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Stockholm - Newsletter November 2020

A Word from the pastor  

Recently, I have been thinking about suffering. The present earth is not like the original earth, which was created perfect and good (Gen 1:31).

Neither is it like the future millennial earth or the eternal earth, which will be glorious (Rev 21:1). Currently, we are not therefore living in a “normal” world but rather we experience an “abnormal” existence. Death and suffering were not part of the original creation. Therefore, even the creation itself is waiting for its deliverance (Rom 8:18-22). However, suffering is a reality in this world, also for believers. Unsaved people suffer without a purpose, but we, as believers suffer with a purpose. That is a huge difference, is it not?

The Surety of Suffering

It is crucial that we have a correct understanding of the doctrine of suffering. Pastor Schaller said once that “we need to teach our people to suffer well”. This is the opposite of the so-called “prosperity gospel”, claiming that suffering is due to our lack of faith or inability to confess correctly. If we do not understand the purpose of our present suffering, we will quickly become angry and eventually bitter when we encounter trials, testing and tribulations.

Both the purpose of our suffering and the will of God for our life are found in Rom 8:29 – we are to be conformed to the image of His Son. As much as we dislike it, that involves suffering. Jesus suffered before He received His rightful glory as the incarnated Son of God (Heb 5:8). There is a pattern in Christ for us who are joint heirs with Him, who is the firstborn among many brethren – temporal suffering is followed by eternal glory (Rom 8:17, 29). Suffering has a thousand faces, but the grace of God is always sufficient (2 Cor 12:9; 1 Pet 4:10).

Suffering because of our Condition

Although redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ, we presently live in a fallen world with all the ramifications that come with that (Rom 8:22; 1 John 5:19). Furthermore, we still have an old sin nature capable of all things related to the fall (Ps 51:5; Rom 5.12). Finally, we are assailed by Satan and his demonic host (Eph 6:11; 1 Pet 5:8). These, humanly speaking, unfortunate circumstances pave the way for sufferings of all sorts.  

Suffering because of our Confession

Jesus told us that we should not be surprised if we suffer for His name’s sake while in this world. This fallen world hates us Christians because we confess the name of Jesus (John 15:18). In fact, the English word “martyr” comes from the Greek verb μάρτυς, which means “to witness”. In other words, it describes one who bears testimony to faith. That very confession will entail a measure of suffering, regardless of who we are and where we live.

Suffering because of our Convictions

The Apostle Paul made it clear that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim 3:12 NKJV). Personal convictions will cause persecution and thus suffering. When we take a stand for what God has said in His Word, it will bring an “atmospheric reaction”. We are often tempted to “put our light under the basket”. As a result, we cease to be salt and light (Matt 5:13-16). That means that we do not impact our surrounding. To stand up for the truth will always bring suffering and our generation is no exception.

Spurious Suffering

In Sweden, as well as in other first world countries, much of what we define as suffering is unfounded.
We complain about having to empty the dishwasher. Hold your little horses for just a second. First, the fact that I have a dishwasher puts me in a privileged and blessed category. Second, I would “suffer” a lot more if I had to wash the dirty dishes by hand. Third, since I must empty the dishwasher, it means that I have eaten and can afford to do so. That said, people in developed countries are not exempt from suffering. Drugs, alcohol, divorces, cancer and accidents are just a few ways we suffer.

Complete Compensation

Praise be to God, Scripture says that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18 NKJV). God has promised to compensate many times over for all endured sufferings and sacrifices made (Mark 10:28-31).

Imagine a scale where we put all our sufferings on one side and then we put God’s promise on the other side. It will not just “level out”, but it will outweigh the suffering by far. In conclusion, I will let one verse speak for itself.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor 4:17 NKJV).
P. Mikael Toll


Prayer and Fasting 

Several years ago, the Greater Grace Church in Baltimore initiated a monthly day of prayer and fasting. Typically, the first Wednesday of the month is dedicated to this noble purpose. Many of us have been blessed by this great initiative. Without prayer nothing will happen but with prayer everything can and will happen. It is as simple as that, is it not? The next opportunity to join the international Body of Christ in this admirable effort to move heaven and earth will be on Wednesday the 4th of November. 

One body member in Stockholm approached me recently and expressed a desire to learn more about the mainly ignored or misunderstood spiritual weapon of fasting. The outcome of this conversation was a local day of prayer and fasting with a special emphasis on the local needs in Stockholm and Sweden. The date for this event is Thursday the 5th of November. Yes, that is right, they are back to back, so there is the opportunity to receive a “double blessing”, if you are up to it. 
This month´s prayer calendar...

Creation Seminar

Some of us were blessed by participate in a creation seminar held yearly in different locations in Sweden. Several Swedish and international Christian scientists spoke about a variety of topics related to creationism. In the first session, the president of the Genesis Association, Göran Schmidt, spoke about the importance of knowing how God created the world, not just that He did it. In Revelation 4:11, God is worshipped as the Creator. Of course, He is also worshipped as the Saviour (Rev 5:9). The point is, though, that these two characteristics of God, Creator and Saviour, are the focus of the worshippers before the throne of God. The Saviour is the Creator, and the Creator became our Saviour. The supernatural act of God in creating all things seen is the first area we are asked to exercise faith in (Heb 11:3).  
Some of our people at the conference. From left to right: Daniel Nilsson, Hasse Johansson, Caroline Johansson, Johannes Johansson, Mikael Toll and Hugo Morino. 
Here is P. Mikael together with Göran Schmidt, the president of the Genesis Association. 

Get to know Anette Krengel 

Anette came to the ministry with her husband, Peter, in the 1980s. They have a daughter, Susanna, and a grandchild, Nagisa. Over the years, she has been somewhat of a spiritual jack of all trades. Among many other things she has been involved with, Anette has been a faithful member of our worship team (playing the guitar). Cooking, baking, translating and proofreading are some other things by which she has blessed our church in Stockholm. 

Anette was one of the translators of Professor Werner Gitt’s material at the creation seminar (from German to Swedish). One lecture was about information and DNA and the other one was about the ultimate seaworthiness of Noah’s ark. Not exactly the easiest topics to deal with, I assume. We are indeed thankful for Anette’s ministry to the Body of Christ in Stockholm and beyond. Her life is a great blessing, and her friendship highly valued. Faithfulness is her middle name. 

Anette is a longtime librarian at Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College. She has a bachelor’s degree in librarianship from The Swedish School of Library and Information Science. She has also studied archaeology and linguistics at the University of Stockholm. 
Anette Krengel
Sometimes people ask me if I believe that “my church” has the right doctrine. When I answer, yes, I do believe that we have the right doctrine, people get somewhat perplexed. They think it is pride claiming such a thing. Of course, I do not mean that I have cornered the truth or that I am the only guy on the block with sound doctrine. However, if I knew there was a church, denomination or ministry with “better doctrine”, I would probably go there. Does that make sense? When I buy a car, I do not walk into the dealer and say that I would like to have the second or third best car. I obviously want the best. 

My personal “doctrinal journey” has been a long and laborious one. My convictions about the Scriptures did not come overnight. I treasure what I know, and, like Timothy, I want to guard what has been committed to my trust (1 Tim 6:20). Often, these days, in Sweden and probably elsewhere as well, doctrine is downplayed. It is even believed to be divisive to take a strong stand about an issue. The same is true if one teaches something from the Bible with a conviction that this is the truth as it has been revealed to us through the Word of God. Some doctrines are cardinal while others are secondary. How picky do I need to be when it comes to defining my personal beliefs? Is it enough to just believe the “basic truth” or do I need to narrow it down further? For this month, I have written a quick reference guide to sound doctrine from the top of my head. In other words, this is not meant to be a scholarly work, but simple, yes, that is right, “food for thought”.  Read “Is it not enough to be a believer?”
Read this month´s Food for thought...

Youtube - Spiritual Warfare

The Book of Job tells us that behind the physical world there is a spiritual reality, an angelic conflict. In this conflict, we need to side with the “stronger man” (Jesus), who is able to bind the “strong man” (Satan) (Luke 11:14-23). This takes humility, a key component in successful warfare (Jas 4:4-10).
As Christians we need to view ourselves as “ready soldiers” (2 Tim 2:1-4). In this battle, it is crucial that we are properly protected, so we need to put on the whole armour of God to stand against the wiles of the Devil (Eph 6:10-17).
This includes an understanding of the proper place of prayer in the warfare (Eph 6:18-20). With a correct understanding of the divine resources given to us, we are able to “pull down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalt itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor 10:4b-5a NKJV). 

Please, listen to Dr. Mikael’s 10-part series dealing with the unavoidable spiritual battle of the believer.
Satan’s limited authority in this present world (part 1 of 10)

Sermons on Youtube and Facebook

We have started to meet again on Sundays at Pumpan. Please contact for more information.

Every Sunday when we meet, we broadcast live on Facebook and we also post that sermon on Youtube a little later.

We try to publish the sermon in English on Youtube around 6 pm every Sunday.

Upcoming events

December/January 2020-2021
31/12-3/1 New Year Seminar in Kiljava, Finland  

March 2021
9-13 Eurocon in Budapest, Hungary
Contact us for more information...
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