Truly, every prophecy of Scripture concerning and from Christ, the living Word, will be fulfilled (Luke 21:33, 24:44)! Thus, the hate-filled global persecution of Christians is coming to America! Judging by the spiritual energy presently being expended to relieve fear among an obviously large number of professed Christians during His Coronavirus judgment, clearly, many are not ready for the coming “fiery trial” God is allowing to “try” us in judgment (1 Peter 4:12-19, NKJV).5 As a result, the people need to be warned, taught and prepared to faithfully persevere trusting in the Lord as He has led me to write in many previous posts and my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.6
The current state of fear pervading much of American Christianity is on every pastor and Bible teacher that has failed until now to biblically warn, teach and equip those they serve in the church building and by way of media in the basics of the faith and “the whole counsel of God”--His grace that saves and holiness that demands His foretold wrath upon sinners (Isaiah 13:9; Acts 20:26-27, NKJV). Imagine how much more fruitful the response of our unsaved fellow citizens could be if in the background of the solid preaching of the Gospel now, going forth, there wasn’t also the steady drone of exhortation not to fear going out to those that already profess to be Christians weak in faith!7
Faithful Christian Americans are just one anti-Christian spark and/or national election to the political far left away from legal persecution through arrest, trial and incarceration for standing on the Word of God as it is written.8 The Lord Jesus Christ warns His first century disciples and us about this reality and instructs not to worry about what to say at that time, but to speak what the Holy Spirit puts in our mouths giving testimony about Him (Matthew 10:16-20; Mark 13:11; Luke 21:12-15; John 15:26-27). Besides that kind of tribulation, verbal and physical assault for being a Christian easily follows in a nation where the majority hates Christ and the Bible He is faithfully portrayed in!
Too, as in other nations whose governments now, look the other way when mobs and terrorists murder Christians identified by their unwavering testimony of faith, it will happen here as it has and does for example, with black and other Americans profiled by our skin color. The Lord Jesus teaches that the hatred behind Christian persecution stems from apostasy, falsehood, love grown cold in abounding lawlessness, His works and exposure of the persecutors’ “sin.” This persecution comes well before the “great tribulation” and gives rise to open conflict among professed Christian religionists and apostates who “betray” and “hate” each other along with the faithful (Matthew 24:10-12, 15-21; John 15:18-25, 16:1-4, NKJV).9
Indeed, the coming global persecution is a major factor in “the falling away” the apostle Paul foretells (2 Thessalonians 2:3, NKJV).10 Falling away and betrayal among the disciples of Christ whether in times of persecution or not has occurred from His time on earth (Matthew 26:20-25, 47-49; Luke 22:48; 2 Timothy 4:9-10; 1 John 2:18-19). However, for many professed Christian Americans that barely distinguishes between being a Christian and an American, the Lord’s warning of extensive betrayal to the death by family and friends in a nation that hates Christians as a coming reality is very hard to accept. Yet, Christ says so (Matthew 10:21; Mark 13:12; Luke 21:16)!
Moreover, church history and current events among our persecuted brethren in other nations shows how Christians are betrayed by hating family and friends.11 Most Americans--Christian or not--place a high value on family and other mortal relationships. The Lord Jesus though, quoting from the prophet Micah as historic and ongoing spiritual reality, not only foretold division over Him in families, but made it plain He expects our love and loyalty to Him above all including self (Micah 7:5-7; Matthew 10:35-36; Luke 14:25-27)! Regardless of who is doing the persecuting, hating or betraying, He also expects His faithful to patiently endure to the end--our lives or His coming--not retaliating or taking vengeance (Matthew 10:22; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:18-19; Romans 12:17-21).12
Therefore, pastors and ministry leaders: do you really plan to go back to business as usual? The Lord calls you to recognize the times have changed in front of your very eyes and to repent from every way it was before the Coronavirus judgment that is sin in His sight to include allowing women to corruptly defy His Word in falsehood (1 Timothy 2:11-14); deceiving many and leading to their equal judgment (Ezekiel 13:17-23; Revelation 2:18-23)! Too, snap out of denial and get His people ready for all of what the Lord Jesus said is coming in the face of God’s Coronavirus judgment which is demonstrated proof the judgments and events He foretold would precede His return are underway! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
5 This unpreparedness for His sudden judgments in the earth is just as the Lord led me to warn would be the case in the September 29, 2019 post, God Almighty In A
21st Century World, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
6 Read the following posts under the category, Instruction: May 22, 2016, The Peculiar People, May 29, 2016, Preparing For The Final Battle and the two-part, Lined
Up Behind Jesus beginning on August 18, 2019. Get a print copy or digital download of my book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble,
ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store.
7 Having previously written transparently about my own 2014 failure to trust God in a business situation, I did not write this statement out of some high-handed, self-
righteous place. See my March 2, 2014, The Testing Of Our Faith, under the category, Instruction. I understand and empathize with those of my spiritually maturing
brethren that fail the test of faith as a matter of momentary weakness in sin. What I am writing of here, is ongoing unbelief in weakness sustained by longstanding
spiritual immaturity through lack of instruction and practice especially prevalent in the many forms of empty, powerless manmade Christianity the religion. Read the
two-part post beginning August 21, 2016, Christianity The Religion Of Men, under the category, Instruction followed by the two-part post beginning September 11,
2016, American Culture’s Religion, under the category, Call To Repent.
8 Roman Caesar, Nero, had only to blame Christians for the fire that destroyed much of Rome to persecute many to the death, while a later Caesar, Diocletian (and
government tyrants from many nations that followed), used no excuse except to be rid of them! Without endorsing as completely accurate or any specific sects men-
tioned, an online overview source to explore the history of Christian persecution is Wikipedia.
9 See the December 9, 2018 post, The Peril Of Religious Men, under the category, Instruction.
10 Read the February 2, 2014 post, The Falling Away, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
11 This Ministry supports Open Doors USA, a Ministry serving our persecuted brethren in many places and invites you to read some of their stories that include be-
trayal and violence against them by family, former neighbors and friends.
12 Read my June 5, 2016 post, The Day Of Vengeance, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
It is wonderful hearing of what God is doing during His Coronavirus judgment to stir the hearts of those bewildered and seeking for answers made up not just of persons never having made a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but those professed to be Christians living out nominal, spiritually dead lives. These are flocking in large numbers to the online services and instruction of churches and ministries. However, gauging by Christian media chatter and actions, it still does not appear there is a widespread appreciation among Christians, churches and their leaders that they are enduring judgment from the Lord and consequently, needing to give full heed to His call to repent!1
My mother used to always say to us kids growing up, “A hard head makes a soft behind;” a saying passed down to her from her parents and a cultural expression familiar to nearly all black Americans born before the 1970’s. The expression served to warn stubbornly disobedient children of pending corporal punishment if obedience was not immediately forthcoming! Only the hardest of heads did not get the message and pressed on to find out mom was not issuing idle threats (that would have been me on too many occasions, I am ashamed to report). Now, the Lord looks out upon professing Christianity and sees that far too many filled with stubborn pride are being hard headed.
To the Lord’s great displeasure rather than brokenness and repentance, many church and ministry leaders have gone into organizational survival mode with no plans to change anything from what they used to do before the Coronavirus except what is needed to keep from spreading it. On top of that, they are not taking any of the prophetic signs this judgment presents serious enough to prepare those following them online or that will assemble in their buildings for what is plainly foretold in the written Word to come next. One reason for this, of course, is psychology 101 in survival mode from ancient times: don’t frighten people with the truth; keep it positive (Jeremiah 38:1-4)!
In the face of God’s judgment, telling the truth to a people having been spoon fed a steady diet of deceitfully crafted ego affirmation using Scripture and “American style home grown,” but not unique to America ancient “false doctrines of perpetual peace and prosperity” as He led me to write in a May 2, 2020 social media post is like biting the human hand that feeds you--not a good thing when men are trying to feed themselves and sustain their organizations!2 But the Lord who hears all that these leaders say and sees all of what they do will judge them as false prophets and teachers without repentance (Jeremiah 14:11-16, 23:16-17; Ezekiel 13:1-16, 34:1-10; 2 Peter 2:1-3).3
Not peace and prosperity fully and perpetually restored now, but more judgment from God is coming upon this world! For as I wrote earlier in that May 2, 2020 social media post, “From His own words Jesus Christ did not come 'to bring peace on earth' prior to His return, 'but a sword' representing divine judgment and conflict in division over Him (Matthew 10:32-39; Luke 12:49-53, NKJV)." The Lord will bring perpetual peace and prosperity to the earth at His Second Coming and after the divine outpour of wrath on sinners that have refused to accept salvation by grace through faith in Him!” If the Lord Himself says there is no peace now, where do you get off contradicting Him?
Nevertheless, I wrote, “Now, His Personal peace; the peace of God is only available to His sheep,” (Isaiah 57:19-21; John 10:27, 16:33). This is His peace in the midst of this world’s troubles and the judgments He brings on it seeking for repentance leading to salvation from “whoever believes in Him” and His fruitless, strayed sheep (John 3:16-21, 36, 15:1-8, NKJV). Christian leaders and teachers deceive those they teach when they only want to present the shine of the Lord’s face in grace and purposely avoid dealing with the fiery glow of judgment in His eyes to keep it positive for people that will not give unless something is in it and “He is for me.” This they say not appreciating Christ is Savior and Judge and for the righteous even in judgment (Revelation 1:12-16, 3:19)!
While “famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places” will continue and intensify to soon be followed by unmistakable acts of God from the sky as warning judgments for all, next up specifically for Christians is hatred fed persecution already rife in many parts of the earth and coming to “all nations” including America according to the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:7-9; Mark 13:8-10, 13; Luke 21:11, 17, NKJV). If you do not or refuse to believe the foregoing you are blasphemously calling Jesus Christ a liar! Too, you are quite deceived and denying reality in arrogance as an American since you must also be falsely believing persecution and suffering is only for those professing Christ in other, unexceptional nations of the earth as God’s throwaways.4
1 See the April 19, 2020 post, Does Anybody Repent Anymore? under the category, Call To Repent.
2 I am not without empathy on this point as this Ministry too, faces all of the same challenges of trying to raise funds to keep me employed full-time in the work (visit
https://fundrazr.com/salarycampaign1 to learn more). The difference for us though, is that we will not sell God out, soft pedal the Gospel, compromise the truth, avoid
talking about sin and judgment or invent feel good messages that tickle hears to raise what we need. We have struggled for nearly the entire organizational life of this
Ministry from 1985 because of this conviction, but have watched God continuously provide what we needed in His will on time, every time!
3 Like the handwriting on the king of Babylon’s wall declaring the end of his kingdom, so, this epoch of corrupt, huckster invented and driven Christianity has been sig-
naled by God through His Coronavirus judgment (Daniel 5)!
4 Read the November 12, 2017 post, God’s Throwaways?, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
I was struck by the innocence in Daniel’s words as if for the first time, I read what he said to the new Persian king after being delivered by God from the lions that were supposed to kill and devour him. Over the last forty years plus as an eager Bible student I have read through and studied Daniel 6 many times. Until now, however, never had Daniel’s words in verse 22 touched my soul so deeply. And why? Not only is the Word of God like that of course, filled as it is with multiple layers of application and ever deepening meaning for those of us that study it regularly, but as Daniel faced the man who had condemned him, so, in my life journey I have interacted with whites who hate me.
Now, in context, the king in vanity Daniel faced had been tricked into condemning him to the lion’s den and only after he had no way out in accord with the laws of his kingdom. The king also genuinely cared about, valued and trusted Daniel to the point he would make him the second highest ranking official in his administration. No, it was not the king, but Daniel’s words of assurance to him, “I have done no wrong before you,” (Daniel 6:22b, NKJV) that so stirred my soul because of the hate around the king that had brought about the whole evil situation. Daniel’s haters were willing to even disregard his faith in the living God and kill him rather than see him advanced by the king.1
Many whites from slavery have had this same attitude toward their black fellow Americans. So prevalent, widely dispersed and persistent throughout every segment of the society has this hatred been for generations that it is righteously portrayed as systemic. I am among countless blacks from slavery who have wondered to ourselves and out loud what is it that makes our white countrymen that are guilty--many claiming to also be Christians--hate and despise us so?2 Consistent with the irrationality of evil, many cannot even put the basis for their hatred into sensible words. This accords with what the Bible teaches is the reason humans hate each other: sin in us (Galatians 5:19-21)!
Indeed, with hatred that gives rise to racism is superiority born of arrogant pride, entitlement, selfishness, envy, jealously and resentment. The long standing attitude of superiority among guilty white Americans at the highest levels of governance and across socio-economic strata is historically well documented. For example, in its 1857 Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court opinioned slaves were only property and not citizens with any rights ‘“the white man was bound to respect.’”3 Just a few years later in 1861, Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of the newly formed Southern Confederacy asserted, ‘“…the Negro is not equal to the white man. That slavery-subordination to the superior [white] race-is his natural and moral condition.’”4
Resentment embodied in America’s racism is like the man who has his way with a woman, then, despises her afterward (2 Samuel 13:1-18). For this cause, since the end of slavery a number of whites have advocated for blacks to return to Africa. But while a relative few did return, God perfectly just prevailed on the hearts of the majority of blacks and whites that this was not the right course since though our West African forefathers had wronged Him as sinners in their native land which He punished short of what was deserved, they had done no wrong to this nation; having been forcibly brought here firstly out of His permissive will (John 19:10-11).5 Also, no black person will be in Hell just for being black since truly, the living God our Creator made us this way (Acts 17:26-28)!
1 Daniel did no wrong in the court of Heaven to faithfully continue his habit and practice of daily spending time with God in prayer as a matter of their ongoing relationship.
Such should be the case for every aspiring strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ who also made prayer a priority in His life (Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke
5:16, 6:12). Learn more about Him as the Strong Man of God in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, available in the Strong Man Store, at your favorite
internet bookseller or brick and mortar bookstore.
2 Do I really need to cite chapter and verse from the Bible here to demonstrate how the claim to be a Christian while hating anyone much less a fellow believer by its in-
struction is totally inconsistent? Yet, I will cite some Scriptures so a guilty reader may repent from hating or mistreating any person or brother in Christ whatever his hue
(Lamentations 3:34-36; John 13:34-35, 15:12; Romans 13:8-10; 1 John 3:10-23, 4:7-11, 20-21, 5:1-3). For not the mere words of faith, but also the deeds of all will be
judged by God (Romans 2:1-11; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11; James 2:14-26; Revelation 20:11-15)!
3 David Barton, Setting The Record Straight: American History In Black & White, (Aledo, TX, WallBuilder Press, 2004), 23.
4 Barton, 30. Of the most tragic outcomes of continuing racism in our nation and professing Christianity is the fact that because of the arrogant pride bred superiority in-
trinsic to it, there are whites (and some self-hating blacks) who will eternally perish in Hell because in racial bigotry they refused to receive the Gospel, the Lord’s instruc-
tion, rebuke of their sin and heretical doctrines, call to repentance or warning from His Word coming through what is to them an inferior black man they are not duty
bound to hear!
5 The sovereign God maintains control over the affairs of men on earth! Nothing; absolutely nothing happens to any people outside of God’s perfect or permissive will and
foreknowledge. Thus, as the Lord instructs Pilate about how He was in his hands, so too, by way of application my West African forefathers through God’s permissive
will were brought to America to be slaves (Psalm 107:10-16; Lamentations 3:37-42; Ezekiel 18:4). Consequently, we are here in His purposes with much suffering and
many tears in our struggles first for freedom then, to this day sadly, to be treated as equal citizens. In this latter struggle, those of us that are biblically conservative
Christians persist for righteousness sake by faith in and service to God as a witness to those who hate us while waiting for Him to bring the perfect equity of His King-
dom! Read the November 29, 2015 post, When The Glory Comes, under the category, Glory To God! Also, visit The From Slavery To Victory Education Project at
https://fromslaverytovictory.org to learn more about the victories of faith.
Having just spent time giving serious thanks to God for all of His blessings this Thanksgiving, the Lord again directs my attention to the persecution being suffered by my Christian brethren among many nations. Though I do not write a lot about the ongoing persecution of Christians, I stay regularly informed and prayerful for all. The aforementioned “all” includes not just the suffering faces of those in faraway lands such as North Korea and Nigeria, but increasingly, those enduring persecution in this Western hemisphere and our own nation. Truly, growing hostility toward and persecution of Bible believing Christians in America is a reality that can no longer be dismissed as only isolated.
As a supporter of similarly named, but organizationally unrelated Open Doors USA, our Ministry regularly receives their reports on what is happening among our persecuted Christian brethren around the world.1 Not only are our brethren suffering from family and community exclusion within the nations they live, but government harassment, arrests, unfair trials, incarceration, legally sanctioned mob violence and martyrdom. When the Christian men are targeted for incarceration or murder, it leaves their families to suffer. While Communist and Islamic run nations fill the list of persecutors, nations such as Christian Eritrea, Hindu India and Buddhist Bhutan are also prominent.2
It is about to get really real for those of us that profess to be Christians in America too. Intensifying opposition to the biblical faith once on the fringe of American society is going mainstream. Moral tenets of the faith once taken for granted as absolute and bedrock to American society are not only being challenged, but cast down as no longer acceptable. These are not just tenets governing marriage and family for example, but definitions of objective truth, right and wrong, good and evil as well as justice and injustice. In the wake of this swiftly moving river of moral upheaval, Christians that would dare stand firm for the moral tenets of our faith are suffering varying degrees of persecution.
Besides the “in-your-face” government policies and litigations to remove crosses and nativity scenes as public displays of Christianity to implement falsely believed constitutionally mandated church and state separation, some Christians have suffered being demoted or fired from employment because they had Bibles at their work stations or read them on breaks. And because many secular entities have a “corporate culture” now, that does not tolerate religious expression (though, they publicly trumpet “inclusion” and “diversity” as values), being hired a Christian with a social media presence may be very difficult and once hired, witnessing Christ to co-workers is out.3
American secular colleges and universities that have historically celebrated tolerating various viewpoints as a means in the process of vigorous, but polite debate to sharpen the thinking of young minds have in too many instances today, hung out the “not welcome” sign to a biblical worldview. Biblically conservative Christian students are routinely singled out and held up to ridicule for their faith. Christian professors do not escape either.4 The secular media regularly ignores and mocks Christians that hold to a biblical worldview being quick only to report on high profile “Televangelists” and “Megachurch Pastors” whose sins come to light, while social media giants resist them.5
As I have also commented in other posts, a number of American Christians have been purposely targeted and martyred in mass shootings such as the one at Columbine High School in 1999 along with churches as occurred in Charleston, SC in 2015 and Sutherland Springs, TX in 2017.6 In agreement with all other observers here, none of what American Christians have suffered to date compares with the daily egregious and violent persecution our overseas brethren endure--yet! Praying for “the persecuted church” like it is some disconnected entity that exists only in non-exceptional, often impoverished nations of the world is about to change as persecutors intensify their efforts in America.7 And why? It is their “hour and the power of darkness,” (Luke 22:52-53, NKJV).
For this reason, beyond seeking to sensitize us to the ongoing suffering of our brethren wherever they are as a primary reason for this post, exhorting faithful American Christians to spiritually, mentally and emotionally prepare for the kind of hatred fed persecution our overseas brethren experience is an important secondary reason since our Lord has warned it is to occur in “all nations,” (Matthew 10:16-39, 24:9, NKJV).8 Now, is the time to awake from arrogance and apathy to get ready for what our Lord foretells and assures will take place. Among the equipping resources available is my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics and related group studies.9 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 The organizational parent of Strong Man Ministries is Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. I was led by the Lord to found August 12, 1985. Read some of the
stories of persecuted Christians among the many countries on the 2020 World Watch List of Open Doors USA.
2 What many of our brethren overseas “normally” suffer from their persecutors has been intensified during the Lord’s Coronavirus judgment. As we are banding together
with other Christians to help and encourage one another here at home, the Lord would have us remember our suffering persecuted brethren in those faraway lands
with tangible support as well (1 John 3:16-18).
3 Sadly, our military as a work place is no exception. Read about the case of Chaplain Curt Cizek.
4 To learn more about the experience of Christians on American campuses read the following ACLJ, Beliefnet and IsChristianityTrue articles.
5 I can attest to the heavy-handed resistance of Facebook to biblically conservative ministries such as this one among the social media giants. “Likes” to our pages by
Christians mysteriously dwindle after I write blogs or make posts on their platform that are not politically correct, tolerant etc. which the Lord has had me call them on.
They want me to believe that just making better posts and spending more money to “boost” them will remedy the situation though, such has not been the case since
they also limit the reach of the same. For the record, I do understand a to be expected number of professed Christians that formerly liked our Facebook pages are sub-
ject to “unlike” them at any time as a show of disagreement with me. I get that, but not what Facebook is doing which lately has even taken away page likes whenever
someone has liked a post! I urge Christians that have liked our pages and those of other ministries to check back periodically especially if you have not received a post
in your newsfeeds for a time and re-like the pages if necessary. Also, enlist other Christians on Facebook to like our pages after you have done so.
6 Read for example, the June 8, 2014 post, And Then There Is The War, under the category, instruction. Revisit the cited respective church shootings at the following
links Charleston, SC and Sutherland Springs, TX.
7 See the November 12, 2017 post, God’s Throwaways?, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
8 Read the two-part post beginning May 17, 2020, Persecution, Hatred And Betrayal, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
9 A print copy or digital download of the book published by the Publishing Division of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. with fresh editing in 2019 for greater clari-
ty and updated web addresses in the footnotes is available at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only).
You can also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store. Too, leaders can teach, disciple and equip through The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and The
Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study also in the Strong Man Store.
Following up my November 8, 2020 post, the Lord would have me issue yet another warning to professed American Christians and the churches they assemble in that are guilty of allowing themselves to be easily deceived by “deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” in these latter times as foretold (1 Timothy 4:1, NKJV).1 While I wrote in that post that Satan and his kingdom of darkness has operated mostly in the invisible spiritual shadows, Bible prophecy plainly asserts his revelation in the tangible evidence of unfolding world events, personages and open worship (his long held aspiration) in the wrap up of these times before the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Faithful, Bible believing Christians from the first century have seen and see the reality and working of Satan in the darkness.2 We see it in his never ending opposition to the Gospel and its spread as foretold (Mark 13:9-11; Acts 4:1-22, 13:1-12; 1 Thessalonians 2:13-20). We see it in the foretold rebellion he foments against God, His Anointed and Word even from among those that profess to know Him (Psalm 2:1-3; John 16:1-4; Acts 4:23-31; 2 Timothy 3:1-9). We see it too, in the foretold hatred and persecution of Christians he stirs up that is taking place in many nations across the face of the earth (Matthew 10:22-26, 24:9; Mark 13:12-13; Luke 21:17; John 15:18-25)!3
The Bible teaches lawlessness, persistent social conflict, civil unrest, rioting, strife, violence, murder (right down into the womb through abortion), terrorist acts and wars are instigated by Satan and his behind the scenes work carried out with Christ’s permission and continuing until His return (Genesis 4:1-8; Ezekiel 28:11-19; John 8:44, 13:1-2, 18-30; Ephesians 2:1-3, 6:10-12; 1 John 3:4-15; Revelation 6:1-8, 9:20-21). Through his deceiving work, the adversary also seduces many that profess allegiance to Christ to fall away in rebellion, betrayal and unbelief to their destruction while persecuting others to the death (Matthew 24:10; Hebrews 3:7-19; Revelation 2:8-11, 6:9-11).
Indeed, “the falling away” is a foretold mass event that looms; its trigger and full circumstances a mystery, though, if prophecy, historical and rising contemporary instances are any indication, the growing unpopularity of biblical Christianity in the world (to include among adversaries many false and manmade religious forms of it) with persecution will be the primary cause (2 Thessalonians 2:3a, NKJV).4 Interestingly, the apostle Paul’s prophetic declaration in the foregoing Scripture reference is preceded by the phrase, “Let no one deceive you by any means.” In God’s perfect timing, “the falling away” and what comes next in the same verse are sober, certain prophetic truth from Him!
The Lord uses the apostle Paul to yet again prophesy a staggering prophecy about one named by description in many ways who is foretold to come before the “Day” of the Lord. Paul calls him “the man of sin” and “son of perdition,” (2 Thessalonians 2:3b, NKJV). Daniel prophesies about him as does our Lord in His great prophetic discourse that warns of resulting “great tribulation” for the world and impacting God’s Jewish and Christian elect (Daniel 7:15-25, 8:23-25, 9:25-27; Matthew 24:15-22; Revelation 7, NKJV). He “opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped” and in God’s Temple asserts the lie “that he is God,” (2 Thessalonians 2:4, NKJV).
The unveiling of this “lawless one” that the apostle John also calls “the Antichrist” is now, held back from making his brief appearance leading to his eternal destruction only by the Holy Spirit (2 Thessalonians 2:5-8; 1 John 2:18, NKJV).5 In agreement with Daniel, the apostle Paul further foretells the Antichrist does have a benefactor, Satan, that he is beholding to and who is allowed by God to fully display the powers granted angels to falsely authenticate his claim to be God and deceives many. The Antichrist with the aid of a major and many other false prophets in return favor will fulfill Satan’s ultimate purpose for him and that is to openly acknowledge the devil and call for his worship too (Daniel 11:36-39; Matthew 24:23-28; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 13)!
The Lord has led me to describe the fast approaching period of the Antichrist as His “final exam.”6 That being so, all other instances of Satan having so easily tempted many into deception throughout professing Western Christianity to this hour are failed tests that do not bode well for passing the final exam! With all that is in me in love for Christ and the Church I exhort all reading this to take the necessary measures to minimize Satan’s ability to tempt you into sin and deception. Recognize for example, disobedience to God’s Word cannot be justified or satisfactorily rationalized before Him (John 14:23-24, 31, 15:9-10). Only repentance now, is acceptable! If you do not prepare yourself appropriately and fail it, understand there is no make-up final exam (Revelation 14:9-13).
1 Read the November 8, 2020 post, Why So Easily Deceived?, under the category, Instruction.
2 These are aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Jesus Christ! Learn more about them in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.
It is published by the Publishing Division of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. with fresh editing in 2019 for greater clarity and updated web addresses in the
footnotes. It is available at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and ChristianBooks.com. These book sellers with Apple also have the digital
download of the book. Type the title into their search engines if necessary. You can also purchase the book and all related Strong Man Of God Brand Group Study
Print Resources in the Strong Man Store!
3 See the two-part post beginning May 17, 2020, Persecution, Hatred And Betrayal, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
4 Read The Falling Away, posted on February 2, 2014, under the category Bible Prophecy.
5 See the February 23, 2014 post, The Man Of Sin, under the category, Bible Prophecy. If as the apostle John writes, “sin is lawlessness,” then, it is impossible that the
yet sin indwelt Church or their churches on earth could be the restrainer of lawlessness and the coming lawless one (1 John 3:4, NKJV). Truly, many that profess to
be Christians at this hour refuse to repent of their lawlessness! Only the Holy Spirit as God could restrain sin and its out breaking work to include wicked personalities
until He ceases restraining. Then, woe to the world! This “church as restrainer” doctrine tied to a pre-tribulation “rapture” is another false supposition imposed on
Scripture among many that are and will continue falling like dominoes in the face of reality during these latter times. Again, to avoid being deceived faithful Christians
with all else must know God’s Word as it is written, objectively read, interpreted and applied.
6 See Man Of Sin.
That the Lord distinguishes among those professing to know Him is first seen again in the case of the two brothers, Cain and Abel. Both men were most likely taught by their father, Adam, about the kind of sacrifice involving the shedding of blood because of sin that pleased God (Genesis 3:21; Hebrews 9:22). Both men clearly had dealings with God. But only Abel set his heart to make the sacrifice that pleased Him. Cain did as Israel would later and many professed Christians do today: offer God what they want or deem sufficient and expect acceptance (Malachi 1:6-14). God was not pleased with Cain’s offering, told him so and Cain became so angry, he murdered his brother.
God punished Cain by separating him from Himself and his father’s house to become a “fugitive and a vagabond.” Though Cain and his descendants did great things, none of them called "on the name of the Lord” as did Enosh, grandson of Adam, and the godly line of men after him (Genesis 4:9-26, NKJV). These men are the faithful saints of old such as Enoch, who is one of only two men to date God separated out and took alive from the world, Noah, who God separated out with his family during the flood of His wrath that destroyed the rest of mankind and the earth of that time and reaching down to Abram from “Ur of the Chaldeans,” (Genesis 5:21-24, 6:5-22, 11:26-32, NKJV).
God spoke to Abram who He named “Abraham” and directed him to separate out from his people to go to a land unknown to him in order to found a new people of promise descended from him (Genesis 12:1-7, 15:1-21, 17:1-14, NKJV). During the days that ensued, Abraham’s nephew, Lot, separated from him and settled in the city of Sodom in the Jordan plain. God visited the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah and determined to destroy them, but not before separating out Lot, the only righteous man therein and his family to save (Genesis 13, 18:16-19:29). Abraham fathered Isaac his promised son and he Esau and Jacob--God’s chosen (Genesis 21:1-7, 25:19-26; Romans 9:6-13).
After separating from his Mesopotamian kindred to whom he had fled escaping the wrath of his brother, Esau, Jacob returned to the Promised Land with twelve sons and a daughter (Genesis 35:9-29). Among his twelve sons, God chose Joseph for His purposes. He separated him out from his family through the treachery of his brothers to become a slave, but eventually second only to Pharaoh in Egypt to save and keep all alive there (Genesis 50:15-26). After 430 years God came down to deliver Israel from slavery and bring them back to the Promised Land. By His vessel, Moses, God brought plagues upon Egypt, but in separation protected Israel (Exodus 2:23-3:8, 8:20-24, 12:40-42).
On the way to the Promised Land God punished those that rebelled against Him when they refused to go in after a faithless report from 10 of 12 spies sent to spy it out. God separated out and preserved those of faith, obedience and faithfulness such as Joshua and Caleb, but allowed those 20 years old and above in that generation to die through 40 years of wilderness wandering (Numbers 13-14:38). Joshua replaced Moses and led the faithful along with the children of those that had perished in the wilderness into the Promised Land (Joshua 1:1-9). From the death of Joshua and his generation through the next 1,300 years Israel would vacillate spiritually before God.
There would be brief seasons of faith, obedience and faithfulness to the Lord by the people as a whole with godly leaders then, prolonged seasons of unbelief, rebellion and unfaithfulness judged by Him as the prophets warned (Deuteronomy 31:24-29; Zechariah 1:1-6). Always, there were godly individuals of faith that God preserved and blessed during all times of His judgment as He has done, is doing and will yet do (Ezekiel 9; Daniel 1:1-16; Zechariah 13:7-9; Malachi 3:13-18). The New Testament draws from the written experiences of Israel with God and exhorts Christians to give full heed to avoid their mistakes and consequences (1 Corinthians 10:1-11; Hebrews 3). Not the unbelieving disobedient will enter God’s promised rest, but the faithful obedient (Hebrews 4:1-13)!
The writer of Hebrews plainly warns the danger of remaining obstinate in the face of God’s call to repentance is becoming “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin;” that somehow God will not judge for whatever false reasons (Genesis 3:1-4; Hebrews 3:13, 6:4-8, 10:26-31; Jude 5-23, NKJV).4 Thus, Jesus Christ, “the Chief Shepherd” over the flock of God “who knows those who are His” stands in the midst of professing Christianity (2 Timothy 2:19-21; 1 Peter 5:4, NKJV). He separates out the faithful obedient to Himself through the fire of testing and persecution as judgment He allows to reveal them like those of old; many going out as martyrs as foretold (Daniel 3:1-28, 11:33-35; Acts 7:51-60, 12:1-19; Hebrews 10:35-11; 1 Peter 1:3-9, 4:15-19; Revelation 6:9-11, 7:9-17, 12:7-11).5
As the Lord led me to recently write, persecution will not only reveal the faithful, but professed Christians as wicked impostors, rebels and apostates who align with the world in hatred and betrayal to persecute them, sealing their eternal doom.6 At the end of persecution in God’s final exam (Revelation 14:9-13), a faithful remnant will see and be separated out by flight with those resurrected to meet the coming Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). After His wrath, He will gather remnant Jews He as their Shepherd too, has separated out to Himself (Ezekiel 20:33-38; Revelation 7:1-8). On His throne of glory, the King will separate out nations unfit for His Kingdom (Matthew 25:31-46). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
4 Besides deceitfully wrapping themselves in an invented cloak of eternal security, many that beyond a shadow of a doubt know they defy the plain commandments and
instructions of God in His Word shamelessly attempt to remove their guilt and certain consequence for disobedience by asserting commandments and instructions
that are not eternal are no longer important to God or applicable. Every commandment and instruction of God’s Word for this present, mortal age is important to Him
and applicable until the end (Matthew 4:1-4, 5:17-20, 24:35; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28; Revelation 20:11-21:8). Read the December 4, 2016 post, Now Is The Day Of
Salvation, under the category, Call To Repent.
5 This is every aspiring strong man and great woman of God I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics who are equipped with biblical instruc-
tion to stand. Get a print copy or digital download of the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital
only). You can also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store.
6 See the two-part post beginning May 17, 2020, Persecution, Hatred And Betrayal, under the category, Bible Prophecy. Professed Christians that persecute their sup-
posed brothers in hate and betrayal fulfill the indictment of them as liars by the apostle John since authentic Christians love each other (Romans 13:8-10). Like Phar-
aoh long ago and their worldly cohorts, professed Christian hearts completely deceived and irreversibly sin hardened certify their just eternal damnation by and sepa-
ration from the Lord (Exodus 14:15-29; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10, 2:7-12).
As the Lord leads, I write to encourage the hearts of His faithful saints in the aftermath of my posts from July 4, 2021. In particular, I remind you that all we temporarily now, and will suffer through to the end of our mortal lives or the return of our Lord Jesus Christ is worth it since we are richly rewarded by Him eternally (Romans 8:18)! Until then, you know that it is our privilege to suffer to whatever extent we do in His likeness and cause to His glory (1 Peter 4:12-16). Trust me; I already know this is easier said than done. Yet, this is God’s will for us in spite of the falsehood in much of American Christianity that makes personal dream fulfillment, health and material prosperity its focus.
What exactly are we suffering for at the end of the day as Christians? Is it not for the sake of Christ as His followers and the Kingdom of God He represents as King and Judge?1 Yes, and He does not deceive us about the cost of following Him until He returns to bring the Kingdom of God to earth declaring plainly to all: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross (an instrument of suffering and death), and follow Me,” (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23, NKJV). Moreover, He soberly urges such ones to “count the cost” which is very steep in prioritizing first love for and sacrificial service to Him in His Kingdom causes (Luke 14:25-35, NKJV).2
This is just as He also lived and served His Father during His earthly sojourn; suffering the agony and humiliation of being crucified naked on a Roman cross to bring about our salvation as foretold (Psalm 22:1-18; Isaiah 53:1-9; John 3:13-17, 19:28-30). As our example in everything, He who insists we be prepared to suffer for Him and His Kingdom causes, suffered first and far greater than any of us that follow Him ever will (Matthew 10:16-33; John 15:18-25; 1 Peter 2:18-25)!3 Thus, as those redeemed for the Kingdom we suffer for its present message in the Gospel from God calling mankind to repent of sin and believe on King Jesus for salvation (Luke 24:46-48; Acts 17:30-31)!
Too, we suffer now, as He did for the Kingdom’s transcendent eternal principles, morality and ethics well articulated in the Bible (Psalm 119:89; Luke 21:33). God has given men freewill and the right to refuse the Gospel and Kingdom. Stirred by demons and hardened in heart by sin, many who reject the Gospel and Kingdom are not simply content with rejection, but feel it necessary to persecute believers among other wicked motives to justify themselves. The uncompromising stand of the faithful our God is “the only true God,” His Gospel the only means of mankind’s salvation and His Word the sole “truth” infuriates them (Isaiah 43:10-13, 44:6-8; John 3:18-21, 17:1-3, 14-17, NKJV).
Atheists, other secular unsaved, jaded unbelieving professed Christians as weak or outright false brethren and religionists along with apostates persecute the faithful around the earth with hostile mockery, scoffing, exclusion from family and community relations as well as support, destruction of personal and church properties, incarceration, physical violence and martyrdom as foretold. As also foretold, however, God will vindicate the suffering His saints have endured and our long wait in faith since the 1st century A.D. for it beginning with the destruction of counterfeit Christianity’s mother (Revelation 17:1-19:4). This is followed by Christ’s glorious return (2 Thessalonians 1:3-12)!
On that special one of a kind day, God in Christ will show the world how much He valued the faithfulness of His saints by glorifying us for all to unavoidably see. For the dead in Christ that are raised and His mortal remnant will receive from Him their immortal bodies aglow with the brilliant eternal glory of God shining from them against the backdrop of the darkened heavens as we obey His summons to join His glorious presence in the sky (Isaiah 13:9-10; Daniel 12:2-3; Zechariah 14:5b-7; Mark 13:24-27; 1 Corinthians 15:50-57; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)! For most of the unsaved on that day, our eternal glorification will be among the last things they see alive on earth.
Gentile survivors with the protected elect Jewish remnant will see our reign with Christ over this earth and universe follow our glorification and full outpour of divine wrath (Daniel 7:13-14, 21-22, 27; Revelation 7:1-8, 20:4-6). We will reign as kings and judges as with all things pertaining to the eternal Christian life, in the image of Christ!4 This is exceedingly greater than Noah and Lot’s after wrath experiences! So then, let the faith in our God of the faithful--even every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ--take to heart all He has promised us as vindicating victory and be comforted in “the whole counsel” of His Word (Acts 20:27, NKJV).5 This is as I wrote to you in a previous word of encouragement.6 Our suffering for Christ is not in vain (James 5:7-12).
1 Read the August 1, 2021 post, Jesus Christ King And Judge!, under the category, Instruction.
2 See the two-part post beginning August, 18, 2019, Lined Up Behind Jesus, under the category, Instruction.
3 See the two-part post beginning May 17, 2020, Persecution, Hatred And Betrayal and Persecution Of American Christians Intensifying on November 29, 2020, both under
the category, Bible Prophecy.
4 Read the July 19, 2020 post, Ruling The Earth Under Christ, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
5 As I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ are the Lord’s faithful! The book and
companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study are available at your favorite internet book seller and in the
Strong Man Store.
6 See the August 16, 2020 post, To The Word Of God!, under the category, Encouragement.
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