Category: Sermons

His Word shall prosper “in the thing”

God is faithful in keeping the promises of His Word. Jeremiah had prophesied of how Israel would be taken into captivity by Babylon. The Babylonian captivity was to last for seventy years after which Israel would be released – “For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place” (Jer.29:10). During the years of the Babylonian captivity Daniel prayed and fasted for the restoration of Jerusalem. One day the angel Gabriel came to him and revealed that the restoration shall begin with a proclamation. The angel explained that there shall be a “going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” (Dan.9:25).

The word of God had been spoken and it had to fulfil. Concerning the fulfilling of God’s words we read this in Isaiah 55:11, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”. Notice the two things that happen when God’s prophetic Word goes forth: first, it shall be accomplished, and second, it should prosper!

Accomplishing and Prospering

To “accomplish” is to fulfil an objective. To “prosper” is to succeed, flourish, or produce fruit. When God sent Moses to tell the Israelites that they would be delivered from Egypt, surely that was accomplished when they crossed the Red Sea and moved into the wilderness. But did the Word prosper in those people’s lives? Not so.

When the prophecies of Jeremiah and Daniel got fulfilled and the people were liberated from Babylon, prophecy was accomplished, but was it everyone who knew that specific thing for which the Word was to prosper in? As we will shortly see, it was not so!

In this day a message went forth to call people out of Mystery Babylon. The Word was accomplished when they came out, but has the Word produced fruit? Has it prospered “in the thing” for which it was sent? Sadly again, it is not so!

“Prospering” is characterised by the continuity of a work which God has begun. Notice that God sends His prophetic word to accomplish a specific thing. However, when His word fulfils, people often get lost in the many other things! See, a prophetic word is a seed. When it “goeth forth” into the ground, so many things can grow out of it – the stem, branches, leaves and flowers. Those things can look great but they are not the ultimate for which the seed was planted.  The flower may add colour and beauty to the outlook of a plant but yet does not hold the life (continuity or prosperity) of the seed!

The prosperity of a seed is in the multiplication of its ‘image’ and ‘likeness’, found in the fruits that proceed from it. That is the specific purpose for which the seed was sent into the ground. The question that now lies before us is this:

Are we a part of the specific purpose, and hence the prosperity, for which the Word was sent? Well, let’s learn from how the prophecies of Jeremiah and Daniel became accomplished. In the first chapter of the book of Ezra we find the fulfilment of the proclamation to rebuild Jerusalem: “that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah” (Ezr. 1:1-2).

The Stirring of the Spirit

In this portion of Scripture we have read (Ezr.1:1-2) we should see that prophecy is never fulfilled by man’s programme, enthusiasm or emotion, but by the Holy Ghost stirring people. It is the Lord who stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus. Cyrus ordered people to begin rebuilding the house of the Lord but it is the Spirit of God that stirred them to start the building works – “Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem” (Ezr.1:5). Trouble begins when people think they can build by only relying on the Holy Ghost on ‘Cyrus’, without them also having the same Spirit! When this happens it means that people have faith in a servant of God but yet do not have the faith of the servant of God. When that happens it is not God building the house but man, and be warned that “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psa.127:1).

Dearly beloved, that is exactly what has happened in our time. We had a Cyrus who gave a proclamation – a shout, a message – to call us out of Babylon and be built and established as a true temple of the Holy Spirit. But what happened to Israelites has repeated itself in this end time: some people have been truly restored and others haven’t! Let us look closely at what characterised restoration-events which followed after Cyrus made the proclamation.

In the second book of Ezra we read a lengthy list of details of people who returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. The people were identified by their fathers and they were also counted. The children of Parosh were 2,172, the children of Shephatiah, 372, the children of Arah 775, and on and on the list goes. To an outsider, like you and I, that’s a long boring list. But to a person who was there and was listed and confirmed, it was so very important!

Census trouble for some people

The census that was being conducted for the journey back to Jerusalem wasn’t a haphazard exercise. For one to be restored to Jerusalem there had to be evidence that they had a place there. They had to have the evidence that they knew their father’s house. There had to be evidence that they were true Israelites! So, whilst some people may have grown and lived among some Jews in Babylon and others may have even identified themselves (and were perhaps believed) to be priests, the register would now confirm and declare the true identity. Some people were in trouble: “they could not show their father’s house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel” (Ezr.2:59). There were also children of priests who “sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood” (Ezr.2:62). One may wonder, just how many people have become preachers in the Message simply because they ‘felt’ a calling whilst in Babylon. We have so many polluted altars in many assemblies because of such carnality!

All priests who were not found on the register were forbidden to minister until they stood before the Urim and Thummim. Until that was done they could not eat of the holy things apportioned for priests (2:63). Surely many claim to be part of the restoration message of William Branham, but when you look closely, their ministries can’t point to the place we have been restored to. They cannot show their “father’s house.” They are lost in the many messages of the prophet and don’t know the one thing it came to accomplish. Listen, William Branham, our Elijah, preached hundreds of sermons but he only proclaimed ONE MESSAGE – Back to the homeland of the Word! The pentecostals saw the prophetic gift in William Branham and got excited by the many “things” it accomplished, but the Elect perceived “the one thing” for which it was sent to prosper in and they were restored. Yes, His Word “shall prosper in the thing whereto” He sent it!

“The thing”

The ministry of Elijah (the shout and proclamation which called us out of Babylon) was sent to “turn the heart…of the children to their fathers” (Mal.4:6). And like John’s ministry it was sent “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luk.1:17). Whatever other things (visions, healings and miracles) came with that ministry, its mission was to point people back to the Word of God. To bring about a change of heart and enable us to have a closer relationship with God. The revelation of Seals and Church Ages was not to make us big-headed and boast of the much knowledge we have. It was to enable us see, repent, and have a new life of walking with the Lord. Thus, no matter how knowledgeable one becomes of mysteries, unless a true change of heart occurs by the power of the revealed Word, he or she has only got a religion, “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof” (2 Tim.3:5). Such a person has only transferred from Babylon to Jerusalem but hasn’t experienced a transformation.

May the peace of God  be with you. May the Word of this Hour prosper in you is my prayer. Amen.

The Way of Escape (Transcribed) by Bro. John Mark Louse

This message was preached by the late Brother John Mark Louse in 2014, in Southern Province of Zambia. The sermon was transcribed unabridged. Any place in the text where three dots appear between words is an indication that we havent yet heard clearly John Mark’s accent and so were unable to transcribe the unclear words. Any emphasis in bold is our work. Words appearing in square brackets were added to make some sentences understandable. This is only the first part of what has been transcribed from the sermon. As soon as we complete other portions of the sermon we will post them on this site. As the transcribing is being done in piecemeals, we have numbered the paragraphs for your easy reference when continuing to read from where you previously ended. You can access the audio file of this sermon on our YouTube channel here. If you have never read about brother John Mark’s testimony read it here. We hope this message will awaken you to the need to walk circumspectly as a believer in this late hour.

The Way of Escape 

1 The Lord bless you church. I greet you all in the Name of Jesus Christ. I thank the Lord because am back home again, after many years. Maybe many of you were just babies, and some were not even born maybe. But I thank the Lord that He is still keeping us. I want also to thank the Lord for Brother Mawino who has been so willing to come over with me and to give me company in prayer and in all things. I want to bring greetings to you from Uganda,  especially [from] my home church in Moroto. Also greetings from my family; my wife and children. And also [from] the church in Kampala, and believers in Zimbabwe and [from] Lusaka. I want to thank the Lord for all that. They sent greetings to you.

2 We just want to read some scriptures here to share, in the book of Matthew. I am called John Mark. My name is John Mark. And then the other name is Louse. That is another name. Matthew Chapter 4. I want us here to share something that the Lord has put in my heart. Let’s first have a word of prayer.

3 Heavenly Father, in the Name of Jesus Christ, we want to give you praise and glory even this afternoon Lord. We are happy Lord because you have sustained us, you have kept us, and you have protected us Lord. Even you brought us from Choma along the road and we are here O master! We have found our brothers and sisters gathering before you. Here we are, we present our lives unto you as a living sacrifice. We pray that Lord where we have wronged you, where we have gone astray, you forgive us all our trespasses, O Father. Bless us by the blood of the Lamb and give us the Word of Life for this evening, Lord. Minister to our souls O Father and lift us up to serve you in Spirit and in Truth. Give us the words of Life O Father…to us before thy throne of mercy. That we may hear from you. Father we shut any spirit of the enemy away from here. We call on the Holy Ghost to take the pre-eminence. And cover each one of us O father. Give us the imprest of your own Spirit and minister to us your Word. In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

4 Yeah, Chapter 4 of Matthew. We shall read verse 8 and verse 9:

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

5 Let’s also read one scripture in the first letter of John chapter 5, we shall read just one verse from thee. 1 John 5:19. Let’s read from verse 18 also, but verse 19 is what I desire.

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

6 May the Lord bless the reading of His Word. You can be sitted. Yeah, we just want to share since our time is running fast, The only way of escape. The only way of escape. We know that this world here is in the hands of Satan. Everything you see in the world is possessed by the devil! And all the departments of the world, kingdoms, presidents, and whatever is there is all under the umbrella of this wicked angel called Satan. Because he told Jesus, all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, he says, I can give you if you worship me. Now, it was given to him by Adam because Adam fell off from his rulership. So because of that everything is under the authority and power of the devil. That makes us now to be very very careful how we walk in this world, and everything we possess and we use, we know how to use it, because all of them belong to the hands of the devil. So we are only using them because we are handling the Word of God, and by faith we use them. So because Satan is the king of this world, then there is a way of escape [from] his own pollution and all his sinfulness. Because he is the one possessing everything, everywhere you go whether in college, whether in primary, whether in … Satan is powerful to influence all of them. Everything, even the dressing, even the talk, even the behaviour, everything which people do, it is by the power of Satan!

7 So we need now to know, How am I going to escape all these powers? Because all these things now, we should know how to escape so that we cannot be polluted by Satan. We should have revelation! Because we as God’s children we should abide somewhere in the Word of God there. That’s why Jesus says, Abide in me and my words abide in you. Because if you are not abiding in Jesus Christ and His Word, you are going to be polluted by the devil. Because everything is just under the business of Satan. He is handling all the churches and he is twisting them for his own business and for his own sake. That is why when you enter into various churches what is done there you cannot believe. From their pastor to the deacon to the bench sitters, everything done there is so filthy! Why do people who serve God, who worship God reject the Word of God? You give them baptism in the Name of Jesus, they cannot understand, they cannot believe, they cannot receive, Why?! You give them the way apostle[s] use to baptise, you give them the way the prophet use to lead, they cannot… neither can they believe. Because they are all covered by the god of this world.

8 They are all blindfolded by the god of this world. The god of this world has given them a substitute of the Word of God. He has given them religion instead of salvation. He has given them a college instead of revelation. He has given them falsehood instead of the truth. But we should know, How am I going to escape? Because even if we enter into a church you are going to be polluted.

9 There must be a church in which you can hide yourself in it. Which type of a church is that? The only church who has a revelation of God’s Word, that’s where you have to be! And even though you are there, you yourself must get a revelation [about] how to escape. Because this Devil here is not far even from us. In the days of Job when the children of God where there to present themselves to God, Satan also came there to present himself to God. And God says, “Satan, what is your job here? What are you doing here?” So you can see that there is only one way of escape, and that is what we are desiring to know now – the way of escape!

10 Now the only way of escape is to abide in the Word of the Lord, but not just in a letter, not in a parable, but in the revelation of the plan of God for you and me. Paul said, when I came to you I didn’t use excellency words of man, I don’t do that. But am only coming to present to you the counsel of God. The counsel of God is the revelation of God for you and it is there in the Word of God. It is by revelation how you can escape all the powers of Satan, the falsehood of Satan, and all the things of Satan. It is by revelation.

11 Abel escaped all the falsehood of Satan in his time. How did Abel escape? Because he could not be polluted by Satan. Satan could not dirten him. Abel was a pure seed of God, worshipping God in holiness. He could not be touched. That is how he escaped, by a revelation of the Word of God. He saw Jesus Christ in the mind of God and then he brought his lamb as a substitute of Jesus Christ whom he saw. Then when God saw the sacrifice of Abel, it was a sacrifice which was having the blood, it was a sacrifice which was crying the language of the cross. It was a sacrifice which was crying the language of redemption. He was the only centre of salvation for man. There was healing in the sacrifice of Abel. There was deliverance in the sacrifice of Abel. The forgiveness of sin was hidden in that sacrifice. And when Abel slaughtered his sacrifice, and the blood came out of the throat, his sins were completely covered. Though it was not remitted, but it was covered, because his lamb was a substitute of Jesus. It was only a picture of Jesus Christ but it saved the life of Abel. It made Abel to escape all the falsehood of Satan.

12 Yeah, he showed Jesus the glory of the kingdoms. That’s why even in schools sin is done there. We take our children to school but it is sad to find out that they came back with pregnancy! What happened? We took them to school to study, to have wisdom, here they came with babies which have no fathers. And if they escape to be pregnant in the school, we take them to college [and] after finishing they go now to look for jobs. Now reaching there in the offices with their papers, that “I have a degree, I have also a diploma, I have a certificate, I am supposed to go in veterinary…”  In the office there they’ve got a big huge devil called a boss telling your daughter, “if you want to get the job you be my friend. These [application] letters here without you accepting what I am saying you are just nothing.” Now the poor girl because she wants a job she accepts to be influenced by this demon, and yet this man is a house of HIV. The girl has got the job, after two to three years she is already affected, she is already dying now. This one is completely covered by Satan.

13 That’s why he was telling Jesus, “All the glory of these kingdoms are in my hands.” So all our children, our sons and daughters, they must be in the Word of God if they want to escape! But the problem is that our children are not dedicated to hear the Word of God in the church. And since they are not dedicated they cannot have revelation which can help them in the time of trial, there in the offices. They have not been listening to what was spoken by the pastors. And yet what was given here it was supposed to be a revelation to guide you in your school, even in your getting your job.

14 So we need to see where is the way of escape. It is only the Word of God. This Word of God is the one which can hide your life. Because there is no arrow which can penetrate the Word of God. Everything we see will pass away, the Word of God abideth forever.

15 How did Daniel escape the pollution in the land of Babylon (in the book of Daniel chapter one verse eight)? How did he escape? Yes, that’s why it is good to be in fellowship like this, so that we are instructed [on] how to escape the pollution of the world. Because you are a different person. You are a son, you are a daughter of a king, and you are supposed to keep yourself clean! You are supposed to live a holy life here on earth. You are supposed to look like your Father here on earth so that when time comes for you to go to him you’ll have no condemnation, because you have been hiding in the Word and your life is clean.

16 Daniel 1:8,

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Now, the Bible said Daniel decided that, I cannot defile myself. That is how you can escape. You have to communicate to your heart that I cannot defile myself by anything of this world here! Because all the things of the world here, they are so defiling.

17 Anything you touch in this world here, if you don’t touch it by revelation you are going to be defiled. That’s why the Bible says [that] even our dressing must be by the revelation of the Word of God. Because Satan is hanging in every clothe in the shop. He has put his own shoes there in the shop, in the market. And you who is a believer, when you go to buy a shoe or a cloth, you must be led by the Spirit of God! How…how are you going to be okay in the church here when you are buying shoes which are like this?…um?…What is that?…um… What kind of shoes is that? …um?… It is just a trap! Anytime, even when walking alone it will just break your leg. Because it is the devil putting a trap there and yet it is a costly shoe, you buy with a lot of money, but it is a trap. And this time the clothes which are there are so transparent like nets of mosquito. If you have to buy [one for] a sister you have to buy again the inner one which is very thick, which is very heavy… now the outward is so transparent and then the inner one you have to buy another heavy one. Costly! Everything costly. So we need to know, how am  I going to escape all this pollution?

18 You know angels told Lot, “You run and escape!...” But all what was in that city looked so good. Now, all that was in the city, plus the people of the city, were wicked before the Lord. So you need to hide yourself in the Word of God. Because it is in the Word of God where our safety is. When you are in the Word of God Satan’s powers are powerless to touch you! The Bible says, the Word of God is so powerful and is alive! Powerful so that anyone who has the Word of God in the heart he cannot be touched. It is so powerful that when you have the Word of God you are feared by demons.

19 There is no church which Satan can fear. Even the Message churches today, Satan has entered and given pastors wives and wives plus wives! And [they] think they are rich with wives. Why? They have not found a way of escape. And yet, the revelation of the Word of God for this day is the only escape you have to hide yourself in! You have to hide yourself in the revelation of God’s Word.

20…The  Messenger of the Hour, how many people approached him, they wanted to give him millions and millions of money. He refused. It is not that money is bad, but if it is money given by Satan you just reject it. I remember when I first began preaching in Karamoja. The bishop of Protestants came with his reverend [and] they called me in the office.

They said, “Now John Mark it is good that you have come here…We want you to come…I want you to be here so that that church there”, he was showing me a very big cathedral, “that church there, you are going to be a pastor of that church. And the diocese, the church is going to educate your children. And every week we are going to give you food, and powdered milk, even oil, every week we are going to give your family! Come so that we preach together.

I told them, I told him “Mister  bishop, thank you for all what you are talking, but do you know the one who has sent me here? I am sent here by God and God has told me, Don’t enter in any denomination, Stay outside all of them!

They said, “But now how are you going to survive? Your family, you don’t even work, you don’t have food, how are you going to survive?

I told them, “That is not my concern. The one who sent me it is upon Him. If He sent us here to die by starvation, we are going to heaven, but going to any church I cannot.”

They told me, “…get out of the office. Get out of the office.

I said that’s okay. So, it is the Word of God which you can enter and hide yourself [in] because in the Word of God there is protection. Any person who is in the Word of God is highly protected and fenced.

21 We are told this man called Job, when Satan was trying to ask [for] permission from God about Job’s life, God told him, “Now, you don’t know that Job is a very righteous man? Don’t you know that he is a holy man?” Satan told God, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Haven’t you put a fence around his house, around his property, around his children? And you have made all his cows, sheep, camels, and donkeys to multiply!” Satan was able to see the fence which was around Job.

22 Now, that is the only way of escape. You have to hide yourself in the revelation of the Word of God for your day! Because in the day you are in, God has moved out from every church, every denomination, and He is now in the Word of the Hour! And it is there where God is, and anybody who is in that Word of God for the Hour the fence of God is there. When Jesus met Paul on Damascus road, he knocked Paul down. And when Saul was still lying on his back, maybe on his back or in front (because he was knocked down), so when he came back from his suffocation. He said, “Who are you Lord?” Jesus said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. It is impossible for you to kick against the fence.” You cannot kick the fence. You see, the fence is in the Word of God. As long as you are in the Word of God for a day, you are fenced up! You are fenced! Diseases are out! Sin is out! Religion is out! Fear is out! Calamity is out! Sin is out! All demons are out. So you are there rejoicing, jumping, worshipping and serving the Lord, inside there. Because the fence of God is your protection against everything, even against death! Death has no power over you.

23 That’s why they throw Daniel in the den of lions.  They thought that lions could do just consume Daniel like bread. But when the lions reached there, when Daniel landed in the midst of the lions they could not tear his body, they could not eat his body, because he was highly protected by the power of God. Daniel was not fearing. He told the king, “The God I serve continuously He will send his angels to keep me and to shut the lion’s mouth, they will never hurt me.” Daniel was not worried. He was telling the king, “King, live forever, as for me you throw me there in the den, the God I serve He is more than powerful to send his angel to keep me.” The only way of escape! It is in the Word of God, in the revelation of the Word of God!

24 Paul calls it “the counsel of God”, that protection there, he calls it, “the counsel of God”;  “I am here to deliver to you the counsel of God.” For your protection, for your safety. He was telling the church, “You listen to this counsel of God so that you are okay as you are living on the earth here. You see, today you find believers they are so panicking because of the world and the …which are in the world. They listen to radios and the radio says, “Oh, Ebola has come! Oh it is now here, it is coming from South Africa, is now coming from Congo, is coming from…” And the believers themselves are just panicking, “Brothers have you heard that Ebola is coming? I don’t know where we can be?” You are blind against your protection!  You who is in Christ, you have already escaped! You have escaped all the pollution, and the lust and the death of the world!

25 Let’s just see 2 Peter 1:3-4.It says,

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

26 Now Peter was declaring the only way of escape for the believer. Peter was telling them that the power of God has already given us a way out, [of] how we can escape. He said that God has given us His great promises. Because, there is power in the promises of God for the day. And your duty, my duty is to hide ourselves in the promises of God for the day. That’s why every believer must be dedicated prayerfully to ask God to give you a revelation of the day, of the message of your day, now!

27 You know the Bible says, We are students, we are disciples, we are learners, We are in the school! What are we learning? We are learning how to escape! We are learning the promises of God in which we can escape the corruption and death and sin of Satan. But the problem is that many believers are not dedicated to learn! People are so slow to go into the School of Life. Even Paul says, “We should never neglect our assembling together like others.” Which means even in the days of Paul there are those who neglected this escape.

28 The spirit of the Devil is not asleep. In every age he has got tactics how he can blindfold and weaken the church. He gives people a lazy mind, a lazy concern. That’s why Paul was telling the church of Corinth, “Every time I come here I give you milk-gospel because you are babies, you cannot understand.” He told them, “Up to now you are unable to understand!” Why? Because the Devil, the god of this world, had cheated the church of Corinth. Because he made them babies every time. But let’s know that we are in the School of Life to learn how we can escape. Because the Word of God here has everything for us.

29 In the book of Colossians Paul says, “We are in Christ and we are hidden there”. We are hidden there. So you have to abide in your place of hide. It is there were your Sabbath is. Never to come out! Because outside the fence of God there are demons, there are sicknesses, there are troubles, and death is there. Anytime you step outside he will hold your leg and pull you there. Why do we see people today backsliding in the church? Boys and girls, even big men, even pastors, even ministers, why? why? They have not entered into where they can escape.

30 You know the revelation of God’s Word is like a house where you can enter and you are safe. When you enter into the revelation of the Word of God the Devil is powerless to pull you out from there.  He cannot enter there! That’s why Peter says, “He is roaring like a roaring lion, he’s running around, around, he wants whom he can devour”. Because he cannot enter. He cannot enter because you are hidden in God by a revelation.  That’s why Abel could not be defiled, he could not be polluted because he was inside the revelation of God. And that’s why Satan was unable to catch him. The only way of escape!

31 Because when you enter in the revelation of God  you can stay peaceful and restful. You know Jesus said, “Come to me and I will give you rest”. There is rest in that revelation! Once you have the revelation you can rest, all demons can roar like lions but they cannot tamper with you. Yes, people can backslide, they can go for denominations because of money, but that spirit will not tamper with you because you yourself you are hiding yourself in the revelation of God’s Word where Satan has no power to pull you out. He cannot touch you. The only way of escape.

32 Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego knew the way of escape. Satan had brought a picture to be worshipped, an image, the very image of Daniel. He told them, “You worship this man, he’s my God, because he gives me interpretation of dreams”. But those boys were in the revelation of God and because of that they had escaped that. Now, today sin is covering the whole face of the earth. There is falsehood, hypocrisy is covering everywhere. But it’s only those who have the revelation of the Word of God, they are the only one who can escape that. That’s why today we see the whole world has HIV. People are dying every day. But David said, “Even if death can come on all sides [it] cannot touch me”. The only way of escape.

33 Now, we have talked about the Word. Let’s see Acts 1:8,

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Now, the way of escape is to be in the Word of God and in the Spirit of God. Yeah, Jesus said, “When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will have power”. We have talked about the Word, let’s talk little again about the Holy Spirit. This Spirit here, Jesus said it’s the Spirit of Power. When you are inside this Spirit you are protected by the power of God. That Spirit there, it is a spirit of power. There are no other powers which can overcome this other power here. That’s why John the revelator, the Bible says he was beaten [but] could not die.He could not die. Until they decided to cook him with grease,[for] twenty-four hours.  Now when John could not die, they got him out of the drum and took him to Patmos. They said, “This man is a wizard, Let [us] put [him] there, to die there!” Because they could not kill the Holy Spirit, which is power, which was in John. God had purposed life so that He could give him  to write the whole of the book of Revelation.

34 Because Paul had talked that there are things which the eye has not seen, no ear has heard, it has not entered in man’s heart. They are there given by God and kept by God, it will be revealed by the Holy Ghost, so, John was to go to Patmos. So when he went there Jesus now came and said, “Now you write my book, write the revelation”. And he was there for two years writing the book of Revelation. He [wrote] that book with pictures and all this type you are seeing here. But it was a letter of God to the Bride! So, John was full of the Holy Spirit. And because he was full of the Holy Spirit he escaped all, even death! He could not be polluted.

35 So when you have the Holy Spirit you have escaped! Because the Holy Spirit is your protection. He is there to protect you against sin, against pollution, against death. And those who are in the Holy Spirit they cannot fear anything. So, that is where we have to enter in. That’s the way of escape. And by entering there you have actually defeated Satan. See, in Revelation [Chapter] Six here, I want us to read one scripture there. Revelation 6:6. Let’s begin with verse 5 but its verse 6 that I want:

And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

36 Now, I want us to see, the voice says, Don’t hurt the oil, don’t hurt the wine! The way of escape. You know, the oil represents the Holy Spirit. And wine represents the stimulation, the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Now, it is there where we have to be in where to escape. Be in that oil, the Holy Spirit. Be in that wine, the anointing of revelation. So, when you are there, when I am there, there is no arrow which can enter there. No blade which can enter there. Because the Lord who is oil and wine will be our fence. And all who are in the oil, in the wine, are kept by angels of God. God has given charge to angels to keep them. We are told by King David [in] Psalm 34:7 that the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear God and He will deliver them!

37 So as long as you are in the oil and the wine the angels of God are there to keep you. Just like He kept Daniel. Just like He kept Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego. They were in the wine, in the oil. It is only the oil and the wine which cannot be touched by Satan. So when you are inside there you are untouched. If you are outside there, Satan can kick you like a ball, from East, West, and South. Because you have no escape. You have no protection.

38 Another way of escape is to have the name of Jesus Christ with you. Jesus has given us His name. You know the name “Jesus” is the name “Joshua”, it’s actually the name of God, the name of redemption, the name of protection, the name of power! That’s why Jesus says, “I come in my Father’s name!” That was the name of God. That’s why God has given us His name, and that name is Jesus! When we have that name gates of hell will never … us. That’s why Jesus said, “Go and cast out devils in my Name!

39 Yeah, [there is] no demon who does not understand the name of Jesus. In the days of Paul there was a certain priest called Sceva. And he has seven boys. But those boys were not saved. The priest was not saved also. So, they went to a mad man. A mad man who was naked  and the seven boys surrounded the man. They said, “Satan, we cast you in the name of Jesus whom Paul is preaching!” Those demons listened. “Satan, we cast you in the Name of Jesus whom Paul is preaching!” Then the Devil said, “I know Jesus. I know Paul. But who are you?” Before they could answer he had removed their clothes away. That devil removed all their clothes away, and shoes, and he had beaten them, the blood was falling, until everyone had to get to the door to run out. Because it was inside a house. The Bible says they went out naked and bleeding. Yeah, demons know Jesus. That’s the name which God has given us on earth here for our redemption, for our healing, for our protection, for our defeat of demons. It’s the name you have to breathe in the battle! You know David said, “I come to you Goliath in the Name of the Lord!” That is the name of the Lord. The name of the Lord of hosts. And that’s why Jesus Christ was the warrior. He came to conquer all demons, He conquered death, He conquered the grave, He conquered hell. He came with the keys! So He gave us His name. Now, because we are the Bride of Jesus, we have been actually married to Christ and we have now His name.

40 Another thing which is our escape, let’s read one scripture as we close, the book of Revelation. Let’s see something in the book of Revelation. Revelation 12:11. That will be my last scripture now. Revelation 12:11,

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Now, here, another thing I want us to put there is the blood of the Lamb. The blood of the Lamb is another thing, you have to have it for escape. Because that was the blood which was poured for our redemption. Now, if the blood of bulls and goats could cover the sins of the Israelites what about the blood of Jesus Christ, the blood of the Lamb now? It’s the blood which can remit our sin. The blood of animals used to cover but the blood of the Lamb remiteth! It completely expels until you don’t look as a sinner; you look holy.

41 So, when you come and take the name of Jesus Christ as your name of redemption the blood of Jesus takes away your sin until before God you are holy, you can fellowship with God. Then the blood of Jesus Christ is there to be your own covering. Paul says, “We have boldness to enter the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus, without fear!” That’s why every time when you kneel, when you pray, even in the car, even around the garden, even in your office, when you pray, the blood of Jesus is there to cover you! To make you acceptable before God in your prayers! Yeah, even when you are attacked by spirits, just say, “Oh, the blood of Jesus! The blood of Jesus! The blood of Jesus!” You are going to see those demons taking off.

42 Just the blood of Jesus only, every devil will get his way to run, because that is the blood of God. Because in the womb of Mary God made a body for Himself and put His own blood there, in that body! That’s why Jesus, He could die and resurrect because He was innocent from sin. He had no sin, in fact no Original Sin in him. He was the only holy who was declared to be the Son of God, by the Spirit of holiness. He was the only accepted by the Father to do the work of redemption for God’s children who were taken [into] captivity by the devil. The only way of escape. Be there!

43 Though there are many other things we could touch but I just want us to remain there, to know how we can escape. If you are in this salvation, if you are in this Message of the Hour, which is nothing but Jesus Christ, don’t look back, don’t look sideways, move ahead! And possess your ground. There is no spirit which does not know that Jesus Christ is the conqueror. Yeah, every spirit knows because He conquered those spirits there at Calvary. And He has given us His name, his blood. That’s why we have to know even the value of the cross of Jesus. We have to know the purpose of the cross of Christ.

44 So, brothers and sisters, because of time, may God bless you. Let us pray. Gracious eternal heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, we want to thank you Lord for this evening. We want to thank you Father that you have spoken unto us O Father in a simple way, and that is your manner of your talking. What you have given us Lord, may you keep it by the Holy Ghost. May it fall into a good ground that it may germinate and bear fruits, for your glory and for our edification. Bless your children, bless the pastor, bless all the ministers, bless us all mighty God, in the name of Jesus Christ we pray, amen. God bless you.

|| This transcribed message will soon be available in a book which will contain the testimony of the calling and ministry of the Late John Mark Louse. The testimony is available online here.

Garnishing Tombs

They mastered the words of Moses. They recited the Law and the Prophets. They dressed religiously and sat in prominent places of the synagogues. They were consulted on matters of doctrine. These were the Pharisees, Teachers of the Law, and Scribes. They fasted regularly and gave tithes of their increase. Surely, they were righteous but only that righteous!

The righteousness of the Pharisees and scribes only went as far as observing letters of Scripture and norms; they could not go beyond to recognise and partake of the fulfilment (spirit or life) of the Scripture! And, like the Lord Jesus Christ warned us, “except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat.5:20).

We should ask ourselves: Have we been able to perceive and partake of the fulfilment (or revelation) of Scripture in our day? See, God’s Word is like a seed; after being planted, there was time for the little shoot to sprout off the ground, and later the manifestation of the stem with its branches and leaves. Now, although the present look of the plant could be branches or leaves, those features were actually always there but could not be seen by the eye because they were hidden in the seed. Only when the seed was put in the right place (soil) and there were right conditions of air, light, and moisture, did growth begin, and features previously hidden from sight became revealed! Now, likewise, “The seed is the Word of God” (Luk.8:11) and we ought to be able to discern the present truth (manifestation) of its life in our day!

Through time the Seed of the Word has been ‘growing’ and those with eyes have been able to perceive and get established in its revelation, the “present truth” (1 Pet.1:12). On the other hand are people who only hold to the physical appearance of the seed, failing to reconcile the seemingly strange forms of the stem, branches, and leaves that proceeded from the seed! In looking at the seed (letters), they fail to see (reconcile its appearance with) the manifestation of its life (the stem, branches, and leaves)! Thus, “they seeing see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand” (Mat.13:13). That is exactly what happened when one day the Lord rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.

A strange Prophecy

One day a Hebrew prophet, Zechariah, gave a very strange prophecy: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy king cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” (Zec.9:9). How would a person coming with the “salvation” of Israel, a nation which had been subdued by mighty kingdoms, be lowly and riding on a donkey? At the time of the prophecy of Zechariah the nation was under that mighty empire of Medo-Persia. To think of Israel getting delivered by a lowly man riding on a donkey was unthinkable! Well, a year passed and the prophecy did not fulfil. Two years passed and nothing had happened. Fifty years, and then a hundred years, still nothing! The prophecy had been given at the time of the Persian Empire, but new empires had risen and fallen – Greece then Rome – and the prophecy had not yet fulfilled! It was at the time of that cruel Roman Empire, about 500 years since the prophecy had been given, that the prophecy got fulfilled, albeit in a way that people didn’t notice. Yes, God had not forgotten about the Salvation King and He had also not forgotten to prepare the donkey that was to carry the king. The seed of prophecy was only waiting for its right place, time, and conditions to manifest the life of the Word!

That Donkey!

It may have been just one of the animals the family owned in that small village near the Mount of Olives. It was a good and healthy donkey. That day it was tied. The owner may have tied it for what seemed to be the usual thing done to animals when we want to restrict their movements. However, unknown to the owner, it was now time for the five hundred year old prophecy to get fulfilled and that donkey had been prepared for the same purpose! No man had rode on it because it had been kept for a day and hour the Lord would use it to enter Jerusalem in fulfilling Zechariah 9:9 but Daniel 9:25.

Now, who knew anything important about that donkey? To begin with, it wasn’t a horse but a mere donkey! It wasn’t from a city but a village! It may have been angry for being tied, and hence not being able to explore life as it desired. But all that was for a purpose, for soon it would be loosed and experience an honour it had never had before – men and women lying clothes where it would tread for carrying the Lord! Oh, if a child of God can only know that present bondages or troubles are not unto destruction but for glory! Even when our loved one (a believer in the faith) has died, let’s not despair;  in Isaiah we read that, “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness” (Isa.57:1-2).

False Expectations

People waited for the Messiah with their own carnal expectations. When they read Daniel’s prophecies they expected a great person to arise and crush the mighty Roman Empire. They knew the written prophecies but did not have a heart and eyes to discern the ways of God. They had man-made religious systems from where teachers of the Law were orained. They thought the messiah would arise from their established systems. Could they not look back into history and see how Moses and other prophets were called?

At no time in history has God ever raised a prophet who conformed to established religious systems. Such systems are often filled with people who are too dead to recognise the living Word of God. When the Lord Jesus came, the religious leaders of the day rejected him by quoting past prophets. One day they rebuked a man who was testifying to them about a miracle, telling him: “Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples” (Joh.9:28). But who was this Moses they claimed to believe? What did he experience in his ministry? What kind of people followed and believed in him? Was it people of the sort of Pharisees?

Revering Prophets of Old

The teachers of the Law revered Moses and recited his words. They rejected Jesus with Moses’ quotes! But if only they could look closer they would have realised that Jesus was the living manifestation of what Moses pointed to. And if they could look back they would have realised that the same spirit that rejected Moses was actually operating in them. In Numbers chapter 14 we read that “all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night”. That was an entire congregation crying out. If truth is in numbers then surely these people were right! But what were the people crying about? Verse two and four continues: “And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!… And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” How would a people murmur against Moses, that great prophet? Well, a prophet may look great because he is no more and we can read him on pages of paper. It is important to know that whenever the Word manifests, it does so in simplicity. Is it not strange that when Joshua and Caleb saw the rebellion of the people and spoke out against their disobedience to God, the people threatened to stone them – “But all the congregation bade stone them with stones” (Num.14:10). Here we notice the people’s violence against faithful disciples of Moses, Joshua and Caleb! Surely, Joshua stood for what Moses truly believed. And so, if they could not accept Moses, they wouldn’t definitely accept Joshua! Isn’t that what has happened to today’s Joshuaic ministry – people have fought and rejected what it stands for because they actually reject what Moses’ ministry truly stood for! They can try to quote words of Branham but their actions are contrary to what he actually taught – Back to the Word!

That day when the Lord rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, Luke 19:37 records that “the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen. Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.” The Spirit of God was working among these people, making them proclaim Jesus King and hence fulfil Zechariah 9:9. This was much to the annoyance of religious leaders who heard the praise as “noise” and not fulfilment of prophecy (v.39-40). These are the people who decorated and revered tombs of prophets of old but yet denied the Spirit that now worked in their present day!

As the Lord Jesus moved closer to Jerusalem and saw the city he wept: “he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (v.41-44).

How did the Jews become ignorant of the time of their visitation? Why did they spend time garnishing the tombs of old prophets but yet failing to recognise the present prophetic ministry? Simply because, although they had faith in the prophets, they did not have the faith of the prophets! By not having the faith of the prophets they were not truly children of the prophets but actually children of those that killed the prophets – “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. ” (Mat.23:29-39)

70 AD – Jerusalem Destroyed

In 70 AD the words of the Lord got fulfilled when Jerusalem, because of the rebellion of Jews against the Roman Empire, was surrounded by armies of Rome under Prince Titus. The city was razed to the ground and lay desolate, dispersing the Jews. However, after many years later on (about 300 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus) Rome embraced Christianity and erected a temple on the site of the tomb where the Lord was laid to rest before His resurrection. It’s a huge and beautiful structure that attracts tourists from all over the world. It is called the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Do the people who garnish this structure, to maintain it for the many tourists who visit it, have the faith of Jesus Christ? Are the many people who visit it truly disciples of Christ? Will the world, which so much cherishes the tomb of Christ, recognise the sign of the Messiah sent to this generation? Did people have eyes to recognise the Star-Messenger who was sent to the Laodicean Church Age, the forerunner of the Second Coming of Christ? Did they hear and understand his Message?

Download PDF copy of this Message: Garnishing Tombs

The Tenth Persecution, 303 AD

Diocletian was born in 240 BC and grew up during the Third Century Crisis, a period when the Roman empire was very unstable and on the verge of collapse because of power struggles and ineffective rulers. Young Diocletian joined the military and rose through the top ranks.

Rise of Diocletian

It was around 282 BC when a division of Roman soldiers (i.e. a legion)  had proclaimed their commander, Carus, as the new emperor. Emperor Carus liked Diocletian and elevated him to the highest ranks.

Emperor Carus only ruled for about a year and (like was explained earlier) was killed by a lightening. His sons  – Numerian and Carinus – succeeded him. They only ruled for a very short period of time. Numerian died of an illness (most likely a result of being poisoned). Carinus was in conflict with Diocletian. A battle between Carinus and Diocletian ensued. Carinus was unpopular and most of his men defected to Diocletian’s side. Carinus got killed by his own soldiers and the armies of both the western and eastern empire rallied behind Diocletian and proclaimed him emperor.

Emperor Diocletian became determined to completely put to an end the instability that characterized the empire. There were two main challenges for Diocletian to overcome: the internal struggles for power in the empire, and the horde of barbarian tribes (especially from the eastern side of the empire) which kept attempting to attack and destroy Rome. Diocletian was set to protect the empire from collapsing through various reforms.

Diocletian established himself as a powerful dictator who could never be challenged. He de-politicized the army and ensured total allegiance to his authority.

Noticing that the empire faced immense danger of Persian invasions on its eastern borders, he realized that the empire was too vast to be governed from one central point, Rome.  In 285 AD he divided the empire into two halves – the western half to be ruled by a lesser emperor (addressed by the title Caesar) and himself (a senior emperor addressed by the title Augustus[1]) to rule over the eastern half of the empire. With these developments, Rome ceased to be the capital of the empire;  the Western Empire was ruled from Milan ( a city in northern Italy), and the Eastern Empire from Nicomedia (now Izmir in Turkey)

In 293 AD another change was made: each half of the empire would have both an Augustus and a Caesar so that the whole empire now had four rulers. This system became known as the Tetrarchy (i.e. “government by four people”). During the Tetrarchy, Emperor Diocletian was Augustus of the eastern half of the empire and watched over Thrace, Asia, and Egypt. Galerius as Ceaser under Diocletian watched over Illyria, the Danubian provinces, and Achaea. Emperor Maximian was Augustus of the western empire and watched over Italy, Sicily, and Africa. Constantius was Ceaser serving under Maximian and ruled over Gaul, Spain, and Britain.

The tetrarchy was an effective system of administration which made the presence of imperial authority felt throughout the empire.

Now, Diocletian is much known for two things – first, the great organization (administration) he established in the empire and second, the terrible, worst, and last persecution he caused upon Christians.

Beginning of Christian Persecution

Sometime in the year 299 AD there was an  important ceremony of sacrifices in Antioch which was officiated by emperors. Performing the ritual were  haruspices. Haruspices were diviners in the religion of Rome and used to read entrails of sacrificed animals in order to predict the future. At the special event of 299 AD they failed to read the omen of the entrails and accused the Christians to be causers of the failure. The emperors ordered people to offer sacrifices to purify the place. The order was extended to all men serving in the army; everyone was required to offer a sacrifice or he would be dismissed.

Such orders to offer sacrifices always put Christians in trouble. Christians soldiers would refuse to sacrifice, get accused of disobedience, and were killed. This time Emperor Diocletian decided to recall every Christian from serving in the army. However, Caesar Galerius was bent on influencing Diocletian to further exterminate Christians. Diocletian was at first reluctant to enforce such an extreme response to Christian’s exclusive lifestyles, but he later turned into an ugly monster that devised every possible tool and way to inflict pain on Christians.

After returning from Antioch, Diocletian was angry with Deacon Romanus, a  Christian leader who had been vocal against pagan sacrifices. He ordered that his tongue be pulled from his mouth. John Foxe tells the details of the torture of this saint: “he was scourged, put to the rack, his body torn with hooks, his flesh cut with knives, his face scarified, his teeth beaten from their sockets, and his hair plucked up by the roots. Soon after he was ordered to be strangled, November 17, A.D. 303.

On 24th February, 303 AD Diocletian issued The Edict Against the Christians which ordered the destruction of Scriptures and worship places of Christians, and further prohibited them from meeting for prayers.

A few days after the edict had been issued there was an inferno which gutted a portion of the imperial palace. Galerius blamed it on Christians. Even after an investigation into the matter did not find the causers of the fire, Christians had to bear the consequences: A Christian by the name Peter Cubicularius was stripped of his clothes and scourged. Salt and vinegar were poured into his wounds. After this excruciating experience he was slowly boiled over an open flame.  A terrible persecution thereafter ensued in which “no distinction was made of age or sex” writes John Foxe. “the name of Christian was so obnoxious to the pagans that all indiscriminately fell sacrifices to their opinions. Many houses were set on fire, and whole Christian families perished in the flames; and others had stones fastened about their necks, and being tied together were driven into the sea. The persecution became general in all the Roman provinces, but more particularly in the east; and as it lasted ten years, it is impossible to ascertain the numbers martyred, or to enumerate the various modes of martyrdom.

Cause of the Diocletian Persecution?

As to why the Diocletian Persecution occurred, Jean Cousin in Encyclopaedia Britannica wrote:

The reasons for this persecution are uncertain, but various explanations have been advanced: the possible influence of Galerius, a fanatic follower of the traditional Roman religion; the desire to restore complete unity, without tolerance of a foreign cult that was seen as separatist and of individuals who were forming a kind of state within the state; the influence of anti-Christian philosophers such as Porphyry and governors such as Hierocles on the scholarly class and on the imperial court; the fear of an alienation of rebellious armies from emperor worship; or perhaps the disturbances provoked by the Christians themselves, who were agitated by doctrinal controversies. At any rate, some or all of these factors led Diocletian to publish the four edicts of 303–304, promising all the while that he would not spill blood. His vow went unheeded, however, and the persecutions spread through the empire with an extreme violence that did not succeed in annihilating Christianity but caused the faith of the martyrs to blaze forth instead (Cousin, 2017).

But our Lord had clearly foretold saying, “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me” (Joh.15:20-21). And as history has repeatedly shown, no amount of suppression or persecution can break the spirit of a people who believe. The flames of fire, or cruelty of a sword, can never vanquish the faith of a soul that is sincerely devoted to a cause. Amidst all the trials and cruelty the Christians suffered, God had not abandoned them. Satan, the master of political systems of this world, sought to destroy the saints but faith in God’s Word and the joy of the Lord gave them strength to press on. Prophecies, like the ones which came through the aging and last surviving apostle of Jesus, John, were a source of encouragement: “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”(Rev.2:10).

Indeed, when historians are listing failures of Diocletian, one thing that cannot go unmentioned is that despite his campaign against the Christians having been the largest and bloodiest, it not only failed to eliminate Christianity but was shortly followed by its increased popularity, and only about a decade later became the state religion of the empire. It was such a sharp and unpredictable swing in history.

[1] The first emperor of Rome was Augustus. After his death his name became the official title of emperors.