Nevertheless, it was not consumed
5 times in eleven years hands were stretched forth to vex the churches in Jerusalem.
In describing the Nicene Council, Vance Havner said that not more than a dozen of the 318 delegates had not lost an eye or a hand or did not limp upon a leg shrunk in its sinews by the burning iron of torture.
“Jews were specially exempted from taking part in the cult of emperor-worship. Christians also sought this exemption, since they recognized only one God and served the Lord Jesus Christ. But when the church became largely composed of Gentiles, it was no longer possible to shelter under the wing of Judaism. Christians refused to offer a pinch of incense on an altar to the divine Emperor - an act which most intelligent people considered to be merely symbolic - and this was interpreted as unpatriotic. In this way the official Roman attitude towards Christianity became less and less favorable.
Marcus Aurelius 161-180
“The Blood of the martyrs is seed”
the most violent persecution the church had yet faced.
“Nevertheless, it was not consumed…”
A. The Arrest (4:1-4)
B. The Trial (4:5-22)
1. the testimony (4:5-12)
2. the decision (4:13-18)
3. The appeal (4:19-22)
C. The Outcome (4:23-31)