because I did not recognize myself. My hair was shaven, under my eyes were swollen three times what they should have been, my face was swollen, and my beard had grown.

It was a few days ago when one of my family members, with weary eyes and after running around for 15 weeks in trying to get me out of prison, said that my dad says every single day that “this week I will get my son out of prison.” But this does not happen and he is not able to get me out of prison. In that instant I looked into the wrinkled and tired eyes of my dad. I could clearly see that he had ran around for months and he had no more strength left in him. It was very hard seeing my family in such a situation.

You, my wife, on the other side of the world, alone with the kids. Alone and worried. My family here in Iran, being interrogated, tired and under so much pressure.

With the loud voice of the prison guard, our visitation had ended and they put covers over our eyes and we returned to the dark room void of any natural sunlight.

I started praying for my family. My dear Naghmeh. You are the love of my life. I am always in love with you.

Dear Naghmeh, I have been stung so many times that I have become full of poison. This is an Iranian saying. A lot of people say that they have been stung by so many people that their whole being is full of poison like a poisonous snake. It means that we have been bitten by the snakes of this world so many times that, that all of the poison has collected in us and that we are like the poisonous snake. But if we sting anyone, we will die. This Iranian saying is full of spirit of revenge and unforgiveness and every time I would hear this in Iran, I would get very sick hearing it.

A few days ago they brought a young war veteran who was disabled in 80% of his body in my cell. He had been put in solitary confinement with his horrific condition. And this had made him very mad and he kept saying “why did they do this to me? I gave my whole life for their sake. See what they have done to me!!!” And when he would get very mad he would say “I will take my revenge!”

I spoke to this young man until 4 in the morning. I spent time with him and spoke to him to forgive. When we don’t forgive, we drink the poison ourselves and then wait for the other person to die. And we take the knife that has hurt us and we stab ourselves with it again! And this is the will of the evil one who wants to destroy us.

But when we forgive, we pour out the poison of the enemy and of the devil and we don’t let the poison stay in us and we don’t let the poison make us into poisonous snakes! So that we don’t become like the person we despised and who persecuted and tortured us.

Maybe you ask, what is the secret of being so happy in such a hard situation?

Forgiveness and a change of attitude. When we forgive, we become free and we become messengers of peace and reconciliation and goodness. And whoever stings us, we can take into our embrace and love them. And in this dark and evil time, we can live full of love and full of peace and full of joy and shine like the stars! Glory be to His Name.

I forgave the prison doctor who did not listen to me and did not give me the medication that I needed. I forgave the interrogator who beat me. Every day when I would see the interrogator and for the last time when I saw him, I forgave him. I smiled at him and with respect shook his hand and I said my goodbye. The minute I forgave them and loved them, that second I was filled with unspeakable joy. I saw in the eyes of the interrogator that he had come to respect me and as he was leaving, he could not look behind him. Love is as strong as death.

We have to get rid of the poison in our body because if we don’t, we will die. We have to get rid of both poisons; first the poison of the snake that bit us and also the poison in us that was created by that bite. We can get rid of the first poison by forgiveness and we can get rid of the second poison by humility, by dying to ourselves, and allowing the band-aid of love and goodness to replace the empty place of the wound. So that we are not a tool of darkness and revenge, but that we can be light and love and a vessel of forgiveness and we can be transformed in the process.

Surely you have someone in your family, city, work or environment that have become like poisonous snake who have bitten you and tried to make you poisonous. So, forgive them and use the antidote of love and be Victorious!

One of the chances of forgiveness came when I was blindfolded and a guard was holding my hand guiding me. He asked “what are you here for? What is your crime?” I said “I am Christian Pastor.” All of the sudden he let go of my hand and said “so you are unclean! I will tell others not to defile themselves by touching you!” He would tell others not to get close to me. It really broke my heart. The nurse would also come to take care of us and provide us with treatment, but she said in front of others “in our religion we are not suppose to touch you, you are unclean. Baha’i (religion) and Christians are unclean!” She did not treat me and that night I could not sleep from the intense pain I had. According to the doctor’s instructions, they would not give me the pain medication that they would give other prisoners because I was unclean.

I could not fall sleep one night due to the pain when all of a sudden I could hear the sound of dirty sewer rats with their loud noises and screeches. It was around 4 in the morning. It sounded like laughter in a way.

Even though many would call me unclean and filthy and would not even want to pass by me and they had abandoned me and they were disgusted to touch me because they were afraid that they would also become unclean, but I knew that in the eyes of Jesus Christ, and in the eyes of my brothers and sisters, I am like the sewer rat, beautiful and loveable – not disgusting and unclean – and like the rats I can scream with joy within those prison walls and worship my Lord in joy and strength.

The Joy of the Lord is my strength. Amen.

As previously reported, the American Center for Law and Justice has said that Abedini was sentenced by Judge Pir-Abassi – known as the “hanging judge” — for “threatening the national security of Iran through his leadership in Christian house churches.”

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