Christ News Today

U.S. Department of Agriculture/WikiCommons

U.S. Department of Agriculture/WikiCommons

In a Facebook video, Epperson says that she prayed Psalm 91 over her home and the fire miraculously stopped right at the border of her property.

“I just kept praying Psalms 91 over our home, ‘whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the mighty shadow. I will say of the Lord he is my refuge and my God in whom I trust. Surely, He will save you from the fowler’s snare and the deadly pestilence. A thousand may fall at your side, tend thousand at your right hand but it will not come near you.”

While the actress’ neighborhood was scorched, her property was unharmed.

“We could only evacuate the horses that could fit in our trailer which has three horses. And then all of our neighbors had borders so all of their horses, 25, 30, horses went in that pen. And so there were 25 horses there and the fire stopped. God stopped that fire, right at our property line,” Epperson said. “Every horse was okay. They had water, they didn’t even have ash on them.”

Epperson and her family are trying to help those who have lost their homes, particularly by helping drive people to their homes. They are also providing food, supplies and anything additional they can help with according to CBN.

“Two gentlemen we drove down…it was just so devastating to watch, to drop them off and to watch them walk down this dirt road. Everything was burnt and they just said, ‘My home is gone,’[ and they just walked into the distance,” Epperson said.

Epperson believes that God is bringing revival to California and is using this an opportunity for people to know Him better.

“The good that’s going to come out of it is I believe that revival, that God is going to wake us all up. I know my life is changed and I just want to share the love of God even more with everybody,” Epperson said.

This wildfire has become the deadliest in California history. The death toll has risen to 66 with even more people unaccounted for.

Nobody knows how many North Koreans celebrate the Christ. For them, displays of faith can lead to prison or worse. It is the most oppressive country in the world for Christians.

In September 2016, the Christian activist group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, published a report which said: “Among other basic human rights denied to the people of North Korea, freedom of religion or belief is largely non-existent. Denial of this right has occurred since the 1950s, and the current leader, Kim Jong-un, continues to violate citizens’ religious freedom.”

Jang-mi, whose name was changed to protect her, is one of those Christians. She faces the threat of being persecuted for her faith every day, but she still believes in Christ.

Jang-mi was happily living in China after having escaped from North Korea. There she met and fell in love with her husband, who was also from North Korea. They both shared the same passion for Christian faith. However, her husband’s heart didn’t quite feel right. He wanted to go back to the persecuted country and share with his family his newfound faith.

Her husband crossed back over into North Korea, telling Jang-mi he would be back tomorrow. That day never came. She knew she had to go after him.

She knew that crossing the North Korean and Chinese border is dangerous, no matter what direction you are traveling. North Korean police are instructed to shoot on sight. Despite all this, she took the risk.

She was immediately captured by guards and taken to a prison. Jang-mi endured torture. The soldiers yelled at her, calling her — ironically — “Judas” for betraying North Korea and following Jesus. Luckily, a guard recognized her last name and found her uncle, who was a high-ranking official in the North Korean army. He was able to get her released and brought home.

There, he gave her a gift — her father’s old military hat. He instructed her to look inside.

Jang-mi was blown away when she noticed a small cross drawn in the hat. “You mean my father was a believer in Jesus?” Jang-mi asked. “But how? Why did he never tell me?” Her father kept it a secret to protect the family.

When a Christian is caught in North Korea, it is a death sentence. Whether you are discovered sharing the Gospel or holding a single page of God’s Word, you can be sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp. Few people in the camps survive more than a couple of years. Jang-mi’s father is now in one of those prison camps.

Her husband, she found out, had been caught crossing the border and was later executed for his faith.

Jang-mi was heartbroken upon returning home to China. She reflected on her late husband and her father, who were both so passionate about the Lord they risked dying for their faith. She knew she had to do the same.

Jang-mi studied God’s Word thoroughly, knowing that Bibles are few and far between in her home country. Then, she made her way across the border one more time, determined to share the Gospel with those who do not know Jesus.

Jang-mi is just one of the many brave Christians who are risking everything to bring the hope of Jesus to North Korea. In border towns like the one Jang-mi and her husband lived in, Chinese and North Korean believers wait to share food and God’s Word with those who risk their lives to escape to China.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

Two hand grenades were recently found by Israeli defense forces inside the tomb of Joseph. These were discovered at the same time more than 1,000 Jewish worshipers were gathering on the site on a religious pilgrimage.

According to World Israel News the grenades were “of makeshift design and appeared to be manufactured locally.” IDF believes these grenades were left at the site by Arab terrorists targeting Israeli visitors.

Regarding the events, an army spokesperson said, “Overnight, IDF, Border Police, Israeli Police, and Civil Administration secured the entrance of a thousand worshipers to Joseph’s tomb in Nablus. Upon the forces’ entrance, two self-manufactured grenades were found in the area of the tomb. They were detonated by sappers. No injuries or damage were reported.”

This is not the first time pilgrims have been targeted recently. The IDF also says that other violence occurred during the pilgrimage. They claim that a group directed gunfire at an IDF jeep and others threw stones. Riots also broke out last year as pilgrims visited the tomb.

So far, no one has been taken into custody for the grenades.

Joseph’s tomb is a shrine near the city of Nablus in the West Bank. It is considered by some religions to be the burial place of the biblical patriarch Joseph. He is an important biblical figure in the Book of Genesis. Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, he rose to become vizier, the second most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh, where is presence and office caused Israel to leave Canaan and settle in Egypt.

It is located in the Samaritan city of Shechem.

The land has been under Arab control since the Oslo Accords. However, Jewish authorities still have access to the tomb which is considered to be a holy site.

Joel's Goa Pics | Flickr

Joel’s Goa Pics | Flickr

The persecution of Christians in India continues, now with a more warped twist than ever. In Agra, a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, seven Christians were attacked by a mob of Hindus from the group Bajrang Dal, the youth arm of the hardline group Vishva Hindu Parishad. The Christians, five men and two women, were leading a prayer meeting in a local hotel on October 30, 2018. Shortly after they finished a music program, the Hindus attacked. The seven people were severely beaten. Then, to add insult to injury, the Christians were the ones arrested. The Hindu mob claimed that the Christians were trying to forcibly convert Hindus and were using derogatory language against Hinduism. Despite being the victims, the Christians were the ones handed over to the police.

This is not the first time Hindu extremists have used false accusations of forced conversions and blasphemy to justify brutal and senseless attacks on Christians. India has developed a massive problem of Christian persecution in recent years. Christianity is seen as being an outsider’s religion and anti-nationalist. The situation has deteriorated enough that India is ranked 11th in the world for Christian persecution, ahead of Syria, China and Saudi Arabia, all of which are notorious for their persecution of those who do not follow the correct religion, or in China, the lack-there-of. In the spring of 2017 alone, there were 17 episodes of aggression against Christians in India. That pattern has held if not escalated with Christians suffering physical injuries and even being murdered for their faith. It does not help that the authorities are known to turn a blind eye to the matter, and some people have claimed that the government and police force have even been involved or encouraged the attacks. What can be done to help turn the tide in India is up for debate, but there is no doubt that something needs to be done to stop the flagrant persecution of India’s third largest religion.

Are the end times upon us? According to those keeping a close eye on the strange happenings in Israel, the answer might well be “yes.” Predictions about the end of the world seem to appear every time there is an unusual celestial phenomenon, such as a lunar eclipse or a comet’s arrival, but the eerie signs in Israel are both more common and more bizarre.

The first of the three strange occurrences was the birth of the first “red heifer in 2,000 years.” The calf in question was given an “extensive examination” to see if she was actually “blemish free” as is specified in the Bible. According to end times literature, the red calf “brings the promise of reinstating Biblical purity to the world” and will be sacrificed prior to the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. Rabbinical experts have found that the calf is “without blemish” as defined by Scripture and thus is a “viable candidate for the Biblical red heifer.”

The birth of a calf seems commonplace, but the second oddity in Israel has baffled scientists across the world. The Dead Sea is known for its overwhelming salinity. The extraordinary abundance of salt in the water makes it both a popular tourist destination and an environment that is completely inhospitable to almost every form of life on the planet. The sinkholes around its edges, however, have inexplicably been filled with fish. Where the fish have come from is unknown, and they have been joined by the return of vegetation to the otherwise barren area. This fits the prophet Ezekiel’s claims that the Dead Sea and the area around it would flourish with life before the world came to an end.

The final eerie happening in Israel is enough to send shivers down the spine of even the most skeptical. A snake crawled out of the stones of the Wailing Wall, one of Israel’s holiest sites. Worshipers, understandably, “panic[ed].” The snake was identified as a coin-marked snake, or leaden-colored racer, and it was not a small specimen either. Rough estimates place it at over three feet long. The appearance of the snake was not the first frightening incident to take place at the Wailing Wall this year, as a falling stone nearly crushed a women praying below in July 2018. That said, there is something more ominous about the unexpected appearance of the animal so often associated with evil in the Bible in a place that is meant to be filled with worship.

What precisely these signs mean, if anything, is up for debate, but there is no doubt that end of the world bloggers have just received more than enough material to keep them busy through the end of the year. There are also a lot of people undoubtedly grabbing for their Bibles in order to refresh themselves on the signs of the end times, just in case more of them appear.