Every Sunday, in our concert of prayer, we pray for the persecuted church. Here is a snap shot of Southern Sudan, the newest nation, and designated to be a Christian nation.
In 2011, after two decades plus of civil war in Sudan with the Muslim government in Khartoum, fighting officially ended. The north had been seeking the forced conversion of the Christian majority in the southern provinces of Sudan, along with 60 tribal and native religions, to be Muslims. There were 1.5 million war deaths and 4 million displaced in the south. In agreement with the UN, an election in Southern Sudan was held and 99% voted for an independent nation and a civic government was established. Franklin Graham flew in to speak and all the Christian world praised God and sent millions of dollars for the success in Africa.
Since that time Southern Sudan civil war has broken out, and UNICEF-Africa has reported 400,000 school children have been forced out of school, 36,000 families like Amal Bak have been left homeless or moved into United Nations refugee camps. United Nations has moved in mostly-ineffective peace-keeping forces and another 17,000 have been killed AND now, most Christian aid groups, like Doctors without Borders, have moved out.
Everyone is careful in naming Khartoum for being involved, but the rebelling groups are all armed with the Chinese-type arms used in the north.
The Albuquerque Journal of August 16th, 2016, reported that the United Nations peacekeepers were not aiding anyone, staying securely in their compounds since, “Everyone has access to military uniforms and weapons, so we don’t know who is military and who the rebels are.”
A number of Christian missionary, medical and educational personnel have stayed and were in supposed secure compounds in Juba, the capital city the Southern Sudanese nation. The following is a direct quote from the above mentioned Albuquerque Journal article:
“The soldier pointed his AK47 at the white female aid worker and gave her a choice. ‘Either have sex with me, or we make every man here rape you and then we will shoot you in the head’, she remembers him saying.
By the end of the evening she had been raped by fifteen South Sudan soldiers, then left naked in the street.
On July 11th, South Sudanese troops, fresh from winning battles in the capital, Juba, over opposition forces, went on a four hour rampage through residential compounds popular with foreigners. They shot dead a local journalist while forcing foreigners to watch. They raped several foreign woman, they singled out Americans. They beat and robbed people and carried out mock executions several witnesses told Associated Press.
For hours throughout the assault, the U.N. peacekeepers were stationed less than a mile away and refused to respond to desperate calls for help. Neither did embassies, including the U.S. Embassy.”
Thank you, John Kerry, you are carrying on in the Hillary tradition.
President Salva Kiir and Rebel leader Rick Machar are in a power struggle and Christian workers are being raped and killed. What was a solid Christian nation five years ago is anything but today. What has happened, and is it connected to Las Cruces and a worldwide problem of murder and deception?
Consider the recent post on Facebook that tells that we are teetering on a race war in America, one based on hate and desire for violence.
A fast and partial run through 2016 events today show us that evil is on the move. I am not taking away that radical Islam is very involved in some or many; I get that. But hear my premise out: Satan is an equal opportunity destroyer and deceiver. He will use occupied Muslims, occupied Christians, occupied secularists, occupied atheists, and many others, then stand up and brag about and verify what Jesus said in John 8:
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!
Now add from scripture Paul’s statement about who our enemy is, and we will be ready to trudge forward into 2016.
Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God.
Now pause to remember, and you may think of more, as this is not an exhausted list, of murder, deceit, evil since January first. Another attack in Paris: the rented truck in southern France, driven by a Muslim immigrant, then he drove down the sidewalk on a French holiday killing and injuring over 300. Attacks with hatchets and knives on European trains, attacks in Belgium, riots in Britain, multiple street knifing of American and Israeli citizens on the Israeli streets, the knife attacks in Germany, 6,200 Christians killed in Nigeria, churches bombed and Boka Haran stealing 100,000 barrels of oil a day from Chad and northern Nigeria and selling on the black market. Sixty killed and many wounded in the Orlando night club, U.S, citizens killed by illegal aliens on the streets of American cities called by the government, Sanctuaries, and the known illegal criminals are protected by Presidential fiat and orders. ISIS has arisen out of the radical Muslims from around the world; they are kidnapping thousands of women and selling them on the open slave market in Khartoum, crucifying men, women and children, decapitating men, women and children, and they now have an international magazine to promote, recruit and market their stolen goods. They too are well financed by stolen oil, bank wealth and looting.
Bible teacher Chuck Smith said it years ago, “Satan is moving in and becoming more active.” John MacArthur said so this past week. I sure agree, and Bible teachers across the land are realizing that evil days are upon us, and perhaps we are in the birth pangs of the Olivet address by Jesus. Now, just who is this Satan, and is he that big a problem?
For years Satan and the world has portrayed Satan as a comic book character in red pajamas, a tail, horns and a pitch fork. As such, most of the secularists, and all too many of those going to church have discounted him as a folk legend and dismissed him as a myth. Satan was and is thrilled at that relegation.
First we need to know that Satan is a created being that was at first called Lucifer; he was an angel of light, a leader in heaven and was created by Jesus (cf. Colossians 1:15-20).
The Bible tells us what happened. You can read Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:11-19 giving Lucifer the title of king of Tyre. I want to center on Revelation 12. Revelation, like most prophecy is written without being in chronological order. This goes back to Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 time and gives us an expanded view.
3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.
Also important to this discussion:
7 And there was war 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.
So that you know God takes Satan and his angels (demons) seriously, for evil sinful demons He has a “pit, dungeon” to contain them until the Lake of Fire, II Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,a putting them into gloomy dungeonsb to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly. Now the good news about Satan and the age to come, back to Revelation 20: 20 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
Now taking what Jesus said to the Jewish people, what Isaiah and Ezekiel said, and what John explained in Revelation and the incarceration of angels (demons) for their involvement in the pre-flood world, and in Sodom and Gomorrah they were locked up. Remember, angels are eternal until the final Lake of Fire; flood and fire could not destroy them as it did people. Now, I have written about demon involvement in those periods of time, and will not go back into that now. What I want to point out, God takes Satan and demons seriously and so should we.
We are not sure how many angels Jesus created and there were rankings of angels in heaven. The word is Messengers; they are a servant class and there are battle angels, guardian angels, death angels, and we know not the number created, as it seems like it could be well into the Billions. What we know from Revelation, Satan took one-third of the angels with him and they are now his servants, demons. The good news, there appears to be no female angels or demons.
We know demons and Satan are not all powerful as is God, but they are very powerful. From the scripture and cultural anthropology we are familiar with demon possession and the totally overtaking the mind and body of an individual. We are, or should be, familiar with the scripture to resist the Devil (James 4:7, 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.) Now, at best, if demons possess a person, one or a few are involved and they are repulsive and will not influence a lot of people. On our side from Galatians 5, we are instructed to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and keep step with the Holy Spirit. In 99% of the time the Holy Spirit is a gentle, positive influence in our lives that gives us direction. Galatians 5 makes keeping step important: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Now, we are warned not to quench or put out the Spirit. I Thess. 5:19:
19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.
Paul saw this as a real possibility.
Now let’s get back to the evil problem at hand. Remembering Satan is the father of liars, and his main business is murder and deceit and disharmony. We know that Satan is a copy cat; he copies God and imitates God in every way he can to deceive people. What if Satan turns a billion demons loose to occupy Christians that have put out the Spirit’s fire, to occupy millions of radical Muslims seeking to fulfill the Qur’an, to become a quiet adviser to atheists secularists, drug addicts, alcoholics, those messing with magic, hypnosis, and fortune telling? What if these demons reside quietly inside the mind and heart of people that Satan can control, and they become suggestive advisers to do evil? What if they are so good at deceiving the person so to make them think that the thoughts are coming from their own mind, and that the thoughts are good suggestions and would be pleasurable acts and wise?
The first class of people Satan would occupy with demons would be Christians that have quenched/put out the Spirit, and followed evil. This would certainly explain Christian Southern Sudan with millions of American dollars, and missionary support becoming so evil, raping woman, missionaries, aid workers, shooting and warring and destroying the new Christian nation.
This would explain so much in the United States and a lethargic and poorly educated church that follows after social teachings and seeks anything that tickles their ears. Churches across America have replaced Bible School with youth clubs, pizza parties and ski trips in the winter. Churches have turned the worship service to an entertainment service where having a good drummer and lead guitarist and noted vocalist is more important than a solid 45-minute sermon directly from the Bible. This would explain no Sunday night teaching services, no Christian Endeavor, no Wednesday night Bible study and no prayer meeting night in so many churches.
This would explain the Reformer Methodist church allowing the ordination of a woman Bishop that is married to another woman and living openly in such sin and it being allowed.
It would explain the Presbyterian Church of America accepting homosexual ministers, leaders, and the Episcopalian Church in the United States and England doing the same. With this demon occupation Satan is causing division and dissension as well as leading many young people astray.
In the United States we have many that are in or running for public office that claim to be members of a Christian denomination. They are pushing abortion, one of the major methods of murdering of babies in the world. In the United States over one million babies a year are torn to pieces after they can feel pain, burned alive by salt solution, and born alive and chopped into pieces to be sold like a pound of hamburger. To hear these “Christians” talk you would think you were listening to Satan himself justifying killing so many babies. We are bad, but in China it is 20 times worse every year. Our worst citizens were not like that 60 years ago. I could go on about Spirit-dead Christians, but if you read the newspaper you know the rest of the story.
Perhaps the widest open door to demon occupation is pornography. According to Focus on the Family hotline, it is possible that above 50% of ministers and church workers in America are addicted to porno.
With 300+ cable channels, prime-time TV, the Facebook dribble, magazines, DVDs, soap operas in English and Spanish, porno is everywhere. The experts state that kids are introduced to porno as early as eight years of age. Porno is as addictive as heroin and leaves indelible prints on your mind, and when you open your mind to being addicted to porno, you welcome in demonic occupation.
Perhaps this is the reason more school teachers every year are arrested and jailed for sex with youth in their school, why ministers are being lead to have sexual relations with women in the church and throwing away their ministry, or in some cases, homosexual relations that they never dreamed possible.
Once you get addicted to TV, you begin to accept it as your main truth source. Then the TV becomes to a person with demon occupation, the inciter to do evil. How else can we explain how good working men, family men, many going to church, synagogue or mosque, become involved with the Black Lives Matter and openly kill policemen, burn their own neighborhood down and march against law and order?
The problem with porno, sexual addiction and being demon occupied, the ultimate orgasm for men or women is to murder someone in a sexual context. This is the reason for the addicted to watch slasher movies and they are all the rage. They get their jollies in seeing death and mutilation of the human body.
Could this be the reason family Muslim men that get involved with ISIS are into decapitating victims, burning them alive, crucifying men, women and Children? Remember, Islam is a religion whose holy book leads you to a licentious and lustful life. The Qur’an allows free and unrestricted sex with all your woman slaves. One of the recruiting tools for ISIS is to promise young men all the sex you want with the women you take captive. The ultimate lust is to be a martyr and go to Muslim heaven and have 70 virgins to romp in bed with. Now those uninformed that teach that the Allah of the Qur’an is the same god as Jehovah of the Bible I would ask, “How do you reconcile Allah using lust to drive their young men to do evil and Jehovah saying, “I tell you if you look at a woman with lust you have committed adultery already with her,” then stating in Revelation that all immoral persons will be outside the Holy City. This is not to mention that God Jehovah says, one man one woman; Allah allows four wives at a time.. The difference is night and day.
When Satan demon occupies a mass murderer, he shouts with glee; the mass murderer is one of his favorite tools. We have seen that in this country in San Bernadino at the government party, or at the homosexual night club in Orlando, or in Southern France with the rented truck on the sidewalk wiping out hundreds of Bastille Day party goers; Satan is jubilant. He is murdering numbers, causing division in political parties and destroying families.
I don’t want to give Satan credit for every evil deed, but it is his stock and trade. I believe you can see by now, as we are praying for the persecuted church, we are praying against Satan that hates the church and will do what ever he can to destroy, weaken and emasculate the body of Christ Jesus; Satan is the chief persecutor.
Jesus made the statement in Matthew 16 that the gates of Hades, that is death, would not keep the church from happening, that is his crucifixion would not keep it from happening. At the same time, the popular translation, the gates of Hell can not overcome it, Satan sure tries. He has attacked the church in a thousand ways, and divided the church in as many ways to emasculate it. Perhaps today, for the first time in 1800 years, the church is getting back to the Bible and reading John 17 and working on finding common ground. The purists and the New Testament Pharisees do not like this and they call for us to come out and be separate and die a lonely death on the mound of our own laws and regulations. As the church had a revival of the Great Commission from our shores, perhaps we can for the first time since Acts 14 find common ground and start working and believing together on the basic tenets of the Bible. I want to return to one of my early scriptures to give a pattern to pray for the persecuted church worldwide, and put our “boots” on the ground to rescue and build up the Satan-attacked and persecuted church here in the United States and in the world. First we must daily dress with the gospel armor of Ephesians 6:
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
You will notice this is a in depth version of Paul saying, “Put on Christ.” We need to dress for battle, and be on the move as Christian Soldiers, marching as to war.
Our commission is to go into all the world and engage the secular troops of Satan in mental conflict and convince them of the truths of Jesus and the Bible, making disciples of them. Baptizing them in the name of the trinity, and teach them every thing that Jesus has taught us. This is warfare and we need our armor to protect us in the field of battle and to give us the equipment to accomplish our assignment. You understand, when we convert a secularist to Christ, we are capturing one of Satan’s soldiers and that makes him mad and he fights back with persecution.
This is why being a Christian is not just going to church on Sunday morning. It is a seven day a week battle that is carried on by the whole family. Some are supply troops, earning money to finance the war, some teach soldiers, some fight in the trenches and some care for the troops. But we all share the message. Satan will attack us each one. So!
We need prayer: 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Yes, we pray for the persecuted church each Sunday, and Thursday and each morning in office prayer and early in the morning by myself in my bedroom. This means I pray for family, for the person sitting next to me in church, for my congregation, for my community, state, nation and the church worldwide. Prayer is the power, not guns, laws, arguments, that will overcome those with demon occupation. Just like Jesus told his disciples when they failed to help the demon possessed, this kind comes out only with prayer and fasting.
Our cities are burning down— pray! Our police are targeted— pray! Our churches are divided— pray! Our nation is falling apart— pray! Yes, we pray for the persecuted church daily here at Agape; we invite all that read this to do the same. Paul added one more request for prayer in that Ephesians 6 passage:
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
We are in need of fearless Daniels that fear not the open fire, the sword or the lion’s den; we must fearlessly open the word of God and make the truths, mysteries, escapes and blessings of the gracious Lord known. As we pray for the persecuted church, let’s pray for the men and women Bible teachers and the preachers that each one when faced with the demon occupied will not back down, will speak the truth in love and will pray against the evil that is among us on every side. Jesus said it:
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all manner of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven (Matthew 5:11 ff).