Thursday, 4 August 2022

The Underground Church

 Scripture:  2 John v 1 - 12: "The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;

2  For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
3  Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 
4  I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.
5  And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
6  And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
7  For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
8  Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 
9  Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
10  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
11  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
12  Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full."

Many people have asked me about which church I attend, or a church I would recommend for them.  In the early 80's, I asked Jesus those very questions as I was very unhappy, as a fairly new Christian, recently departed from a Presbytarian Church into one that was filled with the Holy Spirit.

This new church was very exciting.  I had been born again in 1974, and read a book called 'Nine O'clock in the Morning', by the Bennetts, which led to me being baptized in the Holy Spirit, which caused frowns from the Prebytarians.  So I was red hot and raring to go, unaware that my beloved pastor saw me as a threat in the Pentecostal church.

The Lord blessed me with some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that accelerated my prayer life from ordinary to amazing.  I attended a tent meeting where miracles were the norm, together with my church.  I was given a prophecy there that I was anointed to be an Intercessor!  A what?  You'll find out, they chorused.

One of the areas of intercession the Lord led me into was Russia.  Particularly, the Underground Church, and specifically Pastor Richard, and wife Sabrina, Wurmbrand.  He suffered much imprisonment from the Communist government, was tortured horribly to renounce his faith.  It only made him stronger and more vocal in Siberian prisons, leading his torturers to Jesus, one after the other.

What I loved about the Underground Church was the testimonies of how real Jesus was to them.  How the church had one Bible of which each page was carefully removed and given page by page to the congregation, which they would secretly copy and hide, and return the pages, and take the next.  How they treasured the Word of God!  

In Richard Wurmbrand's secret meeting places, the Lord protected them one night, when a new member was present.  He seemed to fit in but Sabrina had a word of knowledge that he was from the secret police.  She managed to convey this to her husband.  When he announced the next meeting place, he did it in "tongues" and each true believer got the right place, the 'new member' did not!

The love these brethren had for one another was profound.  There was no gossip, slander or undermining in those churches.  They became one in Spirit and were steadfast in the Word.  They helped each other continually and most of them survived.

My beloved pastor held a meeting in which it was said that when I walked into the church I was so bad that Jesus would leave.  He said this on the 39th day of a 40 day fast I was on.  Water only, no distractions, Jesus only.  He did not come to me first and say these things, but turned a whole church against me, including my husband.  

The Lord had already started using my sons in a prayer ministry at home, so we left that church, but my husband continued to go there.  It caused a terrible rift between us, that never healed.  The whole church was forbidden to communicate with me in any way whatsoever as I was labelled rebellious and disobedient.

It led to me drawing ever closer to Jesus, spending the next three years on my knees before Him.  There were a few Christians outside the church I left who stayed in touch with me.  We started a sort of Underground Church called the Church of Philadelphia, Brotherly Love.  First there was one couple who had two linked phones and we had many hours of powerful ministry over those phone lines.

We even had Communion over the phone.  Strangely, their friends asked why they were no longer attending church and were told about the Church of Philadelphia.  They wanted to join too.  So they brought in a device that allowed everyone to hear me clearly over the phone.  What meetings we had!  Healing, deliverance, salvation, preaching.  

Then one day, my husband who was a rep, who knew nothing about this church of Philadelphia, visited someone who was a member!  He saw a Bible on his desk and asked what church he belonged too.  He said its a church on the phone with a pastor called Brenda!  Oh dear.  He never said a word but just said he would take me there and collect me after, but he never came inside!

Persecution makes us stronger, and brings Jesus much closer to us.  The scripture above was given to me by the Lord, whose presence in my life has been constant for 48 years, and for Him I have given my all.  He has brought such beautiful Christians into my life over the years and the Church of Philadelphia has remained underground, blessed with Intercessors who mean business with Him.

He bade me to communicate that which I learned at His feet and through a dear friend this blog was born.  It is being read and shared with others all over the world, even in Russia!  Our God is able to do much more than we ask or think!

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, As promised You have never let go of my hand and I am eternally grateful for all You have done in and through me.  I remain astonished at what You can accomplish with so little. Thank You for my cherished friends who labour together with me in small and large matters for Your glory.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.