ACCEPTING PERSECUTION
The purpose of this article is not to denounce religious persecution, merely to convince you that it
already exists in America and will inevitably get worse as we go further into the end time. Also, I want to
counsel you on Christ's advice regarding the best strategies to insure your survival.

When I was a child, I was introduced to Christianity by my mother, but I abandoned the faith early to
follow my father's atheism. Tucked in Satan's pocket, I remained unaware that religious persecution
existed in America until years after I returned to the faith. I believe that many Americans still think as I
did then; they also believe that there is no religious persecution in America.

This thinking is contradicted by history, specifically, the history of the Mormon persecution. The
Mormons preached that they were founding the Kingdom of God. This is the message Christ told the
disciples to preach.

"And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt. 10:7).

In preaching this message, the Mormons encountered the same hatred that met the disciples.

"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another..." (Matt. 10:22,23).

The Mormons were persecuted in a series of conflicts that drove them west to settle in Utah. The
conflict was particularly intense in Missouri, where actions against the Mormons had official sanction.
The conflict began with attempts to keep Mormons from voting and escalated to burning Mormon farms,
which was followed by Mormon reprisals.

Missouri Executive Order 44, the "Mormon Extermination Order" was issued on October 27, 1838 by
Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs. The order read "the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must
be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace—their outrages are beyond
all description." Three days later at least 18 Mormons were massacred at Haun's Mill.

In Illinois, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum surrendered to authorities on a charge of destroying a
printing press. On June 27, 1844, the jail was left lightly guarded and a mob of disbanded militia units
attacked the jail and killed the brothers. By 1846, it was obvious that the Mormons must also leave
Illinois and they left America altogether, going to the (then) Mexican territory of Utah.

The treatment of the Branch Davidian church is also an example of persecution. Details can be found on
this website in article No. 9, "An Honest Church History," which discusses 70 years of persecution
including arsons, land ripoffs, and the assassination of leaders.

Before David Koresh, the Branch Davidian church was lightly armed; George Roden had a rifle and a
handgun for self-defense. On Nov. 3, 1987, David Koresh brought seven men, 3000 rounds and semi-
automatic rifles on to the church property to kill George. One could argue that George needed to be
armed.

David Koresh raised a group of heavily armed Mighty Men to defend his church. This and other
doctrinal errors cost Koresh the support of God. His church was overrun and almost 90 members died.
Other armed churches have been destroyed by the government, among them The Covenant, The Sword,
and the Arm of the Lord and The Order.

There is such a discrepancy between the "official" version and the truth about what happened to
Koresh's church, that I am very hesitant to believe what is written on the Internet about The Covenant,
The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord and The Order. However, I do know that rightly or wrongly, most of
the men, who are did not die during confrontations, went to jail.

So the first survival strategy I have for you is simple: do not join or fellowship with a paramilitary church.
The government will character assassinate and destroy any heavily armed church in America.

"Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall
perish with the sword
." (Matt. 26:52).    

In the end-time, Satan has a horde of evil angels and wicked men as his servants. Most people, thinking
perhaps of Hitler and his Nazi thugs, have no trouble envisioning the evil men, but they have trouble
believing that there are evil angels, despite this scripture.

"And
the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the
whole world: he
was cast out (of heaven) into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I
heard a loud voice saying in heaven,
Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God,
and the power of his Christ
: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before
our God day and night." (Rev. 12:9-10).

Satan and his evil angels are cast out of heaven about the time that the Kingdom of God begins to form,
"now is come .. the kingdom of our God." This is a time when men are saved not only by grace but also
in truth, because they follow both Christ and the true Sabbath and Feast days and the judgments,
statutes and Commandments of the Old Testament and God strengthens them for his work, "now is
come salvation, and strength."

At the same time, the angels of God and God's earthly host rise to defend His People. Many people
accept that angels will defend the righteous and we can find examples of this defense in the Old
Testament.

"Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore
and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they (that survived) were all
(surrounded by) dead corpses. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed..." (Is. 37:36,37).

Many people have great difficulty believing that God will have earthly hosts in the end-time. But some
believers, with no talent for preaching or farming, will raise and support tiny armies to defend the
outposts of the Kingdom of God by night.

In the end time, around the time of the Advent of the Holy Ghost, the actions of the two hosts, heavenly
and earthly, will be very apparent.

"What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies (hosts)." (Song of Solomon 6:
13).

But the earthly hosts of God form before the Advent of the Holy Ghost, I swear to you before God, both
earthly and heavenly hosts protect me. Consider only this, I have survived intense persecution for 18
years, despite accusing the FBI of murder and doctrines that would be sedition if they were not
supported by prophecy. (For example, the Bible calls for the overthrow of the nations by God's Kingdom
- Dan. 2:44. It is illegal to call for the overthrow of America, but impossible to prosecute a person for
correctly quoting scripture because of the First Amendment freedom of speech and religion.)

Christ gave a great deal of advice to His disciples about surviving in a country that hated them.

"But I say unto you, that you resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to
him the other also." (Matt. 5:39).

Christ's chosen messenger to the gentiles, Paul, added this advice.

"Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as
much as lieth in you (your control), live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves,
but rather give place (to God) unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.
Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:17-19,21).

This is perfect advice in the English speaking nations, because these nations are founded on the rule
of law. Only consider the Amish and the Mennonites who have survived for centuries surrounded by
people who think them strange but harmless.

The Amish and the Mennonites are closed communities, they do not actively seek converts. By contrast,
the messengers of the Kingdom of God (the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14) will be out in the streets
preaching as were Christ's disciples. And although the farms of the Kingdom of God will be peaceful
settlements, they will feed and shelter the 144,000.

The 144,000 will inflame the world by preaching that the Kingdom of God is at hand and actively seeking
converts. For this reason, the communities that shelter them must obey all laws. Despite the fact that
the Kingdom of God will home school, and have its own legal system, they will pay property taxes.

"Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."
(Matt. 22:21).

Here is more advice. If you want to keep your children for God, keep them out of secular schools. Pay
your taxes and keep the laws of the country you are in. Do not give your enemies reason to persecute
you.

"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and
harmless as doves." (Matt. 10:16). Serpents keep a low profile and slide away from confrontation. God's
messengers do not stand up and shout before large groups, they sit quietly and speak softly to a few
people at a time. When challenged, God's messengers retreat. Doves are a symbol of the Holy Spirit,
who God's messengers emulate in their treatment of their fellow men. God's messengers are honest,
tactful, kind and righteous in their deeds.

The 144,000 will encounter great persecution. But they will have a message that God has ordained, and
they are without fault before the throne of God. The more pleasing and obedient you are to God, the
more He will protect you.

"And they sang as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and
no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from
the earth... These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and the Lamb. And in
their mouth was found no guile, for
they are without fault before the throne of God." (Rev. 14:3-5).

The 144,000 are recognisable because they are preaching the whole Bible, the Law of God, and the
Kingdom of God and the blood of Christ. The message of the Law of God and the Kingdom of God is the
song of Moses, and the message of the blood of Christ for our salvation is the song of the Lamb. At the
beginning of the harvest these messages are presented to God. (See Rev. 15:2-4). The message is holy.

Being "without fault before the throne of God" and preaching a holy message, confers protection on the
144,000, but there will still be persecution, both on them and the farming communities that shelter them.
The persecution will be covert, and center around poisoning their food and drink. Here is a description
of that time.

"And therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted,
that He may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for
Him. For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: He will be very gracious
unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer thee. And
though the Lord give
you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction
, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a
corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee,
saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." (Is. 30:
18-21).

This "bread of adversity" and "water of affliction" is your food and drink, which the Lord allows His
enemies to poison. You will survive this, as I do. (See No. 103, "Surviving Poison.")

"And these signs shall follow them that believe, In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak
with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and
if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them;
they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mark 16:17,18).

The persecution must not make you fearful. The fearful are classed with unbelievers and the worst of
sinners
.

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and
sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and
brimstone: which is the second death." (Rev. 21:8).

The fearful are lacking in faith in the promises of God and Christ.
Faith is your shield against
persecution.

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God,
that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Above all, taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked
." (Eph. 6:10,11,16).

When Christ returns, He will come seeking people of faith.

"Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8).

Finally, do not forget to pray every day. I stop what I'm doing and pray for a few minutes four times a day.

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16).

Accepting persecution meekly is a matter of attitude. Persecution is supposed to deter and discourage,
but it makes me stubborn and determined instead. I refuse to allow my persecutors to influence my
ministry. Since they hate what I teach, continuing this ministry is my way of fighting back.  

I see persecution as Satan's highest compliment for God's work well done. And by suffering persecution
meekly, I know that I am making an acceptable offering to God.

"Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. For this is thankworthy, if a man for
conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted
for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this
is acceptable with God." (1 Peter 2:17,19,20).

Amo Paul Bishop Roden