CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
Government helicopter discovers ‘unauthorized’ church service, pastor put in handcuffs
June 21, 2021 — WND.com reports: “The moment that local governments in the Western world began to issue guidance or full-on mandates for religious gatherings in the early days of the pandemic, many were concerned that society had stepped onto a slippery slope.
Fast-forward 15 months later, and we’re seeing pastors arrested in front of their children after their ‘underground’ church services were discovered by a police helicopter.
This is the stuff of tyranny and totalitarianism, not Western-style democracy. Yet here we are.
This week, Pastor Tim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church was arrested outside his home as his distressed children cried, all for holding a church service discovered the day before by a police helicopter.
The conservative Canadian website Rebel News reported that it is unclear if the helicopters were searching for unauthorized church services or just happened to notice the gathering…” (Great persecution will soon overtake most Christians in a majority of the world. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. – Matthew 5:10 – 12; …When he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. — Revelation 6:9; …I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. – Revelation 20:4; and Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. – Revelation 2:10. See the next report.)
China Floods Churches with Communist Propaganda Ahead of Party’s 100th Anniversary
June 11, 2021 — Breitbart.com reports: “Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities have ordered the few legal churches in the country to study and celebrate the Communist Party ahead of the 100th anniversary of its founding on July 1, Hong Kong’s Apple Daily reported Thursday.
‘The official Catholic church in China is among the most active, with some parishes holding Thanksgiving Mass to sing praise of the CCP [sic],’ according to the newspaper.
‘In a statement published last month, Liu Yuanlong, the vice president of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association [CPCA] as well as a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference’s National Committee, wrote that ‘God has chosen the Chinese Communist Party,’‘ Apple Daily revealed…”
Project Pearl: how 20 brave Christians smuggled a million Bibles into China in one night
June 18, 2021 — ChristianToday.com reports: “The beach was shrouded in darkness. The eerie silence was occasionally broken by the sound of waves gently lapping the seashore. Hundreds of Christians were silently clustered on the coast of Southern China.
They were waiting to take part in what is now considered a pivotal moment in the history of Chinese Christianity. This was Project Pearl, an extraordinary operation to smuggle a million contraband Bibles into the country in a single night.
Forty years ago, late in the evening of 18 June 1981, a barge called Gabriella emerged from the darkness with a crew of 20 and its cargo of a million Bibles. Waiting on the shore were Chinese Christians ready to receive the Bibles and distribute them to fellow believers throughout the country.
‘I remember a giant ship with no flags slowly approaching the harbour,’ remembers Xiao Chen*, then a teenager who was in the waiting crowd…” (Brother Andrew [God’s Smuggler], founder of Open Doors USA organized Project Pearl – named after Matthew 13:45 where Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a pearl of great price. I could not find the actual quote so I will try and paraphrase something Brother Andrew said – Tell me what closed country you want to get into to share the Gospel, and I can get you in there. I cannot guarantee that I will be able to get you out.
In Acts 5, the high priest and the Sadducees arrested Peter and the Apostles and put them in prison. The Angel of the Lord opened the prison door to release them and told them to Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life [Acts 5:20]. The captain and his officers brought them back before the council who stated: …Did we not straitly command you that ye should not teach in his name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than man [Acts 5:28, 29]. After a long discussion, we read in verses 40 – 42: when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. Throughout the ages there have been those who have followed this example, obeying God rather than man, and many have paid the price for it. In Hebrews 11 we have the Hall of Fame of Faith and it lists many that were delivered by their faith, but is also says: …others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. Hebrews 11:35 – 38. God’s promise to His people – Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. – Revelation 2:10.)