Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, November 1, 2020

Shavuah Tov, 

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Sun 1-Nov-2020 14th of Cheshvan, 5781

Ge 18:1-14Jdg 1Ps 26Mt 18(2 Jn)

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (2020)

November 1, 2020

by Dr. and Senator Raymond Finney

VOTE YOUR FAITH! Next Tuesday, November 3, is a critical day for America and the world. We will elect either Joe Biden (Kamala Harris) or Donald Trump (Mike Pence) to lead our nation for the next four years. The last few RRs written by me have emphasized that Believers control the majority of votes in America.

If Believers sought and followed God’s will, an insurmountable electoral bloc (“the Believers’ Party”) would exist. Believers are so apostate, undisciplined, and ignorant in God’s ways that we will never accomplish His desires by our actions alone. The majority of Believers are not even registered to vote or, if registered, do not vote. Even so, make your way to your polling booth on or before next Tuesday and vote, as the gentle voice of the Ruach HaKodesh counsels you. Scriptures assure us, though, that God appoints “kings” (presidents). His desired appointments somehow override the failures of His lazy children.

INTRODUCTION: Today, November 1, 2020, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/idop/ . Open Doors USA estimates there are more than 260-million Believers/ Christians who live in places where they face persecution because of their faith. This number means that one in every eight Believers/ Christians in the world is persecuted because of his/ her faith in Yeshua. Visualize how many persons this actually represents. This number of persecuted world residents, if represented by the population of the U.S.A., would be as though nearly four of every five persons (4/5) – men, women, children– in the entire U.S.A. were being persecuted.

BACKGROUND: Yeshua’s followers have been persecuted since the beginning of His ministry. The Bible has warned of perilous times:

● In His invitation to follow Him, Yeshua warned that one condition would be to take up the cross (Matthew 10:38, 16:24; Mark 8:34, 10:21; Luke 9:23, 14:27). If you are a member of Shomair, did Rabbi Weiner warn: “Welcome. By the way, do you know that you may be killed by joining our synagogue?”

● Following Yeshua will lead to being hated (Matthew 10:16a, 17a, 21-22a, 28, 34): [Yeshua said] “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves,…. But beware of men,…. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against their parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all because of My name,…. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna…. Do not think that I came to bring shalom on the earth; I did not come to bring shalom, but a sword.”

● John 15:18-25 (summarized to conserve space): If the world hates a Believer, it is because Yeshua was first hated and because the Believer does not belong to the world. Because Yeshua was persecuted, His followers will be persecuted. The persecutors behave this way because they do not know the One (God the Father) who sent Yeshua. Anyone who hates a Believer also hates Yeshua and the Father. Such hatred fulfilled cries of distress in the Tanakh, such as Psalm 69:5: Those who hate me [David] without a cause outnumber the hairs of my head. Powerful are my enemies who would destroy me with lies…. 

● 2 Timothy 3:12, inclusively including all Believers: Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted. 

● The greatest time of persecution in all history will occur during the Tribulation, according to Yeshua (Matthew 24:21). Satan and his comrades, the Antichrist and the False Prophet, will persecute and martyr Believers as never before. The Tribulation is too complicated to discuss in this RR, but may be read in multiple  Scriptures, including Revelation, chapters 6 through 16. What you believe about when the Tribulation occurs and whether people alive today may experience this time depends upon which of several theories about the timing of the Rapture-Resurrection is you believe. I no longer argue about the timing of the Rapture. As long as God knows, I will leave it to Him and not worry. If Yeshua is coming soon, we must hope that the pre-tribulation theory is correct so that we may be spared the Tribulation.

● And other Scriptures warn of future persecution and martyrdom.

Questions: If you, a Believer, have never been harassed, mocked, persecuted, or discriminated against because of your faith, have you hidden your faith so effectively from the world that no one knows you are a Believer? An old question has been asked: If you are arrested and placed on trial for being a Believer/ Christian, would enough evidence be found to convict you? 

There are compensations or rewards for being persecuted:

● Matthew 5:10-11: [Yeshua said] “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.”

● Luke 6:22: [Yeshua said] “Blessed are you when people hate,… exclude,… revile,… and spurn your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.” 

● The Crown of Life will be awarded to a Believer who suffers and conquers  persecution (Revelation 2:10): [Yeshua said] “Do not fear what you are about to suffer…. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

AND, Jacob (James) 1:12: Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love Him.  

● And other Scriptures. Believing in Yeshua does not guarantee safety or freedom from hardships in this life, but it does guarantee abundant rewards in the life to come. We are promised that any suffering in this temporary, earthly life will be generously compensated in the coming eternal, heavenly life. If the Lord tarries in His return, we could face extreme persecution at the hands of the Antichrist’s regime during the Tribulation.

SPECIFIC PRAYERS: Slightly different lists of persecuted Believers are published, but Open Doors USA publishes a “World Watch List” at https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/ . The fifty nations on this list, ranked in descending order of urgency/ severity, follow.  A map of nations at greatest risk may be viewed by toggling from “List View” to “Map View” on this Website page. (Note the infamous “10-40 window” of Islam.)

** North Korea (threat: communist and post-communist oppression– atheism). See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/north-korea/ 

** Afghanistan (threat: ethnic antagonism). See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/afghanistan/ 

** Somalia (threat: Islamic oppression). See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/somalia/ 

** Libya (threat: Islamic oppression). See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/libya/ .

** Pakistan (threat: Islamic oppression). See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/pakistan/ 

** Eritrea (threat: Christian denominational protectionism). See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/eritrea/ 

** Sudan (threat: Islamic oppression). See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/sudan/ 

** Yemen (threat: Islamic oppression). See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/yemen/

** Iran (threat: Islamic oppression). See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/iran/ 

** India (threat: religious nationalism). See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/india/ 

** Syria (threat: Islamic oppression). See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/syria/ 

** Nigeria (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Saudi Arabia (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Maldives (threat: Islamic oppression). See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/maldives/ 

** Iraq (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Egypt (threat: Islamic oppression). See: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/egypt/ 

** Algeria (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Uzbekistan (threat: dictatorial paranoia). See:


** Myanmar (threat: religious nationalism). See:


** Laos (threat: communist and post-communist oppression). See:


** Vietnam (threat: communist and post-communist oppression). See:


** Turkmenistan (threat: dictatorial paranoia). See:


** China (threat: communist and post-communist oppression). See:


** Mauritania (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Central African Republic (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Morocco (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Qatar (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Burkina Faso (threat: religious nationalism). See:


** Mali (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Sri Lanka (threat: religious nationalism). See:


** Tajikistan (threat: dictatorial paranoia). See:


** Nepal (threat: religious nationalism). See:


** Jordan (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Tunisia (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Kajakhstan (threat: dictatorial paranoia). See:


** Turkey (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Brunei (threat: dictatorial paranoia). See:


** Bangladesh (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Ethiopia (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Malaysia (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Colombia (threat: organized crime and corruption). See:


** Oman (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Kuwait (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Kenya (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Bhutan (threat: religious nationalism). See:


** Russian Federation (threat: dictatorial paranoia). See:


** United Arab Emirates (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Cameroon (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Indonesia (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


** Niger (threat: Islamic oppression). See:


In each future Sunday’s RR, I will try to include seven nations which persecute Believers. Please remember in prayer Believers of a different nation each day.

ORGANIZATIONS DEALING WITH PERSECUTION: Several international organizations deal with persecution of Believers, including the following two. Both cite Yeshua’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) as guiding principles.

● VOICE OF THE MARTYRS (VOM). Website: https://www.persecution.com/ . 

VOM serves persecuted Believers/ Christians through practical, spiritual assistance. This nonprofit, interdenominational missions organization, founded in 1967, serves persecuted Believers/ Christians around the world.

See VOM’s Website for its purposes, statement of faith, and various projects.

VOM publishes a well-written, monthly magazine, The Voice of the Martyrs, which is freely mailed to anyone upon request. To receive your magazine, fill out the subscription form at: https://www.persecution.com/free-magazine/ .

● OPEN DOORS USA. Website: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/ . 

Open Doors USA is a non-profit community of Believers/ Christians organized to support persecuted Believers in more than 60 countries. The staff is composed of people of the Bible and prayer.

This ministry was launched by a courageous Christian man from the Netherlands, Brother Andrew. Brother Andrew was the author of God’s Smuggler, a collection of stories about his secret missions to smuggle Bibles into hostile regions. 

Work with Open Doors USA by browsing their website, reading about  (becoming aware of) persecuted Believers, and receiving email updates; signing petitions that advocate for the rights and well-being of persecuted Believers;   donating to send financial support and Bibles to Believers living in hostile regions; and sending letters of encouragement to persecuted Believers.

Open Doors publishes a well-written, bimonthly digital magazine, Presence, which can be downloaded free of charge. To read your copy, go to: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/presence-magazine/ and click on the  “Download Magazine” prompt. 

Open Doors provides a mobile ‘phone App to assist you in praying for persecuted Believers at any time. To download the “Pray for the Persecuted App,” text PRAYER to 32500.

Remember our brothers and sisters in Yeshua– the “least of these, our brethren” – who are living in persecution and martyrdom solely because of their faith. Until next Sunday, Shalom and Maranatha.