I had a dream in August last year, before these latest horrors we have seen across the Middle East in regards to IS and the terrible persecution that is taking place.
Upon waking I knew it was a 'God dream' as they always have a deep and lasting effect on me. Maybe I should have posted it back then? However, as they say, better late than never.
A rising tide
In the dream I was in a country where a specific Islamic group were starting at a grassroots level, they began to consolidate and coordinate power. They then started going around searching for Christians.
They visited houses from door-to-door, searching out believers, treating them as sub-human. They pulled Christians from their homes with evil intent (the dream didn't say what exactly), in their minds having 'the right' to interrogate them.
They did this by power of fear and intimidation (not of just the individual group but the larger movement/group in general). They 'ratted out' these individuals or families from their homes â causing them to go into hiding.
At one stage I was in one of these neighbourhoods, having the sense that this was happening from door-to-door around me and I knew I would be next! I knew they were coming soon and the night before they did come I managed to sleep peacefully, as I felt I was sleeping in the peace of God.
The next day they came for me. I remember being at the doorway of the house I was hiding in and, before being taken away, I looked at my sister; I told her I loved her. My voice broke with sorrow as I spoke. I had no idea what they were going to do with me next or if I would ever see her again. I doubted I would.
The dream changed after this 'rounding up' and the establishment of their 'voice' â proclaiming what was acceptable and what wasn't in this neighbourhood or part of the country.
The dream was in Australia now. The leaders of this evil group began to expound upon what they deemed as right and acceptable and what would not be tolerated.
Even though this group was vastly outnumbered by the citizens around them the majority all said, in capitulary unison, "sorry" to this evil group. I was enraged and it seemed like I was the only one.
Who were these people instilling their beliefs in us and doing it with a fearful and bloody hand, with no questions asked? There should have been an uprising, people being insistent that their rights, freedoms and very choices were being taken away from them. The dream then ended.
I feel (although in no way comparing it to the real life situation) I have a somewhat detached sense of what is going on right now in other parts of the world, some idea of what thousands are going through right now.
Christians just like me are literally being hunted down, rounded up and slaughtered â for no other reason than being Christian. Much like the Jews of WWII, who were rounded up and slaughtered in similar fashion for no other reason than being Jewish.
It wasn't a pleasant feeling knowing there is an evil out there in your immediate vicinity, growing momentum, totally intolerant and unyielding in its goals. An evil seeking you out as an individual, herding and parading you as some sort of criminal for no other reason than identifying yourself to be associated with or following Christ.Instead of Nazism, it is now an Islamic brand of evil.
Different brand, same evil
My heart goes out to the thousands slaughtered, dispelled or on the run in the Middle East right now because of the undeniably evil Islamic group IS. If I was living there, I WOULD be one of these people. The only reason I'm not being herded up, killed or beheaded RIGHT NOW is because of my location. This is a very sobering thought for all of us. It could very well be any one of us suffering the evils now being suffered in the world but due to the fact that we simply were not born there or do not live there it is not.
We have to pray for these people in the Middle East, not only for the Christians but all the minority groups being persecuted and killed. Even if our prayer is to simply weep for the dead we don't even know and ask God to begin to turn back this tide of evil.
We should pray too for those doing the slaughtering. After all it was Paul, one of the greatest persecutors of the early Christian church, who because of the depths of the grace of God, became one of the faith's greatest champions.
I have said these things to you so that you won't fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues. The time is coming when those who kill you will think that they are doing a service to God. They will do these things because they don't know the Father or me.But I have said these things to you so that when their time comes, you will remember that I told you about them.
John chapter 16, verses 1-4
Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
Luke chapter 6, verse 22
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.
John chapter 15, verses 18-20
"In fact, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
2 Timothy chapter 3, verse 12
Tim Everton is a youth worker and part time designer/nerd/artist from the beautiful southern coast of South Australia. In his off-time he pursues his artistic passions, the beach and seeking out the next best cafe latte both in equal measure.
Tim Everton's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/tim-everton.html