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Turning Off Christian Persecution – a Must Read!

Saturday, October 22, 2016 9:48
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(Before It's News)

For anyone that has been following the news there are a growing number of stories that speak of the persecution of Christians. For many, such articles seem surreal, they remain so far removed from our current peaceful existence that we find no reason to relate, let alone guard ourselves from possible violation.

But what if it does come near our door? Must we fall victim to the tyrannical plans of a corrupt world system? Should we yield ourselves over to those that would gladly bring harm to us or to those we love?   Of course the answer is “no” but we must also gain perspective on how Jesus saves us from such violent confrontation.   Only when God’s people stand in the authority of Christ and say no to personal abuse, do we let Jesus to be the one that decides our fate. Let’s consider a couple of valuable truths that make victory possible.

Dwelling with the Most High.     
When we got saved the authority of Jesus was given to us through a supernatural connection. Jesus became our example of life and faith as we were brought into the family of God and His authority became our source of authority.

Ephesians 2:6-7 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Seated with Christ means two things; it means we have ceased from our own works and our own abilities, since Jesus has offered us a full and rich alternative to mankind’s dominion.  Secondly it means that we have gained a spiritual position in Christ that is raised above the dictates of a fallen world. We can literally hold on to the perspective that we are in the kingdom of God and preserved by His hand.  In fact the Greek definition for “salvation” amounts to “deliverance, preservation and safety”.

Now that should help us not only take responsibility for our faith but also make choices that allow us to continually abide in God’s favor. From this regal place of authority and position we can conclude that the kingdoms of this world remain under our feet. However there is one thing that stops us from living in that place of total security; it has to do with our dependence on our old man’s flesh and blood nature. Let me explain.

At one time humanity received a commission from God to be fruitful and take dominion and this was a good thing. However as man sinned and lost connection with God, his natural ability to take dominion became corrupt. Left to his own devices he became a slave to a temporal world and to numerous false gods.
 As believers this should concern us for one reason. Even though we have been invited to rest in the kingdom and partake of that which is victorious in Christ, the dividing line between true success and failure depends on our right choices.   The Apostle Paul helps us make a distinction by saying;

Romans 8:5-6 (NIV) Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

As I have matured in Christ I have become more and more aware of my own limitations and how the choices I have made in the past have actually set me under worldly oppression. When I thought naturally about the world, its inhabitants and my place within the scheme of things I was actually seeing myself as being under its power and a victim of its past, present and future reach.  Under that umbrella I might have hoped to avoid evil men and dark circumstances but realistically I have been thinking naturally since birth and for the most part continued to do so even after receiving Christ.

However, as a believer the Holy Spirit has been at work in me to change how I think and act so that I can see with new eyes and walk with new authority; an authority which is raised above the dictates of an evil and violent world. In other words I needed to trust in a new standard of authority which is found in Christ rather than the authority of Adam which is destined for destruction.

But how do I regain wholeness if I have already given myself over to Adam’s ways?

After years of living under the weight of poor natural choices I discovered that Jesus had made a way for me to regain spiritual confidence in Him as well as a clean slate. The answer is present in what He did on the Cross.

Our way of escape

There are many benefits that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus provided for us, all of which helped us sever our umbilical cord with Adam (fallen mankind). Since we were desperately owned by a corrupt world, God sent His son in the likeness of frail man to save us all. In this case Jesus was fulfilling the will of the Father by becoming a sacrifice for mankind’s sin, but he was also providing a way for us to come out of the limitations of this fallen world. So how did we get set free?

 As it happens Jesus wasn’t the only one that died on the Cross; as believers we also gained freedom from the world by participating in that one event. No, we didn’t die physically; instead Jesus supernaturally took us into His own death so that we could also experience His life. Here are some verses describing this marvelous point of transformation.

 Romans 6:2…………….. We died to sin.
 Romans 6:3…………….. You were baptized into his death?
 Romans 6:6…………….. The old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with.
 Romans 6:7…………….. Anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
 Romans 6:8…………….. Died with Christ… alive with him.
 Romans 6:11…………… Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
 Romans 7:4…………….. You also died to the law through the body of Christ.
 Romans 7:6…………….. By dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law.
 1Corintians 5:14……… Christ died for all; therefore, all died.
 Galatians 2:19………… I died to the law so that I might live for God.
 Galatians 2:20………… I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
 Colossians 2:20………. You died with Christ to the basic principles of this world.
 Colossians 3:3………… You died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
 2Timothy 2:11…………. If we died with him, we will also live with him.
 Colossians 1:22………. You were reconciled by Christ’s physical body through death.
 Colossians 2:12……You were buried with him in baptism and raised with him through faith in the power of God
 This example of transformation is often spoken of when a person gets baptized. As Paul points out;
Colossians 2:12 You were buried with him in baptism and raised with him through faith in the power of God.

So here’s this powerful (often over looked) aspect of the gospel which shows us how we were set free of the old life and were loosed from the effects of poor Adamic choices. Yet it is to our advantage to see that the Cross is still present to set us free, not just once, but  every time we notice that some worldly lie or worldly master still owns us. These verses are telling us that the way of escape is based on dying to what once owned us. We can escape  the worlds  clutches and enter into the arms of a supernatural God  at anytime.

So how do we take an issue to God?

To separate from any improper ownership all we have to do is agree with God. Based on His Gospel we died with Him to being owned by the flesh, the world and the Devil. Here’s a verse that supports our way to freedom.
Romans 8:12-14 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

The “misdeeds of the body” are anything that holds us captive to the fallen nature.  That includes every choice to be moved around by worldly light and worldly reason. Yet getting free of things doesn’t mean that we are left in the grave; Jesus by His Spirit then supernaturally  infuses new life and purpose within us; basically out with the old and in with the new.

Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. 

Application

Jesus, the scripture says that I died with you, so I ask that by your Spirit you will put to death where I remain improperly owned and made subject to men, organizations, or a demonic realm. (Name some examples.)

What is established is a long term relationship with God that allows us to mature in our faith and separate from worldly and destructive endeavors.  So what are some specifics that have been standing in the way? If we are going to address any issue of worldly “bondage” we want to bring attention to two main components that often work in tandem to keep us down.

The first component is our self centered Adamic will. We by choice are often looking for something in the world to satisfy an itch. Thus man’s initial commission to take dominion was replaced with an attempt to dominate creation for personal gain. In this case we’ve been making deals with the world which remain binding. Think of it as a series of bad contracts that now hold you captive to a particular negative outcome.

The second refers to the Devil and his own involvement in such endeavors. He is known as “the god of this world” and remains master of something we now call “the world system”. Please notice the distinction here; God rules heaven and “earth” but the “world system” is based on the Devil’s own agenda.  So when the Devil tricked mankind into disobeying God he did so by offering to supercharge  his natural fleshly abilities, desires and appetites. Hence a bond was formed between man and this fallen spirit which gave man a sense of counterfeit power and purpose; but also allowed the Devil and his minion’s to gain ultimate control. This is an important point because it reveals how most of man’s natural actions get moved along by a corrupt and wicked kingdom.

For this reason Paul the Apostle says;

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms 

Please notice that he is talking about an on going source of spiritual contention. There’s a spiritual realm out there that wants to maintain absolute control over the human race. What that control amounts to is a zone where a demon has gained a certain amount of influence over lands and peoples.  If one enters that spiritual zone it then has a tendency to weaken our resolve and eventually we find ourselves under its power.

So the combination of bad company, both human and spiritual, are what corrupt good morals and sets the stage for us being “under” various degrees of oppression and defeat.  Think of it this way; if we succumb to any environment of improper control then those that rule us, both man or demon alike can move us around any way they want. In fact if they say, “its time to abuse Christians” then those who have been made subject to that voice will either abuse believers or become the victims of abuse.  Hence once men give their souls away to dark minded forces atrocious things do occur.

Now being vulnerable to such actions actually remains a choice for the believer.   In other words, we can live our lives in the proverbial box (world) or we can remain outside of it?  The Book of Revelations confirms that there is an “in” and there is an “out”; this verse is addressing Believers here;

Revelation 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:

“‘Come out of her, my people,’
    so that you will not share in her sins,
 so that you will not receive any of her plagues;

Presently there are countless ways in which we have joined ourselves to the world. These are choices we made in ignorance but they have added unnecessary contention, strife and attack upon our lives.  So the question at hand is; what are you still “under”, who owns you and what choices have denied you a true example of deliverance, preservation and safety?  Take the time to evaluate where each point of alignment with the world is still causing you to be a victim.  Yes this is very much a “cause and effect” type of deduction. For example; maybe you have heard the saying; “those that pick up the sword die by the sword” (cause and effect), but this reference can be expanded to represent just about anything that the world offers us. Hence, “those that make a deal with the world die by the world’s agenda”.

Application  God, I repent for being so foolish as to live by the worlds standards. On my behalf,

• Test by the cross where I have inappropriately aligned my Christianity with worldly rulers and agendas and so remain vulnerable to attack.

• Based on what you did on the Cross take me into your death so that I can know freedom from my poor choices (name them).

• Give me wisdom to know where I still let the enemy come near and make me suffer needlessly.

• Judge by the cross the spiritual realm associated with these many issues.

 I ask these things in Jesus Name and declare that You are the Resurrection power that now saves me.

So far we have been talking to God about getting free of past compromise, bad contracts and their destructive results. The goal has been to transition out of darkness in order to see ourselves as firmly established in the will of God. This has been a journey of introspection. Basically as we seek to regain position in Christ and confidence in Christ we are realizing that life looks notably different; it contains new purpose and new opportunities to serve God. Now, since the subject of this article is about raising up a suitable defense against unwanted natural and spiritual advances, we can also learn something from one of Paul the Apostles experiences.

 Acts 16:16-18 is telling the story of a girl that had unique abilities. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. One day as Paul and Silas where preaching in that region she started shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”  She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

What should be brought to our attention is the girl and spirit engaged the Apostles on their own turf; they were doing God’s work at God’s request. The girl unfortunately entered into a zone of power and authority, which was the result of Christ on their lives.  Hence based on Jesus’ authority the demon had to leave and the girl ceased in her rant.

Let’s also bring attention to the “Name of Jesus” within this same scenario. If we are planning on winning future battles in Christ we may also need to call upon the Name of Jesus for support. It is not merely reciting the name that is powerful, but rather it is the authority that is behind the Name, as well as our position within it. When we proclaim the Name of Jesus we are letting both heaven and earth know that we are joint heirs with Christ and are declaring our Family Name! In such an environment of grace we have the authority to command spiritual oppression to cease in its advance, leave our families alone, as well release those that maybe under presently under attack.

John 17:11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one.

Let me give you an example of one such battle I myself experienced; victory came and I didn’t even have to lift a finger. A few years back I was meeting a friend of mine who was having some work done on his house. For the project, he had hired a man with whom he had previous business connections. Yet on this day the two had a disagreement and the hired man started to become quite aggressive, even to the point of becoming violent. Before the confrontation became ugly, the Holy Spirit prompted me to bind the spirit of violence that was on this man’s life. I didn’t bind the man, I bound the spirit. I said;

“In the name of Jesus (Yeshua) I bind the violent spirit that is at work in this man.”

Now I was about thirty feet away from this encounter and had whispered my command, but immediately the hired man turned to me obviously shaken and said, “ Wait a minute “WE” don’t have a problem with you, our fight is with the boss!” My reply was; “That doesn’t matter you are now bound from being violent.” In short order the confrontation was over.

The key to dealing with any confrontation is to recognize that we are not wrestling with flesh and blood. We’re dealing with powers that have gained position and control over the human condition. In this case both men had a familiarity with a violent spirit. Under subjection to this spirit each took their respective place; one was prone to delivering violence and the other was prone to receiving it. This open door set the stage for a potentially destructive encounter, but the authority of Christ was able to intervene.

For the record; all Christians possess the authority of The Name of Jesus (Yeshua) . So any scenario in life where you find yourself threatened by a dominant and oppressive confrontation the Name of Jesus will bring quick resolve. Now do consider even if you don’t have your proverbial act together and remain steeped in worldly behavior there is still authority in the Name.  But this should also make you ponder whether you would have even needed to call upon the Name of Jesus; if you weren’t living a compromised life.

I guess there are a number of questions worth asking. What choices in life declare you as “open for business”.  Which kingdom is feeding you and where are you still a slave of its desire?  When you crave unity with the world you become vulnerable to attack. Though there are all sorts of subjects that can be explored here regarding compromise deciphering potential issues of violence is probably a good place to start.

If one has become familiar with the world’s dominance, or have been raised in a violent atmosphere, then there are some old contracts worth breaking. Consider where your own quality of life has suffered by supporting a violent link. Are you familiar with physical violence, verbal violence, sexual violence, social violence, religious violence, media violence, movie violence, political violence or medical violence? Here’s a couple more you may have not considered before; military or police violence. Though these last two examples are often honored and embraced as gallant defenders of the peace, their job description and training is far from it. The nature of the job is one that requires a controlled means of violence to put down another violent force. Anyone that has grown up in a family where civil service has been a part of their lifestyle has not escaped the impact of these various forms of violence. In any case if you remain “under it”, this may allow you to be on the receiving end of police or military brutality; or at least you may draw undue attention to yourself.
 
   Application;  God on my behalf,

• Test by the cross where I am improperly subject to a particular person or organization’s (Name them) form of violence (name it).

• Test by the cross where I am subject to territorial, familiar, generational or religious spirits also making me vulnerable to violence.

• Test by the cross where I am subject to issues of violence attacking me in  body, soul, spirit, mind (conscious and subconscious thought), will, emotions, moral conscience, sexuality, intimacy, authority, identity, Christianity, family, marriage, communication, business, finance, intellect, and gender.

• I ask these things in Jesus Name and declare that You are the Resurrection power that now saves me.

Good intentions 

In the days ahead, believers may find themselves being pressed to not only conform to that which looks evil but also that which looks good. One such good agenda that is commencing has to do with humanity being moved to accept a one world government, one world economy and one world religion. Many of those that would support the benefits of these agendas are unaware that their goals are oppressive. In fact many believe that the agenda is going to improve society, religion and our quality of life, so why would anyone say no to that?  Scripture talks about these many activities and refers to there being an eventual mark of the beast. This appears to be coming about in the form of an implanted chip that can track a lost child or save a person from being robbed. It can also offer an on the spot medical history in the event of an emergency. Sounds good for all the right reasons, but these good reasons are being implemented because mankind once sought to save himself and now has a greater interest in control than ever before.  For this reason persecution has come and will continue to come upon those that don’t fit the mold.

John 15:20-21Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.

This even includes religious persecution.

John 16:2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.

This is a natural expectation; they are not looking at us as a people belonging to the God, but rather as a people not properly playing the game. But this fleshly view of things can also be our problem but for different reasons. Since our aggressors come to the door wearing flesh and blood suits we give no thought to the possibility that they are being moved or inspired by a demonic power. Certainly a depraved assailant needs to be stopped in their tracks; but will physical strength stop them? In this case command the spirit to leave you and your family alone. In this way you are trusting the Spirit of God to be your defense.

“In the Name of Jesus (Yeshua) I bind the spirit of violence working in this man or in this situation!”

Let this sink in; your persecutors are not men they are demons that have gained control over mankind and man’s self centered interests. However If believers ever get a revelation that they are seated with Christ in heavenly realms and come to recognize their authority in Christ, then evil will want to stay far from us.

In advance of any potential conflict I want to suggest that believers take a look at their lives and do a moral inventory. Where do you look more like the world and its form of compromise? Of course start by ridding yourself of sinful habits that leave you vulnerable to the systems of men.   But also consider asking God where your current world view may still be conditioning you to accept a destructive outcome.  Here are some examples;

1.  Its OK to question authority which denies you a sovereign right to life and liberty in Jesus.

2. There is no sin that is not common to television (media); it should not become your role model.  This example epitomizes how violence is so easily accepted as an outcome, since we have seen violent acts play out thousands of times on television.  What we see with our eyes conditions us to have faith in the same.

3. There is one Christian concept in particular that is often held up as our reason for becoming a casualty.  Some say, “But what about the bibles many references to being persecuted, shouldn’t I accept persecution as just the way things are?” Well it sounds very noble, yet there are believers throughout the ages that have lived prosperous lives and have gone on to be with the Lord in peace. So If persecution is not an across the board phenomenon for all believers; should we automatically label ourselves as a potential target? Not many have the assignment from God to be martyrs for the faith so I would suggest challenging any belief that destines you for death before you time.

Application; God, on my behalf,

• Test by the cross where I remain vulnerable to unnecessary persecution in society and in religion.

• Test by the cross where I have accepted abuse from those in authority who lack God’s true commission.

• Test by the cross where I accept medias interpretation of me having a violent experience.

• Test by the cross where I inappropriately hand my self over to destruction in order to accept a religious principle of persecution that does not represent the will of God.

• Judge by the cross the spiritual realm associated.

• I forgive those who have harmed me in the past and I forgive myself for letting them.

 I ask these things in Jesus Name and declare that You are the Resurrection power that now saves me.

In the days ahead the individual Christian may not be able to depend on others as a shield against violent acts. Instead it is time that each believer develops their own set of leadership skills. That means, we each put on the armor of God and really settle in our hearts that God is for us. It is by His authority and power on our lives that we can set at bay any potential enemy.  So if you find yourself staring death in the face or if some man wants to steal away your destiny, then I think it’s a good time to introduce him to the authority that you have in Jesus.

Gordon Brownlee is the founder of Shadow free Ministries which teaches the importance of the Cross in our daily lives, as well as our way to freedom from spiritual error. His latest book; “The Shadow of the Spiritual” teaches how to understand spiritual worlds and the Bibles marvelous way of escape. It’s available on Kindle, Nook or paper back from amazon.com. It is also free for the asking in PDF form.

Come visit us at http://www.shadow-free.com

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Total 21 comments
  • I blame this “persecution” 110% on the religious right and the apostate western bogus Christianity.
    Having been a very active “born again Christian” from the mid 80s through some time in the early 2000s, it didn’t take me long to figure out that what is called Christianity in the united states is actually a lot of people twisting what the Bible says in order to fit their politics, greed, and twisted idealism.
    Since I was a child ( a long time ago) I have seen Christianity bend and twist in order to conform to , for lack of a better way to describe it, americanism.

    The religious right , rather than practicing what Jesus and Paul taught, has encouraged political activism, glorified greed, and abused the pulpit ( quite illegally, as they claim non-profit organization status and instead use the pulpit for an alternative purpose, that purpose being political propaganda).

    The religious right taught Christians to pick up Satans tools to do battle.
    For example, instead of loving women who have abortions and abortion doctors they would gather at clinics and resort to name calling and showing hatred disguised as ” righteous indignation” and claiming to do it out of love.
    I have said for years that if I had an abortion doctor for a neighbor and his car broke down I would drive him to work, if he broke his leg I would mow his yard, in the best interest of being Christlike and being someone he would want to be like rather than being a constant pain in his ass and repulsing him with religious bullshit.
    But, as I say, the religious right picked a fight with abortionists and they lost. Because rather than showing Christ to them they chose to battle them using secular means.

    The same applies to homos and porn shops. I was involved in a mens group who talked about picketing a porn shop. I asked them if they thought God was weak and ineffective, and they simply didn’t understand the question.
    I clarified my point by suggesting that in being a nuisance to the businesses in an attempt to drive them out of business was a very bad witness, because it made all the talk about “faith” seem rather pointless, because it had the psychological value of making it appear that they didn’t trust God to be able to shut the place down if he wanted.

    Instead, the church I was going to at the time is now an illegal alien day care center.

    The religious right picked a fight with homos, and lost BIG time, now thanks to the fact that homo rights groups declared war on Christianity in retaliation, organized, and defeated decency in the supreme court, we have a nation that is in grave danger of Gods wrath.

    Simple things like preachers constantly saying “pray for our troops” and never suggesting we pray for our enemies and the victims of our troops, in direct contrast to Jesus saying “pray for your enemies”.

    The religious right took up secular weapons to fight spiritual wars with homos, pornographers, abortionists, and morale decline in general, and as a result lost every one of them.
    And they STILL don’t get it.

    Western Christianity is not being persecuted, it is experiencing the direct effect of the Christian version of “Karma”, which is known as “you reap what you sow”.

    Western Christianity has given God a bad name and made itself unpopular by NOT being what Jesus and Paul taught, and in the process perhaps has cost millions a shot at salvation and has , quite simply, shot itself in the ass.

    Western Christianity is not persecuted, it is experiencing the direct result of having been a bad witness.

    • “…Since I was a child ( a long time ago) I have seen Christianity bend and twist in order to conform to , for lack of a better way to describe it, americanism…”
      …Yessir…I see this as a process. The rebuilding of that ‘figurative’… tower of Babel. Our christian “religions” are just about as confused as they can get…right now. The very few, real TEACHERS, almost have to work in a vacuum, Tradition, men’s tradition, has totally compromised the simplicity of the teachings of Christ. The famine of the end times is for truth.

      • Yes I agree, but what if the message of salvation and walking with God required you come to Him as a dead man? We are to accept a death, burial and resurrection experience with God, not just once but the whole Christian experience is constantly being perfected in this manner. Its how we walk by the Spirit and not fleshly doctrine, service and fellowship.
        Wouldn’t an obligation of that magnitude also separate every man from his own life in order to receive an answer from the only One that knows how to raise the dead?

  • There is a difference between a political Christian and one that is born again. How we respond to our fellow man reveals which kind of Christian we are. However I must say that success in Christ is not based on our good reason or our bad; its based on the nature and character of Jesus finally having a say in our lives.

  • …Scripture tells us that The faithful WILL suffer persecution…The elect, themselves will be “delivered up”…The Holy spirit uses it as opportunity to witness.
    …You can cop out anytime you like. There are millions of earthly reasons to. The whole world is deceived

    …Those born from above…of the Holy Spirit, are totally protected from the “darts”. Satan can’t even touch a hair on your head.

    • That’s kind of a oxymoron isn’t it? Persecuted but not touched. The trouble with a Christianized religion is that its all about us. Now I agree that in the simplicity of the gospel salvation is about deliverance, preservation and safety. But as the Americanized version sets man on the thrown of his own heart he is inviting compromise and reaping the consequences. So getting back to that place of trust in Jesus (Yeshua) alone is the key to freedom.

      • …The protection comes through the Holy Spirit. Nothing else.
        …You’re beginning to sound strident and judgmental. I see that a lot…What’s up? I’ll try to converse with you, but I’m not into slitting hairs on doctrine.
        …There is but one truth.

        …Would you call yourself RELIGIOUS, Gordon?

        • Far from judgmental, far from religious.

          I responded to your comment.

          • …I know you can understand me… Not religious, huh?.. good.

        • I responded to your first comment in series.

      • …Gordo…this may help you some day….The THRONE is the King’s…the THROWN, is the pitcher’s…called strike.

    • An apostle being hung upside down on a cross is something I would call persecution.

      I would not call not not being allowed to abuse public school systems or publicly held buildings as a format or forum for a specific religious ideal to be “persecution”.
      Which sadly, another of the things that keeps me away from churches ( and likely many other believers) is the constant outcry that “God has been kicked out of schools” and other such nonsense being labeled persecution, when it clearly is not.
      It is perhaps unfair that , for example, diets in publically held schools are changed to benefit some religious ideals while other religious ideals are not accommodated.
      That as well hardly rises to the level of being persecution.

      • When I came out of churchianity I realized that I had inappropriately accepted superstitious beliefs all of which where additions to a pure faith. But since the goal within religion is still a spiritual pursuit I realize that the agreements I made in the past still had spiritual effect. So you are right in the since that some of what we deal with is superficial yet for those that rely upon it as a form of devotion are brought into bondage to it. This is a matter of asking what do we place faith in. Do we place faith in potential persecution? then we get persecution even if the belief is superficial.

        • …Gordon…What you just said makes me believe you are STILL superstitious…

          • Because mankind possesses sovereign rights over his person he has chosen to be physical and spiritual in his actions. If we do not give ourselves over to Jesus who supports us by the life of His Spirit then we have to deal with the effects of other powers intervening. Take Adam and Eve as an example of interaction with another spirit the Devil. Based on their authoritative choices the whole world is made subject to death and the fear of death. Now where it gets complicated is where the Christian makes choices to engage in religious practice that falls short of Spirit and truth in Jesus. The added practice will invite spiritual repercussions even as it did for Adam and Eve.
            .
            2 Corinthians 11:4New International Version (NIV)

            4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

          • …You’re just another newbie…that thinks he’s got it all figured out…If you stick around you’ll be tested…You will hopefully recognize the realized souls onboard.

          • “You’re just another newbie…that thinks he’s got it all figured out…If you stick around you’ll be tested…You will hopefully recognize the realized souls onboard.”

            I’m not in it for the competition. Just want to share the gospel message.

          • …Gordon…perfect response…carry on.

        • …Jude 21 “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

          …22 “And some of compassion, making a difference:”

          23 “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

          Stay with God’s Word, and away from those that wear the cloth that would preach some other word.

          Jude 24 “Now unto Him That is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.”

          • You are among the most rude and arrogant individuals I have seen on the net.
            And a perfect example of what I mean by those who profess Christianity and Biblical knowledge are detrimental to true Christianity and are giving God a bad name as well as helping to empty out churches and make Christianity very unpopular.

          • …Christianity is about to become the ‘Jews’ the new Nazi regimes NEED to eliminate.
            …sig Heil. (Right there, is where you click your heels, Rockledge).
            …You’re one of those, its obvious, who believes he has the only truth available to us earthlings…anything else is damaging to YOUR “image”, uh huh…perfect ‘master race’ material…

            …If the churches could keep the faithful supplied with spiritual sustenance, they’d be overflowing with blessings. But to satisfy men’s traditions, ‘religion’ destroys spirituality.
            …Blame it on whatever you think will satisfy your own traditions.

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