Apostle Peter

Archeologists find evidence of St Peter’s prison

Archaeologists have discovered evidence to support the theory that St Peter was imprisoned in an underground dungeon by the Emperor Nero before being crucified.

The Mamertine Prison, a dingy complex of cells which now lies beneath a Renaissance church, has long been venerated as the place where the apostle was shackled before he was killed on the spot on which the Vatican now stands.

It been a place of Christian worship since medieval times, but after months of excavations, Italian archaeologists have found frescoes and other evidence which indicate that it was associated with St Peter as early as the 7th century.

Dr Patrizia Fortini, of Rome’s department of archaeology for Rome, said: “It was converted from being a prison into a focus of cult-like worship of St Peter by the 7th century at the latest, maybe earlier.

“It was a very rapid transformation. We think that by the 8th century, it was being used as a church. It would have been wonderful to find a document with his [St Peter’s] name on it, but of course that was always going to be extremely unlikely.”

St Peter and St Paul are said to have been incarcerated in the jail by the Emperor Nero.

Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/7852507/Archeologists-find-evidence-of-St-Peters-prison.html

 

 

when were the disciples baptized?

When were the disciples baptized?

This is a topic I would like to explore.  Got this ‘idea’ while i was listening to another sermon today (Tue, 9/4/2012, 107pm).

So, will work on it as and when time permits.

Please bookmark this post and come back to it again and again if you would like to hear/read.

 

Joash – youngest king of Judah

To read 2 Chronicles 24. Compare to 2 Kings 12

We (family prayer) had this chapter for our daily meditations yesterday.

Joash was 19th king in God’s kingdom (7th in Judah) 835-796 BC.  He ruled Judah for 40 years.  He was crowned at age 7.  His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba.

Another important person of note in his life was Jehoida, the priest.  He was instrumental in saving, protecting, crowning, and guiding Joash.

Joash was faithful as long as Jehoida was alive.

Joash repairs the temple.  The repair of the temple was initiated because the sons of Athaliah had defiled the temple and had taken and used sacred objects of the temple in Baal’s worship.  It is interesting to note that the people in his day gave generously to the temple repair work and the king’s men handled the money faithfully too.  They bring the temple to it’s original form.

Jehoida dies at age 130.  Two times in this chapter is a reference to the phrase or to its equivalent ‘as long as Jehoida lived.’  First one is in relation to Joash’s faithlessness to the Lord.  Second one, in relation to the burnt offerings being offered continually in the temple.  That speaks to the influence he exerted on all around him.  He had impacted both the king and the people.  The fact that he was buried among the kings shows how much people respected him, whereas Joash was not buried in the tombs of the kings.

In verses 1-15, we see the influence of Jehoida on Joash.  In verse 16, the author notes the influence of ‘officials of Judah’ on Joash.  As a result of which they abandon the temple and go after Asherah poles and idols.  Because of this guilt of theirs, the LORD’s anger came upon Judah and Jerusalem.  Yet, the LORD sent many prophets to warn them; they did not listen.

One prominent among them seems to be Zechariah, son of Jehoida; but the king commands to kill him.

Zachariah’s message to the people is noteworthy here.  “This is what God says: ‘why do you disobey the LORD’s comands?  You will not prosper.  Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.'”  24:20

Conclusion:  “Prosperity of kings and their subjects in God’s kingdom depended on their faithfulness and obedience to the LORD and the LORD’s covenant than anything that is their own.”

Question: is it anyway different for us as 21st century believers and members of the new testament/covenant?

The Lord Sends Down More Fire For Elijah

Kings 1 1

In this chapter, we see that the Lord sends down fire from heaven two more times other than the one we saw earlier in Mount Carmel.  Many people stop at mount Carmel but today we go further to the rule of Ahaziah, Ahab’s son.

Here is the Lord’s question to king Ahaziah thorough Elijah “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending men to consult Baal-Zebub, the god o Ekron?”

Ahaziah sends two captains with fifty men.  Each time Elijah calls fire from the Lord and the fire consumes them both: 51 die each time, totalling 102.

Both times, the captains present a command from their king to which Elijah replies with a firy command from the Lord.  The third commander (a wise one) instead of commanding Elijah, he pleads for his life and his 50 men and the angel tells Elijah not be fear and go to see the king this time.

Here again we see that Elijah was fearful and yet called fire from again two moe times.  First time the fire consumed the sacrifice and the altar; this time (2 times) it consumed real people who had rebelled against the Lord and had gone after other gods.

Ahaziah never seemed to have learned the lesson: Seek the Lord, the God of Israel instead of any other and he dies a sick man as per the words of Elijah.

In a time of apostacy (the period of the kings of Israel and Judah), the Lord showed Himself to be what He is in many ways through the judges and prophets, but the people did not see or failed to understand.

Elijah is taken up alive

kings2 2.

For more on Elijah’s bringing ‘more fire’ from heaven, please see this article.

This chapter is quite dramatic but real.  The first verse starts like this “when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind,’ and that is what is this chapter all about: Elijah being taken up alive to the presence of the Lord without facing or tasting physical death like any a human.

Elijah keeps moving from place to place and Elisha (whom the Lord aointed to succeed him) keeps following him wherever he went:  Bethel, Jericho, and finally Jordan where Elijah was taken up after a chariot of fire and horses seperates them both from each other as they cross the Jordan afoot.

Elisha had no doubts whatsoever about this miracle of being taken alive though the company of the prophets still suspected that Elijah would be in some other place, verse 16.

jehoshaphat advises first seek the counsel of the lord

The greatest advise by a king of Judah – First seek the counsel of the LORD.

look who slaps whom

I Kings 22.  Micaiah, son of Imlah.

In this passage, we see that the real prophet of the LORD(Micaiah) was slapped by one of the false prophets (Zedekiah).

Micaiah was called a ‘bad prophet’ by king of Israel, Ahab, Verse 8.  He also called Elijah ‘my enemy.’

But, Micaiah actually spoke the truth always, 22:14 and it stood firm.  Consequently, Zedekiah later dies as per Micaiah’s true prophecy.

When I recently warned some believers of their pastor’s ‘false practises, ‘ I was rejected and challenged.  I was questioned ‘can you do what he did?  It is true that that pastor worked hard to establish his church in the beginning of his ministry (when he was true to the word) and the Lord did reward him.  But today, his teaching is so much mixed with ‘wierd ideas.’

Few months later, I heard that same pastor preaching ‘the bread and wine becomes the body and blood’ on local tv on a live broadcast of his worship service one Sunday!!!

This is what happens when we speak the truth.  But, let us be bold as Micaiah and continue to speak the truth of the Gospel in love and boldness.

 

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life

Today we are dealing with Kings1 18.  The key for chapter 18 is in verse 37.  He just

Soon after a day of public victory, Elijah had a day of personal defeat.  Indeed, it was a day of personal introspection and learning in the presence of the Lord for him.

So, it is clear that in the life of any a servant of God that ministrial success is not a guarantee that the man of God is as robust in his personal life too.  Success in ministry is not evidence that one is successful or perfect in his personal walk with the Lord.  Isn’t that a beauty of the Bible record of biographical history?. In fact, chapter 19 is complete opposite to chapter 18.  In 18, we see nothing of the personality of Elijah but 19 reveals a great deal about his feelings and state of mind.

Enter God to the rescue in chapter 19.  The LORD was with him through the ups and downs of his life.  Also, thankfully, Elijah was as open (with his feelings) as a faithful and obedient prophet that he is despite his ‘feeling defeated, ‘ personally.  The Lord never gave up on Elijah and grant him his wish for ‘death.’  The Lord simply reminded him that He still continues to be faithful to Israel becasue of His covenant with Israel and chapter 19 is just that.

So, in conclusion, it is the Lord that we need and should go back to in a day of success and as well as in a day of defeat.  In a day of desparity, we all tend to run/retire to a place of defeat, forget the Lord’s presence, take desperate measures, retire to old habbits/sins, conclude wrongfully, etc….  In his case, 1) he thought he was the only faithful left in the land, 2) he walked to Mount Horeb 40 miles, and the Lord’s advice to Elijah was “go back the way you came to the desert of Damascus” in verse 15 and revealse that he was not the only one faithful left in Israel and wrongfully concluded (though based on partial truth) that Israel had forsaken the covenant, broken the altars, and put to death His prophets, verse 19:10.  The Lord had 7000 faithful people who had not bowed their knee or kissed the Baals in worship.  Elijah simply did not know it.

No wonder the Lord asked him, not once but twice, “What are you doing here?” First time in verse 19:9 and second time in verse 19:13.  The Lord answered his question perfectly well, but Elijah did not answer the Lord as well because he had no explanation for his ‘desperate conclusions.’

Let us not fall into the same temptation and not judge things before hand;  conclude only after a careful analysis; dthe needful research;aask and learn; keep our mind open as the heart is open to the Lord.

God proves to people that He is God

The scripture portion we are dealing with today is Kings1 18.

Tpday’s topic: Who is God, The LORD or Baal or any other?

We have a lot of Obadiah’s in the Word of God.  Who was this Obadiah?  He was an official of Ahab the king, in charge of the king’s palace.  Scripture tells us that he was a believer in the LORD and he saved about 100 prophets of the LORD.

The most important thing we learn from today’s portion is that the LORD answers prayers even dramatically if He has willed it to answer in such a way.  We understan that from verse 37 that it was the LORD that had commanded Elijah to do all that he did leading to answer by fire on Mount Carmel.

It was not a test by Elijah but an act of obedience on the part of Elijah to prove that Baal  or the prophets of Baal had no power over nature or anything.  They just knew how to put on a show in public (by dance and cutting thei body) that Baal is what they think.

When the people realized that Baal was no what they thought, then at the word of Elijah, the people put to death all the prophets of Baal.

It encourages us to cultivate a walk with the LORD and obey/do what He says.

It is also a challenge for us to keep a record of the LORD’s answer to our prayers.