Faith of A Mustard Seed

Barbara Woods Washington

Barbara Woods-Washington

“And when they came to him, he said to them: ‘You yourselves know how I lived among you all the time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which befell me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance to God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.’”  (Acts 20:18-21).  Faith’ in the Acts of The Apostles.

Between the Faith Event of (Acts 16:1-5) ‘til now lies a major view of the controversies faced by the Pauline mission to the Asian province, most notably his work at Ephesus.  Paul had taken a ‘Nazarite vow’ (you remember Sampson) which undoubtedly has taken his spiritual power to a whole other level prior to his visit to Ephesus; where his preaching of the Word is so powerful that he is asked to stay, but sets sail to Caeserea.

His next visit to Ephesus is one of magnanimous proportion.  Paul has come into full power and authority in the use of ‘Holy Spiritual’ endowment.  He can walk up on a disciple and ‘know’ that he had not received the Holy Spirit when he believed.  “Into what, then, were you baptized?”  To hear them say “John’s Baptism”.  And, “no we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit!”  Paul is ‘laying on hands’ to which responses include prophesying and speaking in tongues.  He had already told the Jews in Corinth that “from now on I shall go to the Gentiles…”; so in Ephesus, here too he left the synagogue.  He went every day to debate in the School of Tyrannus.  Scarves and handkerchiefs were taken from his personhood by faith in the Holy Spirit’s power… to the sick.  And bodies were healed and evil spirits were vanquished.  Many who practiced magic collectively burned their books in public view.

But you can always ‘follow the money’!  It is when Demetrius, a silversmith who made images of the ‘Ephesian god Artemis’ realizes that we will no longer ‘Profit’ from the idol, but, “also that the Temple of the great goddess Artemis may count for nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.”  In the rage stirred up, the people shouted “Great is Artemis of the Ephesian!”.

The city of Ephesus’ response IS THE TOWN MEETING: “The city was filled with confusion so that all rushed to the theater, dragging the Macedonians Gauis and Aristarchus, who were Paul’s traveling companions, with them.  When Paul wanted to go to the assembly the disciples would not allow him, and some of the Asiarchs, who were his friends, sent word to him asking him not to go to the assembly, and most of them did not know why they were gathered.”

The first six months of 2009, 1.9 million Foreclosures occurred in the United States.  Followed by 6 months of 20,000+ foreclosures in Tennessee!!!  Six Months experiencing NO LAWS GOVERNING FORECLOSURE IN THE STATE OF TENNESSEE!!!!  No, not one!!!  No ‘due process of law’ given to the Homeowner in the State of Tennessee.  Mortgage companies representing ????? Took homes all across this state and country AT WILL!!  History is now recording these events as “the biggest Fraud perpetrated upon the American People in the history of this Nation.”

Even on Sunday mornings— “most of them did not know why they were gathered.”

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