Under attack? Every time my husband and I send out a newsletter we can cut the tension in the room with a knife but is that even worthy of mentioning?
This message is about radical men and women who are arriving on the scene. These folks won’t even blink in the face of hatred, rejection, Cancer, fear, demons, and death. They’ve been training for this season their whole lives. They’re tired of their voices being drowned out. They are tired in general.
Have you ever said something that caused pain that you regretted saying? Paul says the opposite. He says he is glad it caused pain. Let’s look at that.
I opened up to a passage from 2nd Corinthians 7, where Paul begins by saying in verse 8 “if I caused you pain by my letter, I do not regret it. Even if I did regret it before — for I do see that that letter did distress you, though only for a short time — now I rejoice not because you were pained, but because the pain led you to turn back to God.”
These men back then and women would go out and preach knowing that the crowds would get in fights–riots even. The police and guards would show up and beat them with rods, stripe their backs and stone them to death. Paul saw the 3rd heaven after they stoned him to death. This didn’t stop him from preaching. Stephen died by stoning while teaching the truth to the people. They placed their fingers in their ears to try and drown out the truth. This violence was not happening over a man named Obama or Trump. No, this was over King Yeshua. He and His disciples exposed their crooked leadership, turned over their money tables, and spoke parables where the corrupt leaders were the main characters.
These men in the Bible were pierced with the sword. They were sawn in half, crucified, and boiled in pots. One man told the king he shouldn’t be sleeping with his brother’s wife and his head ended up on a silver platter. These men would get beat half to death for casting out demons and land in prison, and on one occasion they (Paul and Silas) got the jailers and their families to become believers and baptized them. They said things like, “I’m ready to die. I’m ready to be poured out like a drink offering.” A prophet named Agabus warns Paul that if he goes on his trip, he’ll be bound and put in prison. Yes, the voice of the prophet didn’t end when Yeshua came, nor after he ascended. Let’s look at what he tells Paul and Paul’s answer.
“As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:10-13).
Paul is not upset that his letter made people mad! He was not going to stop preaching the Word if the folks didn’t agree with him. He did not stop writing letters, these letters that you and I read — letters birthed from his prison cell. He did not cry and say “woe is me.” I’ll just quit. I’ll quit the assembly and hide in my cell. The people are against my message. They’ve already stoned me and placed me in stocks–beat me. I’ll just give up.’
NO! These men were radical, and they had spines of steel and an anointing that came from being crushed.
Oh, how many of us have the guts to pray to be crushed like an olive or a rose to get the oil out and the sweet perfume?