Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Reality of Jihad in Nigeria (Excerpt from a recent Press Release by the NCEF)

Since the crux of the matter is the strenuous attempt by some Nigerian Muslim leaders to deny the reality of the ongoing Jihad in the Nation, the NCEF is compelled to make the following points clear in the consideration of what has now become a national debate.  NCEF shall be grateful to receive clarifications from Muslim leaders on the issues below:    

i.  Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, in one of his video releases, said in 2012, “… This war is not political. It is religious. It is between Muslims and unbelievers (arna). It will stop when Islamic religion is the determinant in governance in Nigeria or, in the alternative, when all fighters are annihilated and no one is left to continue the fight,….” If this statement is not a declaration of Jihad, could Muslim leaders explain what this means?

 ii.  In 1989, Islam in Africa Organization (IAO) held a Conference in Abuja and amongst many other decisions, released a Communiqué tagged Abuja Declarations 1989 in which it affirmed that its purpose was "To eradicate in all its forms and ramifications all non-Muslim religions in member nations. Such religions shall include Christianity, Ahmadiyya and other tribal religions….”   Could we be corrected that the Conference never held in Abuja in November 1989 or such Communiqué was never released?  We are also unaware of any rebuttal of the same statement by Muslims leaders.

  iii.    In a 154 page Research Report conducted by Arne Mulder in 2015, the researcher affirmed that over 13,000 Christian places of worship (Churches) have been destroyed in Northern Nigeria as at December 2014. Under what condition do Muslim insurgents destroy Churches if not Jihad?

 iv.  On the 4th of February, 2017, the United States Congress affirmed that the most dangerous nation on earth for anyone to be a Christian is Nigeria. The implication is that Nigerian Christians have become endangered species in a country in which they constitute over 50% of the population.

 v.  According to the Global Index on Terror, the 1st and the 4th most terrible Islamic Terrorist organizations in the world operate in Nigeria. Boko Haram is 1st while the Fulani Herdsmen is 4th. If these terror organizations are not fighting Jihad, what then are they doing in Nigeria? 

vi.   Under the present administration, every key and sensitive position in National Security is held by Muslims from the North, in outright violation of Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution. Also early in the life of this administration, we recall that more than 95% of senior army officers retired from the Military were Christians.  In NNPC, only recently, more than 95% of the new appointments into senior management positions are Northern Muslims. 

 vii. Despite unconstitutionally appropriating all security positions to the Muslim North, the Fulani Herdsmen operate with impunity in mostly Christian areas, killing, maiming, raping, and destroying without any arrest, without any prosecution. If this is not complicity of the Muslim dominated Security services, are we then to conclude that the Nigerian security units are so incompetent that they cannot successfully engage insurgents after the Nigerian Army successfully prosecuted a Civil War?

viii.  In 2011 in Harvard, USA, his eminence the Sultan of Sokoto who is also the President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, was reported to have said during a public function, “I do not recognize any Nigerian Constitution and the only Constitution I recognize is the Koran…..”   Therefore, when the President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs said in a foreign land (which is in itself a treasonable statement) that he does not believe in the Nigerian Constitution (which guarantees freedom of religious conviction), but he believes only in the Koran (which forbids freedom of worship through Sharia’s “ridda”), could not the statement of the Sultan be interpreted as an endorsement of Jihad?

 ix.  Added to the above are the big questions begging for answers. Who is funding and equipping the Islamic insurgents? And more importantly, who is shielding them from prosecution?
Tens of thousands of Nigerians, mostly Christians, have been murdered by religious insurgents. The murderers of 74 years old Mrs. Bridget Agbaheme in Kano were discharged and acquitted in a Kano court! According to World Watch Monitor, over 60% of global casualties as a result of religious persecution are Nigerian Christians killed in Nigeria. Muslim leaders have to do more to persuade us that JIHAD has not been launched in Nigeria.

National Christian Elders stick out neck for Nigeria’s future

Walking the talk, eminent Christian leaders from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria have decided it is time they stuck out their necks to push for restructuring of Nigeria so as to promote good governance, true democracy, nationalism, prosperity, and  righteousness in the country.  These respected patriots working as the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF), under the aegis of the Christian Association of Nigeria, are currently engaging Nigerian Christianity in ways never before seen.
For instance, in their interaction with the Senate on Tuesday 25th July, the Elders Forum challenged Christian senators from Southern and Middle Belt zones on key national issues including the attempts to islamize the educational curriculum in the country under their watch.  In another series of ongoing engagements, the NCEF is challenging the major political parties to reject politics of religion and ethnicity, and rather embrace nationalistic politicking. Under the theme: Nigeria Once Free, Forever Free, the NCEF is urging Christians and all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria to resist every intimidation and fear. The Forum observed that fear is deliberately being ramped up in the polity, so as to intimidate Nigerians and cause them to capitulate to neo-colonization.
    In a 32 page Confidential Document, the NCEF  expressed regret that Nigeria has been grappling with various forms of colonization from inception. It point-blankly lends her support for the call for restructuring the country back along the federal lines which was unfortunately unilaterally disrupted by the military during their intervention  in 1966.  Above all, the body urges all Christians, and indeed all Nigerians, to remain watchful and prayerful.
Christians interested in additional information from the NCEF could register at  www.csmnigeria.org  while financial supports could be forwarded through the Christian Social Movement of Nigeria, Account Number 1014138350, Zenith Bank.

Friday, September 22, 2017


(This article was updated on 5th October, 2017) 

Pastor Reuven Berger had spoken on Jerusalem mystery at the ALS which held in Ile-Ife in 2016 (see CA! Vol 19 Qtr 2, No. 104).  He took the subject to new depths at the recently concluded ALS held in the city of Jerusalem (Aug 27-30).  One major conclusion of the talk is that the city of Jerusalem is currently in spiritual bondage and that Christians are duty-bound to pray for her.
In another article in this edition of CA!, we address the troubling statistics in Europe and the United States of churches closing enmasse, and mosques replacing them. Does Planting Churches matter?    

 As Pastor Agu Irukwu pointed out, it’s all about exercising territorial dominion (see http://churcharise.blogspot.com).  Even if there are only a dozen worshippers, what heaven sees is a worship centre.

The issue is particularly well-illustrated by the ongoing fierce spiritual battle for Mount Moriah. Expounding on this and ongoing efforts to build the 3rd Temple, Pastor Reuven Berger pointed out that the very existence of two Islamic shrines on Mount Moriah is a literal depiction of Jerusalem being currently in bondage with her children. As illustrated in Gal.4.25 Agar is clearly currently having the upper hand. The spiritual world is desperate to prevent a change in status quo on the mount. Who is worshipped on Mount Moriah would be God: Satan or Jehovah. Hence the raging conflict.

In a previous write-up, Pastor Bill Randles captures these issues concerning Mount Moriah in the following words.”There is something so spiritually sensitive about this mountain, that the dark powers of the earth fear a change of status on it. Much of the final controversy and horrifying judgments of the last days are called by Isaiah, "The controversy of Zion." http://www.raptureready.com/2017/08/22/unesco-fulfills-ezekiel-36-temple-mount-bill-randles/

Pastor Reuven explained that “Zion” literally means a designated place. However spiritually, “what makes “Zion” “Zion” is God’s promise that it would be His resting place. God seeks a resting place in His people. Pastor Reuven then spoke of three “Zions,” depicted respectively as ZION, Zion, and zion. ZION represents the heavenly Jerusalem that is coming. The one described in Hebrews 12:22 comprising the entire community of saints gone and present.  Zion refers to the current earthly Jerusalem (currently in spiritual bondage). Lastly,  zion refers to each child of God anywhere on the planet at this glorious Church Age.  According to Pastor Reuven, the will of God is that Zion be delivered from her bondage and be aligned (vertically) with the heavenly ZION.  Likewise, all the zions are to align (horizontally) with Zion, praying into existence, the will of God over Her.  These vertical and horizontal alignments, centred on Zion, is represented by the Cross.  As the Enemy gathers his forces against Zion, God is also gathering His Mahanaim, 2 camps comprised of a heavenly and an earthly squad.

As alluded to by several other speakers at the ALS, more or less just as a key and its lock need to be properly aligned for a functional fit, alignment of the “Zions” is required to if  Heaven is to come inhabit Earth. Such as was demonstrated when the Holy Spirit visibly came to inhabit the Lord Jesus Christ during His baptism at Jordan, and the Church at Pentecost.

For now, it is Homecoming approaching, both for the Church and for Israel.  According to Pastor Reuven, “The homecoming of the Bride is the homecoming of Israel to the Lord.”  As Israel gets enlightened and returns to the Lord, her Messiah the Lord Jesus; it will also be time for the Church to return to the Lord, being joined with Her Head, in the Rapture.

The focus therefore for now, is the building of the Temple of Men, the Church. (1 Peter 2:5).  Thereafter, with the Rapture accomplished, the focus can shift back to the Temple of Stones – to be located on Mount Moriah. (Interesting to note that Mount Moriah is on the same range as Calvary).
The gentile Church therefore needs to pray for Israel, that God’s first son, estranged for our sakes (Exo. 4:22, Rom 11:26) would soon be reconciled back to Him.  Temporary estrangement between God and his first son Israel happened so as to give us opportunity to be grafted into the covenant and be reconciled to God.  It is our responsibility to share in God’s burden that reconciliation between Him and His first son be not delayed. The stock into which the gentiles are grafted is the Messianic Jews, starting from the early Apostles.  Currently, orthodox Jews object seriously to Messianic Jews who they consider to be cults. (see http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/234849 )

In a nutshell, our ultimate assignment for this age is preparing the Highway for the soon-return of the Great King. Israel’s being graffed back into her own tree will literally be “resurrection from the dead.” Not only for Israel, but for us all! (Rom 11:15).


Amidst the various intense local conflicts and uncertainties on-going all over the world (eg in Nigeria: Restructuring, IPOB, etc), one deafening background buzz is the possibilities of a global cataclysm, a singularity-type event (i.e. something unprecedented, not likely-to-be repeated) happening this very weekend.

Of course in the Jewish calendar, it’s the beginning of a new year 5778 (Thursday-Friday).  To many people, across several shades of spirituality (Judaism, Bible Prophecy, as well as New Age - including Freemasons and the likes), the general consensus is that the long-prophesied new age would arrive sometime in 5777 after the landmark year 5776.  Now that the year 5777 itself has expired, rather than the expectation for a coming new age fading with it, it is only being extra-ordinarily heightened, and now adjudged “overdue”.   

The convergence of expectations across these diverse strange bedfellows of spiritualities is hinged on various premises.  These range from the possibility of the famed “planet Nibiru” (which exists only in the alternative science world!) thumping onto planet earth in some form of catastrophic collision; to that of President Trump deciding on a pre-emptive nuking of the ‘Rocket man’ of North Korea; or ultimately, to the blaring of the long-awaited Trump of God, which presumably will signal the Rapture of the saints off the planet.

Our focus is on the Rapture, which according to the Scriptures is an event BOUND to occur – any time from now, and without any further warning.  As will be evident shortly, TODAY Friday 22nd September 2017 is an especially appropriate and interesting day to examine the Rapture in relation with the feasts the Lord instituted for Israel.  There are seven of these feasts, (celebrated as a cluster of three festivals) and they are elaborately described in Leviticus 23:1-44. The first cluster comprised of three feasts which are celebrated in the Spring season (around April), then there is one Feast for the summer, and another cluster of three feasts come up during the Fall season (around September).
It is generally accepted that the four feasts associated with Spring/Summer were fulfilled at Jesus first coming, exactly at the periods when the feasts were physically being celebrated in Israel.  Thus the Lord was crucified at the feast of Passover, buried at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and rose from the dead during First fruits.  Furthermore, seven weeks after His resurrection, on the exact day of the feast of Pentecost (“when the day of Pentecost was fully come…” Acts 2:1), He sent the Holy Spirit on the disciples, marking the birth of the Church. It is interesting to note that it was also on this day that Moses had brought the Torah from the Mountain, thus in a way, marking also the birth of Israel. (http://endtimepilgrim.org/jewishfeasts.htm

Most Bible scholars therefore believe that the Fall feasts also would similarly be fulfilled in their exact times.  Thus the trumpet to herald the arrival of the Lord Jesus back to earth is expected to sound exactly on the Feast of the Trumpets, which would then usher in the Day of Atonement, and ultimately heaven literally coming to earth at the Feast of Tabernacles/Indwelling.  These last 3 feasts are not expected to be fulfilled in the same year though.  In fact, the final literal return of Jesus to earth (expected for a Feast of Tabernacles) is not expected to happen until the final “week” (7 years) appointed for the nation of Israel (see Daniel 9:27) has been fulfilled. 

Here then is what the time-table is expected to look like: The Trumpet sounds, heralding His coming, rousing the dead in Christ (1 Cor. 15:52, 1 Thess. 4:16-17), closing the Church age (Rom. 11:25, 2 Thess. 2:7), and automatically kicking off the final week (7 years) appointed for Israel (Dan. 9:27). Simultaneous with the sounding of the Trumpet, the antichrist shoots into prominence with the exit of the Church which had hitherto restrained his manifestation (2 Thess. 2:8), presumably aided by the emergence of a series of truly catastrophic global events that would need a man of extra charisma for their resolution.  The solution to be proffered by the antichrist to these global problems will be purely humanistic and would only work for a while, about three and half years.  Things will eventually become very rough for the Jews who would still want to honour the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For the next three-and-half years, persecuted and threatened, the Jews are nevertheless taken care of by the special Divine arrangement of Rev. 12:6, 13-14.  This period eventually closes with the Lord Jesus physically coming to rescue Israel and usher in the millennial reign of the Kingdom (Zech. 14, 2 Thess. 2:8).

Now to some hard facts on ground. Tomorrow Saturday September 23, the skies over Jerusalem would witness a special configuration of stars, planets and other heavenly bodies which very much will vividly resemble the vision described in Revelations 12:1ff. Blaring of Trumpets, which started yesterday at Rosh Hashanah will also continue as the nation of Israel marks Shabbat Shuva (Shabbat of Returning), the Shabbat between Rosh Hashana and the Day of Atonement. All these events, which may not be out-of-the-ordinary on their own, assume gargantuan importance when considered in the context of the many special jubilees and associated momentous events, all converging in Israel in the year 2017.  Now superpose all these with the increasing unprecedented upheavals in the environment, socio-economic, scientific, political, and spiritual sectors, at the global level, as extensively discussed on several occasions by Church Arise! 

Something need to give, one way or the other!

The big question for us Rapture-believing Christians (unfortunately MOST Christians in the world today do not believe in a literal Rapture) is: would it be at these particular trumps, that the Heavenly trump will also sound, leading to the rising of the dead in Christ and us still alive and remaining being caught up in the skies? 

Church Arise! says, “Why Not!”

To date, we have spoken against date-setting movements. Primarily, because, according to our understanding, events in Christianity, unlike those in Judaism, are not set in stones. They are to be fulfilled entirely at times the Father has put in His own power (Acts 1:7).  Indeed, the Church is not directly captured in the Jewish Feasts and all our association of the Rapture with the Feasts are only based on deductions.  THEREFORE WE BELIEVE THAT THE RAPTURE COULD VERY WELL HAPPEN AHEAD OF ANY PROJECTED DATE (NO MATTER HOW REASONABLE THE DATE).

In the present circumstances however, with only few hours to these buzz-dates, there is little danger of someone casting off restraints because they believed they still had some years, months, weeks, or even days before such expected dates for the Rapture. We therefore heartily enjoin Christians to enthusiastically keep alive in their hearts, the possibility of the Rapture occurring spontaneously anytime from NOW!  This is exceedingly exciting indeed and it is a great priviledge to be able to dare have this hope (Mat. 13:17!)

Of course there is also the big danger, which has repeated itself countless of times in the past, of people developing apathy or even hostility to the subject in the event of a no-show at some previous expected date.  In order words, what happens if the Rapture does not happen this weekend?  Perhaps it will be a week after. Or we might even have to wait another year, or even longer?

It will be foolish ruling out this possibility!  While there are abundant evidences confirming that we are operating as it were in “injury time”, nevertheless, there would remain some fundamental uncertainties in the calculations.  And unlike the famous “Uncertainty Principle” of quantum mechanics, we can’t really be sure of the magnitude of deviations we are dealing with.  Consider for instance that, even though the Lord Jesus was evidently sacrificed at Passover as our Passover Lamb; that same year, He himself still partook of the Passover meal with His disciples!  He would therefore have been seriously mistaken, anyone who seeing the Lord eat the Passover jumped to the conclusion that He (the Lord) would not be fulfilling the Passover that particular year. Bible scholars have addressed this issue. A citation attributed to Josephus explaining that people from the Northern Tribes eat their Passover earlier than those  in Judea can be found here, while a more rigorous discussion of the situation can be found here.  Furthermore according to an article we posted on our blog several weeks ago the exact time of the Feast of Trumpet is NOT predictable as it depends on the actual local weather condition over Jerusalem. Other scholars also strongly argue that The Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah)  might actually be different from Rosh Hashanah (see Shabbat-Shuvah,  NehemiahWalls

The point being made here is that tomorrow, September 23, is indeed as good as any day ever calculated for the Rapture to occur; but we must also realize that our best calculations are liable to some minor uncertainties. Even when we can’t be 100% sure of any particular date, we can be 100% sure that the season is here.  The day the Rapture would occur would dawn like any other day.  Like today.

As with other Kingdom-minded children of God, our prayers at Church Arise! are that there would be no more delays in the ushering in of God’s will on earth as it is in heaven.  That His  counsel finally overtake and prevail over the current chaos and counsel of hell on our beloved planet.  And that this will indeed happen this weekend!

However, if any of this analysis would require you having a drastic change in your schedules, it only confirms you have not had your priorities right as a Christian, all along.  The Lord’s instruction is that we occupy till He comes. Thank God there is still room to make amends! Whether the Lord bids us come up this weekend, or tarries a little longer, we must live in such a way that no news or speculations need make us break our strides or schedules.  We should endeavour to always put the Kingdom first, at all times! 

Do you have issues about your salvation?  Simply ask the Lord Jesus to have mercy on you, and believe He is good and will honour His words not to reject, under whatever circumstance, anyone who humbly asks for His mercy. (John 6:37., Rev 3:20, John 8:11)

Meanwhile, we are still here and there is work to do.  Hands to the Plough. Eyes on the Master, OCCUPY!