|This ministry has a distinct kingdom, Messianic vision, identifying with God’s call and plan for the Jewish people and the church. My position is pre-trib! Personally: I was saved in 1976 while working as a war correspondent, journalist, photographer, artist and environmentalist. My calling is to share these great end-time dramas, to stand as a watchman and above all, to glorify my God.|
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●Trump signs into law new “Genocide Prevention Act,” aiming at prevention of anti-Semitic attacks on Israel. It is named the “Elie Wiesel Act” after the Holocaust survivor.
●US troop withdrawal from Syria has begun.
●Turkey upsets the US by buying Russian S-400 missiles.
Shabbat (Sabbath) begins on Fridays at 6pm and ends on Saturdays at 6pm. The purpose is to help the church and Israel become reconciled in Messiah and to identify the rift, and the needed restoration. There is much in the church that needs to change before it can be fully reconciled with the Jew. Likewise, changes in Jewish thinking are also needed.
Edition 95. October 7th 2011
Nations in darkness and nations in light
News events and comment.
●Iranian Christian to be executed for belief in Jesus. Situation made worse because "he loves Israel."
●Palestinian PM says "Israel's West Bank wall of separation will fall like the Berlin Wall." (Haartetz) Actually, he's quite right. Ezekiel 38:11 "When Israel is a land of unwalled villages.
●Syria's Assad says in the publication Haaretz on October 4th; they will reign rockets on Tel Aviv if Syria is attacked by any country. He says it will take Damascus 6 hours to launch attack against Israel. Hmm...this guy is asking for Isaiah 17 to blast onto the scene. That's the verse talking of the impending destruction of Syria's capital, Damascus, by Israel!
●Iran's Ahmadinejad says Israel's "missile shields won't prevent the collapse of the Zionist regime."
●Turkeys PM says "Israel is a nuclear threat" (Jerusalem Post) He's quite right...Israel's nuclear capability is a threat to those that want to wipe them off the map!
●NATO prepares for new war. Troops are training in Turkey for a Turkish-led but NATO approved attack on Syria (WND October 4th) This has the potential to set the region on fire with a new much larger battle.
●Well known international financier and investor George Soros says "We need international law to rule over nations and financial institutions." He went on "If we don't end capitalism soon, someone will have the incentive to takeover the world." Hmm...he's inviting the antichrist to walk onto the stage.
Nations in darkness and nations in light
This edition is the result of many personal experiences and observations in my travels through many nations of the world as a journalist, war correspondent, photographer and editor (and a few other things thrown in) Many of these trips were mission trips and most occurred years ago, but the stories are still relevant.
Those days led to many injuries, close calls, prizes, awards and jails!
I've always had an insatiable desire to see what's on the other side of the horizon and what's behind the story. I was never happy to just observe things. I always wanted to know why things were happening and I always wanted to be right in the middle of where the action was.
I've always had a passionate love for the environment, wildlife and the staggering beauty of God's creation. This led me to an involvement with endangered species organisations and a lot of living like an insane, wild bushman out in the dusty sticks.
I've worked and travelled a great deal in the wilds of the nations of southern Africa, which I love dearly. I've done working trips lasting for five weeks at a time, covering some 15,000kms per trip in the deserts forests and plains of the wonderful wilds of Africa. Sometimes I would travel alone and sometimes with a few friends.
Most of my environmental working trips were also missionary trips, as many of the huge wild areas also had little villages dotted along the way. We would fill the Land Rovers with Bibles and tracts in the languages of the areas that we would be working in, and distribute them.
I've done more mission trips than I can remember, proclaiming the gospel in some real odd places and in some odd ways. Sometimes we would use wind-up record-players with gospel messages recorded in some of the bushmen dialects as there is no electricity or infrastructure out in the wilds.
On occasion I've been speaking to a crowd while elephants wondered into the village. I've done trips spending seven days in a mokoro (dug-out) sleeping on islands, travelling up the 15,000sq km Okavango Delta in Botswana to get to the areas where the illusive River Bushmen live. On arrival and while flipping through the "Heart of Man" charts in their dialect, we were joined once by a pride of 25 very vocal lions who thankfully looked well fed. They observed the scene and then wondered off. By the way, don't try casting the devil out of a lion...it will have you breakfast!
I've been on mission trips and had our camp wrecked by elephants (below) and slept under the stars on large islands, with lions roaring through the night and many other wild animals wondering around. We would always divide the night up and have someone sitting a night-watch shift, keeping the fire going. (above)
We led many to salvation out in the desert. I was involved in building a church on the dried up river banks in a village right in the middle of the Kalahari Desert where lions and other wild animals roam freely. It still operates today.
My favourite places to do environmental work and mission work are Botswana and Namibia, where there is an ever increasing hunger for God. These nations are wide open to evangelism with warm, friendly inviting hearts.
God has a heart for the lost and so should we. But we need to look deeply into many things relating to why the lost are lost. We need to look into the spiritual world and not just at the surface. And we also need to look into the spiritual state of the nation.
Many things in a nation are interlinked and related to the spiritual state. The number of churches, the number of people being truly set free, the infrastructure of the nation, the environment and wildlife and of course the nation's economy are all linked to the spiritual state.
Part of the spiritual state of nation relates to its attitude to God's word for Israel.
Genesis 12:3 "I will bless those who bless you (Israel) and curse those who curse you." That is a law as solid as gravity!
Environment and the spiritual aspects of a nation are directly linked as well.
►There are many pictures which I've taken in the "Gods Garden" section on this website. (top right on home page)
Okay, that's all background, let's get into the meat of the message.
Nations of darkness
Deuteronomy 18:10-13 "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or one who practises witchcraft, or soothsayers (fortune tellers) or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells or a medium or a spiritist or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these are an abomination to the Lord..."
●The Bible word "nation" comes from the root word "ethnos" which is where we get the word ethnic from and relates to ethnic nations or tribes, rather than a politically defined nation.
●The word "culture" originates from two root words meaning "work" and "worship" Culture and traditions are closely associated.
Culture and tradition have works and worship inextricably associated with them. Culture and tradition obviously relate to large number in that community. They all follow each other in the works, worship, beliefs and practises.
Nations that are essentially underprivileged, or in large scale poverty are without exception into witchcraft, ancestor worship or other illegitimate religious practises as a whole. Of course there are individuals and groups who are and who get saved within these cultures.
The verses below are the result of a nation refusing to observe the ordinances of God.
Deuteronomy 28:16-18 "Cursed shall you be in the city and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl, cursed shall be fruit of your body and the produce of your land, your cattle and flocks. Verse 24 "The Lord will change the rain of your land to powder and dust."
These nations in spiritual darkness are often ravaged by ethnic, tribal and politically based wars and conflicts.
I've been involved as a war correspondent in many wars in many nations over the years. I've been shot at, thrown in jails and had many close calls. Many of these nations are spiritually bankrupt and filled with devil worship of many sorts. They have very high infant mortality rates, rampant uncontrolled diseases, terrible infrastructure and corruption in every area of government.
Here are a few of my own pictures from some wars I've covered years ago:
A nation in poverty often has it's environment destroyed as well, bringing with it large scale disease and famine.
Missionary trips into these areas must always involve spiritual warfare in prayer.
Those that don't believe in the gifts and in spiritual warfare have most times been ineffective in their mission work or just simply get nowhere.
They present Jesus, but they don't cast out demons and they don't teach the new converts to forsake their witchcraft. The result is a half hearted convert who never becomes truly free.
If you're sitting in some big city reading this don't think these things don't apply to your culture or area. Most of western society is the result of the mission work of our ancestors, but our culture has moved so far from God that our modern city or suburban life is deteriorating fast.
Let's have a look now at one of the most powerful insightful sections of scriptures dealing with a nation as a whole.
Hosea 4:1-4 "The Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land; There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land." The rest of this discourse goes into the symptoms of a nation rejecting the ways of God. Some of them include: lying, killing, stealing, adultery and the breaking of all restraint with bloodshed. This speaks clearly of crime murder and the like. Verse 4 "Therefore the land will mourn and everyone who dwells there will waste away with the beast of the field and the birds of the air; even the fish of the sea will be taken away. Then it goes on to the questioning of God's authority by the people, population explosion and mass starvation. All because there is no truth, mercy or knowledge of God in the land!!
Can you see that when a nation turns from God almost every aspect of life within that nation is negatively affected. Because there is no knowledge of God in the land, the land itself mourns. This relates to environmental destruction and the extinction of species. The land is filled with crime, poverty, population explosion, and many other things.
Those verses were written thousands of years ago, but they are speaking succinctly, loud and clear to the nations today.
Isaiah 60:12 "For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you will perish and those nations shall be utterly ruined."
How true these verses are! I've seen this lot working in front of my eyes, first hand a dozen times. I could share a thousand stories with you on just how true this is.
Romans 13:3-4 "Rulers are not a terror to good works but to evil, do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same. For he (the government authority) is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid for he does not bear the sword in vain, for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practises evil."
The above verse flies in the face of the modern legal systems, which favour the criminal rather than the victim. Interestingly the legal systems of the western word are based on Roman Dutch law which is based on the Ten Commandments. Today the focus has shifted and crime has become rampant.
Throughout the Bible God has demanded purity and a separation form witchcraft and similar evil practices.
The involvement in witchcraft of various forms always generates curses. When this is done on a large scale or national level the curses are passed down from one generation to the next and entire communities are affected.
Personally, I've seen many get saved and then refuse to forsake their gods. They want salvation with illegitimate devil worship as well. Sorry...that doesn't work!
The image above is of the Ndebele people. They are very colourful in all their ways, but they are also subject to many generational curses as a result of handed down witchcraft and ancestor worship. This has left them largely in poverty and with a high disease rate and infant mortality rate, but there are rays of spiritual light shining in, as there are in many tribes of southern Africa
Nations of light.
1Timothy 2:1-2 "I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers and intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all in authority, that we may lead a quiet life in all godliness and reverence."
This is God's purpose for all nations (above) It is to live in a quiet and peaceable habitation. The rest of this portion of scripture goes on to say that this is the environment in which people can be easily brought to salvation. Isn't that interesting.
Proverbs 28:28 "When the wicked arise men hide themselves, but when they perish the righteous increase."
The above verse shows that it is much easier for the gospel to go out in an environment where the leaders recognise God's authority.
The verse below shows that it is possible for a nation to have a high regard for the living God. This nation is blessed. Today that is becoming less frequent as the spirit of humanism takes root in all nations and most cultures.
Psalm 33:10-12 "The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of peoples of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord..."
Now of course I'm not suggesting that a nation should be a theocracy, but there needs to be a reverence, acceptance and respect for God and His word in a nation. The best way this is done is through the constitution. For example: The nation of South Africa had an apartheid based constitution that needed to be changed. But some things should never have been changed.
The old constitution began with the words: "In submission to Almighty God, we declare that..." The new constitution is completely secular and now begins like this: "We the people declare that..." It is now humanistic in every way and doomed to ultimate destruction and failure in the future.
A nation in light honours God. It doesn't mean that everyone must be a Christian. A nation that honours God accepts that He is above their constitution and His principles are in their nation's legal system.
I know the president of Botswana Ian Khama personally. I met him many years ago when his father was president of the country. He died a believer. His twin sons are believers also, with Ian now at the helm of the country. He is a God fearing man and has made sure that the constitution and legal system honours God.
The most amazing thing about the country is that it is one of the most friendly places I know. It really has a warm smiling heart. On top of that Botswana is an absolute jewel in terms of environment and wildlife. It's economy is thriving as well, with a GDP growth rate of 9%.
Could all of this be because of a succession of God fearing presidents?
Of course there are problems in the country as with everyone on this earth, but you can almost feel spiritual liberty in the land.
Proverbs 29:2 "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked man rules the people groan."
A Godly nation cares for its environment, nature and wildlife understanding that they are a gift of God.
Job 39:8 "The range of the mountains is His pasture and He searches after every green thing."
Jeremiah 9:10 "I will take up a weeping and a wailing for the mountains and for the habitation of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up..."
I took the picture above, from a micro-light over the massive 15,000sq km Okavango Delta in northern Botswana. It's the largest inland river delta in the world and is an incredible haven of bio-diversity and animal species you could ever imagine. It's home to the illusive river bushmen who live in the Chiefs Island area where the islands and peninsulas are much bigger. It's one of my favourite places in the world.
Right next door to Botswana is Namibia, another of my favourite places.
On a recent trip, I drove about 4000kms in search of some particular Baobab trees for a photographic project. This was also a "seed sowing" trip in which I handed out thousands of tracts and Bibles in the villages through which I went.
It always amazes me to see how open the various tribes are about their faith in our Lord. Almost every single village has a sign up saying "such and such Bible church this way"
Apart from being perhaps the most beautiful nation on earth with it's wide open spaces and deserts with lots of free ranging wildlife, it's also widely open to the gospel. There is hunger for the things of God in Namibia.
It wasn't long ago when it was under the domination of a terrible communist government.
But be warned, there is also a lot of witchcraft in all these nations, so spiritual warfare is needed.
I took the picture above as a storm approached the beautiful Kubu Island in the 16,000sq km Makgadikgadi pans of Botswana. This general area is the home of the Bushmen, the Tswana people, the Herero people, and other tribes who live in surrounding villages and outposts (with free ranging wildlife all around)
I took the picture below at sunset in one of the dead-tree pans in the staggeringly beautiful Namib desert, Namibia.
The Biblical principles applied to a nation work just as well on a smaller scale. They work for a business and right down to a family.
I want to share this example of these things on a smaller scale.
I'm closely associated with a Messianic ministry called Alon, up in the hills of the Limpopo region of South Africa. It borders on a game reserve and is very close to numerous private game reserves and is a one hour drive from the world renowned Kruger Park.
Here is the website: www.alon.org.za
Alon is a large working Kibbutz-like farm, ministry, schools and collection of businesses with a number of bases and operations around the world. Its involved in much missionary work in the area and neighbouring states as well as in Israel and other places.
The entire operation is run purely on Biblical principles.
The whole set up is abundantly blessed with a strong presence of God everywhere, turning even strong opposition to blessing. Every aspect of the ministry has an air of excellence and quality within it.
Although Alon is involved in mission work at home and to the neighbouring states, it has a base in Israel and is involved in mission work to the Jews in many ways. Because it's a Messianic ministry, Jews immediately feel welcome and at home. Many strong relationships have been established over the years with many Jews in Israel and around the world and many other ministries with a Messianic slant.
So, this ministry is actually a microcosm of Biblical principles working in a community. If nations were to apply these priniciples they would be ubandantly blessed (and persecuted by the humanists)
Here are some verses for mission workers:
1 Chronicles 16:24 "Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples."
Psalm 9:11 "Sing praises to the Lord who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the nations."
Psalm 102:15 "So the nations shall fear the name of the Lord and all kings of the earth Your glory."
Micah 4:2 "Many nations shall say, "come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He shall teach us His ways and we will walk in His paths." For out of Zion the law shall go forth and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
2 Peter 3:9 "...The Lord is not willing that any should perish."
Revelation 7:9 "After these things I looked and behold a great multitude, which no one could number of all the nations , tribes and peoples, tribes and tongues standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and with palm branches in their hands."
(Pictures Liam Pringle)
The images above and below are from a recent mission trip, a few months ago, by Alon to Egypt, Israel and India. This was a five week trip in which they ministered in the streets on the rivers and also in existing churches, where they brought encouragement and a good wholesome message.
"Go into all the world and make disciples among the nations".
(Pictures Liam Pringle)
Ministering in the deserts of Israel and the homes of India.
(Pictures Liam Pringle)
I have another close friend, Chris Lyndon who I've know for many years and worked with in Botswana. We once got completely lost in the desert for a few days. We had many adventures in the bush including smashing one vehicle into a tree, which took days to recover. Since then he has given 15 years of his life to translate the Bible into the Koti language of the tribes of northern Mozambique. He moved into the village of Angoche and set up a home and mission station there. He's about half way through his work now. He's lost one child to disease and has experienced many hard times amongst the success.
Here is Chris Lyndon
Let's remember that the Biblical order is "To the Jew first and the Gentile"
Mission work must include a work that gets you involved with God's heart for Israel and the Jews. Even if you can't or don't do it yourself you can get involved with those that do.
Matthew 10:6 "Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Another friend is Jacob Damkani who lives in Tel Aviv and ministers primarily to the Jews in his native Hebrew language. He has run hundreds of outreaches in many cities in Israel with increasing results.
The Alon ministry, above is also associated with Jacob.
Here is a video clip of Jacob at work and a brief summary of his work in Israel. It's inspiring:
Here is his website: Take time to have a look at some of the other video clips under the "Videos" tab on Jacob's website.
Here is Jacob Damkani
Europe the new dark continent.
Let me share with you an experience from a few years ago.
I was sitting in the terminal building of the Maun airport in Botswana waiting for my pilot at 7am. Some European tourists were there also sitting opposite me waiting for a transfer flight. At that time the entire building erupted into the most incredible, beautiful song you have ever heard. It was chilling. The whole place vibrated with deep "halleluiahs". The amazed European tourists said "What is this?" A passing tour guide said, "Oh that's the airport staff, they all meet upstairs to begin the day with prayer, Bible study and worship."
The infuriated, stupid European tourists said: "What! you mean they don't have separation of church and state here!"
The immediate thought that came to mind was this: There was once a time when Europe had the light of God in it and Africa was the dark continent. How that has turned around!
I recall trying to contain my anger and keep my mouth shut. Even now I'm angered just thinking of that situation. Today Europe is full of deep spiritual darkness. It is full of humanism gone to pot. It has long forsaken the ways of God. It's churches are mausoleums of the dead run by deceived, demon posed men in pretty frocks.
America in decline:
The US has been the most influential nation in modern times in terms of believing and distributing the gospel. America has sent more missionaries into the world than any other nation ever. They have stood by and with Israel since their existence. This is why America has been blessed of the Lord in all her ways. In fact even the rampant sin of the US has not been able to see it defeated.
But those days are over. The US now has its days numbered. The writing is on the wall. It will fall soon.
And why would this be? Simply because the US has turned from Gods plans for Israel. The US has been the one big giant safe havens for the Jews and the land of Israel in the face of all its troubles. The US is now on course with the devil on the "roadmap to peace", which will lead to war. The US has also fallen for secular humanism in a big way. Of course there are still are huge number of believers sold out on the Lord in the US. In fact they are the very reason the US is still afloat.
The remaining light in the US is keeping the darkness at bay, but the light is getting dimmer.
The US may not be defeated in military war, but the war will come. In fact right now the war is on the go within. It is fighting a nightmare war of its own creation in the form of insoluble economic debt, which will soon explode as a fiscal atom bomb!
The US can still save itself by rejecting the two state solution for Israel and re-affirm its commitments to stand with an undivided Israel and Jerusalem.
Job 12:23 "He makes nations great and destroys them; He enlarges nations and guides them."
The prophetic future of nations
The tripod of strength:
God has decreed three things for a strong nation. They are:
A God fearing government, Bible-defined family and a strong pure Bible-based church.
These three institutions are being eroded today. Like a tripod, if you remove one or more legs it will fall. Many governments have long forgotten God. Family is under threat. By the way homosexuals don't just want their rights, they want to re-define family! and the church has long ago lost its way and become a divided mess.
As these three institutions give way to humanism and the way of the devil, those nations will fall.
2 Chronicles 7:14 "If My people who are called by My name will humble themslves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land."
The above verse is well quoted, but note who it's talking to. It's not talking to the unsaved world. It is talking to believes. This is the duty of the true believers. When a nation falls, essentially it is the fault of believers letting the light grow dim and the darkness flood in.
Many nations today are at an invisible crossroads! They are in a situation a lot more dangerous than they know. Yes, as the spiritual light dims, the darkness comes in, but the real deadly situation relates to a nation's attitude to God's plan for the land of Israel. Entire nations will rise or fall based on that alone.
Blessed is the nation that blesses you (Israel) and cursed is the nation that curses you, says the Bible. That set's the course for a nation. If only politicians would recognise that, they would save immense hardship coming to their country.
The judgement of the sheep and goat nations in Matthew 25 indicates that they are in fact the nations that have stood with Israel in her tribulation troubles (the sheep) and the nations that have come against Israel in the tribulation period.
The sheep nations of the tribulation period will go on into the Millennium to repopulate the earth, while the goat nation will be those cast away.
No matter how great a national leader may be, if he is not saved he will go to hell. All the people of the world may elevate him and think he's just the greatest, but here is God's position:
Revelation 20:12-15 "I saw the dead both small and great standing before God and books were opened...and the dead were judged according to their works... and anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."
1 Chronicles 16:28 "Give to the Lord, O kindreds of the peoples, give to the Lord glory and strength ."
Heaven or hell:
Steve, you were great and did great things. But where are you now? You had plenty of time to welcome the Great Messiah into your heart. Did you? If not you won't be welcomed into His kingdom! You know all about truth and error now. I hope you were not too late in making right with God. Look up at that verse just above from the Revelation Steve, and note that greatness doesn't crack it with God.
Khoisan man, you live a simple life. I know for a fact that you and many generations before you have been heavily into witchcraft. In fact that's the very reason your people have been scattered. But what about you? In comparison to Steve next to you, you are small and underprivileged, but that won't help you when you stand before God. I've worked with your people and seen may come to wonderful salvation...are you saved?
Here's one of my own mixed media paintings. I've incorporated photography into this art work as well. The imagery represents some ethnic and environmental symbolism of Africa.
Kind regards and many blessings...Shalom and grow in grace!