THE CURRENT WORLD SITUATION
THE SWORD, THE FAMINE, AND
LOCUSTS PLAGUE IN “BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS”
LOCUST TERROR IN
THE SWORD AND THE PLAGUE - DARFUR -
NORTH OSSETIA, RUSSIA:
SIEGE OF SCHOOL ENDS IN BLOODBATH
MORE THAN A CHILDREN’S NIGHTMARE
WORLD COMMEMORATES “END OF SLAVERY”
CURRENT WORLD SITUATION
My dear Reader,
a lot of alarming things happening today, isn’t there? In this issue I’ve
given reports on some of the major things around the world, which should not
only alert us, but cause us to pray for those who are suffering, and that
... “Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
I have just heard a radio announcer at
the end of a classical music program say, “In a world that seems to have
gone completely mad, we are thankful for musicians who help to bring some
sanity to our lives.”
And I am thankful that in this age of
terror we have a Hope - a definite assurance “that keeps the soul, safe and
secure from all alarms” - that Assurance is Y’shua, the “Rock of Ages cleft
for you and me.” Blessed are they who hope (have confident assurance) in
A LITTLE STUDY ON HOPE
Hope of Righteousness (Gal.5:5)
Hope of His Calling (Eph. 1:18)
Hope of the Gospel (Col. 1:23)
Hope of Salvation (1 Thess. 5:8)
Hope of Eternal Life (Titus 3:7)
A Living Hope (1 Pet. 1:3 + v.15),
and 1 Corinthians 13:13
The SWORD, the FAMINE
and the PLAGUE
Putin described the recent
slaughter in Beslan, southern Russia, as an “inhuman crime, unprecedented in
cruelty.” With possibly 400 dead, and more than 700 injured, not many of
the 1200 hostages escaped unharmed. Even those who did, were traumatized
and scarred for life.
The editor of The Australian
said, “By capturing and then slaughtering innocent children, the terrorists
have introduced us to a new depth of infamy.” Prime Minister John Howard
condemned the hostage-takers as depraved, obscene and cruel. Targeting
children, he said, “represents the ultimate depravity of terrorist
In recent months “the sword” has
continued its grizzly path from Iraq to Israel, from Sudan to Saudi Arabia,
Congo to Colombia, from Chechnya and Ossetia to Russia to Indonesia, and
from Nigeria to Nepal.
At the same time, the blight of plague
and famine continues its relentless onslaught on millions, destroying many
more than the sword.
At the present time, Darfur in west
Sudan, is suffering these triple disasters. The great prophet Ezekiel
writing 2,600 years ago, could well have been prophesying of the traumatized
African province today when he wrote:
“Thus says the Sovereign Master,
Yahweh, ‘Disaster! An exceptional disaster! Look! It is coming! … The
sword is outside, and the plague and the famine are
within. He who is in the field will die by the sword; whoever is in
the city will be devoured by famine and plague; those who escape will
be refugees on the mountains likes doves of the valleys, all of them moaning
because of his own iniquity. All hands will hang limp and all knees will
become like water’.” (Ezekiel 7:5, 15-17)
month’s Alert, I want to
focus on some of the words of this great Biblical prophet, Ezekiel. So let
me give first this biographical note:
One of the great prophets
of Israel. His name means “God strengthens.” Born of a priestly family, he
spent his early years in Jerusalem, until he was taken with other hostages
by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon in 597 BC. In Babylon he prophesied for at
least 22 years (592-570 BC). His ministry to the exiles was at the same
time as Jeremiah’s ministry to the remaining Jews in Israel; and also during
the early years of Daniel’s ministry. (Daniel had been taken as a captive to
Babylon 8 years earlier – 605 BC).
Chapters 1 to 24 were written before
the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. His messages are concerning Israel’s
sin, its judgment, and the assurance of future blessing. In chapters 33 to
48, Ezekiel prophesied of the restoration of Israel, the overthrow of
anti-God forces who invade Israel in the end-times; and also of the
Millennial kingdom that would be established when the Glory of God (the
Ezekiel’s prophecies were not his own
imaginations. No! All the way through his prophecy, he is doing and saying
what the Lord GOD – the Sovereign Heavenly Master, Yahweh, revealed and
“Then the Word of Yahweh came to me,
saying … ‘I am Yahweh who speaks, and whatever word I speak will be
performed. It will no longer be delayed, for in your days, O rebellious
house, I will speak the word and perform it,’ declares the Sovereign Master,
Yahweh.” (Ezekiel 12:21, 25)
A WORD FOR OUR TIMES
THERE is no shortage of criticism
these days. Some people say, “Ah! Don Stanton – he is always talking about
the Great Tribulation as though it is very near. We’re tired of all this! He
has been ‘prophesying’ like that for years, but see, it has not come! And
it may not come for hundreds or thousands of years. So let’s not become too
anxious about judgment to come!”
Well, my reader, I am not a prophet –
just a teacher of Bible prophecy. But in reply, I quote what that powerful
prophet Ezekiel said:
“Again the word of Yahweh came to me,
saying, ‘Son of man, listen! The house of Israel is saying, “The vision that
he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies
of times far off.” Therefore say to them, “Thus says the Sovereign
Master, Yahweh, ‘None of My words will be delayed any longer. Whatever word
I speak will be performed’,” declares Yahweh the Sovereign Master ’.”
If you ask the people of Darfur what
is going on, they will say it is a great tribulation of sword, famine and
plague. Indeed it is; and yet, it is not the Great Tribulation that both
Daniel and Y’shua the Messiah warned would come in the end-times:
“For then there will be great
tribulation, such as has never occurred since the beginning of the world
until now; and there will be nothing like it again.” (Matthew 24:21)
And to be specific the Messiah said,
“There will be wars; there will
be terrors; there will be famine; and there will be plagues
and pestilences.” (Luke 21:9-11)
What we see happening today, my
reader, is the lead up to the Great Tribulation. And surely there is enough
happening today to shake us all into alert mode. And yet there are still the
scoffers who say:
“Where is the promise of His coming?
For ever since the fathers died, everything goes on just as it has since the
beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:4)
The promise of the Second Coming is in
the Word of God - some 300 references to it. And the signs of its imminence
are in your newspapers, and on your screens, every day. It is time to
LOCUSTS PLAGUE IN “BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS”
A RECENT report said: “In an
invasion of north and West Africa that may take on
largest swarms of locusts for many years are swarming across the Sahara
desert, threatening crops already shrivelled by years of drought, in many of
the world’s poorest countries.”
What does it mean, "Biblical
proportions"? It is referring, no doubt, to the worst locust plague ever -
the plague in Egypt, in about 1445 BC, during the time of Moses:
“The locusts came up over all the land
of Egypt and settled everywhere within the borders of Egypt; they
were very severe. There had never been locusts like them, nor there be
such locusts again, for they covered the surface of the whole land,
so that the land was darkened. They ate every plant of the land and all the
fruit of the trees that the hail had left, and there was nothing green left
on the trees or on the plants of the field in all the land of Egypt.”
The United Nation’s Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced on July 5 that the first swarms of
desert locusts were abandoning their spring breeding areas and heading into
Mauritania, Senegal and Mali.
Without immediate attention to the
plague, FAO warned, entire fields of maize, cassava and other staple crops
for the region will be razed to the ground by the pests’ insatiable
A single locust will consume its own
weight in food every day. A swarm can devour in minutes enough food to feed
At least one swarm has reached Chad,
bordering west Sudan’s Darfur region where fighting between militiamen and
rebels has displaced more than one million people and created severe
shortages of food, medicine and shelter. Locusts have also had a field day
in Algeria, devouring thousands of hectares of newly planted crops in recent
Morocco has seen swarms engulf more
than 100,000 hectares since late last month, while Mauritania’s pest control
agency has reported that hoards of locusts have swarmed southwards through
the massive north-west African country since early July, preparing to lay
their eggs just as the rainy season arrives.
Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade has
taken the lead in mounting a regional onslaught against the locust
infestations, calling on the world’s most developed countries, the G8, to
take up the battle against the pests. Without urgent and sustained attention
to the problem, he warned, the locusts could sound a death knell for
millions of people in a region already plagued with rampant malnutrition. -
Sapa-AFP / Dakar, Senegal / July 04
Y’shua the Messiah warned of plagues
in the end-times:
“And there will be … in various places
plagues, (pestilences, infectious diseases, epidemics), and
famines.” (Luke 21:11)
LOCUST TERROR IN SENEGAL
SEPT. 2. Children fled in terror as
swarms of ravenous locusts invaded Senegal’s capital, Dakar, yesterday,
devouring every patch of greenery in their path.
Countless insects attacked trees and
lawns, enveloping them in a crawling, yellow carpet. Flying locusts hurtled
into the windscreens of the city’s drivers and enmeshed themselves in the
clothes and hair of anyone caught outside.
More than 16 million acres of farmland
in some of the world’s poorest countries has already been damaged. President
Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal has likened the crisis to a war between mankind
and the locusts.
Aircraft carrying pesticides will be
sent to destroy the locusts, flying from operating bases in Senegal and four
other West African countries. Meanwhile, people in Senegal are trying to
repel the locusts with sticks. Some have set tyres ablaze, sending up clouds
of black, acrid smoke to prevent the insects landing. - London Telegraph
THE SWORD AND THE PLAGUE
(WEST SUDAN) -
prophecy could have been
written specific-ally for the people of Darfur, in West Sudan today. The
people there - largely Christians - are experiencing the triple horrors of
sword, famine and plague.
In an 18-month reign of terror, Arab
Janjaweed gun-men on horses and camels, backed by bombers and helicopter
gunships, have razed hundreds of black African villages in Darfur, killing
tens of thousands and driving more than 1.4 million from their homes.
Last April, when the world marked 10
years since the 1994 slaughter that killed at least 500,000 in Rwanda, UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned that a new genocide could unfold in West
Some 56,000 mud-brick houses with
grass roofs have been torched in nearly 400 Darfur villages. The mostly Arab
Janjaweed also burn down trees, steal food and cattle, and blow up
wells and irrigation canals in a scorched-earth policy that human rights
groups describe as “ethnic cleansing.”
The plight of the region has worsened
since June, and UN officials estimate that 50,000 people have been killed.
According to refugees, while men are often shot on sight, women are being
abducted and raped.
The Coalition for International
Justice which conducted a study on Darfur says that in some instances, the
Janjaweed would take infants from their mothers’ backs. If the child was a
boy, it would be killed by crushing or knifing. Female infants would be
The present crisis developed from
long-standing tensions between nomadic Arab herders and their farming
neighbours. It became violent after two black African rebel groups took up
arms in February 2003 over what they consider unfair treatment by the
government in faraway Khartoum in their struggle over political influence
and resources in Darfur.
Rebel groups and refugees accuse the
Sudanese government of arming the Janjaweed, a name that means
“horsemen” in the local dialect. They point to systematic and coordinated
attacks backed by airplanes, helicopter gunships and pickup trucks.
More victims of the raids are dying
now from hunger, thirst and disease, than in the killings, UN officials say.
They have described the region as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Starving, exhausted and terrorized families trickle across the 370-mile
border into Chad.
In one attack, Janjaweed caught three
teenage girls, raped them and broke their legs. Unable to travel, the girls
stayed behind in the hills while their extended families made the long and
dangerous trek to the border. Traveling by night and sleeping during the
day, they took nine days to reach safety.
With many more likely to die of hunger
and disease in camps in Sudan and neighboring Chad, international pressure
is mounting on President Omar el-Bashir’s government to end the carnage.
The government in Khartoum denies any
complicity in the militia raids and says the warring sides are clashing over
the region’s scarce water and usable land. (Sudan has been plagued by two
decades of civil war, and also a major famine in 1998.)
If relief workers can’t reach the
estimated 2 million in desperate need, the death toll could surge to 350,000
by the end of the year, according to the US Agency for International
Following visits by Annan and US
Secretary of State Colin Powell, el-Bashir promised to send 6,000 soldiers
and police to Darfur to disarm the Janjaweed and other armed groups. But
rebel leaders accuse the government of merely integrating Janjaweed fighters
into local police and defence forces. And the UN says Khartoum has not taken
enough measures to halt the atrocities.
- Source: AP/Seattle Post Intelligencer / 10 July 04. / KFT / 27 Aug
SEPT 10. President George Bush
declared that the violence in Darfur amounted to
and urged the world to back an expanded African peace-keeping force to halt
‘HEADING FOR SUDAN’
11 Aug, 04. Millions of locusts are
probably heading for Darfur, a UN agency said, where violence has already
created a humanitarian disaster and two million people are short of food and
Desert locust swarms usually contain
about 50 million insects per square kilometre and can travel up to 150 km
(93 miles) a day. They can devastate entire crop fields in minutes. Adult
locusts munch their own weight, about two grams, of food a day.
- E OUTBREAK
is sweeping camps for internally displaced people in the Darfur province of
Sudan. The World Health Organization says it has confirmed more than 620
cases of the disease, including 22 dead.
Hepatitis E causes inflammation of the
liver. Contaminated water is a major risk factor. Darfur’s overcrowded camps
for internally displaced people are perfect breeding grounds for the
disease. This is the first time Sudan has been hit with this disease.
WHO spokeswoman, Fadela Chaib, says
there is no medical cure for this disease. “While most people recover on
their own, it is 20% lethal for pregnant women. So, the most important thing
to do for prevention, is to have a very good system of water and sanitation
and the proper disposal of sanitary waste.”
WHO warns that an estimated 10,000
people a month are likely to die from disease without proper care.
Doctors Without Borders,
says that it is also alarmed at the outbreak of Hepatitis E in Darfur’s
camps. It is seeking to tackle the problem by providing safe drinking water
and by improving sanitary and hygienic conditions in the camps.
Dr Abiy Tamrat says people in the
camps are facing a severe health crisis, which is likely to get worse now
that the rainy season has begun. More of the displaced people will be cut
off, and relief will be more difficult, as the roads become impassable.
Dr Tamrat says diarrhoea remains the
number one problem. But, with the rains, he says epidemics of malaria and
cholera can be expected. “People are malnourished and this makes them more
susceptible to disease. The main thing right now is to ensure a regular and
adequate food access to all the camps,” he said.
- Source: Voice of
America /Aug 04
SIEGE OF SCHOOL ENDS IN BLOODBATH
“And their bows (guns)
will mow down the young men. They will not even have compassion on the fruit
of the womb, nor will their eye pity children.” (Isaiah 13:18)
ON Sept 1, as children were
celebrating the start of the new school year with parents and staff, some 32
masked armed Chechen, Ingush and Arab militants - men and women - wearing
bomb belts and brandishing guns, burst into a school in Beslan, North
Ossetia, and took about 1200 children, teachers and parents hostage. (North
Ossetia borders both Chechnya and Ingushetia, as well as other Russian
states, and South Ossetia which is part of independent Georgia.)
The pupils, teachers and parents were
herded into the gym without food or water. Trip wires were laid around the
school, with the attackers threatening to blow it up if it was stormed by
police. 16 civilians were killed in the initial skirmishes.
The demands of the hostage-takers
included the release of fighters from Ingushetia prisons; withdrawal of
Russian troops from Chechnya, and the independence of that state. Chechen
separatists have been fighting for separation from Moscow for the past
Al-Qa’ida’s involvement in the attack
is apparent, especially as “holy warriors” from the Middle East long have
supported fellow-Muslims fighting in Chechnya.
On the third day of the siege,
Government commandos were forced to launch an assault on the militants after
bombs inside the gym exploded – whether by accident or plan is not clear. A
wall was blown down and the roof collapsed. When a group of children tried
to escape the militants opened fire on them. Pandemonium broke out with
commandos storming the school and battling militants, and crying children,
some naked and covered with blood, trying to flee through the explosions and
gunfire. A sobbing young girl who escaped said she saw a suicide bomber blow
herself up in the gym amongst the children.
Officially 336 people died – at least
half of them children. (But with more than 100 still missing, and many
critically injured, the death toll may rise to above 400.) Many bodies of
children and adults were pulled from the rubble of the school. 727 were
reported as injured.
The Russian security forces said they
killed 32 militants and one was captured. Ten government commandos also
died in the fighting and 18 were wounded.
Middle East media expressed horror at
the bloody siege in Beslan, and many Arab leaders and Muslim clerics
denounced the seizure as unjustifiable, and expressed their sympathy. Arab
TV stations repeatedly carried footage of terrified young survivors being
carried from the scene. And Arab newspapers published pictures of dead and
wounded children on their front pages.
There was an unusually forthright Arab
self-criticism after the hostage crisis, along with warnings that such
actions inflict more damage to the image of Islam than all its enemies could
hope. In fact, Abdulrahman al-Rashed, the general manager of a leading
Arabic television network, Al-Arabia, wrote that “Muslims worldwide
are the main perpetrators of terrorism, a humiliating and painful truth that
must be acknowledged.”
ETHNIC CONFLICT LIKELY
A dangerous fallout from the Beslan
massacre is expected as Ossetians are likely to take revenge on the small
Ingush community in the state. In 1992 there were armed battles between the
two ethnic peoples which left dozens dead on both side. Now there is fear
that “the militants have started a war that will last 50 years.”
MORE THAN A CHILDREN’S NIGHTMARE
By Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor,
SEPT 9. The worst pictures were those
that the terrorists took themselves and which aired on Russian television
yesterday. They showed the terrorists gloating over the children in the
school in Beslan, in southern Russia.
The terrorists strutted about, pointed
to the explosives they had wired in the school gymnasium, humiliated the
children, told them where and how to sit, and didn’t give them even a drink
of water before killing them.
This appalling terrorist outrage in
the Russian republic of North Ossetia tells us something new about the
extremist Islamic terrorists we confront in the war on terror. It also
tells us important things bout the strategic vulnerability of Vladimir
And it draws our attention back to the
field of jihad in the Caucasus and central Asia, and demonstrates once more
the jihad movement. The murderous barbarism in Beslan was almost certainly
carried out by Chechen terrorists, although it is possible that a number
came from neighbouring Ingushetia.
Both Chechnya and Ingushetia are
predominately Islamic republics within Russia. Western intelligence is
under no doubt that sections of the Chechen separatist movement are actively
in league with al-Qa’ida. There is strong evidence that Chechen rebel leader
Shamil Basayev has received funding and tactical assistance from al-Qa’ida.
As this column has pointed out before,
al-Qa’ida potentially gives every disgruntled Muslim population in the world
a prism through which to interpret their sufferings and a method of
response, namely terrorism.
That the grievances were nationalistic
does not diminish the growing importance of the Islamist al-Qa’ida ideology
among Chechen terrorists.
The one terrorist captured alive from
the Beslan massacre has said the purpose was to create a
generalized war in the
It is right to be cautious about what
the Russian authorities tell us about terrorists and their motivations.
But the Caucasus is an exceptionally
volatile and unstable region. North Ossetia, which is predominantly orthodox
Christian, sits between Muslim Ingushetia and Muslim Chechnya. It is to the
north of South Ossetia, which is formally part of Georgia, an independent
state that used to be part of the Soviet Union. South Ossetia has resisted
Georgian government rule.
It’s easy to see how this latest
terrorist outrage could spill into new conflict in the Caucasus. The Ingush
could become more militant along Chechen lines. The North Ossetians could
take vigilante action against Chechens or the Ingush.
Fighting could escalate in South
Ossetia. Traditionally, the rivalries and conflicts of this region have been
ethnic rather than religious. But one of the central missions of al-Qa’ida
is to theologise the ethnic and regional conflicts or areas such as the
The Chechen tragedy brings discredit
on all who have been involved. A couple of years after the collapse of the
old Soviet Union, Chechnya declared independence. For some years Moscow
tolerated this but Chechnya descended into war lordism, rampant criminality
and terrorism. In 1994, then Russian president Boris Yeltsin launched a
military operation to take back control of Chechnya. After gruesome
brutality on both sides, the Russian army failed and finally withdrew in
After further Chechen terrorism,
especially in neighbouring Dagestan, in 1999, Putin, now president, launched
the second Chechen war. The Russian soldiers were no less brutal, but this
time militarily they were successful, establishing Moscow’s control over
Chechnya. This “success” is a central part of Putin’s popularity in Russia.
However, it is estimated that Russia still has 70,000 troops in Chechnya and
suffers ongoing losses.
Putin reacted with anger to
Washington’s restatement of its traditional position that there needs to be
a political solution in Chechnya. Putin can claim he is trying to provide a
political track. He did hold a referendum in Chechnya last year and produced
a new constitution. Recently there were elections for a new Chechen
president, although these were less than free and fair.
However, Putin is now caught in
several terrible dilemmas. Not least because of the amount of Russian blood
he has spilled to keep Chechnya, he could not possibly now countenance
independence. Moreover, it’s by no means clear that that is what most
Chechens want. What social research has been done suggests Chechens want
above all, a return to a normal life.
There are other compelling
considerations for Putin. Because of the way the Chechen rebellion has been
Islamicised, there is every possibility that an independent Chechnya could
fundamentalist Taliban-style state, infiltrating other Muslim areas in the
Caucasus and central Asia. Chechen independence would also be seen as a
great success for terrorism and an incentive for other republics to seek
But the Russian public is full of
anger and demanding action. These events could very well intensify Putin’s
authoritarian streak and
further diminish the prospect of a democratic Russia emerging.
On the other hand, despite Russian
anger at the US call for a political solution in Chechnya, the Beslan
massacre will likely draw Moscow and Washington further together in
co-operating on the war on terror, on efforts to prevent Iran acquiring
nuclear weapons, and on broader co-operation in the Middle East.
But the inability of Moscow to protect
itself effectively from Chechen terrorism, combined with the flailing
post-Soviet economy, the continuing problems of legitimacy of the Russian
state and the increased radicalism and barbarity of al-Qa’ida-influenced
Islamist terrorism throughout the world, mean that Beslan is more than just
a human tragedy. It is also a gravely disturbing strategic portent (omen
– Copyright The
Australian, 9 Sept 2004. Used by permission.
WORLD COMMEMORATES “END OF SLAVERY”
“You shall thus consecrate the
fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its
inhabitants.” (Leviticus 25:10)
The UN proclaimed 2004 as
International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its
Abolition; and the UN’s cultural organisation, UNESCO, set August 23 as
International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.
Events were held worldwide in August
to mark the abolition of the slave trade and to highlight the fact that
millions still live
The UN is leading the celebrations in
Paris, while a new slavery museum opened in the US state of Ohio.
Senegal is holding a commemoration on
Goree Island, where captives were held on the way to the Americas during the
transatlantic slave trade. The island is now a World Heritage site.
A UN official said the full extent of
slavery had still to be recognised. The statistics are daunting:
estimates there are about 20 million people in bonded labour; some 180
million children are in some form of child labour, and more than 800,000
people are trafficked per year.
An estimated 20,000 people are
trafficked into the US annually - many are forced into prostitution.
Hundreds of thousands of
Haitians are rounded up near the border and made to work on Dominican sugar
Up to 25,000 people are
said to be working as slave labourers - mostly clearing forests in the
Despite its abolition in 1981, chattel slavery is still strong - up to one
million people are held as “inheritable property.”
Northern militias take
women and children in slave raids in the south.
Tens of thousands of
Albanian women and girls are thought to have been cheated, abducted and
forced into prostitution.
Every year hundreds of boys
are trafficked from South Asia to Arab Gulf states to race camels.
Millions of men, women and
children are bonded into forced labour in agriculture and industry.
Forced labour is used on a
growing number of infrastructure projects.
An estimated 200,000 girls
are sex slaves.
The Book of Revelation indicates that
the nations will be trading in slaves and human lives in the end-times.
“Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon,
the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come. And the merchants
of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their merchandise
any more; cargoes of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine
linen, purple, silk and scarlet, citron wood ... ivory, of very costly wood,
bronze, iron, marble; cinnamon, incense, ointment and perfume,
frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses
and chariots, and bodies and slaves - human lives.”
The Anti-Slavery International group -
which is working with UNESCO to raise awareness in schools globally of the
transatlantic slave trade - has described human trafficking as the fastest
growing form of slavery.
Koichiro Matsuura, head of UNESCO,
described slavery as an “unprecedented tragedy... concealed for many years
and ... yet to be fully recognised.” “Although abolished and penalised in
international instruments, slavery is still practised in new forms that
today affect millions of men, women and children across the world.”
The UN’s Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said
human trafficking is a problem in every African country. The majority of
trafficked people are women and girls; children are the biggest victims.
They are forced into slavery, recruited as child soldiers or sold into
prostitution. – Source BBC / 23 Aug 04
The Messiah, Jesus, quoted the prophet
Isaiah’s words, and applied them to His own ministry:
“‘The Spirit of the Lord Yahweh
is upon me, because He anointed Me to preach the Good News to the poor. He
has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the
captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to release those who are
oppressed, to proclaim the favourable year of Yahweh.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Y’shua the Messiah came to set
captives free – especially to set sinners free from the burden of their
“You will know the Truth, and the
Truth will set you free ... If then the Son makes you free, you will be free
indeed.” (John 8:32, 36)
My dear Reader, do
need deliverance from your
sin, from your enslaving habits, from the guilt of your past life, from the
fear of the future, from failure and remorse, and from turmoil and strife?
will set you free.”
The Son of God, the
Messiah, will set you free.
Y’shua, Jesus, came into this world to
seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10). You may ask, How can He do that?
He removes the heavy penalty of your sins. This He can do because He
Himself paid the penalty of your sins when He died on the cross of Calvary.
“God demonstrates His own love for us,
in that while we were still sinners, the Messiah died for us.”
“He Himself bore our sins in His body
on the tree, so that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness -
by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
“My children, I write this to you so
that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the
Father - One who pleads our cause - Y’shua the Messiah, the Righteous One;
and He Himself is the propitiation - the atoning sacrifice for our
sins; and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole
world.” (1 John 2:1-2)
Y’shua the Lamb of God not only died
for our sins; He rose from the dead. He rose, a living Saviour, to save us
by His resurrection life.
“If you confess with your mouth
Y’shua as your Master and believe in your heart that
God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart man
believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he
confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, whoever
believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (Romans 10:9-11)
when God forgives your sins, He touches your mind and conscience so that you
know your past has been forgiven. He also cleanses your life, and gives you
a new heart, and puts His Spirit within. His Holy Spirit immediately makes
you a dwelling place of God, and you become a “new creation.”
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the
Messiah, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; see, all
things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
the power of God begins to work in you delivering you from your sins,
breaking your bad habits, and extricating you from the entanglements of your
life. He also gives you peace in the heart and mind as you walk in
fellowship with Him. He does
not promise to give you a
“bed of roses” – that is, a life free of trials or testing. But He does
promise to be with you at all times. He promises to hear when you call to
Him – He is just a prayer away – a prayer of faith.
For all this to happen what is
required on your part is …
Come to the Saviour, Y’shua the Messiah, just as you are – CONFESS that you
are a sinner needing God’s mercy and salvation; and BELIEVE in the Messiah
who died for you - express your faith in Him. And simply TRUST Him to save
you (not in the future, but now!)
This means you RECEIVE the Y’shua,
Jesus, as your personal Saviour. And the work of God begins immediately in
your life. This is the beginning of your salvation and deliverance.
As a believer you need to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Master and
Saviour Y’shua the Messiah.” (2 Peter 3:18). This means to feed on the Word
of God, to develop your prayer fellowship with the Saviour, and to walk in
obedience to His revealed will. It means growing in faith. It means to learn
the principles for a victorious spiritual life.
My Reader, if you have not yet taken
that first step – receiving Y’shua the Messiah as your personal Saviour, why
don’t you take it now? It is a simple step of faith – it is so simple that
even a young child can do that. Just come to the Father, and pray in words
Heavenly Father, I come to You just as
I am – a sinner needing forgiveness and salvation. I am unworthy, and can do
nothing for my salvation. But I believe Your Son, the Lord Jesus, Y’shua the
Messiah, died on the cross and paid the penalty of all my sins. And I
believe that He rose from the dead, and is the living Saviour. As the basis
of His sacrifice at Calvary, Father, I ask You to forgive my sins, and to
make me Your child.
Lord Jesus I receive You as my
personal Saviour. I give my life to You. Master, set me free from my bondage
to Satan, to evil habits, to fear and guilt, and from all that is contrary
to Your will. Master, make me a new person; teach me Your way, and Your
principles, and make me Your faithful disciple and witness. By Your grace
and strength, I will follow You all the days of my life.
Thank You Master for Your salvation,
Your forgiveness, and deliverance. Thank You Father, for receiving me as
Your child. Thank You. Amen.
................................... date ...................
Please sign and keep this prayer with
you as a reminder of this great day - it’s your spiritual birthday.
If you have made this decision today,
my dear reader, will you write to me at one of our addresses inside the
front cover, and tell me about it? I will rejoice with you, and pray for
your spiritual growth.
Sincerely in the Messiah,
q q q q q