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―Persevering persecuted church and the Lord’s faithful followers versus thriving powerful church and her congregation under some trance― 

   Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. 
9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. 12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.                                          MARK 13:8-13.
   Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on  the earth?”                                 LUKE 18:1-8.

   Jesus Christ told four of His disciples, Peter, James, John and Andrew about ‘the beginning of birth pains’ and the tribulation in His farewell prophecy. His use of the phase ‘birth pains’ suggests that such events will come suddenly and build up gradually and increase in their intensity. He clearly taught His disciples that the end times will inevitably become very severe for His true followers: ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn “a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”’ (Matthew10:34-36). Wherever the name of Jesus is introduced, there will always be tension and hatred, and it will be a battlefield in this world. This is exactly what Christ taught as well: ‘“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me’ (John15:18-21).

The current events occurring in the world indicate that we are increasingly being placed in situations when all believers in Christ will have no choice but earnestly cry out to the Lord for His intervention, i.e., His Second Coming for His justice, as shown in Luke’s passage quoted at the beginning. Although such a plight has never yet come home to the majority of Christians for the present, the numbers of persecuted Christians are understood to be on the rise.  The following article reports the Syrian Christians’ hardships under the attacks by Muslim extremists as a result of the civil war in Syria. Ironically, both Egypt under the rule of former president Hosni Mubarek and Iraq under the rule of former president Saddam Hussein and also Syria were the only countries apart from Israel in the Middle East where Christians were protected for decades before the upheaval. This fact alone might be enough as a sign of the end-times

As the world watches for President Obama’s next move to execute a strategic strike on Syria, little media attention has been focused on the plight of the Syrian Christians, until now. Al-Qaida backed rebels have seized control over Maaloula, a small ancient village outside of Damascus. It is one of the three locations in the world where Western Aramaic is still spoken. Scholars believe the Christians living in Maaloula provide them a linguistic bridge to the dialect spoken during the first century. Many of the Christians living in Maaloula are Antiochian Orthodox and Melkite Greek Catholics. The village barely has 2,000 residents set in the Qalamoun Mountains, making this a strategic position for the Syrian rebels between Damascus and the other prominent city of Homs. Maaloula holds many of Sryia’s oldest monasteries and churches, including Mar Thecla that predates the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. The attack began last Wednesday when an al-Nusra suicide bomber blew up a military checkpoint in Maaloula……Nearly 1,500 Syrian rebels surrounded the Christian village……rebels shouting “Allahu Akbar” attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after moving into the village on September 8th……Syrian rebels were forcing some Christians to convert to Islam. “I saw the militants grabbing five villagers and threatening them: ‘Either you convert to Islam or you will be beheaded,” the resident said……Christians living near the Turkish-Syrian border were reportedly murdered earlier in August by radical German Islamists. Experts have reported an increase of German Islamists entering Syria in the past six months. Reports came from two western intelligence agencies that the number of German Muslims migrating to Syria has increased from 60 to 150 militants……Gregorios III, the patriarch of the church of Antioch, reported that 450,000 of Syria’s two million Christians have been displaced since the start of the civil war. Over 1.2 million Syrians have since fled to Lebanon. Sunni Muslim extremists have many Syrian Christians worried that they will become the primary target since they are considered the weakest link that the rebels go after. Senator Rand Paul told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Assad has protected Christians for decades against Sunni Muslim attacks. According to the CIA World Factbook, 74 percent in Syria are Sunni Muslim. Assad is an Alawite, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. The Shiite and the Druze make up 16 percent of the Syrian population. Syrian Christians have every right to be worried if the current authoritative secular regime is overthrown and taken over by radical Islamists. Dozens of churches and Christian buildings were attacked by Islamic extremists in Egypt last month. Coptic Christians were the primary group targeted for revenge for supporting former president Hosni Mubarek……Whether Syrian Christians will experience further persecution from rebel forces will hinge upon President Obama’s stance to follow through with a strategic attack against Assad’s regime (Koinonia House e-News on 10th Sept.’13, The Christian Post, The Jerusalem Post).

In Mark’s passage above, Christ also told that only those that endured unto the end shall be saved, and in Luke’s passage, He cast an enigmatic question with such an expression full of overtones; ‘when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’ Significantly, in the history of various cults and anti-Christian religions, it is recognized that every originator or leader of their systems started out in a church fellowship, precisely as expressed in 1 John 2:18-19, ‘Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.  They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us’ (Lines added). Christ’s words in those passages imply that not all who are so-called Christians are those who faithfully remain in the fellowship with Christ. This would remind us of Christ’s other serious warnings: ‘“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it……Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?”  Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’’’ (Matthew7:13-23). While true Christians have experienced more and more persecutions or hardships in some parts of this world, a latter-day false syndrome of the optimistic charismatic movement spreading in the other parts indicates another facet of the end times. The following article which poignantly probes into “why the charismatic movement is thriving in Africa” depicts a point against recent controversial but widely accepted phenomena among the Christians, in that ‘another Gospel’ has been prevailing as a result of pursuing outward growth without God’s Word. 

Many explanations have been given for the explosion of the Charismatic movement in Africa. Many have seen this as a powerful visitation of the Holy Spirit. Whereas there is probably more than one reason, I want to add my own observation to this for what it is worth……I think that one reason why the Charismatic movement in Africa has been like a wild bushfire is because it has not challenged the African religious worldview but has instead adopted it. It has simply baptised it with Bible verses and Christian words that previously meant something totally different.

Let me explain what I mean. The African spiritual worldview consists of four tiers. 1. God    2. Angels and demons   3. Ancestral Spirits   4. Human beings  It is because of this reality that Africans do not question the existence of God, as is the case with many people in the Western world. To an African, God is there. He is the Creator and ultimate Governor and Benefactor of the whole universe. So, although God is a benevolent, loving, and caring Being, unless the beings that dwell in these two layers that lie between him and us are appeased, his blessings cannot reach us. It is, therefore, important to appease the ancestral spirits and defeat the demons. Only after that will God's blessings come upon us. This is where in African traditional religions witchdoctors come in. They are the people with the mysterious power to break through these two layers. They tell us what we must do in order to appease the spirits of our forefathers. They also engage the demons for us through their midnight trances, dances, and incense.
So, a person who is beset with perennial illnesses, failing to get a job, failing to find a spouse or to have children, whose business is failing to thrive, etc., simply goes to the witchdoctor who alone has the key to look into the spirit world. He is told that it is either a deceased person or an evil spirit who is frustrating him. Sometimes the enemy is a person who is alive……Whichever way, the power of the witchdoctor is not in explaining truth but in mindless frenzy. His grip upon the popular mind is his eerie mysteriousness and his capacity to knock you out of your senses and then pronounce you delivered. Of course, this is never done by benevolence. You pay for his services. I do not mean to be unkind, but what the modern Charismatic movement in Africa has done is to simply take this entire erroneous superstructure of African religious worldview and baptise it with wrongly applied Bible verses and Christian language. The only difference is that the layer of dead ancestors and evil spirits is now one hodge podge of confusion. This is why the nonsense of demons becoming spirit husbands and wives, and wrecking havoc in marriages, is taken for granted! This is also why the heresy of generation curses has become so popular. In our minds, bad luck can be passed on from that layer of dead ancestors.
In the African Charismatic circles, the “man of God” has replaced the witchdoctor……The crowds are not looking for someone to explain to them the way to find pardon with God. No! They want the “man of God” to pray for the modern Charismatic movement in Africa is literally a fight. In fact, the people praying are called "prayer warriors". Although they begin by addressing God, within the first few seconds they divert from God and begin to fight the spirits in these impregnable layers with their bare knuckles. The language is almost always, "We bind every unclean spirit in Jesus' name! We loose the Spirit that breaks the yoke in Jesus' name!" The "prayer warriors" scream at the top of their voices and chant the name of Jesus……This is nothing more than the African traditional religious worldview sprinkled with a thin layer of Christianity……Its chief proponents survive on a few, well-worn, tortured verses: “By his stripes we are healed,” “We are not the tail but the head,” etc. There is absolutely no effort to properly exegete Scripture. Rather, by chanting phrases and making people drop under some trance, in witchdoctor fashion, they are holding sway over the popular mind. The people love it and are paying for it! …
What worries me is…… why we are not seeing this. Or if we are, why we are not warning Christians against this. For the love of crowds, we have allowed African traditional religion to enter the church through the back door……This is why I am not excited by the multiplication of churches—or ministries—under this banner. We need to sound the warning that this is not Christianity. I know that this approach is filling our church buildings and classrooms to overflowing, until we have to multiply church services in order to accommodate the crowds. But this is not Christianity. It does not lead to heaven. It is a thin coating over the religion that has been on African soil for time immemorial, which Christianity was meant to replace. We have lost the Christian faith while we are holding the Bible in our hands and using some of its words. This is really sad……The only barrier between God and us is our sin, and Jesus has dealt with that by his death on the cross……We do not need to address demons and ancestral spirits before we break through to him. We do not need to chant and jump around like witchdoctors around their fire under the midnight moonlight. God is our heavenly Father. Only our sin can hinder our prayers……
Finally, we do not need “men of God” to lay hands on us every Sunday (or at Friday overnight prayer meetings, or on hills in the outskirts of our cities) in order for us to know God’s blessings. There is only one Mediator between God and us—it is the man, Christ Jesus. All others are imposters and must be rejected with the contempt they deserve.
(Line added, Excerpted from A Letter from Kabwata, 21st July ’13,


This month, a 4 ton dump truck of US$***** has been sent to Frederic in Burundi. Since the beginning of this year we have prayed for the Lord’s best timing of providing Frederic with exactly what he desired. However, nothing that fully met his request had appeared on the market for half a year. In the end after enduring prayers, the Lord has allowed him to be able to get an ideal tipper, which is to arrive in his place in October. Please remember him in your prayers so that he can use it for his and his flock’s livelihood, for his country Burundi’s restoration projects and the Lord’s service effectively.
From July to September Frederic spent most of his time for the fruitful mission as an itinerary bible teacher in the neighbouring countries, Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. It is a reality that the harvest is plentiful but there are few workers. Pray for his work and more workers for the Lord as well.