September 3, 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In July 1998, the Lord gave me a prophetic warning and told me to give it out to pastors in the Baker-Crestview, Florida, area. I have felt the Lord speaking to reissue the warning again for all Christians and pastors who are willing to heed it. I believe that we Christians in the United States will soon experience persecution, the likes of which most of us would never have dreamed possible in our country. BUT, it is coming, and it is better to be prepared for it now than to find yourself unprepared spiritually and mentally when it really hits. May God have mercy on the "pillow prophets" who are telling you that everything is going to be all right, that nothing bad is going to happen to His bride or His Church! They are liars of the worst sort and are denying the word of God and especially the words of Jesus Christ Himself, who was faithful to warn his disciples. In case you have not heard the news, Jesus did not suffer so you would not have to. All that live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution!
A PROPHETIC WARNING TO PASTORS
Given to Larry Grecu
In this month of July 1998, the Lord spoke to me to warn His appointed undershepherds of a coming judgment upon those pastors who fail to warn and prepare His flock for the persecution that is soon coming to the Christians in the United States of America. Those pastors faithful to this warning will be spared the Lord's judgment upon them and will see the flocks of God "leaping on the mountains and skipping o'er the hills" of the coming troubles. Instead of persecution surprising the sheep, it will only serve to transform the sheep into the likeness of the Lamb of God.
It is my strongest desire that the Lord would confirm this word of warning to you. Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established. It may be that the Lord has already been speaking to you and this word will only serve as a confirmation to us all. I ask God's continued blessing on your ministries, and I pray that He will give you the grace to fulfill your calling and receive a full reward.
Sincerely, your brother in Christ,
July 28, 1998
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Again the word of the Lord came unto me saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his own soul. But if the watchman seeth the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
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In his pamphlet, "Will You Be Bored in Heaven?", the late Keith Green wrote of a sad incident. He told how the believers in China reacted to persecution when the Communists took over their country in 1949. "The Evangelical churches had been teaching that the Church would definitely be raptured before any "great tribulation" or suffering would befall the faithful. It had become such a central doctrine that all worry (and preparation) were abandoned, and praise for their absolute safety from harm and persecution was offered at every meeting. Then the Communist government took over and a vicious attack was made upon the Church, including confiscation of property, beatings, imprisonment, and even the taking of children from parents. The unprepared Church was caught so off-guard that millions fell away and denied Christ, thinking they had been abandoned by a God who did not keep his promise."
If you think that this is only an isolated incident, something that could not happen in your lifetime, think again. In the October 1994 issue of Charisma magazine, there was an article entitled, "Christians Die in Rwandan Violence." This article told of the sufferings that these Christians went through, including such things as murder, butchery, confiscation of property, forced evacuations and the fleeing from what was once their homeland. As horrific as these things were, the saddest commentary was made at the conclusion of the article where the writer wrote of the reaction of the Christians to their persecution. I will include the last three paragraphs of the article so you can get the impact of what I am trying to drive home:
"In an effort to help fill the spiritual vacuum left by the killings of so many pastors, a mass campaign has been launched to distribute thousands of Bibles to Rwandan refugees in Tanzania, Uganda, and Burundi. The first shipment of 1,200 Kinyarwanda Bibles was distributed in northern Tanzania, and pastors from different denominations have been working in the refugee camps.
"Most of the people are questioning everything, including their faith," said Albert Mongi, general secretary of the Bible Society in Tanzania. "They are asking where was God and where His protecting angels were when the killers came into the churches. These are problems we need to address before just handing out scriptures."
"Mongi said most refugees "are not ready to think about their faith. They are numb, and they behave as if in a daze." (article by Willy Fautre, news Network Int'l.)
Dear Pastors, could either of these two accounts be recorded about your congregation? Worse yet, could either of these two incidents result because you, as a pastor, failed to declare the whole counsel of God, much of which concerns such "hot" topics as persecution, affliction, tribulation, and trials? What example did the Good Shepherd leave to those who have the care of His flock? Surely He didn't scare any of the little lambs or sheep of His flock with thoughts of persecution, death, or martyrdom, did He? Hear what Jesus told His disciples.
He said His disciples would be hated and persecuted, put out of their synagogues, and even killed (John 15:18,20; 16:2,3). John the Beloved, the closest friend of Jesus, had to suffer persecution and exile, of all things. What kind of Savior would let that happen to His best friend? Luke, another Gospel writer, quotes Jesus as saying that the disciples of the Lord would be "betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake" (Luke 21:16,17). Matthew also records Jesus as warning His disciples with these words, "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of ALL nations for My name's sake" (Matthew 24:9). Surely Jesus could not have foreseen persecution coming upon His Church from our own beloved United States, our own countrymen? Surely Jesus could not mean that? I'll let you argue that point with Him. I am only the messenger.
Maybe Paul the apostle had some better things to say to the Church. Let's take a look. We all get excited when we hear about "divine appointments." They are truly amazing. But, what about a divine appointment like the one mentioned in Paul's First Epistle to the Thessalonians? Let's take a peek into someone else's mail. We might as well. Why? Because often we treat the Bible as though the whole book was not written for our instruction. Of course, maybe you are one of those fanatical pastors who believes that this letter was written for Christians today. Anyway, in Chapter Three we are told that Paul sent Timothy to the Thessalonian church "to establish and comfort you concerning your faith: that no man should be moved by these afflictions . . ." Now, surely I didn't read that last word! That didn't say A-F-F-L-I-C-T-I-O-N-S, did it? Yes, it did. Of course, maybe one of the reasons you are not familiar with that word is because you are not preaching it, or you haven't done anything to be counted worthy to suffer for the Gospel. I will let you be the judge of that.
Paul continues in his letter informing the Thessalonians, "For yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto." There it is in black and white. A divine appointment with afflictions. Well, maybe Paul meant physical illnesses. If he did, then we need to find some new definitions for the word "tribulation." You see, in the very next verse, Paul continues, "For verily, when we were with you, WE TOLD YOU BEFORE that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know." How many of the members of your congregation have you recently told that they will suffer afflictions and tribulation in this present life?
Paul was faithful to his calling to this church. He had given advance warning of persecution to the Thessalonians. He knew that it was one of their divine appointments. They were not at all surprised when what he had told them came to pass. Would this be the case with your congregation? Could you write to your church and say, "For ye, Brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus: for ye have suffered things OF YOUR OWN COUNTRYMEN, even as they have of the Jews . . ."
Now, why would Paul be so concerned about mentioning afflictions and tribulations? These topics certainly would not set well with most of our American congregations. And, I really doubt if Paul would be invited back as a frequent guest speaker. In fact, most pastors, if they were brave enough to contradict some of today's current theology regarding suffering and affliction, might find themselves entering early retirement. But again, why does Paul major on this "minor"? The answer? He is not ignorant of the devil's devices!
When Paul couldn't stand it any longer, he sent Timothy to check up on the Thessalonians. "I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain." Now, this was no dumb apostle. He had learned from the Master well. Paul knew that one of the devil's devices to destroy the faith of Christians is for them to be left in the dark when it comes to God's ordained divine appointment with tribulation.
In the parable of the seeds, Jesus forewarned that some seed is sown on stony ground. The stony ground hearers are they who "have heard the word" and IMMEDIATELY receive it with gladness." However, these same hearers "have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when AFFLICTION AND PERSECUTION arise for the word's sake, IMMEDIATELY they are OFFENDED" (Mark 4:16-17). One of the best ways to avoid the loss of seed is to make sure that you remove the stones from the ground. Some of the stones that are currently in the evangelical field are the stone of "peace and safety"; the stone of "It could never happen in our country"; the stone of "He suffered so I won't have to"; and the stone of "We'll be out of here before anything bad happens." These stones need to be removed from your congregational field, and soon. Otherwise, you will find yourself in an OFFENDED congregation instead of a faith-filled one.
Listen to what Jesus warned was going to happen when persecution became a reality in the Last Days: "And then shall many be OFFENDED, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." Fortunately, Paul the apostle heeded this warning and prepared the Thessalonians for persecution. When Timothy reported back to Paul, he was able to bring some good news to Paul, who was in the midst of his own persecutions. "But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your FAITH AND CHARITY, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: Therefore, Brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord" (I Thessalonians 3:6-8).
Now, I would like to leave you with these thoughts. How many of you would find your congregations in the same condition that Timothy found the one to whom Paul had faithfully proclaimed the full counsel of God? How many of your congregations would be glad to see you come back after they had gone through persecution and affliction? How many would still be living in faith and charity without one loss to unbelief and betrayal? Or, would your congregation be like those of the Chinese Church of 1949 or the Rwandan Church of 1994? What message are you going to preach? The answer is left up to you. Consider today, Pastors, yes, right now, that you will answer to God for the care you gave to His flock.
When the early Church faced threats, imprisonment, and slaughter (even at the hands of the future apostle Paul), she did not quake or "think it strange concerning the fiery trial" which was to try her, "as though some STRANGE thing" had happened to her. No, she rejoiced, "inasmuch as (her members) were made partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, (she) may be glad also with exceeding joy." For the early Church knew that "if ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part (your persecutors) He is evil spoken of, but on your part, He is glorified" (I Peter 4:12-14).
My prayer for you as a pastor is that you will "meditate upon these things and give yourself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee" (I Timothy 4:15-16).
Sincerely, your brother in Christ,
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COPIES OF THIS LETTER MAY BE MADE FREELY AND PASSED ON TO OTHERS.