Posted in Discipleship


Cruise.1First Thessalonians 2:14-16 mentions the “churches of God in Judea” suffering persecution from their fellow Jews. There is also Paul’s mention of being “persecuted for the cross of Christ” in Galatians 6:12 which may well refer to opposition from non-Christian Jews. As confirming evidence, we can note Josephus’s account of the incident where the high priest Ananus brought James, the brother of Jesus, and certain other Jewish Christians before the Sanhedrin on charges of serious violations of the Torah and had them executed by stoning. Such a punishment was restricted to radical violations of the Torah, such as idolatry and teaching Israel to stray from God. And, of course, there is the ironic fact of Paul, the onetime persecutor of Jewish Christians, himself subsequently being on the receiving end of severe opposition from Jewish authorities more than once, as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 11:23-26. Here, Paul refers to receiving synagogue floggings on five occasions, and mentions a stoning as well.
by: Larry W. Hurtado


Posted in Christian

The Demise

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Satan, like Pharaoh, will not willingly relinquish his hold on the people; hence the ministry of Jesus is from its inception a struggle crucifixion_polyptychwith Satan for authority. At the testing in the wilderness Satan tries to divert Jesus from his God-appointed task by        persuading him, too worship Satan as Lord. When Jesus by his obedience to God resists the devil’s power, the devil departs, defeated. But Jesus final
victory is not yet won: Satan will continue to oppose him throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry, and will regain authority at the passion. For a brief period it looks as if the devil has conquered Jesus: darkness settles over the face of the earth, and Jesus dies. But then Jesus is exalted to the place at the right hand of God, and Satan falls from heaven. Henceforth (as during Jesus’ ministry prior to the passion) all the faithful who call upon the name of the Lord will have authority over the Enemy’s power. Their own names are written with Christ in heaven.

The Demise of the Devil
by Susan R. Garrett