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
 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.  Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.  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.  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
 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.
“Here you go.” Timmy lays his red and green house shoe down on his bed in front of Tripp.
“This will be a comfortable bed for you.” He pushes down inside it with his finger. “See? It has a thick foam insole.”
Tripp looks up to Timmy and raises an eyebrow. “You want me to sleep in your stinky house shoe?”
“It’s not stinky!” Timmy protests. “My Mamaw gave them to me last year and I only wore them when she was here.”
Tripp pulls glitter out of his pocket and sprinkles it inside the house shoe. “Just in case.”
“Very funny. Now hop in the shoe please.”
Year One, Week Forty-Eight
It was forty years ago this very month that I received a Christmas gift that I would even now not trade for thousands of dollars.
I’m not even sure how it came about, but somehow my mother began saving S & H green stamps. At some point Hensley’s IGA must have issued them, for I don’t remember my mother ever shopping anywhere else. Perhaps she had my sister Anna Mae, my brother Jerry, or Cousin Lizzie Norton get them for her, as they lived and shopped in Knoxville.
Chiropractic’s integration into professional sports medical teams has resulted in the creation of the Professional Baseball Chiropractic Society (PBCS). The first annual PBCS workshop was held in March 2015. Many of the team chiropractors in Major League Baseball were in attendance as well as a few from Minor League Baseball. This first seminar even included a surprise visit from former MLB manager Joe Torre, who took some time to address those in attendance on how beneficial chiropractic was not only to him, but also to the players on the teams he managed.
Can you parallel park? I did once, only once. I quit while I was ahead. It is hard to do. I need a forty acre field on a good day. How I ever got through life without bumping fenders trying to park, I'll never know. Yes, I do. I always looked for a diagonal parking space or a parking garage where the attendant parked my car.
A lot of folks had their first taste of snow recently, and since snow is more welcome during the Christmas season, I decided to use it as this week’s topic. Trouble is I’ve written several articles about snow in the past, so I had to dig harder to find something fresh to write about. I did find something surprising, that I’d have to classify as weird science. It involves something called heavy water, so prepare to go sub-atomic.
My favorite kind of chocolate to work with is cocoa. However, that doesn't work for making dipping chocolate. At least I don't know how to do that. I have several candy recipes I make every Christmas, but Anne's favorite is my Chocolate Bon Bons.
I came across this candy recipe a few years ago. It certainly didn't look like a candy recipe. What candy lists flour among its ingredients? This is the only one I know of.
The Tennessee North Rural Planning Organization (RPO) meets on Thursday the 13th of December to prioritize TDOT funded road projects in the RPOs seven county region. Union County does not have any TDOT projects under construction, although the SR-33 project from the Knox County Line to South of SR-144 was recently moved to the Construction Phase.
What a wonderful time of the year! Celebrating Christmas and the New Year with family and friends, good food, memories of Christmas’ past and creating new memories. The New Year is a time for making resolutions and planning for changes we would like to experience in our lives in the coming year. With only four weeks remaining in 2018, we are running out of opportunities to take advantage of tax planning.
Most of us probably do not even recognize the name of Arthur Ernest Morgan; yet for those of us living in the the rural communities of the Tennessee Valley, Morgan should be remembered every time we switch on our lights or plug in our computers. Arthur Morgan was the first Director of the Tennessee Valley Authority, but he was much more than just a political appointee or bureaucratic figurehead. Morgan, a civil engineer, was an expert in water flow and water control. He was a hands on director who busied himself with the most intimate parts of the TVA: the inner workings of the dams and the communities they served. As an engineer, he designed the dams, made the earth move, mined the rock, and poured the concrete. As a visionary, he designed communities with energy efficient housing and environmental consideration. As an educator, Morgan saw the need to teach the people to use better farming practices and to train people to use electricity to make their daily chores easier.
Fellowship Christian Church located at 746 Tazewell Pike Luttrell TN 37779 will pickup anyone in the local area needing a ride to church. Call Sam at 865-607-3741 to schedule a ride.
Sunday School 10:00 AM
Sunday Worship Service 11:00 A.M
Sunday Evening Service 6:30 P.M
Wednesday Service 7:00 P.M
Union County Election Commission meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 2:30pm in room 101 of the Union County Courthouse to conduct election business which comes before the commission pursuant to its duties listed in, but not limited to TCA $2-12-116, and to conduct any other business that may come before the election commission at that time. Union County Election Commission, 901 Main Street, Suite 108, Maynardville, TN 37807, (865) 992-3471 http://www.electionsunioncountytn.com
Tony Lynn Brogdon, Sr. “Pap”-age 58 of Knoxville passed away Monday, December 17, 2018 surrounded by members of his close family. He was a member of Stonewall Baptist Church. Tony was a dump truck driver but worked with skills second to none.
He is survived by his five children, Tony Brogdon, Jr., William Brogdon, Brandy Brogdon, Sheridan Brogdon and wife, Janet; Dixie Hopson and husband, Josh. He had many grandkids and siblings who loved him dearly and he will be missed. In lieu of flowers, the family ask for donations to be made toward Pap’s funeral service in his name.
Martha E. Berkley, age 92 of Knoxville passed away December 16, 2018. She was a member of Washington Pike Baptist Church. Martha retired from Knox County Circuit Court. She was a strong Christian woman, a devoted mother, and a loving wife. Preceded in death by William G. Berkley; parents Herman E. and Cassie Turner; brother H. Eugene Turner Jr.; granddaughter Jill Berry. Survived by daughter, Sharon B. Kirkland and husband Garrett; sons, Tobe Cowden and wife Chela, and Mike Berkley; 5 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren.
Goneau Gentry Heath was born August 20, 1921 and went to her heavenly home on December 13, 2018 at the age of 97. Goneau was a longtime member of North Knoxville Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her father, Cleve Gentry and her mother, Bonnie Stooksbury Gentry; Aunt who raised her, Cora Stooksbury; husband of 51 years, K.C. Heath; Brothers, Ray and Carson Gentry; Sister, Jessie Beeler; Granddaughter, Julie Hourigan; Son-in-law, James "Jim" Bean.
Wanda Faye Henry, age 81, of Corryton joined her husband in heaven on December 12, 2018 at Tennova Powell. Member of Clear Springs Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband Harvey Henry; parents Luke and Elizabeth Everett; sisters Juanita Boling, Iola Chandler, Lelia Davis; and brother David Everett.
Rev. Gains Harrell Lewis, Sr.-age 86 of Maynardville went to his Heavenly Home Friday morning, December 14, 2018. Harrell, above everything else, loved the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour and preached and witnessed so others would do the same. He was saved and was a member of Hubbs Grove Baptist Church and attended Fellowship Christian Church. He had pastored Leatherwood Baptist Church and Head of Barren Baptist Church. He was proud to be a lifetime citizen of Maynardville, Tennessee and was well-known and had many friends and family.
Betty Sue Baumgardner – age 77 of Washburn, passed away on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. She was a member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville. Betty was a loving wife and enjoyed crocheting and quilting.
She is preceded in death by parents, Edgar and Dorothy Glover; sisters, Mary Ann Glover and Nell Harper. Betty is survived by loving husband of 60 years, Reverend Albert “Dick” Baumgardner; sister, Jenntte; brother, Edward Glover; and several nieces and nephews.
Nicole “Nicky” Tyson, age 42, passed away on December 11, 2018. She was an outgoing woman who never met a stranger. She was the happiest when surrounded by family, friends, and her fur babies, whom she was very passionate about. Nicky could light up any room she walked in and will be missed by many. She is survived by fiancé Kenny Thomas, daughter April Tyson (Boo), sons Nicholas Gene Beaver and Hunter Dylan Leon Foster, parents Janice and Jim Shipley, granddaughter Payton McKenzie Abshire, close cousin/sister Kelly Williams, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Campbell, Charles "Charlie" Winton, age 68 of Corryton, adored daddy and the most treasured grandpa, was welcomed into the arms of his Lord and Savior on, Wednesday, December 12, 2018. Awaiting this great reunion day was Charlie's sweetheart and the love of his life, Glenda Kay Campbell, his beloved wife. Also preceding his death are; parents Henderson & Ruth Campbell and sister Katherine Ann Campbell.
Sonja Denise Brown-age 53 of Luttrell passed away Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at her home. She was a member of Mynatt Road Baptist Church in Halls. Preceded in death by father, Leonard Allen Ridenour.
Survivors: husband, David Lee Brown; mother, Reba Evelyn Ridenour; brother, Ronnie Lynn Ridenour and wife, Donna; sister, Donna Michelle Gordon and husband, Gerald. Several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
Graveside service and interment 12 Noon Saturday, December 15, 2018, Dyer Cemetery, Powder Springs. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.