Dearest and Treasured Church family and friends of Heritage Fellowship,
I want to take a moment to salute you in these most unusual days of world events. Your faithfulness has allowed us to keep on keeping on in these long perplexing days of 2020/2021. You have become a synonym and a living example of living together, even when we have been forced to live carefully instead of living carefree. What has kept us together is our like precious faith and I applaud your love for God and Heritage.
As I set down to write this letter, I thought about how God has led us during the shutdown. In the book of Acts, the Early Church was told to ‘Shut Up’ and preach no more in His name; but that was not what happened. If you have time, it would be good to read and watch history unfold before us and to familiarize yourselves with what happened in Acts Chapter 4. Let me take just a moment to highlight what was taking place at this time. (Readings from The New American Standard Translation)
Highlight Number One
“As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, 2 being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.”
a. (They actually came stomping up to the disciples as they were preaching. Notice they were GREATLY DISTURBED by their message of resurrection hope.)
b. This was of course their immediate response to the miracle of the lame man being healed in Acts Chapter 3.
Highlight Number Two
7 When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, 9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone.12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.”
a. They were able to do what those who did not believe in the resurrection from the dead could not do.
b. Our faith for healing comes from Christ the Anointed Ones victory over death, hell and the grave. It is the key to the prayer of faith.
Highlight Number Three
13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. 15 But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, 16 saying, “What are we to do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
17 But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let’s warn them not to speak any longer to any person in this name.”
18 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, make your own judgment; 20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21 When they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which to punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened; 22 for the man on whom this miracle of healing had been performed was more than forty years old.
a. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our
peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.” For four decades the man had been crippled and
now he is healed and mobile on his own.
b. The world has always attempted to mute the church but actually all it has to do is put pressure on some to
silence the true message of the cross.
c. “Whether it is right before God to obey you rather than God, you decide” (Acts 4:19).
They are not saying, “We don’t know whether to speak about Jesus or not, so you tell us; you be the
judge.” They are saying,
“There is no way that we can be silent about the things we have heard and seen regarding Jesus of
Nazareth. Whether this is a crime that you must punish is a matter for you to decide. Either way, we will
continue to preach Jesus.”
Highlight Number Four in Today’s World
It is in our DNA to, “obey God rather than man.” In this season of testing we have found ourselves at odds
with the narrative being circulated in regard to co-existence in religion, the concept of gender change,
alternate lifestyles, the erosion of moral standards, unethical political drama and the attempt to erase the
long blue line. The loss of the value of character in people’s lives is the most alarming issue of the day.
The Word for today is Integrity:
1 The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
he is known to be a man of integrity’
2 The state of being whole and undivided.
upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty’
3 The condition of being unified, unimpaired, or sound in construction.
It is time to stand up and stand your ground. It reminds us what it means to “having done all to stand.” We
are living in a day that is a precursor to the great falling away. I recently found that the term to be stabbed
in the back was originated in Germany after World War I. The first reported use of the phrase can be found
in a report from England printed in ‘Neue Züricher Zeitung’ on December 1, 1918. As far as the German
army is concerned the general view is summarized in these words: It was a stab-in- the-back by civilian
The German army felt, that the politicians who signed The Treaty of Versailles had betrayed them. It was
clear by this point that they were no match for the other side and defeat was inevitable. However, the army
did not believe this and blamed the Jewish politicians for their loss. Adolf Hitler perpetuated the story when
he was rising to power. He used this “stabbed in the back” story to gain followers. Even though an inquiry
proved that the story was not true, it became a part of German history. It is amazing how history has a way
of repeating itself.
We love you, we believe in you, we need you and we want you.
Your Loving Pastors,
Pastor Cleddie and GayNell