Arise and shine, Christian persecution, Christian persecution in America, Christian persecution worldwide, Darlene Zschech, End Times, forcefully advancing, Harpazo, Hillsong, increase in persecution, Isaiah 60:1, Jesus Is Coming, Jesus' Return, Joshua and Caleb, Joshua and the Battle of Jericho, Matthew 11:12, persectution, Prayer, Psalm 27, rapture, Revelation 12, Second Coming, Spiritual Warfare, The Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, The Promise Land, The shout of the King is among us, The violent take it by force, Warfare prayer
Okay Church! We have a part to play right now, and it’s not to roll over and play dead or to be oblivious or to pretend that nothing is happening! This time right now is just like the time when the children of Israel marched around Jericho. Just as the Israelites had been commissioned to march around Jericho once a day for six days and then seven times on the seventh day followed by the blowing of the seven trumpets accompanied by great shouts, even so, we as Christians are called to warfare prayer right now. We are called to march and keep on marching, to press on and press in even when we don’t know how it’s going to help nor understand its significance. The Lord says we are wrestling against “the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). And yet, the battle belongs to the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:15), and we are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Corinthians 10). Jesus gave us authority in His name and said that we would trample on serpents and scorpions (Matthew 10 and Luke 10).
There is great warfare right now in America and the world. Persecution and martyrdom is dramatically on the rise from Eritrea to China to Nigeria to Ethiopia to Australia and even here in the United States of America (sources below). In California, Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills has called his congregation to a week of fasting and prayer for California and the nation. And Pastor Dana Coverstone of Kentucky has called on America’s churches to pray harder than they’ve ever prayed and in agreement in the month of September specifically (https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2020/07/22/pastor-coverstones-dream-of-a-solemn-september-assembly-arise-my-bride/), and is co-leading a two days of prayer/fasting event beginning tonight in Austin, Texas. We are living in unprecedented times, which calls for unprecedented prayer, no matter what month we are in when you read this.
Often Christians will helplessly say, “I guess all I can do is pray.” We never seem to get it through our heads that prayer is powerful. It is our part to play, just like marching was the Israelite’s part to play. They could have said, “I guess all we can do is march;” “I guess all we can do is blow our seven trumpets even though seven is not a lot.” “I guess all we can do is shout with our weak voices.” All they could do?!!!! Do we not know how important our part to play is? Do we not understand the power of obedience? Have we believed the deception of the devil that we have nothing to give and that prayer is weak and unimportant? Did you know that when we avoid prayer or are too busy to pray, we are missing out on the important role God has for us to play and the incredible rush of victory that comes with it.
Seriously, GET UP CHRISTIAN. Get up in your spirit. Jesus said, when you see all these things begin to come to pass, to get up! Rise up, and lift up your eyes! So, arise in your spirit. This is your hour to shine. Arise and shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! (Isaiah 60:1). Get up from your crouching, defensive position, your position of defeat and weakness, and rise to an offensive position on the battlefield of the Lord! Now is the time to charge! No weapon formed against you will prosper and every tongue that rises against you in judgement YOU shall condemn!!! (Isaiah 54:17). This is your heritage. Get your holy dander up! Pick up that sword of the Spirit and use it!!!
I speak to the battle weary, the physically weary. Rise up! Fight on! Press on! Do not be weary in well doing, for in the end you will reap a harvest if you faint not (Galatians 6:9). Persist. You can do all things IN Christ who strengthens you! (Philippians 4:13).
To those who are afraid of what is coming, Fear Not! Christ has overcome the world, and we have too by faith! (John 16:33; 1 John 5:4). Those who seek to save their lives will lose their lives (Luke 17:33). So, do not seek to preserve your life. Surrender all to the Savior. Choose to trust, and remember the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but are mighty through God! God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). “1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident” (Psalm 27:1-3).
“12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it,” (Matthew 11:12). This is a passage that most read over quickly, and if they were to say a thing about its meaning they would consider it in a negative light. So, let’s briefly take a look at it.
The word for “subjected to violence” biazo (#971), is all about pressing in and “laying hold of something with positive aggressiveness” to seek it with intensity and zeal. This word is only used twice in the New Testament and is always positive. The Greek word for a “violent” person is of one who shows “positive assertiveness; used of the believer living in faith (“God’s inworked persuasions”) guiding and empowering them to act forcefully.” And what are these eagerly assertive ones putting all of their energy into? Snatching the Kingdom. They are snatching quickly and forcefully and openly. The word is harpazo (#726), which is the word for rapture.
Truly this is a powerful, overlooked passage, and it is time that we understand it. It appears that Jesus is teaching us that the Kingdom is obtained by those who pursue it eagerly, zealously, with great effort, and energetically. It is not for the timid, the distracted, the faint of heart, nor the laze fair (easy come, easy go). The way that many pursue pleasure and vacations and sports is the way we are to pursue the heavenly Kingdom.
The children of Israel who had just crossed Jordan, like Caleb and Joshua, were men and woman of zeal and energy who pursued the Promise Land in faith that God would keep His promise, that He would fight for them, that He would do what He said. The Promise Land was not free. God did not do all the work for the Israelites. He wanted them to stand in faith and in agreement with His plan to go up and take the land and visit judgment on those living in Canaan whose cup of iniquity was full (Genesis 15:16). And so Joshua, Caleb and other mighty men of valor marched in unquestioning faith.
Will we march in faith around these walls of Jericho in our lives, in our locked up churches, in our locked down states, in our crumbling, depraved nation, in the looming new world order? Are we doing our part by praying in zealous, relentless faith?
One day a great war will break out in heaven. Indeed, it could be happening as I write. It’s timing one cannot tell. Revelation 12 relates this, “7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Satan will finally be thrust out, and all those principalities and powers we’ve been wrestling with in spiritual hand-to-hand combat will be thrust out too. As they are being forcefully expelled, we are forcefully entering in. Can you see it? The picture is one of incredible precision and perfect timing. They are expelled; we are entering!
So, just like when watching your favorite team in the last seconds of the game when the score is tied and your team steals the ball, rise to your feet and shout!!!! For God in all His glory has risen from His throne, and the angels are clad in battle gear with flashing swords clashing. Time to shout, Bride! It’s time to arise!!! The shout of the King is among us!!!!
May we with this in mind, zealously press in to the Kingdom, pray without ceasing and with great fervor, and with every fiber of our being forcefully advance like the Israelites into the Promise Land. Our part may seem small, but do not despise small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10). Just get to marching, shout when it’s time, and see the walls come a tumbling down! This is not political. This is spiritual. We are not defeated! The war is already won! But we must march. We must shout. So, pray with me; pray in the thick of the battle; pray, pray, pray. And, remember, our God has given us the victory!!!
If we have already repented and wept between the porch and the alter (Joel 1-2), then it is time to shout! Let out a shout, Body and Bride of Christ! “…The LORD their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them,” Numbers 23:21b. Indeed, when God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:35). Hallelujah!!!!!
Biblehub, #973 biastes, https://biblehub.com/greek/973.htm
“Why Must the Violent Take It By Force,” http://gloriouschurch.com/Questions-Answers-Details.asp?QuestID=3395 (this author has an interesting take on the Matthew 11:12 passage).
“Christian Persecution in America Has Arrived,” https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2020/07/21/christian-persecution-in-america-has-arrived/
“Hundreds of Ethiopian Christians Killed in ‘Targeted Genocide’ Since June,” https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/2020/september/report-500-ethiopian-christians-killed-in-targeted-genocide-by-muslim-extremists-since-june
“Christians in India See Dramatic Increase of Attacks in 2020,” https://www.christianpost.com/news/christians-in-india-see-dramatic-increase-of-attacks-in-2020.html
“Incidents of Christian Persecution Spike as India Emerges from Lockdown,” https://www.persecution.org/2020/06/26/incidents-christian-persecution-spike-india-emerges-lockdown/
“Chinese Government Orders Low Income Families to Abandon Their Christian Faith or Lose Financial Aid,” https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2020/july/chinese-government-orders-low-income-families-to-abandon-their-christian-faith-or-lose-financial-aid
“Chinese Christian Families Flee China Amid Crackdown: ‘No Longer Safe for Us’,” https://www.foxnews.com/world/china-christian-church-crackdown-safe
“Christianity Crackdown: Fury as 250 Crosses Torn Down from Churches and Pastor Threatened,” https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1297067/christianity-news-china-crosses-removed-from-churches-Christian-persecution
“Nigeria Facing Systemic, Planned, Calculated Genocide of Christians,” https://cruxnow.com/uncategorized/2020/06/nigeria-facing-systematic-planned-calculated-genocide-of-christians/