God's plan for man is written in The Holy Bible, and this plan is drawing to its conclusion as proven by daily news reports.


PROPHECY E-NEWSLETTER NUMBER 8
www.prophecyfulfillment.com
"And You Will Be Hated by All for My Name's Sake"—
Concerning Hatred for Christians, We Can Catch a Glimpse of the Future


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INTRODUCTION: Jesus instructed His disciples, as they prepared to spread the Gospel into the world (Matthew 10:16-18, 21-22a, 28): "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as testimony to them and to the Gentiles.... Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake.... And do not fear those who will kill the body but cannot kill the soul.... But rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell." [my underlining]

I present a few Internet reference sites. Please click on issues of interest to you. We are at the end of time, and anti-Christian harassment, persecution, and martyrdom are escalating.

BACKGROUND: A very brief synopsis of hatred against Christians follows:

Martyrdom of Stephen: The first recorded Christian martyr was Stephen, an exemplary believer (Acts, chapters 6 and 7). Stephen was martyred in AD 34 because of his faith in Jesus (Acts 7:54-60). Note one remarkable statement in this passage. Jesus was usually described as seated at the right hand of God, but Stephen saw Jesus standing (Acts 7:56). No reason is given, but I like to think that Jesus stood out of appreciation and respect for Stephen and all martyrs who would follow him.

Martyrs who followed Stephen: Many believers did indeed follow Stephen. Used as scapegoats by Roman emperors, many were put to death in inhumane, painful ways. Sixteenth century English historian John Foxe recorded some of the deaths in his Book of Martyrs. This classic book, which has inspired and shaped the thoughts of many persons, may be read online. One inspiring impression gained from this book is that Christian martyrs throughout the centuries have gone to their deaths joyfully, serenely, and expectantly. Roman guards could not understand these unusual people, who faced certain death with such hopeful anticipation.

Current martyrdom: Christian martyrdom is not just an act of deranged, evil Roman emperors. Italian journalist Antonio Socci estimates that 70-million believers have been killed solely because of their faith. Of these, 45.5-million were martyred in the Twentieth Century. That is, of every three Christian martyrs, two were killed in the last century. There are, of course, more people living now than in previous centuries, but this high number shows that Christians are still being martyred at a shocking rate.

Future martyrdom: Please use your own Bible to read selected Scriptures about future martyrdom (BR= before Rapture. T=during Tribulation)

  • Genesis 3:15: The first Bible prophecy, part of the Adamic Covenant, told of the battle between Satan and Jesus (and His followers), with Jesus' ultimate victory. (BR)
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-5: Paul told of the perilous times and treachery that will mark the last days. (BR)
  • Matthew 24:21: Jesus told of unimaginable distress, as never before seen, during the Tribulation. (T)
  • Revelation 6:9-11: John told of the Fifth Seal Judgment, when persons saved during the Tribulation and slain by the Antichrist's government, will ask that their deaths be avenged. (T)
  • Revelation 12:12: Satan, knowing his time is short, will attack mankind with great fury. (T)
  • Revelation 13:15-17: The False Prophet will command all persons to receive the mark of the Beast and worship the Antichrist as god. To receive the mark will permit the person to engage in commerce, but will result in God's judgment of eternal death. To refuse the mark will mean certain execution by the Antichrist, but will be rewarded eternally by God. (T)
  • Other Scriptures present the dilemma of whether to follow God or man, when the Christian will need to weigh death on Earth versus eternal life in Heaven. Foxe showed that early Christians— Christians who personally observed Jesus— would have been spared death, if only they would recant their belief in Jesus as their Lord and King, but not one did so. In the future, the Antichrist will require either allegiance to him as god or certain death.

FIGHT BACK AGAINST ANTI-CHRISTIAN DISCRIMINATION: Nations and the world are in the present weak, apostate condition because of the passive mindset of the majority of pastors and church members.

It is comforting to think of the gentle Jesus, who came two-thousand years ago to heal, comfort, and teach us about love. Beautiful hymns and children's stories are told of this gentle Jesus. But, this Jesus was not as passive as many think. Even during His ministry as a Lamb, Jesus showed toughness against evil. For example, He came not to bring peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34ff); He indignantly overturned the moneychangers' tables and cast them out of the Temple (Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:15); and He told His followers to sell their possessions and purchase swords (Luke 22:35-36).

At His second coming (at the end of the Tribulation), Jesus is depicted as the King of kings and Lord of lords; mounted on a white stallion, with His robe drenched in blood and holding a rod of iron; ready to make war against evil; treading on the winepress of the fury of God Almighty (Revelation 19:11-21).

Jewish rabbis have never grasped this dual nature of Messiah. Old Testament Scriptures clearly described a Person the rabbis call HaMashiach ben Yosef (Messiah, Son of Joseph— Joseph the patriarch) and HaMashiach ben David (Messiah, Son of David), holding that two Messiahs must come. Christians recognize one Messiah, coming twice with dual missions and approaches. The indignation of God the Father and Jesus against man's sin and the persecution of His children should not be candy-coated. We Christians are in a war— a war for the souls of our family, friends, and neighbors. Christians in some parts of the world are even in a war to preserve their lives.

GOD HAS PREPARED YOU TO BE A WARRIOR: There has always been a battle between God and Satan for the souls of mankind. Why God, the superior Being, would allow this battle to be waged by Satan, the inferior being, is a mystery. God has prepared us to engage in this struggle as His warriors, though. Examples of our preparations include:

  • He has given us spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians, chapters 12 and 13).
  • He has given us armor and weapons to fight the enemy (Ephesians 6:11-19).
  • He has sent the Holy Spirit to be our Paraclete, i.e., God's presence always at our side (John 14:16, 26; Acts 2:4; and other Scriptures). The Holy Spirit embodies seven characteristics (Isaiah 11:2)— the spirit of the LORD, wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear of the LORD. The Holy Spirit's attributes are available to be shared with us, as necessary. God indwells in us, through the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16; other Scriptures). Paul reminded us that if God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)? John assured us that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

HOW ARE SOME WAYS YOU CAN FIGHT AGAINST ANTI-CHRISTIAN ACTIVITIES? I will give a few examples, but many more could be added. I will include only legal, non-violent examples. (A Christian should not be involved in illegal, violent activities.)

APOLOGY: Subscribers to this newsletter live in all continents (except Antarctica, of course). I live in the United States, as do the majority of my subscribers. I apologize that my examples are American in nature. I cannot include contact information for citizens in all nations. If you are not an American, there are similar opportunities for you in your country, but you will need to find email addresses on your own.

Government officials: In my opinion, the federal government is spiraling out of control and its activities are often at variance with God's word. However, we should always present our views to two of the three branches of our government— the Executive and Legislative Branches. I omit the third branch, the Judicial Branch, because justices/ judges will likely disregard comments from the public.

  • CONTACT the president, vice president, U.S. senators, U.S. representatives, state governors, and state legislators.

    If you write a government official, be concise. Try to state you position, brief argument for your position, and request for remedy in a few sentences. Busy staff aides may read a few paragraphs at most, but a 10,000-word treatise, no matter how brilliant, may not be read. State your beliefs in strong, unequivocal terms, but be polite and respectful (that is, make your words worthy of the Christ you serve). Never threaten harm to an elected official. If you threaten the president, you may get to "entertain" a couple of men in black suits for a few hours, while they ask you some very pointed questions.

Political parties: Political parties are influential in shaping political dialog. The two major parties are:

Network television programming: There is frequently programming that is offensive to Christians. A spectrum of behavior that might affect Christians may start out rather blandly, and eventually progress to much more serious activities. This spectrum may be: mockery >> discrimination >> harassment >> persecution >> martyrdom.

Recall a statement apparently made by Martin Niemoller, a Christian pastor who survived the hell of Nazi Germany:

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, and I didnít speak up because I wasnít a Communist; and then they came for the trade unionists, and I didnít speak up because I wasnít a trade unionist; and then they came for the Jews, and I didnít speak up because I wasnít a Jew; and then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up."

Complain— and enlist complaints from your friends and fellow church members— about anti-Christian and immoral statements and programming:

Local television programming: Contact your local television station by telephone (listed in your local telephone directory) or by email (obtain contact information through a search engine, e.g., Google).

Cable/ satellite television programming: There are too many of these channels to list them all. Obtain contact information through a search engine, e.g., Google.

Advertisers: The most effective way to protest offensive programming may be by a complaint lodged with the program's sponsor(s). A sponsor wishes to sell you a product or service, not offend you and possibly drive you to a competitor. Complain to the sponsor(s) of an offensive program. Find the contact information for a sponsor through a search engine, e.g., Google. An exceptionally useful Website to reach major corporations is All My Faves. Dozens of corporations' logos appear on this site's home page. Click on any logo, and you will be routed to that corporation's Website.

Newspapers/ magazines: Again, there are too many print media products to list them all. Obtain contact information through a search engine, e.g., Google.

A standard to watch: You probably have observed that many media reports and programs exclusively target Christians, but not persons of other faiths. People curse in the Christian God's name, but not in the name of Allah or gods of other faiths. People mock Jesus, but not Mohammad. People denigrate The Holy Bible, but not the Koran. And so forth. Muslims, for example, will not tolerate mockery of Allah or Mohammad, but Christians snicker or overlook jokes about or diatribes against our God and Jesus. We receive, what we allow.

Pray: James wrote (James 5:16b): The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

  • Pray for those in authority: Paul wrote (1 Timothy 2:1-2): ... I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all those in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. It is difficult to pray for a leader if he/ she is following a course of action that is contrary to teachings of the Bible, but we can pray that God will change that person's heart to follow Him.
  • Pray for those in chains: Millions of Christians are literally or figuratively in chains— chains of oppression and persecution. We are to stand with our persecuted brothers and sisters, as if imprisoned with them (Hebrews 13:3): Remember the prisoners as if chained with them, and those who are mistreated, since you yourselves are in the body also. I have written a daily schedule— SUGGESTED DAILY PRAYER TOPICS— for a week of prayers, and I ask you to begin praying for persecuted Christians and Israel. Please use these suggested topics or topics of your own and pray daily for our brothers and sisters who suffer daily because of their faith.

CONCLUSION: I have only scratched the surface of this subject, but certain truths should be apparent to you:

  • We live in an apostate time, and Christians are targets for anti-Christian hostility.
  • If we permit even mockery, we soon may see harassment, discrimination, persecution, and martyrdom.
  • God has called us to defend His Holy Name.
  • Do not sit idly by, when our God is defiled. Stand up for Christian principles. We are commanded to fight for our faith (Jude 1:3b): ... I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
  • Jesus is coming soon. Pray that you will not need to apologize to Jesus that you did not stand up for Him, when others around you mocked, cursed, and debased Him.

WORLDWIDE PERSECUTION: As previously explained, I have written mostly about anti-Christian problems in America, but these problems pale in comparison to problems in other countries.

  • Anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli persecution: Jews have faced intense hatred for many centuries. In the Twentieth Century, Nazi Germany killed six-million Jews in systemic genocide (the Holocaust), and more would have been killed if the Third Reich had not lost World War II. Anti-Semitism is presently as severe in some European countries as it was before World War II commenced. Israel is surrounded by nations which desire to remove all Judaism from "their" land and cause the name of Israel to never again be remembered.
  • Anti-Christian persecution and martyrdom in other countries: Christians face imprisonment, loss of civil liberties, and martyrdom in many countries. Such activities come primarily at the hands of Islam, Hinduism, and Communist regimes. A few Websites which report these atrocities include: