Persecution is going to be a constant feature of the Church till Jesus comes.
What should we expect?
When persecution comes we can be assured of a overwhelming manifestation of miracles and nature affecting moves of the Holy Spirit.
How do we know this?
Acts 4 and Revelation 11 tells us this.
Persecution in the life of the Church is not to defeat it, no, it is for enforcing the SUPERNATURAL VICTORY OF JESUS CHRIST IN MANIFESTING THE MIGHTY POWER THAT JESUS MOVED IN.
Persecution is not because of our humanity, it is because more and more Jesus is shining in us and through us. This shining in our lives, and our words cut across the godless philosophy of this age, which is determining the eternal destiny of multitudes.
Many like to live in the status quo…don’t bother us and we won’t bother you.
1st Persecution: our own brethren
The Bible is clear that betrayal will come in the inner circle we move in. The Bible shows us that we have an anointing to know the instruction of the Spirit. It shows us to test the motivation of those who call themselves believers. But it is the very ones who fellowship with us that betray us. The Last Supper in the Upper Room shows how in the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples did come the greatest betrayal. We must expect it. We must know how to react, and to deal with it.
2nd Persecution: In our families
Increasingly families are becoming “consumers” which means it is no longer character and integrity that children are instructed into, and families are increasingly becoming infected with worldly philosophies which are anti God. It is not surprising that division will come into earthly families. God sets those who have this experience in the best families, of those who have the nature of Christ.
I think these two persecutions are the most painful.
3rd Persecution: Financial
The Lord reveals that in the end days a mark shall be forced upon the citizens of the earth. It is a financial mark, where trading, and buying is used with this mark. I believe this is one persecution, forcing to have this mark, is a determining of eternal destiny. Those who receive the mark will not inherit the Kingdom. We need to learn that our provision comes first from God, we depend on Him. Without this training of trust, we become more and more dependent on the world system and we will fall into the trap of taking the mark out of FEAR. Faith is the foremost fruit we need to exercise.
4th Persecution: False Church
There will rise up a form of godliness which will deny that power that transforms. There is a slide toward lip service, some even returning to places and spiritual communities that God took them away from, for mere security or as a result of trauma. This is the harlot that Revelation talks about. It is a harlot church because it flirts with political power. The power of men that comes from the Antichrist. This false church will be allied to political ideologies, the mark, and you will see how the harlot will preach a political and financial message. God will give us discernment as we continue to focus on Christ, walk in faith and immerse ourselves in His Word.
The persecuted Church is a glorious Church because as worldly and spiritual powers war against her, so the Spirit will manifest in signs and wonders bringing its members into victory and the glorious Celestial realm. Death will not be a threat but embraced as a reward for obedience from living a life of love and obedience to the Saviour who desires to bring LIFE.