Friday, March 31, 2017

Beatitude: The Persecuted

Beatitude: Blessed are the persecuted

Beatitude means being in a state if utmost bliss, according to the Meriam-Webster Dictionary. Well here is a list of utmost blissfulness from Jesus's Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 5-10-11  (ESV)  The Beatitudes:

3“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
1“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Today's beatitude is on the persecuted.

I have had a love of history all my life. That was not my choice, but because I needed that to affirm my belief in Jesus Christ. Western History is all about persecution of two groups of people: Jews first, and then Christians.

Persecution is being hostile because of who people are. It can be racism, xenophobia (fear of foreigners), or theophobia (fear of religions). Of course associating hate with phobia (fear) is inaccurate. One can hate another group even though there is no fear involved, and on the other hand, people fear groups of people without hating them. Hate and fear are independent entities, but the political correctness movement has skewed that idea. For them hatefulness is anyone who disagrees with their position!

Neither is racism always based on fear or hatred. People may be overly nationalistic or ethnocentric (pride in culture). Some degree of either is normal. Therefore, another race which does not fit the stereotype of one's culture may be held at arms length. We all do that! It's our comfort zone!

By making every phobia into a hatred, minimizes hate! We must never do that. Hatred is the ultimate evil. Having prejudice is a natural thing.  Prejudice is having pre-conceived ideas or biasness about something. We all have our prejudices. For instance the most radical against racism are the most prejudiced against the Caucasian race. Those most in favor of same-sex marriage are the most prejudiced against those who favor traditional marriage. Those most pro-abortion are those who are the most prejudiced against pro-lifers. Each group of people propagate the notion that their position is the most noble. Unfortunately, even when the facts go against some groups of people, they cling to their pre-conceived notion. Those are the most prejudiced.

The Jews are God's chosen people. He promised them, if they were obedient, the entire Levant extending to the Euphrates River, from Turkey down to Egypt, and he promised them the Messiah from Jacob's (Israel's)  bloodline, who would judge and provide salvation to the world. (People hate judgment and persecute those who believe in divine justice.) God also promised the Jewish people prosperity if they were obedient to him.
Deuteronomy 14:1 "Ye are the children of the Lord your God... 2 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth."
Because the Jews are God's chosen people, throughout history other nations have been the most ant-Semitic. Since the Jews are God's chosen people, anti-semites are racists, xenophobes, and theophobes.  Ironically, the cousins of the Jews, those of the Semitic language groups include Arabs, Ethiopians, and Syrians; are the most ant-semitic. Their own race is the most hostile to them!

Most Semites are descended from Abraham - both Arab and Jew: the former by Hagar  his wife's handmaiden, and the latter by Sarah his wife. The jealousy of the Arab and Assyrian nations is because the line of Sarah was blessed more than the line of Hagar.
Genesis 21:17b "...the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad (Ishmael)where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation."
That is the line of Ismael, which is now a great nation, and holds the line of Isaac in hostility. Ever since the former has persecuted the latter: Arab against Jew. Over time, there became two groups of nations: Jew and Gentile. Gentiles are any race which is not Jewish (i.e, most of the world)! It turns out that the entire world has always persecuted the Jews because they are God's chosen people.  Many have even considered them less human than Gentiles because they indeed are a peculiar people (Deut. 14:2).  They are peculiar in the sense that they are a blessed race, a blessed religion, a blessed nation, a blessed genealogy, and a blessed promise for eternity! Every nation is jealous of them, and have always persecuted them.

On the other hand, Jews are proud of their divine blessing. They know they are blessed and have become the financial wizards of the world. Catholicism rejected usury (interest on loans), so Jews stepped in and became the financiers. Because of their ability to gain from the loss of others, they seem to always get rich while others drift toward poverty. For that reason the western world has always hated Jews, even Britain. The National Socialists used their financial position against them to persecute them to extinction. The holocaust was Hitler's final solution to the Jewish problem. The killing of Jews is called pogroms from the Russian word meaning to wreak havoc. Nearly all nations have persecuted Jews, even the tolerant Roman Empire which condoned all religions except for two: Judaism and Christianity.

Christians too are peculiar people:
1 Peter 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light..."
Because we Christians accepted the light that the Jews rejected, we too are now heirs of God! We are an holy nation, and a chosen people. 
Romans 8:16 "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
Since we are heirs of God we inherit his riches: Jesus, prosperity, hope, faith and such,; but along with that, we must suffer with the Jews! (Let me note here that the Christians who persecuted the Jews in the Third Reich were not true Christians. They were National Socialist heretics who accepted Nazi doctrine and heiled Hitler rather than hailed Jesus!)  Society will always persecute the true Church. Even the Roman Catholics, our historical cousins, persecuted the true Church!
Matthew 5:12 "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
With Christ Jesus, Christians joined the ranks of the persecuted. Just as the prophets of Judaism were persecuted we are, and always will be. It get's worse - not better, as time goes on. Why? It's all because of the Messiah; it's all because of Christ:
John 15:20 "Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also."
Too many Christians in history have blamed the Jews for crucifying Christ. They weren't the only ones guilty. We all crucified Jesus, they merely planned his death, and the Romans pulled the trigger, so to speak. In other words, the answer to Who killed Jesus? is that we all did!  We all killed Jesus because he died for all our sins! We share the guilt. Jews got the blame, but we too suffer the consequences because we are the adopted sons of God, and a chosen people just as the Jews are!

As time goes on, Christians will endure more persecution. The apostles were persecuted first. All but John died for Jesus' sake, and they boiled him in oil, although he lived. As the world gets as it was in the days of Noah, the persecution will get worse. The sinners scoffed at Noah.
Matthew 24:37 "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
Before Jesus comes the second time, sin will get worse. Rather than mere scoffing, the degenerates will demand that we accept their degeneracy. We are in that phase now. In the end those who have turned to Christ after the rapture (the taking up of Christians) shall be beheaded.
Revelation 20:4b  "I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands..."
Beheading is the crescendo of persecution. Persecution will not come all of a sudden. As the instruments of sin blare louder and louder, at the end, persecution will reach its peak. Because of the Koran and our own Holy Scripture, I believe the end of time government will be socialism, the world-wide religion will be Islam, the global government a caliphate, the antichrist an Ayatolla, and the law Sharia. The line of Ishmael will grow into that great nation, and is the enemy of Jacob's line. We are the persecuted; they are they persecutors. Even western civilized societies are accepting the Islamic Nazis as a peaceful religion. According to the writings of Muhammed, that is a self-admitted lie. Christians appease themselves that they are safe by lying to themselves. Surely we won't die is still the serpent's lie!

I didn't skip over revile. That is to despise Christians. If we are hated because of Christ, that is a blessing. Right now some readers hate me. I'm glad of that! Because I write truthful statements, those who deny the truth that I write may hate me. Even many liberal Christians will hate me because they have bought into the notion of sin. Those churches who have departed from him, despise me. I expect that! Jesus identified those so-called Christians and warned them:
Matthew 7:23 "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
The most extreme persecutors of Christians will be the false church -  the anti-Church, the same church which went sour in the Third Reich. The liberal church is the anti-Church and they will be the greatest persecutors of Christians. They are those churches who call Islam a peaceful religion in defiance of truth. Beware the enemy; they are already among us! 

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