God, Sovereignty, Eschatology and Resistance

Discerning the times – and God’s will:

OK, a mouthful of a title, bringing together a number of ginormous subjects. But there is a purpose in this. Two recent comments to this site, and my responses to them, form the basis of this article. One thing about having an interactive website is you get a lot of folks sending in great comments and asking great questions. (Of course you get a lot of not-so-great ones as well!)

Both comments had to do with how Christians should respond to great evil and evil rulers, especially in light of what the Bible says about the end times, predictions of one world governments, and the like. If all this has been foretold by God, should we simply submit to it all, or should we resist nonetheless? Moreover, is God using these things to achieve his purposes?

Let me speak to each comment in turn. What follows is part of their comments/questions, and a somewhat expanded version of my original answer to them. I trust that both do not mind that I am doing this! The first fellow was responding to a recent piece I wrote on the Great Reset and how we must stand against this. He said in part:

One thing I need to ask is as we look at this idea of “The Great Reset” is this any different to Isaiah or Jeremiah’s situation? (Babylon is coming and nothing you do or say will stop them from taking control of this land) I ask this in so far as God has shown through the book of Revelation there will be a one world government, religion and currency so are we kidding ourselves in thinking we can thwart God’s plans by fighting against this. I am by no means saying we should just give up and accept this as a given. I like the idea of communities and Churches becoming closer and more vocal against this situation but in the end if this is as God would have it, nothing we can do or say will stop it from happening. Am I wrong?

These are good questions indeed. And there are, I believe, good answers. A few things can be said. Back in the Old Testament Jeremiah and others were divinely inspired canonical prophets, so when they told the Israelites, ‘Do not resist Babylon (or Assyria) as it is being used by Yahweh for his purposes to judge Israel,’ that was not something anyone should have argued with.

God was telling his people through the prophetic word what was specifically happening, and in the case of Jeremiah, he wanted them NOT to resist the evil Babylonians. There are plenty of passages about how he said they must submit to God’s judgment. Here are some of them:

Jer. 27:16-17 Then I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: Do not listen to the words of your prophets who are prophesying to you, saying, ‘Behold, the vessels of the Lord’s house will now shortly be brought back from Babylon,’ for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you. Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon and live. Why should this city become a desolation?

Jer. 32:4-5 Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye. And he shall take Zedekiah to Babylon, and there he shall remain until I visit him, declares the Lord. Though you fight against the Chaldeans, you shall not succeed’?”

Jer. 32:26-28 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? Therefore, thus says the Lord: Behold, I am giving this city into the hands of the Chaldeans and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall capture it.

Jer. 38:17-18 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: If you will surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.”

But several things must be said about this. These commands to Israel were unique, one-off events. They do NOT serve as a template for all of God’s people for all times. This was a specific work of God at a specific time and place. And recall that although Babylon is called God’s servant, Yahweh would later also judge them.

Today Christians do not have divinely inspired canonical prophets telling us about such matters. We cannot say – at least with any degree of certainty – that Dan Andrews or Klaus Schwab or Stalin or Hitler are his instruments of judgment and that we must simply submit fully.

And even if one is a hardcore Calvinist who may believe that everything is ordained by God, only a few of the more extreme ones would deny human responsibility. Thus hardly anyone would have told Wilberforce for example, ‘Slavery is God’s divine will so if you resist it you are resisting God’! And hardly anyone would have told Bonhoeffer, ‘Do not resist Hitler – he is God’s servant,’ etc. So we really are not in the same place as Israel was back then.

And our marching orders remain: we are to be salt and light, and that involves – among other things – fighting against evil and injustice wherever it is found. Resisting tyrannical megalomaniacs who are causing so much harm is part of what it is to be a good Christian in a fallen world. So resisting great evil like the Great Reset seems perfectly biblical.

Lastly, Christians of course for 2000 years have thought they were living in the last days of the book of Revelation. We just do not know for sure when the end will be, as Jesus said. The Lord may tarry for a few more centuries. In which case we are to occupy till He comes, and that means, at least in part, taking a stand for righteousness and justice.

The second comment I want to discuss came in to an article I wrote about resisting evil rulers in general, and the horrible lockdowns and pandemic legislation in Victoria in particular. A fellow asked if there may not be a divine purpose in all this, even the terrible lockdowns, etc. He said in part:

Is an even darker period coming? Is this simply the prelude, giving us a glimpse of the main portion, in which we have time to make connections and communities to survive and thrive without government. The early disciples were hated by their government too and yet God was not without witness in fact under persecution was when the Church saw it biggest growth! Perhaps God is separating us from the world by force since we won’t do so voluntarily. We should be open to that and search for God’s purpose.

Again, great questions, and similar in some ways to the above questions. Here is a fuller answer to the one I gave him:

That God has a purpose in all he does is not in question. Those who believe in a sovereign God who is involved in what happens on planet earth will know that he does indeed have purposes for all that he does. But of course we may not always know exactly what those purposes are!

In the Old Testament the inspired canonical prophets quite often told the people of Israel what Yahweh’s specific purposes were. And that often included God’s purposes for the nations, and how he could even use pagan nations to judge Israel. These included not just Babylon and Assyria but other nations as well.

But we just do not have the same clear prophetic words today. We see through a glass darkly. We often must just pray and trust, without a super clear understanding of what is taking place. Sometimes all we can do is trust that God is ultimately in charge, and that he is indeed carrying out his purposes.

But we are still to fight evil and resist tyranny. Having a high view of God’s sovereignty does not – and should not – turn us into fatalists. I too wonder why God is allowing evil things like Dictator Dan’s reign of terror, but unless I somehow get some certain word from above that Dan is God’s servant to punish Victorians, I will keep resisting.

I know I am called to be salt and light, and that may involve standing against tyrants who think they are God. So that I will keep doing. Moreover, if we knew every detail of what God was now up to, I suppose we would not need to have faith. So there may be a place for some mystery and wonder as to what God is up to today, and what exactly we should be doing.

Scripture however provides us with plenty of details in some areas, or at least broad principles to guide us in this and other areas. But yes, I often wonder about these things as well. Has God raised up an evil despot like Andrews to judge an evil and rebellious people and to chastise his church?

It is always possible. Some years ago I wrote about the saying that God gives people the rulers they deserve. See more on that topic here: billmuehlenberg.com/2016/02/23/on-getting-the-government-we-deserve/

But even if it is part of God’s purposes to raise up an Andrews, it may well also be part of his purposes to raise up those who will resist his ungodly and tyrannical ways. So we can act, even while God acts. Unless we are certain that some modern event or action is clearly and precisely the express will of God, and to oppose it is to oppose God himself, we can keep on being salt and light.

And this is true of not just draconian lockdowns and power grabs, but the virus itself. What if God has sent it as some sort of judgment? Again, I think we can take steps to mitigate or eradicate such viruses while also allowing God to achieve any purposes he might have in mind. See more on this here: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/08/10/disease-disaster-evil-and-worldviews/

In sum, my commenting friend is right: ‘We should search for God’s purposes.’ That may not always be easy to do, but it is part of what it is to be a Christian.

[1801 words]

25 Replies to “God, Sovereignty, Eschatology and Resistance”

  1. Thanks Bill, you brought a lot of thoughts out. I have been listening to some present day prophets who say that we are to fight against all this tyranny, like you said, as the devil is trying to take control of the world before his time. (They say we are going to win and God will set Australia free.) I also believe Revelation 12 has happened from 23/12/16 to 23/9/17 (nine months) as the star signs showed at the time and satan has been kicked out of heaven for the last time and thrown down to earth so he is very angry as he knows his time is short.
    My own thoughts are it looks like we are now in Revelation 13 or a trial run of it as the New World Order depicts the first beast out of the sea and the second lamb like beast out of the land with two horns that speaks like a dragon seems to be here as the two horns look to be the worldwide climate change hoax and the worldwide coronavirus hoax that most people are following. There are other things happening as well like Babylon is falling with Facebook falling on 4th Oct and the world’s financial system has been hit by the stone cut out of the mountain in Daniel 2;44-45 so it is falling. The stone is the Holy Spirit or God’s glory that is here already working in believers as we have been praying for deliverance and God always answers prayers. I’ve heard the first and second horses of Rev 6 are riding and the third horse and rider is a famine coming from 2025 to 2032. The two witnesses still have to become prominent in the last 7 years before Jesus comes as well. We are living in very distressing but interesting times and a lot of things are going to happen. This may not all be accurate but I hope it helps encourage people that it is all in the Bible and we know who wins.

  2. Amen!

    It was always God’s will that we should be allowed to have the government we want. Read 1 Sam 8 and see and then people should realise that all of the things God told Israel would happen if they chose to have a king, other than God, happened – even with the best of kings such as King David.

    So I’m pretty sure God knows the only way we are ever going to willingly subject ourselves to Him is if we try other things and realise they invariably fail.

    Unfortunately some people, such as socialists, are very slow to learn and so will say “…this socialism didn’t work, well and this socialism didn’t work well and this ….. ” etc. , etc. and so on, and yet will say “what we really need to do is try this form of socialism.” The scriptures are clear that some people never learn.

    So when people say that all authority comes from God so we should just obey the government no matter what, what they should realise is that that attitude will inevitably end up having people receive the mark of the Beast because clearly the Beast is in authority, it has ten crowns and the second Beast can use the Beast’s authority to attempt to prevent people from buying and selling unless they receive the Beast’s mark, so definitely authority but authority that blasphemes God.

    So clearly and obviously there has to be limits as to how far we go in obeying government plus we need to understand that the only real government that will ever work right is only ever going to be God’s.

    I’m also pretty sure that if God wanted us to obey a government in things that seemed blatantly against what He has told us, He would have specifically let us know beforehand. It’s one thing to pay your taxes but a completely different thing to support using those taxes to shed innocent blood for instance.

    As to people panicking about there being a one world government, I would suggest there has pretty much always been essentially a one world government in biblical terms, even in prophesied modern times and especially considering the Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Roman empires and the fact that there is a prince of this world but the scriptures tell us the last “kingdom”, prior to the Messiah’s return, is going to be somewhat different. It is likened to a small horn and feet mixed with iron and clay for a start. Personally I believe that is what we already, essentially have. We have people’s thinking manipulated by media and we have systems in place that are very much primed to fail as soon as they are impacted but we are told the time of that impact will be at God’s discretion.

    I most definitely do not believe the scriptures speak of one and only one antichrist, that is not the biblical definition, so, short of the tribulation prophecies, there appears to me to be very little left to be fulfilled. The church is the temple and is already being defiled and the daily sacrifice is already starting to be taken away because of the defilement. People are already falling away and saying they know better than God and God is increasingly being removed from government so if this world is no longer going to be useful in teaching us it no longer has a purpose. Before the very end, however, the lessons get tougher.

  3. I don’t know Bill if you have already mentioned , ‘The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates, – A Proper Resistance to Tyranny and a Repudiation of Unlimited Obedience to Civil Government’ by pastor Matthew J.Trewellah but the moral response to unlimited government cannot unlimited obedience. That would be tantamount to being an accessory to crime.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guH_GuQsVCo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3jQkgm825w

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j05dZhcnDhQ&list=PLsge303pIOqYh1_3WS2X9jvR8ERlVaojP&index=1

    David Skinner

  4. Yes, the OT Prophets declares God’s intention to judge the divided nation.

    But He still preferred godliness in Jerusalem and the rest of Israel and Judah rather than passive acceptance of the bad situation of apostasy, where “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

    Therefore the occasional good kings who made extensive reforms (Josiah and Hezekiah, for example) were commended.

  5. Thanks John. You raise a good point about God preferring that people repent instead of being judged. That is normally the case. But sometimes sadly the people reach a point of no return, and God’s only preferred recourse IS judgment. Indeed, God even went so far as to tell Jeremiah three times to STOP interceding for the people:

    Jer. 7:16 So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you. 
    Jer. 11:14 Do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.
    Jer. 14:11 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Do not pray for the well-being of this people’.”

    Of course as I have been saying, today we may not be privy to such divine instructions and intentions as the OT prophets were. So we keep praying, but again, we can pray for both mercy and judgment simultaneously, and let God decide how to proceed!

  6. Hi Michael, yes I agree that the little horn of Dan 7:8 looks like being the media as it covers the whole earth and has eyes (surveillance) and a mouth speaking great things and persecutes the saints in Rev 13:7 but I still believe a physical third temple will be built by the Jews for sacrifices to start again and then the abomination of desolation will happen again for the last time as history repeats itself. There is usually a spiritual and physical side to scripture. But regarding the place of the temple, the Jews just have to listen to some archaeologists instead of being stubborn headed and they will find the first and second temples were down by the rushing spring Gihon. Here are two old videos on the temple and the coming temple https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKqDx3RDCos

  7. Bill, in 2008 you wrote an article entitled, ‘Christians and Civil Disobedience’, where you finish with the question, “What about Christians and violence? What about Christians and revolution? Can there be a just revolution? [1]
    In that article you also refer to two previous articles written in 2007, [2] & [3]
    I liken a head of state to the captain of a ship or bus driver. Both have been given the authority and power to steer and drive the ship or bus, but they cannot steer wherever they wish. They do not have the authority over the destination of the journey, or more importantly ownership of the passengers. That authority resides ultimately with God who has the whole route plan of history mapped out. If the passengers feel that that either the captain or driver are not following the owner of the companies’ rules, they are free and morally bound to change to another ship or bus. In other words, flee and seek refuge in a country that does follow God’s laws – as did the Mennonites when they fled to America in the 17th and 18th centuries. However, if there is no chance of either jumping ship or getting off the bus and the passengers are being steered either over the Niagara Falls or driven towards a dangerous cliff edge, then they have the moral duty to overpower either the ship’s captain or bus driver. As happened for instance when the passengers of United Flight 93 overpowered Muslims highjackers – but sadly too late. If the passengers leave it too late in the mistaken belief that by doing nothing everything, will turn out well in the end, history has shown that such policies end in disaster. Is it not the case that Victoria has been highjacked by a cultural terrorist? Or am I overdramatising?

    On January 6th, 1649, the House of Commons passed an “Act” to establish a High Court of Justice. This Act stated “to the end that no chief officer or magistrate may hereafter presume traitorously or maliciously to imagine or continue the enslaving or destroying of the English nation, and expect impunity for so doing…” The result was King Charles 1st being beheaded.
    Oliver Cromwell’s statue [4] still stands as a symbol justice and righteous and the freedom to obey God’s laws rather than those of man. If ever his statue is “cancelled” and torn down this will be the signal for the British to rise up and cleanse the Augean stable and the whole ruling establishment.

    [1] https://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/11/02/christians-and-civil-disobedience/
    [2] https://billmuehlenberg.com/2013/07/11/is-revolution-ever-justified-part-one/
    [3] https://billmuehlenberg.com/2013/07/11/is-revolution-ever-justified-part-two/
    [4] https://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/139/590x/secondary/statue-2528413.webp?r=1592654574044

    David Skinner UK

  8. “The early disciples were hated by their government too and yet God was not without witness in fact under persecution was when the Church saw it biggest growth!”

    I get a bit uneasy when I see some Christians think persecution will automatically prove beneficial. It’s true that has happened but so too has there been examples of persecution simply resulting in the elimination/defeat of the Christians. Two big examples I can think of are Japan’s successful elimination of its Christians between the 17th-19th centuries, and late Ottoman Turkey/early modern Turkey’s destruction and expulsion of the Armenian and Greek Christians. Today, both nations have few Christians and I believe in both countries its because the people see Christianity as a ‘loser’ they’ve victoriously disposed of, so most won’t bother with it. I know that sounds grim, but they did happen, and Christians shouldn’t be so glib about persecution.

  9. Thanks Lynette but there are a number of problems with these common theories. The two most important problems are that there is only ever one Temple and the New Testament teaching is that the New Testament Temple is not made with human hands and in fact is Jesus’ body, of which Paul tells us we are the building blocks. In other words we, as the body of Christ, are now the Temple and accordingly we now house the Holy Spirit.

    In Revelation the Temple is spoken of as being in the heavenly realm so, again, this would conflict with a man made temple. There can only ever be one Temple.

    The second important issue is that the prophecies are that God would no longer accept animal sacrifices and would “provide Himself a sacrifice” (in a rather beautiful double entendre) and this, of course, has already happened so there is now no longer any means to sanctify a new Jewish temple and make it the Holy Place of prophecy. I believe any new sacrifices would, in fact, be an insult to what Jesus has already done and definitely, if God does not accept sacrifices, then a man made temple simply cannot be sanctified. So a new Jewish temple cannot be the Holy Place of prophecy. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can only now happen where the Holy Spirit now resides.

    There are also a number of other issues such as Paul telling us that Jewish worship was obsolete and was ready to pass away which, of course, we now see happened when Herod’s temple was destroyed plus Paul reinforcing time and time again that we are now the Temple.

    There is also the Revelation prophecy that the gentiles would trample the outer court of the heavenly Temple, not the earthly one, until the time of the gentiles is complete so again, the New Testament Temple is not made with human hands plus the Revelation plagues, we are told, eminate from the heavenly Temple.

    If you put it all together a revived Jewish temple cannot be what the scriptures are speaking of. There simply is no longer any means of sanctifying a man made temple to house the Holy Spirit of God and no reason why God would want to do this – Jewish worship has been obsoleted. We now have a perfect sacrifice and the curtain was ripped from top to bottom for a good reason. Why would God restrict Himself again to only dwelling with men in a man made temple? You would need to reverse everything that God has done for that to occur.

    I also believe the destruction of Herod’s Temple was an act of grace on God’s part to prevent the Jews, after a grace period, from bringing more condemnation upon themselves through continual animal sacrifice which, I’m quite sure, insult what Jesus has already done.

    So no. As Paul said, O.T Temple worship was simply a shadow of things to come. What we have seen is part of the process of when that which is perfect has come that which is in part is done away with.

    This is why I believe people are misunderstanding what Paul said in 2 Thes 2. Proper exegesis means you need to read 2 Thes 2 in the light of the other scriptures Paul wrote and in those scriptures Paul unequivocally says we are now the Temple. So what Paul is talking about in 2 Thes 2 is, when people become apostate they have blasphemed God and defiled the Temple. He states this exact thing clearly in another epistle. Just as the beginning of the chapter says, Paul is describing the falling away or great end-times apostasy. When people fall away or become apostate they have stood in the Temple and declared that they are God. They have defiled the Temple. There are various scriptures, not only from Paul, that also say that, once people do that, they can no longer be saved and the O.T prophecies are warning pointing to this exact issue. We are meant to realise that we need to treat God’s Temple with respect and that blaspheming God is definitely not a small issue. Talk of a new Jewish Temple distracts people and stops them from properly heeding the real warning.

  10. In March 2012 a ceremony took place in the packed hall Westminster Palace where peers and MPs in the ancient Hall of Westminster London, had gathered to mark sixty years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, with her Diamond Jubilee.
    John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, addressed the Queen

    “Your Majesty… You have become to many of us a kaleidoscope queen of a kaleidoscope country in a kaleidoscope commonwealth. This gathering is one of many diverse events across these islands in tribute to you and this great anniversary…..sixty years of stability, sixty years of security, sixty years of certainty, sixty years of sacrifice, sixty years of service. May I thank you whole heartedly for all that you have done, are doing and will do for the good of our country [1]
    Perhaps it was lost on the parliamentarians but Bercow was the President of the Kaleidoscope Trust [2] for which Cameron had given his blessing in 2011

    In her response she said,

    “My Lords and Members of the House of Commons, I am most grateful for your Loyal Addresses and the generous words of the Lord Speaker and Mr Speaker….
    “The happy relationship I have enjoyed with Parliament has extended well beyond the more than three and a half thousand Bills I have signed into law.” [3] …

    It is her hand which not only surrendered Britain’s sovereignty to a foreign power, the EU, but it has been her hand which has taken Britain from being under the authority Biblical law to Queer, secularist and humanist laws resulting in:

    The murder of 15% of the nation through abortion
    The sodomisation and not the solemnisation of marriage with same sex marriage.
    The flooding the nation with pornography;
    The spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, HIV, syphilis; Hepatitis; Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and cancers of throat and rectum.
    Rampant drug addiction;
    Widespread mental illness and suicide;
    A breakdown in discipline in schools and in the home.
    Compulsory queer relationship and sex education (RSE);
    Hundreds of thousands of children either being sexually abused or abusing other children;
    Hundreds of children wrenched from their parents, put into social care, and sold off through the queer adoption agencies;
    Sex trafficking
    Satanic ritual abuse (RSA);
    A rocketing violent crime rate, including the rape and sexual abuse of women by the police,
    A fundamental breakdown in societal trust and loyalty
    A prison population that is the largest in Europe.
    A government which can pass laws without Parliamentary debate or scrutiny. And a deeply divided kingdom and society.

    The Kaleidscope Trust were the main sponsors of the 2012 World London Gay Pride Parade which was held a few months later, in July, where Peter Tatchell boasted “There are no borders or boundaries when it comes to LGBT human rights. No nationality, no culture, no belief system can stand in the way of the historic quest for (absolute)LGBT freedom.” [4]

    Its remit is to undermine, subvert and force Commonwealth countries like Jamaica and force them to accept and embrace LGBT ideology, values and immorality contrary to their Christian beliefs [5]

    Britain at the height of its colonial powers in the 19th and early twentieth century had attempted force a different kind of addiction, apart from sodomy and queer behaviour, onto China with the opium wars.

    It is bad enough allowing homosexual activists like Stonewall to dominate our nation but to then attempt to force it on other nations, by Queen Elizabeth publicly signing the Commonwealth Charter, in March 2013 forcing LGBTQ rights on Commonwealth nations is not only a crime against humanity but God [6] I hate to say it but ‘Wokeness’ gets decidedly worse with Princes William and Harry.

    There is something rotten in the state of Britain and Australia needs to take to the life-boats.

    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HotafToOhqY
    [2] https://youtu.be/HYT4YDNNuTc?t=54
    [3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1MtjfmnOSU&t=320s
    [4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWsac1Z23dM&t=239s
    [5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiIjmj9kJds
    [6] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9920238/Queen-to-sign-new-charter-backing-gay-rights.html

    David Skinner UK

  11. Everyone is entitled to their political views. And biblical quotes can always be cherrypicked to support any worldview. So how about some honesty here? Express your political view, protest as you wish, but don’t drag Christianity into it. It’s embarrassing, deceitful and a disgusting corruption of Christ’s message.

  12. Hmm, where did I hear that sort of talk before John? Oh yeah, from neglected history books. Examples are plentiful. Numerous critics told the English politician William Wilberforce to not drag his Christianity into Parliament as he fought to end the slave trade. Thankfully he ignored these fakes and frauds. And when Hitler gave the same sort of lousy advice to Martin Niemoller and other Germans pastors (“You confine yourself to the church. I’ll take care of the German people”), they would have none of it.

    Sorry but I will always side with real deal Christians like Wilberforce, Niemoller, Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King Jr and countless others who ignored the unhelpful and unbiblical critics and were fully involved in the political and social issues of the day. Opposing such concerned Christians is really what is embarrassing, deceitful and a disgusting corruption of Christ’s message. So how about some honesty here?

  13. I am honored to be used in your article.

    I would say part of how we might see somethings slightly different might be our future outlook pre versus post millennial.

    Well Mark I’m not saying persecution is to be sought after but in many cases it has been beneficial to the faith. If not in growth in the strengthening of the faith of those under it. Plus I feel way to many Christians FEAR persecution they are ALL IN for revival not because they want to get closer to God but because they don’t want his punishment. I want these Christians to know there is NOTHING to fear. Many of our greatest Saints have been through great persecution. The apostle Paul suffered greatly and considered himself blessed.

    For the West we’ve had it too easy too long and thus many have lost their zeal, their passion for Christ. We go to church but we don’t go to GOD! Even in some Christians who understand and go to God their flame once as tall as a flaming redwood in a forest fire is now the size is that on a latter wick just before it is pulled completely down.

    Sometimes pain must bring us to our knees because we won’t go to them voluntarily. Sometimes he must bring a civilization to to point of “we may have nothing but we have God and that is enough” in order to break them of everything but reliance on him. The world is deeply ingrained in much of the church. The little judgements of the past 100+ years haven’t purged it perhaps God is using something much stronger.

  14. To Paul Wilson,

    Thanks for your comment. However it doesn’t change my main point; there has been instances when persecution resulted in the defeat/destruction of the Christians, like the Japanese and Turkish examples I mentioned earlier. Surely those instances too should serve as a major caution to Christians: don’t underestimate persecution. Because the enemy is determined to win too and the enemy HAS won (and brutally too) on some occasions. That may not sound nice to hear but it has already happened.

  15. Yes Mark, as I said in the article I linked to in my above comment:

    The Bible nowhere tells us to seek after persecution or pray for it. Things like religious liberty are incredibly valuable social goods and a real gift from God. We should not take them lightly, but do all we can to preserve them.

    But Scripture does promise us repeatedly that opposition, hatred and persecution is the regular lot of the believer. If and when we do lose our freedoms in the once free West, then we keep on keeping on, by the grace of God. Until that happens however, such freedoms are well worth fighting for.

  16. Christians do not fight in wars, either against an external enemy or one within their own nation for themselves, but for the sake of their children and their children’s children and those of other people’s children.. Isaiah 61: 1 says, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tiding unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort those who mourn;….”
    When the allies set free the captives in the concentration camps and nations under the thrall of Hitler, this was a Christian act, often preceded by days national prayer. We fast and pray and then action must follow. We need set free those both home and abroad, kept in bondage by our own governments to sexual addictions, such as homosexuality, abortion and all manner of bondages.
    We need to set free those parents who in attempting to protect their children from LGBTQ+ predators find themselves in prison, like Lisa Miller [1] Ken Miller, and Philip Zodhiates [2]

    What is the difference between a foreign enemy attacking our nation and one that that has infiltrated and hijacked our own political system

    In the spirit of Oliver Cromwell and George Washington, let no president prime minister, King, Queen, chief officer or magistrate hereafter presume traitorously or maliciously to imagine or continue the enslaving or destroying of the English, Australian or American nation, and expect impunity for so doing…”

    [1] http://whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2021/03/updates_on_lisa_miller_and_phi.html

    [2] https://www.massresistance.org/docs/gen4/21a/Free-and-pardon-Philip-Zodhiates/index.html

    David Skinner UK

  17. Mark I am well aware of what persecution means: being raped, being tortured, being whipped bloody over every inch of your body, being awaken at 2am stripped naked an forced to march through the snow to a labor camp, being beaten just because people feel like beating you, being cut and left with open wounds or worse being urinated on afterwards or having salt rubbed in the wounds, vivisection culminating in crushing your beating heart in front of your eyes, having limbs and body body parts removed while fully awake, things that when described would give nightmares that you would awake screaming at the top of your lungs in the middle of the night. It means crucifixion or beheading or some other form of death!

    I am not naive, I do not speak of persecution glibly, cavalierly, or joyously. I don’t want to see my city in flames, I don’t want people to die I don’t want to die. But I only see TWO options God’s righteous judgement or persecution to wake up a catatonic/comatose church! God has sent warning judgements for over 100 years and she has NOT responded. This angers me!!! I don’t relish or savour the prospect of either but one is going to have to happen. If we prepare NOW we might be able to see it through either.

    People don’t talk about either because most are scared of it they fear it. I have God I am NOT afraid! The church’s problem is lack of faith a lack of wanting to live the godly life. In a episode of Babylon 5 the character Sheridan is stuck between then moments between live and death. Another character tells him he isn’t embracing life he is fleeing death and thus he is stuck between the two. The church isn’t embracing god but somewhat fleeing the devil. So it to is stuck. She wants to have one foot in gods camp and on in the world’s and then tries to play both sides. See world I’m in your camp. See God I’m in your camp. We are for to infested with worldliness to to be Christian and too Christian to be acceptable to the world. Something DRASTIC has to happen for the people in the pews to choose God or the world (satan). We have crossed the line of no return the question now is will we get judgement or persecution??? Or perhaps some will see judgment and some will see persecution.

    I go into this with eyes wide open. I have no delusions of this being a great time or a short period. I am aware this will be generational. I am all in come what may. I want people to look upon the Lord with awe to tremble at his power. To fear the power of the LORD not man. I am tired of those what call themselves by HIS name acting disrespectfully and bringing shame and disrepute to him. A house cleaning is in order. We saw how made Jesus got with the money changers and cleared them out this will be even greater. Empires have always paid the price for defiance of God, as have those who are his, perhaps it is time the west fell like so many before it. Perhaps it is time the Western church felt the same faith bringing pain our Eastern brethren have felt for so many decades! Death surely came to many but it was a death of GAIN not loss. Too many a Christian today would, if they died in their sleep, would never see Jesus till judgment day. Let us work on building communities and support now while it is day for in that dark night no-one may openly work.

  18. To Paul Wilson,

    It appears we’ve somewhat talked past each other.

    Now let me just say I don’t disagree with what you wrote. You say that there may be only two options left; God’s judgement or persecution to hopefully wake up a moribund church? I agree. You say too much of the church wants to be in both God’s camp and the world’s camp? I agree. You say ‘Let us work on building communities and support now while it is day for in that dark night no-one may openly work’ ? I agree.

    It’s just that the specific issue I’m trying to point out is the expectation some people have is that persecution will automatically result in the growth of Christianity. Sadly, as we see in the Japanese and Turkish examples I’ve already mentioned, that’s not necessarily the case. It should be sobering to realise the persecutors can win. But then all the more reason for Christians to prepare themselves for a fight.

  19. Yes Mark and Paul – you have both made your points now – often! You are both right: persecution can be a good thing – used by God to purify his church, but it can also be a horrific and diabolical thing – a satanic attack on the church causing horrible suffering. A purified church matters, and so does religious liberty! So we will leave it at that thanks!

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