Acts 4:1-4 ESV
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
We live in very troubled times. I believe we are seeing before our eyes, in our present day, prophecy of scripture unfolding. Note this scripture:
“He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.” Daniel 7:25
Then, read this quote from Donald Trump’s news conference yesterday:
“We had some very old and obsolete rules that we had to live with. It worked on certain circumstances but not under mass circumstances. They were there for a long time and in place for a long time, and we’re breaking them down now. And they’re very usable for certain instances, but not for this.” Donald Trump, 3/13/2020 (1)
So, what are those “very old and obsolete rules” we had to live with in America? Could he be referencing the Constitution of the United States of America? And, now they are doing away with (breaking down) those “very old” rules? And, now we are going to be under “new rules”? I believe so.
“To unleash the full power of the federal government in this effort today, I’m officially declaring a national emergency.” Donald Trump, 3/13/2020 (1)
So, what is a “National State of Emergency”? And, what “full powers of the federal government” does this declaration of emergency unleash?
It actually can be quite frightening, if we don’t put our trust in the Lord, regarding the powers that this declaration just unleashed. For, the president is now allowed to use “draconian measures,” at his discretion, and as he feels is necessary. He is allowed to use cruel, harsh and severe laws in order to accomplish his goal of maintaining “peace and order.”
“States of emergency can also be used as a rationale or pretext for suspending rights and freedoms guaranteed under a country’s constitution or basic law. The procedure for and legality of doing so vary by country.” (2)
I believe we just witnessed a coup d’é·tat, which is a seizure of power. It is an overthrow of an existing government by another government or entity. And, note what Donald Trump said. He said the “old rules” worked under certain circumstances, but not “mass circumstances.” I believe these “mass circumstances” have to do with the conquering of our nation by the New World Order beast. Time will tell if I am right. This has been coming.
And, if this is where we are, as a nation, in this time in history, then that means we may begin to see Christian persecution unleashed in the USA, too. For, we have no real freedoms under this declaration. But, again, time will tell just how far this will be taken at this juncture, for certainly we have been under national states of emergency before with little visible consequences.
Acts 4:5-12 ESV
On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Whatever comes our way; wherever we are presently in history, we need to not give way to fear or intimidation. We need to keep speaking boldly in the name of Jesus, no matter what. We also need to keep speaking the truth, and we need to keep exposing the lies. We must confront sin in sinful man, warn of divine judgment, and call for repentance and obedience to Christ.
And, we must not compromise with the world or change the laws of God to suit our own selfish purposes. But, we must be bold in our testimonies for Jesus Christ so that as many as possible might hear the good news of the gospel and be saved from their sins before our Lord returns for us, his bride, and he comes to judge the world and the people in the world.
Acts 4:13-20 ESV
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
The Bible says we have to obey our governing authorities, but there are biblical exceptions to that rule. If the governing authorities require that we disobey God and the scriptures, or if they require something of us that is against God’s instructions to us, we don’t have to obey them.
We can resist them. For, we read in Revelation that we are not to bow to the beast, and we are not to take its mark. And, “the beast” is some type of governing authority over the people. So, in these troubled times, we need to cry out to God, and we need to seek his face, and we need to seek his counsel. And, we need to exercise biblical discernment so that we don’t end up “bowing” to the beast unknowingly, out of ignorance.
I love it here how it says that rulers, elders and scribes recognized that the apostles had been with Jesus because of their boldness in speaking out about Jesus Christ, but also acknowledging that their boldness came from something other than themselves. Amen! Yes, it came from God/Jesus!
And, this is how it needs to be with us. It needs to be evident that we have been with Jesus by our boldness in the Lord in speaking his truths even in the face of much opposition and Christian persecution. But, it isn’t just in our boldness for Christ that it should be evident that we have been with Jesus, but it should be by the love of Christ within us being lived out through us, too. It should be by how we live our lives in obedience to the Lord.
But, we need to understand that this love is not like human love. It is not based in our feelings. It is based in God and his love for us. For, it is divine love which prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy and just. It is not what we feel, but it is what we do. God says that to love him is to obey him.
So, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus through all this craziness we are going through in our world. Stay alert. Bathe your minds in the Word of God, and spend lots of quality time with Jesus. And, just follow the Lord’s lead, and do not give way to fear. For, we have to obey God over man, and must keep speaking of Jesus and his gospel of salvation, even if it means our deaths.
The Battle Belongs to The Lord
Songwriters: Collins Jamie (sue)
In heavenly armour we’ll enter the land…
No weapon that’s fashioned against us shall stand…
The power of darkness comes in like a flood…
When your enemy presses in hard do not fear…
The battle belongs to the Lord…
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