THE TRIUMPHANT CHURCH

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Since 64–68 AD imperial persecution of the Christians in the Roman Empire begun with Nero 37–68. In 64 AD, a great fire broke out in Rome, destroying portions of the city and economically devastating the Roman population. The fire was falsely blamed on Christians so persecuted after the fire with punishments inflicted on Christians, together with other abuses put down by Nero.From the 2nd century to Constantine threw Christians to lions for entertainment. By the mid-2nd century AD, mobs threw stones, assaulted, robbed Christians. Christians were mass-slaughtered so thrown to wild beasts by decree of Roman officials for refusing to renounce their faith according to St. Irenaeus. Abuses continued in the 3rd century, despite the written Tertullian Apologeticus of 197 in defence of persecuted Christians addressed to Roman governors. Christians were martyred under Maximinus Thrax especially the clergy. During the mid-century Decius’ persecution of Christian laity extended across the Empire. Christian were publicly sacrificed authorized by Decius’ roving commissions visiting cities and villages. Supervised execution of sacrifices delivered written certificates to all citizens who performed them. Christians were required to avoid punishment by publicly offering sacrifices or burning incense to Roman gods but accused by the Romans of impiety when they refused. Refusal was punished by arrest, imprisonment, torture, and executions so Christians fled to safe havens in the countryside or purchased certificates, called libelli. Carthage debated the extent to which the community should accept Christians but some Christians were sought out and martyred. According to Tertullian‘s Scorpiace in the letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, the Christians were Faithful Unto Death. Christians endured unto death with tendency to aspire naturally to martyrdom because they had no choice. The Roman authorities realised the Christians turned the tables by persuading crowds to execute them. The proconsul obliged some, sent rest away if they want to kill themselves there was plenty of rope available or cliffs to jump off. Christian not seeking death like Polycarp and Cyprian bishops in Smyrna and Carthage attempted to avoid martyrdom. Christians killed all day long like sheep to slaughter are more than conquerors in Jesus name. Their faith in persecution spread Christianity so what the devil meant for evil God turned good. pp_early_persecution_of_christians_js_0027

Palestinian bishop Eusebius of Caesaraea described the mass murder of Christians by their fellow Jews during the Bar Kochba revolt c. AD 132. The persecutions culminated with Diocletian and Galerius at the end of the third and beginning of the 4th century. The Great Persecution is considered the largest. Beginning with a series of four edicts banning Christian practices and ordering the imprisonment of Christian clergy, the persecution intensified until all Christians in the empire were commanded to sacrifice to the Roman gods or face immediate execution. Over 20,000 Christians are thought to have died during Diocletian’s reign. One of the most prominent martyrs during the Dioclecian persecution was Saint George, a Roman soldier renounced the Emperor’s edict in front of fellow soldiers and tribunes claimed himself to be a Christian by declaring his worship of Jesus Christ. Diocletian attempted to convert George, offering gifts of land, money and slaves if he made a sacrifice to the Roman gods but George never accepted and subsequently tortured and decapitated. Christians in the Western part of the empire co-emperors protec ted Christians in Gaul, Spain and Britannia.The persecution continued when Constantine I came to power in 313 and legalized Christianity and through Theodosius I in 4th century Christianity became the official belief of the Empire. Julian II temporarily restored traditional Roman religion so established religious tolerance renewing Pagan and Christian hostilities. Martyrs were unique examples of the Christian faith some saints were also martyrs. The number of Christian martyrs killed for religious reasons before 313 was more than 100,000. Siemiradzki_Christian_Dirce

In AD 341, the Zoroastrian Shapur II ordered massacre of all Christians in the Persian Sassanid Empire. About 1,150 Assyrian Christians were martyred under Shapur II in Assuristan or Sassanid who ruled Assyria. In the 4th century, the Terving king Athanaric in ca. 375 persecuted of ChristiansChristians were persecuted by Jews in AD 516, in Yemen  several tribal elites fought for power including Joseph Dhu Nuwas or “Yousef Asa’ar” a Jewish warlord mentioned in ancient south Arabian inscriptions. Syriac and Byzantium sources claim he fought Christians in Yemen who refused to renounce Christianity. A 2009, a documentary on BBC claimed the choice between conversion to Judaism or death so 20,000 Christians were massacred. Consultant Professor Abdul Rahman Al-Ansary, a former professor of archaeology at the King Saud University in Riyadh revealed inscriptions documented by Yousef after Killing more than 22,000 Christians in Zafar and Najran. Historian Glen Bowersock described the Jewish king of the Arabs launched attacks against the Christians in the city of Najran. The king himself reported in detail to Arab and Persian allies about massacres inflicted on all Christians who refused to convert to Judaism. This persecution is described and condemned in Qur’an 85th chapter of Al-Burooj   zodiacal constellation. After the Persian conquest in AD 614, in a riot in Jerusalem the Jewish governor of Jerusalem Nehemiah was allegedly killed by Christians with council of righteous planning to build the Third Temple. The Christians allied themselves with Eastern Roman Empire so escalated into a full-scale Christian rebellion, resulting in a battle of Jews and Christians in Jerusalem. Many Jews were killed so survivors fled to Caesarea under Persian Army. The Judeo Persian Sasanian general Xorheam assembled Judeo-Persian troops encamped around Jerusalem so besieged it 19 days.  Digging under foundations of Jerusalem to destroy wall on 19th day of siege Judeo-Persian forces took Jerusalem. The siege resulted in 17,000 who Christians dead according to Sebeos stated by Antiochus, 4,518 massacred near Mamilla reservoir. Christians said the genocide death toll was 90,000 plus 37,000 people including patriarch Zacharias exiled to Mesopotamia. The atrocities included the city burned destroying churches in the account of Antiochus Strategos a Byzantine Greek with deep hatred towards Jews. Thousands of Christians massacred during the conquest of the city in Strategos’s manuscripts from 4,518 to 66,509 killed.These are the catacombs where Christians were buried underground. slide2Strategos wrote Jews offered to help them escape death if they become Jews and deny Christ but the Christian captives refused so Christians killed. In 1989, a mass burial grave at Mamilla cave discovered in by Israeli archeologist Ronny Reich, near the site Antiochus recorded massacre took place. Originally, Christians in Islamic states were allowed to practice their faith until the Pact of Umar. This treaty, enacted in 717 AD, forbade Christians from publicly displaying the cross on church buildings, summoning congregants to prayer by a bell, re-building churches in case they were destroyed and other restrictions. Historians say this treaty laid down the foundation of Islamic Christianophobia prevalent today in Muslim-majority countries. So as People of the Book Christians were awarded dhimmi status along with Jews and Mandeans inferior to the status of Muslims. At times, anti-Christian pograms under sharia, non-Muslims were obligated to pay jizya taxes, which contributed a significant proportion of income for Islamic state so forced some Christians to convert to Islam. According to the Hanafi school of sharia, the testimony of a non-Muslim Christian was not considered valid against testimony of a Muslim. Christian men were not allowed to marry a Muslim woman under sharia but Muslim men  allowed to marry Christian women to convert. Christians under Islamic rule had the right to convert to Islam or other religion. A murtad or apostate of Islam faced severe penalties or even hadd which could include the death penalty. Tamerlane instigated large-scale massacres of Christians in Mesopotamia, Persia, Asia Minor and Syria in the 14th century AD. Most of the victims were indigenous Assyrians and Armenians members of the Assyrian Church of the East and Orthodox Churches, which led to the decimation of the hitherto majority Assyrian population in northern Mesopotamia and the abandonment of the ancient Assyrian city of Ashur. Furthermore, any Muslim person – including any person born to a Muslim family or having become Muslim at a given point in life – who converts to Christianity is considered to have performed apostasy. Apostasy, the conscious abandonment of Islam by a Muslim in word or through deed, including also conversion to Christianity, is punishable as a crime under the application of the Sharia.p1330267
In China in the late 17th century, Christianity was banned for at least a century in China by the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty after the Pope forbade Chinese Catholics from venerating relatives or Confucius.  The Boxer Rebellion, anti Christian Boxers and Muslim Kansu Braves served in the Chinese army so attacked Christians. During the Northern Expedition, the Kuomintang incited anti-foreign anti-Western sentiment. Portraits of Sun Yat-sen replaced the crucifix in several churches, KMT posters proclaimed Jesus Christ is dead, so worship Nationalism. Foreign missionaries were attacked and anti foreign riots broke out. During the Northern Expedition, in 1926 in Guangxi, Muslim General Bai Chongxi led troops in destroying Buddhist temples and smashing idols, turning the temples into schools and Kuomintang party headquarters. It was reported almost all of Buddhist monasteries in Guangxi were destroyed by Bai in this manner. The monks were removed as Bai led a wave of anti – foreignism in Guangxi, attacking American, European, and other foreigners and missionaries, and generally making the province unsafe for foreigners. Westerners fled from the province, and some Chinese Christians were attacked as imperialist agents. In Japan Christian martyrs of Nagasaki in the 17th-century when Tokugawa Ieyasu assumed control over Japan in 1600. He disliked Christian activities in Japan so banned Catholicism in 1614. In mid-17th century, demanded expulsion of all European missionaries and the execution of all converts. This marked the end of open Christianity in Japan. The Shimabara Rebellion, led by a young Japanese Christian boy named Amakusa Shiro Tokisada, took place in 1637. After the Hara Castle fell, the shogunate’s forces beheaded 37,000 rebels and sympathizers. Amakusa Shirō’s severed head was taken to Nagasaki for public display, and the entire complex at Hara Castle was burned to the ground and buried together with the bodies of all the dead. Many of the Christians in Japan continued for two centuries to maintain their religion as Kakure Kirishitan, or hidden Christians, without any priests or pastors. Some killed for their Faith are venerated as the Martyrs of Japan.

Christianity was allowed in Meiji era Constitution of 1890 introduced so separation of church and state permitted freedom of worship. The relationship between Christians in India in comparison to those between Muslims and Hindus, or Muslims and Sikhs, Muslims and Christians is occasionally turbulent. The advent of European colonialism in India throughout the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, Christians were systematically persecuted in a few Muslim ruled kingdoms in India. Modern day persecution exists carried out by Hindu nationalists. Human Rights Watch stated rise of anti-Christian violence due to Hindu nationalism and Smita Narula, Researcher, Asia Division of Human Rights Watch stated “Christians are the new scapegoat in India’s political battles. Without immediate and decisive action by the government, communal tensions will continue to be exploited for political and economic ends. Muslim Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore, took action against Mangalorean Catholic community from Mangalore and the South Canara district on the southwestern coast of India. Tipu was widely reputed to be anti-Christian. He took Mangalorean Catholics into captivity at Seringapatam on 24 February 1784 and released them on 4 May 1799. The Bakur Manuscript reports said: “All Musalmans should unite together, and considering the annihilation of infidels as a sacred duty, labour to the utmost of their power, to accomplish that subject. Soon after Treaty of Mangalore in 1784, Tipu gained control of Canara. He issued orders to seize the Christians in Canara, confiscate their estates, and exile  them to Seringapatam, the capital of his empire, through the Jamalabad fort route. There were no priests among the captives. Together with Fr. Miranda, all the 21 arrested priests were issued orders of expulsion to Goa, fined Rs 2 lakhs, and threatened death by hanging if they ever returned. Tipu ordered the destruction of 27 Catholic churches. Among them were the Church of Nossa Senhora de Rosario Milagres at Mangalore, Fr Miranda’s Seminary at Monte Mariano, Church of Jesu Marie Jose at Omzoor, Chapel at Bolar, Church of Merces at Ullal, Imaculata Conceiciao atMulki, San Jose at Perar, Nossa Senhora dos Remedios at Kirem, Sao Lawrence at Karkal, Rosario at Barkur, Immaculata Conceciao at Baidnur. All were razed to the ground, with the exception of Igreja da Santa Cruz Hospet also known as Hospet Church at Hospet, owing to the friendly offices of the Chauta Raja of Moodbidri. According to Thomas Munro, a Scottish soldier and the first collector of Canara, around 60,000 of them, nearly 92 percent of the entire Mangalorean Catholic community, captured. 7,000 escaped. Observer Francis Buchanan reports 70,000 were captured from a population of 80,000 with 10,000 escaping. They were forced to climb 4,000 feet (1,200 m) through jungles of Western Ghat mountain ranges. It was 210 miles (340 km) from Mangalore to Seringapatam, in a 6 week  journey.

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According to British Government records 20,000 died on the march to Seringapatam. According to James Scurry, a British officer, who was held captive along with Mangalorean Catholics, 30,000 of them were forcibly converted to Islam. The young women and girls were forcibly made wives of the Muslims living there.  The young men who offered resistance were disfigured by cutting their noses, upper lips, and ears. According to Mr. Silva of Gangolim, a survivor of the captivity, if a person who had escaped from Seringapatam was found, the punishment under the orders of Tipu was the cutting off of the ears, nose, the feet and one hand. The Archbishop of Goa wrote in 1800, “It is notoriously known in all Asia and all other parts of the globe of the oppression and sufferings experienced by the Christians in the Dominion of the King of Kanara, during the usurpation of that country by Tipu Sultan from an implacable hatred he had against them who professed Christianity. The British officer James Scurry, who was detained a prisoner for 10 years by Tipu Sultan along with the Mangalorean Catholics Tipu Sultan’s invasion of the Malabar Coast had an adverse impact on the Saint Thomas Christian community of the Malabar coast. Many churches in Malabar and Cochin were damaged. The old Syrian Nasrani seminary at Angamaly which had been the center of Catholic religious education for several centuries was razed to the ground by Tipu’s soldiers. Many centuries-old religious manuscripts were lost forever. The church was relocated to Kottayam where it exists to this date. The Mor Sabor church at Akaparambu and Martha Mariam Church attached to the seminary were destroyed. Tipu’s army set fire to church at Palayoor and attacked Ollur Church in 1790. The Arthat church and the Ambazhakkad seminary was destroyed. Over the course of this invasion, many Saint Thomas Christians were killed or forcibly converted to Islam. Most of the coconut, arecanut, pepper and cashew plantations held by the Saint Thomas Christian farmers were indiscriminately destroyed by the invading army.  So Tipu’s army invaded Guruvayur and adjacent areas, the Syrian Christian community fled Calicut and small towns like Arthat to new centres like Kunnamkulam, Chalakudi, Ennakadu, Cheppadu, Kannankode, Mavelikkara, etc. already were Christians. They were given refuge by Sakthan Tamburan, the ruler of Cochin and Karthika Thirunal, the ruler of Travancore, who gave them lands, plantations and encouraged their businesses. Colonel Macqulay, British resident of Travancore helped them. Tipu’s persecution of Christians extended to captured British soldiers so significant amount forced conversions of British captives between 1780 and 1784. Following their disastrous defeat at the battle of Pollilur, 7,000 British men with unknown number of women were held captive by Tipu in the fortress of Seringapatnam. Of these, over 300 were circumcised and given Muslim names and clothes and several British regimental drummer boys were made to wear ghagra cholis and entertain the court as nautch girls or dancing girls. After the 10-year-long captivity ended, James Scurry, one of those prisoners, recounted he forgot to sit in a chair or use knife and fork. His English was broken and stilted so lost all his vernacular idiom. His skin had darkened to the swarthy complexion of negroes, and moreover, he had developed an aversion to wearing European clothes. petermartyrbellini

During the surrender of the Mangalore fort which was delivered in an armistice by the British and their subsequent withdrawal, all the Mestizos and remaining non-British foreigners were killed, together with 5,600 Mangalorean Catholics. Those condemned by Tipu Sultan for treachery were hanged instantly, the gibbets being weighed down by the number of bodies they carried. The Netravati River was so putrid with the stench of dying bodies, that the local residents were forced to leave their riverside homes. The Dechristianisation of France during the French Revolution is a conventional description of a campaign, conducted by various Robespierre-era governments of France beginning with the start of the French Revolution in 1789, to eliminate symbols associated with the past, especially the monarchy. So exiled clergy and condemned of many to death. As a result, Churches closed, desecratied and pillagied churches, removed word “saint” from street names and other acts to banish Christian culture from the public sphere.Removed statues, plates and other iconography from places of worship. Destroyed crosses, bells and other external signs of Christian worship. So instituted revolutionary and civic cults, including the Cult of Reason and subsequently the Cult of the Supreme Being. There was large scale destruction of religious monuments, the outlawing of public and private worship and religious education, forced marriages of the clergy, forced adjournment of priesthood and the enactment of a law on 21 October 1793 making all non-adjuring priests and all persons who harboured them liable to death on sight. The climax reached with celebration of the Goddess “Reason” in Notre Dame Cathedral on 10 November. Under threat of death, imprisonment, military conscription or loss of income, about 20,000 constitutional priests were forced to abdicate or hand over their letters of ordination and 6,000 – 9,000 were coerced to marry, many ceasing their ministerial duties. Some of those who abdicated covertly ministered to the people. By the end of the decade approximately 30,000 priests were forced to leave France and thousands who did not leave executed. Most of France was left without the services of a priest, deprived of the sacraments and any non-adjuring priest faced the guillotine or exile to French Guiana. In March 1793 conscription required Vendeans to fill each district’s quota of 300,000 enraged the populace who took up arms as “The Catholic Army”, “Royal” being added later, and fought for reopening of their parish churches with their former priests. A massacre of 6,000 Vendée prisoners, women after battle of Savenay along with drowning of 3,000 Vendée women at Pont-au-Baux, 5,000 Vendée priests, old men, women, children killed by drowning at Loire River at Nantes called “national bath” tied in group barges sunk in Loire.
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These massacres came formal orders for forced evacuation and scorched earth  policy initiated, farms destroyed crops, forests, burned villages razed, atrocities of campaign of mass killings. They targeted residents of the Vendée regardless of combatant status, political affiliation, age or gender. By July 1796, the Vendean dead numbered between 117,000 and 500,000, out of a population of around 800,000. These mass killings were the first modern genocide intent to exterminate Catholic Vendeans. Greek-Orthodox metropolises in Asia Minor, ca. 1880. Since 1923 only the metropolis of Chalcedon retains a small community. In 1842 Assyrians living in the mountains of Hakkari in south east Anatolia faced a massive unprovoked attack from Ottoman forces and Kurdish irregulars, which resulted in the death of tens of thousands of unarmed Christian Assyrians. A major massacre of Assyrians and Armenians in the Ottoman Empire occurred between 1894 and 1897 AD by Turkish troops and their Kurdish supporters during the rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II (the Hamidian massacre). The motives for these massacres were an attempt to reassert Pan-Islamism in the Ottoman Empire, resentment at the comparative wealth of the ancient indigenous Christian communities, and a fear that they would attempt to secede from the tottering Ottoman Empire. Assyrians and Armenians were massacred in Diyarbakir, Hasankeyef, Sivas and other parts of Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia, by Sultan Abdul Hamid II. These attacks caused the death of tens of thousands of Assyrians and Armenians and the forced “Ottomanisation” of the inhabitants of 245 villages. The Turkish troops looted settlements occupied later by Muslim Kurds. Unarmed Christian women and children were raped, tortured and murdered. The Young Turks government of the collapsing Ottoman Empire in 1915 persecuted Christian populations in Anatolia, Persia and Northern Mesopotamia. The onslaught by the Ottoman army, including Kurdish and Circassian irregulars resulting in an estimated 2.5 million deaths, divided between roughly 1.2 Million Armenian Christians, 0.75 million Assyrians and 0.75 million Greek Orthodox Christians; a number of Georgians were also killed.

The Genocide led to devastation of ancient indigenous Christians who existed in region 1000’s of years.Further information: Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union and Persecution of Christians in Warsaw Pact countries After the Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks undertook a massive program to remove the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church from the government while outlawing antisemitism in Russian society, and promoting state atheism. Tens of thousands of churches were destroyed or converted to other uses, and many members of clergy were murdered, including public executions and imprisonment for what the government termed “anti-government activities.” An extensive education and propaganda campaign was undertaken to convince people, especially the children and youth, to abandon religious beliefs. This persecution resulted in the intentional murders of 500,000 Orthodox followers in the 20th century by the Soviet Union. This persecution affected the Orthodox. It also affected other groups, such as the Mennonites, who largely fled to the Americas. Before and after the October Revolution of 7 November 1917 (25 October Old Calendar) there was a movement within the Soviet Union to unite all of the people of the world under Communist rule (see Communist International). This included the Eastern European bloc countries as well as the Balkan States. Since some of these Slavic states tied their ethnic heritage to their ethnic churches, both the peoples and their church were targeted for ethnic and political genocide by the Soviets and its form of State atheism. The Soviets’ official religious stance was one of “religious freedom or tolerance”, though the state established atheism as the only scientific truth (see also the Soviet or committee of the All-Union Society for the Dissemination of Scientific and Political Knowledge or Znanie which was until 1947 called The League of the Militant Godless and various Intelligentsia groups. Criticism of atheism was forbidden so resulted in imprisonment. tumblr_ll5pa9UbXR1qj9876o1_500

Some of the more high profile individuals executed include Metropolitan Benjamin of Petrograd, Priest and scientist Pavel Florensky and Bishop Gorazd Pavlik. The Communist regime confiscated church property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in the schools. Actions toward particular religions, however, were determined by State interests, and organized religions never outlawed. It is estimated that 500,000 Russian Orthodox Christians were martyred in gulags by Soviet government, not including torture or other Christian denominations killed.Some actions against Orthodox priests and believers along with execution included torture being sent to prison camps, labour camps or mental hospitals. The result of state sponsored atheism was to transform the Church into a persecuted and martyred Church. In the first five years after the Bolshevik revolution, 28 bishops and 1,200 priests were executed. The main target of the anti-religious campaign in the 1920s and 1930s was the Russian Orthodox Church, which had the largest number of faithful. A very large segment of its clergy, and many of its believers, were shot or sent to labor camps. Theological schools were closed, and church publications were prohibited. In the period between 1927 and 1940, the number of Orthodox Churches in the Russian Republic fell from 29,584 to less than 500. Between 1917 and 1940, 130,000 Orthodox priests were arrested. The widespread persecution and internecine disputes within the church hierarchy lead to the seat of Patriarch of Moscow being vacant from 1925 to 1943. After Nazi Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, Joseph Stalin revived the Russian Orthodox Church to intensify patriotic support for the war effort. By 1957 about 22,000 Russian Orthodox churches had become active. But in 1959 Nikita Khrushchev initiated his own campaign against the Russian Orthodox Church and forced the closure of about 12,000 churches. By 1985 fewer than 7,000 churches remained active. In the Soviet Union, in addition to the methodical closing and destruction of churches, the charitable and social work formerly done by ecclesiastical authorities was taken over by the state. As with all private property, Church owned property was confiscated into public use. The few places of worship left to the Church were legally viewed as state property which the government permitted church to use. After the advent of state funded universal education, the Church was not permitted to carry on educational, instructional activity for children. Adults training for church-related occupations was allowed. Outside sermons during celebration of divine liturgy could not instruct or evangelise the faithful or youth. 

Catechism classes, religious schools, study groups, Sunday schools and religious publications were all illegal and or banned. This caused many religious tracts to be circulated as illegal literature or samizdat. This persecution continued, even after the death of Stalin until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian Orthodox Church has recognized a number of New Martyrs as saints, some executed during Mass operations of the NKVD under directives like NKVD Order No. 00447.In the 19th century, Mexican President Benito Juárez confiscated church lands. The Mexican government‘s campaign against the Catholic Church after the Mexican Revolution culminated in the 1917 constitution which contained numerous articles which Catholics perceived as violating their civil rights: outlawing monastic religious orders, forbidding public worship outside of church buildings, restricted religious organizations’ rights to own property, and taking away basic civil rights of members of the clergy (priests and religious leaders were prevented from wearing their habits, were denied the right to vote, and were not permitted to comment on public affairs in the press and were denied the right to trial for violation of anticlerical laws). When the first embassy of the Soviet Union in any country was opened in Mexico, the Soviet ambassador remarked that “no other two countries show more similarities than the Soviet Union and Mexico. When the Church publicly condemned the anticlerical measures which had not been strongly enforced, the atheist President Plutarco Calles sought to vigorously enforce the provisions and enacted additional anti-Catholic legislation known as the Calles Law. At this time, some in the United States government, considering Calles’ regime Bolshevik, started to refer to Mexico as “Soviet Mexico. Weary of the persecution, in many parts of the country a popular rebellion called the Cristero War began (so named because the rebels felt they were fighting for Christ himself). The effects of persecution on Church were profound. Between 1926 and 1934 at least 40 priests were killed. There were 4,500 priests serving the people before the rebellion, in 1934 there were 334 priests licensed by the government to serve fifteen million people, the rest having been eliminated by emigration, expulsion and assassination. By 1935, 17 states had no priest at all. In the second Cristero rebellion (1932), the Cristeros took particular exception to the socialist education, which Calles had also implemented but which President Cardenas had added to the 1917 Mexican Constitution. Queen Ranavalona I (reigned 1828–1861) issued a royal edict prohibiting the practice of Christianity in Madagascar, expelled British missionaries from the island, and sought to stem the growth of conversion to Christianity within her realm. Many Malagasy citizens were put to death during this period as a consequence of refusal to recant their Christian faith. Punished in ways required in tangena ordeal. Condemned to hard labour, confiscation of land, property consequently died. 800px-Genseric_sacking_Rome_455

The tangena ordeal was commonly administered to determine the guilt or innocence of an accused person for any crime, including the practice of Christianity, and involved ingestion of the poison contained within the nut of the tangena tree (Cerbera odollam). Survivors were deemed innocent, while those who perished were assumed guilty. In 1838, it was as 100,000 people in Imerina died as a result of the tangena ordeal, constituting roughly 20% of the population.  Contributed to a strongly unfavourable view of Ranavalona’s rule in historical accounts.  Malagasy Christians would remember this period as ny tany maizina, or “the time when the land was dark”. Persecution of Christians intensified in 1840, 1849 and 1857; in 1849, deemed the worst of these years by British missionary to Madagascar W.E. Cummins (1878), 1,900 people were fined, jailed or otherwise punished in relation to their Christian faith, including 18 executions. In Britain catacombs opened in 1837 with capacity of 3500 coffins. In Derby, beneath Guildhall, is gruesome morbid catacombs Tower block of notorious beheading. Since 2nd Century Romans were not tolerant of Christianity so Britain suffered waves of persecution across the empire. St Alban the first British Christian martyr was executed in a town called Verulamium in 304 AD. Much later an abbey was built there dedicated to St Alban so named town St Albans. In 313 the Emperor Constantine granted Christians freedom of worship. So persecution ended and during the 4th century Christianity became widespread in England. In Hinton St Mary, Dorset a 4th century mosaic was found with the face of Jesus and the Greek letters chi rho, which stand for christos (Greek for Christ) showing Christianity was a popular religion in England. In the late 10th century there was a religious revival. A man named Dunstan (c.1020-1088) was Archbishop of Canterbury. He reformed the monasteries. New churches and monasteries were built during his time. Women played a significant part in the 10th century revival. Bishops from rich families lived in palaces and took part in government but parish priests were uneducated poor. Parish priests had own land called the glebe to grow food, live and worked alongside parishioners. In the 14th century John Wycliffe, a Roman Catholic priest and Oxford Scholar, translated Bible from Latin into English. His followers called Lollards mutterers were persecuted  for saying long prayers. In 1401 a law passed allowed heretics to be burned to death but they continued to meet during the 15th century. In early 16th century William Tyndale in 1525 Tyndale translated the New Testament into English. Tyndale translated part of the Old Testament  but Tyndale was burned in 1536. His last words were ‘Lord open the king of England’s eye. In 1534, The Act of Supremacy made Henry head of the Church of England. Henry broke with Rome kept Catholic religion and persecuted Protestants. Henry and Parliament’s dissolved monasteries in England from 1536-1540 and confiscated the abbey church wealth, riches and property. Much of the money went towards construction of Henry’s Royal Navy and beautiful buildings. 023Catacombs_468x312

In 1543 and 1547, Henry sold most of the land to pay for extravagant wars with France and Scotland. The Court of Augmentations was created to administer the monastic land, paid pensions to abbots after land was sold by crown by 1552 most pensions were in arrears. The land was bought by merchants, yeomen syndicates, noblemen, and gentry families. Nobles and gentlemen bought appropriated tithes, advowsons so strengthened their hand in parish affairs. The enrichment of the gentry increased their power and independence from Church and Crown. It created powerful pressure group with vested interest to ensure Roman Catholic church never restored. The Crown gained by Dissolution as many royal administrators and clients lined their pockets with monastic money. Dissolution transfered vast tracts of land to the Crown. Monastic land was worth 3 times royal landholdings. Henry acquired vast amounts of gold and silver plate, worth millions of pounds. 25 abbots sat in the House of Lords but all lost their places leaving secular lords in a majority over Bishops who continue to sit. The Dissolution of the monasteries involved some physical destruction of buildings decayed because lead was seized from the roofs, libraries broken up and sold off. And, traditional charitable functions of feeding the poor, the sick and housing travellers ceased. Henry VIII martyred Anne Askew a preacher and teacher in 1546, tortured in the Tower of London and burned. In In 1553 Edward died and his sister Mary, a Catholic detested the changes of Henry VIII and Edward VI. Mary was determined to undo the reforms of the two previous reigns so Catholic mass was restored in December 1553. In 1554 married clergy were ordered to leave their wives or lose their posts and in November 1554 the Act of Supremacy was repealed. In 1555 Mary began burning Protestants so next 3 years 300 Protestants executed so many fled abroad. Mary’s cruelty gained sympathy for Protestants alienated people driven from Catholicism. Elizabeth I from January 1559 restored Protestantism to England but rejected puritanism and people fined for not attending church. In 16th century all was supposed to belong to the high Church of England but in 17th century independent churches like The first Baptist Church formed in England 1612. In 17th century George Fox (1624-1691) and Margaret Fell (1614-1702) founded Quakers persecuted and Fox himself was imprisoned. Charles II in 1660 determined to crack down independent churches rejecting Anglicanism. In Britain Christians hid from Druids, Anglo Saxons, protestants fought Catholics for Anglican church.

The Clarendon code, a series of laws used to persecute non-conformists Protestants who did not belong to Church of England. The Corporation Act of 1661 said  all officials in towns must be members of Church of England. Conventicle Act of 1664 forbade unauthorized meetings of more than 5 people not of same household. The 5 Mile Act of 1665 forbade non-Anglican ministers to come within 5 miles of incorporated towns with a mayor and corporation non-conformists preached. The Bill of Rights in 1689 said Catholics could not be king, queen and no king could marry a Catholic. Protestant and Catholic Sectarian sentiments exist. In 19th century poor workers had little or no contact with church so William and Catherine Booth in 1865 founded Salvation Army renamed in 1878 to help the poor. In 20th century Pentecostal churches practised gifts of the Holy Spirit, praying in tongues spread to mainstream churches. In the 1970s and 1980s charismatic and house churches common and Alpha Course introduces people to Christianity in group settings answering questions. 21st Century Britain Bible ban in schools affect those not allowed to be taught Scriptures. New age and occult groups sprung us plus inter multl-faith groups of religious tolerance that teach all religions are accepted by God. The Second Republic proclaimed in 1931 attempted to establish a regime with a separation between State and Church as it had happened in France (1905), where Church had to finance itself, had full responsibility and freedom to elect its own bishops, and had to foster religious education outside formal schooling, unlike the Spanish Monarchy up to 1931. When established, the Republic passed a number of laws that prompted big progress in education, but it also challenged the power of Church, impregnating virtually all levels of life in Spain, and entrenched values and traditional public ceremonies. The different Church institutions shifted towards ever more Manichaean positions, presenting the situation resulting from the proclamation of the 2nd Republic as an anti-Catholic, Masonic, Jewish, and Communist international conspiracy that heralded a clash between God and atheism, chaos and harmony, Good and Evil. The Church’s high-ranking officials like Isidro Goma, bishop of Tudela, reminded their Christian subjects of their obligation to vote “for the righteous” and their priests to “educate the consciences. Their approach in 1912, when the bishop of Almería José Ignacio de Urbina founder of the National anti-Masonic and anti-Semitic League announced decisive battle unleashed between light and darkness. Since 2nd Spanish Republic, far-right forces imbued with ultra-Catholic spirit attempted to overthrow Republic by violence. Carlists, Africanistas, and Catholic theologians fostered atmosphere of social racial hatred in their speeches and writings.

Their action, as well as further political and ideological confrontation paved the way to the Spanish Civil War and a planned extermination conceived by the ultra-Catholic military coup in July 1936. Persecution of Catholics mostly, before and at the beginning, of the Spanish Civil war (1936–1939), involved the murder of almost 7,000 priests and other clergy, as well as thousands of lay people, by sections of nearly all the leftist groups because of their faith. During the Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939, and especially in the early months of the conflict, individual clergymen and entire religious communities were executed by leftists, which included communists and anarchists. The death toll of the clergy alone included 13 bishops, 4,172 diocesan priests and seminarians, 2,364 monks and friars and 283 nuns, for a total of 6,832 clerical victims. In addition to murders of clergy and the faithful, destruction of churches and desecration of sacred sites and objects widespread. On the night of 19 July 1936 alone, some 50 churches burned. In Barcelona, out of 58 churches the Cathedral was spared and similar desecrations occurred almost everywhere in Republican Spain. Exceptions were Biscay and Gipuzkoa where Christian Democratic Basque Nationalist Party, after some hesitation, supported the Republic while halting persecution in the areas held by the Basque Government. All Catholic churches in the Republican zone were closed. The desecration was not limited to Catholic churches, as synagogues and Protestant churches were also pillaged and closed. Some small Protestant churches were spared. The terror has been called the “most extensive and violent persecution of Catholicism in Western History, in some way even more intense than that of the French Revolution.” The persecution drove Catholics to the Nationalists expected defended religious interests and survival. Hitler and the Nazis had some support from Christian communities, mainly due to a common cause against the anti-religious Communists. Once in power, the Nazis moved to consolidate their power over the German churches and bring them in line with Nazi ideals. Many historians say that Hitler had a general covert plan, which some say existed even before the Nazis’ rise to power, to destroy Christianity within the Reich, was to be accomplished through control and subversion of the churches and to be completed after the war. The Third Reich founded own version of Christianity called Positive Christianity which made major changes in its interpretation of the Bible which said that Jesus Christ was the son of God, but was not a Jew and claimed that Christ despised Jews, and that the Jews were the ones solely responsible for Christ’s death.

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The Nazi government consolidated religious power, using allies to consolidate Protestant churches into the Protestant Reich Church. The syncretist project of Positive Christianity was abandoned by 1940. Dissenting Christians went underground and formed the Confessing Church, which was persecuted as a subversive group by the Nazi government. Many of its leaders were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps, and left the underground mostly leaderless. Church members continued to engage in various forms of resistance, including hiding Jews during the Holocaust and various attempts, largely unsuccessful, to prod the Christian community to speak out on the part of the Jews. The Catholic Church was suppressed in Poland. Between 1939 and 1945, an estimated 3,000 members, 18% of the Polish clergy, were murdered; 1,992 of which died in concentration camps. In the annexed territory of Reichsgau Wartheland, it was even harsher than elsewhere. Churches were systematically closed, and most priests were either killed, imprisoned, or deported to the General Government. The Germans also closed seminaries and convents persecuting monks and nuns. In Pomerania, all but 20 of the 650 priests were shot or sent to concentration camps. 80% of the Catholic clergy and five of the bishops of Warthegau were sent to concentration camps in 1939. In the city of Breslau, 49% of its Catholic priests were killed and in Chełmno, 48%. 108 regarded as blessed martyrs. Maximilian Kolbe was canonized as a saint. Polish and German Christians persecuted by Nazis. In the Dachau concentration camp 2,600 Catholic priests from 24 different countries killed. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses were given the chance to deny their faith and swear allegiance to the state, but few agreed. Over 12,000 Witnesses were sent to the concentration camps, and estimated 2,500–5,000 died in the Holocaust. In the aftermath of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Nazi authorities repressed the Czechoslovak Orthodox Church which had given aid to the assassins. According to Pope Benedict XVI, Christians are the most persecuted group in the contemporary world. The Holy See has reported that over 100,000 Christians are violently killed annually because of some relation to their faith. According to the World Evangelical Alliance, over 200 million Christians are denied fundamental human rights solely because of their faith. Of the 100-200 million Christians under assault, the majority are persecuted in Muslim-dominated nations. Christians suffer numerically more than other faith groups or without faith in the world. Of the world’s 3 largest religions Christians are the most proportionally persecuted with 80% of all acts of religious discrimination directed at Christians who make up 33% of the world’s population. The Christian non-profit organization Open Doors publishes list of top 50 countries persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst Although these sad events are uncomfortable topics to the forefront, it is important and incredibly relevant to recognise the memories of suffering. These  accounts evoke a keen sense of sadness as a poignant reminder of the passing of time. Affecting, pitiful pathetic, sorrowful, mournful, tearful, wretched, miserable, bitter, painfuldistressing, disturbing, heart-rending, heartbreaking, tear-jerking, plaintive, upsetting, tragic attacks in Christian history. These stark realisation of consequences resonate love of God ironically long after the dark heartbreaking emotional trauma. They represent resilience in the face of adversity as encouragement to those tortured more passionate for God martyred in the name of Christ. They remain brave, staunch, strong in bloody injustice unfairness of life with undimmed love for Christ. Despite relentless persecution and horrible genocide, God turned downcast sentiments into amazing unconquerable victory. They will resurrect forever to enjoy eternity with joy. No more pain or sorrow or tears while their adversaries agonise in hell. The Church remains triumphant in the end the church of God Wins through Christ Jesus.

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William Holman Hunt:A Converted British Family Sheltering a Christian Missionary from the Persecution of the Druids,

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PRAY FOR THE PERSECUTED

Matthew 14:1-12, and Mark 6:14-29 provides accounts about the martyrdom of John the Baptist in the year 32 after the Birth of Christ. Herod Antipas, “Tetrarch” of Galilee and Perea between 4 BC-AD 40AD married daughter of King Aretas of Arabia but took Herodias his sister-in-law, wife of his half brother Philip. John the Baptist called upon Herod Antipas to repent of his sinful act. This resulted in arrest of John the Baptist and beheading. Antipas beheaded John the Baptist in Machers prison. Herodias stuck with Herod so together performed desperate and diabolical deeds until they died. Philip, the half-brother of Herod Antipas, was ruler of the region of Ituraea. He was the only decent ruler from line of Herod. He was known for moderation and his justice but his wife was stolen by Herod Antipas. Herod Antipas heard reports about Jesus. 2 So he said to his servants, “Jesus is John the Baptist risen from the dead that is why he can work these miracles.”Before this Herod arrested John, tied him up and put him in prison because of Herodias the wife of Philip, Herod’s brother. John told Herod, It is not lawful take your brother’s wife Herodias in marriage. Herod wanted to kill John but afraid of the people because they knew John was a prophet. On Herod’s birthday Salome the daughter of Herodias danced for Herod and guests so pleased him. So Herod promised with an oath to give her anything she wanted. Herodias told her daughter to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” Although King Herod was very sad, he made a promise his dinner guests heard. Herod ordered  10 soldiers to prison to cut off John’s head. 11 And they brought it on a platter and gave it to the girl to take to her mother. 12 John’s followers came and got his body and buried him. Then they went and told Jesus. John, the son of Zechariah, used water baptism as a sign of repentance of multitudes who heard his preaching and changed. In Matthew 3:1-6, John’s preaching caused sensation because people went out to him from Jerusalem, all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptised by him in the Jordan River. Some of the Lord’s disciples were first disciples of John the Baptist. Andrew and John the Evangelist in John 1:40, as 2 of John’s disciples who followed Jesus. The greatness of John the Baptist bothered Herod because of his fiery preaching captivated huge congregations that heard him. During that time Herod mistreated the great man God chosen as forerunner of Jesus so took him hostage. Elijah prepared the way in Carmel contest as Malachi prophesied 400 years before birth of Christ. In John 1:31 John the Baptist used baptism as a sign to seal repentance from sin to prepare for appearance of the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. Jesus great affection for John the Baptist and interdependence.

As cousins in John 1:31, the Lord was acquainted with John raised in Judea and Jesus raised in Galilee as relatives. Jesus, the Messiah communicated to believers to believe and receive Kingdom of God. John heard Jesus performed miracles so knew Jesus was the Messiah. John played a pivotal role in baptising Jesus confirmed as the son of God during Jesus’ Baptism. John pointed his disciples to Jesus when Jesus started His public ministry. John continued to preach for a little while until imprisoned for criticism of morals of Herod Antipas. John was executed by the spiteful Herodias as the Gospel history reveals the churches’ heroic stature and tremendous growth despite adversity. The churches’ progress caused great impact but left an impression that baffled the king who tried to get rid of John the Baptist. Herodias enforced the wish of Herod beheaded by inaugurating the era of Christian martyrs. John was the first witness of new faith  recognized by the enemy. John was not permitted to live as Christianity traced bloody path many others who followed. The first response of Jesus to the news of John’s death brought to him by John’s disciples was to withdraw by boat privately to a solitary place. Jesus withdrew alone to mourn His grief to come to terms with the crushing blow – loss of John’s death. Jesus needed time apart to absorb and pray to His heavenly Father to help deal with Herod’s attacks against His church. Jesus really understands meaning of personal loss in his life and suffering. The disciples wondered why Jesus did not use His heavenly army to save John, who wavered momentarily so asked if Jesus was the real Messiah. Jesus did not use His Power to Overrule Herod or religious leaders, elders and those against the Kingdom of God. Jesus responded by His Actions to the question to calm them to put the matter to rest. John fully recognised and knew who Jesus was because God Confirmed Jesus was the Son of God, endorsed by the Holy Spirit during Jesus baptism by John. Jesus worked miracles, signs and wonders and so John knew Jesus was greater as He will baptise with the Holy Spirit Fire and Power. John the Baptist said, Christ, Increase, but be must decrease in John 3:30. So Jesus Increased in Stature and Wisdom so had Favour with God and all those who Loved Christ in Luke 2:52. Jesus continued to preach, heal, cure and fed 5,000 thousand multitude who came out in full force to see Jesus undaunted by beheading of John the Baptist. Jesus continued His miracles by walking on water with Peter. Jesus knew John will resurrect again so went on to conquer death by His resurrection and ascension. Herod Antipas was the one Pontius Pilot sent Jesus to see when he learned Jesus was from Nazareth in the region Herod Antipas ruled. Herod Antipas ruled until around 40 AD of his death as a martyr.

Years later, in Acts 12:1-25, Herod Agrippa 1 dethroned Herod Antipas and ruled for about 3 years from 41 AD to 44 AD. Herod Agrippa was the king that killed James the apostle and brother of John. When he saw how this pleased the Jews he had Peter arrested also. from 11 BC – 44 AD, a Judean ruler persecuted the church in the 1st century AD. The grandson of Herod the Great and son of Aristobulus IV and Berenice, born Marcus Julius Agrippa, the ruler of Galilee with wife Cypros. In Judaea, Herod Agrippa mistreated some who belonged to the church by zealously pursuing Christians. Agrippa condoned orthodox Jewish policies, earning the friendship of the Jews and vigorously repressing the Jewish Christians. According to the New Testament of the Bible in Acts of the Apostles where he is called Herod he imprisoned Peter the Apostle and executed James, son of Zebedee.  He ordered James, the brother of John to be killed by the sword. Herod saw some people liked this so decided to arrest Peter too during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. After Herod arrested Peter, he put him in jail and handed him over to be guarded by sixteen soldiers. Herod planned to bring Peter before the people for trial after the Passover Feast. So Peter was kept in jail, but the church prayed earnestly to God for him. Peter left jail, The night before Herod was to bring him to trial. Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains. Other soldiers were guarding the door of the jail. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord stood there and a light shined in the cell. The angel struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Hurry! Get up!” the angel said. And the chains fell off Peter’s hands. The angel told him, “Get dressed, put on your sandals, your coat and follow me.” Peter followed him out but he did not know if what the angel was doing was real so thought he was seeing a vision.10 They went past the first and second guards and came to the iron gate that separated them from the city. The gate opened by itself for them and they went through it then they walked down the street and the angel suddenly left him. 11 Peter realized what happened so knew the Lord really sent His angel to rescue him from Herod and from all the things the people thought would happen.”12 He he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark where many people gathered praying for him. 13 Peter knocked on the on the door and a servant girl named Rhoda answered it. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so happy she forgot to open the door. Instead, she ran inside and told the group, “Peter is at the door!”15 They said to her, “You are crazy out of your mind but said it was true, so they said, “It must be Peter’s angel.”16 Peter continued to knock, and when they opened the door, they saw him and were amazed. 17 Peter made a sign with his hand to tell them to be quiet. He explained the Lord led him out of jail so said, “Tell James and the other believers what happened.” Then he left to go to another place.18 The next day the soldiers upset and wondered what had happened to Peter. 19 Herod looked everywhere for him but could not find him. So he questioned the guards and ordered them killed.

In Acts of the Apostles 12:19-23, later Herod Agrippa moved from Judea to the city of Caesarea where he stayed. 20 Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. The people of those cities all came in a group to him. After convincing Blastus, the king’s personal servant, to be on their side they asked Herod for peace, because their country got its food from his country. 21 On a chosen day Herod arrayed in royal apparel in his royal robes, sat on his throne and made a speech to the people. 22 They shouted, This is the voice of a god, not of a man. 23 Because Herod did not give the glory to God, an angel of the Lord immediately caused him to become sick, and he was eaten by worms and died. 24 God’s message continued to spread and reach many people. 25 After Barnabas and Saul finished their task in Jerusalem they returned to Antioch, taking John Mark with them. Herod Anitpas 2 was the son of Agrippa 1 and was put in charge of a region north of Judea. This is Herod present during one of the trials of Apostle Paul in Acts chapter 25 and 26. This Herod told Apostle Paul,” You almost persuaded me to become a Christian.”The disciples suffered martyrdom of the Apostle St.Matthew. Summary of the Herod’s shows, Herod the Great met with the Wise men from the east. Killed all the babies under 2 years old in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill Jesus. Archelaus ruled after Herod the Great so caused Joseph to relocate to Galilee instead of Bethlehem. Herod Antipas  beheaded John the Baptist, Herod Agrippa 1 killed James and arrested Peter. Herod Agrippa 2 was present during one of the trials of Apostle Paul. The Church faced persecution and tribulations for centuries Jesus talked about. Most of the original 12 Apostles were martyred for their belief. Acts records martyrdom of Apostle James the son of Zebedee, Stephen killed evangelizing and Bartholomew among the 12 Apostles mentioned in Bible’s New Testament, in Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; and Acts 1:13. The king rent purple clothes, ordered Bartholomew beaten with rods, scourged and beheaded. James son of Alphaeus beaten, stoned, clubbed to death. Andrew’s martyrdom took place in reign of Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus 30 November, A.D. 60 Latin and Greek Churches keep 30 November as his feast. Paul and Peter crucified upside down in Rome AD 60 during persecution under Nero. Thomas Didymus, preached Gospel in Parthia and India so pagan priests martyred him with spear. Philip was scourged, imprisoned when he laboured diligently in Upper Asia and suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Phrygia and crucified in A.D. 54. Matthew was killed with a spear for his labour in Parthia and Ethiopia suffered martyrdom slain with a halberd in the city of Nadabah, A.D. 60. Jude Thaddeus, brother of James was crucified at Edessa A.D. 72. Simon the Zealot preached Gospel in Mauritania Africa, was crucified in Britain in A.D. 74. Tribulation begun with Christian apostles and disciples continues to date in many countries. Yet the Almighty Living God Jehovah Nissi, The Mighty One in Battle is Ultimate Victor in Christ so all will resurrect. Persecutions and great tribulation predicted by Jesus in the world deepens into grotesque battle of Armageddon’s final war between governments and God. These governments and their supporters oppose God so continue worse atrocities until Armageddon completely ends it by Christ, Saints and God for Perfect Peace on earth eternally. Jesus said life will continue as normal with people buying, selling, doing business as usual when He will return to save the elect.

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Fox’s book of Martyrs
(The evangelist prepares for the final cut.)
Jan de Beer (c.1530-1535)

PAUL’S HEAVENLY VISION

Paul encountered Jesus’ Direct Miracle Power from Heaven on the way to Damascus. Here Jesus intervened directly on earth because enemies pursued Christians relentlessly. In Acts 9: Paul formerly known as Saul, persecuted Christians vehemently as Saul travelled to Damascus at midday, he experienced the Divine Presence of God through a light that flashed before him. stronger than Sunlight. Paul’s conversion experience in which he was blinded for 3 days was discussed in Paul’s own writings. According to the Bible history in the New Testament, this event in the life of Paul the Apostle led him to stop persecuting early Christians to become a follower of Jesus in AD 33–36. Paul intensified persecution and pursuit of Christians after Jesus’ crucifixion. The religious leaders and elders who connived to betray and crucify Jesus hoped to end the spread of Christianity. So out of jealousy and envy tried to sabotage Jesus numerous times including previous threats to Jesus’ life. So angered and surprised Christianity thrived, flourished, so had opposite effect as Christians faced more persecution. The dramatic impact of the Holy spirit took a new turn never seen before. The disciples empowered and influenced by the person and work of the Holy Spirit became more effective. Some Christians moved from Jerusalem into Damascus in Syria to escape persecution experienced after Jesus’ ascension. Paul was a prominent highly educated Sanhedrin member among Jewish leaders who endorsed and sanctioned persecution of Christians. Paul was present when Stephen, full of faith and the Holy Spirit performed miracles among the people was martyred under his authority. In Acts 7:51-59, Stephen martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee who later became a follower of Jesus and an apostle under the name Paul. The members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. Stephen prayed to God to receive his spirit, and further asked God not to hold their evil deeds against them. Stephen saw Jesus standing up in heaven ready to welcome his spirit home. The first martyr in Christian history, Stephen looked upon his enemies with love and sympathy. The Sanhedrin was not authorized to impose the death penalty but the stoning but implicated. The members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. In Acts 7 55 Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 At this they covered their ears and yelling at the top of their voices they all rushed at him 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses against Stephen who brought charges against him put their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. As Stephen was being stoned to death he called out, “Lord Jesus, please receive my spirit. Stephen was first martyr of the Christian church. The stoning of Stephen triggered explosive growth of early church. Paul/Saul was a zealous Pharisee who intensely persecuted followers of Jesus travelling to cities in pursuit.

Some scholars argue Paul was a member of the “Zealot” party. Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus, described in Paul’s own words in Acts 9:1–9;Acts 22:6–11; andActs 26:9–20. Putting the 3 accounts together details an amazing miracle experience. Paul, by name of Saul then was on his way to Damascus with a letter from the high priest of the temple in Jerusalem giving him authority to arrest anyone who belonged God as followers of Christ. Paul was determined to wipe out Christianity so intent on opposing the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth in Acts 26:9 with enraged fury. Paul threatened to murder disciples of the Lord so truly despised and hated Christ and all believers associated with Jesus. Suddenly a bright light from heaven shone on Saul causing his entire party to fall to the ground. Then Jesus spoke to Saul, asking him, “Why are you persecuting me?” in a voice understood only by him. Saul recognized the Voice from heaven so called Him “Lord” and asked who He was. Jesus identified Himself as the One Saul is persecuting. Fear filled Saul’s heart so he was dumbstruck knowing he was in serious trouble for attacking God, His Son Jesus and His disciples. In Acts 9:22 Saul’s response was to ask what Jesus wanted him to do. So Jesus told him to rise and go to Damascus where he would be told what to do. In Acts 93 as he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. Paul’s conversion experience was an encounter with Jesus directly from heaven who said, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me. Here again Jesus takes full responsibility to identify with those persecuted to confirm and Voice His Personal Persecution. Jesus once again felt persecuted as His followers endured torture, beatings, martyrdom of Stephen. 11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask Ananias to restore sight of Saul A Christian in the city of Damascus, Ananias was commanded by Christ in a vision to pray for Saul. Ananias prayed and laid hands on Saul who had scales fall from his eyes and his vision restored. He accepted Jesus as Lord and became a Christian.

In Acts 26 the longer detailed, story was described by Saul about Jesus’ commissioning him as His messenger to Gentiles yet Saul was the ultimate Gentile-hating Pharisee. Saul changed and turned from hatred and murder of Christian believers. God’s power destroyed wicked powers of darkness so Saul changed into Paul in the glorious light of the kingdom of God. Paul saved was delivered from evils of hatred of God’s Children. His message of forgiveness of sins and sudden change among sanctified believers of Christian faith astonished all because the Jews were convinced they owned exclusive honour in God’s eyes. So Paul was God’s instrument used to graft with the Jews Gentiles he once persecuted. Saul received his commission from Jesus on the road but went to Damascus to confirm Jesus’s instructions to meet Ananias who laid hands on him to receive the Holy Spirit, baptised and received by the disciples there in Acts 9:15–16,19;22:12–16. At Damascus, Saul fasted for three days without eating or drinking and then received his sight back. So Saul’s radical Damascus Road experience describes conversion of many people who receive Christ in a life-changing instantaneous, dramatic or startling manifestation of Christ. Other process of conversion is gradual understanding of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians wrote in his letter, you heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers as stated in Galatians 1:13–14. Saul had close links with religious authorities in the city. Paul was notorious for persecuting the Christians because of the rapid growth of Christianity. After Saul’s Damascus experience, Apostle Paul one of the greatest missionaries in the history of the church returned to his home in southern Turkey to preach in his own lodgings, where he remains for a few years.

Then Paul travelled extensively and wrote a lot of letters to places he visited and ministered the New Testament.The Supernatural Miracle Accomplishments irritated the Pharisees and Sadducees, furious Jesus healed on Sabbath day in the Synagogue. Missionary, martyr and patron of St. Paul. So Apostle Paul the instrumental figure in the spread of Christianity in the Damascus experience is definitely Not a meteor exploding experience:-

  • Astronomer claims bright light and divine voice heard by Paul 2,000 years ago may have been exploding meteor similar to the one over Chelyabinsk 
  • UV radiation could have caused temporary blindness called photokeratitis 
  • Scientist claims this may have been the source of Paul’s ‘vision’ in 30AD

Saul of Tarsus, later renamed Paul, saw the resurrected ascended Jesus Christ from heaven on the Damascus Road so Saul converted to Christianity. He made 3 long missionary journeys throughout the Roman Empire, planting churches, preaching the gospel and giving strength and encouragement to early Christians. Of the 27 books in the New Testament, Paul is credited as the author of 13 of them. While he was proud of his Jewish heritage Paul saw that the gospel was for the Gentiles as well. Paul was martyred for his faith in Christ by the Romans about 64 or 65 A.D. Certainly the exploding meteor light seemed to isolate Saul exclusively in spite of his convoy who heard the voice of Jesus from heaven. Almighty God the Jehovah in Nissi who created meteors uses it effectively to humiliate enemies in battle ruthlessly if God Chooses to do so. The Bible and astronomy history records locations and positions of meteors over the years accurately. However, there is no truth in publishing discredit of God’s Miracle Power to give glory to meteor object created by God the Creator. God is able to use meteor but reveals Himself directly through His Son Jesus from heaven. Heaven always has direct intervention with earth and continues to do so. God’s Absolute Magnificent Miracle Power Imparted in Jesus’ Miracle Power is often alluded to Beelzebub by sceptics in Luke 12:10 or scientifically explained by some scientist. God is the Greatest Scientist Emeritus whose Glory is seen in firmaments. God said the work of the Holy Spirit must not be mocked so people may speak a word against the Son of Man it shall be forgiven, but whoever speaks against work of the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven, neither in this age or the age to come in Matthew 12:31-32. God’s Gracious assurance of pardon of all sin in gospel terms. When the Day of Pentecost came they were all with one accord in one place and received the Holy Spirit Promised by Jesus. The disciples emboldened, empowered, preached, reached and minister beyond Israel. So all will be saved including multitude of Gentiles saved. Those Gentiles present at the Pentecost retuned home to spread the Gospel to set churches. In Acts 2Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.

When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontusand Asia,10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues and languages!”12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” What does this mean?”13 Some, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” 14 Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions,  your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women,  I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness  and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ Since Pentecost more than 3000 people were added after Peter preached. God continues to add new converts daily including notorious enemy like Saul accepted Christ as personal Saviour. In Acts 2:41, those who accepted Christ were baptised so the church grows to the annoyance of Paul and others who felt religious laws and traditions were restricting, limiting but Christ sets people free in liberty. People flock to join Christians though some converts rejected and ostracised by family remain with disciples. The Christian work is accompanied by great signs and wonders of God’s Miracle Power imparted by Jesus to all believers. Yokes are broken and people healed from diseases paid for not cured by treatment for decades got worse healed like woman with issue of blood. The lame walk, the blind see, Jesus trains all disciples to destroy all the works of the devil in Jesus Name. So freely receive Christ and freely share Christ as Paul was saved.

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VISIBLE PHYSICAL JESUS

In Daniel 3-60, is the story of 3 righteous Jewish men, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach) and Azariah (Abednego) servants of the Most High God put in a fiery fire. The worst tyrant king and council forced to concur to share the guilt ordered three men bound into the exceeding hot fire. 7 times more heated than usually done. He ordered that,  whoever does not fall down and worship the image shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” Therefore, as soon as all the people heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshipped the golden image King Nebuchadnezzar set up. 8 Certain Chaldeans came and maliciously accused the Jews so they declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, made a decree every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and all kinds of music shall fall down and worship the golden image. 11 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. 12 The Jews whom you appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. O king, pay no attention to you, they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image you set up.13 Then 14 Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 

15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, psaltery, and dulcimer and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he ordered some mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their cloaks, tunics, their hats, and other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 22 Because the king’s order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 These 3 men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace walked around in the flames, singing hymns to God blessing the Lord. 

The astonished king called his counsellors and told them he saw 4 men and one looked like Jesus the Son of God. They said, “True, O king!” they said, “we did order it so was done.” The king, saw in the furnace four men, loose, walking in the midst of the fire,” In Daniel 3:25, they were loosed from their bonds and the fire did not singe their clothes but burnt cords that bound to lose to set them at liberty. 26 Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace so declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego servants of the Most High God, come out and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had no power over the bodies of the men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. The flame did not scorch them or smoke inhaled to stifle them so stayed alive safely in the midst of the flames. God controls powers of nature to serve His purposes as said in Isaiah 43:2. 28 Nebuchadnezzar impressed said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego Who sent Help to deliver his servants who trust in Him. They set aside the king’s command and yielded bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree any people, nation or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses laid in ruins for there is no other god able to rescue in this way.” 

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon. God strikes those whose hearts are hardened against Him and His people. God destroys souls so can make his sword eliminate enemies designed to destroy God’s children.When you walk through the fire you will not be burnt neither flames kindled upon you. God quenched the large fiery fire darts of the wicked so they walked in the midst of the fire unhurt like in paradise garden of heaven. God’s Power enabled them to walk on hot coals with their feet yet not burnt in Proverbs 6:28.They left it God to preserve them in the fire to bring them out.One apocryphal writings relates the prayer which Azariah, one of the three, prayed in the fire to lament calamities and iniquities of Israel to entreat God’s favour to His people. The song of praise sang in the midst of the flames shows remarkable devotion but some think composed by a Jew of a later age as what might have been used. The 4th man seen in the fire by Nebuchadnezzar, was like the Son of God. The divine person from heaven as son of God like angels called sons of God in Job 38:7. In Daniel 3:28), God sent angel and delivered them like an angel shut the lions’ mouths when Daniel was in the den in Daniel 6:22. The Eternal Son of God, the Angel of the Covenant and not a created angel, Jesus appeared in nature before He assumed incarnation presage of His great errand into the world in the fullness of time. Jesus delivered His chosen out of the fire so came and walked with them in the fire. Those who suffer for Christ have His Gracious Presence in suffering in the fiery furnace, in the valley of the shadow of death. Christ showed what is done against His people is done against Him so Jesus felt persecuted as stated in Isaiah 63:9. Visible physical Jesus appeared in the fire to protect from furnace. Jesus walked through the wall of the Upper Room to visit disciples after resurrection. Jesus is able to appear to numerous people in various times in history. Jesus visits earth before and after resurrection to reveal Himself as He Chose. Daniel the prophet knew about Jesus so could tell Nebuchadnezzer about the revelation of God’s wisdom and inspiration of the Scriptures.God gave Daniel, understanding in all visions and dreams in Daniel 1:17. Daniel told Nebuchadnezzer, God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all other kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” in Daniel 2:44. Daniel saved God’s words and sealed the book until the time of the end when many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase in Daniel 12:4. Daniel foretold future events prophesied as moved by God through visions and dreams. Angels came to Daniel about what was going to happen throughout history including what would happen to Daniel’s people in the end-time of the whole world in Daniel 9:20-23, in Daniel 10:14 found in and Daniel 10:5-14. Over 600 years before Jesus’ birth the prophet Daniel knew and recoded in writing in Daniel 8:26 was sealed so no one could open it except the Son of God, Jesus. In Daniel 9:24-27 is a prophecy that predicted the year A.D. 27 that Jesus would begin His ministry to fulfil the covenant but cut off in the middle of the 70th prophetic week.  The biblical record shows this occurred after 3½ years as Daniel had prophesied. Daniel further noted: “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away and His kingdom shall not be destroyed in Daniel 7:13-14. The name of God’s Son Yeshua in Hebrew text יֵשׁוּעַ is Messiah’s original name encoded within Daniel 9:26 starting with the letter yod in the phrase “the city,” v’ha’iry, by counting left to right every 26th letter in Bible  over 3 thousand years to fulfil prophecy. God’s Pre-eminent Mighty Power is revealed before mankind’s historical time. Nebuchandezzer knew about Yeshua’s Kingdom because Daniel told him in Daniel 2:44 before they were put in furnace. So correctly identified revealed Jesus to him. In the moment of shock, after his men perished in same fire, Nebuchadnezzar said it was an angel because he knew Daniel was rescued by angel in the Lion’s den in Daniel 6:16-22. The disciples of Jesus thought He was a ghost when they saw Jesus walking on water towards them. In Matthew 14-26, the disciples shouted, “It’s a ghost,” they said and cried out in fear seeing Jesus walking upon the water and Peter went to Jesus. Again, in Luke 24:37, the disciples were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost in 24:36-49. Jesus appeared in a miraculous manner and assured the disciples of his Presence.

WATCHMEN ON THE WALL

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I have posted watchmen on your walls Jerusalem, they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest and give Him No Rest till He establishes Jerusalem and makes her praise of earth in Isaiah 62:6-7And let us not forget the Holy Bible came from our Biblical Homeland so Scriptures nurture and bless all people throughout the world. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, ”May those who love you be secure in Psalm 122:6. God has remembered His love and faithfulness to Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen salvation of our God in Psalm 98:3. The modern state of Israel is undeniable evidence that God’s Word is true. Israel’s survival demonstrates God’s faithfulness, love, and mercy. The existence of this tiny state is an indication that God is about to pour out His Ruach HaKodesh, Holy Spirit for end-time spiritual restoration of God’s people prophesied Ezekiel 36:2436. The miracle of the rebirth of the ancient Jewish homeland points to the soon expected fulfilment of Israel’s promised spiritual rebirth. It points to the return of Yeshua HaMashiach Jesus the Messiah and the setting up of His kingdom with His throne in Jerusalem. God says, “I am with you to watch over you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you in Genesis 28:15. 2 Who has ever heard of such things?  Who has ever seen things like this?  Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment?  Yet no sooner is Zion in labour than she gives birth to her children in Isaiah 66:8. This is in fulfilment of Bible prophecy, that “Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation and all nations will be blessed through him in Genesis 18:18 and Genesis 12:3. “God Will take you out of the nations, gather you from all the countries and bring you back to your own land in Ezekiel 36:24. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath do not fret it leads only to evil in Psalm 37:7-8. If I forget you Jerusalem, let my right hand lose its strength. Let my tongue cling to my palate if I fail to recall you, if I fail to elevate Jerusalem above my highest joy according to Psalm 137:5-6. “As a mother comforts her child, so God Will Comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem in Isaiah 66:13. Although Jerusalem is attacked, in Zechariah 12: 8, The LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David and the house of David will be like God, like angel of the LORD before them. 9” God will destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 

In Isaiah 29:7, Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Ariel, Israel that attack her and her fortress and besiege her, will be as it is with a dream with a vision in the night. In Zechariah 14:2, God will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it, the city will be captured, the houses ransacked and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. In Zechariah 14:3, Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as He fights on a day of battle. Israel’s Rebirth in 1948 is a miraculous testimony of love and faithfulness of God. Israel’s continuing strength and contributions to the world in fields of medicine, technology and agriculture is the fulfilment of countless Bible prophecies. The concrete evidence of the Word of God is true and remarkable reality of sovereign miracle Israel after 3 years from concentration camps in Auschwitz is a nation. So is the united Jerusalem in which the Old City and Temple Mount fell under Jewish sovereignty for the first time since the Destruction in 70 CE. Although Israel is the only country in the world whose right to exist and defend itself is continuously challenged, God Chose Israel as His Role Model  Nation. And Jesus Christ as the Mega Super Star in the Super Power Nation Kingdom of God from heaven to come to Jerusalem, above all nations on the earth. The treasury of Scripture  says, And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. In God says Zechariah 12:2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the people. The burden of the word of the LORD concerning Israel. Thus declares the LORD who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, 2“Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the people around and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. 3“It will come about God will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all people who lift it will be severely injured when all nations of earth gather against it. 

4“In that day,” declares the LORD, “I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the people with blindness. 5“Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the LORD of hosts, their God.’ 6“In that day I will make the clans of Judah like a fire-pot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding people, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem. 7″The LORD will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not be magnified above the lion of the tribe of Judah. 8“In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD before them. 9“And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. Zechariah 14:14 Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. Isaiah 54:17 says No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper and every tongue that rises against Israel shall be condemned. In Haggai 2:22, God will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.  The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected in great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. Zechariah’s prophecy and Divine prediction will be a heavy burden to all the enemies of God and the church. Especially for Israel’s comfort and benefit Jesus promised God will make the enemies counsels foolish to weaken the courage of the enemies of God. God in that day will make the feeblest seem strong to resemble David who defeated Goliath so eminent in courage and every thing good.  So watchmen Christians render excellent intercession as fire among wood, as a torch in a sheaf to kindle the flame of Divine love, to spread Jesus Christ to establish Jerusalem a Praise as God Comes Down from Heaven to Dwell in Jerusalem.

PRESENT WITH GOD

2 Corinthians 5:8, says “that when we are absent from our bodies we are present with the lord.” The God of the spirit and of all flesh in Genesis 2:4 says in Genesis 2:7, the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed His Breath into man so Adam was made from adamah meaning earth. In Zechariah 12:1The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth forms the human spirit within a person. The Immortal God incarnate in John 1:1, 14 puts immortality into mankind to live. In Genesis 3:19 by the sweat of the brow to eat food until returns to the ground. Since from it you were taken for dust you are and to dust you will return.” In Psalm 103:14 God Knows how we are formed He remembers we are dust. In Genesis 3:19, for dust thou art and unto dust shall thou return. earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.Each phrase picks up on biblical imagery In Ecclesiastes 3:20All go to the same place all come from dust and to dust all return. Ecclesiastes 12:7 the dust will return to the earth and the spirit breath will return to God who gave it. Psalm 146:4 His breath goes forth he returns to his earth; in that very day. After death occurs is cessation of existence so demise of a man is the separation of his soul from his body. Spiritual death occurred through sin after fall of Adam and Eve. Initially, God gave immortal  life from the start in the Garden of Eden. After sin, the earthen vessel treasure of man is contaminated and damaged by sin. Job 4:19,20 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay whose foundations are in the dust, who are crushed more readily than a moth and die. In Ezekiel 27:18 God Will bring to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all that behold thee.’ The result of physical death means man’s body cannot indefinitely any longer contain God’s Immortal Spirit as originally intended by God before the fall.

romans-14b-jesus-is-lord-of-all-14-728Jesus was sent by God to restore spiritual life of great significance. So spiritual death is separation of the soul from God but salvation has been accomplished for us by Christ Jesus the King of kings and Lord of lords. Christ restores immortal life in 1 Timothy 6:15,16. In 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 a righteous man concerning his own spiritual death through sin is forgiven in Christ so receives immortality when Jesus comes again in the resurrection for rewards. Jesus laid down His Own Life and rose up again. In Luke 23:46, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. In Acts 7:59, While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” In Job 34:14-15 If God withdraws His Spirit and Breath, man cannot live for all humanity would perish together and mankind would return to the dust. In Psalm 104:29 When God hides His Face people are terrified so when God takes away their breath they die and return to the dust. In Psalm 146:4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground on that very day their plans come to nothing. In Numbers 16:22 Moses and Aaron fell face down and cried out, “O God, the God who gives breath to all living things, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sins?” Numbers 27:16 The LORD, the God gives breath to all living things chooses the leaders in the community. In Isaiah 57:16, God will not accuse forever or be angry, for the spirit of the people I created would faint away because their breath of life is precious to God. In Isaiah 57:16 God will not contend or be angry forever in wrath for the spirit should fail before God and the souls God made.

2 Corinthians 5:67 for we walk by faith, not by sight 8 We are confident, willing, of good courage I say and prefer rather to be absent from the body and home present with the Lord.  9 So we have ambition whether at home with God or absent from the body to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Immediately immortal life from God departs straight into heaven from which God despatched life. 2 Corinthians 5:1-8, verse 1: For we know that if our earthly house physical body of this tabernacle tent were destroyed, we have a building of God, the spirit as a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. Paul was caught up in heaven so had a taste of heaven.This means Paul now seated in heavenly places in a new dimension. So in Phillippians 1;21,23, For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh this will mean producing fruit from my labour yet what I shall choose, I know not. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Phillippians 1:21-26 death is a great loss to a carnal, worldly man, for he loses all his things he depended on. In Luke 16:19-31, the rich man was in agony in hell craving luxury but Lazarus in heaven enjoying life eternal. In Daniel 12:2 many of them asleep in the dust of the earth shall awake in the resurrection and go to heaven. 2 Corinthians 5:8, “that when we are absent from our bodies we are present with the lord“.

Jesus confirmed life after death in heaven when He said in John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to be with me so that where I am, there you will be also. God says in Ecclesiastes 3:2:20All human bodies of the flesh go to the same place on earth in the grave. All came from dust and all return to the dust. In Ecclesiastes 3:21, the human spirit rises upward and the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth.” 21 The breath of man ascends upward and breath of beast descends downward to the earth. 22 I have seen nothing is better than that man should be happy in his activities for that is his lot. God will bring him to see what occurs after the blessed hope in the Lord. In Proverbs 15:24, to the wise the way of life goes upward that he may depart from Sheol beneath. The contrast shows Sheol is regarded as a place of punishment or annihilation confirmed by Psalm 49:14, “They are appointed as flock for Sheol, death shall be their shepherd, their beauty shall be for Sheol to consume. In Psalm 49:15, God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol for God shall receive me.” “God redeems souls from power of the grave because the gift of God is eternal life. This affirms immortality of the soul rising to heaven upwards is amazing truth of the Gospel of Eternal life for believers. Christ Jesus Prepared mansions in Heaven for believers so trust Jesus to perform His Promise to take believers into heaven. Jesus Sacrificed His Life, Gave His Blood in Atonement for sin and Resurrected by Conquering death and Ascending into heaven. Jesus is seating on the right Hand of God in Heaven as King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus restored believer’s spiritual Life with God. The Spirit of God reconnects believers to come boldly to be present with God through Blood of Jesus. In COLOSSIANS  2:8, “SEE TO IT THAT NO ONE TAKES YOU CAPTIVE THROUGH HOLLOW PHILOSOPHY THAT DEPENDS ON HUMAN TRADITION AND ELEMENTAL SPIRITUAL FORCES OF THIS WORLD, RATHER THAN ON CHRIST.

RAPTURE IN LIVING HISTORY

Jesus_ascending_to_heaven-575x637Daniel saw the vision of Jesus Son of man, Yeshua Messiah Coming up in clouds into heaven before Jesus Christ was born. And Messiah approached the Ancient of Days led by angels into Yahweh’s Presence in Heaven says Daniel 7:13. Rapture of Jesus was foretold by Daniel in the Bible. Living history records amazing miracle of Enoch, and Elijah alive heaven in the chariot from heaven. Jesus and Elijah, Enoch went alive into heaven so believers in Christ will soon Rapture into heaven. Jesus’ Resurrection was followed by His Ascension Rapture is an important significant event in Christian history into heaven to fulfil prophecy. So the believers in Christ expect Jesus to come for them soon too alive into heaven. Only God Knows that day so those expecting rapture think of what happens to assets or possessions after Rapture. Remember to continue to provide for all the family, support loved ones but mindful of God’s work.  Those left behind will be given the final chance of Gospel to encourage all to live well established meaningful lives on earth to gain heaven not to lose one’s soul. Those leaving in the rapture must provide resources and finances to equip ministry of evangelism. God Almighty already has mansions prepared for them in heaven. One day things pass away as all material possessions of earth is useless in heaven so passes to others after rapture.
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Amazingly supernatural Rapture helps to pass the torch to leave assets to Jews for evangelism of the world. This includes personal assets of individual believers, churches and Christian organizations to pass the torch of salvation to them. Rapture helps them understand Jesus is The True Messiah who arose from the dead. For as Jesus is lifted alive into heaven so will return in rapture and later second coming. The Bible teaches many people went to heaven alive including Enoch, Jesus, Elijah directly lifted up into heaven to live in mansions already prepared for the believers. Like Elijah specifically asked God to leave earth to go to heaven so caught up in God’s Chariot in the Bible. God took to heaven Enoch without dying. Genesis 5:24 tells us, “Enoch walked with God then he was no more because God took him away. Enoch is described as a man who “walked with God for 300 years” in Genesis 5:24. In 2:Kings 2:2:11, chariot of fire and horses appeared and separated Elijah from Elisha so Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elijah is one of the most powerful God’s prophets in Old Testament. Elijah handed his mantle cloak possession to Elisha. And Enoch also went in rapture into heaven.          
enochBelievers in Christ through the blood of Jesus have exceptional unusual miracle signs from God’s special recognition of individual’s piety or service. God said, all watchmen elect must pray in Jesus Name day, night to call upon to God Almighty shorten evil days to save all loved ones. And Redeeemer Messiah Yeshua Jesus, Elijah, Enoch and others went alive into heaven will soon happen again. And so to help unbelievers left behind after the rapture, those thinking about assets and material possessions can write wills to donate to Jesus’ Kingdom for Jews. Those left behind will be saved through evangelism of distinguished 144,000 Jews redeemed sealed by God, saved, not condemned in God’s wrath judgement and reprobation by mark on forehead. When rapture happens they will carry the message of salvation to all the people during the great tribulation in all nations. Israel Jews distinctive 144,000 males sealed, chosen, bring redemption to Israel as Moses and Elijah did.
are 144000 Jewish males selected by God plus 2 witnesses and the Christians left behind all continue to win multitudes countless souls, numerous of number from the diverse nations, tribes, speaking different languages who accept God’s Gospel message of salvation to all people during Great Tribulation in the world. Preaching of the Gospel Message continues after rapture to save souls into Kingdom of God countless multitudes as never seen before in history. The whole world will have righteousness in the land  says Jeremiah 33:15. Before rapture took place for Jesus to ascend into heaven, Elijah and Moses came down from heaven in transfiguration. Jesus met Moses and Elijah expected 2 witnesses from heaven. So regular traffic exists between heaven and earth including God appearing 44 times in Bible on earth. Transfiguration of Messiah, by Carl Heinrich Bloch in 1800 highlights these direct connection between heaven and earth. Today there are many more interactions between heaven and earth of personal appearances to the ordinary people. God did not cut off mankind by leaving them on their here own to fend for themselves. God has always actively participated in affairs of mankind and so sometimes chooses to reveal HIMSELF LITERALLY to some people. So heaven is closer than people imagine and God cares deeply about well-being of all HIS creation so speaks through prophets.  ch11_pat_20_2 witnesses_smallThe world means a lot to God even if people are unaware of God’s Love so important to remember God daily. As we pray thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, so in reality earth will be soon transformed into perfection like heaven. Bible in 2 Peter 3:8 says, do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord God Yahweh one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Those passed are enjoying heaven now and those alive will join heaven in the rapture before the New Jerusalem comes down to settle in Israel. Before then the two endtime witnesses prophecy 1260 days in sackloth then killed by the beast. People from all tribes, nations, languages exchange gifts for their martyrdom for challenging sin and pronouncing judgment to come on them. So necessary to share the Gospel Truth to inform people to bear good fruit to endure to the end to be saved into heaven. But to the shock and horror of nations rejoicing over their demise, they wake up. Revelation 11-12 says, And after three days and an half days the spirit of life from God enters them so they stand upon their feet; and great fear fell on all those people who saw them resurrected. Revelation 11:12 says they heard a loud voice from God in heaven saying to them “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven alive in the cloud before all those watching them rapture into heaven.
The Gospel dispensation intensifies in rich heart fertile soil to bear fruit 100% or 70% or 30% according to ability. God’s Distinct Categorisation circumstances do help save others to withstand storms to endure the great tribulation to the end and to be saved. God’s Kingdom Ministry accompanied by God’s Spirit, Power, help by angels. In Matthew 24:36-42, Jesus said, circumstances of His Coming will cause terrible consequences. Jesus described in detail what happens in Matthew 24 of reckons these difficult times beginning from Matthew 24:15, 21. Matthew 24 says Church supernaturally escapes great tribulation. Christ comes back in clouds to take elect believers into heaven. God will open heaven’s door to help to escape victorious during days of great tribulation commencing at siege of Jerusalem. God’s words does not return void but accomplishes what is sent to do so Jesus says believe this absolute truth. Jesus’ ascension 100% proves Scripture’s pre-tribulation rapture, return of Christ is certain in the cloud. the-rapture-2011
The elect of God rapture into heaven from all places and all nations on great gathering day. The great escape rapture into heaven signifies birth pangs during the great tribulation. Christ’s prophetic rhetoric must be taken very extremely seriously to prepare to escape. Rapture begins God’s preliminary full swing of wrath judgement confirmed in Christ’s Prediction in Bible to be fulfilled. Jesus’s prophecy reaches beyond day of the final judgement.  The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with Power and Great Glory. in Matthew 24:31, “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from 4 winds from one end of the sky to the other. Jesus in Bible Matthew verse 34, foretells Judah shall never cease to exist as God’s chosen people.  The sinners who reject Jesus will be left behind to mourn but given the chance to repent to look to Christ. It is expected stony hearts will be impacted by miracle of rapture so touched and convinced to accept Jesus. According to 2 Thessalonian 1:7-9 God grants relief to afflicted when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with God Almihty angels in the flaming fire. Judgement of the whole world begins so do not ignore God’s warning or carry on business in life as usual, buying, selling, getting married or given in marriage, so not bothered. All earthly things will pass away so do not set eyes or hearts upon them to put confidence or trust in them only. 40 Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. The Lord gives these 2 examples of the suddenness of advent in working together but different from other. Those suddenly taken παραλαμβανεται implies certainty but others left ἀφίεται. Christ speaks of the events of separation from companions like Matthew 17:1, Matthew 18:16, Matthew 24 verse 41, two women grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. Some 2 will be in the field and one taken and the other left. The Bible states two people will be in the field one will be taken.sudden-rapture
Christ prediction is drawing near although Only God Knows Exact Day, Time. Although some undermine Bible prophecy, mock, ridicule God’s words Jesus gives precise, concise, specific information concerning rapture. The Son of man Jesus will come in the clouds to rescue those who believe in the rapture. Sooner or later the whole world will see Jesus in the clouds drawing the faithful elect unto Himself. Be safe than sorry to prepare for suddenness of our Saviour’s coming! Men will be at work as usual minding their own businesses when suddenly the Lord Jesus appears. Some doing grinding one is taken others in the fields taken too like housekeepers, home managers, other duties, full-time employments all laid aside to follow the Lord into heaven in a twinkle of an eye. it is important to prepare to meet Christ to stand before him triumphant. The day of  rapture brings the day of salvation redemption to loyal believers who endure to the end helped by angels in verse 31 sent forth to gather the elect taken from all classes caught in the air to meet the Lord and saints in 1 Thessalonian 4:1, John 14:3. Similarly, those who believe will rapture according to one’s faith to experience rapture. Others through unbelief will be left behind to go through great tribulation. Those who accept tribulation and those who prefer to be left behind are both rewarded according to their faith. The choice exercised is self-determined as men or women exercise democratic right to join rapture or remain on earth. Do not feel secure in material riches or careless in spiritual things not to discern Christ. Accept and acknowledge obvious imminent transition Christ warns about from God. Like Noah in Genesis 6:13 God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to people for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy them so prepare for day the flood comes. Jesus’s reference to flood reminds obedience of Noah and family who heeded warnings to previous generations so saved by God’s laws. In Matthew 24:39, some did not understand events foretold by Noah until flood came and took them all away so is coming of  Jesus.

slide_28God does not force people against their will so they not accuse or blame God for destination. People from all walks of life in all conditions experience severance made by choice to enter God’s Kingdom. Men of the world’s schemes and plans for generations are overwhelmed by events of Christ’s rapture. Jesus foretold the great escape is necessary for those who love peace not war. Those who prefer to settle scores with war for change are granted their wish so God finally Proves war never solves problems but creates worse conditions. In order for God to regenerate the earth to make all things new, He Will get eliminate to get rid of all war mongers to leave earth in Peace to dwell in eternal Perfect Peace. God’s Will, Plans, Purposes will take strong Precedence to grant access to God’s Kingdom to come down literally to earth. Despite chaos, deluge, God will hasten the great supper of the Lord upon all nations starting from the church and the Jews. So while busy going about doing daily jobs, careers, politics, property, asset management, company, business, agriculture, husbandry, ploughing, sowing or other employment Jesus appears to accomplish His Mission. Believers will meet Christ in the air into God’s Kingdom Glory. People look forward to place of great escape from adversity. God made provision to take away those who prefer to dwell in absolute peace in God’s Presence in heaven. God grants perfect peace forever from harsh battleground birth pang tribulation sorrow. Many believers suffered in Roman army persecutions, killed, carried captive or encountered atrocities. In Genesis 19 God punished Sodom and Gomorrah people who rebelled against Him. Abraham plea bargained with God to agree not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if 10 righteous people lived there. Not finding enough God departed but allowed Abraham to remove Lot to save his family rescued from Sodom. God destroyed Sodom with fire and brimstone sulfur dumped from above killed all of the men and women of Sodom, as well as all the beasts and property and Lot’s wife who turned to look though warned by God not to do so. Ezekiel 16:49 warns God’s people of Sodom’s sins of pride, laziness, while the poor and needy starved the rich full of gluttony with fullness of bread.

Supernatural miracle  rich land of Sodom was very fruitful before it was destroyed so since impoverished. Sodom and Gomorrah sins brought God’s judgement of attempted gang rape sexual perversion is abomination to God. This biblical story recounts destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by God’s apocalypse. They shall see Jesus they pierced and laughed but mourn and weep in endless horror and despair because of the depth of tragic great tribulation. So God will turn wailing into dancing and remove sackcloth to clothe His people with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent in Psalm 30:11–12. Despite the time to weep God will restore the time to laugh after the time to mourn and a time to dance in Ecclesiastes 3:4. God says, “Comfort, comfort My people, says your God in Isaiah 40:1. Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. For God will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow in Jeremiah 31:13. Psalm 30 says, God’s anger is for a moment but His favour is for a lifetime of eternity. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.Weeping may endure for a season but joy comes in the morning. Revelation 21 and 22 state ultimately God the Father and the heavenly city of God, the New Jerusalem, will descend to the renewed earth. The earth will be the place of God’s throne. And the repentant of mankind, then glorified, will dwell with Him forever. So inherit entire vast universe and spirit realm as joint heirs with Jesus. The reward of the saints is eternal life in the Kingdom of God. This will be given when Christ returns to Reign with His faithful followers from heaven descend to settle permanently on earth and God the Father will dwell with the saved on earth after it is purified and cleansed from putrefy of sin and Holy enough for God to dwell in. The glorious future God planned extends from life in heaven to God’s Headquarters in chosen city Jerusalem in Israel. God says those who bless Israel will be blessed and saved in Jesus Name. God’s Chosen role model nation Israel is to exemplify God’s Vision of Theocracy restored once again. Through the Messiah, David’s Descendants after fall of mankind through Adam and Eve. God grafts Gentiles into Covenant so requires all to bless Israel in Genesis 12:3. To qualify to be blessed by God accept Jesus a Jew Who gave His life as atonement for sin. The Messiah is God’s Only Son chosen to fulfil the covenant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.