PREPARE FOR JESUS COMING RETURN

This following testimony is from Cody Archer. Cody Archer, along with his wife, Liat, help lead the youth group at Ahavat Yeshua and work together in Revive Israel’s international department.

In preparation for the coming prophesied persecution, it is important you read Cody’s testimony now to help you prepare for what lies ahead.

The following verses from Revelation reveal how believers are to overcome Satan in the “end times” just prior to Jesus return, first to rapture the saints, and then to return to earth with the saints to rule and reign in the Millennium.

“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Revelation 12:11

We all want to be in the centre of God’s will for our lives as we approach the time of Jesus return, so it is important we understand what is ahead, remembering that even Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, agonised over what was ahead of Him.

According to global statistics, over 200 million followers of Yeshua are undergoing high levels of persecution today—primarily in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. But, I believe the Scriptures teach that the time is coming when such persecution will be the norm in every country of the earth.

“When I was a new believer in my early 20s, a leader in my life spoke prophetically over me: “Cody, go deep in God’s Word now, because there will be a time in the future where it will be taken away from you, probably because you will be put in prison for your faith.” What an encouraging word for a new believer, right? I took that word seriously and have continued to devote much time to meditating in God’s Word almost daily for the past decade.

Heart Training

As I study the end times, one of the themes that continues to catch my attention is that of persecution. More and more in my quiet times, I have been picturing myself being arrested, beaten, put in prison and even martyred for my faith. I am training my heart now to walk in love for Yeshua and stand up for my faith when those times of extreme pressure come.

My sense is that this heart posture is almost nonexistent in most of the Western church today. Even If you and I don’t end up facing high levels of persecution, I believe it is wise to prepare our hearts, and the next generation, for what is coming.

What Is Coming?

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So what should we be preparing for? Here are some Scriptures I have been meditating on:

  • “But before all these things [read the preceding verses: false Messiahs, wars, great earthquakes, famines, pestilences, fearful sights], they will seize and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons” (Luke 21:12a). If you think you will get raptured out before persecution and trouble come, you will be in for a big shock.
  • Luke 21:16 warns us that biological and spiritual family and friends will betray us and put some to death.
  • “You will be hated by all for My name’s sake” (Luke 21:17). Consider this word: “all.” Atheists, people of other religions and humanistic, secular society may tolerate us at some level today, but this tolerance won’t last forever. Are you ready to be hated by all?
  • “They will put you out of the synagogues. Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he is offering a service to God” (John 16:2). The deception will be so deep that people will think they are doing God’s will by killing us.
  • Before Yeshua returns, new laws will be passed against believers, rendering us criminals in the eyes of the world. Calling the nations to turn from their sins and not budging on Yeshua being the only way to God will be seen as major obstacles to global peace. Because lawlessness will abound and the love of many will grow cold, we should not expect human help or mercy when attacked, but instead the plundering of our possessions, major lies and attacks through media, lawsuits, fines and imprisonments (Isaiah 24:5-6, Matt 24:12, Heb 10:34).
  • The Antichrist will be granted to make war with the saints and overcome (Daniel 8:23-25, Rev. 13: 7). I believe prophetic patterns in Scripture like in Esther 3 and Daniel 3 where laws were passed forcing people into false worship and the destruction of the Jewish people will emerge again before Yeshua returns.
  • “As it was in the days of Noah and Lot, so it will be also be in the days of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26; see Luke 17:26-30). The wickedness, violence and sexual perversion seen in the days of Noah and Lots are rampant again today and will continue to be directed against believers in an ever-increasing way (Gen. 6, 19).

One day, Jews and Christians will be the most hated people on the earth. But do not despair about the future; there is good news! The greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit and harvest of souls will be happening simultaneously with this global persecution (Acts 2:17). There will be a remnant of faithful believers in every nation who will obey God over man (Acts 5:29) and not love their lives unto death (Rev. 12:11).

Lord, help us to apply Yeshua’s exhortation to watch and pray always, that we would be strengthened to resist compromise, sin and fear (Luke 21:36).”

GOD’S MARTYRS IMPACTING THE WORLD FOR HIM

A new book to be released Friday takes a look at the lives of the 21 Christian men the world saw being beheaded on a Libyan beach in 2015 and how their deaths at the hands of the Islamic State only strengthened the faith of believers in their hometown.

Martyrs are the seeds of Christianity. The brutal death of these men has served to reveal the true nature of the god of Islam.

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The world was appalled when the brutal terrorist group released footage showing the 21 men — all but one being migrants from Egypt — being led to the shore of a Libyan beach near Sirte dressed in orange jumpsuits.

The video came at the height of the Islamic State’s reign of terror that wreaked havoc in places like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Egypt, and Libya and showcased how brutal and atrocious the jihadi death cult could be.

Iconic photographs and screenshots taken from that Islamic State propaganda video are all over the internet showing the 21 men on their knees with their backs toward the Mediterranean Sea. Behind each of the 21 men was an Islamic State militant standing with a knife that would be used to cut off their heads, thus sending a message to the world.

Four years later, the martyrdom of those 21 men is not forgotten in Upper Egypt as all 21 have been canonised as martyr saints by the Coptic Church.

“You get the feeling in Upper Egypt that they are not in an Islamic country at all. It is a Christian country,” popular German novelist Martin Mosebach told The Christian Post in a recent phone interview. “It’s mixed in a society there with Muslims but the Christians in Upper Egypt are the majority.”

The new book, The 21 – A Journey into the Land of Coptic Martyrs, is the account of Mosebach’s journey to El-Aour.

“It is a very dirty village. It is a very poor and primitive village,” Mosebach explained, adding that the Coptic villagers there are very strong and knowledgeable in their faith.

Although Christians in Upper Egypt are always under the threat of persecution, as Egypt has been under Islamic rule for 1,400 years, the faith of the Coptic Church as founded by St. Mark has been unwavering and continues to remain strong today, according to Mosebach.

“These communities and congregations are very educated and know the faith,” he explained. “In the spirituality of the Copts, miracles are a very important thing.”

In El-Aour, Mosebach said, “everybody is talking about miracles.”

According to Mosebach, numerous miracle stories have built up around the 21 martyrs in El-Aour. Some stories include the martyrs being credited with saving children who fall out of windows, curing sick people and even healing a woman of infertility.

“Miracles didn’t save the [21] from decapitation but did prove that their sacrifices had made them Christlike and therefore accepted as such,” Mosebach wrote.

One miracle involved the son of one of the martyrs. The son was said to have fallen onto the street from the third floor of a building, causing him to break his arm in multiple places. When the son regained consciousness, he claimed that his now-dead father had caught him. Days later, the son’s X-rays reportedly did not show any fractures.

According to Mosebach, the term “miracle” is used by the Coptic community as the “next explanation for any phenomenon they see.”

“Everything that has happened is according to the will of God,” Mosebach told CP. “The miracles are also now seen with the martyrs, which the martyrs heal people.”

Although the Coptic community has faced much persecution throughout its history that continues today, Mosebach explained that Copts do not consider themselves to be victims and do not seek revenge.

He added that the villagers in El-Aour are proud of the martyrs for standing strong and dying for their faiths.

The mothers who lost their sons at the hands of the Islamic State know that their sons are now “crowned kings in Heaven,” Mosebach said.

“You can go to every family in this region. They will tell you the same thing,” Mosebach explained. “That they are ready for martyrdom and they wait for the martyrdom and they are proud of the martyrs. They say that ‘our church is the church of the martyrs.’ Martyrs are the seeds of Christianity. As long as people are killed for Christianity, the church is living and not dead.”

Although El-Aour is a poor and primitive village, it is now a destination for Coptic Christians across the region.

Following the beheading of the 21 Copts, Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ordered the construction of The Church of the Martyrs of Faith and Homeland in El-Aour. The church has become a pilgrimage site as it is the final resting spot for the bodies of the Coptic martyrs.

According to Mosebach, some Christians travel as far as 350 miles to come to see the church.

“Now it has become a real pilgrimage village, with a hotel and stops to buy pictures and memories of the martyred,” Mosebach said of Al-Aour.

Mosebach’s book was originally published in German last year. It will be released in English for the first time on Friday.