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Martyrdom – Their Blood Cries Out
Women of Destiny BibleThis article was published in the Women of Destiny Bible (NKJV), which contains articles on various scriptures or themes. Jill was asked to write several articles for this Bible and we pray that these articles bless you and challenge you!

"Then I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven 'Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.'"

Rev. 12:10-11

By Jill Austin

Beaten and Raped For the Gospel

In the summer of 1998, a young woman from Sudan, Africa, was attacked, severely beaten, and raped by Muslims simply because she was wearing a cross. When she tried to escape, her throat was slit and she was bayoneted in the back.

Her assailants ripped her dress off and proceeded to melt water bottles and pour the hot, liquid plastic onto her skin, leaving it in puddles and scarring her for life. She survived the brutal assault only to become pregnant by the horrible incident and is now raising her child.

600 Million Suffering People

Seventy-five percent of the world’s Christians live in third world nations — nations that are predominantly Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim. Persecution in many nations brings extortion, family division and separation, harassment, and discrimination in employment and education while over 600 million Christians live as second-class citizens in their societies.

Pacifying Theology

In the Western church today, "intimacy with Jesus" has become a sweet and oft-heard phrase echoing in church halls as believers quote from Philippians 3:10: "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection … " but they don’t finish the verse: "… and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death."

This irony is a powerful revelation – that intimacy comes through suffering! That is why Holy Spirit chose to use Paul not only to pen these words, but also to demonstrate them through his own life of suffering for the gospel.

The Western church has developed a pacifying theology of telling herself that suffering is not the will of God, but that it is Satan having his way in the life of a believer. Accusations rise up in our hearts against a sovereign God’s inability to alleviate pain and suffering in our lives, preventing us from embracing the Cross.

Ready or Not!

Martyrdom and persecution are on the rise in America and the Western nations. Yet, many of us still believe that suffering means we aren’t physically comfortable or that persecution means our family thinks we are just too radical when we refuse to watch a certain program on TV.

Jesus paints a different picture in Luke 9:23-24:"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it." Many will lose their lives and be martyred, but they will overcome their accuser "by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony," not having "loved their lives to the death." (Rev. 12:11)

I once saw a pastor standing in front of a large map of the world that was mounted on the wall of his church while Holy Spirit was brooding over the room. In tears, he told the Lord that he would send his sons and daughters from his church to the nations — even if it meant that they would be martyred. Women of Destiny, release your life to the glorious cause of Christ. Learn to love Him so much that you, too, will join those who have not "loved their lives to the death."

Reprinted from the Women of Destiny Bible, © copyright 2000 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

Yearning to Burning!

Many of us sit in dead, dull churches week after week, longing to do radical exploits and move in signs and wonders … but we don’t. We yearn to be ablaze with something worth dying for, something that would so grip and move our hearts that we would soar above the mundane and the pettiness of this world. Yet, many of us do not walk across the street to even witness to our lost and dying neighbors!

How do we get from yearning to burning? We need what the men and women of old possessed … a revelation of His majesty and incomprehensible love so that our testimony cannot be stopped, no matter what the circumstances are.

Visitation Brings Revelation!

We all long to be burning and shining lamps like John the Baptist, with the fire of Holy Spirit blazing within our being. He received a revelation of the Bridegroom King and did not love his life, even unto death. How we need a visitation from the Beautiful One!!! A visitation and revelation that so rocks the core of our being that nothing stays the same. Go or stay … live or die … plenty or nothing … we would desire only one thing - to run with Him.

Pray Dangerous Prayers

Join me as we agree in prayer: "Lord, I want a life-changing visitation, an encounter with You so I am radically and eternally changed. Give me the kind of hunger John the Baptist burned with. Make me so in love with You that I will endure pain, suffering, separation, and even death, to further Your purposes in the earth. Replace this shriveled up, dull heart with an abandoned and reckless passion to redeem out of every tribe and nation a people for Yourself."
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