A Call to Godliness
Reading through the testimonies of brave women martyr's I find myself in awe that humankind is so easily influenced by demons. How is it that because one person does not not believe the same as another, they become qualified for the worst imaginable torments? History shows men of pagan belief tormenting those who would not bow down to their false gods. History also shows men who claim to be Christians tormenting those who also claim to be Christians (yet differing in doctrine). So you see, demonic influence not only overcomes the heathens, but also those who profess the name of Christ.
Over a thousand years later there is estimated to be 41,000 Christian denominations world wide! Wikipedia gives a good run down on these. Here's their list of the notable/verifiable "Christian" denominations:
List of Christian denominations (See Wikipedia's page under this title for more info.)
- 1 Catholicism
- 2 Eastern Orthodox
- 3 Oriental Orthodoxy
- 4 Church of the East
- 5 Protestantism
- 5.1 Pre-Lutheran Protestants
- 5.2 Lutheranism
- 5.3 Anglicanism
- 5.4 Calvinism
- 5.5 Congregationalist Churches
- 5.6 Anabaptists
- 5.7 Brethren
- 5.8 Methodists
- 5.9 Pietists and Holiness Churches
- 5.10 Baptists
- 5.11 Apostolic Churches – Irvingites
- 5.12 Pentecostalism
- 5.13 Charismatics
- 5.14 African Initiated Churches
- 5.15 United and uniting churches
- 5.16 Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
- 5.17 Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement
- 5.18 Southcottites
- 5.19 Millerites and comparable groups
- 5.20 British-Israelism
- 5.21 Christian Identity
- 5.22 Miscellaneous/Other
- 6 Nontrinitarian groups
- 7 New Thought
- 8 Messianic Judaism / Jewish Christians
- 9 Esoteric Christianity
- 10 Syncretistic religions incorporating elements of Christianity
In the United States about 79.5% of adults (247 million) identify themselves as Christian. You would think that if this many people were obeying the basic teachings of Christ, America would be a heavenly City full of Brotherly love. A court system would be virtually non-existant since Christ taught to suffer the wrong- Mat 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Mat 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
Mat 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Mat 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
And Paul confirms Christ's teaching:
1Corinthians 6:6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
1Cor. 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Perhaps many of these people in America that claim to be Christian believe this is a heavenly city? Seeing how we seldom hear anything close to what the Martyr's Mirror has recorded throughout history happening here. Is it not required of American Christians to lay down their life for the faith? Is it no longer necessary for women to be keepers at home: to teach their daughters how to be brave & fearless in the midst of suffering; how to be frugal & thankful for the day of small things, how to cook, clean & sew, how to keep their minds of the kingdom of God where righteousness reigns, how to long & wait for the returning of the Lord?
What does it mean to be Christian in America? The other Sunday I saw people that appeared to have just been to "Church" the man & boys had on fancy suits, & the woman & young girl had on tight jeans. Is that what Christianity looks like in 2013? Or does it look like women & girls in dresses? Or is it women & girls in long dresses? Do they only dress this way on Sunday or Saturday?
What does it mean to be a Christian in America? Are you free to live day after day eating, drinking, & enjoying the many "Christian" entertainments? Do you really get bored? Is it really hard to find ways to use your time? Do you ever think you'll be "persecuted" for your faith? What do you think about the history of people that have died cruel tortures simply because they did not want to compromise what they believed to be truth? Do you think we are wiser as Christians now because we've been able to avoid this, or is it just because America is a "Christian" Country? The following testimonies are from the time just before "Christianity" became the government religion. Consider the faith these women & even girls had. What do you think they did with their time from day to day before they were martyr'd (before they even knew they would suffer such things)? Were their minds on the things of this life, & then suddenly when that day came they had this notable bravery? Or were their minds on Christ, & His kingdom, the Hope of the Gospel?
If all that live godly in Christ shall suffer... 2Timothy 3:12 "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." are few American Christians suffering, because few are living godly? Sisters, Mothers, Daughters, stop wasting your lives with compromise, stop trying to fit into the crowd, stop fearing the reproach of man, take up your cross & with all humility of heart restore godliness to Christianity (I speak this to myself also). O Lord help us to walk worthy, to come out from among them & be separate, 2Corinthians 6:17 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Cor. 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty"
JULITTA OF ICONIA, AN HONORABLE WIDOW, AFTER MUCH FLEEING FINALLY BEHEADED FOR THE NAME OF THE LORD, AT TARSUS, IN CILICIA, A. D. 304When Diocletian's persecution was at its highest, a certain widow of Iconia tried to flee from it; wherefore she went with her child, which was three years old, from Lyconia to Seleucia, and from there to Tarsus, in Cilicia. But she could not remain concealed there from the heat of the persecution; for Alexander, the Proconsul who had jurisdiction there, apprehended her. After many vain efforts to persuade her to renounce the Christian faith, lie caused her to be scourged with tough cowhides.
In the meantime he endeavored to quiet the frightened child, called Quiricus, by many pleasant and coaxing words; but the child resisted with hands and feet, refusing to be caressed by the tyrant, and finally ran to his mother. However, the tyrant caught him up again; but this did not turn out very peacefully or pleasantly, for the child scratched his face, and kicked his sides, so that the pain quite enraged him. He therefore took the child by his legs and pitched him head foremost down the stone stairs. The mother, seeing this, thus addressed the tyrant, "Thou needest not think that I am so timid as to be conquered by thy cruelties; for the tearing of my body shall not intimidate me, nor the racking of my members move my spirit; neither shall the threats of the fire, nor death itself be able to separate me from the love of Christ.
Page 182 The greater the torments are with which you threaten me, the more acceptable they are to me; for I hope thereby the sooner to come to my dear son, and to receive with him the crown of righteousness at the hand of Christ."
Upon this confession, the Proconsul had her suspended to the torture-stake, her flesh torn with iron combs, melted pitch poured over her naked body and fresh wounds, and finally caused her to be beheaded. Acta Fidelia, per Metaphrastem, compared with A. Mell., 1st book, fol. 140, col. 1, 2.
THEODOSIA, A GOD-FEARING MAIDEN OF THE CITY OF TYRE, WHO CAME TO COMFORT THE BOUND MARTYRS, DROWNED IN THE SEA AT CAESAREA, A. D. 306)When the fifth year of the tenth persecution had come, on the second day of the month of April, the Sunday of the resurrection of our Saviour, Theodosia, a God-fearing maiden of the city of Tyre, about eighteen years old, came to some bound martyrs at Caesarea, as they were standing before the tribunal, to receive their sentence of death. Her reason in doing so was affectionately to greet them, and to comfort them in their extremity.
Thereupon she was instantly seized by the soldiers, and brought before the Proconsul, who forthwith caused her to be maltreated as though he had been bereft of reason; for he did not have her tortured with all manner of dreadful torments, on her sides only, as was generally the custom, but he also caused her breasts to be torn open to the very bones, and then cut off. All this she suffered steadfastly and with a happy countenance; but when by reason of the intensity of the pain she could scarcely draw her breath any longer, so that it seemed that she would soon cease to live, the Proconsul had her thrown into the sea; and thus this faithful heroine of Jesus Christ was numbered among her slain fellow brethren and sisters. See A. Mell., 1st book, fol. 124, col. 2, 3, from Euseb., lib. 8. Also, J. Gys. on the name Theodosia.
THE SIXTH YEAR OF THE PERSECUTION, COMMENCED A. D. 307From among those who were put to death in the sixth year of Diocletian's persecution, we have selected the following.
ENNATHAS, A CHRISTIAN MAIDEN FROM THE CITY OF SCYTHOPOLIS, BURNED ALIVE IN PALESTINE, FOR THE, CONFESSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, A. D. 307When some Christians, in their zeal for the truth, had reproved Firmilian, the Proconsul of Palestine, for his great idolatry, and were: put to death on this account, on the thirteenth of November, A. D. 307, a certain young maiden, named Ennathas, a native of the city of Scythopolis, came there on:the same day, not of her own accord, however, but through compulsion, and, together with the others, boldly laid down her life for the name of Jesus Christ. She was at first most unmercifully treated, nay, in a manner too shameful and horrible for description. Finally, when she remained steadfast nevertheless, in the confession of her faith, the judge pronounced sentence of death upon her, namely, that she should be burnt alive; and thus this pious martyr pressed through the strait gate, leaving her flesh on the posts; which the Lord shall afterwards crown and reward with glory and majesty. See A. Mell., 1st book, fol. 125, col. 4, from Euseb., J. Gys., fol. 26, col, 4.
CATHARINA, AN HONORABLE MAIDEN OF ALEXANDRIA, BEHEADED AFTER MANY TORMENTS, FOR THE FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, A. D. 307It is stated that on the 25th of November of the same year, Catharina, an honorable maiden of Alexandria, was beheaded, for the faith in Jesus Christ, after having suffered many torments. J. Gys.; fol. 26, col. 4.
BIBLIS, AQUILINA, AND FORTUNATA, THREE GOD FEARING CHRISTIAN WOMEN, PUT TO DEATH FOR THE DIVINE TRUTH, IN PALESTINE, A. D. 308
Among various other martyrs who suffered for the testimony of Jesus Christ in the seventh year of Diocletian's persecution, we have noticed that there were also several honorable Christian women who, from love to their Saviour, did not hesitate to give their lives for the truth. They were called Biblis, Aquilina, a girl of twelve years, and Fortunata, a maiden of Caesarea; who together laid down their lives for the truth, in Palestine. 1. Gys., fol. 26, cot. 3, compared with A. M., fol. 131, cot. 3, ex Mart. Rom. Memol. Grec. MetaQhrast. 13 Junii.
TWO SISTERS AT ANTIOCH DROWNED IN THE SEA, BECAUSE THEY WOULD NOT RENOUNCE CHRIST THEIR SAVIOUR, A. D. 309In the eighth year of Diocletian's persecution, that is A. D. 309, there were at Antioch two sisters, young maidens, of modest manners and pious life, intelligent and well-informed in the way of godliness; so that the world was not worthy, to contain them any longer. They were apprehended and examined, and, clinging steadfastly to Christ, cast into the depths of the sea, and drowned, by the servants of Satan. See the above-named author, in the same book, fol. 129, cot. 1, from Euseb.
IRENE AND HER TWO SISTERS, BURNED ALIVE FOR THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST, A. D. 309In the records written, through the clerk of the criminal court, by the Proconsul Dulcetius, concerning some pious martyrs, there is pronounced, at the close, a certain sentence of death over three sisters, who steadfastly continued in the truth of Christ. The last part of the afore-mentioned records contain, in regard to this, the following words, "And when he (Dulcetius) had demanded paper, he wrote this sentence of death.: 'Whereas Irene would not obey the decree of the Emperors, and sacrifice to the gods, and does still remain a Christian, therefore I command that she be burned alive, as her two sisters were.'"
When the criminal judge had pronounced this sentence upon Irene, the soldiers took her and brought her upon an elevated place, where her sisters had died; and when they had built a great fire of wood, they made her climb upon it; and there, after singing sweet psalms and hymns of praise to the honor of God, she was consumed by the flames. A. Mell., fol. 130 and 131, cot. 1, ex Act. Tier. Proconsular. aped Metaph. Also, Actca cognitionis novissime diei.
Ephesians 5:16 & 17 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.