Tag Archives: persecution

When Jesus Comes to Town

As I stated in my post on Saturday titled, The Lost Relics of the Simple Gospel and Our Testimony, I will be sharing more today more about my recent trip to Spain. I have been sharing amazing testimonies of what God did while we were there as well as lessons along the way that apply to our everyday life and walk with the Lord.

69F8C63B-E80B-4023-9F2C-34EDA2433C60Our last Friday there, my partner, John and I were scheduled to do something we had not originally planned nor expected to do on the trip; aiding to the major summation of the entire trip…expect the unexpected! We had been told from Pastor Pablo and Elsa, the pastors we paired off with for the two weeks, that there was a couple in the church who were going through marital issues and the husband wanted a divorce. When informing us of this as we headed to another visit earlier in the week, they had asked us if we would meet with them and minister to them to try and bring some kind of reconciliation and restoration. We agreed and prayed for the Lord to do the work and that we would simply be vessels for His power and truth to flow through.

The night prior was when we had ministered and shared the Gospel at a home meeting and three people gave their hearts and lives to Jesus, as shared in the post linked above. Afterward, we went out to a late dinner at the mall nearby and our pastors informed us that the following evening would be when we would meet with the couple. Using Google Translate, they began to fill us in on the issues that had taken place in the marriage and it left us shocked and praying for divine wisdom in how to proceed. There were supposed deep strongholds and strong demonic influence and accusations, with a lot of blanks to fill in.

As Friday ensued, we anticipated that great deliverance and inner healing would need to take place; and in prayer and discussion, we both felt led to call upon our team member, Kirk, to join us as he is well trained in sozo ministry. We had the prayers of our entire team with us. Our friend, Israel, picked us up and would be our translator for the meeting. In sharing, he revealed what he had been told in preparation for the meeting; and our shock grew greater, as did our prayers for direction. We also discovered the discrepancies through translations were not entirely lining up; therefore, we were a bit unsure of what we were walking into.

We met with the couple at the church and then separated them to talk to the husband in private; with the intention of getting to the heart of the matter where he was concerned. He was open and as far as we were concerned, he did not hide any details. In fact, Pastor told us that when he heard that our team was coming to Spain, he began to feel a lack of peace and eventually asked to have a meeting with us saying he was overcome with anxiety and loss of sleep. When Jesus comes to town, all of hell shutters and knows of its impending doom! Things simply cannot remain as they were!

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Ancient dungeon set upon the waters. Though dark and hopelessly drowning on the inside, surrounded by barriers to freedom, the pathway to life lies just outside the prison walls.

We began to learn in taking him through a process of his connection with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that a great many deep wounds and hurts burdened this man as well as a horrific history of abuse from the most trusted members of his family; and he bore the scars to prove it. It was evident that sitting before us was a broken man with a broken past; in deep need of a Savior to completely heal him, deliver him, set him free, and restore him. In the process, I believe that shock of all this man endured as a young child left us reeling and praying for a blanket of peace to continue in ministering to him and drawing him into the heart of the Father, the arms of Jesus, and the comfort of Holy Spirit.

As my tear-filled eyes met Israel’s astonished, tear-stained gaze as he translated, I found myself overcome and overwhelmed with the compassion of Jesus. This man struggled to see the face of the Father, as he drowned in darkness. Filled with hatred and anger at all he had endured, he was unable to allow Holy Spirit into the room. Eventually as we guided him through a series of confessions and forgiveness, he began to feel Holy Spirit with us. He began to hear truth from Heaven about who God made him to be and a breaking off of lies occurred.

We then came to Jesus. He could not see Jesus and felt abandoned by Him in his times of greatest need through years of horror. It was then that Jesus gave me a vision of a specific time when he had endured deep abuse as a very young child and He revealed every detail of the scene before my eyes. It was in that very moment that I saw Jesus come in the room, sit down beside him, and take hold of him, enveloping him in His arms, comforting him. As I shared this through tears, the man broke down weeping and spoke of this very moment in time, of what he had endured and what he was thinking. His eyes were opened to the reality that Jesus had in fact been there the whole time and had never abandoned him or forsaken him, even in his darkest of days. Jesus used this to break off deception and to usher in His truth and reality as our Faithful Friend to the very end. Such is true for each one of us.

He shared how this history paved the way to a life of crime and how he had taken dozens of lives as a hitman for a gang he was a part of. Then Jesus entered the scene in his adult years and he had his first encounter with the power of God at a church gathering. The pastor called him forward out of the crowd and as he reluctantly came up on stage, the pastor prophesied his salvation that would come forth. He drew his gun on the pastor intending to kill him; and the pastor’s response should be that of every Follower of The Way, a martyr’s cry: With hands raised, “Go ahead and kill me! If I die, I am going to die worshipping my Savior!”

With that, he shot the pastor…but no bullet came forth from his gun, the pastor was unharmed! He fired multiple rounds in the air, all successful. Then he fired at the pastor again, with the same failed response! He hit his knees, and surrendered his life to Christ! It took some years and Jesus helped set him free from the gang bent on taking his life and that of his family.

There was always this reality to go back to, a memorial erected in his memory. He lost his way along the path, but sitting with us during this time Jesus confronted the demons of his past, cast them out, broke off the chains, and unlocked the prison doors. In the end, he could see Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit, and found a place in Heaven with all three that he never wanted to depart from. We then led him in a prayer of salvation and rededication to the Lord!

Sitting before us was a completely different man than we had met a few hours prior. So much so, that we believe a restorative power was released that night that will ultimately lead to the restoration of his marriage! He also became our driver for Sunday ministry travels!

Who would’ve thought that this man we ministered to would have such an encounter that he, an ex-assassin, would usher us around in ministry?! Now, THAT is what I call adventuring with Jesus!!!

I have a purpose in sharing this testimony. The main point being, it does not matter what our past looks like…Jesus was in it, is all over it, and working through it all to create in us an eternal weight of glory. Everyone has a Saul to Paul conversion in store where no matter how dark and ugly our past is, He will always bring us into a beautiful bliss of abundant life that compels us to go and do the unthinkable to make the name of Jesus famous in the earth and to do as He did.

We are never alone in this journey; never once before we knew Him, nor for a single moment after. It is time to step into His timeline, not the timeline of the past, and to advance; to storm the gates of hell and set free all who are bound as captives in darkness! No matter what appearances say, do it anyway!!! You have the dunamis (dynamite) power of Heaven backing you and going before you…you cannot lose unless you quit!

DO NOT QUIT! DO NOT RELENT IN THE ASCENT!

2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (TPT)
“We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours. Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option. We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out. We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. So, then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you. We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says,
‘First I believed, then I spoke in faith.’ So we also first believe then speak in faith. We do this because we are convinced that He who raised Jesus will raise us up with Him, and together we will all be brought into His Presence. Yes, all things work for your enrichment so that more of God’s marvelous grace will spread to more and more people, resulting in an even greater increase of praise to God, bringing Him even more glory!
So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison, because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.”

For His Glory,

Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh

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Easter, The Multiplication of Martyrdom

So, we are here in Cambodia now.  It seems that Wifi is much harder to come by in the day to day happenings that take place than it was before.  We have been here nearly a week, but have not updated and for this I apologize.  However, such is the life of those who are on adventure for the Lord.

Our travels here were uncertain and unplanned. After trying to reach our contact for two weeks and still not hearing from him, we came knowing that this is where we were supposed to be. The Lord rewarded our faith and when we got here, we were able to get ahold of our contact Both, and he took good care of us in Phnom Penh.  Good Friday, we went out with some of his family to a nearby mountain and got to pray over the nation from a high vantage point. Here, every high mountain in covered with temples and idols to demons. However, we claimed this mountain and the area for the Lord, and prayed that He would change the hearts of the people from darkness to the Truth.

Buddhist temple in Phnom Penh

Buddhist temple in Phnom Penh

After talking with Both and his pastor, they invited us to share with their church on Easter Sunday what God revealed to us to be praying for Cambodia and lead the people in prayer.  At that time, I agreed to it even though God had not spoken anything yet.  But, the testimony of the Lord is that He is forever faithful to His word, and He revealed three areas that we are praying over Cambodia, and are important for all of us to pray for ourselves and our nations.

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Jeremiah preaching at Living Hope in Christ Church

First, God spoke to me from Matthew 9:35-36 that Cambodia is the heart of Southeast Asia, and as such, the Christians should be praying that they would receive the heart of compassion of the Father.  Every time Jesus did miracles (feeding the 5,000, raising Lazarus from the dead, raising the widow’s son to life) it was because He was moved with compassion for the people. In the same way, we must be continually praying that God would give us His heart of love for Him and for His people.  I remembered that last time I was in Cambodia two years ago, this was one of the main things I was praying for myself.  It makes sense that this would be an important point of prayer for the nation.

Second, God continued speaking to me from vs. 37-38 of the same chapter in Matthew.  The harvest here is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  So, we need to be praying that God would send forth laborers into the harvest and be willing to go as He calls us to go forth.  It is interesting that the word Jesus uses here for sending forth the workers is the same one in Greek that is used when He is casting out demons.  God is calling His laborers to go forth with power and purpose into the harvest to reap the souls that He rightfully deserves and bought and paid for with His blood!

Lastly, God began to speak to me that we are all called to be martyrs!  For us, when we think of martyrs, we think of those who have died for being Christians.  But the Greek word we get martyr from literally means “ones who gives witness of what they know to be the Truth”.  We know more than anyone else what and Who the Truth is, and therefore, we are called to share it in the same way Paul was (Acts 26:16,18).  The Christians in the early church were so willing to share the witness of what they knew to be true that they did not care what persecution, trouble, life, or death became of them.  So many early Christians gave their lives as a witness for what they knew to be true, that we took the word and have used it for those who die for the Gospel.  This is how we overcome the enemy as it states in Revelations 12:11 “…By the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony.”  Jesus was The Faithful Witness unto death (Rev 1:5) and we must follow His example no matter what the outcome may be.  For the people here in Cambodia, surrounded by Communism and Islam, there is much more to lose than people in the US.

Jeremiah and Bandol

Jeremiah and Bandol

I want to call you to not just pray for Cambodia, though this is something I ask you to do, but to pray and apply all of these areas to your own life.

Pray that God will give you His heart of compassion and love and that everything you do will flow out of that same love!

Pray that God will send forth laborers with power into the ripe harvest, and be willing to be one of these, as He speaks, that He may receive the reward He bought and paid for with His blood!

Pray that God would help you to be a faithful witness to everyone around you of what and Who you know to be The Truth, and that He would use you just like Paul “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” Acts 26:18.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

The Cost of Commitment

I shared in the previous post the message of the Call to Commitment that we as followers of Christ are called to walk in.  After I delivered this word to the church, the Holy Spirit came upon me in a powerful way.  As I sat there, He began to speak to me that for the people in the church this message would cost them much more than it would ever cost me.  He said that this would even cost some of the hearers their very lives.  As the Lord spoke this to my heart, I began to cry and be moved in my spirit for the people.

Jeremiah and baby

Here in India, Hinduism is predominant, and Christianity is the minority.  It is legal to be a Christian; however, it is against the law to share your Christian faith.  This being the case, we are international lawbreakers!!!  For us, the worst thing that would happen to us is that we would be deported.  However, the nationals we minister with every day, face much more life changing consequences.  They can be fined, beaten, imprisoned, or even killed in keeping with the law.  This persecution causes the people here to make a complete commitment to Christ every single day fully knowing the cost of their actions.  In America, often we will face the “persecution” of people mocking us, calling us names, saying mean things to us, treating us poorly…  Here, when the people turn from hinduism or islam (both of which are much more prevalent than Christianity) they will be completely disowned from their family and possibly village.  This along with physical persecution causes Indians to truly understand the cost in following Christ before coming to Him.  By the time they are willing to come to Him, they know that there is no turning back and give themselves completely to His service.

In spite of all this persecution, the church in India is growing and thriving in a mighty way.  Too often, in the US, we will make the half-hearted commitment to the Lord and easily turn back from doing the great things for Him that we were all designed to do before we were born.

How would each one of our lives be different if our commitment was true and full; and no matter what happened to us, our families, or our lives, we pressed in and were completely committed and obedient to the Lord???

What would the day to day changes be, in full commitment to Christ, that would cause us to be “persecuted” in our school, work, and even church?

When we seek to be committed to the Lord in such a way, the enemy will come in and try to make us do far less than the great exploits that Daniel spoke about.  The devil will try to use anything he can to keep us from being fully committed and doing great things for the Lord.  These are just three key lies the enemy has used against great men of God to keep them from being used greatly.

3 Lies that Make us Ineffective

  1. Too young (Jeremiah 1:5-10)  Here, Jeremiah buys into the lie that he is too young to do what God is calling him to.  God encourages him that He will be with him and do great things.  The rest of this book proves the great things Jeremiah does when he overcame this lie and committed fully to the Lord.
  2. Past sins that are too horrible (Jonah 3:4-10)  Jonah gets a call from the Lord and simply does not want to do it.  He runs from the Lord, and his heart is so hardened against the Lord that it takes three days in the belly of a fish before it is softened enough to repent.  Jonah grudgingly carries out the command of the Lord and offers a simple eight word proclamation to Nineveh.  As a result, over 120,000 people turn to the Lord and the whole city is saved.  God used him in spite of His unwillingness and blatant disobedience.  In the same way, God can and will use you if you are committed to Him no matter what the past held for you.
  3. Excuses, Excuses (Exodus 3-4)  When God comes and supernaturally speaks to Moses, Moses gives Him any and every excuse that he can come up with. He says “I am nobody,” “I cannot speak,”  and “Use someone else”.  God continues to destroy all of these lies, and Moses is used to free an entire nation of people.

Sadly, people are so steeped in the wisdom of this world that even in the church, they can rely on their own insights and miss the wisdom of the Lord.  When we were preparing to go out on this mission we knew that God had clearly given us a word to “Go”; however, there were many good Christian people that advised against it.  These counselors knew us and wanted the best for us, but I understood later that they had no investment in our lives.  The people that we called to pray and fast with us for a week, all gave us the confirmation that we were to go.  The ones that listened fully to how God had called us and the word that He had spoken to us understood and have encouraged us along the way.  The Lord had called us and we had to choose whether to follow Him in full commitment or to do what made sense.  We do not know yet the full outcome of our obedience, and I pray that we are always able to follow Him in what he calls us to do no matter how others will end up treating us.  In the end, we have been obedient and the Word of God has gone forth.  Whatever things that come from this mission, whether great or not, we know that we have been obedient to the Lord.

I pray that you are encouraged to be committed no matter what the cost may be or the tests that may come.  Whether we are ever tested as the Indians are or not, we must stand as truly committed followers of the Lord no matter what!!!  We are designed to truly carry out great and mighty things.  James 5:17 tells us that Elijah was man just like us.  There is no difference between us and this great man of God.  Wherever he came from and whatever the Lord took him through, he stood the cost of commitment, and God did great things through him.  For us, the choice is the same as every one of these men in the Bible.  Leonard Ravenhill said once that sometimes “the enemy of the best is the good.”  We can do many good things, but if we settle for these because they are easier or require less of a commitment, we are not doing the best that God has for us!!!  You have been created the best, by the Best, for the best!!!  Never settle for only the good, press in for the very best!!! Never back away from your commitment!!!  Always stand for the Lord in every situation!!!

Are you conquering the lies of the enemy that will hold you back from being truly committed to Him?

Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any lie that has caused to you settle for less than the best He has for you.  Examine the cost of following Him into the great things He has for you and ask Him to strengthen you to walk in the very best ways!!!

The promise of the Lord is that if you are completely committed to Him you will be strong; and just like Daniel, Jeremiah, Jonah, Moses, and Elijah, you will do great things!!! 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!