Arthur’s Teaching was a superb demonstration of how we should be reading and studying the Bible! He started by saying that in order to properly teach and understand Acts 18, we have to know about the Corinthians. How true! As he taught, the Biblical context of the Corinthians in Acts 18, as well as in the Books of Corinthians came to life. One key factor that Arthur shared was that he asks questions as he reads the Bible. When one asks questions, you don’t skip over important details like, “Who is Gaius?” Essential to an understanding of Scripture is knowing the people, their backgrounds, their titles, their jobs, their notoriety or renown, and their relationships amongst each other.
Imagine coming into a room where your family is watching a movie, and you enter in at the middle of the movie. The first thing you try to do is sort out who is who. You would probably ask so many questions, that the moviegoers would shush you or put the movie on pause. Only after they explained the plot and the characters could you really understand what was going on. It is the same with the Bible. How can we really know what is happening if we just read right over the names and not identify who these people are? As a former lazy Bible reader, that is exactly what I did. I sometimes didn’t even know if the person was male or female if a pronoun wasn’t given in conjunction with their introduction into the passage.
No more half-blind Bible reading!
In this teaching, Arthur introduced us to Aquila and Pricilla, Justus, Crispus, Gallio, Sosthenes, Chloe, Gaius, Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus. In the telling of their individual stories, Arthur was able to bring to light several other noteworthy messages.
- Paul taught and demonstrated his faith while in Corinth. Paul’s writings to the Corinthians displayed his major written works on tongues, prophecy, spiritual gifts, and the manifestations of healing and miracles.
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- Paul spent one year and 6 months in Corinth teaching the Word of God and testifying of Yeshua Messiah all with only the Tanakh, the Old Testament. The New Testament had not been written at that time.
- The Rules, Laws, and Word of YeHoVaH are designed for our protection.
- Conflicting information causes confusion. Confusion causes stagnation. Stagnation is a lack of growth.
- The Holy Spirit is our true Teacher and we never graduate from being disciples of Yeshua Messiah.
- We have a responsibility to share and demonstrate our faith with others and we will be held accountable for carrying out our Commission.
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Sharon’s Reflections on the Teaching
I want to expound on and illustrate what Arthur said about, The Rules, Laws, and Word of YeHoVaH are designed for our protection”.
On Sunday, I took a break from work (Six days you shall labor and do all your work… Exodus 20:9) and started flipping through the channels on the television. I stopped when I saw a PG romantic comedy movie. The film followed the plot of boy loves girl; boy loses girl; boy regains girl; and they live happily ever-after. At the boy regains girl part, which took 50 years from the time he lost her, I found myself swelling up with emotion and becoming teary-eyed over the romantic reunion. I sighed in relief that true love prevailed, wiped my eyes, and continued to watch with bated breath to see if the young lovers in the subplot would finally unite despite obstacles in their lives that kept them apart. The story took twists and turns, but it had a great ending when all the people who were supposed to be together were together.
I felt refreshed and then went back to work.
But something kept needling me in my spirit about that movie. I saw that the actors kissed and I knew they were not married in real life. I was convicted about watching that. But there was something more!
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
I then reflected on the emotions that had come up in me and then the tears. What was that based on? It was worldly standards! Both the older couple and the younger couple in the movie had come together based on an emotional connection and similar lifestyle preferences. None of the attraction was based on Biblical principles. You may say, “Sharon, it is just a movie!” Yes! But, that is the point! I allowed myself to be open to the worldly emotional appeal and got pulled, willingly, into the carnal realm of romance. In college I heard this phrase, “Love is a feeling that you feel, when you feel you have a feeling, you never felt before.” How utterly nonsensical!!
Love is a commitment not a feeling. Feelings come and go. Believers would be ill-advised to cultivate relationships based on physical and emotional traits and that are void of Elohim’s Commands. We can be easily deceived when we allow our emotions to lead us. Truly the Father’s Word is a shield to protect us not only from outside forces, but to protect us from our own desires too!
Buzz from the Fellowship
As Arthur said, “Fellowship is an important part of our growth in Messiah.” Truly, iron does sharpen iron. In the fellowship that followed this Teaching, I was engaged in conversations that required me to share my faith, share my understanding of parts of the Torah, and listen to others do the same. Some of the myriad of topics we discussed amongst new and veteran believers were:
- What is the Renewed Moon?
- When is the Biblical New Year?
- What do you mean, Abib barley?
- When is Pentecost?
- Communion schedules in the Christian church that are not in Scripture.
- Foot washing techniques in various Christian Churches that are not in Scripture.
- Watch Meetings in Christian Churches on New Year’s Eve that isn’t the Biblical New Year given by our Creator.
- What we learned from taking another person’s word on what the Bible says and not reading Elohim’s Word for ourselves.
I linger in Fellowship because it is a special time of the week when I can talk freely with my Sisters and Brothers that cherish the camaraderie of being a part of the body of Messiah and share the joys of knowing we have the protection of YeHoVaH by being obedient to His Commands.
Until next time… Blessings to You and Yours,