Is a quiet spiritual revival occurring across the planet?

From Christianity Today at  https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/december/most-popular-bible-verse-2018-youversion-app-bible-gateway.html

Here is some good news for a change!

The Top Bible Verses of 2018 Don’t Come from Jesus or Paul

For the first time in recent years, YouVersion and Bible Gateway users searched for and shared verses from Old Testament prophets the most.

 The Top Bible Verses of 2018 Don’t Come from Jesus or Paul

It’s a charge that extends back to the earliest parts of Scripture, gets repeated from the lips of Jesus, and resonates the modern world. It’s also the message of the most popular Bible verse of 2018 on YouVersion, the world’s most-downloaded Bible app.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God,” reads the year’s top verse, Isaiah 41:10. “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

That exhortation from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah was shared, bookmarked, and highlighted more than any other passage by hundreds of millions of YouVersion users.

The year’s top honor at Bible Gateway comes from another Old Testament prophet. The most-read verse on the Bible website was the familiar Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

On the leading Bible website, either Jeremiah 29:11 or John 3:16 have topped the annual list every year. (The oft-quoted line from Jeremiah has come to be considered one of the most frequently misinterpreted Bible verses.)

The rest of Bible Gateway’s top 10 come from Psalm 23 (verses 1, 4, 6, and 6), Romans (Romans 8:28 and Romans 12:2), and Matthew (6:33).

YouVersion’s top verse, Isaiah 41:10, ranked thirteenth on Bible Gateway. Bible Gateway’s top verse, Jeremiah 29:11, also spiked to No. 1 in several countries worldwide, according to the YouVersion data.

The two Bible platforms’ lists end up being pretty different from one another each year, evidence that users tend to look up different verses online than they highlight or share during their study time on an app.

This year, Bible Gateway ranked popular verses based on 920 million searches across versions of the site. YouVersion’s picks stem from more than 1.7 billion highlights, bookmarks, and notes on more than 350 million devices.

Previously, YouVersion’s verse of the year award has gone to Joshua 1:9 (2017), Romans 8:28 (2016), and Proverbs 3:5–6 (2015). This year marks a shift to a prophet, but continues the theme of biblical reassurance to digital readers.

“This year’s data shows people worldwide are continuing to turn to the Bible in search of comfort, encouragement, and hope,” said Bobby Gruenewald, pastor and innovation leader for Life.Church and YouVersion founder.

While Isaiah 41:10 was the app’s most popular verse overall in 2018—and the top pick in the United States, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain—several others were ranked as No. 1 in various countries.

Joshua 1:9, the global favorite in 2017, remained the most popular verse in the Central and South American countries of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. John 3:16 took the lead spot in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Turkey. 1 Peter 5:7 topped the list in Egypt, India, and Iraq, and Matthew 6:33 was most popular in Thailand and Vietnam.

Not only was Jeremiah 29:11 the most popular verse of the year on Bible Gateway, it also claimed the YouVersion top spot in countries in the developed West (Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom) and the Global South (Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, and the United Arab Emirates), spanning demographics in a way that other verses didn’t.

At Bible Gateway, top searches for passages included Psalm 91, Psalm 23, Genesis 1, Romans 8, and Matthew 6. Its leading keyword searches of the year were “love,” “peace,” and “faith,” respectively (“amor,” which means love, was the top keyword in Spanish, too). “Holy spirit,” was the eighth-most searched word, “forgive” ranked 15th, and “truth” came in as the 19th most commonly searched term.

And with the help of an emoji-based search on YouVersion’s Bible App, which allows users to tap images corresponding to various emotions, individuals conducted more than 18 million searches to find what the Bible might say to them in the midst of their emotional highs and lows.

YouVersion celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the app in July. In the decade since it originated as one of the Apple App Store’s first 200 applications, the Bible App has grown to include more than 1,800 versions of the Bible in more than 1,250 languages. Across the globe, via the Bible App, 27.2 billion Bible chapters were read in 2018; there were 4.2 billion audio chapter listens; more than 400 million verses were shared; and nearly a billion days of Bible plan readings were completed.

Engagement with God’s Word rose across continents. In Asia, Japan led the way in increased use of the Bible App, doubling over 2017, largely due to the addition of a new Japanese translation of the Bible within the app. Nepal (69%), Indonesia (61%), and Vietnam (59%) also saw big boosts in digital Bible engagement.

European countries like Romania, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Italy amplified their use of the leading Bible application, with increases of 100 percent, 67 percent, 60 percent, 57 percent, and 53 percent, respectively. South American countries also contributed to rising overall engagement, with use in Chile increasing by 79 percent and in Argentina by 60 percent.

“Many of us grew up with the ability to read the Bible in our heart language, but countless people around the world don’t have that privilege. That’s why we’re passionate about making the Bible available in more languages through the app,” said Gruenewald.

Overall Bible engagement on the YouVersion platform reached a new pinnacle this year, featuring a 27 percent year-over-year increase in daily use from 2017. The group’s Bible App for Kids, which launched in 2013 and is now available in 42 languages, saw an increase of 55 percent in installations in the last year, reaching 27 million devices worldwide.

 

The Youth—Spiritual Revival Vs. Spiritual Reversal

While hysterical and mindless young people are demonstrating on the streets of my home city (Portland, Oregon) and elsewhere, vandalizing, terrorizing and defying law and order, at the same time, YHVH is raising up a corps godly young people whom he is spiritually energizing to carry the gospel forward and to be salt and light to our generation. It is my extreme joy and  privilege to be contributive in some small part to this spiritual revival.

At our Sukkot this year in the wilderness high desert mountainous region of Central Oregon, we saw this revival occurring. As posted last week on this blog, you were able to read confessionary praise psalms from two young men—my sons—a 19 and 20 year old. But there was more.

Here is a photo of the young people that were at our Sukkot this year. Some of them are on fire for Yeshua, and some of them haven’t made the commitment yet, but at least they were there to hear the Word and see the Spirit in action.

While some godless, law and order hating, leftist, “progressive”/communistic hooligan youths were marching on the streets in a city near us, not far away, away from Babylon, YHVH was raising up and anointing the next generation to carry the light and truth of his kingdom forward.

Below are pictures of the baptism of a young man that Elohim is raising up.

Young Nathanael’s river baptism.

Young Nathanael was not only baptized for the remission of sins, made a public confession of his faith in and determination to serve and obey Yeshua, but he was baptized in the Set-Apart Spirit, as well, with the initial evidence of an overflowing of joy.

 

Previous to this wondrous event, Nathanael had secretly asked for three signs from heaven to confirm his receipt of the baptism of the Spirit: the wind, the fire and the sun to shine on him. Heaven answered his request. After coming out of the water, a strong and gentle breeze suddenly began to blow on us briefly. It was noticeably dramatic, since there had been no breeze previously all day. Then he felt the fire in his body. Then the clouds parted (it had been cloudy all day, and was even raining a little earlier) and the sun came out shone directly on him. Wow! We serve an awesome Elohim. I found out about his request of heaven’s confirmation after the fact.

Next, we had our young Levitical and prophetic minstrels leading praise and worship several times during Sukkot.

Jared leading praise and worship with the help of Kaleb and young Raphael.

Be encouraged…the kingdom of Elohim is advancing, slowly and quietly. What are you doing to help this occur?

 

 

 

The Florida School Massacre—My Response

YHVH has blessed my wife and I with four beautiful, healthy children. There’s no way for me to even remotely imagine losing a single one for any reason, much less at the hands of a deranged murderer.

“YHVH Elohim, have mercy on the parents, spouses, children, families and friends of those who were murdered. May beauty come from these ashes and out of the midst of this unspeakable tragedy, may people’s hearts be stirred to look heavenward toward you. Help them to seek and to find you, so they can experience the love, peace, joy, mercy and forgiveness that comes only from you. Instead of being angry at you, may they be angry at the sinfulness of fallen humanity that has willfully separated itself from you and now is reaping the consequences of its actions. May this reality cause many to turn to Yeshua the Messiah and to fall repentantly at the foot of his cross in search of redemption from their sins. May they find there the river of life that comes from you as they surrender themselves to your path of spiritual light and righteousness as revealed in your Word, the Bible. Amein.”

In response to the Florida school massacre, I received this note from Jennifer S.

In light of the recent violent shooting, about 20 years ago, I wrote a simple comment in our local newspaper…it was 7 words. “”God out, guns in. Think about it.”” I guess it must have been in response to the Columbine shooting. There were lots of positive comments that came in response to that brief offering. But now, it is ever more relevant today than it was then!  Now that all the so-called “experts” have spoken, this is what needs to be said: If young people were learning “thou shall not kill”, etc., and “bless those who persecute you, pray for those who despitefully use you, do good to them who hate you”, as well as, “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”…there would not be so much extreme violence.

To the list of the reasons behind the increase in mass shooting in the U.S. I would add several other causes.

On that list would NOT be the mindless, mass hysterical response of the leftists that the government needs to confiscate and ban guns. Just ask people who have lived in countries where guns have been confiscated and banned how this has worked out for them! On the other hand, a couple of countries come to mind where the citizens either are Continue reading

 

Some good news for a change in the news: Spiritual Awakening in the White House

Don’t know about you, but I’m to the point that I can hardly read the news any longer because of how much it sickens me.

Everywhere, everywhere, everywhere unprecedented horrors and wickedness here and abroad! It so offends this man of Elohim who has dedicated his life to lifting up biblical values and promoting Yeshua! This tidal wave of evil upon us and the forces of hell unleashed are almost too much for a sane and righteous mind and heart to cope with.

So here’s some good news for a change. It may not exactly be yours or my brand of biblical teaching, but, hey, it’s a start, it gives me great hope and reason to rejoice and I’m also reminded of Paul’s words:

Some indeed preach Messiah even from envy and strife, and some also from good will: The former preach Messiah from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Messiah is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. (Phil 1:15–18)

For all the naysayers out there who hate the Christian church, consider this: If our YHVH Elohim is powerful enough to use Balaam’s ass to speak his words, he can use anyone or anything!

Look, I’m not for or against any political leader or party. I am on the side of Yeshua and truth and righteousness as the Bible defines it. Had these Bible studies been going on in the Obama Whitehouse, I’d have been rejoicing even more!

Maybe the spiritual “revival” going on in the Whitehouse is why the left and so-called “progressives” (they’re anything but!) are trying so desperately hard to bring President Trump and his presidency down! Do you think?

I tend to think that behind the scenes there is a giant cosmic spiritual struggle going on between the forces of good and evil for the soul of this nation. The on-going controversies we read about daily in the news is merely the surface manifestation of this battle in the heavenlies. 

Keep praying for our leaders and keep doing spiritual warfare!!!

Now the good news:

From http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2017/july/bible-studies-at-the-white-house-whos-at-the-heart-of-this-spiritual-awakening

Bible Studies at the White House: Who’s Inside This Spiritual Awakening?

07-31-2017

WASHINGTON – A spiritual awakening is underway at the White House.

Some of the most powerful people in America have been gathering weekly to learn more about God’s Word, and this Trump Cabinet Bible study is making history.

They’ve been called the most evangelical Cabinet in history – men and women who don’t mince words when it comes to where they stand on God and the Bible.

Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries told CBN News, “These are godly individuals that God has risen to a position of prominence in our culture.”

They’re all handpicked by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

“I don’t think Donald Trump has figured out that he chained himself to the Apostle Paul,” Drollinger laughed.

Drollinger is a former NBA-playing giant of a man with an even bigger calling. He founded Capitol Ministries with the idea that if you change the hearts of lawmakers, then their Christian world view will guide them to make good policies.

He’s started Bible studies in 40 state capitols, a number of foreign capitols, teaches weekly studies in the U.S. House and Senate and now leads about a dozen members of President Trump’s Cabinet in weekly studies of the scriptures.

Health Secretary Tom Price, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Agriculture Secretary Sunny Perdue, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo are just a few of the regulars.

“It’s the best Bible study that I’ve ever taught in my life. They are so teachable; they’re so noble; they’re so learned,” Drollinger said.

It’s groundbreaking since he doesn’t think a formal Bible study among executive Cabinet members has been done in at least 100 years.

America’s top cop, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, also attends the study.

“He’ll (Jeff Sessions) go out the same day I teach him something and I’ll see him do it on camera and I just think, ‘Wow, these guys are faithful, available and teachable and they’re at Bible study every week they’re in town,'” Drollinger said.

President Trump is invited to attend the Bible studies, too. Each week he receives a copy of Drollinger’s teaching.

And Vice President Pence is also planning to join the study as his schedule permits. He also serves as a sponsor.

In Pence, Drollinger sees many similarities to biblical figures like Joseph, Mordecai and Daniel – all men who rose to the number two position in governments at different times in history.

“Mike Pence has respect for the office. He dresses right – like it says Joseph cleaned himself up before he went to stand before the Pharaoh,” Drollinger told CBN News.

“Mike Pence has uncompromising biblical tenacity and he has a loving tone about him that’s not just a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal,” he continued. “And then fourthly, he brings real value to the head of the nation.”

Like others, Drollinger often compares President Trump to biblical strongman Samson.

“I just praise God for them,” he said. “And I praise God for Mike Pence, who I think with Donald Trump chose great people to lead our nation.”

 

YHVH to Redeem His People From False Religious Systems and Idolatry

Isaiah 43–44

Isaiah 43:21ff, Religious service is the flower or result of a life of devotion and service to YHVH and our fellow man. It is not the religious service itself that matters to YHVH, but the condition of one’s heart and the life of righteousness that precedes resulting in the religious service that counts. Israel had lost sight of this, and their religious service had become empty, ritualistic and meaningless to YHVH. Additionally, the offering presented to YHVH had to cost the offerer dearly. Though Yeshua fulfilled the sacrificial system by his death at Golgotha by becoming the ultimate sacrifice (and it cost him dearly), if we are in Yeshua we must follow in his footsteps. How is this? (Read Ps 51:15–16; 34:18; Isa 66:1–3; Rom 6:3–13; Gal 2:20 and Heb 13:15–16.) Remember, it is not what we do, or how we do it that matters to YHVH as much as why we do it. Why do you do what you do in your spiritual exercises? If it is for any other reason than to draw near to our Father in heaven, to love him, and to become like him, then your motives may be questionable.

Isaiah 43:23–24, The purpose of the offerings was to bring the offerer nearer to Elohim. Israel had lost that perspective and therefore YHVH states, “Not for me have you brought the lamb of your elevation offering ….” What were the wrong motives on Israel’s part with which YHVH took exception? What are your motives for obeying YHVH? In the Christian world, the need for “fire insurance” against the fires of “hell” is a major though sadly Continue reading

 

New Video: Spiritual Zombies Awake to the Light of the Creator’s Truth

The Creator’s voice, like a beacon of light in the confusing darkness, is calling you to follow his path of wisdom and truth leading to glorified immortality. Are you a spiritual zombie, the walking dead, who wonders if there’s more to life than this? Then watch this video!

 

New Video: Islam—YHVH’s Judgment on Christians to Bring Spiritual Revival

This video discusses how the biblical prophets predicted the rise of the demonic religion of Islam in the days before the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah. This would coincide with the end-times spiritual apostasy of Jews and Christians, and would be part of Elohim’s divine plan to lovingly discipline his wayward children and bring them back to him through repentance resulting in spiritual revival and the eventual demise of Islam.