Monthly Archives: February 2019


APOSTOLIC INSIGHT ~ What can the Apostles and Church Fathers tell us about our times? What advice do they have for our problems? Here are some of their thoughts ~


Often the question is raised about how we stay faithful? Everyone slips every now and then, but usually the error comes back to haunt us. How can we avoid making the same mistake again? One of the lessons we learn from the earliest believers is that they discovered the necessity of doing what was right regardless of their personal limitations. When they realized that the Messiah was walking with them, they did not turn back. Faithfulness is not avoiding mistakes, but continuing on the path God has given us to walk regardless of the cost.

Let’s see what we can learn from one of the first followers.

MEET PROCHORUS ~ In the Acts of the Apostles (Act 6:1-60), is the story of the Apostles choosing seven men who were filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom. These key leaders were crucial for the endurance of the believers. In addition, other deacons were selected. Like Parmenas, Prochorus was one of the original seventy deacons selected by the Apostles to lead the first church that was in Jerusalem. Actually, James the brother of Jesus was the first leader of the Christians. Peter was chief among the Apostles, but James led the Church. We know more about Peter and Paul because of their key role portrayed in the Acts of the Apostles found in the New Testament. Moreover, James was martyred just shortly before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70.

Along with Stephen, Philip, Nicanor, Timor, and Nicholas, Prochorus helped meet the practical needs of the early believers. Many were poor, sick, as well as widows and orphans that needed assistance. The first seventy deacons worked with these needy people.

Prochorus accompanied the Apostle Peter on some of his journeys. The history of the Church records that Peter made Prochorus the bishop of Nicomedia. In addition, Prochorus was a companion with Apostle John. The tradition of the Church remembers that Prochorus was banished along with John to the Isle of Patmos where John composed the book of The Revelation to John. While he was there, we can conclude that Prochorus must have been of some assistance to John as he wrote his apocalyptic book.

After Prochorus returned from Patmos, he brought the Gospel to both Nicomedia  and Antioch. Prochorus was martyred in Antioch. Even though his faithfulness led to his heroic death, his endurance crowned his life being numbered among the saints of God.


APOSTOLIC INSIGHT ~ What can the Apostles and Church Fathers tell us about our times? What advice do they have for our problems? Here are some of their thoughts ~


Forty years ago at least 50% of the public were in a church every Sunday. Today that number has fallen to less that 30%. Today serious questions exist about public morality and the lack of truthfulness in politics. The Roman Catholic Church is fighting for its life around the world because of sexual abuse scandals. Once called Protestant mainline denominations have now become sidelined. Congregations continue to struggle and many are disconnected from historic denominations.

How can contemporary Christians view this situation? We need help from the first Church Fathers to keep the struggle in perspective. Here are some examples of how they endured when the ancient church was first beginning.

MEET PARMENAS ~ In a time more burdensome and troubled than our own. Parmenas stood up to teach about the importance of enduring under difficult condition. Never heard of him? Let me introduce you to the man they called Apostle Parmenas.

Parmenas was one of the original seventy deacons chosen by the Twelve Apostles to meet the needs of the Church of Jerusalem. After the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in A.D. 70, history did not remember well how the Mother Church in Jerusalem had existed. James, the brother of Jesus, led that congregation and was considered the first leader of the Church. Peter was the leader of the Apostles and James directed the larger Church. Acts 15 has the story of Paul and the Gentiles coming for the first conference on church rules and procedures.

Parmenas was part of all of these incidents and issues. In Luke’s Gospel, chapter 10, Parmenas was one of the seventy sent out by Jesus. They came back saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name.” Jesus gave them authority over all adversaries

The Orthodox Church has saved the record of Parmenas’ ministry. For years, he preached in Asia Minor before he settled down in Macedonia. In the writings of Hippolytus, we learn that Parmenas was the Bishop of Soli.

In the year 98 AD, he was martyred in Philippi, Macedonia. The Roman Emperor Trajan issued an empire wide persecution of the Christians and Parmenas was caught in this sweep of the various countries. His fidelity to the death reminds the 21st century that endurance eventually and inevitably overcomes all obstacles. Stay firm and endure!