I am reading the apocryphal books currently, as well as nearing the completion of ‘the bible’ itself (ironically finishing with the book of Malachi). There are some inspirational stories in the apocrypha, but today I was sobbing for minutes at the tales of the incredible faith and bravery of some of my Father’s people described in 2 Maccabees, chapters 6 and 7.
I wanted to share the stories, to remind you all that death by guillotine will be an easy death, compared to what these people suffered. Prepare for death, hope to be spared somehow, but tens of millions, maybe billions, will die as martyrs before this era passes away. Every death as a martyr is a victory for the martyr and for the Kingdom of God, and a defeat for the enemy. I hope these stories hit you in the centre of your heart, and I look forward so much to meeting these people when the Millennium reign begins in late 2032:
4 For the temple was filled with riot and revelling by the Gentiles, who dallied with harlots, and had to do with women within the circuit of the holy places, and besides that brought in things that were not lawful.
7 And in the day of the king’s birth every month they were brought by bitter constraint to eat of the sacrifices; and when the fast of Bacchus was kept, the Jews were compelled to go in procession to Bacchus, carrying ivy.
8 Moreover there went out a decree to the neighbour cities of the heathen, by the suggestion of Ptolemee, against the Jews, that they should observe the same fashions, and be partakers of their sacrifices:
10 For there were two women brought, who had circumcised their children; whom when they had openly led round about the city, the babes handing at their breasts, they cast them down headlong from the wall.
11 And others, that had run together into caves near by, to keep the sabbath day secretly, being discovered by Philip, were all burnt together, because they made a conscience to help themselves for the honour of the most sacred day.
21 But they that had the charge of that wicked feast, for the old acquaintance they had with the man, taking him aside, besought him to bring flesh of his own provision, such as was lawful for him to use, and make as if he did eat of the flesh taken from the sacrifice commanded by the king;
23 But he began to consider discreetly, and as became his age, and the excellency of his ancient years, and the honour of his gray head, whereon was come, and his most honest education from a child, or rather the holy law made and given by God: therefore he answered accordingly, and willed them straightways to send him to the grave.
30 But when he was ready to die with stripes, he groaned, and said, It is manifest unto the Lord, that hath the holy knowledge, that whereas I might have been delivered from death, I now endure sore pains in body by being beaten: but in soul am well content to suffer these things, because I fear him.
Eleazar, I honour your memory today, and your great faith and obedience to my Father’s laws. Bless your soul in heaven, your resurrection to eternal life is near at hand now.
5 Now when he was thus maimed in all his members, he commanded him being yet alive to be brought to the fire, and to be fried in the pan: and as the vapour of the pan was for a good space dispersed, they exhorted one another with the mother to die manfully, saying thus,
7 So when the first was dead after this number, they brought the second to make him a mocking stock: and when they had pulled off the skin of his head with the hair, they asked him, Wilt thou eat, before thou be punished throughout every member of thy body?
18 After him also they brought the sixth, who being ready to die said, Be not deceived without cause: for we suffer these things for ourselves, having sinned against our God: therefore marvellous things are done unto us.
20 But the mother was marvellous above all, and worthy of honourable memory: for when she saw her seven sons slain within the space of one day, she bare it with a good courage, because of the hope that she had in the Lord.
23 But doubtless the Creator of the world, who formed the generation of man, and found out the beginning of all things, will also of his own mercy give you breath and life again, as ye now regard not your own selves for his laws’ sake.
24 Now Antiochus, thinking himself despised, and suspecting it to be a reproachful speech, whilst the youngest was yet alive, did not only exhort him by words, but also assured him with oaths, that he would make him both a rich and a happy man, if he would turn from the laws of his fathers; and that also he would take him for his friend, and trust him with affairs.
27 But she bowing herself toward him, laughing the cruel tyrant to scorn, spake in her country language on this manner; O my son, have pity upon me that bare thee nine months in my womb, and gave thee such three years, and nourished thee, and brought thee up unto this age, and endured the troubles of education.
30 Whiles she was yet speaking these words, the young man said, Whom wait ye for? I will not obey the king’s commandment: but I will obey the commandment of the law that was given unto our fathers by Moses.
37 But I, as my brethren, offer up my body and life for the laws of our fathers, beseeching God that he would speedily be merciful unto our nation; and that thou by torments and plagues mayest confess, that he alone is God;
We do not learn the names of this mother and her seven sons, but I honour them all today with this post, and bless their souls in heaven. I guarantee that these people in these chapters will be guests of honour at my home in the Millennium reign, where I hope to be able to celebrate in great style and honour them in person, and we shall all praise and bless my Father for keeping His promises to His people, to reward them with eternal life for their great meekness and faith.
I pray that these historical stories give you courage to face what lies ahead, do not be fearful of death, they can only kill your body, but in doing so they cannot separate you from your God and from your place in His Eternal Kingdom. Thank you Father for sharing with us today the good news of the fearless faith Israel (your people) had for you in the past, and grant us all the same fearless faith in these times of sorrows and tests. In Yahshua’s name I pray, amen.