drinking from His cup

The Last Supper – Philippe de Champaign c.1652

 

”Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”


μάρτυς
martus
mar’-toos
Of uncertain affinity; a witness (literally [judicially] or figuratively [generally]); by analogy a “martyr”: – martyr, record, witness.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and Greek Dictionary


Hebrews 2:14-16

14.  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15.  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
16.  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

In this portion of the Holy Scripture, the writer to the Hebrews is telling his readers why it was imperative hat God became a man. If the Creator was to dye for the creation,  He must Himself, take on flesh and blood, in order to redeem those condemned under the penalty of sin. Believest thou this?

The devil’s power is in the realm of sin and the sting of sin is death, but for the believer in Christ, neither hath any power. So for those, who all their lifetime were afraid to die, no longer in bondage to that fear.

Fear is the emotion that is synonymous with terror. It is quite the norm to fear someone or something that is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. But in the case of the believer, there resides a Spirit, and that Spirit is greater than one’s fear.

We see evidence of this Spirit in the first century (AD33) witness of Stephen. The account of this testimony can be found in the book of the Acts of the apostles, 6:8-7:60. Stephen was arrested for being a follower of Jesus Christ and doing great wonders and miracles among the people. In his only defense, he gave credence to the fact that Jesus of Nazarath was Yeshua ha Mashiach.

When the religious folk heard such a testimony, they were cut to the heart and they gnashed on him with their teeth in anger. But Stephen, being full of the Holy Ghost (the Spirit that conquers the fear) did not see the dire straits of his circumstance, but looked steadfastly toward heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.

The word of God tells us that Stephen was cast out of the city where he was stoned calling upon God and saying “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”.

This same Spirit was alive and well in the believer’s in the 16th century as well…

 

Thomas Hawkes (Hauker)

Thomas Hawkes came from a respectable family in England. Serving as a page at the court of King Edward VI, he was known as a handsome young man with gentle manners. When he became of age, he entered the service of the lord of Oxford, where he remained for some time, being liked by all the household.

When King Edward died, religion changed, and protestants began to be in danger. Rather than change his faith, he left his position with the lord of Oxford and went back to his own home. Having married while in Oxford, a son was born to him not long after he returned home.

He did not want the child baptized by a Catholic priest and so he put off the baptism for three weeks. His enemies on hearing this, had him brought before the magistrate charged with being unsound in religion. After a hearing he was sent to London and tried before the bishop of London who after being unable to get Hawkes to recant his faith, placed him as a prisoner in the Gate-house of Westminster.

During Hawkes imprisonment, various plans were tried to make him recant – but all proved useless. Thomas’s constant answer to all who spoke to him on the subject was “I am no changeling.” When responding to the Bishop of London who urged him to give up his faith, he said: “No my lord, that I will not, for if I had a hundred bodies I would suffer them all to be torn in pieces rather than I will abjure and recant.”

Unable to get him to recant, they passed the awful sentence of death upon him. To this he firmly replied, that he would rather suffer death than renounce his faith in the gospel.

While in prison waiting till he be taken to the stake, Hawkes was allowed to see his friends. Several of them asked him if it would be possible for him to give them some token to show that a man could suffer the fire without despairing. Hawkes promised, “by the help of God, to show them that the most terrible torments could be endured in the glorious cause of Christ and his gospel, the comforts of which were able to lift the believing soul above all the injuries men could inflict.”

It was agreed between them that if the pains of burning were bearable, the martyr should lift up his hands toward heaven before he died as a signal to his friends.

On April 10, 1555, Thomas was led to the place of execution, where he mildly and patiently prepared himself for the fire, being fastened to the stake with a strong chain about his middle. He addressed the multitude of onlookers, including his accusers, pointing out the sin and dreadful consequences of shedding innocent blood.

After Hawkes had made a prayer, pouring out his soul unto God, the flames were kindled around him, and soon blazed with such fierceness that his speech could not be heart by the flame’s intensity. As the fire burned a long time, his skin was drawn together, and his fingers were consumed, and having not moved, the people thought him dead. Suddenly and contrary to all expectation, Thomas, mindful of the promise he had made to his friends, raised his hands still burning with flames high above his head, and, as if in an ecstasy of joy, clapped them together three times.

A great shout followed this wonderful circumstance, and then this blessed martyr of Christ, sinking down into the fire, gave up his spirit.

The story above, was a compilation from several online sources and the book Jesus Freak –  VOM (Voice Of The Martyrs)Jesus Freak –  VOM (Voice Of The Martyrs

World Christian Trends AD30-AD2200; interpreting the annual Christian mega census, is a report that was compiled by David B. Barrett and Todd M. Johnson in 2001. The report estimated that some 69,420,000 Christians have been martyred between AD33 and AD2000. [1]

While we can’t guarantee the exact number, as there is a lot of muddy water in the statistics, the same is true in cataloguing the murder of the unborn in America since 1973. But we can rest assured of this one fact, Christ knows exactly each and every one that has falling to such horror and they will most assuredly be met with just recompense on that day.

We are living in a day in which we see an vehement unleashing of the anti-Christ spirit. It is pouring its vengeance out against anything associated with YAWEH, whether it be Israel or the Christian faith. This violent spirit is gaining preeminence throughout the world, while all along the church in America is lying in the midst of it’s slumbering-religious spirit. I am afraid that by the time the church in America realizes that the opposition is at its very door step, it will be too late to make preparation to stand.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the spirit saith!

brother malachi

[1] Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
World Christian trends, AD 30-AD 2200 : interpreting the annual Christian megacensus / David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson ; associate editors, Christopher Guidry, Peter Crossing. p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-87808-608-0 (alk. paper)
1. Church history. 2. Christian sects. 3. Ecclesiastical geography. 4. Christianity—Statistics.
I. Barrett, David B. II. Johnson, Todd M. III. Guidry, Christopher. IV. Crossing, Peter.

the sweet smelling savour of Saeed

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Saeed Abedini, Naghmeh (wife) and two children.

I received this email from a dear brother in the Lord. He is with the ministry of Asia Harvest. If we were in Saeed’s place, would we want Christians around the world to lift us up? Our Lord does!

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Hebrews 13:3


Dear Friends,

You probably know that we rarely send emails unless we have a very urgent prayer request we would like to share with you. This is such a time.

A dear personal friend of mine is in trouble for no reason except that he loves and obeys Jesus Christ. His name is Saeed Abedini. He was born in Iran, but is now a US citizen. His wife Naghmeh is also a US citizen and they live with their two children in the US state of Idaho.

Saeed, despite being just 32 years old, has been instrumental in bringing many Iranian Muslims to the Lord, and has established numerous house churches throughout Iran.

He asked me to write his biography, and I was working on it when Saeed made one last trip back to Iran to say goodbye to his family. He knew that when his book came out it would be impossible for him to travel back to the country of his birth.

I can assure you that his testimony is quite remarkable and will bring much glory to God, and I can testify that Saeed is a God-fearing brother who loves the Lord Jesus. Before he met the Lord, Saeed was so depressed he wanted to commit suicide, and for a time he was trained by Hezbollah to be a suicide bomber. After he experienced salvation through the Blood of Jesus Christ, Saeed’s whole life was so dramatically transformed that he could not help but spread the Good News to as many people as possible.

In September last year Saeed was travelling on a bus near the Iranian border when Revolutionary Guards boarded the bus and dragged him off. He has been held for months while he waited for his case to come before the courts of Iran. He is currently captive in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran. He has been mercilessly tortured, but has not denied His Lord and Savior.

Despite being an American citizen, the US State Department has done nothing to help as they have no relationship with Iran. From the human level, there is little hope for Saeed. Indications have been given that he may be sentenced to 18 years in prison, or possibly even given the death penalty.

That is why I am asking you to pray. What politicians and the strength of men are unable to achieve, God can do!

Today we received news that Saeed’s case has been assigned to a notorious judge who is known as ‘the hanging judge” because of his history of sending people to the gallows. This man has such a fearsome reputation that few lawyers in Iran are willing to defend clients before him, because the judge often has the lawyer thrown into prison as well. He is due to hand down his sentence next week. The American Center for Law and Justice has released this harrowing statement, which includes a picture of Saeed and his family: http://aclj.org/iran/american-father-husband-abandoned-iran-handed-hanging-judge

Despite all these hardships, Saeed continues to stand strong for the Lord. In a recent letter to his family from prison he wrote, “Prison is a test of faith. I was always worried that the storms of this life would break the ship of my faith, but when you stand steadfast, the storms are like a nice breeze. Nothing can break my faith. These walls have created more fervor for me to love others through sharing the Gospel, but more than that, the walls have deepened my love for my Savior. I feel the prayers of all who are praying for me.”

Can you please pray that our Living God will perform a miracle for Saeed and his family?

· Whatever the outcome, please pray that the Name of Jesus will be glorified and many thousands in Iran will hear the Gospel because of Saeed’s imprisonment.

· Please ask God to soften the heart of Judge Pir-Abassi, and that the Lord’s will may completely overshadow all the proceedings. Pray Saeed will receive grace and favour from the Lord.

· Ask God to bring this situation to the attention of many intercessors around the world who will pray for Saeed and his family.

· Please pray Saeed will continue to stand firm and be a great witness to the guards and other prisoners he comes into contact with.

· Pray the Gospel will continue to spread to the 70 million captive Iranians. Many are open to knowing and following Jesus Christ, but have never heard the message of His salvation.

Please feel free to forward this message to other praying Christians. There are no security restrictions on it and there is nothing in the content which the Iranian government doesn’t already know. You may also post this message in its entirety on social media or websites, if you feel it will help mobilize more Christians to pray.

For our King,

Paul Hattaway

www.asiaharvest.org


 

If you have vision, nothing will frighten you. With His vision, God gives you power. You must not be afraid.

IRANIANPASTOR

 

In the faithful name of Yeshua

brother malachi

the spirit of ‘herod the great’ is alive an well… today

image

Artist: Matteo di Giovanni Title: Deutsch: Bethlehemitischer Kindermord

Italiano: La Strage degli Innocenti di Matteo di Giovanni è un quadro (tempera emulsionata su tavola, cm 231 x 234) che si trova a Napoli nel Museo di Capodimonte (inv. Q 38), nella Galleria Napoletana. Date: 1488

Wikimedia Commons -The work of art depicted in this image and the reproduction thereof are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project. The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License


Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. Matthew 2:7-18


After the birth of Jesus Christ, the scripture tells us that wise men (magi- Chaldean in origin, skillful in all wisdom and cunning in knowledge and understanding in science. They were interpreters of omens and dreams and students of astronomy), came from the East to worship Him that was born King of the Jews.

We are not sure how many of the wise men traveled from the East to locate the Christ Child, but three (gold, frankincense and myrrh) are traditionally associated  with the story, but I’m thinking three inconspicuous men from the East would not  have caused such a stir and noted by Herod.

After getting all the details of that first Christmas morn, Herod sent the wise men out to diligently seek and find the Christ Child so that he may follow in the steps of the wise men and worship Him as well. It is the spirit of Herod I would like for us to scrutinize in this post.

At face value, it seems that Herod is of a kindred spirit with the wise men. They had traveled hundreds of miles to find the Christ Child that they may bring Him gifts and worship Him, but Herod had different intentions. What is coming out of Herod’s  mouth does not validate the content of his heart. In fact God reveals the true intent of Herod’s heart when He instructs the magi in a dream that they should not return to Herod. He desired nothing less than to kill Jesus. Now I would like to interject at this time Herod’s intentions were political while Satan’s, the god of the world, were spiritual. The object of Satan was to “destroy the seed of the woman”. There is an uncanny similarity that is taking place all over the world today… a concerted effort to remove any mention of Jesus from society.

The first evidence of the anti-Christ spirit had political ramifications…

Herod heard that there was One that was born King of the Jews.

Now this was not just scuttlebutt, but the very prophetic word of God. Herod’s response to what he heard does not necessarily indicate that he believed the Word of God. The fact that these wise men had traversed from afar to find the King of kings and Lord of lords was quite alarming and he could not take a chance that another king might have been born. From a purely political perspective, Herod must find Him as well, but not for to worship, but to kill. Imagine, man attempting to kill God?

We can liken the undermining tactics of Herod to the political correctness of our day. At every turn we see a concerted effort to remove any hint of Christ from the public arena. You have heard it… Christmas trees, parades, and play have been reduced to simply holiday…., for the sake of separation of church and state. This is in fact a literal attempt to remove “CHRIST” from Christmas, hence from the American society.

Once Herod realized that the wise men had found the Messiah, worshipped Him, and returned into their own country another way, he became incensed and the  attack became vitriolic in nature…. the slaughter of innocent children. This egregious act is nothing short of a human being that is doing the work of his father, the devil. For the devil is a liar and a murder from the beginning.

This is the same level of attack that we seeing permeating throughout the anti-Christian world. Innocent Christians violently and brutally persecuted, and for what reason? Simply for naming the name of Christ. This is in essence the world’s futile attempt to remove any semblance of Christ from this world of darkness.

Darkness has no power. Just a little light invades darkness. In the gospel of John Christ told His disciples just before His offering “ Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.” John 12: 35-36

Pray for our brothers and sisters that are suffering for His cause. When the same measure of suffering comes to the church in America, we will need their prayers!

brother malachi

the Balm of Gilead’s sweet aroma

Myrrh gum is commonly harvested from the species Commiphora myrrha, which is native to Yemen, Somalia,Eritrea and eastern Ethiopia. Another farmed species is C. momol. The related Commiphora gileadensis, native to Eastern Mediterranean and particularly the Arabian Peninsula, is the biblically referenced Balm of Gilead,also known as Balsam of Mecca. Several other species yield bdellium and Indian myrrh. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrrh

 

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Where there is no cross, there is no crown. This lesson cannot be learned from books, and men do not usually taste this sweetness. This rich life does not exist in a comfortable environment. If the spices are not refined to become oil, the fragrance of the perfume cannot flow forth; and if the grapes are not crushed in the vat, they will not become wine.

FROM A CHINESE CHRISTIAN

He was the most wanted criminal in all of Saudi Arabia. He was not wanted for robbery, or murder, or rape. He was wanted for being a Christian pastor and for leading a large secret church in the Saudi Arabian capital city.

    Without being charged, the pastor was taken from his home and into a room with three men. There he was slapped, kicked, and punched. The most painful abuse was the lashes on the bottoms of his feet. When the lashing was done, his hands and feet were the purple color of eggplant.
    In the midst of that pain, the torturers ordered the Christian to stand. “I cannot,” he told them. Every square inch of his feet hurt, and there was no way to support his weight. “Please just allow me to kneel.” The torturers refused.
    While the three men beat him, the pastor prayed for them. His prayers reminded him of a verse. “For he will command his angels . . . they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11–12). In spite of his feet, Wally stood straight up among the men. They were shocked that he could stand after such a beating.
    “I was standing on the hands of God’s angels,” the Christian pastor  later said. “They could not see angels, but I felt that they were there to help me stand.” – VOM


  • 15 out of the 19 hijackers who carried out the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were Saudi citizens
  • Osama bin Laden, was born and raised in Saudi Arabia
  • Reports by the U.S. Congress and its disclosure of what the U.S. press called "incontrovertible evidence" linking Saudis to the financing of al-Qaeda operatives in the United States

Jerusalem Center for Pulbic Affairs- No. 504     5 Tishrei 5764 / 1 October 2003


And a Christian pastor is the most wanted criminal in all of Saudi Arabia?

Just for the record, Saudi Arabia’s support for anti-Christian activities does not take the Body of Christ by surprise, nor does the United States support for Saudi Arabia. There is a kindred spirit that opposes the Christ and His gospel… and that spirit is alive and well, throughout the whole world.

”The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” John 15:20b

 

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Map – Persecution of Christians in the Muslim World  Islamization Watch Blog

From the above map we start to understand why a Christian pastor would be the most wanted criminal in Saudi Arabia. The “RELIGION OF PEACE” doesn’t tolerate any religion but Islam. The strange thing is, the whole world seems to have believed the ‘LIE’!

Pray for our brothers and sisters that are living in anti-Christian world.

“The life of man is a continual death, unless it be that Christ lives in him.”—Ignatius

brother malachi

so great a love for God and His word

holybiblewarning

vom groups extreme devotion

“Take her furniture, and search the house for Bibles!” said the commanding guard. Tears filled Mrs. Lu Ying’s eyes as she watched four Communist guards ransack her home.

    “I found it!” yelled the guard. But just as the guard held out the Bible to give it to his commanding officer, Mrs. Lu Ying bravely grabbed it back from him.
    “This book contains all I need to know about my dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I do not want to part with it,” she said passionately while holding her Bible close to her chest.
    “Take her outside,” yelled the commander. “We’ll see how long she wants to hold on to her book about Jesus.”
    The four Communist guards took Mrs. Ying into the street, mocked her, spat on her, and beat her until she could no longer stand. “Do you still believe in your book of myths?” laughed the guards.
    Through a swollen, bleeding mouth, still holding her Bible, Lu Ying repeated her statement of faith.
    The guards grabbed an iron bar and smashed the bones in her hands, causing her now crippled hands to lose their grip. The Bible fell to the street and was confiscated.
    Nearly twenty years later, a mission courier delivered Mrs. Ling a Bible. Her eyes filled with tears. She clutched it with her deformed hands and whispered, “This time I’m not letting go.”

It makes me wonder what fuels Mrs. Lu Ying’s desire to hold to God’s word with such great intensity while immersed in such persecution?

In America there is so little commitment to the Word of God and yet we can freely carry it, at least today, without government opposition. One has got to wonder what fuels this spirit as well.

After careful consideration, I strongly believe this is what Mrs. Lu Ying understood.

Heb 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall no we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

Heb 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

Heb 12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

He 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

I would to God, this same spirit would be found among the people of God in America.

Prayerfully consider helping place bibles in the hands of people that are hungry for God’s word.

 

biblesunbound

 

Voice of the Martyrs through Bibles Unbound places Bibles in the hands of people like Lu Ying. Please consider supporting them financially… that is the easy part. To get the bible into the hands of people like Mrs. Ying is not as easy. For people like Lu Ying to possess it, can cost them everything, even there very life.

In the rich blessing of Christ-

brother malachi

if God is real, why does He allow His people to be martyred?

The Murder of St. Peter the Martyr, 1509, Giovanni Bellini.

I’ve come to believe that God, in his wisdom, allows martyrdom in every generation in part because, without them, the reality of Christ’s death for us becomes increasingly blurry. . . . As we look at [the martyrs], the mist that sometimes enshrouds first-century Golgotha is burned away, and we see . . . the Lord nailed to the cross.

MARK GALLI – senior managing editor Christianity Today

I have tracked the persecution of Christians for a number of years, so I was intrigued by this quote from Mark Galli, senior managing editor for Christianity Today. Even though I have some reservations with the entire quote, Galli does address a spiritual deficiency that the believer must constantly guard against… forgetting what God has done for us. For scriptural support read Deuteronomy 8:10-20.

The lesson is this, when God allows His people to enjoy abundant blessings, we tend to envelope ourselves in the pleasure of the blessing and not only forget how we got to where we are, but we begin to convince ourselves we are responsible for the outcome.

WARNING: Blessing is the greatest enemy for the people of God, unless they keep the blessing in its proper perspective. It should alarm the church in America that ‘BLESSINGS’ seems to be its spiritual focus.

Galli’s quote may be apropos for the church in America, in that the vast majority of the people attending church with some regularity, very rarely if ever, give thought to the work of God at Golgotha, but this is quite the contrast for our brothers and sisters in the rest of the world. “Taking up their cross and following Jesus is a normal way of life.

I was reading the VOM’s Extreme Devotion post about an Iranian pastor who had escaped to the West. In Iran, arrest and police harassment were common experiences. This pastor had lost his home and job because of his faith. Now living in the West he was free to live and worship wherever he wished. How could he long for the days of persecution. “Sometimes I miss those days”, he said, “because I was so alive. I felt every day that Jesus was with me.” Very few faithful church attendees in America  would echo these sentiments.

I find Galli’s quote still leaves the believer somewhat short sighted of what Christ expects from His followers. “As we” only see what the martyrs endure, it gives us in America nothing more that a faint picture of the events of Golgotha. This blurry view of Golgotha is then overwhelmed by the seeming blessings the church enjoys in America. But when we endure the same level suffering that Christian (Iranian pastor) all around the persecuted world are enduring, we not only live the events of Golgotha but see with all clarity the very LORD of Calvary.

So to understand why God allows His people to suffer as martyrs we need look no further than the scripture…

 

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.”  John 15:18-25

So what was Jesus telling his disciples?

The world hates the believer- If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

This is a hard saying… who can understand it? We, in America, understand little about the world hating the believer. Now I am not speaking to the isolated incidences where there are certain individuals and even groups that hate what the church represents, but overall the church in America does not experience the hatred of the world.

The only explanation is that the church in America is so immersed in the world, that it is little more than a religious extension of the world. We could liken it to Hinduism in India, Buddhism in East Asia or Islam in the Middle East.

This is not the case in the rest of the world. To name the name of Christ or call oneself a Christian in most of Asia will put one in jeopardy. Jeopardy of loosing ones job, their material possessions, subject to beatings, imprisonment and even death. In other words, most professing Christians in America would not fit the bill in other parts of the world, nor could they endure the opposition the body of Christ is confronted with on a daily basis in North Korea, China, etc…

This hatred of God is a willful rejection of Him and His Christ- But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.But now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

It is important that we clear the religious fog that shrouds Christianity in America. Many associate Christianity with religion… religion with God. That is not the case at all. Christianity is NOT a religion. Christianity is comprised of individuals that are Born Again by the Spirit of God, resulting in these same individuals being placed spiritually into the Body of Christ. These individuals (Christians) which have been born again make up the True Church mentioned in the Word of God. Therefore a better description of Christianity would be that of a living organism instead of an organization. Just because someone is a member of a religious institution or attends a church with regularity does not make one a Christian. Just because an organization espouses a religious doctrine is no guarantee that they even know God. In fact if they do not align themselves with the Word of God it is evidence that they do not know God or His Christ, hence not born again or Christian at all. For there is no other name under heaven whereby a man may be saved… Jesus The Christ

Now when we think of religions that oppose the word of God, Wiccan, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Atheism, etc…comes to mind. What is very alarming, and becoming more common place, is the rise of this anti-Christ (religious) spirit in the church (organization not the organism) in America.

Just to reiterate, the anti-God / anti-Christ spirit can be borne by the likes of Methodist, Baptist, Lutherans, Catholics, Assemblies of God, etc…We could liken them to the religious folk of Jesus day. They were not only ignorant of God’s word but opposed His Christ at every turn, seeking to eradicate Him from their society.

The evidence that there are religious folk that hate God in the church can been seen in the opposition of His word. If the word of God is hated, the Word that was made flesh would receive the same if he were to stumble into the temple (church) today. This is a hard saying but he that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith.

The servant of Christ is the only one left that the hating world can touch- If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.

Time and time again we saw the religious leaders of Christ day move to take up stones to kill Him. This vehement hatred came from there father the devil. The lust of their father they desired to do .

Now Satan cannot touch God, for He is the Creator and Satan the creature. He can not touch Christ as He is seated at the right hand of the Father. This only leaves His body. It’s a trickle down effect and the Christian (the body of Christ, the believer) is the only one left for the world to persecute.

If you follow the persecuted church, the persecution is not because of the churches criminal activities or any wicked deeds they have done. They are persecuted simply for associating themselves with Jesus-Christianity. This vehement anti-Christ spirit prevailing in the world today can only kill the body but are not able to kill the soul, but the believer is commanded not to fear him; rather fear Him which is able to destroy both the soul and the body in hell.

 

Take up your cross and follow me-

The persecution that the body of Christ is meeting head on did not take God by surprise. In fact He told His believers it would come and the reason they would experience it.

It is in the midst of this grievous suffering that we get a sweet, in depth, intimate vision of Jesus Christ. This may seem sadistic at the surface, but it has scriptural support.  The body and the soul of the believer belongs to the LORD, and He is God!

 

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned [him]: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:55-60

When Christ exhorts us to take up ‘our cross’ and follow ‘Him’, rest assured He does not expect us to carry the cross, He will carry the cross for us. He has already carried His own and is fully capable of taking ours.

For my brothers and sisters that are suffering for the cause of Christ, rest assured, He is strong an faithful and will not leave you to your own!

Prayerfully consider the voice of Justin…

“If you are scourged or beheaded as a criminal, do you believe you will still ascend to heaven?” asked Rusticus, the city official.

“I believe that if I endure these things I shall have what Jesus promised me,” Justin said. “For I know his gift of life stays with all who remain in him, even until the end of the world.”
“Do you think then that you will receive some reward there?”
“I do not think it; I know it. I am certain of it.”
Rusticus sat back with impatience. “You must agree to offer a sacrifice to the gods.”
Justin stood unmoved. “No right-thinking person slanders communion with God by going to the godless.”
Rusticus had had enough. “Unless you obey, you will be mercilessly executed.”
“I know if I die for his testimony that I need not fear. I count dying for such a reason to be our salvation and confidence before Christ.” Justin answered.
The others who stood with Justin said, “Do what you will, for we are Christians and do not sacrifice to idols.”
Rusticus pronounced the sentence on the Christians who refused his demands. “These people, who have refused to sacrifice to the gods and do not obey the dictates of the emperor, shall be scourged and beheaded according to the law.”

Justin was a wise man… he listened to the voice of truth.

brother malachi

‘when the religion of peace turns violent?’

islamist-terrorist 

Pakistani Christian couple refuses to convert: husband is burnt alive, wife raped by police
Fareed Khan (“AsiaNews,” March 22, 2010)

Islamabad, Pakistan – Arshed Masih, 38, is still fighting for his life in Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi, a city not far from Pakistan’s capital. With the help of police, Muslim extremists last Friday set him on fire for refusing to convert to Islam and raped his wife, local sources told AsiaNews. The incident occurred in front of a local police station.

In 2005, Masih and his wife began working for a wealthy Muslim businessman, he as driver and she as his wife’s maid. Recently, the two fell out of favour with their employer and his family because they insisted on remaining Christian.

During the incident, Masih’s wife, Martha, “was raped by police agents,” local sources said. The couple’s three children, ranging in age from 7 and 12, were forced to watch their parents being brutalised.

“Masih and his wife are currently being treated in hospital,” Holy Family Hospital officials said. “He was listed in serious condition with about 80 per cent of his body burned,” the BosNewsLife agency reported. With that kind of burns, hospital officials said the 38-year-old victim is not likely to survive.

On Sunday, the Government of Punjab government announced an investigation into what happened. “The matter will be investigated and the culprits will be arrested,” Punjab’s Minister of Law Rana Sanaullah said.

The Christian couple lived with their children in the servant quarters of Sheikh Mohammad Sultan’s estate in Rawalpindi. In January, religious leaders and Sultan reportedly told Arshed to convert to Islam with his whole family. After he refused, they threatened him with “dire consequences”.

Arshed offered to quit his job, but the businessman allegedly said he would “kill” him if he were to leave.

Last week, tensions rose after Sultan reported the theft of 500,000 Pakistani rupees (almost US$ 6,000), and an official complaint (First Information Report) was filed with police.

Although the Christian couple was not named as suspect, the businessman offered them to drop the case if they converted to Islam or “else that both would not see their children again.”

The rest is known. Arshed Masih chose to remain loyal to his Christian faith, and last Friday he was set on fire and his wife raped by police.

Federal Minority Minister Shahbaz Batti, a Catholic, has so far refused to make any comment because he was “busy”. He did say however, that he would issue a statement in the next few days.

Christian organisations in Rawalpindi and Lahore planned protests for today.

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Courage- Fuel For The Believers Life

Courage is the bridge that carries us from a nominal existence on earth to an inexplicable longing for a heavenly future. Those who fully understand the certainty of heaven’s existence find it easier to exchange their comparably paltry lives on earth for eternal citizenship in heaven. Courage helps us to let go of all we cling to on earth—all the things that make us long to stay here. It takes courage to believe in a life after death. After all, life on earth is all we really know until the moment we die. We are courageous when we launch out in faith, believing Christ has made it possible for us to cross into eternity with him. Once we have made that firm decision, we can face life with purpose and death with courage….. voice of the martyrs

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
— Philippians 1:21

“Kindness is the way to our enemies’ hearts. And it may do something for their souls. God uses kindness as his strategy of choice when dealing with us. Instead of giving us exactly what we deserve for our offenses against him, he deals with us kindly. His kindness is an example of how we should fashion our own approach to those who offend us. Kindness arrests their attention. It is as unexpected as it is undeserved. However, regardless of their response, we must follow the example of our Lord when dealing with our enemies. Who needs your kindness today?” extreme devotion -vom

When we love our enemies, those that spitefully use us, (matthew 5:44) it really confuses them. This confusion will lead one to clarity in life, and that in Christ.

Pray that God will under gird His people as they stand with Him and upon His word.

malachi

‘the danger of our children being educated by fools’

“the fool hath said in his heart, there is no God”

 

school-books-apple-main_Full

I receive The Voice of the Martyr’s daily devotional, Extreme Devotion. These daily devotions are filled with stories of courage, commitment, confession, and compassion—a price demanded; a price paid.

It is an excellent resource for keeping the church in America aware of the systematic suppression that is waged against Christianity throughout all the world and the plight of the persecuted church as they simply live their life for Christ.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters that are in the midst of the fire!

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“One day the teacher told us that we would play a special game. She whispered to us about a special book that our parents may have hidden in our homes. We were to wait until our parents went to sleep, search for this book, and secretly bring it to school the following day for a special surprise. I went home and immediately began searching for the book.

    “The next day I was one of fourteen children who brought the black book, a Bible, to class. We were awarded bright red scarves, and the other students clapped as the teacher paraded us around the room.
    “I ran home that afternoon because I was so excited to tell my mother how I had won the red scarf. She wasn’t in the house or the barn. I waited, but neither she nor my father came home, and I began to get scared. I was hungry and it was becoming dark. I began to feel sick inside, and I fell asleep in a chair.
    “The next day police officers came and informed me that I was now in the care of the government. I never saw my parents again.”
    An elderly woman from North Korea relayed this story. She never heard from her parents and is still struggling to find forgiveness. She is only one of many who have gone through such trials.

Contrary to a popular caricature, the devil does not appear in a red suit, poised with a pitchfork. We would easily recognize such an obvious overture to evil. However, like the child in this story, we often come across him in a different light. The enemy representatives are often impressive people in high places. Consider the influence of a smooth-talking business partner. Or imagine the power a university professor wields in the name of academia. As the child in this story discovered, the enemy plays dirty. We must put away naiveté and be on guard against the enemy wherever we come across him and his representatives. Are you easy prey for the enemy? Or will he find you alert and on guard?

vom- extreme devotion sep 21 ’09

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We are constantly being told today that it is unconstitutional for the government or the public schools to promote ‘religion’. And with this  political verbiage a prayer-less church has been undermined by the wiles of the devil as we have sat by and watched this seeming promotion evolve into an obstruction, and that with absolutely no consideration for one’s constitutional rights.

Now those of us who keep up with this vehement suppression of Christianity in our society, realize the issue is not about religion at all.  The real crux of the matter is this Jesus Christ.

When the children of a nation are indoctrinated by a foolish system, there is a real good chance that the product of that system will be immersed in foolish thinking and that not in the wisdom of God.

Our brothers and sisters in North Korea are still faced with vehement opposition. Please remember them as you live in the comfort of your American Christianity.

malachi

‘living in a foxe kind of day’

persecution in the west

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

-George Santayana

 

John Foxe, a young teacher at Magdelen College, pleaded in prayer, “They call themselves your priests and ministers, but they worship themselves and their political power. Help them realize that there is no need for another mediator between God and man but Christ Jesus and his Word.”

    Someone overheard John and immediately reported him to the college administration. They accused him of holding beliefs in rebellion to the government and against the state church. When he refused to deny his convictions, the council expelled him from the university.
    Because of this, John had great difficulty finding work as a teacher. One day, exhausted with hunger, he sat praying in a church. A man John had never met suddenly appeared and thrust a sum of money into his hand. “Cheer up,” he said. “In a few days new work will present itself to you.” A few days later he was hired as a tutor.
    Under the reign of Henry VIII, Christians like John were tolerated. When Mary I came to power, however, she executed any who defied the religious edicts of the state. Three hundred people died during her five-year reign. John and his pregnant wife fled England to Belgium, barely escaping being apprehended.
    In defense of those who died for their faith, John wrote Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.    vom- extreme devotions

Sounds akin to what we see going on in America. May God have mercy on America…….

The man that sets his heart upon religion, shall find himself at enmity with the cross…….

malachi

‘abused, misused and taken for granted…therefore forgotten’

holybible

 

In the eighth chapter of Deuteronomy, God instructed Moses to remind His people of His past dealings with them and why He lead them in the wilderness for forty years. Why He suffered them to hunger and why He fed them with manna, which they knewest not , neither did their fathers know that He might make them to know that man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. Deut 8:1-3.

He then warned them not to forget God when they get into the land of promise wherein they shall eat bread without scarceness and drink from the wells and brooks of water that spring out of the valleys and hills. A good land of wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, pomegrantes and a land of oil olive and honey.

God promised them that if they forgot the Lord their God and walked after other gods, and served them and worshiped them that this would be His testimony against them the day in which He spoke it…

“ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroyed before their face, so shall they perish; because they would not hearken to the word of the Lord.”

The first evidence that a nation, individual or people has forgotten God is to forget or forsake His word. We in America have sealed our own fate, except this nation repent and return to God and His word we shall surely crumble.

 

Below are three articles. The first two are taken from the Voice of the Martyrs Extreme Devotion- daily post. Notice the hunger for the Word of God. Such commitment constrains me and brings forth a spirit of condemnation.

The Christian woman from North Vietnam traveled eight hundred miles just for the possibility of laying hold to the Word of God. God honored her commitment and fed His people His word. Praise God!

This man in North Korea could not depart with his bible. People had been praying for fifty years that they may lay hold to a bible that they might enjoy a rich, intimate time of fellowship with God in His word. Such a hunger and love for God’s word. If ye should search all the day the streets of America, you would not find such devotion to God and His Word.

The last article is an article posted by Dr. Gary L. Cass, the director of the Anti-Christian Defamation Commission.

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vom- extreme devotion posted Jun 21’2009

Each clickety-clack of the train wheels bounced the Vietnamese Christian woman’s frail body painfully on the hard wooden seat. But she was on a mission.

    She needed spiritual food for the Christians she led in North Vietnam. Three congregations of people were praying that their leader would be successful and bring back precious copies of the Bible.
    Her work back home was tiring. She was the only mature Christian in the area, and she had planted the three churches from nothing, winning one soul at a time through her personal witness. She had no car or even a bicycle. She walked or paddled a small wooden boat to her church meetings.
    She had faced police threats and harassment and her Buddhist parents’ dismay because of her faith. Now she rode the train across eight hundred miles for three consecutive days, hoping to find one believer who could help. Finally she reached Ho Chi Minh City.
    There she met visiting western Christians who gave her Bibles for the Christians in the North. They also gave her a bicycle to help her minister to the three congregations. Before leaving, they prayed together, asking God’s blessing on her travel and her ministry.
    “How old are you?” one of them asked, just as she was about to leave.
    The woman smoothed strands of black hair away from her face and whispered, “I’m twenty-two.”

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vom- extreme devotion posted Jul 29"’2009

“They begged and begged me, but I couldn’t give it to them,” said the man. “I know Christians are supposed to share, but I just couldn’t part with it.” He sadly held out his hand so that his listener could see his prized possession.

    “I really wanted to, but I couldn’t. You see, people in North Korea told me that they have been praying for fifty years to get a Bible. But I didn’t give them mine because I had been praying for twenty years, and I had just gotten it from a pastor in South Korea.”
    He sighed deeply as his mind went to the needy believers in North Korea desperately praying for one copy of the Bible. He hugged his Bible to his chest. He had escaped the Communist prison state and was now living freely in South Korea.
    Bibles in North Korea are rare. Because of the opposition from the Communists, believers consider them more precious than gold. One man was beaten to death with an iron rod along the Chinese border when he was caught bringing Bibles into North Korea. Sadly, cases like this are reported over and over.
    “I cannot forget those people,” he said with a sigh. “I cannot forget the look of envy on their faces when I showed them my Bible. I feel so bad for them.”

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The article below is posted by Dr. Gary L. Cass with the Anti-Christian Defamation Commission

Defaming the Bible as Cruel and Exclusive

Tuesday, 28 July 2009 16:54

A recent art exhibit in Scotland has encouraged many to display their most offensive and anti-Christian comments on a Bible. A Bible sits open in a central part of the exhibit, Made in God’s Image, at the Gallery of Modern Art (Goma) in Glasgow. Next to the Bible there is a container of pens along with a notice saying: “If you feel you have been excluded from the Bible, please write your way back into it.”

The whole idea was given by the Metropolitan Community Church, a homosexual "church." They contend that the idea behind it was to reassert the Bible as a sacred text, but this is exactly the opposite of what is occurring. Many of the comments on the pages are filled with obscenities and atheist ramblings. One contributor wrote on the first page of Genesis: “I am Bi, Female & Proud. I want no god who is disappointed in this.”Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, Scotland

Many Christians have come out and condemned the display, including the Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church. They argue that the exhibition reflects the symptoms of a broken and lawless society. But the Church of Scotland defied the biblical prohibition on homosexuality and recently authorized ordaining homosexual clergy. They are fundamentally confused on this issue.

Artists Anthony Schrag and David Malone created the exhibit, in partnership with organizations that represent homosexuals who claim they are Christians and Muslims. It was recently announced that the exhibits producers would remove the most offensive pages. Still the frustration exists in many Christians that the show would even be allowed to continue. Would they do the same if it was the Koran? Would they allow people to write anti-homosexual comments on a rainbow flag?

Regardless, there is no redeeming aspect to the display except to stir up anti-Christian bigotry.  

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Needless to say, everyone does not share the same reverence and have the same longing for God’s Word as our brothers and sisters in Vietnam and North Korea. Pray that God will get them His word and that they will then stand upon it in the heat of persecution.

 

The average bible in America-

They serve as coasters for drinks or a handy spot to rest the remote control. Their sturdy covers help compose a letter on hotel stationery or catch the ashes falling from a cigarette. They listlessly adorn the coffee table, next to the caramel candy dish and the TV Guide. Although this book remains a best-seller year after year, no one seems to be reading it very much. It is the Bible. The Bible is abused and neglected outside of those places where its true value is known all too well. How differently we might treat our Bibles if we had to pray twenty years to get one! What can you do to revive your passion for God’s precious Word? vom

malachi