Showing posts with label persecution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label persecution. Show all posts

09 December 2019

A Few Thoughts About the Devil’s Agents Part B+20 Helps in Deliverance

How can we be safe? Here are some guidelines to help us
B1 Truth (reality) is most important
C1 Beware of following any pastor, leader, person, etc. with knowing truth about them. Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth—Albert Einstein, 1879-1955, German-Jewish physicist
C2 The Importance of Truth (I don’t agree with everything on this site).
C3 Some verses on truth just from the Epistle to the Ephesians:
D1 Ephesians 4:15, 21, 25 NLT Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. ... 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, ... 25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.
D2 Ephesians 6:14 NLT Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness.
C4 Contrast the devil and the Lord Jesus regarding truth
D1 Lord Jesus: John 1:14 NKJV And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
D2 devil: John 8:44 PickNT You are of your father the devil, and it is the desires of your father that you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks the lie he speaks from his own things, because he is a liar and the father of [lying].
C5 Example of speaking the truth. We must know the Scriptures and interpret them correctly: Matthew 4:10 NIV Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"
B2 Understanding that the Scriptures are the only source of 100% truth
B3 Proper reading and understanding of the Scriptures. Since God is omniscient and omnisapient (all wise), He knows how to communicate perfectly. Knowing this, we interpret the Bible in its plain, normal sense. The Lord Jesus quotes from the Old Testament many times. Some say 84, but I don’t know. Each time He interprets those Old Testament passages in their plain, normal sense. (See here)
B4 Be a little skeptical. Search the Scriptures to see if this is correct. Be careful of them for they will redefine words and concepts. Don’t let them speak with impressive words and long, unnecessary answers. Don’t trust an explanation that takes reams of paper. Acts 17:11 NLT And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.
B5 Know the characteristics of manipulators. For example, see here and here and here.
B6 Don’t become passive, that is, a mystic. 1 Peter 5:8-9 NLT Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
B7 Be aware of his schemes. The schemes of the devil are those things he tries against us to get us to have misery, defeat, and even to deny the Lord Jesus. Ephesians 6:11 NIV Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
C1 He brings to mind the our failures.
C2 He accuses us of sinning.
C3 He accuses us of being fake Christians.
C4 He tempts with sin.
C5 He lies.
C6 He uses his agents to cause harm.
C7 He flatters to bring about pride.
C8 He uses sinful, sensual pleasures to arouse passions not allowed by God.
C9 He uses suffering. It may be persecution, sickness, abuse, etc.
C10 He deceives.
B8 Resist 1 Peter 5:9 CSB Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.
B9 No temptation is more than we can resist. Temptation is not sin. The Lord Jesus was tempted and without sin. 1 Corinthians 10:13 CSB No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide a way out so that you may be able to bear it.
B10 Believe. He does love us. Romans 8:38-39 CSB For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
B11 God’s grace: 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
B12 Prayer. This would include personal prayer and also a Christian brother or sister or the church. Luke 22:40 NIV On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation.
B13 To be on guard, not to slough off: 2 Peter 3:17 NIV Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.
B14 Spiritual growth though Bible reading and studying, fellowship, living the Christian life, etc.: 2 Peter 3:18 NIV But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
B15 Knowing God’s rules and having self-control. With the help of God’s grace, we can.
C1 God’s grace: Philippians 4:13 NKJV I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
C2 Self-control, self-discipline: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
B16 Rejoicing in God, His grace, and His blessings: Psalm 23:5 NLT You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
B17 Rejoice and have hope. The God, who stood with Paul when all abandoned him, is with us also. 2 Timothy 4:16-18 NLT The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death. 18 Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.
B18 Realize and hold on to the promise of the Lord Jesus praying for us: Hebrews 7:25 NIV Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
B19 Seek the fellowship of other believers: 1 Thessalonians 3:2-3 NLT and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God's co-worker in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, 3 and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are destined for such troubles.
B20 The devil’s agents are their to destroy our faith, make us ineffective, make life miserable. We remember our Lord Jesus and share His sufferings: 1 Peter 4:12-13 NLT Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad--for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

The dangers we believers face is large, but we have a redeemer, one who will never leave us.

Psalm 5:2-7 NLT Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. 3 Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. 4 O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked. 5 Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil. 6 You will destroy those who tell lies. The LORD detests murderers and deceivers. 7 Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.

08 December 2019

A Few Thoughts About the Devil’s Agents Part A

Definition (my definition, that is)
B1 Someone knowingly or unknowingly doing the devil’s will.
B2 Someone knowingly or unknowingly teaching the devil’s doctrine.
B3 Someone knowingly or unknowingly representing the devil’s kingdom.

Some Bible characters he has worked to destroy:
B1 Job (Job 1-2)
B2 King David (1 Chronicles 21:1)
B3 Jonah
B4 Peter (Luke 22:31)
B5 The Lord Jesus (Mark 1:13)
B6 Elijah (1 Kings 19)

Some examples
B1 A narcissist
C1 Greg Zaffuto:
Emotional abuse is crippling. It robs a person of their self-esteem, creativity, individuality, the ability to think rationally, confidence in themselves and their independence and autonomy.

Toxic narcissists want to remain in control by keeping you confused, anxious, doubtful, scared and apologetic. It's their way of maintaining control of the twisted situation. They thrive when attempting to make people crazy. It's called psychological warfare.

C3 Narcissistic Law of Double Standards (Source)
D1 What shall apply to us shall not apply to them.
D2 What they demand of us shall not be asked of them.
D3 What rules they place upon us shall not be disputed.
D4 What rules they enforce, they need not follow themselves.
D5 What tactics they use on us shall not be used upon them.
B2 An abuser
C1 Quoting Jimmy Hinton concerning the Southern Baptist Convention Caring Well Program Lesson 10: This false theology of protecting abusers assumes that all people are capable of repenting and that the church should be a place where all are welcome, regardless of what they’ve done (or are doing). It’s driven by authoritarian leadership structures that give leaders all the power to make decisions regarding abusers, regardless of what church members or abuse survivors think. It allows leaders to keep the church in the dark about the presence of abusers and anyone who questions the leaders’ decisions are labeled as divisive trouble makers. (Source) [Emphasis is mine]
B3 A molester. I’m only going to give just one example of an abuser and the cover-up. This is how many molesters continue. Remember, these are the devil’s agents. What does it look like when churches choose to provide cover for child predators?
B4 A controlling personality
C1 Manipulative speech. The following link lists a number of techniques for controlling speech. Glossary of Manipulative Rhetorical Gambits and Code Words.
C2 Another list (I know nothing about this website): Subtly Controlling Behavior
B5 A person using a position or occupation of trust to gain something for themselves, so this person could be an abusers, molester, thief, etc.
B6 A person who brings suffering:
C1 satan himself: Job 2:7 NLT So Satan left the LORD's presence, and he struck Job with terrible boils from head to foot.
C2 God haters: Hebrews 11:35-37 NLT Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated.
C3 Other people from many occupations and positions of authority: 2 Chronicles 32:10-15.

Control
B1 Sometimes known (unfortunately) as pastor, denominational leader, educator, husband, wife, etc.
B2 They are motivated by the self for power, money, sex. It can be one, two, or all three. Power is always paramount, as they believe that their way, their plan, their actions, their thoughts, their decisions, their rules, etc. as always the best.
B3 Pastors, husbands, elders, etc. and etc. show this extreme control. What they teach is absolute. Their doctrine is the only doctrine. Submit or suffer. They will bully, intimidate, lie, essentially do anything to gain power and submission over people. Often you see pastors in this roll by strongly promoting their books, their products, their store, etc. and criticize most others. John 9 gives a good example. They finally expelled him from the Temple and Temple life. There are other examples in the Bible.
B4 You see these types of pastors, etc. who show:
C1 One leader with one program. They often make a show by having a board of elders who rubber stamp every decision.
C2 Little but usually no freedom. No questions can be asked concerning their actions, beliefs, or decisions are allowed. If a person does, they will be place under discipline.
C3 That they are superior to all others (or at least most others).
C4 They are privileged and not subject to the same rules as others.

B1 The devil’s agent’s leadership style is the hunter, controller, no freedom.
B2 God’s leadership style is the shepherd.

The devil’s goal and the goal of his agents
B1 The devil’s agents can be anyone. They can be pastors, educators, family members, etc.
B2 The devil’s goal is to
C1 Obtain everything in his control and none in God’s control.
C2 Obtain everything to rebel against God
C3 Obtain a solution to a problem—kill them.
C4 Cause suffering
C5 Cause Christians to sin, to become ineffective, to believe in error, to get side tracked in some way.
C6 To have all people believing lies are truth and truths are lies.
C7 To have all people believe good is evil and evil is good
C8 For people to seek only for themselves
C9 To hate God and God’s servants

The devil’s attitude
B1 Some actions that the devil loves and rejoices in: Galatians 5:18-21 WEL But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious. They are adultery, sexual sins, moral corruption, unrestrained lust, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strife, provoking jealousy, hot anger, pushing to be first, selfish scheming, dissensions, heresy, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, wild partying, and so on, about which I have told you before, and as I have also told you in the past that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
B2 Some actions towards others: 2 Timothy 3:1-5 WEL Know this also, that in the last days perilous times will come. 2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, braggers, arrogant, users of abusive language, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, impossible to please, false accusers, unable to control themselves, fierce, despising those who are good, 4 Traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 Having an appearance of godliness but having spurned its power. From such turn away.
B3 Hate instead of love:
C1 Actions of love: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a WEL Love is very patient and kind; love is not envious; love doesn’t brag about itself, is not haughty, 5 Doesn’t behave improperly, is not self-seeking; love isn’t easily aggravated, doesn’t keep a list of wrongs, 6 Doesn’t rejoice in injustice, but rejoices in the truth, 7 Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, calmly endures all things. 8 Love never ends...
C2 Actions of hate: No patience, much harshness and meanness, envious, brags about him/herself, arrogant, shameless and obscene, self-seeking, easily aggravated, keeps lists of wrongs, rejoices in injustice, rejoices in lies, doesn’t tolerate anything, tends to not believe what we say, hopes for the worst, will not endure anything (impulsive and lashes out), loves only to gain advantage.
B4 Stealthy and covert in actions: 2 Timothy 3:6 WEL For this type are those who wheedle into houses and captivate gullible women loaded with sins carried away with various evil desires,
C1 The idea of wheedle (Greek ἐνδύνω endýnō) is to clothe themselves, that is, hide their intentions and goals.
C2 This describes a person who is a narcissist gaining the confidence and trust of a person.
B5 Misusing Scriptures by interpreting and applying them in ways not seen in that passage. Matthew 4:6 NET and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you' and 'with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
C1 In Robertson’s Word Pictures he writes: Cast thyself down (βαλε σεαυτον κατω). The appeal to hurl himself down into the abyss below would intensify the nervous dread that most people feel at such a height. The devil urged presumptuous reliance on God and quotes Scripture to support his view (Ps 91:11f.). So the devil quotes the Word of God, misinterprets it, omits a clause, and tries to trip the Son of God by the Word of God. It was a skilful thrust and would also be accepted by the populace as proof that Jesus was the Messiah if they should see him sailing down as if from heaven. This would be a sign from heaven in accord with popular Messianic expectation. The promise of the angels the devil thought would reassure Jesus. They would be a spiritual parachute for Christ.
C2 This promise was given to believers mainly as a spiritual protection. The promise here given does not extend to dangers rashly incurred or presumptuously sought, and was therefore no justification of the act to which our Lord was tempted by the devil. Joseph Alexander commenting on Psalm 91:11
B6 Reminds us that God has not answered our prayers, so plants the idea that God cannot or will not help us.
B7 Promoting his agents into positions of power and authority, especially church leaders.
C1 Gain doctorate degrees for the purpose of making impressive resumes to gain key positions, yet they themselves are devoid of truth.
C2 They are described as wolves, teaching lies to making disciples after their own ways, doctrine, and beliefs. Acts 20:29-30 NLT I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. 30 Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following.
C3 Act religious, pious, and holy but do not have the power, that is, the new life, the grace, joy, and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. 2 Timothy 3:5 NET They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.
C4 Their victims are always learning but never know truth. Adam Clarke in his commentary writes:
Ever learning] From their false teachers, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, because that teaching never leads to the truth; for, although there was a form of godliness, which gave them a sort of authority to teach, yet, as they denied the power of godliness, they never could bring their votaries to the knowledge of the saving power of Christianity. There are many professors of Christianity still who answer the above description. They hear, repeatedly hear, it may be, good sermons; but, as they seldom meditate on what they hear, they derive little profit from the ordinances of God. They have no more grace now than they had several years ago, though hearing all the while, and perhaps not wickedly departing from the Lord. They do not meditate, they do not think, they do not reduce what they hear to practice; therefore, even under the preaching of an apostle, they could not become wise to salvation.
C5 To pretend he is god, an angel of light and peace, the spirit guide to wisdom, etc.: 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NLT These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.
B8 Lies in every conceivable way through deception, misinterpretation, misapplication, accusations, blasphemy, etc.
B9 Accuses us of sin and unbelief. Revelation 12:10 CSB Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say, The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have now come, because the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been thrown down.

24 February 2016

Sunday School Lesson--Persecution

When things get ugly


sunday school

Theme. The church is persecuted


Scripture. Acts 12.1-25


A1 Outline

B1 James killed Acts 12.1-5


B2 Peter freed from prison Acts 12.6-19


C1 Angel leads him out of prison Acts 12.5-10


C2 Peter goes to Mary, the mother of John Mark Acts 12.11-15


C3 Answered prayer Acts 12.16-17


C4 The guards are executed Acts 12.18-19


B3 Herod dies Acts 12.20-24


B4 Barnabas, Saul, and John Mark go to Jerusalem Acts 12.25


A2 Notes and questions

B1 Define


C1 Sovereignty


D1 "God is 'absolutely free to act as He wills and in accord with His own nature.'' He is 'the absolute monarch of the created universe.'"


D2 Humans do not have sovereign free will.


D3 Humans are not good and do not seek good (as defined by God). Romans 3.9-18, Jeremiah 17.9, Matthew 15.18-19, Romans 3.23


C2 Providential control


D1 "...nothing can happen apart from God's...preservation and upholding of all things."


D2 He knows what is going to happen and what is happening to us.


C3 Man's freedom


D1 "Humanity is created in the image of God and thus has the ability to make free, moral choices; however, 'God is able to govern the truly free exercise of man's will in such a way that all goes according to His plan."


D2 Note it does NOT say 'God governs man's will;" it does say "able to govern." Humanity does NOT have an absolute will to do good, to seek God, for we are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2.1 and Colossians 2.13).


B2 Terms


C1 Pelagian--Pelagian. any system in which the human person is capable of achieving salvation entirely on his/her own with no divine assistance other than common grace (i.e. the grace necessary for any being to exist). (1)


C2 Semi-pelagian--Semi-Pelagian. any system in which the process of salvation is initiated by the human person apart from any grace other than common grace, but in which the process of salvation is synergistically completed by the cooperative interaction of both divine and human. (1)


C3 Synergism-Synergism. any system that affirms some kind of cooperative interaction between the divine and the human in the process of salvation. (1)


C4 Christian


D1 Differing points between Calvinists, but all believe that God elected some to salvation and that they cannot resist God's call.


D2 Differing points between Arminians. Classical/reformed Arminians believe in


E1 Total depravity


F1 Dale V. Wayman


G1 Here at SEA, we believe that total depravity is real. You can't be an Arminian and not believe in total depravity.


G2 Humanity was created in the image of God, good and upright, but fell from its original sinless state through willful disobedience, leaving humanity sinful, separated from God, and under the sentence of divine condemnation.


G3 Total depravity does not mean that human beings are as bad as they could be, but that sin impacts every part of a person's being and that people now have a sinful nature with a natural inclination toward sin, making every human being fundamentally corrupt at heart.


G4 Therefore, human beings are not able to think, will, nor do anything good in and of themselves, including merit favor from God, save ourselves from the judgment and condemnation of God that we deserve for our sin, or even believe the gospel.


G5 If anyone is to be saved, God must take the initiative.


F2 Lenos


G1 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17.9, ESV2011)


G2 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. (Luke 18.19 LEB)


G3 just as it is written, "There is no one righteous, not even one; (Romans 3.10 LEB)


G4 And you, although you were dead in your trespasses and sins, (Ephesians 2.1 LEB) (Ephesians 2.5 and Colossians 2.13)


G5 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3.23 LEB)


G6 All humans are born contaminated with a sin nature (original sin).


G7 All humans do NOT seek God


G8 All humans cannot do good (as God defines good).


G9 All humans are dead in sins and trespasses


G10 All humans are sinners


E2 Total inability


F1 All humans do not seek God


F2 All humans need God's grace to enable us to understand our sinful condition


F3 Without God's enabling grace we would not/could not be saved


F4 God, by His grace, frees our will to respond. Our wills are not free but freed.


C3 Persecution


D1 Any suffering/abuse/death that Christians face/experience because they are Christians.


D2 If you are reviled on account of the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. By all means do not let anyone of you suffer as a
murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. But if someone suffers as a Christian, he must not be ashamed, but must glorify God with this name. (1 Peter 4.14-16 LEB)


C4 Herod of Acts 12


D1 Names--Herod I, Herod Agrippa, Agrippa the Great, Marcus Julius Agrippa (birth name)


D2 Parents--Father--Aristobulus IV, Mother--Berenice


D3 Lived--11 BC to 44 AD (died when he was 54 years old).


D4 Wife--Cypros


D5 Children--1 son, 3 daughters


D6 Life


E1 Friends with Caesar


E2 Spent money recklessly, which got him in prison and other troubles frequently. His wife usually made an appeal to someone, who then paid those debts.


E3 Was overheard that he wished Tiberius to die and Caligula be made emperor, thus ending up in prison again.


E4 After Tiberius died, Caligula became emperor. Caligula then promoted Herod.


E5 Caligula was assassinated.


E6 Claudius became emperor and promoted Herod to finally control Judea and Samaria.


E7 Gave a speech in Caesarea where flatters praised him as "the voice of a god and not a man." He then died from abdominal disease, which caused great pain. The word for "worms" in the Bible might be referring to maggots. Others think that he had a gangrene, which brought maggots.


E8 Jewish records of him from that time speak well of him, but Christian one's don't.


D7 Picture


Herod Agrippa


C5 James, the Apostle


D1 Son of Salome (some believe she was sister to Mary, the mother of Jesus) and Zebedee


D2 Brother of John


D3 Called by Jesus while at work with their father


D4 Wanted to call fire down on the Samaritans because of their bad manners.


D5 One of three to see the raising of Jairus's daughter, the Transfiguration, and agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.


D6 Saw the resurrected Jesus.


D7 Died on Herod Agrippa's order.


B3 James killed Acts 12.1-5


C1 Why was Herod involved in persecuting the church?


C2 Why did Herod kill James?


C3 What was the reaction from the Jewish authorities?


C4 The days of unleavened bread (2)


D1 One of the Three Pilgrim Festivals


D2 Celebrates the Exodus, the freedom from slavery of the Children of Israel from ancient Egypt that followed the Ten Plagues.


D3 Beginning of the 49 days of Counting of the Omer


D4 Connected to barley harvest in spring.


D5 2015 date is sunset of Friday 3 April to nightfall of Friday 10 April / Saturday 11 April (7th day)


D6 2016 date is sunset of Friday 22 April to nightfall of Friday 29 April / Saturday 30 April (7th day)


D7 Related to Shavuot ("Festival of Weeks") which follows 49 days from the second night of Passover.


C5 How many soldiers were guarding Peter? (16)


C6 Why so many?


C7 Who is praying for Peter? (The church). What is the church? (All the believers in Jesus. It is not an organization).


B4 Peter freed from prison Acts 12.6-19


C1 In human terms was Peter secured in the prison?


C2 When the angel came, a light shone in the cell. Wouldn't that alert the guards? Why was there a light anyway?


C3 The angel did the light, awaking Peter, and the removal of chains. Why didn't the angel do everything else (fastening the belt, etc.)?


C4 Was is it that some Christians suffer persecution and some don't? Do Bible believing Christians suffer more than the other types of Christians?


C5 Why did the angel come at night?


C6 Are Christians in the USA facing persecution? What kinds?


C7 Why was Peter delivered this time but later died for the faith?


C8 What does it mean the "expectation of the Jewish people?" (Most commentators believe that the Jewish leaders and people were waiting with excitement that another Christian was going to be killed). Why do people like death and mayhem? What does this indicate about the human heart/soul/person?


C9 Peter goes on to the home of Mary the mother of John Mark? How did Peter know to go there?


C10 The people were praying, but Peter was already freed.


C11 Why did Peter knock? Shouldn't he just have walked in?


C12 Why didn't the praying people not believe Rhoda?


C13 Why did Peter give his report on what happened then quickly left? (The authorities would be out looking for him).


C14 What James is this in Acts 12.17? (Jesus's half-brother). Why were they to tell James?


C15 When someone are being persecuted, should we pray for their release and their persecution to stop? (I have heard people say they will not do that for the brethren, because persecution is increasing their faith).


C16 How do Christians know that God is with them when they are being persecuted?


C17 How should we help the persecuted brethren?


C18 In Acts 12.18 why are the guards so worried about not finding Peter?


C19 Is God responsible for the death of the guards?


C20 How do you think Herod was feeling about Peter's disappearance? (Humiliation)


B5 Herod dies Acts 12.20-24


C1 Some say that Herod went to Caesarea for a festival.


C2 A chamberlain was a right hand man of the king.


C3 The occasion for Herod's anger for the people of Tyre and Sidon is unknown.


C4 Josephus relates that Herod was wearing a gown made of silver which reflected the light of the sun. Would this make an impression on people?


C5 Why would anyone yell out, "the voice of a god and not a man?"


C6 Josephus reports that it took Herod 5 days to die.


C7 Here the persecuted lives and the persecutor dies.


C8 Is God's kingdom ever stopped by a person?


C9 How do we deal with praise from people?


C10 Do we seek and carry out revenge?


B6 Barnabas, Saul, and John Mark go to Jerusalem Acts 12.25


A3 Resources

14 May 2015

How do we handle persecution?




 

A1 Theme--God uses people to accomplish His plans.


 

A2 Objectives

B1 Describe why the apostles were persecuted.


B2 Describe how the apostles responded to persecution.


 

A3 Scripture

B1 Acts 4:1-31--Peter and John before the Sanhedrin


B2 Acts 6:8-15--Stephan accused of blasphemy


B3 Acts 7:51-60--Stephan finishes his speech and then is stoned to death


 

A4 Notes

B1 As the Jewish leaders opposed the Lord Jesus, so they opposed His followers. Jesus's followers


C1 Taught the teachings of Jesus, whom the leaders hated and His teachings which they hated.


C2 Lived as Jesus taught them.


C3 Praised Jesus.


C4 Accepted Jesus as the promised Messiah.


C5 Taught that people are sinners that needed to repent.


B2 The Sanhedrin (See here and here


C1 Also known as the Council or leaders of the priests


C2 The highest court of Israel


C3 Consisted of 71 individuals


D1 Qualifications


D2


C4 The Jews use Numbers 11:16-24 as to the origin of the Sanhedrin


C5 Members included


D1 High priest


D2 Members of privileged families of the High Priests and others


D3 Elders


D4 Scribes


D5 Included Pharisees and Sadducees


C6 The Acting High Priest was the head of the Council


C7 Council (Sanhedrin) Meeting


D1 Sat in semicircle (everyone could see everyone else)


D2 Two men stood at the front to record the votes


D3 Accused stood near them


B3 Peter and John before the Sanhedrin


C1 Setting


D1 At the time of prayer (9th hour= 1500), a crippled man, his faith, and his healing.


D2 On Solomon's porch






D3 After healing, Peter preaches a sermon.


D4 The priests, etc. do not Peter's preaching about Jesus and His resurrection.


D5 They arrest Peter and John.


D6 The questioning of Peter and John


E1 "By what name or power did you do this?"


E2 The Holy Spirit then helped Peter give a message to these people.


E3 Peter did not become a coward like he did in his denials. He clearly states the fact boldly (this is God's help), "...let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name this man stands here before you whole." (Acts 4 10 EMTV) In this Peter gives glory to Jesus.


E4 That is not the answer these rejecters wanted. Peter drives home the point that they are guilty of killing their Messiah. "This is the 'stone which was rejected by you, the builders, which became the chief cornerstone.' (Acts 4 11 EMTV)


E5 He also points out that there is no salvation except through Jesus. "Nor is there salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven which has been given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4 12 EMTV)


D7 The healed man was standing there. They knew him. They knew that he had been healed.


D8 The Sanhedrin holds a meeting. They agree to forbid the disciples to preach Jesus.


D9 Peter and John tell them that they must and will tell the truth about Jesus. It makes no difference what the leaders say. "But Peter and John answered them and said, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than God, you be the judge. (Acts 4 19 EMTV)


D10 Peter and John are let go.


D11 They return to the group and tell them everything that had happened.


D12 They pray for boldness.


D13 God answers. "And when they had prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4 31 EMTV). Filling with the Holy Spirit is preaching Jesus and living for Jesus without compromise.


B3 Stephan


C1 He was falsely accused.


C2 He was falsely tired, convicted, and murdered.


C3 His sermon convicted the Jewish listeners, but they would not repent. They resisted God's Spirit just like their forefathers had done.


 

A5 Questions

B1 What are some reasons that persecution (soft or hard) is not good?


B2 What are some reasons that it is good?


C1 Increased commitment


C2 Sifts the true from the false


B3 Why did Peter and John go to the Temple? (To pray).


B4 Who did they meet just before entering? (An older than 40 crippled man).


B5 What did this man ask? (Money)


B6 What did the Apostles give? (Healing in Jesus's name).


B7 Does God still heal in this manner? (Sometimes).


B8 Who is glorified by this healing? (Jesus)


B9 What made the priests so angry? (Jesus)


B10 Why? (They did not believe)


B11 In this context what makes people angry at Jesus today? (They do want to believe).


B12 Is it ok to not obey our leaders? (Yes, when they forbid preaching Jesus or living for Jesus).


B13 How does God give boldness today? (The same way)


B14 What kind of persecution do we face today?


C1 What is persecution and some other general facts.


C2 World watch list rankings and explanation.


C3 Information


D1






































Underlying impulses



Persecution engine



Tribal impulse



Islamic extremism



Other religious militancy



Tribal antagonism



Ecclesiastical arrogance



Secular impulse



Communist oppression



Aggressive secularism



Exploitative impulse



Totalitarian paranoia



Organized corruption



D2














































Drivers of persecution



Government



Government officials at any level from local to national



Society



Ethnic group leaders



Non-Christian religious leaders at any level from local to national



Religious leaders of other churches at any level from local to national



Fanatical movements



Normal citizens (people from the broader society), including mobs



Extended family



Political parties at any level from local to national



Revolutionaries or paramilitary groups



Organized crime cartels or networks



Multilateral organizations




D3


"Pressure (squeeze) and violence (smash)


Pressure of persecution World Watch Research distinguishes two main expressions of persecution: squeeze (the pressure Christians experience in all areas of life) and smash (plain violence). Nevertheless, while it would seem that smash is the most prevalent and invasive expression of persecution, it is often the squeeze that is most prevalent and invasive. The WWL methodology, therefore, negates the idea that the more violence there is against Christians, the more persecution there must be. The WWL methodology also seeks to negate another assumption, which is that the most violent persecutors of the church are its main persecutors.



While smash can be measured and tracked through incidents of violence, squeeze needs to be tracked otherwise. It needs to be tracked by discerning how the act of Christian life and witness itself is being squeezed in all the different areas of life.



The WWL methodology has defined the 'five spheres concept' to track the expressions of persecution in different areas of life. These five spheres express the squeeze (pressure) in each sphere of life. A sixth building block expresses the smash (plain violence). The sixth block potentially cuts across all five spheres of life."


C4 Christian Persecution
(this link is from 2008 but still valid)


B15 What kind of persecution are you facing?


B16 How do we respond?


C1 Anger? (No)


C2 War, fighting, etc. (No)


C3 Patience and witness for Jesus? (Yes)


C4 We need God's help to face this. We cannot face it on our own. (These points are adapted by an article by Robin Sam.


D1 We were forewarned. John 15:20


D2 God will not leave us. John 16:33


D3 Those before us faced persecution. Hebrews 10:32-34


D4 Rejoice, patience, and prayer Romans 12:12


D5 We are blessed in enduring persecution James 5:11


D6 Prayer Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:14, 1 Corinthians 4:12, 2 Thessalonians 1:4


D7 Testing by persecution reveals if we have a real root into Jesus and His teaching Mark 4:17


D8 The Scriptures have been given in part to encourage us during those times of persecution 1 Thessalonians 3:2-3


D9 We will experience the grace of God Romans 8:35, 2 Corinthians 4:9, 2 Corinthians 12:10


D10 Is a testimony of the living Messiah--Jesus 2 Corinthians 4:7-12


B17 Will we be faithful? (O God, please help us).


B18 How do we encourage one another?