Aug 022014
 

We are always asking God for things. Weʼre always hoping God will do this or that for us. We are always wanting something from God, BUT what about God?

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

We have a full wish list, but Godʼs wish list has only TWO items on it!

1. God is NOT WILLING (that is, He is not desirous, not hoping, not wishing) that any man perish.

2. God is WILLING (that is, desirous, hopeful and wishing) that all (mankind) should come to repentance.

God is wanting all persons to have a change of mind . . . about Him, about their habits, and about their feelings toward and about God.

People have to be able to set aside their traditions, customs, and even their cultures and re-think their opinions and ideas about God. This is what “repentance” means: to have a “change of mind.” But, this only possible by hearing a word about Jesus Christ, or how else can one change his idea or opinion?

cf. Amp. Rom 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ, the Messiah [Himself].”

So, to repent means to have a change of mind of oneʼs own opinions, feelings, and ideas about Jesus Christ. Our ideas and opinions about Jesus Christ are basically shaped by the traditions and culture in which we have been raised.

Repentance begins to happen only after one has heard the Word of God about Jesus Christ from a preacher, a friend, a grandmother, husband, wife, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, radio program, or even a gospel song. This list includes verbal avenues which God has ordained to use in order to inform those without God of the Word about His Son, Jesus Christ. And, the devil will do everything he can to distort the Word so that people will not be able to hear it.

If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior and Lord of your heart, then by all means, be thankful to God for the person(s) whom God chose to tell you about His Son! Yes, someone prayed for you, someone cared enough about you to get close enough to you and share the Word of Life.

Now, letʼs go back to the first thing on Godʼs Wish List and take a look at something astounding.

1. God is NOT WILLING (that is, He is not desirous, not hoping, not wishing) that any man perish.

God does not wish you to perish. He does not wish you to be destroyed. Or in simple, easy-to-understand language, He does not want you to come to destruction, or be lost.

This explanation of the Chinese character for “perish” explains:

perish

So, in essence, in the ancient days, “destroy” was depicted in this calligraphic expression as entering the village or town with weapons of

fire-halberdfire-halberd script

water supply

Water is the life of a village, town, city, or metropolis. Without it, death lurks (or waits in ambush) to steal, kill and destroy the people.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16-17

“Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-38

crux of messge

The devil is NOT interested in your body, or even your soul (emotions). More than anything else, he wants to steal in, kill and destroy the eternal part of you, that is your SPIRIT-man.

Yes, there is a part of us that will live eternally! Whether eternally in heaven, or hell, we each must decide that destination while living our lives here on earth.

When God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . .”, man was made to live eternally just like God is eternal. The problem was the serpent (who by the way is none other than the devil, the thief about whom Jesus spoke, “ . . . the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy . . .” ) who sneaked in and deceived Adam into disobeying Godʼs command to not eat the fruit. The devil lied outright to Adam and said, “ . . . surely you will not die . . .” if you eat this fruit. When Adam ate, it was then that his “spirit-man” died, and was destroyed. His physical body died some 900 years later, but the moment he ate of that fruit, his “spirit-man” died. The eternal life-source was sucked right out of him. He was separated from his Creator. BUT, “ . . . God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Manʼs eternal spirit-being is resurrected from the sentence of eternal torment and death in hell when he chooses to “believe” (trust, cling to and rely on) Jesus as his personal Lord, Guide, Protector, Savior, Friend, and Counselor.

Yes, Jesus is every manʼs “life saver.” 

life saver

In conclusion, always remember that the devil is NOT interested in your body or soul, but only in your “water-source” (spirit-man). He will do everything he can to sneak in to the center of your life and try to steal and destroy your “water source.” He does this by attacking you in your body and soul (emotions). He wants to destroy your well.

We must always stay close to our well , because Jesus will always be there at the periods of high noon in our lives to give us a drink of the living water.

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14

well

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.

Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” Isaiah 12:2-6″

―Nils Olson (July 3, 2011)

 

 

 

God’s wish list

 Posted by at 5:04 PM
May 062011
 

It’s time once again for the annual Bethel Fellowship International  Ministers Conference at Camp Berachah. Each year we gather to enjoy a time of fellowship and feasting on the Word of God.

“Awake the Dawn,” is a very timely theme this year, coming after last year’s conference on end time events. This year our keynote speaker, Ernest Gentile, recognized prophet, pastor and teacher of Christian Community Church in San Jose, CA, will challenge us to commit ourselves to more earnest prayer.

As the leader of BFI, I feel an urgency in my spirit to challenge God’s people to realize the importance of spending more time in prayer. We all are faced with problems, pressures, and concerns. It is for that reason it is important to make time and spend it at the feet of the Lord in prayer. Even though we all have busy lives and are under pressures and cares of the church, God is still saying, “Come out from all of that.” . . . and spend time with Him building a more intimate relationship.

We must call the church together to corporate prayer, as well as create more personal time for communing with God. As a result, the powerful weapons of praise and worship will be sharpened and literally pierce the darkness in this end of the age. There has never been a time of greater urgency to become equipped with prayer. The world, the church, the ripened harvest and even we ourselves are in great, great need of God’s intervention. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:47 AM
Apr 042011
 

by Jeremy Spingath

[vimeo width=”550″ height=”450″]http://vimeo.com/21740134[/vimeo]

Passersby on the streets of Denver, CO were asked what they value most in life. Check it out. Their comments were interesting, and most definitely caught the author off guard by some of their answers.

 

(Note: Jeremy Spingath is the son-in-law of BFI missionaries to Japan Nils & Andrea Olson. He lives with his wife, Caroline (Olson) and son, Gideon, in Denver, CO. The following is the message Jeremy recently shared with the church he and his family attend in Denver.)

What is this world coming to?

Suppose Average Joe flipped on the tube in 1969 to watch the news; you would bet he would have said the classic and overused saying, “What is this world coming to?” as he read about protests, riots, war, etc. A few years before that as Hitler blitzkrieged his way through Europe and Africa I’m sure Average Joe Sr. muttered the same phrase as he picked up the morning news. Even earlier still, during the time of Moses, Ancient Average Joe upon reading the daily tablet which described first born sons dropping dead, frogs invading the land, and a bearded dude parting a huge sea said in his own Egyptian way, “What is this world coming to?”

I’m a fan of the truth. I try and speak it exclusively even when it makes me look like a buffoon. I’m not perfect, and don’t always get things right – but I value truth. This also is what drives me to pay attention to current events and some news sources with all that is going on in the world between riots, protests, national debts, and the myriad of other idiocies simultaneously occurring. I find myself shaking my head and muttering under my breath, “What is this world coming to?” Then I remember Average Joe’s ancestors throughout history saying that very thing, and yet the world has not ended.

Just as I begin to wish I lived in a “better” time in history I have a thought: what if I was made for living in this exact time and place in history?

Ok, so how do we right the wrongs in this world? It’s pretty simple, really.

The Problem: Morality has been replaced with idiocy.

Poverty, divorce, abortions, war, consumerism & materialism, greed, selfishness, apathy, the lack of any semblance of moral values… the list can go on, but these are some of the problems we see happening in the world.

The Answer: The Meaning of Life.

We all know what the problem is, but we all argue as to how to fix it. You might be surprised to hear the answer is simple; and it has been the same simple answer throughout history.

Now, before I continue, I want to tell you this is a spoiler alert. If you were waiting to ask God in person what the meaning of life is, then stop right here and go watch an episode of Arrested Development on Hulu. Otherwise, continue.

The answer to the problem is . . . wait for it . . .

God.

The only value we need is what Jesus said – the greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” (Mark 12:30). That’s it! That’s the answer to every single problem in the world. Adam and Eve were put on this earth to walk with God and so were we. As humans, we were designed to worship; and if we don’t worship God, then it means we are worshipping something that ought not to be worshipped. Do you think the problem of greed is because people worship money or status or power? Do you think abortions are largely due to our worshipping ourselves? I find it telling that just under 98% of all abortions in the US are due to the baby being inconvenient (reasons vary but less than 2% are due to rape or incest).

Atheism doesn’t exist. If we don’t worship God, we are worshipping something else – and the moral depravity in this world displays this plainly.

Our focus, our mind, our energy, should be set on seeking God first, and then our needs beyond that will be taken care of (Matthew 6:33). As we focus on doing our part to love God more, than everything else we do will be affected by this. You see, love changes hearts. And as you love the Creator more, your values start to line up with God’s values – like love, generosity, freedom, truth, integrity, hard-work, and so on. You also begin to love your neighbor more; and the more you focus on God, the more naturally these values get expressed through you.

Imagine a more generous society which takes care of the poor and needy around them. Imagine a society that loved freedom and truth that we wouldn’t need much of a government because we could govern ourselves. It’s possible.

The Church is God’s Answer
First: If you happen to have beef with the Church, please realize this: humans are imperfect and will always fail you. This includes pastors, church leaders, parents, teachers, presidents, and even (or especially) Average Joe next door. The quicker you realize this, the quicker we can get past whatever negative stigma you have against the Church and embrace the fact that God has designed us to be a community – to be a body with many moving parts that work together. You’ll realize that our trust and hope aren’t in men, but in the Creator of the Universe (I’ll take that pedigree any day).

Second: The Church is not an obnoxiously large building down the street or even a quaint brick building with a pretty steeple. The Church is every Christian in this world (the “Body of Christ,” if you will). Of course, congregations in church buildings that meet together are important and are in ways the “Body of Christ” as well. They share in community and worship together, and I believe each congregation has a mandate to impact the community in different ways depending on the context they are in. Church buildings do not exist for the sake of existing, but exist for the community they are in.

Third: It’s not the government’s job to take care of the poor, feed us, or even give us iPods (contrary to what an Illinois Congressman has claimed – seriously). The government is horribly inefficient and corrupt to do these tasks with any real effectiveness; and I believe that much power given to any one institution is a dangerous proposition. It is our personal responsibility to work hard and rely on God as our provider (remember Matthew 6:33 – all our needs will be met). And if someone falls on hard times, it’s the Church’s job to step in. When a young girl gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby, does the Church shun her? Hell no! We walk next to her and show her love and are there to help her. The amazing thing is this; when love is shown to someone who desperately needs it, a heart change occurs. Have you ever been shown unconditional love by somebody? I have – and it made me want to be more like that person.

This is what walking with God should look like — people wanting to become as loving and gracious and generous as He is.

Love is contagious. Seek Him and you will find Him, and know that as you do, your heart will change to be more like His.

A church that loves God will love His people… and the disappointing, “what-is-the-world-coming-to” shortcomings of this world? They will be sucker-punched in the breadbasket. That’s right, breadbasket.

I know we can never be as generous or loving as God, but I think I’ll give it a whirl anyhow, it might be worthwhile adventure.

 Posted by at 1:49 AM
Mar 172011
 

We’re thankful for prayer covering over Japan!

Please allow the Holy Ghost to use you to intercede for Japan; allow Him to pray through you in the words of the unknown language(s) He has given you. This is not a “here today gone tomorrow situation.” The entire nation has been/will be affected by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear fallout. Perhaps the threat of nuclear fallout is most alarming now in Japan. Hillary Rodham Clinton has just said, “This is a situation in history where it is almost hard to catch one’s breath.”

Bethel Fellowship Int’l missionaries living and working in Japan are okay. In calls just made to Mark & Kathleen Benton (Osaka-Kobe) and Steve & Noriko Wall (Nagoya), we were told that they are fine. Mark said when they went to buy toilet paper and rice that it was gone. Steve said the same situation is seen around the metropolitan area of Nagoya. Both the Bentons and Walls are fine. We are fine, too, but continue to wisely keep prepared for anything to happen, especially our heart relationship with Almighty God!

In my junior high school years when I was learning how to type, the sentence we were told to type line after line after line for practice was “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.” My, my, how this has become a reality!

PLEASE, make sure your personal relationship is RIGHT with God! We cannot know what will happen tomorrow, but we can know for sure our eternal destiny because of a personal relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ. Do not hesitate! “. . . behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” There is no place here for putting off until tomorrow what must be done today!

Our hope is in God and we know that He will use every situation to bring salvation to this country! As Christians we have the fruit of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faithfulness and temperance) residing in us. Let us pray that that fruit will be evident in our lives everyday.

Keeping in touch,

Nils & Andrea Olson
Kyushu, JAPAN

As one looks across the face of the earth today, it doesn’t take much spiritual discernment to see that things are shaking as has been prophesied over the past few years.

Many voices, including myself, have spoke over what is known as the “Rim of Fire” nations, or the Pacific Rim. These are the approximately 40-odd nations that ring the Pacific with some sort of volcanic activity.

The tragedy in Japan brings this prophetic shaking starkly to the forefront of the news.  Many are asking the question, “What is taking place?”

First of all, I know that we must stand in the gap and pray for Japan. The enormity of the loss and the intensity of what has transpired will continue to unfold. It is hard to grasp with the natural mind.
What do we know? God had warned us that shaking was coming. This doesn’t mean that it was His desire for it to happen, but more of the biblical fulfillment that He doesn’t do anything without first warning through His servants, the prophets (see Amos 3:7). In fact, I, along with others, prophesied volcanic eruptions would occur in the Pacific Rim.

Others might ask, “Was this a judgment from God?” This is a difficult question. I tend to think that God is grieved that so many have died because, no doubt, many of them did not know Him as the Savior. He is not willing that any should perish without knowing Him.

However, if we all pray and act in this crisis, I do believe that the Holy Spirit wants to breathe the wind of revival across Japan and bring a mighty spiritual awakening to the land of the rising sun with healing in His wings.

Christians throughout the years have paid an enormous price for the evangelization of Japan. Early missionaries suffered the most horrific forms of martyrdom at the hands of ruthless leaders. At one time in the city of Nagasaki, even little children were crucified.

Great Christian leaders such as Dr. David (Paul) Yongi Cho, have spent countless hours and efforts in Japan. The All Revival Koshen Mission during the late 90s prayed for hundreds of thousands of hours and saw a stadium event where it was reported that at least 20,000 came to Christ.
Japanese Christian leaders made prayer journeys to Korea and other nations to repent of the war atrocities from World War ll. There was some Gospel advance, yet Japan has historically had 12 of the mega-unreached cities in the world, representing more than one million in population.
I have personally felt that one of the reasons Japan was such a hard group for the Gospel was the fact that they have had a direct link with the Imperial family as a direct link with the sun goddess, Amaratsu.

After the end of the Second World War, under the U.S. agreements with Japan, this connection was renounced in favor of a representative government. Japan flourished economically after that time.
However, of recent years, this link with Amarastu and sun worship was reinstated once again in a ceremony in which the Emperor participated. The Emperor “spent the night with the goddess” after eating the sacred rice.

Japan has gone downhill down economically in recent years. The debt ratio to GDP is now 200 percent. With the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the economy and banking system, insurance industry, etc., will certainly take a massive hit.

In the early 90s, the Lord gave me a prophecy for Japan that it was a “sickle in the hand of the Lord” that will be used for great harvest. The physical geography of the islands look like a curved sickle with the handle being the island of Hokkaido in the north.

On the other hand, this island of Hokkaido also looks like the head of a dragon with the body being the rest of Japan. The people of Asia have worshipped the dragon for 5,000 years. If one looks at the place where the earthquake took place, it appears like the soft underbelly of most vulnerable part of the dragon.

My interpretation of this is that while God did not want people to perish, He is going to use this to “pierce” the darkness surrounding the Japanese people if we will cry out to God for them in the midst of this crisis. We, as believers in Jesus Christ need to pray and act. We need to stand with relief organizations such as Somebody Cares led by Doug Stringer, who is half-Japanese and has family still in Japan.

We Americans treated our fellow Japanese-Americans in an atrocious way during World War ll as we put them in concentration camps and took away their dignity and property.  There has been an apology to them from our government and a measure of restitution.
This is our prophetic moment to be a light to the nations and stand with the Japanese people. I feel that God is especially calling for Japanese-Americans as well as the whole nation to help in this crisis. We did so in Japan after WWll and now we must do so again.

If we respond correctly, the darkness and the grip of idolatry of all forms that has blinded the eyes of so many in Japan will be broken off of them. The faithful believers in Jesus Christ will be strengthened as they are used for great harvest across Asia and the face of the earth.

Read more: http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/news/30438-shaking-begins-winds-are-blowing-in-japan#ixzz1Go0hZvGd

 Posted by at 6:25 AM