I can think of no worse experience that anyone can suffer other than the pain of being betrayed by a member of their own family; whether it be by a spouse, blood relative such as a mother and father, brother or sister or especially from a member of our church. This message is going to enrage many people; but so be it. It is biblical!
Betrayal is one of the worst words in the human lexicon. It conjures up a pain that can permanently devastate a person’s life probably even more so than murder itself. Betrayal (or the act of being a traitor) has many faces, including to deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty: Benedict Arnold betrayed his country, to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling: to betray a trust, to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to: to betray one's friends, to reveal or disclose in violation of confidence: to betray a secret, to reveal unconsciously (something one would preferably conceal): Her nervousness betrays her insecurity, to show or exhibit; reveal; disclose: an unfeeling remark that betrays his lack of concern, to deceive, misguide, or corrupt; to seduce and desert. As we will see, further on, the Bible speaks of a betrayal at the hands of our children that will lead to our very own death. Can there be a more sinister act to commit against any one person, much less friends and fellow church members, by the hand of our own children?
Jesus said that those who do the will of the Father are His brothers and sisters, and recognizing that as much as we try to convince them of the saving grace of Jesus Christ, some of our closest blood relatives will not turn nor trust in Him for their salvation. Most certainly, while most of us abhor any kind of pain and would rather escape the remaining portion of our lives on earth in a quiet and peaceful manner, amongst family members and our closest friends when we succumb, if the signs of the times are as accurate as being reported by modern day prophets, I genuinely believe that believers in Christ will suffer great tribulation, and that acts of betrayal will be among the worst.
As I have said repeatedly, believers have to make the distinction between tribulation/persecution and the Wrath of God. It is true that the children of God are not destined for His wrath, as we are told in Romans 5:9 and 1Thessalonians 5:9; but the Apostle Paul also told us in Acts14:22 and numerous other verses that we believers are going to experience much tribulation.
The first image believers see and focus on when speaking about tribulation concerns the horrors (vials, bowls and plagues) we read about in the book of Revelations. These are not acts of persecution against believers but rather they reveal the wrath that is coming down from God on unbelievers at the End of Days. The acts of tribulation and persecution that believers will suffer may include torture and death at the hands of antichristian forces, as we have seen throughout history during the Crusades and the Inquisitions, many of which are noted in Foxx’s Book of Martyrs and other historical records. Sadly, these acts of tribulation that the believers will suffer (amongst many, many others) include betrayal by family members and some even from our very own church family. Jesus warned us about this in Matthew 10:17-23 (that brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death! vs. 21), Matthew10:34-37, Matthew 24:9-14, and in 2 Timothy 3:12-14.
What can we do when they are told that we (believers) are the true enemies of that now being formed church group (which has morphed into the church-state entity Puritan Americans escaped from Western Europe three hundred years ago), and that we need to be extricated from amongst their midst? There are many who call themselves Christian today that have been seduced to believe that those who don’t abide by the new church party line (Americanism and Christianity are one and the same) are the true enemies of God, as is noted in John 16:2-5, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God!
Nevertheless, I believe that many Holy Spirit-filled believers have actually gotten to a point in their lives, by virtue of their deep faith in Christ, that they are prepared to withstand being tortured for Christ, as so many throughout the world have done so on a daily basis. We do not speak solely about those who throughout history have been tortured and even killed for their faith in Christ, but about those thousands upon thousands who are being persecuted and even dying for Christ as we speak, in places like Pakistan, Darfur, Rwanda, Sudan and numerous other countries, whose governments are run by fanatical religious (Muslim, Buddhist) zealots, whereby declaring their Christian faith is a certain self pronouncement of death! Those who stand up for the cross rather than the flag of their respective countries will be martyred!
Obviously, United States citizens have been fortunate in not having experienced that form of repressive persecution by its government these last 200 years. But, as many Internet prophets who are springing up in more abundance than the rampant growth of wild mushrooms in the People's Republic of China, not a second goes by where these ersatz prognosticators are not flooding the cable wires with predictions that a New World Order is being developed by diabolically-inspired clandestine entities.
Many believe a cabal of US elected officials and secret money-changer types are in cahoots with these demonic forces. It is evident that America is no longer the Christian beacon it has proclaimed to be for the last 200 years. Its government has enacted laws for its financial supporters who demand they be allowed to do as they please, and they dare call Liberty the license to commit crimes against God’s eternal laws.
What can believers do about this? Do we have the ability to counter such a movement? Or is it even our responsibility to address this radical culture-changing or life-altering phenomenon? Who do Christians turn to? If our own government is part of this cabal, can the formation of new political entities turn back a plan that was formed and has been implemented since (or even before) the days Jesus walked down the rustic roads of Nazareth?
We are being warned about this so-called “Black Force” already has in place demonic troops intermingled in our governmental and military infrastructure, ready to unleash unimaginable chaos and terror on humanity at any moment. Many lay claim this dark plague was born and created before the Noahadic Flood that was launched by God to eradicate its progenitors.
Some of these same alarmists are those who hoist the any moment Rapture to Heaven doctrinal flag, which is supposed to provide believers with an escape from these horrors, a polemic which in essence contradicts their clarion call. Some of these are the same prophets who support a Rapture-related doctrine from Hell that a particular race and or religious group is more favored by God based on Bible promises that (unfortunately) have become null and void due to disobedience.
Nevertheless, even if all of these alarming revelations are true, there is nothing any individual believer can do to prevent this hellish onslaught. Neither man-made preparation nor the storing of food, gold and life-saving equipment can save any one person if these diabolical anomalies are real. Their unleashing is the things that God’s wrath represents, not the tribulations the Bible has told us for over two thousand years we would experience.
There is an instinctive reaction we are all born with to survive in dire circumstances; an inherent reaction to self-preservation that is instilled in our persona from the very day we come out of our mother’s womb. No one can deny this. As the days of greater and more intense tribulation than the world has ever seen increase, the instinct to avoid pain and persecution becomes more profound. We see this more so as the economy worsens, as natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, freezing storms and fires) occur more frequently than ever before; fear and panic are becoming the daily catch words in a world heading for annihilation. We can work towards changing the economy, but what do we do with those unexpected anomalies that are being reported more so than ever in world history? What do we do if these predictions of the unleashing of demonic forces are true?
As we enter this season of greater and escalating persecution, we come back to the subject of betrayal. Obviously, our first line of defense is prayer and trust in God firstly and foremost. But, as believers, we cannot escape the fact that we should be able to also trust our friends, family and fellow members of the ecclesia. But, when push comes to shove, will they stand by us to the point of death, or will we be betrayed by their last moment decision to save their own skin?
Judas betrayed Christ!
Peter denied Christ three times (albeit he turned it around in the end). And these are they who physically walked with Christ!
What will some believers do when a gun is pointed at their heads and demanded they deny Christ or die? What will they do if that gun is pointed at their children or their spouses? How will they react if their own children betray them, those who will be forced to choose between their parents or those who can control their future? What can we do when they are told that we (believers) are the true enemies of that now being formed church group (which has morphed into the church-state entity Puritan Americans escaped from Western Europe three hundred years ago) that we need to be extricated from amongst their midst?
I love my children, who are probably the most precious treasures God could ever bestow on any man. I’m certain you love yours just as much. How could we ever imagine they would ever be placed in a situation where they would be forced to make such a horrific choice, the penultimate betrayal?
Hopefully, you and I shall not have to experience such betrayal by our own children, nor from our friends and church family. But, based on the scripture quoted above, especially those horrifying words spoken of in John 16:2-5, that possibility could very well happen.
Let us pray we can escape as much tribulation as possible before the Lord returns. We older guys, who have lived a full, productive and successful life, do not fear death as much as our young and still growing children. Some of us, who are burdened with great physical pain (that most often comes with old age), sometimes welcome the possibility that God will take us out of this decrepit world and be home with Him for eternity (see John 12:25).
Therefore, it is probably easier for many of us not to fear but accept the probability of death. Our children, obviously, want the opportunity to live a full and long life as well. Therefore, their commitment to Christ unto death may not be as profound. This is quite understandable. Let us pray they will never be placed in a position where they will have to make the decision whether we live or die in order for them to stay alive long enough to hopefully fulfill their hopes and dreams.
Lastly, Jesus did tell us in Luke 21:36 to always be on the watch, and pray that we may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that all of us believers may be able to stand before the Son of Man, and also escape betrayal at the hands of our loved ones, a fate I believe will be worse than death itself!
For more information about the author and his books The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation, please click on Joe Ortiz