Passover Past, Present, and Future | by Daryl Hedding

Passover Past, Present, and Future | by Daryl Hedding


Passover will be celebrated in Israel under most unusual circumstances this year. Remarkably, every Jewish family will be confined to their homes under strict quarantine as protection from the Coronavirus, drawing stark parallels to that very first Passover in Egypt when the Hebrews were saved from God’s last plague upon Egypt by following the instructions given to them via Moses.

Overlapping with Passover week, Christians around the world are also under strict stay-at-home orders. They will celebrate Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, perhaps even sharing Communion by some kind of online streaming service. Of course, the overlap in meaning runs much deeper than just timing, since the blood of the lamb that saved the Hebrew lives is clearly seen by Christians as a foreshadow of Christ’s shed blood that saves us from the penalty of sin, which is death. No wonder then that John the Baptist referred to Jesus as “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Egypt itself becomes to the believer a representation of sin, referred to by God in Exodus 20: 2 as “the house of bondage.” Jesus has freed us from the bondage of sin, just as God freed the Hebrews from slavery from Egypt.

The Apostle Paul sums it up this way in:

“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6: 20-23

No longer slaves to sin, we are to be slaves to God and His righteousness. This is the freedom into which we have been called, and the freedom we celebrate when we reflect on Christ’s death and resurrection this week.

Last Sunday marked the start of Holy Week as churches around the world celebrated Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The Apostle John in his gospel records an intriguing conversation Jesus had after this when some Greeks asked to see Him. It’s not clear from scripture whether Jesus’ response was to those Greeks or to His disciples, but what He had to say is certainly relevant for all of us.

Passover Past

Jesus speaks in John 12:24 of the necessity for a grain of wheat to fall to the ground and die to produce much grain. In other words, without death, there can be no provision of life. We see this clearly portrayed in the Passover story, with countless thousands of lambs having been slaughtered that night to save many lives.

But, Jesus’ use of this term grain, or seed reveals a deeper understanding on His part of the unique role to which He was called. When He entered Jerusalem on a donkey the people were shouting “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!”. Perhaps they were expecting a king to drive out the Romans from the holy city, but He turned to the Temple and cleaned it out instead. Within a few days, the city responded by calling for His crucifixion at the hands of their overlords, the Romans.

Yet, the Apostle Peter explains their rejection this way:

“Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.” Acts 3:17-18

The Jews and their rulers could not comprehend Jesus’ calling as the suffering servant, and yet also the King of Israel. He presented Himself as their King and yet suffered and died as a lamb led to slaughter. Sometimes, in our human thinking we get caught in an “either-or” mentality. This certainly could have been part of the problem.

The term “seed” has two remarkable references in scripture that speak directly to Jesus’ credentials. The first one is found in Genesis where Abraham follows God’s directive to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. In response to Abraham’s obedience, the Lord says to him, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Genesis 22:18

This is the first time that God clarifies for Abraham that it is specifically through his seed that the nations of the earth would be blessed. The term seed here is in the singular referring to one individual who would come to save the world. This ‘seed’ is none other than Jesus Himself.

Another reference to a seed is evident in the Book of 2 Samuel, which records the covenant God made with David:

“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” 2 Samuel 7

God promises David that a descendant would come after him, whose kingdom would never end! So, when Jesus implied that He must die, the Jews responded to Him in John 12 vs 43 that the Messiah remains forever when He comes. They were looking for the seed of David but had forgotten that He is also the seed of Abraham. Yes, He is the rightful heir to the throne of David, but He is also the sacrificial lamb God promised to Abraham when he took Isaac up Mount Moriah.

Passover Present

Jesus declares in the book of John:

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” John 12:32

So, the seed promised to Abraham, would be taken up Mt. Moriah, just as Isaac was and sacrificed for the sins of the world. And through this act, He would fulfill the promise made to Abraham that through his seed, all the families of the earth would be blessed through salvation. Perhaps the Greeks who came to speak with Jesus, were reminded of God’s promise to Abraham 2000 years before. The truth is God called Israel into existence to bring forth for the world the blessings of redemption – the Word of God, the law, the prophets and the messiah (Romans 9:4-5).

The Gospel of Mark records the message Jesus preached as He began His ministry:

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15

Jesus message was simple and efficient, in just two sentences explaining that now was the time of messiah, that His kingdom was about to be established and that the way to gain citizenship in that kingdom is to turn from sin and believe in the good news that Jesus paid the price for our sins.

That message is as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago. This Passover, there is still time for people from every part of the world to respond to Jesus’ invitation, to look upon Him who was lifted up and receive His free gift of salvation.

Passover Future

When Jesus was taken up to heaven after His resurrection, Acts 1 records that two angels appeared to the disciples and told them He would return in the same way. In Revelation 19 we are given a vivid picture of this return as Jesus comes riding on the white horse of victory to rule the nations with a rod of iron. He is the seed promised to King David, and the one whose kingdom will never end.

But, before Jesus’ return the book of Revelation records the judgment that falls suddenly upon Babylon for her sins, destroying her in a single hour and causing the people of the earth to weep and wail at the economic destruction. In the midst of this, God speaks to His people saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4

There is a time coming, and perhaps in God’s grace we have been given a glimpse of it now, when the systems of this world will be judged as Egypt was that very first Passover. And the judgment will be quick, with plagues and devastation leveling the global economy in moment. Just six months ago, these verses may have seemed unbelievable to many people, but in light of the impact one coronavirus has caused, we can see how Scripture can be remarkably fulfilled.

As the people of God, we need to hear the words of warning and use this time of isolation to find our identity in Christ alone. We must live according to His righteousness and forsake the worldly systems that so easily corrupt.

We should take these days seriously, following the lead of Jesus who Himself said,

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” John 12:27-28

Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

Jesus was honest about what He was about to face, a betrayal and a foreseeable cruel death by crucifixion. It troubled him deeply. Yet, through it all, He understood His purpose, that as the “seed” He was called to that hour and through His faithfulness, God the Father would be glorified in all the earth.

We may find ourselves troubled by the events we see happening in the world today, or even so when we read in Revelation of the complete devastation to come. However, we need the mind of Christ at this time, to understand that He has called us to this hour for a purpose, that God Himself might be glorified. Jesus remains the perfect example for us to follow.

If we will set our minds to seek the Father’s glory, He will surely answer us as He did Jesus, and we will see His name glorified in the earth once more.


Daryl Hedding

The Shai Fund Receives International Recognition

The Shai Fund Receives International Recognition

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“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, “Come, you
blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you
gave Me food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a
stranger and you took Me in; I was naked, and you clothed Me;
I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to

Then the righteous will answer Him saying, ‘Lord, when did we
see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or clothe You?
Or, when did we see You sick or in prison, and come to You?’ And
the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you,
inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren,
you did it to Me.”
Matthew 25:34-40

At a prestigious international event held in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, on the 20th October 2019 the Shai Fund became the joint winner of the annual Aurora Award in recognition of its outstanding service to the suffering people of the Middle East and beyond. The official designation of this prize is summed up as follows:

“The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity to the plight of
countless survivors around the world who owe their chance
of life to the generosity of others.”

The Shai Fund has for some years now alleviated the pain of suffering and persecution that has visited the Christians of Iraq, Syria and beyond at the hands of ISIS and other radical Islamic terrorist movements. The Executive Director of the Shai Fund, Charmaine Hedding, has personally gone into these regions of the Middle East, at great risk to her personal safety, in order to bring refuge, medical treatment, help and care to the suffering Church. Much of this work was done at a time when ISIS still possessed its Caliphate and so it was a dangerous initiative that required wisdom and the grace of God to discharge. Charmaine was unflinching in her determination to fulfill the call of God over her life and so her courage is an inspiration to all of us and a testimony to the authenticity of the purpose of God flowing through her life.

That the Shai Fund has now received international recognition for its work constitutes an affirmation as to the excellent manner in which this non-profit organization runs its affairs and it constitutes a reassurance to donors that their financial contributions to the organization are rightly deployed according to their wishes. The Shai Fund is registered in the great state of Tennessee and its headquarters are situated in Murfreesboro. There is no doubt that the good people of Middle Tennessee, including World Outreach Church, ungirded its beginnings by their financial support and spiritual encouragement. Charmaine Hedding has not forgotten these small beginnings and is thankful for the many people who believed in her and supported her mission. Truly God be praised!

Charmaine began reaching out to the suffering Christians of the world when she first became aware of the plight of the South Sudanese Christians in Africa. Two million of these people were literally butchered by the Muslims of North Sudan and largely suffered alone. She came to their aid and at present she is reaching out to Christians elsewhere in the Middle East and to those who are now suffering at the hands of Boko Haram in Nigeria. It is important to note that the Shai Fund on average helps “ten thousand people every year who are under significant distress.” She needs your prayers and your financial support.

You can with confidence enable the Shai Fund to help the suffering Church of the Middle East and beyond by visiting its website at: or by mailing your gift to:

The Shai Fund
500 N. Walnut Street,
Tennessee, 37128,

Thank you and many blessings in Jesus,

Malcolm Hedding

A proud father!

The Gnostic Gospel – October 13th


                                                “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter

                                                times some will depart from the faith,

                                                giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines

                                                of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy,

                                                having their own conscience seared with a

                                                hot iron…”

                                                                                1 Timothy 4:1-2

                                                “Beware lest anyone cheat you through

                                                philosophy and empty deceit, according to

                                                the tradition of men, according to the basic

                                                principles of the world, and not according to


                                                                                Colossians 2:8


This, for me, is one of the most important and significant papers that I have written in years. A corrupt Gospel is infiltrating the mainstream evangelical church and its appeal lies in the fact that it is promising believers a new power and authority that the church has never seen or had before. All of this is based on special revelation knowledge that the preachers of this message claim to have received. This is a form Gnosticism and it effectively robs the believer of the blessings and power of the cross. It is in fact not new but it is very dangerous and it is being promoted by leaders from the so called, “Emerging Church” and the neo-Pentecostal movement. It is also becoming so “regular” now that if you challenge it you are considered out of step with God. I therefore submit this document to you as a warning lest you be carried away with a teaching that will “tickle your ears.”


The Gnostic Gospel is that idea that a preacher, at a given point in time, has special revelation knowledge that when shared with God’s people has to be immediately acted upon in order to receive spiritual gifts, blessings and authority. Failure to act in the moment designated by the preacher will disinvest the hearer of the blessings promised by the preacher.

The buzz word used by these false teachers is, “Impartation.”

A more general definition is that Gnosticism is, a religious orientation advocating revelation knowledge as the way to release a person’s spiritual element.

True Preaching

True preaching will always have the cross central to its proclamation and it will serve the truths surrounding the cross by calling upon its hearers to repent and make Jesus Lord of their lives. Paul emphasized this time and time again:

                “For I determined not to know anything among you except

                                                Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

                                                                                1 Corinthians 2:2

“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our

Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

                                                                                Galatians 6:14

  “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be

 made of no effect.”

                                                                                1 Corinthians 1:17

It will also remind the believers in Jesus that God in Christ gave them everything they need “for life and godliness” 2000 years ago when Jesus died and rose again from the dead (2 Peter 1:3). God can give us nothing more because, as Paul affirms in his letter to the Ephesian Church, He has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3) Paul’s statement is in the past tense and this means that God can give you nothing more as He has given you everything He has in Christ. In short, God’s “more box “is empty and Christians who are called out in meetings to get more of God are just deceived. The fact is, God wants more of you! Jesus died to get God out of Heaven into man and this is why the veil in the temple was split from the top to the bottom. (Matthew 27:51) Paul knew that Christians would not easily understand this truth and thus, once again, in his Ephesian letter he writes:

“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord

 Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to

 give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,

 may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in

 the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding

 being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope

 of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His

 inheritance in the saints…..,”

                                                                                                                Ephesians 1:15-18

It will be noted that Paul’s prayer is that we should understand, not what we can get from God, but what He can get from us! God, by Christ, wants His inheritance in us. God wants more of us and this means that we walk a life of surrender, submission, prayer devotion and fellowship. The Bible calls this picking up your cross daily and following Christ. (Luke 9:23) This is a daily joy, privilege and discipline. The seeking of instant encounters with God in a meeting driven by a Gnostic preacher will not give God His inheritance in us. It is the daily pressing in to all that Jesus purchased for us on the cross that brings us into the riches released to us by the cross 2000 years ago. True preaching declares the truths of God’s word and allows the Holy Spirit to bring these to the hearts of the hearers. After Peter preached on the day of Pentecost we read that, “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) True preaching does not drive the sheep, it leads them!


This in turn means that all the blessings God has for us in Christ can be appropriated at anytime; even when shopping in a super-market! True preaching will serve Christ by telling the truth and it will not suggest that God’s blessings are dependent upon responding to a preacher and his special revelation knowledge at a moment in time. True preaching will also recognize and declare that, after repentance and faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross, the believer has to be baptized in water, filled with the Spirit, placed in a local church and conformed to the image of Christ. This is our holy calling and nothing more.

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets,

and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the

saints for the work of the ministry. Till we all come to the

unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God,

 to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the full-

ness of Christ.”

                                                                                                Ephesians 4:11-12

It will be noted that gift ministries are given to the people of God in order to bring them to Christ’s image. Their “equipping of the saints” is with this end in mind only (See also Romans 8:29-30). This is very important because the Gnostic preachers are now telling us that by revelation and apostolic gifting our calling is to take over the nations and rule them but Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36) To support their error they routinely twist scripture, violate its context and thereby deceive the people of God. This is a very serious matter; for instance they will have you believe, by their special revelation, that the Church in the end time will be infused with a power that the Church of all ages did not have. A “Super Christian” is going to emerge who will be anointed to govern nations and Jesus will not return until the Church takes this place of authority. This is a lie and Paul rebuked this lie in his first letter to the Corinthians:

 “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you

have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive

 it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? You are

already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings

 without us-and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also

might reign with you!”

                                                                                                1 Corinthians 4:7-8

Here Paul rebukes them for claiming a position and authority that God in fact has never given them. In the church age the people of God walk in humility and weakness recognizing that our weakness and imperfection precludes us from taking the position of dominion that God once gave perfect Adam! However, we do see Jesus who by His incarnation and death on the cross has begun a work of redemption in our lives. This work will only find its completion when Jesus comes again and then, and only then, will we reign with him. Now at this time, like Paul, we are “as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake” because we are weak and dishonored! (Hebrews 2:8-9; 1 Corinthians 4:9-10). No, there will be no super empowered Christian at the end of the age and preachers who claim this nonsense must be and should be ignored.

False Preachers

These strut around the platform “dispensing the holy water” of their Gnostic gospel by claiming special revelation that has to be embraced at the moment they designate. If refused the people of God are told that they will forfeit this moment of God’s opportunity. This results in an altar call frenzy that is stirred up by the preacher that sees God’s people desperate to grab the moment. All of this is a gross distortion of the Christian faith and yet it is becoming so main stream that the people of God cannot recognize this. I recently attended a conference where the preacher promised, by revelation given only to him, that if the congregation did as he told them they would receive new authority in their nations and within twelve months untold riches. Those who would not respond as he desired would be left spiritually destitute. This is garbage and no one should be exploited like this in the house of God. Jesus weeps! It’s time for the new money changers to be cleansed from the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Scripture everywhere warns that the end time church will be infiltrated by spiritual imposters:

 “But there were also false prophets among the people, even

 as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly

bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who

bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And

 many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the

 way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will

exploit you with deceptive words…………….”

                                                                                                                2 Peter 2:1-3

The “Altar Call” is a mechanism that these new Gnostic preachers are exploiting. Actually, the altar call phenomenon is a relative new comer to the church’s order of service. In its modern form it was popularized by the great evangelist of the nineteenth century, Charles Finney. Billy Graham also made good use of it and both evangelists, with Peter the Apostle, employed it as a way in which people could respond to the proclamation of the Gospel. This is good; but the modern day habit of using it to dispense spiritual blessings to the people of God has exalted the preacher, impoverished the people of God by denying their personal priesthood and taught them to expect “instant things” from God. The people of God are blessed and built up in their faith only as they learn to walk with Christ daily and follow him (Acts 2:42). If they need prayer for anything they should call for the elders/leaders of the Church to pray for them. (James 5:13-15) Take note, the preacher doesn’t call them out, they call the preacher out! They should be dealt with lovingly and in a probing manner since unconfessed wickedness and sin could be at the root of their problem. These things cannot be sorted out at an altar call but sadly the altar call has morphed into a tool by which Gnostic Preachers routinely abuse the people of God by playing on their emotions. Oral Roberts, the famous Pentecostal evangelist realized, to his credit, that a lot of what was happening at the altar call in his great tent meetings was psychosomatic, or a change of state only induced for a short time by intense emotional responses to the altar call invitation, and thus he withdrew from the practice except where it was used to call people to repent and make Christ their Lord.


Paul recognized that the message of false preachers had an appeal in that it promised the people of God all sorts of blessings and who doesn’t want these? The Corinthian Church was being infused with these preachers and why would it not be true today? He therefore wrote:

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his

craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity

 that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus

whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different

spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which

you have not accepted-you may well put up with it.”

                                                                                                2 Corinthians 11:3-4


A true preacher is an Under Shepherd of Jesus, the Great Shepherd, and so he will rest Jesus’ flock and never drive them. He will love them, care for them and defend them from wolves (Acts 20:17-31) and he will proclaim truth in the power of the Holy Spirit all the while trusting Jesus to effectively apply it to people’s lives. Today the wolves of the Gnostic Gospel are everywhere and we need to be aware of it and forearmed to avoid them. We should take seriously Paul’s admonition to the Elders of Ephesus when he said:

“For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will

come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among

yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw

away the disciples after themselves.”

                                                                                                Acts 20:29-30

Paul’s antidote for this attack against the flock is to lead the people to continuously live in the word of God and thereby to have their lives changed, built up and blessed.

“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of

 His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheri-

tance among all those who are sanctified.
Acts 20:32

James gives the same advice:

“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness,

 and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able

 to save your souls.”

                                                                                                James 1:21

Preaching is always good and required but at the end of the day we are all believer priests and we have to individually appropriate all that Christ Jesus has done for us on the cross. It is he that endures to the end who will be saved; whether that “end” is our personal departures or the coming of Jesus.


Malcolm Hedding

Jesus’ Throne – World Update

Jesus’ Throne – World Update

Bible Blog Prayer Uncategorized

“But know this, that in the last days perilous
times will come…..”
2 Timothy 3:1

“See that you do not refuse Him who speaks
For if they did not escape who refused Him
who spoke on earth, much more shall we not
escape if we turn away from Him who speaks
from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth;
but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once
more I shake not only the earth but also heaven.”
Hebrews 12:25-26

Events in Israel this week and the downing of the Malaysian airliner over the separatist Ukraine have brought the world to a new place of danger and chaos. Paul was thus right when he wrote that the Spirit of a God warns that in the latter days fierce times would befall the world. These days are upon us and we should all tremble because God is shaking all things so that, in the end, only those things that are built upon His purpose and word will survive. More upheavals are on the way.

Scripture affirms that Jesus will remain at the right hand of glory until his enemies become His footstool. (Matthew 22:44) This means that God will now bring evil out into the open like a festering sore and then He will crush it. Just think; Israel most certainly has a right to defend itself in the face of a sustained missile attack from a Muslim group that is totally dedicated to her destruction. Yet the world constantly pressurizes her to show restraint so that this group, that uses its people, women and children, as human shields, can survive to fight another day with even more sophisticated weaponry supplied by Iran. Everyone knows this but they turn a blind eye and demand that Israel be lenient and show restraint. This is absurd, wicked and revealing in that it demonstrates the anti-Jewish attitudes in the world but, more telling; the commitment of global leaders to evil all in the name of appeasement and political correctness. All couched in political double speak and deception. The mainstream media is a player in this hatred of all things Israeli. Their reporting on the conflict with Hamas is appalling and loaded against Israel. They are coming to Jesus’ footstool.

Then there’s Iran, rushing undeterred toward a nuclear ability and once again, the average Joe knows it but apparently not our leaders and politicians in the West. They run around the world with no moral compass, look evil in the face and do nothing. Actually they give time and space for Iran to race towards nuclear armament and once again, we all knew this would happen. So, they have extended a deadline that Iran was supposed to meet and all the time the Iranian centrifuges continue to spin. They too are coming to Jesus’ footstool.

The Church at large too is plunging toward wickedness and evil as it embraces sexual lifestyles that are clearly prohibited by scripture and thereby it gives support to an agenda that undermines marriage and the family; the bedrock of society for thousands of years. Paul again warned that in the last days evil people in the Church will arise who, amongst other things, will seek to discredit marriage (1Timothy 4:1-3). These days are here and they are more evident in the light that many historical church movements are aligning themselves with a radical Islamic agenda for the destruction of Israel. This is a harlot church and it is everywhere. Jesus warned about this “prostitute” in His Revelation and thereby urges the true people of God to come out of her (Revelation 18:4). Truly this gospel denying harlot church is also on its way to Jesus’ footstool.

In the end it is time for each of us to awake from our spiritual slumber and:
1. Preach the true Gospel that calls upon all people everywhere to repent and make Jesus Lord of their lives since He is the only way of salvation.

2. Live holy lives that reflect the image of Christ.

3. Gather with believers in local churches that truly reflect biblical values.

4. Stand with Israel and shield the Jewish people everywhere from anti-Semitism….and,

5. Start praying with real biblical credentials.

These are days of great shaking and they will continue. However a Church that stays true to Jesus will not come to His footstool, but to His throne! (Revelation 3:21-22) This is His promise and we must embrace it no matter the cost.

May God help us to do so.

Malcolm hedding.

The Super Snoopers – 22-04-2013

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“O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your
Trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and
Contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge.”

1Timothy 6:20

The “Super Snooper” is the Christian who thinks that it is his spiritual duty to debunk anything pertaining to Christianity that is part of the prevailing culture. In fact this mission, which he or she embarks upon, isolates them from the world that they are called to reach with Christ’s Gospel and turns their witness into something more like hot mustard and vinegar than that of salt and light. Sadly the Super Snooper is proud of his position and never questions why his community of believers is small and ineffective and why his children have rebelled against the system. They defend these realities by affirming that they are the true “little flock and remnant.”

The truth however is that we do not preach against the culture wherein we find ourselves but against sin and ungodliness that afflicts every society. The prevailing culture in Jerusalem in Paul’s day was one of Temple ritual and observance of the Law and he knew that he would have to work with it rather than against it as he preached the Gospel. For this reason he bowed to the culture and did the things that it practiced in order to preach the good news of Jesus. (Acts 21:15-26) The Super Snoop sees this as compromise and failure.

The Target Area

High on the “attack list” of Super Snoopers are Christmas and Easter. At a superficial level their arguments seem plausible but on closer inspection they fall apart. In the western world the celebration of Christmas and Easter have become culturised. That is, part of the fabric of how people live and thus these celebrations constitute their way of life. The commercial world has recognized this and has therefore exploited this way of life as it does all of the prevailing culture. The fact that the commercial world exploits a ball game does not mean that the players on the field do so or the fact that big concerts are exploited by the commercial world does not mean that the musicians or artists do so. It also does not mean that we should never go to a concert or ball game. In like manner, all the Bible believing evangelical churches that I know, and I know a lot of them, always celebrate Easter and Christmas in its biblical context and use these celebrations to reach out to the world with the saving message of Jesus. It is a known fact that many unreached people attend Church once or twice a year at Christmas and Easter because of the culture they live in and thus the Church is afforded a unique opportunity to reach people with Jesus’ message of salvation. The Super Snoopers happily forego this opportunity and so lock their churches on Christmas Day and Easter. “It’s all paganism” they assert and they would rather see people go to a lost eternity than have them in their meetings on the 25th December! By contrast Paul exploited the prevailing culture in which he lived and became all things to all men that he might reach some! (1Corinthians 9:19-23) He even used a pantheon of pagan gods in Athens to do this! (Acts 17:22-34) There is no doubt that whoever built the statue in honor of the “Unknown God” did definitely not have the God of the Bible in mind. It was an unknown pagan god that the builder had in mind and Paul exploited this. The Super Snooper would never do a thing like this just as he wouldn’t celebrate Christmas on the 25th December because the day has pagan associations way back in the past.

The Hypocrisy of Super Snoopers
Sadly it escapes Super Snoopers that in order to hold their position they must reorganize the very calendar by which they live and do their business because all the days of the week are in fact named after pagan gods! So, they will celebrate births, weddings, anniversaries and even deaths on these days but definitely not Christmas or Easter and sadly they cannot see the hypocrisy of all this. I recently met a person like this and he invited me to meet him on Woeden’s Day at a certain time. Woeden’s Day is Wednesday! When I pointed this out to him he was unable to explain his position. He was a hypocrite by default not by intention and I lovingly pointed this out to him. The Super Snooper is therefore selective in his war with the culture around him; he has withdrawn from this culture and has thereby disconnected himself from the purpose of God and, unlike Paul, attributes wisdom and spirituality to himself by so doing. Many are sadly ensnared by this stuff.

An examination of Church history reveals that Christianity designated the celebrations of Easter and Christmas on particular days not to bring paganism into the Church but to demonstrate the triumph of the Church over the pagan origins of these feasts and days. To condemn the celebration of these days because of the ancient pagan root attached to them would be the same as condemning Paul for using a pagan idol in Athens to preach the good news of Jesus. We end up hypocrites!

The Testimony of Great Christians
Great Christians, that we all honor and respect, down through the centuries celebrated Christmas and Easter. No one can deny this and to assert that they were in some way blinded is arrogance at its best. They brought thousands, if not millions, to Christ and they used every opportunity to do so including Christmas and Easter; eternity will testify to this. The Super Snooper wills say on “That Day”, “Lord we knew you were holy and righteous and closed our doors on Christmas Day and Easter in order to honor You and so here I give You the “talent” back that You gave me. It has not been multiplied in honor of Your name.” I will leave you to consider what our Lord’s response will be but Matthew twenty-five verses twenty-four to twenty-eight might help you?”

In addition there is no harm in decorating one’s home during these celebrations, with a Christmas tree! Even the Lord God of Heaven decorates His great messianic Temple with trees. (Ezekiel 41:18-20) Actually, many of us decorate our homes anyway with trees! One can enter many homes and find them done out with small decorative trees. The thing is, we do not worship these trees and in all my sixty-one years of living under the sun I have never seen a real Christian, or anybody for that matter, worship a Christmas tree. Have you? It is merely a thing of beauty and it goes back to the great Reformer Martin Luther who encouraged Christians everywhere to decorate trees with candles in honor of Jesus’ birth. The Super Snooper will of course try and make his case against Christmas Trees by quoting Jeremiah ten verses one to five which has to do with cutting down trees and decorating them with the express intention of worshipping them as gods. Christmas trees have never been put to this use and this is why almost all the great preachers of history have endorsed them and decorated their homes with them.

The Real Casualties
A home beautifully adorned to honor Jesus is a place of blessing, warmth, love and precious memories. Christmas and Easter in our home was always traditional, still is, and the precious memories of family and friends together, reading the Word of God, praying and giving thanks to God for the gift of Jesus’ life and death, will remain with us forever. We took strangers and lonely people in at Christmas time and shared the wondrous love of God with them. Was God pleased? I think so. By contrast the Super Snooper locked his home and Church, hid away and said “Humbug!” Sadly, the real casualties in all of this were his children. They entered the homes of fellow Christian friends and saw the beauty, felt the warmth and wondered why they couldn’t share in all of this? For these kids Christianity became a “kill joy” and when they went home and enquired of their parents why they didn’t celebrate as other Christians did they were told, “Because these Christians are not as spiritual as we are and are doing pagan things!” How else could they answer? In most cases, and this too I have seen in all my years of church planting and ministry, these children rebelled against the Christian faith and departed wholly from the Church. I could tell you story after story in this regard.

The Ongoing Saga
Sadly, all of this doesn’t stop with Easter and Christmas but spills over into other areas of faith and practice. For instance, I know Christians who will not use the name of Jesus in a culture that is traditionally gentile and Christian. They will quickly rebuke you and demand that you use Jesus’ Hebrew name only; Yeshua. In the Jewish/Israeli world this might be a “key” but even here I have discovered that Israelis, who I lived amongst for fourteen years, prefer Gentile Christians to use the word Jesus. But to be counter culture in a predominantly Christian culture is not smart or helpful towards leading the people of this culture, who are only familiar with the term Jesus, to Christ. Again, upon enquiry, their churches are small, out of touch with the culture around them and, to be honest, strange. I have been in many of these and have looked for the sign “exit.”

More problematic still is the fact that many pro-Israel Christians begin to propagate these things in their churches resulting in pressure groups forming that in the end cause division and schism. This should not be as it brings the legitimate Israel ministry into disrepute and puts ministers on their guard about allowing it to enter their churches. This too I have seen over the years. To have a biblical understanding of Israel should make one an added blessing to the local church and not a source of confusion and more than ever these Christians should have a heart for global missions if they love Israel; for when the “fullness of the Gentiles have come in then all Israel will be saved.” (Romans 11:25-26) Paul exhorts us to me mature in our understanding and not given to doubtful disputes and things that are not essential. (1Corinthians 14:20)

In the end, I would far rather have overflowing churches on Christmas Day and Easter than empty ones and I would far rather have homes beautifully decorated that build precious and godly family memories than empty and barren ones. I would prefer in every way to hear the wonderful stories of the Incarnation and the death of Christ read to family and friends, accompanied with prayer and praise to God than silence and I would prefer to sing the great and marvelous Carols of the Church on Christmas Day than have the doors of the Church locked. I find great joy and peace as I meditate quietly on Good Friday on all that happened to my dear Savior and I happily join the great throng of those who enter the House of God on Easter Sunday to celebrate the glorious resurrection of Jesus.

Quite frankly, we don’t need any more “unreformed Scrooges’ but what we do need is godly families that will take advantage of the prevailing culture, as Paul did, to share the Good News that Jesus has conquered death for all people and calls all people everywhere to respond to His love through repentance and faith is His finished work on the cross.

Malcolm Hedding.

Gog of Magog

Blog Christian Zionism Church Israel Jesus Uncategorized Weekly Devotional

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.”
Ezekiel 38: 1-3

For years I have struggled with the placement of Ezekiel 37-38 in the end time picture. For many expositors these chapters are seen as imminent in fulfillment. That is, just around the corner at anytime and definitely before the manifestation of a global anti-Christ system. My problem with this thesis is that the chapters in question describe the people of Israel as a people at rest, freed from security threats and dwelling in “unwalled villages’ having “neither bars nor gates.” This most certainly does not describe Israel today and the passage in question repeats this peaceful state of affairs a few times. So, it is not just an isolated thought. This fact discredits completely the “imminent theory”, referred to above and thus forces us to find another explanation in order to do proper justice to the context.

Most certainly Ezekiel 36 speaks of the modern day return of the Jewish people to their god-given and ancient homeland after enduring a dispersion of global proportions. This return has two phases: First a physical phase to the land and then second, a spiritual return to the Lord. (Ezekiel 36:24-28) The latter will secure their domicile on the land and issue in the coming of Messiah, in these passages referred to as “David their Prince.” David’s arrival will guarantee true peace for the people of Israel. (Ezekiel37:24-28)

Ezekiel 37 essential affirms the miraculous survival of Israel in spite of being subjected to genocidal campaigns through the centuries, the most vicious of which being the Nazi Holocaust. The “Dry Bones” analogy is thus appropriate and remarkable. We have all preached from it. However, chapter 38 introduces us to a huge conflict aimed at removing Israel’s existence once and for all from the earth. The conflict erupts when Israel is at total peace and unsuspecting and is driven by an entity called Gog of Magog. (Ezekiel 38:10-17) Suddenly, like a whirlwind from nowhere, an international conglomeration of nations called Gog of Magog attacks Israel.

This huge assault against Israel is actually birthed in the sovereignty of God as He brings these nations against Israel in battle and this contrary to their desire! The God of Israel turns them around and puts hooks in their jaws so as to drive them towards the peaceful hills and plains of Israel. (Ezeliel38: 4-8) The clear purpose of this campaign is to remove unbelief from Zion (Ezekiel 39:7) and bring about the full restoration of all things promised to them. (Acts3:19-21) This attack against Israel is furthermore said to be the great “Day” that God in His word has always spoken about. That is, the Day of the Lord! (Ezekiel 39:8, 22; Acts 2:16-21) Another strategic accomplishment of this campaign will be to humble the nations and all their false gods. (Ezekiel 39:23) Moreover, through these catastrophic events the nations will recognize the peculiar role that Israel has played out through the centuries in terms of mediating God’s plan of redemption to the world. (Ezekiel39:21-24)

Given that all this is clear from the passages in question it is my view that, in the near future, Israel will face a short but bruising conflict in the Middle East region. This conflict is building with every passing day and one would be blind not to see it. An Islamic awakening throughout the Middle East is driving a renewed hope of being able to destroy Israel. It will not happen and Islam will be humbled but Israel and the world will pay a great cost. Consequently, there will be urgent and desperate calls for effective global government and an end to the Arab/Israeli conflict. This will be achieved and peace will be ushered in with great fanfare and optimism. Finally, Israel will be at peace and at rest and she will no longer be threatened internally or externally by anyone but she will still be in a state of unbelief. It will be a false peace but it will prevail long enough to induce a lack of watchfulness and maybe even disarmament. (1Thessalonians5:1-5)

In short Israel will be unprepared and totally caught off guard. This rapid and unsuspecting attack by Gog of Magog will be like another Yom Kippur War but only far more dangerous. Israel will have no possibility of survival; she will be facing certain annihilation. (Ezekiel 38:9; Ezekiel 38:14-17) It is precisely here that the God of the Bible will step in and, by miraculous intervention, will deliver Israel physically and spiritually. (Ezekiel 38:18-39:1-8) David, Israel’s great King, will arrive, wash away her sins and reign from Jerusalem. (Zechariah 12-14)

It is therefore my contention that the battle with Gog of Magog is the final battle that will take place on the Day of the Lord just after the great tribulation. It is on this “Day of Affliction” that Israel will cry out to Messiah Jesus for salvation and deliverance. (Hosea 5:14-6:1-3) The miraculous and decisive nature of God’s intervention will not only wipe away unbelief in Zion but it will finally demonstrate to the nations the reality, nature and absolute sovereignty of the God of Israel. The nations and their gods will be humbled and shamed.

In the immediate future then, I believe that the Holy Spirit is warning His people about an imminent war in Israel. We must have no doubt that the issues facing Israel today are very critical, dangerous and urgent. She is facing yet another attempt to destroy her. On September 26th all nations, through the United Nations, will attempt to disinvest Israel of her heartland and of Jerusalem. Israel’s non-compliance is going to inevitably provoke conflict. She is not at rest or at peace and is fully armed! We must pray and learn to pray as never before. Our prayers must give God no rest as this looming battle is upon us.

The conflict will see Israel emerge victorious, though battered. A, so called, lasting peace will be forged heralding a “new age” of regional development and global understanding. Christians will be “out of step” with this era and will have to pay a price for their rejection of the “New World Order.” (Revelation 13:7-10)

When the Davidic Prince arrives after the great conflict of Gog and Magog a “Golden or Messianic Age” will be ushered in bringing true peace to a broken world. (Isaiah2:1-4) At the conclusion of this “Age” the nations will again seek to destroy Israel and thus Gog of Magog will again ascend to the Holy City of Jerusalem in one last attempt to destroy Israel and their Messiah Prince. (Revelation20:7-10)

The Book of Revelation takes “seed concepts” like Babylon and the coming “Beast” and expands them into global concepts. That is, it includes the original nature of the concept but makes it bigger and thus global. So, Babylon the city, situated in modern day Iraq, grows to become Babylon the global system (Revelation17-18) and Antiochus Epiphanes, the evil Seleucid King of the Grecian Empire and original Beast, becomes the final Beast King of all history; the Antichrist. (Daniel8; 2Thessalonians 2 and Revelation 13) In the same way Gog of Magog mutates into a symbol of international rebellion against God, His people and His Messiah. Thus the Book of Revelation describes the final assault against the Holy City of Jerusalem as yet another attempt by the evil demonic spirit of Gog of Magog to extinguish the existence of God. It is all driven by a satanic unseen conspiracy. It too will fail and Gog of Magog will finally be buried in hell!

Malcolm Hedding.

The Ongoing Madness

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The word most heard now or mentioned in publications concerning Israel is, “Isolation”. The now infamous Flotilla incident, which had more to do with an anti-Israel agenda than with humanitarian aid for the beleaguered residents of Gaza, has empowered the anti-Israel left and enabled them to make increased calls for Israel to be isolated. The enemies of Israel have used this incident to further broaden out their attack against Israel at every level. They are sadly supported by much of the global press and the ever vocal radical political left. As a consequence, labour unions, in many parts of the world, are refusing to off load ships with Israeli products on them and historical Christian Church Movements such as Presbyterians, Anglicans and Lutherans are intensifying their calls for disinvestment in Israel.

This “attack” is so widespread, sustained and sadly effective that the “average Joe” everywhere is buying into it or, because of pressure and intimidation, giving into it. The result is that organizations, like the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and others, that stand with Israel are being branded as misguided and viewed as suspect.

This is the climate in which we now operate. In short there is a sustained campaign to delegitimize and dismantle Israel and those who defend her are targeted in the same way. However, we are not moved or persuaded by public opinion but by the Word of the living God. We are thus convinced that Israel’s modern day restoration is not a political coincidence but rather evidence of God’s faithfulness to His word and promise made to Abraham some 4000 years ago. We will stand firm in our support of Israel and her right to exist in and enjoy the land that God forever gave her. (Genesis17:7-8) This includes proclaiming that Jerusalem is and should remain the undivided eternal capital of the Jewish people. Israel’s claims in this regard are beyond dispute.

However, the delegitimizing campaign against Israel has brought together radical Muslims and radical leftists in the western democracies. These are very strange bedfellows as Islam’s well documented abuse of women, honour killings, execution of those from its ranks who convert to other religions, and agenda to introduce Sharia Law wherever it gets a foothold are blatant contradictions of the left’s thinking and very public positions. So, why would “the left” turn a blind eye or tolerate such blatant contradictions of their philosophical world-view? The answer is simple; they unite with radical Islam in their hated of Israel and desire to see her removed from the Middle East.

So, what could be at the root of this mad hatred? Only one thing, anti-Semitism! The hatred of things Jewish is an old deadly malady of the human heart that is so intense that it will unite the most unlikely groups and people. This is a disease of choice. It is not a sickness but a deliberate decision to persecute, hound and destroy Jews. It involves people of all stations of life and thus is not a respecter of persons. The new target of those filled with this hatred is the “corporate Jew” or Israel. By this means they disavow ant-Semitism and affirm that their attack against Israel is legitimate because of political concerns. This is the big lie! These people hate all things Jewish, they propagate the age old lies of the Protocols of the Elders Zion and buy into anything that denies the Holocaust and they will not stop until they have achieved their goals.

Their narrative denies history, twists the truth and even denies any Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Nevertheless, the liberal left marches hand-in-hand with them! Meanwhile, smelling weakness in the American Administration, Ahmadinejad of Iran has stepped up his war against the Jews by prompting Hezbollah into armed conflict with Israel on her northern border and, on the web, he has initiated a new project that by the use of cartoons denies the Holocaust. The message is clear; the Jews were never exterminated by anybody but now they deserve it! When will the madness stop and who will step up to oppose it?

Global Hypocrisy and Selective Morality

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As I write the global media has announced that the civil war in Sri Lanka is over. Well this is good news but one cannot help but wonder why there were not rallies and riots all over the world protesting the killing of civilians as this war dragged to an end over the last few months? Where were the screaming masses that took to the streets in London and elsewhere when Israel, legitimately, defended itself against Hamas initiated terrorism? They were protesting the loss of plus/minus one thousand civilian lives in Gaza. As things turned out just on six hundred of these were Hamas terrorists.

This war in Sri Lanka has seen countless thousands of civilians lose their lives and now two hundred and fifty thousand have been displaced in the last month alone! Did the United Nations hastily convene to condemn this fact? Of course not;……and, what of the European Union? Apart from a few statements, they pursued “business as usual”. This was not Israel so no one cared and no one took to the streets on behalf of the suffering civilian population. This is nothing short of hypocrisy! But we’ve become used to it since it happens time and time again.

Ahmadinejad can deny the Holocaust and call for the destruction of Israel on a global stage, and arm himself with nuclear weapons to do it, and he can walk the halls of government with impunity. As he recently did in Geneva. The masses will not turn out to protest and Iranian flags will not be burned. In fact western European governments will continue doing business with him!! This is the morally bankrupt world we live in. Selective morality is the name of the game and one thing that is always sure is that Israel will always get a bashing!

Her antagonists want concessions from her without recognizing her right to exist and the world, that is the Western World, goes along with this. This, in itself, demonstrates that the goal of those seeking concessions is not a two state solution living side-by-side in peace security but rather a one state solution with Israel consigned to oblivion. How odd that Western politicians can’t see through this or, is there another agenda?

Politics is always filled with intrigue and betrayal not to mention corruption as the British are now finding out. For these reasons it is good to know that there is a God in Heaven who has planned a day of reckoning for all nations. On that day the truth and only the truth will come out and Israel will be the place from which real peace will radiate to the world. The vision will not fail because Isaiah saw it!