“Convert or die!” That’s the ultimatum given to Christians in northern Iraq. Most of them refuse to convert. As any one ought to know no ‘conversion’ made under threat of death is a true conversion. It has to be a matter of the heart and of faith. One can go through the whole outward form of religion without being truly converted.
Canon Andrew White, affectionately known as ‘The Vicar of Bagdad’ received a photo of a Christian family of eight slaughtered because of their refusal to deny Christ, an open Bible placed beside them. They will be with the Lord now. As Paul says “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” and “In all these things we are more than conquerors.” Canon White said that the photo was too graphic to show anyone.
Such is the nightmare that is Iraq and Syria as the murderous hordes advance intent on establishing their Islamic Caliphate believing they are instruments of Allah’s will. An email I received this morning states:
“Tens of thousands of Christians are fleeing for their lives. ISIS now reportedly has access to weapons of mass destruction. The only thing standing between Christians and death at the hands of these barbarians are the people of Kurdistan who are offering refuge and protection. Yet, the Kurds are running out of ammunition. They are out-gunned by jihadists bent on genocide.”
[I am thankful that France and now Australia has offered to take thousands of refugees, and there are humanitarian efforts to bring relief]
“What is happening? The Satanic kingdom is on the rise.
I believe that Irvine Baxter is right in his identification of the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse [Revelation 6]. The four horses are systems which operate in the Earth. It follows that the horsemen show the nature of the systems. He says, the white horse is Catholicism, the red horse Communism, the black horse Capitalism, and then there is the ‘pale’ horse.
“And I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.”
‘pale’[chloros] is elsewhere translated as ‘green.’ Who is the green horse? Well who runs around waving green flags and says ‘we love death.’ You guessed it! This is the horseman from Hell. Yes we know that not all Muslims do these things, but if they choose to they can look to their scriptures to provide the authorization. And where are the voices of ‘moderate’ Muslims condemning these atrocities? Are we seeing the real Islam? We are told that it is a religion of peace. Peace only if we submit it appears.
What do we do? It’s easy to feel anger but that’s not going to change things. As Christians, we have the greatest weapons of all.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [of the flesh] but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds….” 1 Corinthians 10:4
We have spiritual weapons to bring down spiritual strongholds which hold many captive in this deceitful and deadly system. Through the power of His victory over Satan, Jesus has given His people “authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy…” Jesus has restored dominion to the people of God, the dominion to subdue the earth which was lost in Eden. Through prevailing prayer in Jesus’ name we can bring the nations out from under the power of darkness into the Kingdom of God. This is the fulfilment of the Commission Jesus gave His Church before He went back to Heaven. [Matthew 28: 18-20]. As hundreds of thousands of Christians obey the call to prayer for the nations, millions of Muslims are coming to Christ very often through dreams and visions. Jesus died for all people and the love of God in Christ Jesus is the most powerful force in the world.
Meanwhile the battle in the heavenlies rages. Have you joined the Army? We do win in the end. Ask the Lord which nation/s He would have you pray for and change our world.