| A Heart Felt Explanation|
Brothers and Sisters
This post is not a defense of what I do. But more of an explanation from my heart. It is an explanation to those who say I have an agenda. To those who say that I'm obsessed with the persecuted. To those who may imply that I'm putting people under condemnation.
Brothers and sisters I did not wake up one morning with a desire to kead a prayer call for the persecuted church. Ten years ago the persecuted church was the furthest thing from my mind. Though I knew about it. Though I had been somewhat associated with Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs. I never saught the ministry of praying for the persecuted church. Again I want to assure you I never saught the ministry of praying for the persecuted church. For that matter I never had an interest in the persecuted church.
At the beginning of the 2000's I was caught up in the IHOP movement. My desire was to have a prophetic public ministry. Standing in front of people giving prophetic declarations. Even preaching the gospel. I wanted to see God do signs and wonders. I wanted God to use me to lay hands on people, to see the sick healed. Even to see the dead raised. I wanted to be used in a deliverance ministry. So the persecuted church was the furthest thing from my mind at the beginning of last decade. I was not seeking a ministry, particularly an intercessory prayer ministry of praying for the persecuted. This was never on my radar.
I had people prophesied over me that I would be preaching the gospel. I had visions of preaching before large crowds. More like delusional visions. Praying for the persecuted church was not what I had in mind.
Some of you may be asking why am I be labouring this. To say to my accusers. Praying for the persecuted and having an interest in the persecuted church was never in my thoughts or desires. I want to say to you again a ninistry to the persecuted was never in my thoughts or desires.
A dear sister in Christ spoke to me about having a ministry of prayer, of being an unnamed intercessor in my prayer room praying God's heart. This was not what I wanted to hear. I wanted to be used in a public line kight. But eventually God changed my heart to come out of my desires for public ministry and go into the inner room in prayer. That to seek Him.
A few years ago I was introduced the praying via conference calling. As I got involved in this minustry God began to open up doors to lead prayer conference calls. Most of the calls I was involved in were praying for the nation and revival. God was taking me into a ministry of intercessory prayer.
On one of our prayer calls there was a sister who prayed with us. At the end of the call I spoke briefly with her. As I spoke with her I found she worked for the US Department of State, in the Office of International Religious Freedom. As I spoke with the sister an old nental file opened up. That was a file of the persecuted church. Information I want gleamed from Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors begin to surface. God used the sister to point me once again to His persecuted church.
Over time God put within my heart a desire to pray for these precious saying who were laying down their lives for Christ. As I grew more in the ministry of conference call praying. I began searching in vain for a call that prayed for the persecuted Church. Despite my best Google searches. No call could be found.
As I lamented before the Lord. I felt the Holy Spirit impressing me quietly to get a conference call number and access code. Thus Persecution Watch was born. And this 5 1/2 years ago. It is only by the grace of God this ministry continues three nights a week. It is only by the grace of God that we have been able to sustain nightly watches for periods of time for persecuted brothers and sisters. It is only by the grace of God that we have had 12 hour and 24 hour calls. Saints only by the grace of God. And not by the Flesh of Blaine Scogin.
Brothers and sisters, I did not seek out this ministry. I never desired this ministry in the beginning. There have been times I have tried to let Persecution Watch go. I have tried to walk away from this ministry. I never saught this ministry. I say to you again I never saught this ministry. I'm only sharing my heart with those who accuse me of an agenda. I say to you again with all honesty from my heart. I never saught a ministry with the persecuted. Forgive me for belaboring this. But I feel I must share this with those who may accuse me otherwise. Again I did not wake up one morning saying I'm going to have a ministry to the persecuted.
But nonetheless this is what God has called me to. The call that God has given me the honor to lead is not a glamorous call. It is not a popular call. But as I have grown in praying for the persecuted, I now see it is a blessing to pray for these dear saints who are suffering for the Lord Jesus Christ.
I consider it an honor now. One I tried to walk away from. One that I have never sought. But now I consider it an honor and a blessing to be a servant of God in praying for our brothers and sisters who are suffering in the shadow of the cross.
Once God made this known to my hesrt. I gladly accept this mantle to pray for his persecuted. I have no desires now to be in the limelight. I have no desires to be in a public ministry. But would much prefer to be in the prayer room, the war room, the conference lines, praying for His blessed persecuted Church. I thank God that he allows me this honor.
Some may accuse me of trying to garner sympathy for myself. Or trying to defend myself. Again that is not the intention of my heart. But rather trying to open my heart to those who may think I have an agenda.
I feel to some degree Paul's passion to preach the gospel. He said woe to me if I do not preach the gospel. I would say woe to me if I did not pray for the persecuted.
I know this OP is long. But I hope it gives a clear explanation of what God has put on my heart His persecuted bride.
Brother Blaine Scogin
Redited for grammer and correction.
| 2016/3/20 12:17|
| Re: A Heart Felt Explanation|
Bless you brother. The persecuted church & their plight (& our call towards them) is not the "THE ONLY" thing scripturally, but whatever ministry/burden the Lord lays on a man is definitely something "BIG" on his heart/ministry/mind, & this can totally be from the Lord's sovereign hand. Fact is, that many of the prophets looked "unbalanced" to the scholar/scribe, but they were aflame with the message God put in their heart.
As for me, I can understand what you are saying. I was actually a recent convert close to 17-18 years or so ago now, in prison, condemned, a criminal ("2nd-Degree Felonious Ring-Leader of Organized Crime over $100,000 under $1,000,000" was my charge under the RICO act which was originally created for the mafia/mob) I was handed a VOM magazine. I was in shock. I couldn't believe this was actually taking place in the earth 2,000 years after Christ's coming! The Lord broke me. I spent time in prayer praying for each of these believers/families in my cell. I had Muslims & White Supremicists threaten me in that place, but they weren't wielding machetes, burning down the church services, chasing me & my wife out of our home & into the jungles, etc.
I got out, went to work, started our family, enrolled in Bible College & put myself through school at night, & was cast into ministry & before people sharing/preaching pretty quickly. I shared Jesus with anyone & everyone I could. But the burning burden in my heart for the persecuted was a planted seed by God that never left me. Eventually, I was sharing in front of our very large church on Sunday's in the Dallas area, was leading a small group, was standing on the downtown Dallas street corners nights & weekends sharing the Gospel outside the same bats I used to get wasted in, fight & get kicked out of, etc.
But the burden for the least of these God gave me never left. So on the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, I asked to share with our church. I remember getting told that "ok, you have 10 minutes"? What? For the heroes of the faith who are laying down their life for Jesus? We spend whole Sunday's honoring "America", "Veterans", etc. but the saints who suffered persecution & were/are found faithful get 10 minutes? I shared & wept up in front of a couple thousand people telling them that the Lord has given these we secured brethren special honor, & we should do no less. We should be aware & willing to listen, we should be praying for them, open to giving/going or whatever.
Over the years, now I see when 2015 was FAR MORE INCREASED in terms of global Christian persecution than EVER IN HISTORY in terms of sheer numbers, etc. it should move us brethren. To pray. To share. To give as we are able, willingly, not under compulsion. It seems if "pure and undefined religion is to care for orphans & widows in their distress", the persecuted church should be preimminent in our hearts? Organs & widows in that day were at risk of dying on the streets with no one to care at all for them. This is a good thing to care for them. But in a western world where the widow may have more savings than others, orphans may be readily adopted & cared for abundantly, one of the greatest expressions of the "least of these" we have before us is the persecuted church. They can do little to nothing for us personally, but we are called to "remember them....AS THOUGH we ourselves were bound..." That's a tall order. But it's a scriptural command given in Hebrews 13:3. It's not THE ONLY THING brethren, but I believe that it's way more important than most western Christians place importance on. I say that not in condemnation or smugness/pride, but out of a heart that has observed the church's response to it in large part for 15+ years. And a teacher usually is talking about teaching/doctrine, a prophet (a real/true one) about what the Lord is speaking on a matter right now, an evangelist is talking about souls & evangelism, etc. Someone the Lord has burdened with intercession & awareness for the persecuted church probably sounds like a broken record to others at times too, but I believe it's important to the Lord what our response is church to His sons/daughters (our brothers/sisters) who are suffering greatly & laying it down on the line for their faith. They cry out from directly underneath His throne day & night in Revelation (how long O Lord, how lon until you avenge our martyrs blood?), so I think they are of great, dear, precious importance to Our Lord!
We should all be "balanced" & often are by the fellowship one with other believers who are of different giftings/callings, but still in The Body (can the eye say to the hand I have no need of you? - NO!). But a man should share on the rooftops that which God has spoken to Him in the secret place. That calling is different for each of us saints. I will say this matter is of PRIORITY IMPORTANCE to the Lord. I say that without hesitation whatsoever knowing the full course of scripture & the leading of the Spirit in this matter.
A few verses to chew on:
3xRemember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, & those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.
1 Timothy 2
1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, & thanksgivings be made for all people,
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4: 8-11
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…. If they persecuted Me they will persecute you… for they do not know the One who sent Me.” John 15:19-21
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
—2 Corinthians 12:10
Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11″Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12″Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you..."
Not to mention that we are continuously commanded in the scriptures to love our brethren & how are we really loving our persecuted, troubled, distressed, pressured brethren if we won't pray for them? If we won't raise their plight to a mostly distracted & self-centered, self-focused, "how does it affect me personally?" modern, western church, at least in large part (if not "for the most part")?
| 2016/3/20 19:31|
| 2016/3/21 17:16|
| Re: |
Jeff this is a powerful testimony brother. Thank you for sharing. Was it not Richard wurmbrand who said that it was never considered a church service in the first century or two unless the martyrs were remembered?
There have been two threads devoted to the allegations of a certain ministry in their misuse of funds. And one of the threads is still running.
But post something about the persecuted. That thread quickly does a martyr's death.
But brother what more can be said. Thank you for remembering our persecuted brothers and sisters.
| 2016/3/21 17:16|
Reigate, Surrey, UK
| Re: A Heart Felt Explanation|
Can I just humbly ask you,
Have you ever faced life threatening persecution yourself. Not your typical persecution where we face rejection, criticism and slander, but the type of persecution where you think you may actually be killed in the next couple of minutes?
| 2016/3/22 3:53||Profile|
| Re: brother Jeff Marshall|
God bless you for OPENLY sharing your life story with us, and me.......now you become more than just a "cyber forum moniker", and I write that not in cruelty...no, no. But now I get to understand Jeff more.....you get me?
what I write next is not REVEL in your past, because Via the Blood, all that is SWEPT AWAY by the LORD, but man! nailed under the RICO act?...that is a heavy duty beef, and put away because of it, what a hellish nightmare....and to then ponder the Steadfast Love and Faithfulness of a Merciful God to reveal Messiah Jesus TO you and IN you?
and then do a 180, which is to TURN, which is to repent, and become a trophy of Grace?....all Praise be to God, Thank You Jesus!
God love and bless those who were born into Godly homes, and never had to travel the "rough road", and when they hear the words "RICO", they might just think its a Latino name, instead of the law enforcement crucifixion it is.
I can sure identify with that testimony, as I had it all around me. Maybe I had a family member, got a .44 magnum bullet in the forehead, coz she liked to scheme and scam and "collect" some real desperados, one of which that turned on her one awful night. Maybe I done every drug known to man, maybe I been a terrible adulterer when I was married to the wife of my youth, my only saving grace was that I was never involved in any "enterprises", because I knew this: "don't do the crime, unless you can do the time"....know what I mean?
But THAT , for you and me, is ALL WASHED AWAY by the Blood of Christ, and those two "men" are dead, resurrected IN Christ Jesus.....no "religion", just a simple Faith.
amen?.....God love you for sharing that, I sure do brother.
In Jesus love, neil
oh ps, bro.s Jeff and Blaine, I might have a "different" take on the "persecuted" church, at least in North America, as the LORD leads, my view is "bring it", because Jesus DID say, in the latter days, "sell your cloak, buy a sword"....yes Lord, done and done. trust me, being loaded into cattle cars? Its not the Way.
| 2016/3/22 5:09|
| Re: Tony|
Brother to be honest no. I have not faced the persecution that those in Eritrea or Somalia have faced. But then have any of us ever faced that type of persecution who live in North America. I think all of us in this form would have to answer no. Or maybe I should say most of us in this forum would have to answer no. That is those of us who live in North America. I see you live in the UK. Perhaps you have faced a situation where you have had to depend on God to give you the grace to that answer. But then UK is falling into Islamic Sharia. I believe soon then America will probably drift into such. Then we may have to depend on God to give us the grace to answer that question.
I don't think that we are put in the position of say Rachel Scott who had a 9 millimeter pointed at her when the young man asked her do you believe in God. And she knew that her answer would send her into eternity.
There may be a time when we will be faced with a question. But at that time I trust the holy spirit will give us His grace to look our attacker in the eyes and say I forgive you. And please come to Jesus as we may be blown away into the presence of Christ.
My thiughts answered in humility.
| 2016/3/22 6:52|
| my dear brother Blaine|
you wrote beloved
But then have any of us ever faced that type of persecution who live in North America. I think all of us in this form would have to answer no. Or maybe I should say most of us in this forum would have to answer no. That is those of us who live in North America. I see you live in the UK. Perhaps you have faced a situation where you have had to depend on God to give you the grace to that answer. But then UK is falling into Islamic Sharia. I believe soon then America will probably drift into such.
that's where you and I might agree to disagree, or part company in our "views". in North America, its not so much "persecution", as in a vile lawless land like Somalia or Eritrea, here its an OPPRESSION, as there are MANY children of the dark one walking the earth, and they could yoked up on drugs, meth, coke, heroin, etc....and when they set upon you, its NOT because of your Faith, its because their hearts are bent on what you "got", and they will not hesitate to rape and murder, because that is the intent of their "father", the destroyer.
and there is a sort of spineless strain in Christianity, that would NOT protect a woman or a child from such deviltry. In the UK and France, and every other country, they don't have the 2nd Amendment, so islam can run wild in the various neighborhoods of London and Paris, "enforcing" this violent and damnable "sharia law"...to the point, where the rabbi of Paris advised orthodox Jews, NOT to wear a kepa....or the shootings in Paris....
and this is NOT confined to muslims....here, just a month ago, not 3 miles as the crow flies from my ranch the first "shake and bake" meth lab was busted....I had no idea this wickedness was afoot, as meth is the "snot of the devil"...and those tormented souls, POSSESSED by this deviltry will not think twice to home invade, or steal valuable farm equipment, do B+E's....and my ranch was gift from God, my ranch is Israel, and I would give more thought to stepping on a cockroach, than I would ENDING a home invader....or some pumped up muslim trying to bring sharia law down here from Minneapolis, coz they better come wearing body armor, and that still wont help them.
and I am NOT just "talking big", or writing a check, my reflexes cant cash, I am deadly serious.
Our "native son" Josh Thompson, sang it MUCH better than I could ever hope to write, in "Way Out Here"
I love you brother Blaine, I am a peaceful and peace loving man, and wrote what I just with clear conscience before the Lord, whom I love, neil
| 2016/3/22 11:41|
| Re: my dear brother Blaine|
Brother Tony asked if I had ever faced "life-threatening persecution". We are not at that point in North Anerica. We can still gather freely in our places of worship without worrying about the secret police coming into our service and arresting or executing us. We are still free to evangelize without fear of being arrested. Though to speak the name of Jesus in some places is becoming difficult. But we can still own a Bible without fear of being arrested or without fear of being executed.
I think you would agree that "life threatening persecution" has not yet reached America. Though there is the possibimity we will be experiencing what the movie "Chased" portrays at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Bro my thoughts.
| 2016/3/22 12:13|
| Re: |
The persecution we are seeing in America is more discrimination and marginalization. More at the hands of the LBGT. Christianity is still legal in North America. Though it's practice will probably become more restrictive in the days ahead. But at present there is no systematic persecution of Christians in terms of hauling them off to prison and execution.
However two sociologist from the University of Northern Texas recently put out a book entitled, "So Many Christians So Few Lions". The book documents the interviews of those who call themselves Progressive Social Activists. These are the power elitist. In their interviews they have said that Christians should be eradicated. Because they stand in the way of the New World Order.
If this thinking becomes entrenched in the American psyche, this could set the stage for the roundup of believers and their ultimate extermination. Things that we thought were right-wing paranoia are now becoming reality. Particularly if sociologists have documented this type thinking at the academic level.
Germany serves as the example of having been influenced by the thinking of Nietzsche. This gave rise to the final solution of the Jews. In ten years previously I doubt anyone would have thought that Germany would have carried out such a massive slaughter on so karge a scale. But then 30 years ago who would have thought that America would be killing so many children in the millions. So the slaughter of Christians in North America may not be so far-fetched.
Again simply my thoughts.
Reedited to correct mistakes.
| 2016/3/22 12:26|