Saturday, May 16, 2015, 5:03 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “We’re Marching to Zion.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 Corinthians 4 (selected vv. NASB).
Found Trustworthy (vv. 1-2)
Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.
Paul and the other apostles were servants of Christ and were those given a trust (a charge; an assignment) from God with regard to matters of the Spirit, i.e. most especially with the charge to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet, remember what we learned in chapter three. Though these men were apostles of Christ, which was a high honor, they were not to be raised one above the other, as though somehow their works were of their own doing or for their own self-glory, for they were just servants of the Lord, each assigned a task in God’s kingdom work, just as we all are who are in Christ Jesus by God’s grace through faith.
These servants had nothing good in themselves but only what they had received from God. All they did was just obey Jesus, and in the power and working of the Spirit within them. They were just clay vessels in the potter’s hands; willing instruments to do His bidding. But it is God who moves in people’s hearts, who draws them to Christ, who saves them, and who is able to mature them in Christ and to conform them to his image. So, all glory, honor and praise belong to God and to God alone for what he accomplishes in and through us.
Yet, it wasn’t just the apostles or preachers of the Word who are assigned the task of spreading the message of salvation to the lost. We all are given that task. We are to be his witnesses, and we are to go and to make followers of Christ of people of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey Christ’s commandments. We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and we are not to hide our lights but we are to let them shine before humankind. And, we are to snatch people from the fire and save them.
We have been given the greatest gift of all – the gift of salvation from sin and eternal life with God – so we should want to share it, and we should be excited about sharing such good news so that others can be saved from slavery to sin and can now be servants of God’s righteousness. So, we must be faithful to the calling and commission which we have received from Christ.
Condemned to Death (vv. 8-13)
You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
I woke early this morning out of a dream. All I recall is that the dream ended with emergency vehicles, which looked like buses, lined all up and down the street. They were coming for us – destination unknown. It felt like what I have read about the Holocaust, only I believe they were coming after Christians this time. It felt so real, like I could wake up and look out the window and there they would be, ready to take me. I woke up praying for the saints throughout the world who are being persecuted right now for righteousness’ sake, who are suffering in such ways as which Paul described here. I prayed for their comfort, encouragement, strengthening and empowerment of the Spirit to remain strong in their faith and to not give up hope.
As I examined the symbols in this dream, especially in relation to this passage of scripture, and in connection with some serious persecution I have been experiencing personally the past couple of days, I realized that the Lord Jesus was giving me practical application of this passage of scripture to my life and to our world today. As well, as I have mentioned before, dreams are rarely to be taken literally, but are to be taken symbolically and usually, in my experience, as allegorical, meant to “convey hidden meanings through symbolic figures, actions, imagery, and/or events, which together create the moral, spiritual, or political meaning the author wishes to convey” (Wikipedia).
So, what I believe the Lord Jesus is showing me today is that a vehicle is “a medium through which something is expressed, achieved or displayed.” “Bus” is both “a large vehicle used for carrying passengers usually along a fixed route according to a schedule” as well as it means “to remove something,” such as in removing food waste from a table after people have eaten. These buses were lined up on the street. “Line up” means “to assume an orderly arrangement.” They were on the street. “Street” means “a promising line of development or a channeling of effort.” “Channel” means “a path along which information passes; a fixed or official course of communication.” Up or down a street means “suited to one’s ability or taste.” And, “emergency” means “an unexpected and usually dangerous situation that calls for immediate action.” (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
So, what does all this mean and what does it have to do with persecution of followers of Jesus Christ? I believe the Lord is showing me specifically how such persecution as what Paul described here is being carried out today via the medium of TV and the internet. I believe he is showing me that this is a sizable concerted effort, and that those driving this are following a fixed route according to a predetermined schedule, i.e. this is not arbitrary but is very well planned out and orchestrated, and is timed out according to a very specific plan to remove (discard as garbage) those they deem as “extremist” (or all Bible-believing) Christians from having any kind of voice on the internet for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am beginning to see some of these efforts aimed at me the past few days, as I have received some personal threats against me and my family members via new members on specific websites. I believe the Lord is telling me this is to be taken seriously (as an emergency situation). Yet, I also believe the ones driving this see the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ as an emergency situation which calls for their immediate action, thus the buses lined up and down the street coming for us – destination unknown.
In some cases this medium of TV and/or the internet is used to intimidate and threaten those they wish to silence, as it was so in my case. Other times it is used to try to slander, crucify publicly, and to falsely accuse those they wish to silence (remove). Other times it is used as a means to pass blame for the actions of those who are working for “the beast” on to others because “the beast” wishes to incite hatred, bigotry, violence, riots, etc. in order to “divide and conquer” us. And, other times they bring false accusation against a particular group of people so they will have the excuse to persecute (remove) them, claiming that they, i.e. those doing the accusing, are somehow doing a good deed in trying to manage the “chaos” that they themselves created, and that they doing this to “save” us.
Yet, first they knock the squirrels out of the tree and then they go into save them, i.e. they go into chaotic situations which they first created, and then they pretend to be a “savior” of sorts, when in reality they are doing nothing of the kind. All of this is really about control, dictatorship, and authoritarian rule of this entire planet via “the beast” New World Order. And, they are going about this following a very specific and fixed “route” and according to a predetermined schedule. I have been watching this unfold in various nations throughout the world for about 9 years now, but in the past few years this has come to America, and it is getting much greater in intensity and severity to where Christians are being targeted most severely and at a fast (emergency) rate right now.
Believers in Jesus Christ in America need to be prepared. Christianity is under attack like nothing we have ever known before in this nation. Yet, I believe God is going to use this persecution to revive his wayward church and to bring her back into fellowship with him. So, we need to be strong in the Lord, trust in him, rest in his love, and rely on his strength and power to endure what is coming, and to not back down in our testimonies for Jesus Christ, but to continue to share the gospel of Jesus Christ so that many will be saved before Jesus returns.
We’re Marching to Zion
By Isaac Watts
Come, we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne.
The sorrows of the mind
Be banished from the place;
Religion never was designed
To make our pleasures less.
Let those refuse to sing,
Who never knew our God;
But children of the heav’nly King
May speak their joys abroad.
The men of grace have found
Glory begun below;
Celestial fruits on earthly ground
From faith and hope may grow.
Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry;
We’re marching through Immanuel’s ground
To fairer worlds on high.
We’re marching to Zion,
Beautiful, beautiful Zion;
We’re marching upward to Zion,
The beautiful city of God.
Check out these news stories, which I believe are related: