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Title:The Great Exchange For Service – Intercession Part 7 – Intimacy, Prayer, SELF- DEFENSE, PERSECUTION and True Story of herdsmen encroachment into a ranch in Texas and how the owner handled it.
Otakada.org content count #14,329
Date: Sunday, 7th of October 2018
Blog links: https://www.otakada.org/the-great-exchange-for-service-intercession-part-7-intimacy-prayer-self-defense-persecution-and-true-story-of-herdsmen-encroachment-into-a-ranch-in-texas-and-how-the-owner-handled-it
Genesis 9:5-6 5 And surely your blood, the blood of your lives, will I require; At the hand of every beast will I require it. And at the hand of man, even at the hand of every man’s brother, will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: For in the image of God made he man.
Exodus 20:13 You shall not murder.
1 Chronicles 28:3 “But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood.’
1 Chronicles 22:8 But the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build a house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.
Nehemiah 4 17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. 18As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me. … 21 So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared. …. 23 So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water.
Matthew 2:13 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
13 Now after they had gone away, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph, saying, “Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. For Herod is about to seek the child to destroy him.”
Matthew 10:22-24 Amplified Bible (AMP)
22 And you will be hated by everyone because of [your association with] My name, but it is the one who has patiently persevered and endured to the end who will be saved.
23 “When they persecute you in one city [because of your faith in Me], flee to the next; for I assure you and most solemnly say to you, you will not finish going through all the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
John 8:59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
John 10:39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
Luke 22:35-39 And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.” 36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 37 “For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.” 38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.” 39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.
John 18:10-11 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”
Rom 12:19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
23When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him, 24but their plot became known to Saul. They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death; 25but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places
John 10:9-10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
9 I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved [and will live forever], and will go in and out [freely], and find pasture (spiritual security). 10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have andenjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].
The Fifth Seal—Martyrs
9When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.
John 12:23-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)
23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified and exalted. 24 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone [just one grain, never more]. But if it dies, it produces much grain and yields a harvest. 25 The one who loves his life [eventually] loses it [through death], but the one who hates his life in this world[and is concerned with pleasing God] will keep it for life eternal.
In the last 14 days, over 50 Nigerians on the Plateau, mainly believers have been hacked down in their sleep, or in broad day light by intruders, some of these intruders are dressed in combat uniforms, some in military uniforms and some in plain clothing right in the middle of the city, in broad day light. While this mayhem is ongoing, our politicians and government officials continue jostling for power come 2019. No one has been cut or arrested and business continue as usual for the ordinary Nigerian.Our government needs CPR – Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure that combines chest compressions often with artificial ventilation in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in cardiac arrest. Other parts of the world, national mourning is called even for the death of a few.
It is understandable when the world cares more about the things of the world. But what is shocking is the dead silence from our spiritual leaders in the body of Christ. I remember, when the issue of tithe came up, even the ones that don’t come out to speak on any issue came out to vehemently air their views. We have a situation where Christians are being attacked and why is the church so quiet to the bone???.. are we now known by justification for tithes so we can improve our bottom-line or by the love we have for one another? What has happened to our voices? Is the church no longer the voice for the voiceless? What united action are we taking? Are we so divided that what touches one, doesn’t touch all any longer? BEYOND praying, what must we do?…. But if you think this is happening only in Nigeria to Christians, then think again. From Egypt to the US, more Christians are been slaughtered in cold blood right within the walls of the churches..
Look below some statistics between 1999 to 2007 in the US alone and since then, the figures have grown astronomically compared to earlier figures…
(December 9, 2007): After killing two people at a Christian training center in Arvada, Colo., 24-year-old Matthew Murray went to Colorado Springs intending more murder and mayhem. Murray shot and killed two girls in the New Life Church’s parking lot, then headed inside the building where thousands of worshippers were concluding a service.
• Aug. 12, 2007: A lone gunman, Eiken Elam Saimon, opened fire in a Missouri Micronesian church, killing a pastor and two other churchgoers.
• May 20, 2007: A standoff between police and a suspect in the shootings of three people in a Moscow, Idaho, Presbyterian church ended with three dead, including one police officer.
• Although not at a church building, the Oct. 2, 2006, attack in Lancaster County, Pa., by a gunman who killed five girls and then himself at an Amish school targeted a religious site.
• May 21, 2006: Louisiana. Four were killed by a man at Jesus Christ Church.
• Feb. 26, 2006: Michigan. Two people were killed at Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church by a man who reportedly went to the church looking for his girlfriend.
• April 9, 2005: A 27-year-old airman died after being shot at a church in College Park, Ga., where he had once worked as a security guard.
• March 12, 2005: A man walked into the services of the Living Church of God in Milwaukee and open fired immediately, killing seven people.
• Oct. 5, 2003: A woman opened fire in Turner Monumental AME church in Kirkwood, east of Atlanta, killing the pastor and two others.
• Sept. 16, 1999: Seven young people were killed when a man opened fire during a prayer service for teens at the Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.
So what’s a church to do? Many churches today are concerned with their purpose and message being culturally relevant. What about the security of the people who attend? As more and more churches are attacked, will churches become more “culturally relevant” in their approach to security?
Today, in the great exchange for services, we want to look at the place of intercession, intimacy, self- defense and persecution. How do we defend ourselves from this slaughter going on around us, within us and spreading fast to other regions? Biblically speaking, does the bible allow for self-defense and how do we go about this? Lets look at what constitute self defense and and how this fits into our bible teaching.
Persecution is the act of harassing, oppressing, or killing people because of their difference from society. Christians are persecuted because their belief in Jesus Christ as Savior does not conform to the godlessness of a sinful world.
What then is self-defense when faced with persecution? Lets look at the legal definition first.
Self-defense(US) or Self-defence (UK) , Self-defence (NG) – Both will be used interchangeable.In the law dictionary, self-defense is the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or members of the family from bodily harm from the attack of an aggressor, if the defender has reason to believe he/she/they is/are in danger.
To successfully claim self-defense, the defendant must prove four elements. First, with exceptions, the defendant must prove that he or she was confronted with an unprovoked attack. Second, the defendant must prove that the threat of injury or death was imminent. Third, the defendant must prove that the degree of force used in self-defense was objectively reasonable under the circumstances. Fourth, the defendant must prove that he or she had an objectively reasonable fear that he or she was going to be injured or killed unless he or she used self-defense
The classic test comes from the Australian case of Palmer v The Queen, on appeal to the privy Council in 1971:
|“||The defense of self-defense is one which can be and will be readily understood by any jury. It is a straightforward conception. It involves no abstruse legal thought. … Only common sense is needed for its understanding. It is both good law and good sense that a man who is attacked may defend himself. It is both good law and good sense that he may do, but may only do, what is reasonably necessary. But everything will depend upon the particular facts and circumstances. … It may in some cases be only sensible and clearly possible to take some simple avoiding action. Some attacks may be serious and dangerous. Others may not be. If there is some relatively minor attack it would not be common sense to permit some action of retaliation which was wholly out of proportion to the necessities of the situation. If an attack is serious so that it puts someone in immediate peril then immediate defensive action may be necessary. If the moment is one of crisis for someone in imminent danger he may have [to] avert the danger by some instant reaction. If the attack is all over and no sort of peril remains then the employment of force may be by way of revenge or punishment or by way of paying off an old score or may be pure aggression. There may no longer be any link with a necessity of defence… If a jury thought that in a moment of unexpected anguish a person attacked had only done what he honestly and instinctively thought was necessary that would be most potent evidence that only reasonable defensive action had been taken.||”|
|— Palmer v The Queen  A.C. 814, 832|
Self-defense in our understanding based on scripture here is defined as “protecting oneself from injury at the hand of others.” Self-defense is not about taking vengeance. Self-defense is not about punishing criminals. Self-defense involves preserving one’s own health and life when it is threatened by the actions of others. Lets look at this story before we draw conclusion from the scriptures in 3 action points.
True Story of herdsmen encroachment into a ranch in Texas and How the owner handled it and lessons for us as wrestlers for enforcing kingdom mandate here on it as pilgrims.
One winter, the owner of a huge tract of land in Texas left his ranch in the hands of his men. They’d been working for him for years, and he was confident they could mind the homestead while he was away.
When spring came, he returned to his property only to find vast portions of it occupied by other cattlemen from the region.
Not only were these impostors pretending to own his land, they’d actually taken some of his cattle for their own-though the true owner’s brand was in plain view on every hide!
When he asked his hired hands about the situation, they assured him they’d warned the intruders to leave. They’d even shown them the legal deed for the property, and still the rival cattlemen acted as if they had the right to encroach.
Shaking their heads, the ranch hands told their boss, “We didn’t want anybody to get hurt, so we didn’t start a fight. We didn’t know what else to do. We figured you’d settle it when you got back.”
The owner was naturally outraged. Who did these cattlemen think they were? Not only had they violated the law of the land, they had violated the code of gentlemen. This was a slap in the face, an insult of the highest order. You just don’t trespass on a fellow’s property, at least not on purpose. And you certainly don’t start your business there. There was no other way to interpret the situation: It was offensive and illegal.
And what about his own men? How could they possibly let thieves occupy their master’s rightful territory unchallenged?
In the honorable tradition of parables about land owners returning to find things in disarray, I’ll pose the same question Jesus asked his listeners: What will the landowner do to these hired men? At the very least, he would express enormous disappointment with them. Did they really think it was enough to tell these lawless trespassers to leave, show them the deed, and wait for their compliance? To enforce the law, step number one- for anyone with any common sense whatsoever-would be to call the police and report the violation. Or even to call their boss so he could contact the sheriff himself. But to let the squatters settle until spring? Unthinkable. Irresponsible. Or, more bluntly, incompetent.
But the owner would probably go further than a verbal rebuke. Any dependable hired hand should know how to deal responsibly with such a situation. If he doesn’t, he should be relieved of his duties.
In a sense, the attitude of those hired hands( Believers) is the same pose we often take in our prayers. We pray for God to make the situation better, and If he doesn’t step in immediately, we assume he doesn’t mind nasty intruders (demonic agents and entities) occupying his land ( His kingdom in the earth).
As people who say we follow Jesus, surely we can recognize that we don’t follow him well on this point. Jesus spent long nights in prayer, he sternly confronted demons, he resisted temptation to the point of exhaustion, he blasted moneychangers and threw their tables to the temple floor, and he even sweated blood one agonizing night in a garden. He insisted that mountains be moved, that faith be risky, and that prayers be persistent. He looked “with anger” at a self-righteous gang of legalists, and he spoke bold words in the face of evil. Jesus did not put up with unholy trespassers.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are not dealing with flesh and blood who are reasonably speaking in their right senses, these people are devils messengers carrying out their masters assignment to kill , still and destroy. We can begin self- defense biblically speaking by doing the following:
- Spiritual warfare prayers with the evil one – Deal with the spirit, love the person. Going on our knees to pray and engage the evil one in violent warfare. Binding the strongman that has taken over the minds of the intruders. We enforce the kingdom of God in their lives and in the space we dwell in with the intent of drawing them from their captivity. He came to set the captives free.
- Intimacy with God– What is the mind of God in all of this? What times and season our we in? So we know what the evil one is planning and how to respond before they execute and when they will execute, getting to know the mind of God and wisdom on how to take action – to flee, to escalate to trusted help circle before it becomes too late or to stand our ground with every thing we have got to defend the lives and call or to die as martyrs for Christ if that is His mind. .. except the seed dies, it abides alone…
- Proactivity in love – We need to be ready, ensuring all hands on deck. Anything touches one, it touches all, girded with the spirit of love. Love that is backed up with prayer and action. Persecution test our resolved in God and what we believe it. Persecution will happen, not if but when in different shapes and sizes so we must be ready and proactive in our response.
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe e-discipleship at otakada.org