I write about persecution a lot because I discovered that a true believer, amidst their joyful ride, will face persecution time and again! The other day during my prayer the vivid vision of the tree appeared again! The fire around the tree had produced great intensity of light! The Holy Spirit told me that those who spread the gospel of Christ are the light of the world and should continue spreading the gospel of light and truth! That is after all the whole purpose of being called into Gods divine plan and purpose-To spread the gospel! I was thrilled and filled with so much assurance when I later on read John Chapter 8! In verse 12 Jesus said, “I am the light of the world! He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life!” Hallelujah! The entire chapter encouraged me so much and I hope the summarized scripture dialogue between the Pharisees and Jesus will also encourage those who are being persecuted by other Christians!
John8:12-58 (J-Jesus and P-Pharisees)
J: I am the light of the world…
P:Thou bearest record of yourself which is not true!
J:Thou I bear record of myself, it is true because it comes from the Father!
P: Where is your father!?
J:If you knew me you would know my Father! Where I go you cannot go, you shall die to your sins!
(Mind you Jesus was talking to people who were physically older than him and who probably memorized the entire bible)
You are of this world! If you do not believe in me, you shall die to your sins!
P: Who are you!?
J: I have many things to say and to judge of you! What I say is the truth because I heard it from the Father! You will know soon that I do nothing of myself, but as my Father hath taught me! He has not left me alone, He is with me! If you follow me you will know the truth and the truth shall make you free!
P: We are of Abrahams seed, and were never in bondage! How can you say that we will be made free!!?
J: If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham! But you want o kill me? A man who tells you the truth!? The truth that comes from God!! You are doing the deeds of your father!
P: We were not born of fornication! We have one father! One God!!!
J: If God was your Father, you would love me because I come from God! You are of your father the devil! And the lusts of your father you will do!
P: Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”
J: I don’t have a devil! I honor my Father and you dishonor me! I don’t seek my own glory!
P: Now we are convinced that you have a devil!!!
J: If I honor myself, my honor is nothing! It is my Father that honors me! The same God you call your God!
When you die to the flesh and live in the Spirit, Jesus places His light in you! The same kind of light that he had while ministering on earth! The light enables you to carry out His commission: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16)
In an age where the god of this world has blinded so many Christians, God has called the true believer to shine his light in the darkness! Just like the Pharisees, the blinded Christian tries so hard to achieve righteousness by setting some sort of rules for themselves! They are quick to judge quoting scripture which they know nothing about! They practice a sinful lifestyle and still are convinced that they will enter the kingdom of God! The devil uses these kind of Christians to bring disgrace to the gospel! They can’t stand the truth because they have created for themselves a god that allows sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.(See Galatians 5:19-21) I know this because I was once such a Christian! It is only now after really accepting God’s call in my life that He shone His light in me! The Pharisees hated Jesus because He spoke the truth against sin!(If you do not believe in me , you shall die to your sins!) They were probably just concerned about being present at the synagogue in their “righteous” robes, trying to gain glory from human beings! We do have those kind of Christians yea? They make it their personal point to be against the true believer who speaks God’s truth! The devil uses them to do away with the light God has placed in you! Satan doesn’t want souls being saved for the kingdom of God so he will try so hard to take away the light that shines so bright in you! And the devil would rather use Christians who go to church and quote bible verses to intimidate, judge and discourage you!
Keep your eyes fixed on your goal! Shine your light in the darkness! There will be days when you feel that your enemies have triumphed over you! There will be days when your enemiess scornful laughter is louder than Gods voice! His silence will all of a sudden become too loud! I am certain Jesus also felt deserted when the Pharisees dragged him to his place of crucifixion! I am sure Jesus felt lonely when he cried out, ‘My God, My God!!! Why have you forsaken me!!!”But despite all his feelings he knew for a fact that the Father was with him! (He has not left me alone, He is with me!!)
Jesus has completed his goal here on earth and is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for those who have been called to be his witnesses! Although he has finished his mission, he continues working and shinning his light in the true believer! Do not despair! He knows when you are being judged, he knows when they curse you or call you names! He knows when they remind you about your past and try so hard to drag your name down! And he is counting your tears! Hallelujah! God will fight your battles for you! You might be tempted to stoop low and avenge for yourself but God says “Vengeance is mine!” ( Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.) Romans 12:19
Jesus said to the Pharisees, “You will soon know that I do nothing of myself!” And I am certain that indeed sooner or later they found out that Jesus was the true light from God! But see, that was not so important to Jesus, the important thing was to spread his light and the gospel, he never tired to justify himself! Never try to justify yourself!!! People will disagree with you, people will hate on you, but just focus on your goal! Satan was defeated when Jesus’ light defeated the darkness on the cross and he will also be defeated when your light has drawn people into God’s kingdom! Speak God’s truth! Shine your light! And live with Jesus’ words: “If I honor myself, my honor is nothing! It is my Father that honors me! The same God you call your God!”
"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10