Volume 15, Issue 8
In the Apostle’s Creed, we Christians affirm that we believe in the “apostolic faith.” The phrase apostolic faith refers to the Christian faith as taught and handed down by the original apostles chosen by Christ Jesus.
In his second letter, the Apostle Peter assured his readers that they could trust in the accuracy of his teachings. And he gave them two reasons why.
First, Peter pointed to the apostles unique status as eyewitnesses of the life of Christ Jesus. To this point, he stated:
16For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. (1:16-18)
Peter and the other apostles taught his readers about “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power.” This refers to the Second Coming, at which time Jesus will definitively establish his kingdom and pass judgment on those who rebelled against him. Because of the Second Coming, Peter taught his readers to live lives that “confirmed their call and election” (1:10).
One of the reasons Peter wrote this letter is because, at the time of its writing, his readers were being subjected to false teachings. The false teachers apparently had accused Peter and the other apostles of using ill-founded myths about rewards and punishment to coerce and control the morality of their audiences. About these false teacher, Peter wrote:
1… They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them – bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. (2:1b-3)
In response to the false teachers, Peter argued that the apostles had not preached myths (“cleverly devised fables”) to their hearers. Rather, the apostles’ testimony rested on historical events that they had observed personally. They were “eyewitnesses of His majesty,” meaning they had seen Jesus’ power in action as God’s anointed Messiah during his First Coming.
Moreover, Peter was an eyewitness to something even more impressive, that is, to the honor and glory bestowed upon Christ Jesus by God the Father on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-8). At that time, Peter personally heard God’s heavenly declaration that Jesus was his beloved son with whom he was well pleased. For Peter, the Transfiguration is one of the basis for an expectation of the Second Coming.
It is interesting to note that this is the only explicit mention of the Transfiguration outside the Synoptic Gospels. In any event, Peter argued that, because of his unique position as an eyewitness to the life of Jesus in general and to the Transfiguration in particular, his readers could be assured of the accuracy of his teachings.
But that is not all. Peter’s hearers could trust in the apostles’ teaching about the Second Coming because of the integrity of the witness of Scripture. About this Peter stated:
19We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (1:19-21)
The idea that links verses 16-18 and 19-21 is the reliability of revelation. Peter’s readers could rely on his teachings because he was an eyewitness. They could rely on the prophecy of Scripture because of its divine origin. Biblical prophecy did not come about “by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.” In other words, the prophets did not simply give their “own” views or “interpretation” of how things were, or would be. Rather, they were “carried along by the Holy Spirit,” meaning they “spoke” as God’s mouthpieces, articulating his thoughts in words that accurately represented those thoughts.
For Peter, the revelation of Scripture is so reliable that his readers should pay attention to it in the way they should pay attention to a light shining in a dark place. If they were to ignore such a light, they would be in danger of stumbling over unseen obstacles. In the same way, the failure to pay attention to the light of Scripture will put them in danger of stumbling spiritually.
Moreover, Peter’s readers should pay attention to the light of Scripture until “the day dawns and the morning star rises in their hearts.” The morning star in the physical world is the star – actually a planet, usually Venus – that appears late at night, just before dawn, and announces the arrival of a new day. In the same way, the Second Coming will signal the beginning of a new day, the day of the Lord. At that time, Peter’s readers will no longer have to rely on the light of Scripture because they will behold the light of Christ himself.
As Christians, we affirm belief in the “apostolic faith.” Such a belief is well grounded in reason because the apostolic faith arises out of eyewitness testimony and the testimony of inspired Scripture.
Blessings, Pastor Tony
Pastor Visitation: If you would like a visit from Pastor Tony, please call 620-951-4438 ©
Halstead Bible Fellowship: email address: email@example.com.
Please join us in worship at 112 West 3rd Street, Halstead, KS, – Sundays at 9:45am.
In Our Family
Pray for: Heather and Habtom’s need for a new house. Their current rental has been sold. Pray that God will provide the funding needed to purchase a home for themselves and their ministry; John & Joy Haspels itineration time in Halstead – good friends for Tierra and Sianna and some rest from their hectic lives in Kenya; Megan’s Aunt Eileen Fox having health issues; The upcoming Old Settler’s Community Church Service ;
Praise for: God’s care and protection for all those traveling over the summer;
August Birthdays Happy birthday to You!
1st Terry Glanville 6 th Megan Evans
12th Don Grossardt 23rd Marge Talbott
John & Gwen Haspels, firstname.lastname@example.org
B O M A B U L L E T I N
‘If you faithfully obey the comands I am giving you today…then I will send rain on your land…I will provide grass…for your cattle.’ Deut. 11:13-15
Assassination: The day we arrived in Addis, the commander of Ethiopia’s armed forces was assassinated along with one other general and several provincial leaders. The internet was shut down and phone traffic cut off. Despite the insecurity and many road blocks set up along the road, we were able to travel to Tulegit without any major problems. Fifty 200 lb bags of corn were also safely transported to Tulegit.
The Crisis is Over: As soon as we got to Tulegit, we loaded eight bags of corn in the Toyota and eight bags on a trailer and drove to Mardul. The peace between the Surma and the Toposa was confirmed when a young Suri woman joined us in the car. She was to be given to one of the Toposa as a wife and as a guarantee of peace between them. The country was transformed. Everything was lush and green. The Toposa cattle had plenty to eat and thus plenty of milk.
Even with chains, we got stuck several times in the mud. Because the rains finally came to South Sudan, we were happy to find that the Taposa had moved their cattle next to the Sudan border and only a handful remained behind in Mardul with their donkeys in order to transport grain to the border. We were so thankful that the food crisis was over and that no further aid was needed.
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU who helped provide grain, shelter and vet drugs for the Taposa.
Jesus Christ the Cornerstone: One hundred and eighty sheets of tin finished the roof for the new Kibish Church and work was begun on the foundation. Two cement blocks were set on the corner of the Church to symbolize that Jesus Christ is the Corner Stone of the Kibish Church. Following a Prayer March around the new building, everyone gathered under the new roof for a Thanksgiving Service.
While in Kibish, Gwen was able to reunite with many good friends from the past. Many were seeing her for the first time since the 2014 shooting.
Graduation in Kenya: After two weeks in Ethiopia, we traveled together with Heather and Habtom and their family to Kenya for the graduation of Acacia from Rift Valley Academy. We then had several nights at the coast and a game drive through Tsavo East wildlife park. We were blessed to see more than 300 elephants and about twenty lions. We praise God for such good family time.
IRS Bomb Shell: When we arrived back in the States to a pile of mail, we found one letter from the IRS claiming we owed $2000 from 2017 with the due date the day we arrived. We Praise God for a tax consultant who reworked our taxes and found the IRS owed us $129.
Together in His Service, John & Gwen
John & Joy Haspels, AIM, Nairobi, Kenya: email@example.com
Online giving page: https://usgiving.aimint.org/missionary/1032600
This is our last update from this side of the ocean for this year. We have family coming this week, then alumni weekend at Rift Valley Academy, then graduation and a quick trip to the Kenya coast with family. All this while trying to pack up the house while still fulfilling some of our responsibilities here. Things are a little bit hectic and about to get more so. But we are looking forward to family time and celebrating Acacia’s final weeks of high school. I have attached some of her senior pictures.
Some things from Kenya North to lift before the Lord in prayer:
-One of our missionary couples arrived in Kenya in December and have been waiting to move North as their house was being readied. Then in May she started having some intense pain. The doctors determined she had kidney stones which failed to pass on their own. She went into surgery a few weeks ago and developed a severe infection which has kept her in hospital. Their house is ready for them to move to Dukana, but then these issues developed. Please pray for S and A as they struggle. They need a lot of prayer for healing, but also for encouragement and peace in the decision to move to Northern Kenya. The outreach possibilities in Dukana are continuing to open faster than the missionaries can manage. S and A will be a huge asset to that team.
-The Northern Bible Training Center in Marsabit continues to struggle with politics in moving to the land designated to them. They have been teaching in the church building and having the students stay in a small house. But the number of students they have now make that almost impossible. They need to move to the bigger plot that had been promised. Pray for the Ks and the Js as they continue to train young church leaders to strengthen the small churches of Northern Kenya.
-Pray for M and J as they take over our leadership responsibilities for the next 6 months while still developing their young church and disciplining their newly baptized believers.
We still have some free Sundays in October, if you would like us to come. We are looking forward to seeing most of you in the coming months.
John and Joy
John and Joy Haspels
AIM Eastern Region
John Cell: +254733687058
Joys Cell: +254735542547
Habtom, Heather, Faith, Hope & Josiah Kebede, Box 1111 (c/o John Haspels), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: firstname.lastname@example.org * theantiochpartners.org
May the JOY of the Lord be your strength!!! Camp Before I tell you about the amazing time Habtom had in Northern Ethiopia I want to just give a short update about the camp. The camp leaders were informed that the camp needed to be sold to pay the 10 million birr/ $343, 643 debt. If the camp comes up with the money before the sale then they can keep it. I am not sure what this means for us. We are really asking God to show us our next move. Thanks for your prayers. The first week of July Habtom, our niece Zoe and Binyam (young man we mentor) went to Northern Ethiopia. Habtom was running a week-long camp for a ministry under our home church in Ethiopia, Beza International. The ministry is overseen by a wonderful woman named Moria. The ministry runs women’s empowerment programs and has a kindergarten. They also tutor children who have been through the program. Meals are served to all the children because the level of poverty is so high. This ministry has been running for over 5 years and just opened a second site. The area is very strong Christian Orthodox and very against protestant Christians and other religions. The ministry has gained acceptance in the community because of the love they share with the community. However, they are not able to outrightly evangelize. The camp began on July 2 and ran through July 6th. Just to give you an idea what they did, at 6:30 was prayer time with the staff. At 7:30 was breakfast then off to the school site a short walk away. At the school the first group of younger children arrived around 8:30 then games and sports (every day was different activities) went from 9 to noon. At noon both groups ate lunch. Then at 1:00pm the afternoon older children began their sports and games. At 4pm the time was up and things cleaned up. At 5:30 young believers from a local protestant church were ministered to. With this group Habtom and group were able to share Bible truths through games and clearly speak the gospel. The time with the young believers went till 7:30 after which was supper. It as such a busy rewarding time. One of the special moments for Habtom was talking with the young believers. The game was to run back and forth ten times, but the teams were not even. Two against ten. It was easier for the ten kids. The lesson is that working together and unity is what is going to keep them strong. If they try to walk the Christian walk alone, they will get tired in their faith, especially with persecution or resistance they face each day. Habtom was showing them that unity keeps them strong. At the end of the week some gifts (thanks to a VBS in Halstead, Ks) were given to each of the kids. They were overwhelmed and cried when Habtom and team left. This trip really ignited a passion Habtom and I have had a long time which is to take our passion to use sports and games as an evangelism tool all over Ethiopia doing camps and training others to use these tools in their communities.
Anne Adrian, ISI, Lakeland, Florida email@example.com
Thank you for your faithful prayers for this ministry that seeks to bring the Light of Hope to the nations in our backyard!!
Your fellow Ambassador for Christ, Anne
For those of you who prefer to give online: http://www.isionline.org/DonateAnneAdrian.aspx