The church has also been persecuted by the infiltration of “religion” and “religious systems”. The church is supposed to be the body of Christ, the temple in us where the Holy Spirit dwells. The church has become a religious organization. We have been infiltrated by traditionalism, materialism, globalism, socialism, humanism, Eastern religious practices, New Age spirituality, entertainment, and hierarchies of religious authority etc.…..and all under the “love everyone and everything” banner which in reality is tolerance of evil. We have forsaken our true Head and His Truth! Who is our real first love? Are we following true love?
Gradually and subtly we have been moved from following Yeshua Jesus into following and being loyal to leaders and organizations. Look at the fruit…how many who say they are “Christian” really desire and cling to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit….and to His Word and His Way? Many follow the hierarchy of honored religious leaders, some leaders even placing themselves as the authority of God. Religious institutions replace membership for personal relationship with Jesus. This happened to the Nicolatians. Yeshua Jesus says He hates this! (Revelation 2:15)
The motive of persecution is to prevent relationship and separate people from the Creator Father through Yeshua Jesus the Son and hold back the power of the Holy Spirit. Persecution (whether inside the church or in the world) tries to get people to follow someone or something else! Persecution is an attack. It can come as deception for the mind, pain and torture for the body, or a deceiving “euphoric spiritual high” under another spirit other than the Holy Spirit. Persecution and deception can lead through worldly logic or by feelings ranging from fear to ecstasy.
Persecution is orchestrated by evil heavenly powers and principalities through worldly and/or evil people. Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
The good news is that if we hold fast to Yeshua Jesus, even in persecution; then we will stand on the Rock and overcome in Him…and we gain the kingdom of heaven!
Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”