Bible Studies & Devotionals

From Olive Branch Ministries

By Mark and Tinsley Baker

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What is Persecution?

Mt: 13: 21. "yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

Jesus said persecutions arises because of the Word. When you hear the Word of God, Satan immediately comes to steal the Word from your heart. If he canít do that heíll try to get you to take your eyes off of the solution and on to the problem, diverting you away so that you will fail. This was part of the parable of the sower? Satanís main job is to get the church to back down off the Word of God so that doubt and unbelief will choke it out. He is not a gentleman, he is a bully and he doesnít mind using bullying tactics to get you to back down, only then can he have victory over you. This is persecution because of the Wordís sake. Lets take a look at the whole parable.

Mt: 13:18. "Therefore hear the parable of the sower:

19. "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

20. "But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

21. "yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

22. "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

23. "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.''

Satan knows his only real weapon is deception, if he can keep you from the truth, he can lead you around by the nose.

John 8:32. "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.''

Knowing the truth is what gives us the power to get born again, knowing the truth and acting upon it, is what causes us to overcome in every situation. When we get to the point that we believe Godís Word in our heart and then act on it by speaking it out of our mouth, we shall be saved.

Ro.10:8. But what does it say? "The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart'' (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

9. that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

10. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.

Paul later says in 2Cor.

2 Corinthians 12:10. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2Cor: 12:10 says for Christís sake. Because of the Word. for Christís sake

The great redemptive work of Jesus Christ did not cover trials and tribulations, I know we all wish it had, but in all things we are more than conquerors. We are children of a Holy God and we shall prevail. Not only in the life to come, but right now we are more than conquerors.

2 Timothy 3:12. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

If you live in this world and you are living for God, you shall suffer persecution, there is no way around it, just remember from where it comes. When we are attacked by Satan we can know and rejoice, because we have the victory in Christ Jesus.

Romans: 8:35-37: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.'' Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

God is not out punishing His children because they are seeking and receiving the revelation of His will, NO, Satan is the one out trying to stop the Word of God from being proclaimed. Satan is the destroyer, Satan is the thief, and Satan is the accuser of the brethren. Satan is the killer. God is on our side. He Loves us with an everlasting love, and wants to see us succeed! Not the other way around.

We need to get our thinking in line with the Word of God on this.

Jesus told us in John 10:10. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

That is the will of God right there. God is the author of life, He is trying to get us to step over into and walk in that life. So when we start to understand the will of God, that is when you know for a fact that Satan is going to come along and try to get you to doubt it, or put something in your path to get your focus off of it. That is where the persecution comes from.

2 Thessalonians 1:4. so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure,

We know that when we make a stand on the Word of God, that Satan is going to try to knock us off of our stand. His only real power is to get us to waver in our faith; if we refuse to waiver we then get the victory. Say, I refuse to waiver, I am victorious, my faith is based on the Word of God, and Godís Word never fails.

1 John 5:4. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world our faith.

Say, I am born of God and I overcome the world, because I have victory by my faith in

Jesus Christ.

James 1:2-4. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,

knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Yes, it takes a little bit of patience, but the rewards are great so donít back down, make your stand on Godís Word, and as James said, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

2Tm: 3:11: Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Not some of them, all of them. Godís will is for you to delivered out of them all.

Paul got delivered out of all of them. The Word of God doesnít lie.

God gives us the power to overcome when we stand on It and donít back down.

Ephesians 6:10-16. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

Learn who you are in Christ Jesus, search the scriptures and find the promises for yourself.

2 Peter 1:4. by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Grab hold of the promises of God and meditate on them, partake of them; they will cause you to overcome, and escape the worldís corruption. Give glory to God, and remember who you are in Christ. You are an over comer, say it, I am an over comer!

Revelation 12:11. "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.

Jesus shed His blood for us, the victory has already been purchased, and at a tremendous price I might add, but we must speak, it is the word of our testimony that will cause the victory to come to pass. So let your testimony be one of victory in Christ Jesus. Glory to God.

I wrote this Word based confession of faith when I was a young man. I have it pasted on my kitchen cabinet and read it all the time, I encourage you to start confessing Gods Word over your life, and that of family, and loved ones, confession will bring reality into your life. Make it your confession as well.

My Confession

I believe Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God. I am in Christ Jesus.

I am a new creation, with the life of God, the nature of God, and the ability

of God within me.

I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.

I am the righteousness of God in Christ. My standing with God is secure.

My prayers avail much.

Christ Jesus my Lord, is my wisdom. He is my righteousness.

He is my sanctification. He is my redemption.

I have received abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness.

I reign as a king and dominate in this life through Christ Jesus.

He bore my infirmity, He took my disease, The chastisement of my peace

was laid upon Him, with His stripes I am healed!!!

Healing belongs to me because I am in Christ Jesus.

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. I can not be conquered.

He is my strength, therefore I can not be defeated.

I can do all thing through Christ which strengthens me.

All my needs are supplied according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus,

therefore I have no lack.

I was crucified with Christ. When He was quickened and made alive,

I was quickened and made alive with Him.

I was raised up together with Him and made to sit with Him in heavenly places.

I am now seated with Him in heavenly places.

I am dead to the lust of this world, I am alive only to God.

I am a believer and not a doubter, everything Jesus did and is, I am a partaker of.

Therefore, as He is, so am I in this world. Glory to God!