Posted by Joel Tiemeyer on Apr 18, 2020

Unfiltered: Unfiltered Beginnings #3

What is Unfiltered? In a day and society of picture taking for social media a lot of the picture taking app and social media apps have “Filters.” Filters can be funny, erase blemishes, make you look better than actual natural picture would.

We have done the same thing with the Bible. We read it through the filter of today, life experiences, our hurts, pains, successes and current situations of life.

The purpose of this series is to peel back the layers and get a raw, natural look at how it actually was. 

Acts 8:1-6

And Saul approved of his execution.

And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him.But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.

Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the cityof Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did.


Acts 8:1 is the fulfillment Acts 1:8

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”


Unfiltered Beginnings:

30 AD: Jesus is crucified by the Romans, and James becomes the leader of the "Christians" 
33 AD: Saul/Paul, a Jew from the city of Tarsus in Asia Minor who used to persecute Christians, converts to Christianity 
37 AD: Tiberius dies and Caligula succeeds him 
41 AD: Caligula is succeeded by Claudius 
40 AD: Paul, a Jew from the city of Tarsus in Asia Minor, declares Christianity a universal religion and spreads the Gospel throughout the Mediterranean region
44 AD: all of Palestine becomes a Roman province 
49 AD: Paul preaches Christianity in Greece 
49 AD: emperor Claudius expels Christians from Rome 

50 AD: Book of James

52-53 AD: Books of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians
54 AD: Claudius is succeeded by Nero 

55 AD: Book of Galatians

57 AD: Books of 1st & 2nd Corinthians

57-58 AD: Romans
60 AD: the earliest gospels are composed 
62 AD: James the brother of Jesus is executed by the Sadducees 
62-63 AD: Books of Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians

63 AD: Joseph of Arimathea travels to Glastonbury on the first Christian mission to Britain 
63 AD: Gospel of Luke

64 AD: Book of Acts

64 AD: Nero sets fire to Rome and blames the Christians for it 

65 AD: Book of 1st Timothy

65 AD: Book of Titus

66 AD: Book of 2nd Timothy
66 AD: Jews, led by the Zealots, start a revolt against Rome in Palestine 
66 AD: Thaddeus establishes the Christian church of Armenia 
66 AD: Gospel of Mark

67 AD: Gospel of Matthew

67 AD: Book of Hebrews

67 AD: Book of 1 Peter  

67 AD: Linus is elected first bishop (pope) of Rome 
67 AD: Paul is executed in Rome 

67 AD: the Jewish general Josephus deserts to the Romans 

68 AD: Book of 2nd Peter

68 AD: Peter is crucified in Rome 

68 AD: Book of Jude
68 AD: Nero commits suicide and is succeeded by Vespasianus 
68 AD: Roman troops destroy the Essene monastery at Qumran (Dead Sea) 
68 AD: Book of Revelation

70 AD: the Roman general Titus defeats the Jews, captures Jerusalem, destroys the temple and expels the Jews from the region 
70 AD: the Pharisees expel Christians from their institutions 
71 AD: Mark the Evangelist introduces Christianity in Egypt and founds the Coptic church 
74 AD: the Zealonts commit mass suicide at Masada, the last stronghold of the Jewish rebels 
75 AD: Judea, Galilea and Samaria are renamed "Palaestina" by the Romans 
79 AD: Vespasianus is succeeded by Tito 
80 AD: the Jewish historian (and former general) Josephus writes the "Jewish Antiquities" 
85 AD: Gospel of John

90 AD: rabbi ben Zaccai fixes the canon of the Hebrew scriptures for the Jews 
90-95: Books of 1st, 2nd, 3rd John

93 AD: emperor Domitian orders the persecution of Christians 
93 AD: Josephus' "Jewish Antiquities " is published in Rome 
110 AD: Ignatius of Antioch writes to the Smyrnaeans that the Christian church is universal  
135 AD: The bishop of Rome Telesphorus institutes the birthday of Jesus (Christmas) as a Christian holiday 
136 AD: Roman emperor Hadrian definitely crushes the Jewish resistance, forbids Jews from ever entering Jerusalem, and changes the name of the city to Aelia Capitolina 
136 AD: the bishop of Rome, Hyginus, assumes the title of "pope" 
150 AD: the four official gospels assume their final form 
161 AD: Marcus Aurelius becomes Roman emperor 
230 AD: pope Urban I justifies the ownership of property by the Church,

250 AD: emperor Decius orders the first empire-wide persecution of Christians
258 AD: Cyprian, second father of the African church, dies 
300 AD: the population of the Roman Empire is 60 million (about 15 million Christians) 
303 AD: emperor Diocletian orders a general persecution of the Christians 
312 AD: Roman emperor Constantine converts to Christianity 
313 AD: Constantine ends the persecution of the Christians (edict of Milan)


Nero Unfiltered:


The persecution of the Church elevated, some say to its peak, under Nero, the sixth emperor of Rome. He was simply tolerated by people of Rome, but then gave way to the great extravagancy of his uncontrollable temper, and to the most atrocious barbarities.


Among other diabolical whims, he ordered that the city of Rome should be set on fire on 64AD, the order was executed by his officers, guards, and servants. While the imperial city was in flames, he went up to a tower, watched Rome burn as played upon his harp, as he sung the song of the burning of Troy. He openly declared that 'he wished the ruin of all things before his death.'


Besides the noble arena, called the Circus, many other palaces and houses were consumed in the fire; thousands perished in the flames, were smothered in the smoke, or buried beneath the ruins. 
This dreadful assault continued nine days; when Nero, finding that his conduct was met with great anger he publicly placed blame for it upon the Christians. This gave opportunity to set his sights on new cruelties for Christians. They were barbaric as even to draw sympathy of the Romans themselves.


Nero even refined his cruelty and contrived all manner of punishments for the Christians that the most demented imagination could design. In particular, he had Christians sewed up in skins of wild beasts, had dogs chase, attack and eat them to death; other were dressed in shirts made stiff with wax, tied them from tree branches, and set on fire in his illuminate his gardens at night. The people slowly burned to death.

He exhibited a Circensian games (circus games). He would have common people brought into large open-air venues and as he would ride in a chariot chasing and killing them for sport. For this cause a feeling of compassion arose towards the sufferers.


This persecution was general throughout the whole Roman Empire; but it rather than diminish the spirit of Christianity it only caused it to increase. In all the persecution, the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Peter were martyred. 


Constantine Unfiltered:

Flavius Valerius Constantinus, who would become Roman emperor Constantine I, was born in February 280AD. His father, Constantius, was an officer in the Roman army. Constantine's mother, Helena, was from humble beginnings; it is unknown whether she was the wife or concubine of Constantius.


In 289, Constantine's father left Helena to marry the stepdaughter of Maximian, the Western Roman emperor. Constantine's father was elevated to deputy emperor under Maximian in 293. Constantine himself was sent to be educated by the Eastern Roman emperor. There, Constantine was educated in Latin and Greek. He likely also witnessed the persecution of Christians.


In 305, following Maximian's abdication, Constantine's father became Emperor Constantius I. Constantine then joined his father on a military campaign and fought alongside him in Britain. The next year, Constantius died at what is now York. Constantine was declared emperor by his troops. To make the designation official, he began to fight for power.

Rise to Power

During a period of civil war, Constantine defended his position against different Roman factions, including Maxentius, Maximian's son. In 312, Constantine fought in Italy, meeting Maxentius and his forces at the Milvian Bridge on the Tiber River.

Accounts of Constantine's life state that, following a vision, he had ordered a Christian symbol to be painted on his soldiers' shields. Under this emblem, Constantine was successful in battle and entered Rome.

Constantine now became the Western Roman emperor. He soon used his power to address the status of Christians, issuing the Edict of Milan in 313. This proclamation legalized Christianity and allowed for freedom of worship throughout the empire temporarily ceasing the persecution of the Christians.


What if the pain that you are going through is simply the unfiltered beginning for the power that He has for you?   


What is pain?

Romans 8:18-19

18 For I consider that the sufferings (pains, problems) of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.



It is not if pain comes.

It is what you do with the pain that determines what it will become.


The pain that you’re are going through will cause you to make a decision of where you will turn to.

If you are going through it there is unfiltered power for it.


When you pinpoint the pain, you can surrender it to His Name. The thing about isolation is that it causes you to focus on you.  

When you pinpoint the pain, you can exchange the pain for a promise.

A lot of us read the promises of God and get frustrated and discouraged. This is because we see the promise but cannot grab hold of it because we are still holding onto the pain.

Then because we cannot obtain the promise we get frustrated faith. So we begin to pray for more faith but you do not need more faith.

            Example: Your faith can change from Praise & Worship to the Parking Lot.

You do not need more faith. You need Hope and Praise!

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Pain hasn’t stolen your faith it has stolen your hope.


In a world of contemporary and popular, some hymns stand the test of time.


The Solid Rock (On Christ the Solid Rock)


My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' Name


On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

 When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale

My anchor holds within the veil

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

 His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my Hope and (where I) Stay

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand

Now you have Hope, you just need to add the ingredient of Praise!

Why Praise?

Because when you can praise in the pain it proves you have let go of the pain and grabbed hold of the promise.

True Praise will unfrustrate your faith. Praise moves your eyes from the pain to the provider.


What are you going through right now that you never thought you would have to go through?

I will never _______ but now you are in the middle of the never.


What areas of your life need to infused with hope? What areas of you need an encounter with Jesus!


It is as simple as this prayer:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' Name