Persecution and martyrdom are not popular topics among Christians, but they are facts. The fifth seal shows the cry of the martyrs and God's response.
Freedom of religion in America is being slowly eroded rather than removed en masse. Richard Ritenbaugh presents several examples, then shows how the Bible encourages us in such times.
Miraculously, each attempt to destroy the Scriptures resulted in the printers doubling their production. Christ has always supplied the means to spread the Word.
Richard Ritenbaugh acknowledges that although many in God's church have gone through sore trials and tests of sorts, virtually no one has gone through the nightmarish persecutions suffered by the early Christians in Imperial Rome. Because most of us have lived our lives in modern Israel rather than a Gentile culture, we have …
Ronny Graham, citing statistics from the non-profit organization Open Doors, asserts that persecution against Christians is rampant and dramatic, escalating in many parts of the world in which professing Christians suffer governmental harassment, torture, and death. In North Korea, owning a Bible is a capital offence, bringing …
The letter to Smyrna contains a rarity among the seven churches—no criticism! What's so good about the Smyrnans?
Following the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse is the Fifth Seal, depicting souls under the altar crying out to God for vengeance. Here is what it means.
What is a witness? Here is how the term is used in both Old and New Testaments, including the everyday witness of a Christian and the end-time Two Witnesses.
How do we, as modern Christians, bear our cross as Jesus commands? Christ meant far more than simply carrying a stake over our shoulders!
Persecution is a fact of life for a Christian. Jesus Christ says we are blessed if we are persecuted for righteousness' sake — here's why.
Christ's admonition to endure to the end is in itself a solemn prophecy that Christians will have difficult times. How can we make sure that we will endure?
Martin Collins, asking why Christians must endure such horrendous persecution and struggle, asserts that Paul warned in Acts 5 that the church would always be in danger of deception from within and opposition from without. "Opposition from without" in Peter's time came from the evil oppression incited by the Pharisees …
We often spend so much time engaged in our present-day trials that we fail to understand and learn from the experiences of Christians of the past.
Christ prepared the members of Smyrna for martyrdom, promising them eternal glory for enduring a relatively short time, looking at things from a hopeful perspective.
The biblical city of Smyrna may be one that many know the least about. The city's name reveals the themes that the Head of the church wants us to understand.
Martyrdom is not a penalty because a person has failed to qualify for the Place of Safety; rather, it is a badge of honor for those who have overcome.
John Ritenbaugh, continuing the traditional opening night Feast of Tabernacles "Handwriting on the Wall" message, focuses on the plaintive Psalm 94 in which the psalmist despairs of the crescendo of wicked men and institutions causing the righteous to move "underground" for safety purposes. The church is …
Our best witness is often through our unspoken behavior; what we do speaks volumes. God gives us a charge to bear His name with dignity in all our actions.
Faith from God will be required to endure and profit from trials, bringing about character and genuineness of faith, as well as patience and trust in God.
Our challenge in the wake of the terrible things we witness now is to retain confidence that God is in control, even though our faith will be sorely tested.
Martin Collins, focusing on Paul's third trial before a secular ruler, following the inconclusive decisions before Felix and Festus, points out that King Agrippa was of a more decisive character. He sought to implement Paul's appeal to Caesar without delay. Speaking to the King, the Apostle stated his pre-conversion experience …
Christ says that we can show no greater love than in sacrificing our lives. We must come to the point where we are doing this daily, yet how do we do this?
Obsessing about the Place of Safety is a sure way to disqualify oneself from it. God calls some faithful, zealous ones for martyrdom during the Tribulation.
Martin Collins, reflecting on the martyrdom of Stephen, affirms that his martyrdom indicated that this wholesale persecution on Christianity, from the leaders to the rank and file, indicated that Christianity was a revolutionary idea whose time had come. The institution feeling the greatest threat was Judaism, with the Pharisee …
Martin Collins, focusing upon the subject of martyrdom, spiritual conviction, and sacrifice, reflects upon the conviction, deaths or sacrifices of Abel, Jephthah's daughter, Stephen and, most notably, the example of Christ. Christian martyrs, convicted by God's truth, having an ardent love for Christ, empowered with God's Holy …
The Arnoldists, Albigenses, Cathers, Waldensians, and the Lollards all had Sabbath-keepers in their ranks. Gradual syncretism is a pattern of church history.