A Chronicle of Renewal and Revival

Archive for April, 2018

Atheism Kills

Author documents the bitter fruit of atheism


By Michael Ashcraft —

The next time an atheist accuses Christianity of being responsible for untold mass murder throughout history, point out to him that atheism in the 20th Century alone killed 200 million people.

“Godlessness kills,” says Barak Lurie in his new book Atheism Kills. “Godlessness has resulted in far more mayhem and murders than all Judeo-Christian religion institutions combined. There is no comparison. Virtually every culture that has rejected God has collapsed or engaged in horrific mayhem. By contrast, virtually all cultures grounded on the Judeo-Christian tradition have flourished.”

Atheistic governments, seeking to impose their vision of utopia, feel compelled to eliminate any and all opposition, according to research from Atheism Kills:

  • The French Revolution: up to 40,000 deaths.
  • Stalin: 20 million deaths.
  • Mao Tse-tung: up to 70 million deaths.
  • Fidel Castro: up to 141,000 deaths.
  • Ho Chi Minh: up to 100,000 deaths.
  • Pol Pot: 2 million deaths.
  • Kim Il-sung: 1.5 million deaths.
  • Hitler: 11 million deaths.

The list goes on. “Being an atheist dictator advancing atheist doctrine has always led to brutality and killings,” Lurie observes.

By comparison, what is the tally of the bloodbath supposedly orchestrated by Christianity?

  • The Spanish Inquisition: up to 5,000 killed.
  • The Crusades: 1 million killed.
  • The Salem Witch Trials: 19 killed.
  • The Ku Klux Klan: 3,446 killed.
  • Religious wars post Reformation: 11 million.

“Atheism killed hundreds of millions in the span of only 30 years,” Lurie writes. “The number of killings on (the alleged) behalf of Christianity (are) minor in comparison and ranged over approximately 800 years.”

Lurie decided to become an atheist at age 11 when he stumbled across the clever arguments wielded by atheists. Then he went to college and rediscovered God through philosophy classes.

Fyodor Dostoevsky was instrumental to his floundering faith in atheism. The Russian novelist explored the consequences of atheism — the resulting absence of all morals — in Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.

Killing under Mao

“It was he who first made me see the dangerous world of my own atheism,” Lurie writes. “His books show the consequences of living according to dangerous beliefs.”

Lurie graduated with honors from Stanford University before earning a law degree from UCLA and a master’s in business administration from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business in 1989. He now is a managing partner of Lurie & Seltzer, a law firm in Los Angeles.

He finished Atheism Kills in 2017.

Atheism Kills is a robust, relentlessly interesting and intellectually invigorating read,” says Dennis Prager in the foreword.

Killing under Stalin

The book does more than just compare death census data. It also shows how atheism spawns bigger government, progressivism and eugenics (and its modern version: abortion).

The book exposes the flaws of atheism: Its moral relativity breeds evil. It deprives man of purpose and significance. It stymies arts and science. It has given no charitable organization to the world. It teaches man only to live for his own pleasure and not to risk one’s life to save another.

The author profiles one notorious incident, when Marc Lepine systematically shot and stabbed 14 women to death and injured 10 others at the University of Montreal in 1989. A misogynist, Levine released all the men from the engineering class — and they did nothing to try to stop him. The author maintains this cowardly posture is a natural outcome of atheism, Lurie says.

Recovered from the “killing fields” of Cambodia.

By contrast, U.S. Sgt. Roddie Edmonds, captured during the Battle of the Bulge during World War II, rallied his fellow Americans to support the Jews in his company. When the concentration camp ordered all the Jews to report for killing the next morning, Edmonds, a committed Christian, organized the entire group of POWs to “fall out” the next morning.

The Nazi commander was bewildered: “They cannot all be Jews,” the camp leader barked.

“We are all Jews here,” Edmonds responded. “If you are going to shoot, you are going to have to shoot all of us because we know who you are and you’ll be tried for war crimes when we win this war.”

The commander relented, and Edmonds saved 200 Jewish American soldiers.

This is what a belief in God leads to: convictions about what is evil and what is worth dying for, according to Lurie.

Atheism Kills also takes aim at the absurd passivity of progressive governments when faced with radical Islam. These liberal and atheistic — or atheistic-leaning — governments are in fact empowering today’s “greatest threat to civilization.”

Lurie sees in Western Civilization a slow degeneration much like the fall of Rome.

But he sees hope. Atheism must be attacked so that faith in God and the restoration of values can rescue America — and Europe.

“Without God there can never be any universal interpretation of what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil,” Lurie writes. “In a world where the human reigns supreme, you can expect only two outcomes: a world descending evermore into chaos or a world without liberty.”

Michael Ashcraft teaches journalism at the Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica.

This article is in BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL 











Justin Bieber leads 98.5 million in worship on Instagram

Justin Bieber leads 98.5 million in worship on Instagram

Superstar Singer/songwriter Justin Bieber has 98.5 million followers on Instagram, the photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook.

On April 8th he made another bold expression of his faith in Jesus by singing the worship song “Reckless Love” on the social media platform.

“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights till I’m found, leaves the 99…There’s no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, running after me,” he sang.

The song was originally written by Corey Asbury, a worship pastor for Bethel Music.

In 2015, the pop sensation made a very public and stunning turnaround in his relationship with Christ, saying he had learned from the error of his ways, following run-ins with the law and an embarrassing slew of bad-boy antics.

“I actually feel better and more free now that I know what I can do and what I can’t do,” he told COMPLEX in 2015. “I’m gonna use my voice for a reason. I think that people, as soon as they start hearing me saying I’m a Christian, they’re like, “Whoa Justin, back up, take a step back.”

Bieber said then he wanted to pursue Christlikeness with increased focus – and he seems to be following through with that renewed purpose. “I do not want to shove this down anyone’s throat. I just wanna honestly live like Jesus. Not be Jesus—I could never—I don’t want that to come across weird. He created a pretty awesome template of how to love people and how to be gracious and kind. If you believe it, he died for our sins.”

“This is the latest example of how the singer has turned his large social media platform into a pulpit. A source close to him says his next album, which is expected to be released late this year or in early 2019, is going to focus on his faith,” CBN noted.

A source close to the singer told The Sun: “He has always been religious but the last two years have seen him grow closer to the Hillsong Church and it has changed his entire life. He has a totally different outlook now.”

“After he finished his last tour he really wasn’t interested in recording any music for a while,” the source also said.


“But his time with the church has revitalized him and although he is working with a lot of the same people who helped to make his last album, Purpose, he is reshaping his sound so it is more in line with the church’s values and beliefs,” the source was quoted as saying, “There are key themes of love and redemption in the tracks he has ­created so far. It will certainly ­surprise some fans.”

At Easter, he told his Instagram followers, “Jesus has changed my life.”

“Easter is not about a bunny, it’s a reminder that my Jesus died on the cross for my sins and then rose from the dead defeating death! I believe this happened and it changes everything! I am set free from bondage and shame. I am a child of the most high God and he loves me,” he wrote in an Instagram post.

Source: God Reports











Christian missionary tortured in prison led 40 to Christ

Christian missionary tortured by ISIS in prison, led 40 to Christ.

By Mark Ellis —

Charged with being a spy, Czech missionary Petr Jasek endured a 14-month imprisonment in Sudan where he was tortured by fellow cellmates. But Jesus supernaturally imparted peace during his confinement and he became a bold witness, winning many to Christ.





In his role as the Africa regional director for Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), Jasek went to Sudan to document the persecution of Christians, which was happening in the Nubah Mountains in clashes between the government and rebels.

He was detained by the Sudanese police at Khartoum Airport in December 2015. It seems immigration staff found a duplicate passport Jasek carried for security purposes, which led to his immediate arrest and imprisonment.


Jasek interviewed by Todd Nettleton at VOM

“I arrived at this cell at about 1:30 am,” he told VOM. He found the cell overcrowded, with people covering the floor. “They had to squeeze a little bit so they would create some small room for me to lie down on the floor.”

The conditions were sparse. “I had no blanket…two extra T-shirts and one extra pants and a toothbrush, toothpaste and soap; that was all.”

Guards refused him blankets or a mattress, because he was from the Czech Republic and they told him they thought he should be used to cold weather.

At 5:30 am he was awakened by the Islamic call for prayer. All six of his cellmates began praying fervently. “They showed me a place behind them where I was supposed to stand while they were praying. The rule is that me as a Christian, I had to stay behind them so they would not look at me while they are praying.”

After the prayers, they identified themselves as DAESH, the Arabic acronym for ISIS. All his cellmates were ISIS fighters!

“Two days later they started to openly torture me and beat me…I was hit with their fists into my face many times. They called me ‘filthy pig’ or ‘filthy rat.’”

One of the ISIS fighters barked an order: “Filthy pig, come here.”

“I decided at first I would not respond to these rude names and when I did not respond I got hit with a wooden stick they unscrewed from the sweeper that was there to clean the floor.”

Jasek was hit on the head, shoulders and fingers or they kicked him in the stomach and back with their boots. “At that time I was really thinking about the Lord Jesus what He had to go through when He was arrested and they also were beating Him with a wooden stick and were ridiculing Him, slapping Him.

“I became like their slave,” he told VOM. “I was really [made] to wash their clothes, wash all the dishes, clean the toilet with my bare hands. They were just making fun of me. I did not resist.”

“I could clearly see the Lord Jesus and how He suffered for us.”

Then Jesus imparted something to him that was amazing and unexpected, considering the circumstances. “I received a wonderful peace at that time and surprisingly, when I was physically attacked I was experiencing the greatest peace in prison time ever, all these 14-1/2 months.

“I could even pray during these beatings for my family members, I could pray for other fellow prisoners and I was not moved to the point when I used to be before, because I had this peace from the Lord at this time of the physical attacks on my body.

When Jasek began to exalt and and glorify the Lord’s name during his beatings, this made them even more furious. “They decided to torture me even in much worse way.

“Eventually, they decided to do waterboarding to me. It’s a way of torture where a person lays on his back and they cover his mouth and pour water, which gives you the feeling that you are getting drowned.

The Sudanese guards had not intervened to stop Jasek’s torture, because they were intimidated by the ISIS fighters. “It is [thought] that if these Islamists get released they will get revenge on those guards.”

Jasek didn’t have access to a Bible during his captivity, so he meditated on Scriptures he memorized as a young person.

“I was literally asking the Lord that He will keep my mind sound and that I wouldn’t lose my mind through the situation,” Jasek said. “The Holy Spirit kept reminding me some of the verses that I had memorized. This was just enough for me, to give me enough strength everyday to pray,” he told VOM.

He also thought about Jesus’ teaching about loving enemies. He was startled when he heard his abusers weeping late at night when they could not sleep.

“They were crying. They were also missing their family members. They were also crying to God for help,” he recounted. “That allowed me to easily continue to pray for them. I was praying for those fellow prisoners, the interrogators, for the guards, for the prosecutors and for the judge, that the Lord would reveal Himself as the Lord, Savior and God.”

Remarkably, one of the guards intervened to prevent the waterboarding. Jasek said he felt the Lord used the guard to move him out of the cell.

“Later on I told the guard that he saved my life and we became close friends,” Jasek said. “I gave my email address and I started to share the Gospel with him. He was very passionate. I told him that if he ever makes it to Europe, he can stay at my house and we will take care of him.”

Then Jasek was moved to another prison where conditions were even worse.

“We were squeezed in a small room — 15 by 18 feet. There were sometimes 40 of us. That was the situation and I was able to lead 40 Eritrean refugees to Christ,” he said. “It was like new revelation for me. I started to be courageous and openly shared the Gospel with other fellow prisoners. Later on, that resulted in them putting me in solitary confinement again.”

Shortly after being placed in solitary confinement, Czech consular officers were able to bring him a Bible.

“I didn’t have to do anything else but read the Bible all day. I could not read the Bible all day because I could only read when there was enough light, which was about 8 [a.m.] … until 4:30 p.m. I had to stand reading on the bars so that I could have enough light. I was so hungry for Scripture. I read from Genesis to Revelation within three weeks.”

Jasek noted that he gained a profound “new understanding of Scripture.”

He was eventually removed from solitary confinement and moved to a larger prison that can hold about 10,000 people.

“I went from solitary to a cell where there were like 100 people in one cell,” he explained. “We were squeezed. There were 75 beds. Only 75 could have a bed and 25 had to stay on the floor.”

Amazingly, guards at the new prison allowed him and two incarcerated Sudanese pastors to hold worship services.

“The first day I came to the chapel to spend time in Scripture with the Lord. They asked me to preach. I would preach once a week, sometimes twice a week,” Jasek said. “Of course, they were monitoring us and they were reporting what we were teaching about. There were two other pastors from Sudan and we knew that nothing worse could happen to us.”

Preaching in prison allowed Jasek and the other pastors to witness to “people that were hopeless.”

“They were real criminals — murderers, rapists, thieves, drug dealers. It was such a wonderful time,” Jasek said. “They responded to our teaching. We were just teaching the Gospel. It was so wonderful to see the changed life of those who dedicated their lives to Christ.”


In February 2017, he was granted a presidential pardon and Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir ordered his immediate release. He returned to the Czech Republic on February 26, 2017.

During the time Jasek was interrogated by the jihadis in prison his wife was in a Bible study back home and the leader stopped the study to pray for the “situation that he is right now in.”

“They stopped reading and started to pray for the Lord’s presence over the situation,” Jasek said. “When I came home, I realized that was exactly the time when I was on my knees before the Islamists and they were beating me. But I was experiencing a supernatural peace.”

“I came for four days to Sudan. But I was there 445 days,” Jasek told VOM. “When you think about all the hardships and seeing what the Lord was able to do through us, then what else can we say but the Lord’s ways are much better than our ways.”

“We know from the words of apostle Paul that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. I felt like I received my life back. I was first threatened to be sentenced to be executed. [Then] later on, life imprisonment. Then, my life was returned back to me. I told the Lord, ‘My life does not belong to me anymore. It belongs to the Lord.’”

To learn more about Voice of the Martyrs go here

Source: God Reports, April 11, 2018

This article is in Mission Blogs

See also The Spirit told us what to do – 2 teenage girls plant 30 churches.











A woman in the marketplace

West Africa: A woman in the marketplace

She could not read or write but started 3 churches in 6 months and more discipleship groups.

When Faiza heard her pastor invite the members of his African congregation to attend a seminar to learn how to make disciples and plant churches, she knew instantly that this was exactly what she had been waiting for.

Ever since she had become a Christian, just two years before from a Muslim background, she knew that the Father had something very special in store for he life. She loved being an intercessor, and she could pray for hours, knowing that God Himself was responding to her prayers.

Faiza did not have the chance for the education she wanted, but that did not keep her from developing a shrewd business sense. She easily outsold every other palm oil merchant in the market. She knew how to judge the product, measure the competition, provide simple value-added elements, and win trust with customers, the result of which was an adequate income to meet her needs and share some with others.

Until this moment, she had never had any desire to leave town. But as she heard God speak, she headed directly to the pastor and told him that she wanted to participate in the disciple-making training.

‘Pastor Joseph had never seen her so happy.’

Pastor Joseph was hesitant though, as she didn’t know how to read and write. He told her to pray about it, and if God would tell her to take the training, to come and start.

When Pastor Joseph arrived early at the church for the training, he found Faiza waiting for someone to open the door. He had never seen her so happy. It turned out that God had given her great encouragement when she prayed, and He had even told her where her assignment would be when she finished her training.

Six weeks later she completed the training, and she could hardly wait to tell Pastor Joseph where she was headed – to Jumvulu. “What?” he cried when she told him. “You can’t go there! They will kill you.” But Faize was confident. “God would not lead me to a place that He doesn’t want me to go,” she said.

Joseph relented, and the church prayed for Faiza and dispatched her to Jumvulu, a place where Islam was mixed with a poisonous, unspeakable evil of demonic deeds. As the church said goodbye to Faiza, some people shed tears, for they were sure that they would never see her again due to the danger she faced.

Within two weeks, Faiza had found her place in a new market, making friends, selling palm oil, and looking for a person of peace. And within another two weeks, Faiza found that person of peace and started a Discovery Bible Study with ten people. Within three months of that, Faiza’s group had become a small church. After six months, there were three growing churches in Jumvulu and more Discovery Bible Studies happening. And at that point, Faiza knew that she had done what God had asked her to do. It was time to head for another challenging place.

‘Today people who are unable to read play a key role in the dramatic growth of the church.’

Joseph sent a team to follow up on the miraculous beachhead that had been established by Faiza’s courageous obedience to God. Today, there are 25 churches in that area, and the dark partnership has been broken between the secret orders and Islam; it has been publicly exposed and outlawed. Now other ministries that had been afraid to work in Jumvulu have also joined the efforts, and the gospel message is being spread even more rapidly.

Pastor Joseph realized that people who do not read should be welcomed and accommodated at every level of discipleship training and leadership development. Today people who are unable to read carry responsibility for a high percentage of the dramatic growth happening in more than a thousand churches throughout that ministry.

And Faiza? At 27, she became a national leader of intercessory prayer in her ministry and still sells palm oil and gives away the gospel.

The Book of Acts demonstrates that the work of ministry was largely done by nonprofessional Christians. Several of Jesus’ disciples were humble fishermen. Even Paul appears to have been primarily self-supporting as a tent maker. It is possible that one of the reaons why the Western church of the 21st century struggles to grow is that the DNA has been lost that made up the original disciple making movement, that of ordinary people achieving the impossible in the name of God. That DNA is being recaptured in today’s Disciple Making Movements that are based on empowering every member, regardless of background, as a disciple maker, taking very seriously the final instruction of Jesus to his disciples.
Source: Faiza and Joseph, interviewed by Jerry Trousdale for his book ‘Miraculous Movements’

Joel News International – # 1078,  April 18, 2018

This article is in Mission Blogs

See also The Spirit told us what to do – 2 teenage girls plant 30 churches.










The Last Reformation – movies

The Last Reformation – movies

Last Reformation

Link to movies –
The last Reformation: The Beginning
The Last Reformation: The Life

Global: The adventurous life of following Christ

“Die with Christ, rise with Christ. Holy Spirit, come, set her free and fill her up.” An outdoor baptism in the ocean forms the dynamic opening scene of the new movie ‘The Last Reformation: The Life’

This movie is the sequel to ‘The Last Reformation: The Beginning’ – featured in JNI 983 – that has inspired many people around the world. The first film received close to a million views on Youtube and has been featured on different TV stations around the world.

‘The Life’ is the second documentary of three about ordinary disciples of Jesus who have been inspired and activated by the Book of Acts. The film covers a phenomenon that has not been covered much in the mainstream media: thousands of ordinary Christians, without theological training, that go out on the streets, heal the sick, preach the Gospel and baptize people in bathtubs, lakes, rivers and oceans.

In this film we don’t see stereotypical street evangelists, trying to convert people by shouting the Gospel at them. Instead, we see non-assuming Christians in everyday life situations and on the road to new destinations, offering a relaxed and quick prayer for healing. People with various forms of injury and pain seem to receive instant relief. “Pain, go now, in Jesus’ name!” they say, immediately followed by the question: “Can you feel any difference?” And the surprising look on people’s faces: “Wow. Seriously, it doesn’t hurt anymore! I can move it!”

Danish evangelist and producer Torben Søndergaard says about his project with film director Leo Akatio: 

“Just as with the first movie, we experienced how God led the whole process of filming and producing. While the first movie laid the foundation of the gospel of Jesus – how to become a new creation in Christ, this movie focuses on the daily walk of a disciple of Christ. It shows that following Jesus is difficult, but also rewarding. When we remain faithful to Jesus’ words, we will see victories.”

“This movie will inspire, convict and challenge you to become everything God created you to be,” says Søndergaard. “From the living room of a rockstar, to a homeless man on the streets in Brazil. You will experience the movement that is growing all around the world as people discover what it truly means to be disciples of Jesus. This film shows things that probably have never been captured on video before, such as the impressive moment when mambo musician Lou Bega and his entire household was overcome with the Holy Spirit and got baptized in water. This will remind you of stories from the book of Acts.”

Click to watch this interview with Torben Søndergaard.
Click to watch this interview with director Lebo Akatio
What you will see:

The movie features the collective conversion and baptism of a whole extended family in Germany, tourists visiting the tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem and experiencing the risen Christ on location, Torben Søndergaard and his team members teaching others ‘on the job’, a bedouin boy in the desert near the ancient city of Petra who receives instant healing and starts following Jesus, an honest assessment that not everyone the team meets receives healing or is receptive to the Gospel, the role of persecution in the life of Christians, and the transformational experience of a homeless man living on the streets in Brazil.

In 1999, German-born David Lubega (a.k.a. Lou Bega) took Perez Prado’s 1949 instrumental “Mambo No. 5” and recut it as an irresistible dance-pop jingle. It became an unlikely hit, topping charts around the world. This video clip is of the kid’s Disney version of his song. Today, instead of “a little of bit of Minnie in my life” Bega wants all of Jesus in his life. He says about his conversion: “It is way better than winning a Grammy nomination, or becoming a football world champion or whatever. This is just the real deal.”
About The Last Reformation

The Last Reformation is a network of Christians that started in 2011 with a book of the same name, and has grown into a group of thousands of believers who are committed to making disciples in their daily life. The network hosts training weekends called Kickstarts, in which ordinary people get equipped to live the uncomplicated and supernatural life Jesus and his disciples had. Additionally, the network has 5 full-time Pioneer Training Schools and 3 Jesus Cafés in different countries. The group believes in Bible-based teaching, hands-on discipleship training, and that everyone who believes in Jesus can follow his commands to heal the sick, cast out demons, and baptize others in His name.

Founder Torben Søndergaard is convinced the church needs a new reformation. “This new reformation is about rediscovering the Book of Acts.”

Source: Torben Søndergaard, The Last Reformation

Joel News International: # 1077 | April 14, 2018

Click to watch the full movie ‘The Last Reformation: The Life’

This article is in Blogs Index 3: Miracles










Hallelujah Chorus – Messiah – international choirs



Messiah is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Friedrich Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer.

In Part I the text begins with prophecies by Isaiah and others, and moves to the annunciation to the shepherds, the only “scene” taken from the Gospels. 
In Part II, Handel concentrates on the Passion and ends with the “Hallelujah” chorus. 
In Part III he covers the resurrection of the dead and Christ’s glorification in heaven. 
When King George II attended a royal performance of Messiah he stood up for the Hallelujah Chorus in honour of the King of kings. When the king stood everyone in his presence had to stand. So it became the tradition for the audience to stand up when the Hallelujah Chorus is sung, as millions of us have done in honour of the King of kings.

Chorus — Revelation 19:6, 11:15, 19:16
Hallelujah! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.

The Kingdom of this world is become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; 
and He shall reign for ever and ever.
King of kings, and Lord of lords
and He shall reign for ever and ever.


Lyrics: Holy Bible, Authorised Version, 1611, arranged by Charles Jennens, 1741
Music: George Friedrich Handel, 1741

International Choirs

Facebook link – Album

Virtual1   Virtual2
Virtual3   Virtual4
English, in America. Over 300 in choir with over 2,000 voices worldwide digitally

1   5   4   2
English in South Africa with pianist Anthony Burger and choir and congregation

London1   London2
London3   London4
English, in London.  The Royal Choral Society has sung Messiah on Good Friday
at the Royal Albert Hall every year since 1876, this one in 2012 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.


HK11   HK22
HK33   HK44
English, in Hong Kong, 2006, Christmas in the Park


China1   China2
China3   China4
Mandarin Chinese, beginning of Hallelujah Chorus


Korea 2   Korea 1
Korea 3   Korea 4
Korean, in Seoul


Swahili1   Swahili4
Swahili3   Swahili2
Swahili, in Kenya with a choir from Tanzania

See also combined choirs in Tanzania:
Tanzania2   Tanzania1
Swahili, in Tanzania


Spanish 1   Spanish 2
Spanish 3   Spanish 4
Spanish, in Buenos Aires


German 1   German 2
German 3   German 4
German, by the Vocalensemble Erwitte