Monday, March 29, 2010

A message from Gerald Rowlands

Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days. NKJV
Approximately 20 years ago, whilst Elizabeth and I were living in Singapore, we conducted a Church planting training seminar in Surabaya, Indonesia. Amongst the delegates was a young man who was a relatively new believer and was working as a youth evangelist in Java. During the seminar we gave every delegate a set of books containing the basic subjects of our training material in the Bahasa (Indonesian) language. A couple of years later whilst we were preaching in Bali we invited the local pastor there to attend the Christian Celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem at which I was the director of praise and worship. When the pastor asked if he could invite another two colleagues who were also pastors, we readily and happily agreed. However, when they arrived in Jerusalem they had brought 300 of their church members with them including the young pastor who had attended the Surabaya seminar
Last year (2009) one of our Asian associates organized some ministry appointments for us that included a visit to a particular church in Sumatra. When we arrived in this city we were met by the pastor and his lovely wife. As we greeted each other he looked me in the eye and said, “You are my guru!” I laughed and asked him what he meant. He then explain that he was a delegate at the seminar in Surabaya 20 years ago and together with all the other delegates he had received copies of our training manuals that focus on soul winning, evangelism and church planting. He further informed us that he and his wife diligently studied the material and on the strength of what they learned they left Jakarta and went to Sumatra to plant a church. The only Biblical training they had ever received came from studying our material. They commenced a house meeting and in the first of these some five persons were present. To our surprise and amazement he then told us that in the fifteen years since then, the congregation in this heavily populated Muslim city and surroundings had grown to 15,000 members. Of course we were thrilled and delighted to hear about this tremendous response. What a blessing for us to preach and teach several thousand of these precious members.
Last week (March 2010) we again went back to that same church to assist in helping them to launch a new training centre which would use our training material to prepare hundreds of believers to evangelize their nation and also to prepare to go as missionary to other nations. Imaginer our delight when on arrival we discovered that the church now has 40,000 members! Obviously they cannot all fit into any auditorium in the city. So there is one main congregation that meets in six services every Sunday with approximately 3,500 to 4,000 members in each service. They have also planted many other smaller congregations that are increasing in number at the rate of one every eleven days. The first meeting at which I spoke was a communion service for over 1,000 pastors and workers. The second service was a prayer meeting on the Saturday morning at which more than 3,500 people prayed fervently for more than 3 hours. (This prayer is a weekly event). This congregation has also opened a small private hospital and a number of medical clinics.
The Senior pastor who gained a deep love for Israel when he originally attended the Feast in Jerusalem has instilled this same love into his congregation. He still visits Israel three times every year, each time with a group of his pastors and church members. I observed, during the week that we stayed with them that at least two of the factors what are present in this exciting church that is expanding so rapidly and solidly are strong, fervent, corporate prayer meetings and a deep love and support for Israel.
The church in which we were teaching last week has purchased a defunct hotel/resort with more than 80 guest rooms and sufficient land to build an auditorium to seat 15,000 people, plus enough land for appropriate parking. Whilst we were with them last week I had the joyous privilege of praying a dedicatory prayer on the building site where the foundations are now being laid. The training school will be accommodated on this site too.
(Incidentally even greater growth is present in the churches pastored by the other two ministers we had invited to Jerusalem. One of those churches has a building that seats 25,000 and is filled six or seven times every Sunday)

Gerald Rowlands
Church Planting International
Queensland Australia

Jerusalem, Israel's Forever

Jerusalem, Israel's Forever
By Bill Keller

Each day, this nation gets further away from God and closer to seeing His wrath and judgment unleashed on our once great land. On top of legally slaughtering over 4,000 innocent babies each day, making a mockery of God's Holy Institution of Marriage, embracing every type of sexual perversion man has thought up in his depraved mind, worshipping the false gods and idols of the world, and literally living in all-out rebellion to our Creator and His Truth, the United States is now standing with the ENEMIES OF ISRAEL! My friend, if we ever wanted to experience the wrath of God, we are doing everything we possibly can to see that it happens.

Memo to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton: Jerusalem belongs to Israel, ALL of it! If Israel wants to build settlements in Jerusalem, they can. The enemies of Israel have NO CLAIM to this land. We are on the verge of seeing God's judgment poured out on this wicked nation, and now we are siding with the enemies of Israel? We are out of our mind! This is like going up to the biggest guy you can find on the street and spitting in his face. We are literally putting our middle finger in the air and screaming profanities at the top of our lungs to God!!!

Please, do yourself a favor right now and get your Bible and sit down and spend the next 10 minutes reading the anchor verses for today, Genesis 12:1-7, 13:14-16, 15:18; Deuteronomy 9:4-6; Joshua 1:1-11; 21:43-45. You could spend hours reading all the passages in God's Word that confirm that modern-day Israel is the land God promised to Abraham and gave to His children. You do not have to be a Bible scholar to quickly realize in just the few key passages I have given you today that the land of Israel is indeed the exact land God Himself promised to His children 4,000 years ago, and fulfilled that promise in 1385 B.C. when Joshua took possession of that land.

Having laid the Biblical case to support that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, now you can see why giving away even one inch of that land to anyone else is going against God Himself. No person, no nation, has the right to give away what God promised and gave to the Jewish people. Those who do make themselves an enemy of God! Over and over throughout the Bible and human history, nations have invaded this land, taken it over, only to be defeated in the end. The land of Israel is only 20,330 sq km, slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey. Out of the billions of square miles that exist on this earth, this is the only place on the planet God literally promised and gave to His children. For anyone to go in and try to give a piece of that land away is foolish.

That is why the current "peace plan" the United States has had such a large role in working out will never work and has actually put our nation on the opposite side of God again! Let me be clear. The Gaza Strip belongs to ISRAEL! The West Bank belongs to ISRAEL! Jerusalem, all of it, belongs to ISRAEL! For this nation to be involved in any deals, even under the guise of "peace," that involves giving away the land God gave to the children of Israel is taking on God Himself! Not to mention that this land is being given away to the ENEMIES OF ISRAEL!!!

My friend, one of the problems many have with the Bible is that they can't understand why a God of love would command His children to go to war and "Kill every man, woman, child, and living thing" as He did many times in the Old Testament. The reason was this. God in His omniscience knew that the enemies of Israel, those who came to possess their land, had no desire for peace but the complete destruction and annihilation of the Jewish people. The complete obliteration of the Jewish people was their ONLY goal, not peace. Sadly, there are some people who have no desire for peace, only death and destruction and you either destroy them or they destroy you. That is one of the sad realties of living in this fallen and evil world.

For those who oppose the war in Iraq, they either don't understand or are completely blind to the fact that there are people on this planet whose only goal is the complete destruction of the United States and every person who lives here. That means you and your family too! I am thankful that this current administration understands this fact and that the peace-nuts we see on TV constantly don't have the power to impose their Pollyanna views of life on the defense policies of this nation or we would all be in grave danger. The sad reality is that there are very real people alive this very moment whose very real goal is the complete destruction of the United States. We will either kill them or they will kill us. We are blessed that our forefathers understood the evil that exits in this world or we would not be here today, enjoying the wonderful freedoms and life we do.

Israel also clearly understands the reality that there are people who desire their death and destruction. They don't have the luxury of great oceans on either side as we do and their enemies literally live all around them. That is what makes this current "peace plan" so silly. To actually take some of the small amount of land that belongs to Israel and literally give it to their enemies is absurd and ridiculous. It will only embolden and empower those who seek the destruction of Israel. Again, make no mistake about it. While we and others seek "peace," it takes TWO to make peace. Despite the claims by the Palestinian leadership, their goal is NOT peace but the destruction of Israel.

I have always been amused at why anyone thinks it is necessary to give the little strip of land God gave to Israel away to her enemies, when Israel is surrounded by Arab nations with VAST AMOUNTS of land who could easily assimilate their Arab brothers into their countries. Why do the Palestinians have to live on the land God gave to Israel when there is plenty of land in neighboring Arab countries they could live on? What is wrong with a "peace plan" that gave some of the land in surrounding Arab countries to the Palestinians?

I want to close today with a powerful promise God made to Abraham 4,000 years ago in Genesis 12:3, "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." This one verse of Scripture is why what is happening in Israel right now is so critical to THIS NATION! In being part of a plan to give away the land God gave to Israel to anyone, especially her enemies who seek her destruction, puts us on the wrong side of God. We should be seeking the BLESSINGS of God, not His CURSES!

Know that I am praying for you today. Even though most Jewish people have rejected Christ as their Savior, blinded to the reality that He is the Messiah they were promised in the Old Testament, they were, are, and always will be God's chosen people. The promise God gave Abraham in Genesis 12:3 is still in effect today. Our Christian faith is traced back through the children of Israel. The last events of this world will be played out in Israel. That is why we need to pray for and support the Jewish people and God's plan for the land of Israel. Our blessings in life come from following God not being in opposition to God!

Also, be praying for this special group of people God chose to reveal Himself to and carry His message to the world. It was through the Jewish people God brought His Son, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Wonderful groups like Jews for Jesus have done a great work in bringing the fact the Messiah prophesied throughout the Old Testament, is Jesus! Jesus is the fulfillment of all of those Old Testament prophecies, and despite the fact He was rejected by his own people, today millions of Jewish people have come to know Jesus as their personal Savior by faith. In Heaven there will be no Jew or Gentile, only those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.