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Over the past few days, the HOLY SPIRIT has glued the pages of my Bible to Matthew 5, specifically verses 10-12. As a prophet, or at least a prophetic person, I know exactly what that means. JESUS wants to get my attention. Even I figured that out…shocking, I know.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12
It’s interesting that only the poor in spirit (spiritually poor, destitute, Matthew 5:3) and the persecuted (pursued, troubled, chased for the sake of the Gospel, Matthew 5:10) inherit the KINGdom of Heaven according to the Beatitudes. “Beatitude” means the blessedness, benediction, grace, bliss, ecstasy… basically, the blessings (benefits) that come with a specific type of heart posture and behavior.
When we put this together, the sentence paints a compelling picture of what the LORD, through HIS HOLY SPIRIT, is warning us that we are going into. Blessed are the spiritually poor and destitute, and those who are pursued, troubled, chased, for the sake of CHRIST, for theirs is the realm of power, happiness, eternity, and the Gospel.
In Part One of this article, we talked about how we as the LORD’s sidekicks are to keep our hearts, minds, and hands pure even in the face of persecution. Matthew 5 has a lot to say about our role in this.
I pray the LORD will put us into the right frame of reference, such that we do not play into satan’s hands by responding in a way that prevents GOD from playing HIS role as the AVENGER.
Let’s look at Matthew 5:38-42, specifically, verse 39.
“But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” Matthew 5:39
Notice here, the Scripture said not to resist an evil person, as opposed to evil spirits. The Bible calls those who do evil, who go around seeking ways to align themselves with their father, satan, wicked. The anger and vengeance of the LORD is already against them. We see many Scriptures of how the LORD deals with the wicked. Therefore, those who are wicked (witches, warlocks, sorcerers, diviners, and all who agree with them) – the judgement of GOD is already upon them. Simply agree with Scripture concerning them, and bind, break agreements in the spirit realm.
As for our persecutors, those who in the physical may slap us, sue us, take our cloak, hate us – JESUS said to love them, to pray for them and do good (as lead by HOLY SPIRIT) to them. Those are physical realm level afflictions. They are being manipulated by the spirits behind them. This is why we wrestle not against flesh and blood; there is no point in wrestling with human beings. The causal realm is the spirit realm. Therefore:
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:44-45
Blessing those who curse you is a warfare secret. To do this, we first cancel any curse in the Name of JESUS CHRIST, then we speak blessing into the areas where curses once were. When we bless, we reverse curses by saying the opposite of what was already said. Praying for those who persecute us is hard. Nevertheless, we must learn to forgive quickly, and pray for their salvation. This is critical to understand that operating in this level of love is seen as a sacrifice in the spirit realm. Therefore, it gives JESUS the room to do miraculous work in that situation and territory.
In Part One, we touched on the fact that the LORD JESUS CHRIST, COMMANDER of the HOSTS of HEAVEN, is the true AVENGER. HE is not slow to accomplish HIS will and purpose on the earth, and HE sees the suffering of HIS people. HE also avenges us; therefore, we do not have to take matters into our own hands.
We also talked about what we, HIS sidekicks are to do: feed our enemies when they are hungry. This is a prophetic act that releases the judgment of YAHWEH on them. But there is more. Let’s dive deeper into the reward we receive for being persecuted and responding the right way.
Notice the KINGdom of Heaven is inherited by those who are persecuted. What does that mean? JESUS said, “If I cast out demons by the Finger of GOD, surely the KINGdom of GOD has come upon you” (Luke 11:20). Oh, ok…interesting.
GOD’s response to persecution is making the KINGdom of GOD more accessible here on earth. Take a look at the lives of the apostles and the early CHRISTians. They were mistreated, thrown out of cities, thrown in prison, left for dead, fed to lions in Nero’s coliseums beginning in AD64, hunted by Rome, hated by idol worshipers worldwide. What was GOD’s response?
No wonder the CHRISTians were described as martyrs (witnesses) for CHRIST. No wonder CHRISTianity spread like wildfire across the known world and has not died off today.
The LORD keeps warning HIS Remnant that persecution is going to intensify. HE wants us to knowhow HE will respond, and how we should respond. In our Western world today, CHRISTians will be blamed for intolerance, taking away a woman’s reproductive rights (abortion), hate speech, and anything else the cultures of this world will throw at us. Our offices, churches, and businesses will be targeted; ourchildren vilified in schools. The enemy will do all he can to silence our voices, but he will fail.
That defeated foe continues to fail in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and South America, even in the Arab world, where CHRISTianity continues to spread, even while CHRISTians are paying for their faith in blood.
We choose to inherit the KINGdom of GOD on earth. We choose to demonstrate CHRIST. We will not back down in the face of persecution. The AVENGER will avenge us.
In JESUS Name, Amen!
*All Scriptures are in the New King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.
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