‘Persecution Causes the Word to Spread’ The Acts of The Apostles: Chapter 8 Pt. 1 – Teaching Review

Shalom Saints,

Arthur captured everyone’s attention when he said, “Persecution is not always a bad thing.”  He went on to explain that persecution has a way of moving us from a place of complacency or stagnation.  Persecution was the catalyst to get the disciples of Yeshua to carry the word to all parts of the world. 

Persecution came because of the word.  When the word is active in our lives, persecution will come.  One of the most poignant things that Arthur reminded us of was that Stephen was being stoned WHILE he was calling on Elohim.  The religious leaders were infuriated with being schooled by Stephen and having to confront their hypocrisy.  They said they believed in Moses, while their actions contradicted Moses and the Almighty’s commands.  Arthur elaborated on the concept of taking on a faulty mindset which leads to warped thinking.  This was so tragically played out by the religious leaders with their mindset of traditions and power which motivated them to kill Yeshua and then Stephen.  They were truly whitewashed sepulchers!

Read about others who were persecuted:  Foxe's Book of Martyrs (Book)

This Teaching exposed many long-held beliefs that were not based on what is written in scripture, but based on what we have been told, taught and read in extra-biblical texts.  Here are some of the truths that Arthur mentioned.

  • Peter was the first Apostle to preach to a Gentile, not Paul.
  • When Paul entered a new locale, he went to the Jews first, even though he has been called the Apostle to the Gentiles.
  • Christianity and Judaism are Bible based, but not Bible Centered. Those religions develop their agendas by using some of “Elohim’s words”, but they not keeping Elohim’s word.
  • Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph travelled between Israel/Canaan and Egypt without crossing the Red Sea!
  • Geographically, Israel is in Africa.
  • Because of the Syrian roots of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, their Syrian wives, Joseph’s Egyptian wife, and intermarrying with people of other nations, all of the twelve tribes of Israel are ethnically mixed.
  • Samaria was the homeland of Efraim and Manasseh.
  • Before His crucifixion at Passover, Yeshua spent his last days in Samaria. It was a place of refuge.
  • The number one way to give place to the devil is to compromise what is written.

This is a Teaching to watch, apply and repeat!

This is essential for your Library: Teach Us How to Pray

Sharon’s Reflections on the Teaching

When the word is active in our lives, persecution will come.  Unfortunately, the attacks often come from the very ones that we love.  It is a balancing act to be the target of their onslaught of stinging words, and at the same time try not to push them away, hoping they will see the light of truth one day. 

I received an email this week from a person I love dearly and have been praying for her to receive a revelation from YeHoVaH.  I shared some of my autobiographical writings with her.  This is part of the email she sent me. (The words were bolded by her.)

I enjoyed reading about some of the events and some were very “new" for me to know about.  The difficulty that I have is that I don’t share in your beliefs!  I don’t believe in all the “law/rule based” dogma that you have.  I believe that it is no longer the “law”, but God’s grace that will save us.

You have been on a spiritual search for most of your adult life.  I pray that by the grace of God that you will find it.  I am so thankful that my life has been impacted by so many imperfect people who have had the love of God who taught me of the importance of faith and belief in Jesus and God’s grace. 

 

My first reaction was a sinking feeling because I was hoping that reading about my journey in faith would have a positive impact on her.  Then I told myself, “Sharon, you knew that this would be her response, so why are you surprised?” 

Then I thought about how to respond to her.  After more than a day of seeking the advice of the Holy Spirit, I have decided to “not respond”, but to keep sending her my writings, which she has agreed to read and give me feedback.  I am going to let the Holy Spirit do the convicting and I will do the loving and keep sharing my faith story with her.

Buzz on the Teaching

This was a jubilant fellowship time!  There was a congregational meeting to discuss plans for the upcoming Dedication weekend.  We have several Sister and Brother Saints who will be vending:  baked goods, artwork, clothing, essential oils, back massages, body balm, craft items, and more.  In addition, volunteers are going to help decorate the Sanctuary and the Foyer to make it quite a festive affair. 

Many of our online Sister and Brother Saints are coming to be a part of our thanksgiving to YeHoVaH for our new World Headquarters’ facility!  Marcus Da Costa, Pastor and Teacher at House of Israel London will be with us to declare this place to be the Almighty’s place of refuge, His place of sanctuary, and the place where our Father’s glory can manifest itself freely without any hindrance.  Join your prayers with ours as we prepare for the Dedication Celebration!

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We had two guest Brother Saints join us.  One of the Brothers had come on Thursday night and returned for Sabbath service.  He is originally from the Midwest.  The other Brother was originally from the Northeast.  They were both quite gregarious and said they would return. We enjoyed fellowshipping with them. 

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We had an unexpected visit from one of our Brother Saints from Florida.  The last time we saw him was at a Passover Celebration several years ago.  We reminisced about the succulent lamb and goat that he helped to prepare.  We laughed about his secret sauce recipe that I thought was too spicy for the children, but they couldn’t get enough of it.  

It is always a special occasion to see the Saints that travel distances to be with us.

 

Until next time… Blessings to You and Yours,

Sharon

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