In Kent and Grass Valley we have been working through the book of Acts. In the early chapters Luke moves back and forth between glimpses inside the new and quickly growing body of believers that we know as the church and snapshots outside where the Spirit is working miraculous things as people are being healed and hearing the whole message of salvation in Christ in response. But as the message spread, the leadership in the temple began to feel threatened, not because of any signs of uprising, but because the apostles were gaining favor in the sight of the people and responding by belief in Christ. The leadership, we read, had become jealous of what was going on inside the walls they oversaw.
In Acts chapter 4 Peter and Paul were apprehended and commanded by the ruling Council not to speak of Jesus anymore. Then they were threatened and released. In Acts 5, after continuing to speak, all of the apostles were then arrested. Once again after having been released from prison in the middle of the night by a messenger of God and being told to “go, stand and speak” the whole message of Life, and the subsequently then rearrested they were threatened, beaten, and then released (lot more to the story – Acts 5:12-42).
It seems that for fear of the people the ruling Council could not take any significant action yet against these followers of Christ, though things would quickly change. For the time being, their tactic was intimidate to eliminate with the hope that by exercising enough resistance and threat they would give in. The interesting thing in studying these early believers is that even when faced with these things and even death, they responded with respect while always being clear about who they were compelled to serve knowing that their trust and hope was in God and His strong hand. We can trust Him still today.
Sherman County eNews Spiritual Matters - 08/09/2019