By Rev SEIK PITOI
As we begin along the path of yet another year, we look back to see an eventful year that was marked by certain milestones in the lives of some of our major churches.
The year 2018 was one of jubilees, the biblical celebration of the 50th year (Lev 25). The United Church in Papua New Guinea opened up the Jubilee year inJanuarywiththe celebration of its 50th year anniversary. Obviously the main players making up the church, such as the Methodists and Congregationals (London Missionary Society – LMS) have been here since the late 1800s, but their amalgamation in 1968 making up the United Church denomination we know today, reached its milestone in January last year.
Then the year closed off with Christian Life Centre (CLC) marking its jubilee in December. Between these two churches were other smaller church groups and ministries who reached their 50th, such as the Assemblies of God (AOG) church in the New Guinea Islands.
Apart from the 50th anniversary jubilee, we have another significant biblical number,70. The AOG church in PNG celebrated its 70th, sharing the year with the nation of Israel who also reached her 70th anniversary. All the jubilees in the church last year were preceded about a year earlier by Jerusalem’s 50th in June 2017. Interestingly, Israel and the churches in PNG have reached their prophetic milestones around the same time frame. What could God be saying to His people, His dual posterity – both Israel and the church, in these terminal days?
I have been saying for a while now that God wishes to raise up men and women of Issachar (1 Chron 12: 32). These are those who will perceive the times and seasons we are living in and correctly discern what the church needs to do. We need men who can look in the Spirit and give direction to God’s people.
While the rest of the church world act no differently, these will arise and prod the church to walk closer to her God in holiness and truth. These are those who will sound an alarm to cease fornication, adultery and sexual immorality in God’s holy church. These are those who will warn our church leaders as Prophet Amos did to the leaders of his day who fleeced the flock and made the common person poor while they lived in luxury at the expense of the ordinary person. Indeed, these will see that we are living in the last seconds of the last days and life cannot go on the same.
We must change, putting away the agendas of men while obeying the voice and leading of God. We must see what God is doing, and do it with Him!
One doesn’t have to have a degree in eschatology (study of the last days) to see the happenings in the world and how they relate to Scripture. This year, especially within the next few months or so, we will see tremendous upheavals in the nations as well as in our own. Let’s pause here to look at some things that indicate to us that times are not the same and that the return of the Messiah is imminent:
We watch with interest the final outcome of Brexit (Britain’s exit from the European Union) and see that her departure will greatly destabilise Europe. This will prepare the way for the ‘Beast’ of Rev 13 who rises out of the EU nations. Space does not allow me to go into Daniel’s prophecy and others that tie in with Revelation, except to say that the climate is right to usher the entry of the ‘unholy trinity’ – the Beast, the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet on the scene!
Microchipping on the human body is being tested, numbering of every individual in every nation is underway. It’s for effective service delivery, but for what other purpose? (See Rev 13:18). Far-fetched? We’ll see.
Political upheavals are taking place in many countries at the same time. As corrupt leaders are being exposed, civil unrest ensues, resulting often in a heavy response from the authorities. So the cycle of violence continues.
Moving to the Middle East we can see the nations are lining up for their respective roles to play as prophesied in the scriptures. Ezekiel 38 talks about the nations getting ready to invade Israel, the main ones being Turkey, Iran and Russia. Each have military bases in Syria, just across the border from Israel. Iran’s proxies are right up in Gaza via Hamas, and in Lebanon and Syria via the terror group, Hezbollah. Huge tunnels have been dug underneath Israel from Gaza and Lebanon which Israel has successfully detected and are destroying them.
Israel is gearing up on all her borders because of the threats around her. She has vast amounts of natural resources and the recent discovery of oil is now being eyed by those nations mentioned. Even her fresh water source is plentiful while the Euphrates coming out from Turkey is drying up.
These nations wish to grab hold of the spoils, thus will attack Israel. The Bible has already predicted this. God will put a “hook” in the jaws of the nations and pull them in to battle (Ez 38: 4). There, He will destroy them on the mountains of Israel (Ez 38:18-23; Zech 12:9)
For those who have spiritual eyes to discern, keep a watch on Israel, God’s time clock. This is a good time to visit Israel and see prophecy happening before your eyes. Coupled with this is the shaky world stock markets affected by the troubles in many regions of the world. Not to mention of course are the atrocious weather patterns and natural disasters such as tsunamis, cyclones, earthquakes and even bushfires which are causing havoc. These are “birth pains” the Bible talks about. Birth pains simply means a delivery is coming soon. It’s around the corner.
Yet look at much of the church. Weare carrying on as if life will go on as normal forever. We play petty politics in our churches, arguing and fighting for the top job and how we canget rich at the expense of our parishioners. We fight on which is the right day of worship and even put laws about the right dressing for Sundays. All this religious playing around while we miss God’s point. Again I say, let’s see what God is doing and do it with Him.
Where is God active today? What is He doing? Apart from building His Kingdom in the whole earth, He is currently setting Europe and the Middle East in order, ready for His coming.
The point of contention will be Israel and the location to trigger the fire will be Temple Mount where the temple once stood but now is occupied by the Moslem Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosques. Jews and Moslems claim ownership and it will soon be fought over.
To prepare for the last days scenario, God is bringing back his people whom He scattered to the four corners of the earth. They are coming back in droves as God regathers them again to the land He gave them in covenant (Jer 31:10). Whether the Palestinians and other Arabs like it or not, God is doing it and no one will stop Him.
But who do you think He expects to assist in bringing His people back? His ‘other’ people – the church in the nations! We the Christian church in PNG are also called to assist Israel in her restoration. That is our mandate (Is 49:22). Are we doing it?
One local church in the capitalcity has been doing this quite admirably. The AOG Harvest Centre at Gordon’s know their prophetic responsibility and are showing the way in obedience to God to see His hand of blessing. The pastors of HarvestCentre under theleadership of Rev Tony Dalaka have for many years been blowing the trumpet to get the nation to side with Israel.
After the disastrous recent vote by PNG against Israel on the question of Jerusalem, these pastors made it clear to the political leaders of our country that our nation’s success hinges on our attitude towards Israel. Being politically correct is one thing; being biblically correct is everything!
All the fancy ear-tickling prophesies about PNG being the best prototype nation and all that jazz is simply sweet talk if we will continue to turn our backs on Israel! Pastor Tom Watinga at one service even challenged PNG: “If we are serious, it’s time to be bold enough to set up our embassy in Jerusalem!”
This particular congregation has truly risen to the call to bless Israel. They have given over a million kina to assist with the Jewish Aliya (return of the Jews from around the world). They hold annual Israel conventions with their partner, Prophet Dr Anadorai and hold annual tours to Israel. I witnessed this first hand when my guest in 2016, Jewish evangelist Ps David Silver from Haifa, was hosted one Sunday at their church. The church took their normal Sunday offering of over K9,000and placed it in Ps David’s hands! That is truly an act of loveto bless God’sconvent nation. No wonder that church is being blessed by God!
No, we are not saying nothing else matters, only Israel. Building God’s Kingdom in our nation and sending missionaries to the nations is just as important. God is also in that work.
In the final part next week, we will explore this and other things necessary for preparing ourselves for the imminent return of our Messiah, Yeshua Ha Messiach, Jesus Christ our Lord!
- Rev Seik Pitoi is a freelance writer