Antichrist Among Us - The Rest of the Rest of the Story

Antichrist Among Us - The Rest of the Rest of the Story

Last time we concluded by talking about how we can use The Acts of the Apostles as a guide book for better understanding all the Letters (Epistles) which follow it. We proposed to do exactly that regarding Paul’s Epistles to the Thessalonians and what that had to do with Antichrist. So, let us begin.
First, I want to point out something that Luke, the writer of the book we refer to simply as ACTS, had to say in The Gospel of Luke:
Luke 1: 3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
Did you notice what Luke said in verse 3, “having had perfect understanding from the very first”? Now, you can Greek language it, Lexicon it, thesaurus it, check another translation or break it down anyway you wish. Please let me encourage you to be a Berean and do exactly that. However, if correctly rendered it should not change what Luke is saying. He is telling us that His Gospel account is an ideal, model or without fault guide for interpreting what Jesus did. This in no way takes away from the other accepted Gospel accounts. All four Gospels agree as one, their wings are joined one to another, they everyone go straight forward; wherever the Spirit leads them, they go and they turn not. Yes, that last sentence is a paraphrase of what Ezekiel said and saw in his vision of the Holiness of the Lord. All four Gospels together make up a mighty rushing wind, the voice of the Almighty, to this agrees all the Law and Prophets. In concert the Old and the New Testament, are a Wheel within the middle of a Wheel, which both Old and New Testament make up the voice of the Almighty and point to Jesus. Luke is testifying the truth, he is instructing Theophilus in all things Christ. We recapped all that to point out that Luke’s Acts of the Apostles is a continuation of the same story. Notice what he says in his ACTS introduction:
Acts 1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
As you can see, the Acts of the Apostles is Luke’s “Rest of the Rest of the Story” concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a history of the accounts of what Jesus’ Apostles accomplished after His Resurrection. In essence, it is Luke’s recording of the effects of the Gospel (Truth) when preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. No doubt it is a perfect orderly account which if followed accordingly we can also, “know the certainty of those things, wherein thou has been instructed’ (Luke 1:4 partial quote).

So, what light does Luke shed upon what is going on in Thessalonica? For that matter, what illumination has Luke given us regarding the spreading of the Gospel all together, up until Paul’s visit to Thessalonica which he records in Acts 17? Let me sum up a huge part of it in one word.

After Pentecost, the Gospel message, including the Christians preaching that message, is being persecuted nearly everyplace they go. Here is a summary for some of the persecutions they suffer up until Paul arrives at Thessalonica:
Acts Chapters 3 & 4, Peter and John are rebuked and threatened by High Priest for preaching Christ at Jerusalem.
Acts 5 All the apostles are thrown in prison for healing in Jesus name because the Sadducees protest.
Acts 5 After a miraculous release from prison, they are threatened and beaten for preaching Jesus Christ.
Acts 6,7 & 8 Stephan is accused, tried and stoned to death and Saul/Paul approved his stoning.
Acts 12 Records the government (Herod the King of Judea), persecuting the Christian Church.
James the brother of John is killed with a sword for preaching Christ.
Peter is cast in prison by Herod for preaching Christ and scheduled to be killed also (he miraculously escapes).
Acts 13 Paul and Barnabas are persecuted and expelled from Antioch for preaching Christ.
Acts 14 Paul and Barnabas persecuted at Iconium by Gentiles at urging of local Jews.
Paul stoned and left for dead at Lystra for preaching Christ by Jews who came from Antioch and Iconium. (Want to be blessed? Read Acts 14: 19-28.)
Acts 16 Paul and Barnabas falsely accused at Philippi, beaten by local government and thrown in prison.
The above summary background sets the stage for Paul’s arrival at Thessalonica.
At Thessalonica, Paul once again begins to preach that Jesus is the Christ, who Resurrected from the dead. Don't forget the resurrection is the seminal point of the Gospel message. The resurrection is the hinge on which the door rests. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:17 "if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain". Despite all the opposition, all the persecution and yes, all the tribulation (see acts 14:22), the children of God press on. The Antichrist spirit is alive and well there at Thessalonica and the persecution continues. Yet, here as elsewhere, the Spirit that dwells in all believers is greater than the spirit of Antichrist and a few Jews and many Greeks especially the chief women believe.
Note: Thessalonica as many cities in the region of Macedonia is a Roman city, were women are allowed much more freedom then the Jews of that day allowed women to have. Notice also that a majority of the Thessalonian converts are Roman gentiles of Greek heritage, not Jews with Roman citizenship like Paul. Realizing this is extremely important to a proper understanding regarding their confusion about Antichrist and Resurrection. Also notice, in Luke’s account of the events at Thessalonica that not only are Paul and Barnabas persecuted, but the new Thessalonian converts are persecuted along with them. Now here is the kicker, Pauls’ followers (the brethren, Acts 17:10), which denotes his close traveling companions, and not recent converts, scurry Paul off to Berea, before he can complete his teaching. This leaves the Thessalonian Gentile Christians without a large base of knowledgeable Jewish Christians to help them understand, "rightly divide", the Old Testament scriptures and what they prophesied about Jesus. Let me clarify further by breaking it down to the nitty gritty. The few Jewish, so called believers at Thessalonica, were evidently too lazy, too fearful and too selfish to help the Gentile believers fully comprehend the full glorious hope of the Resurrection. So much so, that I suspect they were wolves in sheep clothing as opposed to true believers.

Now, contrast this with what happens at Berea, which has a group of noble Jewish believers, who studied the Old Testament scriptures in light of what Paul taught. These Berean "Jewish Christians" could then expound upon all that was prophesied and pass on their knowledge of what the Old Testament taught, thus helping to clear up any confusion the Gentile converts might have.

The Antichrist spirit has so much infected some Jews at Thessalonica, that when they hear Paul is preaching with great success to Jews at Berea they leave their synagogue and travel to Berea to stir up people. Paul even has to leave Berea because of these zealot Jews, but this time Silas and Timothy stay behind to help the Noble Jewish believers instruct the Gentile believers.
1 John 3:13-17 KJV
[13] Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. [14] We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. [15] Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. [16] Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. [17] But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
If you consider the big picture of what was going on with all the Apostles and Disciples as detailed by Luke in Acts, it sheds new light on what all the New Testament writers chorused.
1 John 2:18 KJV
[18] Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.




Making Notes

Making Notes

So you think you don't have enough memories to write your life story? You are wrong. They just need to be brought out to the here and now. There is an excellent way to do it, take notes. It will take time, but you will see results.

There is nothing to stop you from writing your memories down on a note pad or in an exercise book. But memories rarely arrive in chronological order and when you start writing your book of life stories, you will be forever flicking backwards and forwards through the pages trying to find the note that you want.

Who Were the Longhunters?

Who Were the Longhunters?

Robert Kato, a Longhunter reenactor, speaks at the June 9, 2018 meeting of the Nicholas Gibbs Historical Society.

Groups called Longhunters [18th century explorers and hunters] were the first to blaze the trails into the American wilderness across the United States. Elisha Wolfe led a group of Longhunters as early as 1761-1765.

Augustus and the Norris Reservior

Augustus and the Norris Reservior

Years before Harry Potter inspired older children to keep reading, Augustus inspired me, late in the primary grades, to keep reading. We were about the same age when we met at the school library. Eventually I grew up, but I never forgot him. In my imagination, he will always be out there somewhere on the Mississippi River with his kind, well meaning, but somewhat dysfunctional family.

Augustus' family not only lived in a houseboat on the river, but also lived off the river. What could be more exciting to an eight-year-old boy?

The Miracle of Plants

The Miracle of Plants

As an amateur naturalist I have a curiosity to know how things work. In college I once saw the chemical reactions involved in photosynthesis laid out on a large poster. This all-important method plants use to make food for themselves (and ultimately us) was incredibly long and complex. It is so complex that it’s tempting to simply say that plants bring in carbon dioxide and water, add sun energy, then a miracle happens and out comes oxygen and food. While there is truth there, let me elaborate on the miracle part.


Spine Osteoarthritis Patients and Those Under 65 More Likely to Use Opioids to Manage Pain

Spine Osteoarthritis Patients and Those Under 65 More Likely to Use Opioids to Manage Pain

A large percentage of patients with knee, hip and spine osteoarthritis use opioids to manage their chronic pain, especially those who are younger or have symptoms of depression, according to new research findings. Osteoarthritis, or OA, is the most common joint disease affecting middle-aged and older people. It is characterized by progressive damage to the joint cartilage—the cushioning material at the end of long bones—and causes changes in the structures around the joint.

Milk and Cornbread

Milk and Cornbread

We all have that one special treat that we look forward to having. For me, it’s a tossup between something chocolate and somebody doing the laundry. My Mamaw Jo had a treat that I could never understand: milk and cornbread. In all fairness, I did try it, but I didn’t like it. For one thing, milk and I don’t get along.

Blackberries and Dumplings

Blackberries and Dumplings

I spent my early years in Michigan. The last thirty years I have been here. If I had known how wonderful Tennessee was, I would have been here long ago. Don't fault me for being from Michigan. We all have to be from somewhere. I will try to keep the secret of how wonderful East Tennessee is. After all, there is only so much room for former Yankees down here.

Commission Approves 2019 Budget, No New Taxes

Union County Commission

Passing a budget and setting a tax rate in June has now become best practice in Union County. For two consecutive years, Ann Dyer, County Finance Director, and County Mayor Mike Williams have diligently worked with County Commission led by Chairman Gary England and the Budget and Finance Committee to complete the budget process before the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1. Their combined efforts have solidified the budget process into a transparent, accountable, and responsible fiscal practice that has set Union County on a course toward improvement and maybe even prosperity.

Cyn Taylor joins Authors Guild of Tennessee

Cyn Taylor

Local author Cyn Taylor was recently vetted by the Authors Guild of Tennessee and welcomed as a new member of the group in May.

A Knoxville native, Taylor writes Southern Contemporary Romantic Suspense staged in the Smoky Mountains and surrounding area. Smoky Mountain Mist is Taylor's first series. Blue Mountain Sky, Red Morning Glory and Dawn's Gray Light are the three books completing that series.



Prayer for Community Worship & Revival

This is an update of the information for the Luttrell Community Worship and Revival...
Several pastors from different churches are going to the worship site once a week to pray. We invite anyone who feels led to pray at the site to go anytime the Lord impresses on them to go there to pray. Please join us in prayer for the revival.
Dates to remember....

*Thursday, May 10th at 7 PM - Pastors and deacons pray at Luttrell Ball Field, the worship site.

*June 21 at 7 PM -Pastors and deacons pray at worship site

*Revival July 30, 31, and August 1 @ 7 PM

Meet-the-Candidates Tuesday, June 26 6PM-8PM

Dear Candidate:

Thank you for being a candidate for public office!

You are invited to participate in a Union County Meet-the-Candidates evening gathering on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at 6 PM - 8PM at the Union County Senior Citizens Center.
This event is intended both to help our citizens cast an informed vote on August 2 (or earlier) and to help introduce you to your voters. Palm cards, written materials are welcome. (A surrogate for the candidate who cannot attend is welcome.)

Union County Board Of Education


The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education will be held on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Union County High School. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.



1. Discuss School Trips

· None at Time of Publication

2. Budget Amendments and Transfers/Director’s Monthly Report—Ann Dyer

County Commission will meet in Special Called Session

County Commission will meet in Special Called Session

The County Commission will meet in Special Called Session on Thursday, June 28, at 7:00 to finalize the budget amendments and transfers of the current budget to facilitate the filing of the Annual Financial Report. The public is encouraged to attend.


Thursday, June 28 2018 – TIME 7:00 P.M.



Teresa Ann Greer

Teresa Ann Greer, age 44, of Maryville, TN passed away peacefully on June 16, 2018. Preceded in death by mother Judith Ann Greer. Survived by children, Courtney Ann Thomas and fiancé Brandon Yeaman, Justin Joe Bradburn, and Madison Ann Bradburn; father Bobby Joe and wife Deborah; grandchildren John Mason and Eli Blane.

James Paul Myers, Jr.

James Paul Myers, Jr. age 70 of Knoxville, passed away June 15, 2018. James was a Vietnam veteran. He was of the Baptist faith and pastored many churches in his life. Preceded in death by wife Janet Myers; parents James P. Myers, Sr. and Juanita Myers; sister Helen Wrinkle. Survived by sons Jay Lloyd Myers and Stephen Myers; very special brother David Myers; several nieces and nephews. Family will receive friends 6:00p.m.-8:00p.m. Wednesday June 20, 2018 at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel with service to follow, Rev. Clyde Lakin and Eddie Myers officiating.

Anna Mae Shelby Davis

Anna Mae Shelby Davis-age 78 of New Tazewell passed away Friday morning, June 15, 2018 at U. T. Medical Center following a long illness. She was a member of Raccoon Valley Baptist Church. Preceded in death by daughter, Kathy Ann Davis; parents, Jim and Louella Shelby; brothers, Willis Shelby, Troy Milton Shelby; sisters, Grace Shoffner and Viola Shelby.

Gary Lynn Anderson, Sr.

Gary Lynn Anderson, Sr.-age 72 of Luttrell passed away Thursday morning, June 14, 2018 at U. T. Medical Center. He was preceded in death by parents, Rev. Frank J. and Mildred (Hundley) Anderson; brothers, Robert (Bob) Anderson, Paul Anderson; sister, Cheryl Tyson; grandson, James Thompson; great-grandson, Skyler McClure.

Betty Jane Patterson

Betty Jane Patterson-age 91 of Maynardville passed away Sunday morning, June 10, 2018 at Beverly Park Place, Knoxville. She was a member of First United Methodist Church of Sevierville. She also enjoyed square dancing and was a member of Good Times Square Dance Club. Preceded in death by her husband, Clinton Patterson, Sr. in 1998; three sisters, Dorothy, Jean and Alla.

Beulah E. "Gose" Walters

Beulah Elizabeth Gose Walters-age 99 of Luttrell passed away Tuesday morning, June 12, 2018 at U. T. Medical Center. She was a member of Little Flat Creek Baptist Church. Beulah was a retired Post Master of the Luttrell Post Office with 30 years of service. She was preceded in death by husband, Tom Walters; parents, John and Lora Gose; sisters, Hazel Chandler, Bonnie Lawson; infant brother, Leon Gose; grandchildren, Karen Seymour and Tony Walters.

Earnest Ray Norris

Earnest Ray Norris – age 80 of Knoxville, went to his Heavenly home on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. He was a member of Grace Baptist Church in Halls. Ray was saved on May 17, 1975 at Milan Baptist Church in Maynardville and served as a radio minister for several years.

Maria Elaine McMurray

Maria Elaine McMurray – age 71 of Maynardville, went home to be with the Lord on Friday, June 8, 2018. She was a member of the Northwest Baptist Church.

Elaine is survived by her husband of 45 years, Jim McMurray; daughters, Tara (Duane) Brown and Julie DeMarcus; son, Scott (Maria) Blatemore; grandsons, Tyler Allen and Jared Blatemore; sister, Teresa Helton; and several nieces and nephews.

Joyce Dorothy Cox Smith

Joyce Dorothy Smith-age 76 of Andersonville passed away peacefully Friday, June 8, 2018 at Norris Health and Rehabilitation. She is preceded in death by husband, K. L. Smith; son, Johnny; parents and brothers.

Survivors: son, Mike Smith and wife, Becky; granddaughters, Jackie, Jennifer and Michelle; three great-grandchildren, sister, Shirley Phibbs and special friend, Barbara Hooks. A host of other family and many friends.

L. D. Nicley

L. D. Nicley-age 68 of Maynardville went to his eternal home Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at his home. He was a member of Elm Springs Baptist Church. He enjoyed many years driving eighteen wheelers, fishing on the lake and spending time with family and friends. Preceded in death by parents, Taylor and Della B. Nicley; sister, Dian Williams; daughter, Kim Nicely.

The opinions expressed by columnists and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of Russell Computer Systems, Inc or any employee thereof.