As the end times roll along, the USA, along with the other nations with Judeo-Christian backgrounds, will lose power and influence in this world. It’s as Daniel 12:7 says: “When the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.” (NKJV)
Christians in the West will experience persecution or some other form of hardship, joining their brothers and sisters in other parts of the world who have been experiencing these things all their Christ-following lives. Christians in the underground churches in places such as China and the Muslim realm already experience persecution, but it will intensify.
Piece by piece the entire world will fall under some form of tyranny or hard times. By the time the Tribulation arrives, this advancement and intensifying of hard times and pressure will already be well under way.
Whether under Antichrist, or under the Chinese Communist Party, or under other conditions, it will be essential for Christians throughout the world to actively rely on God every day, just as they are always supposed to.
I wrote about this worldwide increased pressure in my new book Chronicles of the End Times, which shows how the Bible points to all this.
So it was, as God does with us, I was set up for what I was about to witness.
A brother invited me recently to a viewing of Sheep Among Wolves Volume II. This is a film by Faith Alliance International (FAI) and Maranatha, and produced by Dalton Thomas and Joel Richardson. I was told the film was about the underground church in Iran.
Well, that’s only the backdrop; there is much more significance to this film.
The movie’s style and cinematography were very good and after just a few minutes it had already pulled me in. The strongest point, though, is its message regarding discipleship. The message is nothing short of stunning and exactly what is needed right now, though maybe 98 percent of the Western Church doesn’t realize it. I wasn’t expecting anything except to be informed of the church in Iran, but the message set my soul abuzz.
While watching the movie, the Spirit was speaking to me—the message of the movie parallels and complements my own conclusions I wrote about in Chronicles. My book shows what the Bible has to say about how the whole world coming under persecution or hardship as I mentioned at the start of this article. However, this movie answers questions such as, “What’s next for us as disciples?” and “How can this knowledge be applied?”
Many will tell you this is a movie about the underground church in Iran, and how and why it is the fastest-growing church (in percentage terms) in the world. The reason behind the growth is its discipleship method. From everything I’ve read, it’s the same type of discipleship that also goes on in China and India, but for some reason because the film shows church leaders and planters from Iran—ground zero for the Second Signpost—this topic might grab people in the West better. Perhaps it is because the Middle East in general is in the end-time spotlight at the present time. Whatever—God will use this film mightily.
There are several parts to the film, but for me, the most important is the discipleship method, called “DMM” (Disciple-Making Movements), which is introduced in this summary statement from the film:
“Church planting in Iran is . . . we don’t convert to disciple; we disciple to convert.”
When a servant of Christ meets a person who does not know Christ, discipleship begins in the first moment. As the Iranian church leader explained, “We take them on a journey from the beginning where God started . . . to Christ where God fully reveals Himself.” You need to see this movie to have it explained to you. The proof of the success of this type of discipling is that the Iranian underground church is estimated to be around one million and in percentage terms is the fastest growing church on earth.
The Indispensable Message
So, why is the message of Sheep Among Wolves indispensable? The discipleship method explained in the film at one point is stated as “why the church in Iran is so valuable for the church globally at this historical juncture.”
It is my belief, when the Church in the West falls into persecution and hardship during the end times, the current model for church growth and discipleship will not work! Churches that are filled with converts but not disciples will evaporate. The discipleship method proven as working in Iran will need to be implemented in the West at that time.
Sheep Among Wolves is not just about the underground church in Iran and the way it disciples. I saw some reviews on YouTube, with many statements like “thanks for reporting about the underground church in Iran!” This reflects the dominant mindset of the Church in the West. If you think this movie is only reporting about the underground church in Iran, you miss the point. The large church buildings and large denominations arguing about fine points of doctrine are a peculiarity of those places, like the USA, Europe and southern Africa, where there is very little to no persecution. This will all change shortly. The method of discipleship used in Iran (i.e., “DMM”) will have great applicability to the Church in the West, very soon!
Persecution and hardship are coming to the entire world, in one form or another, before Christ arrives. The Acts of the Apostles shows us the church grows with true disciples, only when it is persecuted. The Iranian church’s model of discipleship would thrive anywhere there is persecution and pressure and hardship in following Christ. Like in China now. Like in the West very soon.
Therefore, the Western Church needs this lesson from this film so when the hard times hit, they can disciple unbelievers, reap an end-time harvest, and not become irrelevant.
I urge you all to watch this film. I highly recommend every church in the West to view and take in this film’s message. Yes, the Rapture is coming, but not before intense hardship begins years before the Tribulation.
For those of you, my brothers and sisters in the West, who are waiting for the “spiritual climate” to change so there is great revival, well, change is coming, and here is a method of discipleship to take note of and be ready to use.
[Note: Another point abut this movie that spoke to me, and I believe should be mentioned, is the chapter titles of this film are the phrases from Revelation 12:11. Why is this significant? Well, as I show in Chronicles, Revelation 12:11 is the central message and thought of the entire book of Revelation. In other words, that verse is to be kept in mind when reading the entire book of Revelation.]