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Wednesday, March 13 2013

Philemon: The Journey Of The Runaway Slave

The apostle Paul's epistle to Philemon was a request for the freedom of a runaway slave - Philemon's runaway slave, Onesimus. Ironically, Paul wrote the epistle when he was himself a prisoner, held in chains by the malignant-minded hegemonic Romans (see Romans: In The Heart Of The Beast). Paul was appealing for the freedom of a brother while being held in chains himself.


"1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother [see 1 Timothy: Godliness With Contentment and 2 Timothy: In The Last Days Perilous Times Shall Come], unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,

1:2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house [see Houses Of The Holy and Can You See The Church?; also the complete series about the true meaning and purpose of the "Church of God": The Church In The Garden, The Church In The Wilderness, The Church Today, The Church In The End Time, The Church In The Kingdom Of God and The Church: Mission Accomplished]:

1:3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philemon 1:1-3 KJV)

Paul's greeting was much the same as in all of his epistles (see also What Did Jesus Christ Send Jonah And Paul To Do? and The Ministry Of Paul And Barnabas), however it seems certain that Philemon already knew the purpose of it - Paul had the runaway Onesimus deliver the request for his freedom to Philemon. It was a bold act that surely tested the faith of Paul, of Onesimus, and of Philemon - "That the communication of thy faith may become effectual."

"1:4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, 1:5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus [see The Kingdom Of The LORD God], and toward all saints;

1:6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 1:7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother." (Philemon 1:4-7 KJV)

Paul then reminded Philemon of the apostle's own situation, "Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ." From that vantage point, Paul made the request, "I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds." Onesimus had run away from Philemon, encountered the apostle Paul, and was converted by Paul while Paul was in chains i.e. "I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds." While Paul could have ordered the slave to be set free ("Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient"), like any good preacher, Paul enabled Philemon to do the right thing by a personal choice between right and wrong.

Paul In Prison

"1:8 Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, 1:9 Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. 1:10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: 1:11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:

1:12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: 1:13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: 1:14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. 1:15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; 1:16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?" (Philemon 1:8-16 KJV)

Paul made the stark request, to a fellow Christian, to free a fellow Christian.

"1:17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. 1:18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; 1:19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. 1:20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord. 1:21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say." (Philemon 1:17-21 KJV)

There is no Biblical record of what Philemon did in response to the request, however Paul intended to follow up with a personal visit - if he was himself ever set free.

"1:22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you." (Philemon 1:22 KJV)

Two of the Gospel Book writers were also with Paul at the time, Luke ("Lucas") and Mark ("Marcus").

"1:23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus; 1:24 Marcus [see Mark: Was It John Mark?], Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas [see Luke: The World Of The LORD and Acts: Luke's Second Letter To Theophilus], my fellowlabourers.

1:25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen." (Philemon 1:23-25 KJV)

Studies For The Book Of Philemon

What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven?

Day of Atonement: The Messiah's Deliverance

Freedom From Evil

When Freedom Crosses The Line

Why Did The Sadducees Fear The Messiah?

What Happens After The Messiah Returns?

The Messiah's Teachings About Gates

The Truth Shall Make You Free

Why Did The Lawyers Hate The Messiah?

Isaiah: Visions Of The Messiah

Fact Finder: What sort of "yoke" do Christians have?
See The Yoke Of Freedom

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This Day In History, March 13

607: The 12th recorded passage of Halley's Comet (as it was later named; see entry for 1759, below).

624: The Battle of Badr. Known as "the turning point of Islam," it was a major victory for Muhammad's army of "Islam" (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

1519: Spanish Conquistador ("conqueror") Hernando Cortez landed in Mexico.

1569: During the Third French Religious War, the Huguenots under Prince de Conde were defeated by the Catholics at the Battle of Jarnac.

1639: Harvard College (known today as Harvard University) was named for the English clergyman John Harvard, a lifetime loyal servant and pioneer of England's colonies in North America.

1656: Dutch colonial authorities denied Jews the right to build a synagogue in New Amsterdam, later renamed by the British as New York City. Now with 2 million Jews, New York is today one of the largest Jewish-populated cities on earth, second only to Tel Aviv in Israel.

1759: Halley's Comet made its 27th recorded perihelion (the point in the orbit of a planet or comet where it is nearest to the sun). It was the comet's first return since it was predicted by English astronomer Edmund Halley to do so. Halley died January 14 1742 - 17 years before.

1781: The planet "Uranus" (the pagan name that humans have given to it) was discovered by German-born English astronomer Sir William Herschel.

1809: Sweden's King Gustavus IV was overthrown in a coup d'etat and was replaced by his uncle Charles XIII.

1813: Sweden joined the Grand Alliance against Napoleon and his allies.

1865: During the U.S. Civil War, the Confederate Congress under President Jefferson Davis signed a bill allowing slaves to join the Confederate army in exchange for freedom - a bizarre collusion in which the former slaves would then be fighting to keep other slaves in slavery.

1868: The U.S. Senate began the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.

1881: Russian Czar Alexander II was assassinated when a bomb was thrown at him near his palace.

1900: The British under Frederick Roberts captured Bloemfontein in the South African Boer War. The Boers (a Dutch word meaning farmer) were white descendants of Dutch settlers in South Africa; their Dutch-related language is known as Afrikaans.

1908: The first automobile in Jerusalem.

1930: Clyde Tombaugh announced the discovery of the planet "Pluto" (the pagan name that humans have given to it).

1935: 3,000 year-old archives were discovered in Jerusalem. They matched the Biblical record.

1938: Austrian Chancellor Seyss-Inquart introduced a law re-unifying Austria with the German Reich.

1964: Catherine (Kitty) Genovese, 40, was murdered in Queens, New York, with dozens of neighbors watching. The attack lasted nearly 30 minutes, but no one helped or called police because, as some told authorities later, they "didn't want to get involved" (the origin of the popular term at that time).

1989: A tremendous magnetic storm produced by solar flares tripped the circuit breakers at the James Bay generating station, and was soon followed by a complete collapse of the power system in Quebec. Power failures also occurred in Ontario, British Columbia, Sweden, and in states throughout the U.S. The solar flares also disrupted radio communications, marine and navigational signals worldwide for many days, sometimes causing freak conditions e.g. California Highway Patrol communications overpowered local transmissions in Minnesota, and automatic garage doors in a California suburb began to open and close on their own.

1990: The Soviet parliament voted to end the political monopoly of the Communist Party after 72 years.

1992: Pravda, founded in 1912 by Lenin, the official newspaper of the Soviet Communist Party, ceased publication because of lack of funds.

1996: The Dunblane massacre. In Dunblane, Scotland, 16 Primary School children and 1 teacher were murdered by a gunman, Thomas Watt Hamilton, who then committed suicide.

1997: A deranged Jordanian soldier shot and killed 7 Israeli girls on a school trip to an area called "The Island of Peace" on the border with Jordan.

2008: Gold prices reached $1,000 per ounce for the first time.


Copyright © Wayne Blank