“Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also.” -Acts 12:1-3
I did not expect to be shown this when I was led to the Book of Acts this morning, but I know God is saying it is now “that time”. The warnings He’s given for so very long to so very many people, He’s now bringing the things warned about to pass, so the end can be brought about. Let’s look at what the Holy Spirit is showing us right now.
“Now about that time” is showing that there is an appointed time. There’s a time for everything to happen in it’s due course and season, (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). So, then, there’s a time where persecution and judgment must finally begin, even though we really don’t want it to; but the end for us who belong to Him is everlasting communion in the presence of Him, Who made all things. That is why we must seek to be solely focused on winning more people for Jesus; more souls saved and taken out of the hand of the Devil. The Lord’s hand is not shortened or slackened, but He is waiting for His people to act in the faith they preach. Speak the name of Jesus in public prayer and believe for Him to act just as in the Book of Acts, and watch the Holy Spirit of God move in these last days. His Word is true and has never been taken back; believe and act. But, it is a new season we’re entering so be ready.
“Herod the king stretched forth his hands”, shows not only a leader and someone is the position of authority, but it trickles down, too. Therefore it has to be also the underlings; spreading out from top down to subordinates and their subordinates and theirs. Just like from President, to Congress and laws, to Judges and courts, to local county and town authority figures, it trickles down to us in our day. This is a new season for America we’ve entered; it is “about that time” because it has to be; these things must come to pass. It is not a good, happy-go-lucky, all good prosperity season, but a darkened and darkening season of hardship and vicious wicked men attacking all things holy. Be of good cheer for one thing though: The darker the days, the brighter the Light of Christ shines. Though things fall apart around you, this is the time for God to move so mightily among His people for other people it will be like a continuation of the Book of Acts, which it should be. Don’t get caught off guard here, we aren’t voting this out in four more years and taking the masks off; this is the new normal and the normal is only going to get worse. God’s not repeating this to be “downer” but He’s warning so you’re not surprised, so that you’re braced and ready.
“…to vex certain of the church”, shows he has a specific target and goal in mind. Especially when “he saw it pleased” then he was emboldened to “proceed further”. Going further than he originally thought he could or should was made possible because people were consenting and cheering, asking even for it. The Jews, the “religious leaders” of the day, were happy he killed James the brother of John and took Peter into prison. Think of it now: Most of the professing “Christians” are going to applaud the real Christians’ persecution and even deaths. Even now they fight against the truth of exactly what the Bible says calling us bigots, and saying that was for then, or we’ve moved past that. Homosexuals and hate filled racists teaching and preaching in churches and teaching Sunday schools and singing in choirs, all bringing their spiritual bondage and deception inside with them to spread it around deceptively. We will be shout down and they will laugh and cheer; we will be jailed for hate speech and they will jeer at us; our businesses will fail because we refuse to compromise and they will say it’s because we weren’t tolerant; we will be put in camps and be put to death and they will wickedly smile at us while they do it, all the while claiming they are “Christians” too. It is “about that time”.
God does not speak in His Word to preach hate or to conduct acts of hate, but of love. The mercy and grace of God is to tell people that the things they do and the life style they are living will lead them to a very real eternity in a very real place called Hell. He, and we, do not yell out hateful slurs, but tell the truth in meekness and love, saying, You cannot continue on unashamedly in this manner or you will be lost. Jesus can absolutely change you and wants to. Remember, “…the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance”, (Romans 2:4). Leads you away from and out of your sin, closer to Him; not a parallel path that allows you to indulge in whatever you want and now claim to “have God” at the same time. The Holy Spirit does not coexist with sin. He is longsuffering while He brings us through our struggles, but does not abide in and with us if we’re not struggling and we’re instead indulging and intend to live this way. Repentance is turning away from sin, not carrying on with it.
As laws were passed in the days of Herod, so they are being passed now, and being pondered to pass more, stricter laws that come against God and what He says in the Bible. His Word is our foundation, nothing else. Because we are unmoving and uncompromising, we are beginning to be widely viewed as the haters, the spreaders of dissent and bigotry. Just speaking truth with soft, pleading words, and tears in our eyes is and will be met with such hostility and evil, hate filled eyes and jeers, it will surely break our hearts even more. God is begging with this last generation as it speeds down the highway to hell, wanting to go there because they are ignorant of the reality of God and Hell.
We, here in America wondered if or when we’d every see these days. In just a few years time, just after 9-11-2001, (which was supposed to be wake up call but we refused), we have gone to a socialism wanting society, communist wanting youth, that the older generations wouldn’t believe if we were able to dig them up from the graves and tell them. How can we, the Land of the Free, upon whom the eyes of the world look for hope and an example, fall into the same devilish trap that has ensnared the rest of the world? Simply, because we have turned away from God and standing on Jesus; for He is the reason we were so great and prosperous. We pushed Him out, so now we have what we wanted: our own way. Woo-hoo and yay, (heavy sarcasm).
To the rest of the world, please don’t look at all of us here in America as the arrogant, boastful, heathenistic lying spreaders of greed and lust, for we are not all like what the news media portrays. Christians everywhere: Stand your ground unflinchingly, because you are founded upon a Rock, and that Rock is Christ. As long as you stand on love and truth, which are Jesus, don’t back up or back down. We will lose “things” in this life, but they’re just things; we will lose people and our own lives, but these are all temporary now and eternity awaits us, which is the most important. Stand; do not compromise the truth for money because it’s your job. Trust God instead. Friends will betray you, don’t be surprised, but stand on truth. God is pouring out His wrath upon this wicked generation, and they in turn will pour out their wrath upon His people because we refuse to be a part of their wicked, compromising system.
Stand fast Christians, for it is “About that time"...