DID YOU KNOW that, just as there were in Paul’s day, today there are those whose actions divide them into one of two groups, the righteous ones of Berea, or the lawless ones of Thessalonica and Ephesus?
Though the people in Paul’s day were actually from three different cities, their attitudes and actions are very descriptive of people in general.
BEREANS: “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Yehudim. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so/.” [Acts 17:10-11]
The Bereans checked the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings daily, making sure that Paul’s teachings matched the Scriptures, and were not just figments of his imagination.
THESSALONICANS: “. . .they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, ‘These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.’ ” [Acts 17:6b]
EPHESIANS: “And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: ‘Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. So not only is the trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.’ Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out saying, ‘Great is Diana of the Ephesians!’ ” [Acts 19:23-28]
And what was the great commotion about the Way? The Psalmist prayed: “Search me, O El, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if an idolatrous way is in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” [Psalm 139:23-24] Note that the Way given by YHVH is everlasting
(forever); and this group of Ephesians was far more interested in profit-making than they were in learning about the Way of YHVH!
Doesn’t that sound very current? Look around you. Aren’t most people more interested in the traditions of men and the ways of the world than they are in learning the Way of YHVH?
So, how can we understand the Way if we don’t study? Didn’t Paul warn,“Be diligent to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. . .”[2 Timothy 2:15-17]
It is very easy to be led astray if the Word of Truth is not written on our hearts, and it cannot be written on our hearts if we do not earnestly study and learn what it says.
I am sure you have heard some say that the Torah is no longer valid, so would those persons be interested in having it written on their hearts? Probably not! If not, I wonder if they realize that they are forfeiting the blessings that come from keeping it, and accepting the curses that come from disobeying it? How could it be, unless they were deceived, that anyone would willingly choose swine’s flesh, the day of the sun god (Sunday), and pagan festivals over the Torah of Truth?