Posts Tagged ‘deacon’

The death of Deacon Stephen, division of labor through formal roles among the followers of Jesus, and persecution of the early church are topics, today.  Also, there is more on how GOD is known and spoken of.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Kyle” (Level 1 with zero points, a member since January 31, 2014) posted the following:

 

Was there like a miniature war that broke out between Christians and Jews after Jesus died?

I didn’t know this but apparently the Jews stoned both Stephen and James to death. They were both stoned to death somewhat shortly after Jesus was crucified.

It sounds like Jews were killing or trying to kill a lot of the disciples and apostles

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stoning_of_Saint_Stephen

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  The Name(?) of GOD (04/09/2014)—(6.)  The many names of GOD that appear throughout the holy writings are all intended to reveal (we say, make known) and establish the active presence of GOD.  The names are featured within a framework of awareness (we say, language) that describes exchanges, interactions, and operations upon material objects carried out by applying spirit matter such as faith, holiness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Among the various aspects of divinity that come into view, “I AM” is the primary process of GOD (we say, the major act, deed, and work of GOD is to exist).  The name, I AM, is also heard as I AM BECAUSE I AM, I AM ONLY I AM, I AM THAT I AM, I AM THE I AM, I ONLY AM I AM, and ONLY I AM I AM.  To exist does not require aging in the frameworks of time and  space, change, closure, completion, death, development, goals, growth, learning, or purpose beyond continuing to endure as present.  Thus, we say GOD is dynamic, immutable, unceasing, and unchanging.  Divinity is proclaimed to be communal, interactive, and organic through diversity, rather than by change; and GODhead is revealed through recognition of multiple aspects of full divinity, and various patterns among divine functions.  When saying, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the GODhead describes consecrated roles and sacred operations that appear (we say, manifest) as person.  Where GOD is named by reference to specific humans with whom GOD has been in covenant or fellowship (e.g., Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus Christ) GOD may be known and understood as present within the life experience of created beings and living creatures through the mechanisms of what they grasp as relationship.  Thus, authority, ownership, and sovereignty are attributed to GOD; and the presence or absence of GOD is discerned (we say, realized) within such life process as adoption, covenant, culture, family, government, history, marriage, promise, prophecy, and sacred events (we say, miracles).

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.  And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.  And the hand of the Lord was with them:  and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.  Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem:  and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.  Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.  For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:  and much people was added unto the Lord.  Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:  And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch.  And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.  (Acts 11:  19-26, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Jesus Scourged (04/05/2014); Brothers, Not Equals (04/06/2014); Saul of Tarsus (03/26/2014); The Nature of Scripture (03/27/2014); Hardness of Heart? (11/24/2013); Prayer on Behalf of Others? (11/25/2013); Law in Christian Belief? (09/03/2013); Night Cometh (06/11/2013); Missing Information? (06/12/2013); The Slave to Law and Sin Made Free (11/16/2012); Lawful Divorce (11/17/2012)

 

“Kyle”, where you are ready to learn more about what happened to the followers of Jesus after he was raised from the dead (many say, resurrected), and then returned to heaven (we say, ascended), you want to understand that academic and secular history is not relied upon by most Christians.  Instead, the Bible accounts are taken to be the most accurate, carefully preserved, and official documentation.  Here are a few points to consider that will not be shared with you by those who are ignorant of the Scriptures, or are committed to the darkness of sin in their lives:

(1.) The Bible records the systematic efforts by officials among the Jews to use the power of the Roman government against the early church (we say, the Persecution).  The focus is more upon how  responses of the disciples provided the further growth of the church, rather than upon the many individuals, and discrete attacks that were made against the believers.  Many details are not provided, because the focus for belief is to be the Incarnation of GOD—that is, the many appearances and operations of divinity through and within the lives of ordinary people.

(2.)  Stephen, who was a deacon in the church, was not the first in the Bible to die for their faith, and as a person who believes in GOD.  However, Stephen was the first to die by public execution following the death of Jesus, and is known as the first Christian martyr.  The appearance of deacons is an indication that the church was “alive and well,” developing new organizational units to carry out its mission.

(3.)  As you know, Stephen was stoned to death under provisions from the Jewish law as punishment for the crime of blasphemy; and no appeal was made to the Romans.  With his last words, Stephen displayed the same Spirit Jesus exhibited upon the cross, breathing out a prayer for forgiveness.

(4.)  Death for the apostles usually involved Rome as the instrument of force and violence.  Crucifixion was used to destroy Peter and his brother Andrew.  Saul of Tarsus, who presided over the stoning of Stephen as the “Lord High Executioner” for the Jews, became converted to Christian service; and later, as the Apostle Paul, was drawn and quartered (torn to pieces using horses).

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  The Persecution is also to be seen as a judgment from GOD like that provided against Babel in the mixing of languages.  Following the flood of Noah’s day, all men cooperated in an agreement that centered their lives in building a tower to reach heaven.  The divine command to be fruitful, multiply, and completely re-populate the earth was not being carried out.  Similarly, the church of Jesus Christ was becoming centered in Jerusalem as a faction and sect within the Temple.  By the death of Stephen, believers were scattered, and the work of evangelism and spreading the Gospel was invigorated and sparked.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to the measure of divine faith that resides in you.

Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:  That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.  (Acts 26:  22-23, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC