Superman – The Voice of God

images“Faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than a locomotive”, with these words Superman arrived. It was in the 1930’s.  Heroically the caped crusader battled evil and fought for ‘truth, justice and the American Way.’

Superman has manouvred the generations with timely tweaks to keep him topical. With the 2013 movie Man of Steel, the legend advanced again. The movie Superman was meant to launch a new era.

The Superman character is the brainchild of Jewish teenagers Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.  Sons of immigrants to the USA, they linked Superman to the biblical hero Moses, who emerged from the temple of Pharaoh to find his place among his own people.

A stranger in a strange land, Superman like Moses, was a baby refugee who grew to be the peoples’ champion. He came from the planet Krypton where his name was Kal El, Hebrew for ‘Voice of God.’

When not being the caped superhero, he was mild-mannered Clark Kent, the identity that camouflaged his true identity.

Man of Steel

images-1In the movie Man of Steel, Russell Crowe plays Jor El, the biological father of Superman. Appropriately, Joe El means ‘father.’

The dual identity caught my imagination.  In the Superman story Clark Kent was the cover-up.  He presented as a mild mannered, even fearful, timid guy, a stark contrast to the truth.

We actually live in the opposite scenario. On the outside we so easily display cover-ups that conceal who we are in Christ. Often we don’t even realize we have developed a reaction to incidents or hurts from the past.  In fact those things may be the very kryptonite that seeks to bring us to our knees.

Emotions might be affected by incidents in a broken or violent home. Techniques of self preservation will emerge from circumstances of poverty, health, academic success, failure or sibling rivalry. And this is in no way, a complete list. Events cause compromise and we are then tossed around like a ship without an anchor.

I worked with a teenager in juvenile prison. He was labeled a delinquent. But as we unraveled his story, we learned he had arrived home one day to find his father in bed with his mother’s best friend. The boy went berserk. He damaged public property with a baseball bat, and was arrested and locked up. He became a repeat offender and was labeled an habitual criminal. His reaction was clearly linked to that traumatic experience. I still question how the world can accept adultery but imprison a boy for his reaction to the failure of his father.

Even now you may be thinking about your dad and those moments in your life that left a deep scar.  Do the aftershocks impact your life, even now?  Good news is a new way is offered. As believers, our anchor is Jesus Christ.

Jesus invites us to ‘buy’ from Him ‘gold refined by fire.’  He told us to ‘become rich’ wearing ‘white garments.’ (Rev 3:16)   This is all about finding our identity in Him. Accept Him totally and refuse the deception that seeks to bring you down. Rich means we will have wealth unlimited.  Wearing white garments speaks of the righteousness and purity we find in Him.

Up, up and Away!

C. S. Lewis wrote: “you are a bundle of self-centred fears, hopes, greeds, jealousies, and self-conceit, all doomed to death.” He suggests we should all ‘dress up as Christ’, a kind of ‘let’s pretend’, until it becomes part of us. (Mere Christianity page 158-159,  C. S. Lewis, William Collins and Sons, Glasgow)

“Very often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you already had it. That is why children’s games are so important. They are always pretending to be grown ups – playing soldiers, playing shop. But all the time, they are hardening their muscles and sharpening their wits, so that the pretence of being grown up helps them grow up in earnest,: wrote Lewis. (Mere Christianity, page 158)

The Superman theme illustrates, the hidden power we have as Christians. We often choose to live in a frame that conceals our true kingdom identity. We need guidance to remove the disguises we use.

When the lame man was healed, he walked ! The Bible says he went ‘walking and leaping and praising God.’ (Acts 3: 8)  I picture a new breed of believers declaring “Up, up and away!’ as the

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Hallelujah! A Shout of Joy!!!

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‘Praise the Lord’, ‘Hallelujah’, ‘Amen’ – these words are common in Christian conversation but sometimes their familiarity takes away from the original meaning. In years gone by, for thousands of years actually, believers exclaimed ‘Hallelujah!’ which was in fact two words joined together to pack a punch of praise. Hallelujah means “Praise God!” It was created from the Hebrew words ‘hallel’ a verb meaning ‘praise’ and ‘Yah’ (the abbreviated Hebrew name of God – short for Yahweh.)

There is significance to the word ‘hallelujah’ which for some, may have lost its impact through the years. During the 3rd to 5th centuries, the Talmudic period, the words ‘hallel’ and ‘Yah’ were expressed separately. The combined ‘hallelujah’ expression was emphasized prominently in Psalms 146-150. Each psalm opens and closes with ‘hallelujah’ meaning, ‘praise the Lord’ The New Ungers Bible Handbook suggests that in these psalms ‘hallelujah’ was used as a religious cry, probably used to encourage audience participation.

The Hallelujah Chorus

“Later, ‘hallelujah’ became a stereotyped cry of joy; the Jews of Alexandria sang it after being saved from annihilations by the Egyptians (3 Macc. 7:13) and it introduces the angelic praise of God in Rev. 19: 1-8,” they report. The latinized version is spelled ‘alleluia’ and it always suggests everything we have, worships. Augustine wrote, “The Christian should be an alleluia from head to foot!”

The exclamation ‘hallelujah’ became an important part of Christian liturgy, and is just one of many Hebrew contributions we eagerly and often mindlessly embrace. It most likely made its greatest international impact when Handel wrote ‘The Hallelujah Chorus’ for his epic classic, ‘Messiah.’ What Handel experienced during the time he wrote ‘Messiah’ sums up the impact we should all seek. He withdrew for twenty-three days so he could be totally immersed in his music. The Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations said, Handel described his feelings when he wrote the Hallelujah Chorus. Handel said, “I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself.”

Many of us can testify that his experience is shared with us during the moving presentation of the Hallelujah Chorus.

Halal is the primary Hebrew root word for praise and ‘hallelujah’ builds from that base. It means ‘to be clear, to shine, to boast, show, to rave, celebrate, to be clamorously foolish.’ How about that? When we praise God, do we come near to that original meaning?

How great does our enthusiasm and joy shine? How boastful are we about God and His mighty power and love? Are we prepared to rave about Him or do we prefer to boast and rave about our footie team or sports or movie stars? Are we happy to be seen as fools for Christ?

How ‘clamorously foolish’ do we get when we surrender ourselves to praise Him? Our faith would be a profound and radical thing if we could just enter into a Hallelujah reality-check.

Halal conveys quite an extensive meaning. First it relies on what lamps and stars do. They shine and display light. In this sense it appears in Job and Isaiah. Job 31:26 speaks of the shining sun and the moon’s splendor as ‘halal.’ Isaiah warns the loss of this radiance comes as judgment from the Lord Himself. Isaiah 13:10-11 “For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises and the moon will not shed its light. Thus I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud and abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.”

The loss of ‘halal’ indicates a terrible judgment. Has that illuminating presence gone because we have found other gods? Is fear of man now the preference for us? Hallelujah means God is our reality. We can have no other gods before Him.

Keep in touch for the next instalment.

Email: ron@ronross.org

 

Lesson on the Road

On one occasion Rabbi Eleazer, son of Rabbi Simeon was coming from Migdal Gedor, from the house of his teacher. He was riding leaisurely on his donkey by the riverside and was feeling happy and elated because he had studied Torah. There he chanced to meet an exceedingly ugly man who greeted him, ‘Peace be upon you, rabbi.’ He however, did not return his greeting but instead said to him, “Raca (‘Empty one’ or ‘good for nothing’) how ugly you are! Is everyone in your town as ugly as you are?” The man replied; “I do not know, but go and tell the craftsman who made me, ‘How ugly is the vessel which you have made.’” When R. Eleazer realized that he had sinned he dismounted from the donkey and prostrated himself before the man and said to him, ‘I submit myself to you, forgive me!” – (Brad H. Young- The Parables).

Shalom – The Start.

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In America folks say, ‘Have a Nice Day!’ In Australia most say, “G’day, How ya going?’ In England it’s probably, “Good morning’ or ‘How do you do!’ In Paris, ‘bonjour.’ Boring folks just say, ‘hello!’ In Israel it’s always, ‘Shalom.’ That simple word contains such a beautiful and powerful blessing. The best known meaning of shalom is ‘peace.’ But it has a far greater meaning than that.

Israelis will say ‘Shalom’ in the morning or when they first meet you. Again they will say ‘Shalom’ as they leave or say goodbye. According to Strong’s Concordance Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom certainly contains a complex, meaningful whallop!

Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full. In modern Hebrew the obviously related word Shelem means to pay for, and Shulam means to be fully paid. Jesus is called Sar shalom, Prince of Peace, which perfectly describes the ministry and personality of the Messiah “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9: 6)

So when someone says ‘shalom’ by way of greeting, it is significant. The word conveys an blessing. What greater could we have in our turbulent world than peace?

How ‘shalom’ are you today? What’s your peace level? Do you enjoy an assurance of peace, or are you fragile, fearful and stressed?

We are invited to experience true spiritual and emotional shalom every day. The Apostle Paul gives us the formula: “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus and the God of peace (Shalom) shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:4-9)

When the Lord was preparing to depart and go to be with the Father. He promised His disciples peace. “Let not your hearts be troubled,” He said. He promised His shalom. He said that the Holy Spirit would come to be their Comforter and Teacher.

Jesus reminded them of all the things He had said to them (John 14:25-26).

Most of us lose His peace when we focus on our circumstances and not on His powerful Presence in our lives. He made His gift very clear. “Peace (Shalom) I leave with you, my peace (Shalom) I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

The disciples will face wicked persecution and even death. Their lives were truly turned upside down and through their personal painful experiences, they retained His peace, His shalom!!! They were truly grounded by faith in Him.

 

The Bride (Part Two)

Please read The Bride Part 1 first…

Consider the importance God put on the marriage covenant.

Isaiah 54:5 “For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.

Jeremiah 31:32 “not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.”

Jeremiah 3:14 ‘Return, O faithless sons,’ declares the LORD; ‘For I am a master to you, and I will take you one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.’

God looked down on the earth, and by grace called out a man named Abraham from among his people, and said to him, Abraham if you will follow me, I will make of you a great nation! God had chosen His bride.

The Ketubah

Rabbi Hyam Shafner writing about the marriage contract said: “The traditional ketubah is essentially an agreement between the bride and groom outlining, for the most part, the groom’s obligations within the marriage. Since the ketubah is an agreement between bride and groom, both must agree to the terms. This is especially true for the groom since he is obligating himself to most of the terms within the ketubah.”

The Bible is our Ketubah!!!

What do the scriptures mean when they refer to the Church as the “Bride of Christ”? Why do the scriptures call Christ the “Bridegroom”? And what promise does the Holy Communion hold for us as the Bride?

The disciples understood what Jesus was saying at the Last Supper because they understood the Model for the Traditional Jewish Wedding.

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For us to fully understand Christ’s promise today, and the promise of the New Covenant, we have to understand what the scriptures are saying. And to do this, it helps to understand the Traditional Jewish Marriage Practices observed in Christ’s time on earth.

Within that tradition we have learned of the Ketubah – the marriage contract. (See The Bride Part 1) The man must leave his father’s home and go to the home of his chosen to offer the ketubah.

The Bride Price

In those negotiations ‘the bride price- known as the Mohar is finalised. Jesus/Yeshua fulfilled those details to the letter. He left His home in heaven and came to earth to offer us the Ketubah and to provide the Bride Price through His death on the cross. He came to fulfill the law. He fulfilled the marriage contract – in every detail.

1 Corinthians 6:20 – “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

 1 Peter 1:18, 19“Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

What higher price could one pay? How valuable are we to our groom? What more could have been paid than His life?

In Jewish marriage tradition, the man pours a glass of wine and gives it to the woman. If she accepts his contract, she drinks from the cup which seals the contract making it complete and legally binding.

Although there was no consummation or physical union between the two yet, they were regarded as husband and wife from this moment on. She is considered to be “consecrated”, “set apart”, or sanctified, exclusively unto the husband.

The Bride has

  1. a) Position
  2. b) Privilege
  3. c) Protection

Consider your response to this truth!

Matthew 1:18, 19“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

We see clearly in Matthew that no physical union had taken place between Joseph and Mary, yet scripture refers to Joseph as “Her husband”.

Jesus came to the bride’s home, leaving His fathers home. He set the bride price with His blood, and to seal the contract in order to set us, the Church, the Bride, apart, sanctifying us, He poured the wine, and we drank, accepting His contract.

So what new meaning is found in these familiar words?

Matthew 26:27, 28 – “And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

This is the New Testament. This is the New Covenant.

We drank the wine accepting His contract, His bride price paid for us. And we now belong to Him. We are set apart, sanctified. Exclusively Christ’s own! Not when we die, NOW. We are His RIGHT NOW!

We belong to Him right now!

Now the Period of Separation!

After the covenant or contract had been established, the groom will return to his father’s house to prepare a place for His new bride. He has gone to prepare a bridal chamber in his father’s house where the bride and groom can be together.

John 14:1-3“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

Neither the bride nor groom knew WHEN the groom would return. The bridal chamber he was preparing had to be approved of by his father.

Mark 13:31-34“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time 1will come. It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert.

 The bride eagerly watches for her husbands return. She keeps the oil in her lamp full in case he arrives at night. She is watching and longing, while preparing herself for her future with him.

All this time she is learning the ways of the married woman so as to give her husband the best marriage possible. She longs for their relationship to be warm, loving, blessed and deeply personal.

Are we waiting anxiously for His return?

Have we been preparing ourselves for our future with Him?

Are we ready for Him to come at any time?

Are we faithfully looking and waiting for His return? Perhaps we have become distracted and focused on something less than our true love.

During this period of time apart from the bride, the groom is preparing his place. This will be the marriage mansion, built for us in His Father’s house! This place is heavenly. It is built to the Father’s specifications. The groom can only come for His bride when the Father has given His final approval that the bridal chamber is ready.

What joy this truth conveys! How wonderful is He?

The Bride (Part One)

It helps for Christians to study the uniqueness of the betrothal and the relationship in the Old Testament, to see how the Lord embraced the ancient principles in his outreach to the church, His bride.

Rev. 3:20….Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with me.

 Most of us have our own interpretation of that very familiar verse. It’s easy to visualize the Lord, standing at the door of your heart and knocking —– but the ancient meaning goes in a different direction.

In Jewish formality the pre-marriage betrothal takes place a year before the wedding and it is affirmed in the presence of two witnesses. I like to feel the witnesses are the Father and the Holy Spirit.

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In modern terms the betrothal is equivalent to an engagement. The Encyclopaedia of Jewish Life and Thought says: “The term ‘betrothed’ is also involved in the custom described in some circles as ‘tena’im’ (conditions) in which the two families stipulate the financial help each side undertakes to give the couple.

“When the tena’im are written and signed, it is customary for the families to break a pottery dish to symbolically suggest that just as the dish can never be repaired, so may the couple strive to never break their matrimonial bond.”

When the bridegroom made his initial move towards marriage, he arrived at the house of his beloved and his father came with him. Picture Him, approaching the home of His beloved. “Behold I stand at the door and knock ….” When the two men arrive, they knock on the door. Now the intended’s father, before he opens the door, checks through a little window to establish the identity of the men outside.

“If any man hears my voice …” Once the man is appropriately identified, the dad turns to his daughter to make certain she is okay with the imminent marriage proposal.

Should he open the door? When that decision is confirmed, the betrothal process officially begins. The marriage can only be confirmed if appropriate terms are approved.

Opening the door is just the first step and that’s indicated by the verse in Revelation. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with me.”

In this one sentence the Lord is offering a deep, personal relationship, which goes much further than a mere acceptance one to the other.

The significance of this process asks us if we will enter into a covenant of betrothal with Him? Will we seek to work with Him to ensure that this bond of agreement will not be broken?

The choice is always with the bride. If she does not approve the opening of the door, the groom and his father will leave.

Once that door is opened and she considers the details of the offer, she can withdraw her approval at any stage. In fact, she can withdraw at any time up to the actual consummation of the relationship.

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Now to an ancient symbol of this tradition…. The Jewish marriage contract is called ‘ketubah’, which is Hebrew for “document”. When the marriage details were finalized the bride and groom called in a rabbi or scribe to write the actual agreement in the ketubah.

There are five parts to this document.

1) First came a combined family history of the bride  and groom, which included detailed family trees and anecdotes.

2) Second came a personal and family history of the bride, with a detailed family tree and anecdotes.

3) Third came a personal and family history of the groom, also with a family tree and anecdotes.

4) Fourth came the story of how the bride and groom met, with related anecdotes.

5) Fifth came a final section detailing both the bride’s and the groom’s responsibilities before and after the wedding.

Now consider the first five books of the Bible – the Torah.

1) Genesis provides the combined family history of the bride and groom.

2) Exodus gives the personal and family history of the bride.

3) Leviticus provides the history of God’s family, the Levites.

4) Numbers tells of God’s love affair with His people in the wilderness and records His joys and sorrows as He reaches out to His bride.

5) Deuteronomy specifies the responsibilities that both bride and groom must fulfill.

What is this saying? The first five books of the Bible are written as a marriage contract between God and His people. The Torah (the first five books of the Bible) is their ketubah.

How significant is this? According to rabbinic regulation, issued in the first century, all of the groom’s property should be regarded as collateral for the payment of the ketubah.

Even more powerful is the simple fact, a man and a woman are forbidden, in Jewish society, to live together in marriage, without a ketubah. We are not invited into a part-time relationship with the Lord. Without genuine commitment there is no intimate fellowship with Him.

Even further, it is impossible to ignore the special relationship God has always ordained for His chosen people. The covenant God made with Israel in Exodus 19 is a marriage contract.

God spoke to Moses, saying:

“‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.” (Exodus 19: 5,6)

He chose them, He gave the stipulations, and Israel accepted!

How exciting?

Exodus 19:7-8 “And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

The acceptance of the Ketubah, meant that Israel was in agreement and they would enter this marriage contract with Almighty God.

Please complete these thoughts by reading the Bride Part Two

Saturday, Sunday People

Adolf Hitler: “Leave the hair-splitting to others. Whether it’s the Old Testament or the New, or simply the sayings of Jesus, it’s all the same old Jewish swindle. It will not make us free. A German church, a German Christianity is a distortion. One is either a German or a Christian. You cannot be both.” (from ‘Hitler Speaks: A series of Political Conversations with Adolf Hitler on His Real Aims’ by Herman Rausching, 1st edition, 1939)

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There is brutal persecution of Jews and Christian today embracing the Hitler philosophy to the letter. He lumped Jews and Christians together as ‘the same old Jewish swindle.’ His agenda is at the heart of Islamic terrorism.

“First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people’ was published in 2010 by prolific author and writer Lela Gilbert. It quickly appeared as graffiti in Arabic on walls throughout the Middle East. The intent behind those words is clear. First Jews (the Saturday people) and then Christians (the Sunday people) were to be targeted as victims of jihad (holy war)

As I witness the unspeakably obscene crimes inflicted around the world I am reminded of John chapter 10, verse 10 “The Devil comes to steal, kill, maim and destroy but Jesus came give life and that life abundantly.’ ‘Kill, maim and destroy’ sums up,the events of today.

The Bible speaks about the situation.

Saturday People

“Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain,  from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. and He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:11-12)

‘The banished ones of Israel’ are on the move. The Jewish Agency reports 31,000 Jews immigrated to Israel in 2015, a 17percent increase from 2014. The forecast for 2016 is more than 33,000 people, 20,000 from France alone.

The Community Security Trust, which advises Britain’s estimated 260,000 Jews on security matters, said 924 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in 2015, including 86 violent assaults.

Lori Palatnik is the founder of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project in the U.S. In a video released this year she spoke about ‘the end of days.’ She said, she asked ‘a very great rabbi’ when is it time for Jews to move to Israel.

“He said, ‘When they start killing Jews in the streets, that’s when it’s time to get out.’ Unfortunately that’s what’s going on now. France. New York. People are being assaulted and even killed simply because they’re Jews,” she said. “I hope this is not too apocalyptic to you but history is unfolding before our eyes and we can’t turn away,” she concludes.

Thousands of Jews are taking the current signs of the times very seriously.

 The Sunday people

The crimes against Christians by jihadists have been numerous and brutal. The Bible speaks directly about strong religious resistance.

1 John 3:13 “Do not be surprised brothers, that the world hates you.”

Psalm 23; 4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and staff they comfort me.” See also Hebrews 12: 3; Mark 13:13.

The Christian aid group Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) has published a new “Prayer Map” highlighting countries where Christians face violent persecution at the hands of Islamic extremists around the globe.

The Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors, releasing its annual list of countries where Christians face the greatest persecution, has found that 2015 was the worst year in modern history in this regard. Before that, 2014 had held that distinction. More than 7,000 Christians were killed for their faith between Nov. 1, 2014, and Oct. 31, 2015.

Are we living in the end-times? Every generation has heard similar speculation offered ‘prophetically.’ In 1918 dispensationalist prophecy teacher Clarence Larkin declared ‘we are living in ‘Perilous Times.’ Adolph Hitler was the antichrist of his day. When Israel obtained statehood in 1948 that sparked more end-time energy.

Author Michael Brown wrote an article ‘Are We Living in the last Days?” In it he quotes his colleague Dr. Josh Brown: “I don’t know if this is the last generation, but it’s our last generation.”

There is enough evidence to get our attention. Consider words of wisdom Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica.

1 Thessalonians 5: 1-6

Friends, we do not need to write to you about the dates and times when these things will happen. You know very well about how the day of the *Lord’s return will happen. That day will surprise people very much, as when someone comes to rob people at night. At that time, people will say, ‘We are safe and there is no trouble for us.’ But then, when they are not ready for it, a lot of trouble and pain will happen to them. That trouble will happen to them like the pains of a woman who is giving birth to a baby. And it will be impossible for anyone to get free from that trouble.

But you people, who are like brothers and sisters to us, you know about these things. So, you are not like people who live in the dark. And so the day when the *Lord returns should not surprise you. That day will not surprise you as when someone comes to rob people. All of you are people who are the *Lord’s people. So, you belong to the light and to the day. We are not people who belong to the night or to the dark. So, we should not be like other people. We should not be like people who are sleeping. Instead, we should be like people who continue to be awake. We should think clearly about what is happening.