John 10:10 – The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Acts 9:1 – And Saul, still breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest.
Acts 9:4 – And he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?
Holy Spirit wants us to have a little discussion about our first text verse. What is the meaning of the word THIEF!
ME: The Greek word that is translated THIEF has two basic meanings to this word.
- The word means one who robs or steals.
- The word is also used to describe a false teacher of the Scriptures.
This is one who teaches the Scriptures, but is inspired by Satan rather than Holy Spirit. Since Satan is actually the one who inspires false teachers, Satan is the one who is the thief in this verse.
The Scripture that I want you to look is the parable of Jesus the Good Shepherd. Those in the sheepfold are the followers of Christ Our Lord, and Satan is trying to steal them, that is, get them away from Christ our Lord. Satan usually does this through people. What is the method of Satan stated in this verse?
ME: If the one working for Satan cannot persuade a follower of Christ Our Lord to stop following Christ Our Lord, then Satan has his workers ready to kill, destroy, or murder the physical bodies of the followers of Christ Our Lord.
HOLY SPIRIT: Our second text verse is about the life of Apostle Paul before he had his conversion experience. At that time his name was still Saul. What attitude of Saul is expressed in this verse?
ME: Saul felt that the Hebrews, who became Born Again Christians, were blasphemers. His attitude was very much like the attitude of Satan expressed in our first text verse. Saul tried to verbally persuade the Born Again Christians to stop being followers of Christ Our Lord. He also threatened to have them suffer some pain if they did not change their minds. He even murdered or killed some of them when they chose to continue to be followers of Christ Our Lord.
HOLY SPIRIT: In our third text verse I (HS) had Apostle Luke record who spoke to Saul during his conversion experience. Who spoke to him?
ME: Christ Our Lord spoke to him.
HOLY SPIRIT: The message that he spoke is a very important one for Born Again Christians to understand. Christ Your Lord told Saul that what he was doing to Hebrew People who became Born Again Christians was persecuting them. Then note this. Christ Your Lord told Saul that when he persecuted these Christians, that he was actually persecuting Christ Your Lord.
As Born Again Christians prepare for the future they need to understand this. Satan is still trying to destroy Our Father by trying to destroy Christ Your Lord. The teaching of this communication is that when Satan persecuted Christians through Saul, and when he persecutes Christians today, even though it is usually through other human beings, he was and is actually persecuting Christ Your Lord. Satan understands the compassion Christ Your Lord has for His Family and thus is involved in the lives of His Children. Based upon this, Satan still has hope, though it is a false hope, that he somehow can destroy Christ Your Lord by destroying the Children of His Family.
This factor explains some things.
- This explains why Satan will continue to bring about persecution in the lives of Born Again Christians and Hebrew People. Satan will continue to do this until he is imprisoned in Hell.
- Though Born Again Christians suffer persecution in a personal way, as far as Satan is concerned, it is not a personal matter. Persecution is Satan trying to destroy Christ Your Lord.
- This is part of the CROSS that Christ Your Lord taught about when He stated that His Followers should take up their crosses daily and follow Him (see Luke 9:23).
- Understanding these matters will help Born Again Christians keep their joy during times of persecution.
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