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New Hope Christian Church

Being a Christian at this time will not have been a mild option of lifestyle choices.

Soon the Church will come under fierce persecution, lasting for centuries, and being a Christian will have been on one hand extremely life threatening, but more so, life enhancing, sufficiently so that the followers of the Way would only ever increase in number, regardless of the pressures. Only the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God could give men and women the absolute conviction to face death by torture in their hundreds of thousands. They were the Truth. And Truth lives on.

We get ahead of ourselves.

Back in Antioch the Holy Spirit is giving instructions.

‘While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.’

Acts 13:2

Time to hit the road Saul. That internal guide, counsellor, comforter, Spirit of truth and wisdom, has a plan for you and Barnabus.

‘The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish Synagogues. John was with them as their helper.’

Acts 13:4

On that journey they came across a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet, calling himself Bar-Jesus (Bar translates as Son), he was an attendant to the Proconsul Governor for the region. The Proconsul sent for Barnabus and Saul, he’s undoubtedly heard of them, it’s his business to know what’s going on in his region, and he wants to hear the word of God they preach and teach.

The sorcerer opposes them, and tries to turn the Proconsul away from the faith.

‘Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit looked straight at him and said “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time will be unable to see the light of the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.’

Acts 13:9

When the Proconsul saw what happened he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.’

Acts 13:12

I like this.

Remember who else was acting against the right ways of the Lord and was struck blind for a time?

Nice for the circle to be complete. And of course the Proconsul believed, and knew. And who knows what influence he was to have in the future. Perhaps just the non persecution of the Way.

Paul, as we shall now call him, and Barnabus, carried on their travels to Pamphylia, an area now in the country of Turkey, where John parted company with them to return to Jerusalem.

Paul and Barnabus arrive in Pisidian Antioch, (which is not the same city as Antioch, hence differentiated by prefixing the region of Pisidia).

Paul and Barnabus have a way of delivering the news of Jesus Christ to the people. They visit the synagogue and deliver an oration of the Jews history, from Egypt to the time in the desert, to the wars of conquest, to the evolution of their culture, the appointment of judges until the time of Samuel the Prophet, whereupon they asked for and received their first King, Saul of the tribe of Benjamin, before appointing David, the King who started as a shepherd with a sling, and from whose descendants God brought forth Jesus, as prophesied, historically and simultaneously by John preaching repentance and preparation for the Righteous One.

Paul and Barnabus would give them a history lesson, and bring it right up to the present day in seamless explanation. They would quote from the scriptures to highlight their case, and highlight the harsh truth of history.

‘The People of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognise Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.’

Acts 13:27 62 ‘Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you: “Look you scoffers, Wonder and perish, For I am going to do something in your days That you would never believe, Even if someone told you.”

Hab 1:5 Acts 13:41

Extract from All People Must Know, by Bird Lovegod

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New Hope Christian Church

NHCC UK | Greenhill Parkway

Sheffield | S8  7JP

Phone  |  07459200418

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