‘Blessed are the Beheaded in Christ’ ….
“For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just
and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him,
he was greatly perplexed, but he still liked to listen to him”.. ref/Mark 6:20.
From the above Scripture, it is evident that the prophet John was a just, holy and respected prisoner, and he was a ‘burning and shining light’ in the place of captivity.

‘Immediately the king sent an Executioner and Commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb.’ ..ref/Mark 6:27-29 ..

What went wrong? How did the spiritual teacher of the king so suddenly become a headless body ready for burial?

The motivator behind this execution was the Sexually Immoral Adulteress, Herodias, the wife of the king’s brother, Philip. Read the story for yourself. Herodias was cut that John was bold enough to rebuke the king for committing adultery with Herodias, a married woman. Therefore, she found a way to take Revenge on the Holy Prophet.

John set the benchmark (as all true prophets do and are called to do) which many of Christ Jesus’ disciples would esteem to and follow, long after he was gone. It has been said that in recorded history, more Christians have been killed for ‘The Faith’ than the number of deaths from all Wars put together...

What is clear is that there are Dark Forces at work, aggressing hard against humanity, professing Christians and Disciples of Christ alike. Most of humanity in their ignorance (of truth) think that we live in a ‘Material World’.

‘And the dragon was Enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who Keep the Commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ .. ref/Revelation 12:17.

The Devil and his kingdom are against Christ Jesus and His followers, and they have been under attack from the Devil’s Forces for multiple centuries and it will run on until the very end, Saint Paul fought this Fight to the very end and we are to emulate such a Saint,if we desire to be counted worthy of Messiah also … ref/2 Timothy 4:7.

Brother Stephen is yet another example of what we can expect at any given time in our walk, that is if we are ‘Walking the Walk’ with the Christ. ‘When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”.. ref/Acts 7:54-59.

St. Stephen Sharply Rebuked the professing Religious Sinners of his day, and you could say that they over-reacted and took his words too seriously. Perhaps they believed that what he said was true. They were certainly Convicted but obviously had ‘No Intentions’ of rectifying their ways, hence, get rid of him, then our problem is solved and we can go on merrily as we will in our Sin. And it won’t be any different in the Last Days for the True Disciples of the Christ.

They certainly had an outburst of wrath and hatred towards Stephen, and they killed him in their fierce, Unrighteous anger. This can unfortunately be the result when a Christian rebukes a Sinner or a group of Sinners, a Church. They take it to heart, and they unleash their un-controlled wrath.

It was no different for Lot when he dwelt in Sodom. The hordes of thugs surrounded his home, demanding to have sex with two Angels, who visited Lot’s home, but Lot rebuked them for their immoral motives. Because Lot was so judgmental/just in his view, the men all wanted to kill him and would have done so if the Angels did not intervene and punish the wicked men in order to overthrow their plot.

Getting back to Herod .. ‘Now about that time, Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James, the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.’ .. ref/Acts 12:1-4.

These days, there is significant debate over the definition of harassment. However, the above Scripture clearly shows what harassment is. The king harassed the Church. St. James was slain, and St. Peter was kept in a form of maximum security prison. Now make no mistake about it; Christ’s followers are involved in a War, a Spiritual War…

And many in powerful positions have committed war crimes against Christian soldiers. One organisation which was guilty of this was the once Super-Powerful, Nation ruling, Roman Catholic Church, which Persecuted Protestant Christians to death and was also the death Instrument of the Crusades against the Muslim world. This professing Church (RCC) has a Bloody, Violent and Corrupt history to its name. “For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints and of all who were slain on the earth.” ref: Revelation 18:23, 24.

There are several examples of Born-Again believers who died for their faith in Christ. Though not all of Jesus’ disciples have been killed, multitudes have been, and many more proselytes will be killed after conversion during the upcoming Great Tribulation Period.

‘When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the Word of God and for the Testimony which they Held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you Judge and Avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a White Robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their Fellow Servants and their Brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.” .. ref/Revelation 6: 9-11.

According to Scripture, there is further death toll to come in the long-term war against the Saints. The Lord knows ahead of time what is going to take place, and many active Christians doing dangerous Ministerial works are aware that their days are numbered. Nevertheless, they should not lose heart because the work they do also has its rewards, Eternal Rewards.

Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on, Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works follow them.”.. ref/Revelation 14:13.

Indeed, the slain Saints and all dead saints who continued believing/Obeying the Christ are blessed because they now have permanent, uninterrupted, eternal rest, and they have finished their Ministerial works and have fulfilled their Calling. Sound, quality, un-broken sleep is sweet and the fulfilment gained from finishing any important job, task successfully, is priceless. How much more the Call of God, Praise his Holy Name!..

And for a Saint’s labour to be seen and appreciated as a lasting legacy long after they are gone begets boldness and satisfaction to all the Faithful. Many living saints today are blessed by following their living example and by learning from the lives of Great Biblical men and woman of God who have set a straight path before them. It’s a win-win situation for all Biblically Committed Believers in Christ, although the World sees it all as a waste of a carnal life and foolishness.

So after all is said and done, can we honestly say that after reading what we just read in this article that the Local Church, the Disciples of the Christ and the True Church at Large are a peoples who live a fun life, with abundant finances and consistent loving support from the Government of the day and the Community they’re in. Let me say, only if we are ‘Unfaithful to Jesus Christ’.

And let us all remember that, All things work together for Good for those who Love (obey) God, and are Called according to His purpose.. ref/Romans 8:28.

Blessed are those who are found Faithful by Messiah to …. The End.

T. E. Loftus .. Slovakia, Europe
Matthew 5:1-12