THE WAY MINISTRIES
BLACK-TOP GOSPEL MUSIC MINISTRY
Vol. 1 Issue # 6
July 2001 issue
THE WAY MINISTRIES
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Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, "THIS IS THE WAY; WALK IN
IT. Isa. 30 v 21
Our feature story is The Martyrdom of Justin Martyr another of the early church fathers that gave
his life for the faith of our Lord Jesus.
We hope that you are finding encouragement and inspiration from these stories
of great early Christians and there life and confession of faith. We encourage you to send us your comments and suggestions
on ways to improve this e-maga-zine. We also are interested in your contributions: poetry, short stories, events, recipes,
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Note to the Martyrdom of Justin Martyr.
Crescens, a cynic, has the ill-renown of stirring up the persecution
in which Justin and his friends suffered for Christ. The story that he died by the hemlock seems to have originated among
the Greeks, who naturally gave this turn to the sufferings of a philosopher.The following Introductory Notice of the translator
supplies all that need be added.
Though nothing is known as to the date or authorship of the following narrative, it
is generally reckoned among the most trustworthy of the Martyria. An absurd addition was in some copies made to it, to the
effect that Justin died by means of hemlock. Some have thought it necessary, on account of this story, to conceive of two
Justins, one of whom, the celebrated defender of the Christian faith whose writings are given in this volume, died through
poison, while the other suffered in the way here described, along with several of his friends. But the description of Justin
given in the following account, is evidently such as compels us to refer it to the famous apologist and martyr of the second
The Martyrdom of the Holy Martyrs
Justin, Chariton, Charites, Paeon, and Liberianus, Who Suffered at Rome.
[Translated by the Rev. M. Dods, M.a.]
Chapter I.-Examination of Justin by the Prefect.
time of the lawless partisans of idolatry, wicked decrees were passed against the godly Christians in town and country, to
force them to offer libations to vain idols; and accordingly the holy men, having been apprehended, were brought before the
prefect of Rome, Rusticus by name. And when they had been brought before his judgment-seat, said to Justin, "Obey the
gods at once, and submit to the kings." Justin said, "To obey the commandments of our Saviour Jesus Christ is worthy
neither of blame nor of condemnation." Rusticus the prefect said, "What kind of doctrines do you profess? "Justin
said, "I have endeavoured to learn all doctrines; but I have acquiesced at last in the true doctrines, those namely of
the Christians, even though they do not please those who hold false opinions." Rusticus the prefect said, "Are those
the doctrines that please you, you utterly wretched man? "Justin said, "Yes, since I adhere to them with right dogma."
Rusticus the prefect said, "What is the dogma? "Justin said, "That according to which we worship the God of
the Christians, whom we reckon to be one from the beginning, the maker and fashioner of the whole creation, visible and invisible;
and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who had also been preached beforehand by the prophets as about to be present with
the race of men, the herald of salvation and teacher of good disciples. And I, being a man, think that what I can say is insignificant
in comparison with His boundless divinity, acknowledging a Certain prophetic power, since it was prophesied concerning Him
of whom now I say that He is the Son of God. For I know that of old the prophets foretold His appearance among men."
Chapter II.-Examination of Justin Continued.
Rusticus the prefect said, "Where do you assemble? "Justin
said, "Where each one chooses and can: for do you fancy that we all meet in the very same place? Not so; because the
God of the Christians is not circumscribed by place; but being invisible, fills heaven and earth, and everywhere is worshipped
and glorified by the faithful." Rusticus the prefect said, "Tell me where you assemble, or into what place do you
collect your followers? "Justin said, "I live above one Martinus, at the Timiotinian Bath; and during the whole
time (and I am now living in Rome for the second time) I am unaware of any other meeting than his. And if any one wished to
come to me, I communicated to him the doctrines of truth." Rusticus said, "Are you not, then, a Christian? "Justin
said, "Yes, I am a Christian."
Chapter III.-Examination of Chariton and Others.
Then said the prefect
Rusticus to Chariton, "Tell me further, Chariton, are you also a Christian? "Chariton said, "I am a Christian
by the command of God." Rusticus the prefect asked the woman Charito, "What say you, Charito? "Charito said,
"I am a Christian by the grace of God." Rusticus said to Euelpistus, "And what are you? "Euelpistus, a
servant of Caesar, answered, "I too am a Christian, having been freed by Christ; and by the grace of Christ I partake
of the same hope." Rusticus the prefect said to Hierax, "And you, are you a Christian? "Hierax said, "Yes,
I am a Christian, for I revere and worship the same God." Rusticus the prefect said, "Did Justin make you Christians?
"Hierax said, "I was a Christian, and will be a Christian." And Paeon stood up and said, "I too am a Christian."
Rusticus the prefect said, "Who taught you? "Paeon said, "From our parents we received this good confession."
Euelpistus said, "I willingly heard the words of Justin. But from my parents also I learned to be a Christian."
Rusticus the prefect said, "Where are your parents? "Euelpistus said, "In Cappadocia." Rusticus says to
Hierax, "Where are your parents? "And he answered, and said, "Christ is our true father, and faith in Him is
our mother; and my earthly parents died; and I, when I was driven from Iconium in Phrygia, came here." Rusticus the prefect
said to Liberianus, "And what say you? Are you a Christian, and unwilling to worship [the gods]? "Liberianus said,
"I too am a Christian, for I worship and reverence the only true God."
Chapter IV.-Rusticus Threatens the Christians
The prefect says to Justin, "Hearken, you who are called learned, and think that you know true doctrines;
if you are scourged and beheaded, do you believe you will ascend into heaven? "Justin said, "I hope that, if I endure
these things, I shall have His gifts. For I know that, to all who have thus lived, there abides the divine favour until the
completion of the whole world." Rusticus the prefect said, "Do you suppose, then, that you will ascend into heaven
to receive some recompense? "Justin said, "I do not suppose it, but I know and am fully persuaded of it." Rusticus
the prefect said, "Let us, then, now come to the matter in hand, and which presses. Having come together, offer sacrifice
with one accord to the gods." Justin said, "No right-thinking person falls away from piety to impiety." Rusticus
the prefect said, "Unless ye obey, ye shall be mercilessly punished." Justin said, "Through prayer we can be
saved on account of our Lord Jesus Christ, even when we have been punished, because this shall become to us salvation and
confidence at the more fearful and universal judgment-seat of our Lord and Saviour." Thus also said the other martyrs:
"Do what you will, for we are Christians, and do not sacrifice to idols."
Chapter V.-Sentence Pronounced and
Rusticus the prefect pronounced sentence, saying, "Let those who have refused to sacrifice to the gods
and to yield to the command of the emperor be scourged, and led away to suffer the punishment of decapitation, according to
the laws." The holy martyrs having glorified God, and having gone forth to the accustomed place, were beheaded, and perfected
their testimony in the confession of the Saviour. And some of the faithful having secretly removed their bodies, laid them
in a suitable place, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ having wrought along with them, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
+++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++
Written By Sherri
My name is Ann and I would love to tell you my personal story. It was late one night, after finishing
my job at the local theater, I was driving home and not far from the theater, a man I vaguely knew was pulled over, waving
at me. Thinking he was having car trouble or was in need of help, I made the mistake of stopping. He raped me!
went home that night and went straight to bed. I did not even tell my mother what had happened. I did not want to make her
go through the pain of knowing. I thought I'd forget about it but everyday it became worse. I could not sleep at night...I
was so angry with God! I had struggled through high school to stay a virgin - then God let this happen.
time I had my 19th birhtday and I had skipped a period. I just figured it was from tension. But then I went another month.
I couldn't take it anymore so I finally told my mom. She was real strong. We went to the doctor and he told us, "Not
to worry, your chances of being pregnant are 1 in 10,000". But the next day he called and said the test was positive.
Then he said, "Don't worry we can just put a end to this". I kept hearing those words, (from my mom, my pastor,and
even my friends). Everyone said I could have an abortion. It would be OK in this situation. But I couldn't do it. I kept thinking
that this horrible experience wasn't the child's fault. But I prayed for a miscarriage. I was not all that spiritual. But
I had to depend on God's help and He was with me. Finally, I talked with the director of my church crisis pregnancy center.
I told him I did not want an abortion.
He helped me sort everything out. The church was so supportive - praying, sending
cards, giving me maternity clothes, they even gave me a baby shower.
When I first heard the baby's heartbeat at
the doctor's office, I decided to keep my baby. I kept waiting to feel resentment or anger toward the baby, but I never did/still
haven't. If I was to have the baby I was told I would have to move into the pregnancy center. I was in labor for three days,
complicated by toxemia, but finally my little girl was born , 8 pounds 11 onces. now I could look at her ever day, I named
her Grace because that is how I got through everything.
I know what it is like out there ,if you trust God, It is
worth it all. your kids are the only thing you can take with you to heaven.
The night she was born, I prayed for
God to supply all our needs and He has, He has bought a man into our lives, he is a loving husband, and Grace has a terrific
father, he is a Godly man that puts the Lord first.
One more thing before I close, Grace has asked Jesus to be her
personal savior. It is amazing to see the love she has for God. Each day marks a new beginning of love, and deeper understanding
of Gods' grace for us and we hope it will be the same for you! make a decision for life.
Love Ann and Grace.
Now God has opened doors for Ann and Grace to share their story, all over the country. Ann and Grace are truly
women of faith. What about you? You might say I can't do that. And you may be right, but with God all things are possible!
Will you trust His love for you today? God uses people that are small and weak , just becouse they are willing to say (yes
To Him) then He gets all the glory.
("Grace" used from MissionsUSA,November/December 1988,produced by
the Home Mission Board. Used with permission of the North American Mission Board,SBC.
All rights reserved.)
We thought the following article would be of major interest to our readers, as it seems that the symbolism and
Biblical teaching regarding marriage seems to be lacking in our churches. We feel that marriage is of major importance and
it is essential that every child of God have a clear view of Gods plan and purpose in His design for this God designed and
ordained relationship between Husband and wife. This is part Three in a series on Marriage in Christ.
Marriage In Christ
"Wives, be subject to your husbands [subordinate and adapt yourselves to them], as is right
and fitting and your proper duty in the Lord." Colossians 3:18 also Ephesians 5:24 "As the church is subject to
Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands." Amplified Bible
This is the most volatile
issue in marriage today. Husbands and wives, in their own understanding, cannot begin to understand what God meant nor the
gift that He has given in this command. A wife is commanded by God to place herself under her husband. The purpose in this
is that God has an order that begins with a headship.
A husband is called a leader. A leader needs a follower. Women
today place themselves in the leadership position, and chaos ensues. It is out of God's order. The bride does not lead Christ,
He leads the bride. The church receives her direction from Him. When the church chooses to do things without the guidance
of her Head, she falters and loses direction.
Submission first begins with our willingness to submit to God. In order
to mature in Christ, we must submit our will for His will. It is in this marriage relationship that we learn the blessing
of submission. When we submit to Christ, He expresses His love and our hearts overflow with joy.
When a wife honors her
husband by submitting to him in Christ, he feels respected as the head and at the same time is humbled in his own submission
to his Head. Submission brings honor.
Christ has shown how we are to submit. He willingly left His Fathers side to become
flesh. He knew He must be the unblemished sacrifice for mankind. At the final hour of the fulfillment of His purpose, He submitted
Himself to God in obedience. His torment spoke in the words, "Let this cup pass from Me", yet knowing what He must
do, He said, "Not My will but Thine".
Submission should be seen as a gift. It is the most Christ-like character
we can express, other than His love. Submission is given out of that love, and in itself expresses His love. For a wife to
place herself under her husbands authority, acknowledging him as her head in the order of God, is to honor God.
should never be done grudgingly, but given lovingly. Submission simply means to honor and respect your husband as the representation
of Christ to the wife.
"...and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him,
regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly."
A wife with these qualities, is a wife who seeks Christ in her relationship with
her husband. A wife who honors her husband by her submission to his headship, receives a Christ-like love in return. A husband
in Christ, who is respected and honored for who he is in Christ, will be so full of love that his wife will glow. The key
is to do everything in love.
Even a husband who is not a believer is effected by a wife who loves him with a Christ love
and submits to him in that love. What is it about that Christ love that makes a difference? The love of Christ is a humble
love. 1 Peter 3:4,5 "But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible
and unfading charm of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For it was thus that the pious
women of old who hoped in God were to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands."
A gentle and quiet
spirit. That is how we are told to submit. This is a beauty that a husband is honored by and which brings forth a love from
him that envelopes the wife in honor and adoration. It is only in Christ that these qualities can be expressed, for it is
His nature that flows through this union.
As in everything pertaining to God, there is a flow. When we desire to be all
that He desired for us to be, we must understand His nature and allow that nature to flow through us. A husband and wife were
created to be an expression of Christ's marriage to the church. Our marriage should continually deepen as we continually mature
in Christ. What happens within us spiritually should be flowing out of us through our marriage union.
husband and wife are a ministry. Whether they are called out or simply to be an expression of His unity and love (although
every Christian couple I know has been called and placed into a ministry in one way or another), God created that union to
bring forth godly offspring. This has been his desire since the beginning.
Let's look at Malachi 2:15. "And did
not God make [you and your wife] one [flesh]? Did not One make and preserve your spirit alive? And why [did God make you two]
one? Because He sought a godly offspring [from your union]...
Submission was never intended for a husband to lord himself
over a wife, nor a wife to yield to ungodly behavior from her husband. Submission is God's way of bringing unity and allowing
His headship to flow in all things.
We can refuse, and most marriages today do not honor God's design for marriage. However
in these unions there is a lack of unity and no flow from the throne. These couples are easily defeated and many end in divorce.
God's leadership in the husband is as important in His flow as is the wife's submission.
Wives, I can tell you that it
is an honor to submit to my husband's leadership. A godly husband will seek God's will and direction for your family, and
even though there are times when we may disagree with his decisions, we must never override his authority, but trust that
he is doing as God has led him. This is where our part as helper comes in, in that we help him see a different perspective
through a quiet and gentle spirit, yet we submit to his final decision and help him achieve the vision God has given him.
This is what God intended submission to be. ************************************************************************************************************************************
This Southern U.S. favorite is actually a side dish, not a bread.
3 cups Milk
1 cup White cornmeal
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking
3 Eggs, beaten
Pre-heat the oven to 350. Gently heat the milk in a large saucepan. Slowly whisk in the
cornmeal. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Stir in the salt, butter, and baking powder. Whisk in
the eggs. Pour into a lightly oiled two-quart casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes (or until firm). Serve warm.
Christian Roots Discovered in China
By Rudy Gomez
Christian World News
CBN.com - A recent discovery in central China is changing Asia's historical record. While the region has long been dominated
by Buddhism, one historical record tells of a time when Christian monasteries could be found in hundreds of cities across
But a new find in an old imperial city is now confirming the vital role of the Christian faith in ancient Chinese
Popular belief has it that the Gospel was brought to China by Hudson Taylor and friends, but early Chinese documentation
shows the Gospel was flourishing in central Asia long before the west was Christianized.
David Aikman of the Ethics &
Public Policy Center said, "It reveals that the Christian presence in China in the seventh century was much larger than
had hitherto been thought. There is an existing Chinese tablet indicating the presence of Nestorian Christians in China in
the Seventh Century."
That tablet is found at the Nestorian monument, discovered in the 1600's in the city of Xi'an
in central China.
Ken Joseph of Tokyo's Keikyo Institute described the message found on the monument. "I'm standing
here right in front of a copy of the Nestorian Monument, which tells of the great exploits of the church in the Tang Dynasty,
Seventh Century," Joseph said. "It tells about a church being in every city, in every province. And the church being
requested by the government to manage the affairs of the country."
An article in the March 5th U.S. News and World
Report noted a recent discovery of the oldest Christian site, dating back to AD 638 near the ancient Chinese capital of Sian.
"We did not have any evidence of, although it was always considered a possibility, a very significant Christian community
complete with a church, living quarters and so forth, in that location of China. This is a major discovery," Aikman said.
The original church building, which looks somewhat like a Buddhist pagoda, is a few yards away. The people of this area
verify the finding as an authentic Christian site.
The church was situated in what would have been the center of the
imperial area of the Tang Dynasty. It confirms for the first time the stories that appear frequently in Chinese narratives
that tell of a major church in China in the Tang Dynasty from 618 - 877 AD.
According to the book, The Cross and the
Lotus by Lee Shiu Keung, in AD 635, Bishop Alopen from the church of the East began his mission in "Chang Ang,"
the present Xi'an.
However, early Christian tradition has it that the gospel was brought directly to Sian by the Apostle
Thomas in 64 AD, but for the most part died out with the rise of Islam and the closing of the Silk Road by the people of Turkestan.
Travel between the East and the West resumed when the Silk Road was reopened in AD 630.
The Tang Dynasty was a very special
period in Chinese history with a broad policy of tolerance and interest in fostering foreign religions. However, with the
fall of the Tang Dynasty, a period of severe persecution followed, but the church grew again in the 13th and 14th centuries.
"There is a Chinese Christian tradition, that a poem written by a Chinese Christian of the 17th Century, which is
clearly a Christian poem in Chinese, may have been written actually by the Kang Shi Emperor of China who was the greatest
of the Ching Dynasty emperors. Indicating that secretly, he might have been a Christian," Aikman said.
Institute, a Christian museum in Tokyo, is seeking to raise a million dollars to restore this and similar sites in China and
Japan. These, they say, are standing testimonies to the Gospel being the faith of their ancestors and not a foreign religion.