A relative of mine was taking a trail ride on horse back along with several relatives and friends. He is a tall man, retired from business, and not used to horses. As they went along the horses followed each other nose to tail on the rocky, mountainous path, often with steep drop offs on one side or the other of the trail. At one point the trail sloped up steeply and the horses plodded up, and then the trail fell away sharply at the top.
As my relative's horse stepped over the crest of the peak it fell to its knees as the trail turned steeply downward. My relative nearly went over the horse's head but regained himself after the close call, and the horse found his footing and resumed walking down the steep path.
Soon they came to another steep climb followed by another steep decline, and again my relative's horse stumbled to its knees but quickly recovered itself. With the 2nd stumble my relative yelled out to the Trail Guide who was on his horse at the front of the line; "Hey, what's wrong with my horse?! He keeps stumbling!" The Guide replied, "Oh, it's OK, he's blind and can't see the path, he just follows the other horses. You needed a big horse so I gave him to you. You'll be fine!"
Of course my relative was horrified, now scared with the realization the horse he was trusting with his life along the treacherous was completely blind and was only following the crowd.
My reason for sharing this prophetic update, which is about the spirits behind persecution, is that many Christians are like my relative on a blind horse. They think the spiritual horse they are riding is faith because it is following the crowd which brings comfort, but in reality they're on a spiritually blind faith that is going to stumble once the path has reached its zenith and starts heading downhill at a steep angle.
I've had 3 times and Barb once where the Father or Lord have said to us: "Times are coming when many who think they know what faith is will discover they don't know faith at all."
I shared how Jesus was accused of #1 treason and #2 tax evasion, and lightly traced examples of the same spirit at work in persecution down through history. Now to my other points:
#3 - Jesus was accused of being a potentially violent threat against society
(False witness quoted) "And this fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days." Matthew 26:61; Mark 14:58
Notice that Jesus' words were taken out of context and twisted to suggest He would rise up to destroy the most sacred building in the nation. Just the threat and fear of Jesus taking to the streets was enough for them to want the death penalty. He was a threat to Rome and Israel's ruling officials.
The spirit that makes false accusations that Christians might become violent like other right-wing violent groups, is not only a lying spirit, but a lying spirit working with and linked with a spirit of fear. These two spirits cause confusion and cause people to believe a delusion about Christians.
Notice also this false witness said Jesus could rebuild the (stone) temple in three days - the threat being unauthorized actions, a vigilante, someone who wouldn't bother working with authorities (to rebuild the temple) but would do it Himself with presumably, His band of followers.
This spirit seeks to involve itself in the lives of ordinary people, to keep them controlled, corralled, for fear they might do something contrary to tax law, building codes, zoning and such on a local level. And it is fear and lying spirits behind it.
These accusations and misinformation cause Christians to be viewed as different from the rest of the citizenry. This was true for Jesus, it was true throughout the persecution seen in Acts, and even Hitler hated the Jews not so much for their economic power but because they were different than the rest of Germany.
The strategy for persecution is to separate the focus people from the rest of society and turn the citizens against them - and as happened with Jesus, it can happen in an instant. As Nero burned Rome and blamed Christians, so too have others blamed those who are different or stand out in a culture for their problems.
Look for the same lying spirit to cause government officials to suggest conservatives and Christians are a potentially violent threat against government and society - there is a spirit behind it as it was in Jesus' day, it is more than just people who disagree - they viewed Jesus as potentially violent and they will us too.
#4 - Living and teaching contrary to popular culture, which was seen as subversive and hindering government's goals"
And we found this fellow misleading the nation..." Luke 23:2. (Greek: diastrepho; to distort, twist, pervert)
This accusation reveals a goal to make Jesus a national threat, not just locally threatening the temple in Jerusalem, but a spirit accusing Christians as national threats. Rome misunderstood Christians, that they were cannibals because they ate and drank the body and blood of this man Jesus. They thought Christians were perverted, having these 'love feasts' where were said to be drunken orgies. They were thought to be some form of atheists because they had no shrines, no images, no statues to gods in their homes.
All that misunderstanding, propaganda, and cultural stereotypes led to Roman culture being suspicious of Christians, which contributed to the elements of my first 3 points above and last week. Accusations that Christians are subversive or live and teach contrary to society have been seen down through the centuries.
At some point dislike comes into the open in a culture and Christians (and Jews in many cases) are blamed for the economic problems of a nation, and are said to be the reason the government can't proceed with their plans. The plans will work IF ONLY we didn't have these Christians standing in our way...therefore they aren't Patriots, they don't want to pay their fair share, they are dangerous to our culture and way of life, and they are misleading the nation. Sound familiar? From ISIS to some in the liberal left in the US to dictators of history past, those are the same themes - as they did to our Lord so will they do to us.
Some things the Father has told me
Four times since 1991: "Watch Turkey. It will be rejected by Europe and will ally itself with Russia to become a major power once again in the Middle East."
2003: "...but watch out when Hillary takes office." At that time she was a US Senator, then she became Secretary of State. During her tenure we certainly did need to watch out, and continue to watch out. It remains to be seen if He was talking about being President.
2003 after the invasion of Iraq: I asked the Father what was going to happen to Iraq and He said: "It will all be undone." The only way for it to be all undone would be for Iran to set up a puppet Shia government or take it outright. Ancient Persia was the land of modern Iran and Iraq.
2003 after the Patriot Act was passed and I asked Him what He thought of it: "Laws that were passed to protect my people will one day be used against them." and "The IRS will be used against my people."
2005 when I was reviewing all that had happened in the US over the 10 years between 1995 and 2005, and I made the comment to the Father I didn't recognize the country for what it had been. He replied: "I tell you the truth when I say you won't recognize it again in another 10 years." (2015)
2006 when I was complaining to the Father we didn't have a savings account and though I know He will take care of us, still....and He replied: "Why would you want to put your money in there?" Suddenly a large screen appeared before me of a bank, and I knew somehow it was either Thursday or Friday, and the bank shut down. Suddenly the scene shifted to what I knew was Saturday morning and people were banging on the doors of the bank trying to get in, but it was closed. Then it opened for business on Monday and the US dollar was worth 50% of what it had been the previous week. Then the vision disappeared.
2014 springtime, among other things: "2017 will be a bad year for the world."
That's enough for now - I'm not trying to scare people, though over a year ago the Father revealed to Barb, who is a strong intercessor, that an economic crash is going to happen in September/October 2015, but it might be delayed by prayer. I've heard nothing from the Father about it, so I hope it is delayed.
I want the body of Christ to wake up, fall out of love with the world and its toys and distractions, and start to love one another in true relationship, true fellowship, in homes, in small groups...and I remind you what Jesus said to me in November 2001 when He appeared to me and laid His hands on my anointing me as an apostle to start house churches and a network of house churches. When I asked Him why He said: "It's a resource against a time to come. Be a resource, for it's against a time to come."
New subject next week, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org