The Unstoppable Ways of God

Paul’s Ministry In Rome

Book of Acts Chapter 28

The Apostle Paul made it to Rome simply because the Lord God of all creation decided that Paul would be a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ in Rome.

The Book to the Roman Christian Church had been written three years before the arrival of the Apostle Paul.

Many people wanted to see the man who wrote this great epistle.

Of course we know that it was the Holy Spirit who gave Paul the scriptures to use.

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Many times Paul had to dictate the words that were written down by some other Christian.

Paul was treated with respect probably because Julius the Roman Centurion had been saved by the advice of Paul during that great storm.

Paul was bound by one chain to one guard but allowed to stay in a house that was rented for him.

Paul used every opportunity to spread the gospel even to the many guards as they relieved each other.

No doubt Paul was well known to the Roman guards also because of the things that happened on this trip to Rome.

**How did Paul reach Rome? It was because of his faith in the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

**It was an answer to his prayers!

This may seem a strange way for God to answer a prayer, but the ways of God are unknown to the world.

Isa_55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

The promise of God was much more than just fulfilled. Paul had much to witness through his trials and his work to get there.

Paul had been through great trials, but he had been saved by great deliverances from those trials.

Paul had written:

Rom 1:13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.
Rom 1:14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
Rom 1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

The story of Paul’s imprisonment had gone before him.

Rom 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
Rom 1:10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
Rom 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;

Paul had made that prosperous journey.

Notice that this was not a onetime prayer, but Paul prayed without ceasing.

We should notice that the Church was already established in Rome before Paul got there.

*Act 28:14 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.
Act 28:15 And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.
Act 28:16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.

Paul was anxious for his fellow Christians to be exposed to the dangers that are out in the world.

Those dangers to Christians still exist today!

According to records, Paul arrived in Rome in the spring of A.D. 61, and he dwelt two years in his own rented house and it seems that Paul went back to the mission field again and his beheading came at a later date.

After three days’ rest, Paul called the chief of the Jews to his residence.

We should be able to see that there is nothing and no one in this world that can stop the spread of the Gospel.

It is our Holy God who will decide if the Gospel has gone to all the places, He has intended for it to go!

*Act 28:17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.

The Apostle Paul had entered Rome, the then capitol of the world, as a prisoner.

His first step was to contact the Jewish religious leadership.

Paul turns himself for the last time to his Jewish people with an explanation.

For the rest of his short life he reached out only to the Gentiles!

Paul wanted them to know that under Roman Law, he was innocent, and he was not charged for breaking Roman laws.

Paul said he had not committed any wrong against the nation of Israel and he would be free if not for false accusations.

Paul had been dealt an injustice by his own nation, just because he believed in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he believed in the truth of all the Scriptures.

Paul had a great desire to reach Rome, to evangelize this wicked city, but mainly to ensure the spiritual growth of the Christian Church.

Discipleship seems to be the missing ingredient in most churches today, along with worldly compromise coming from the pulpits of most churches.

It was not much different in the days of the Apostle Paul; it is just more widespread.

We should notice that even after the ordeal Paul had been through, he still did not rest but went straight into the work of the Lord.

**We could say that Paul’s coming to Rome was an answer to Paul’s prayers.

Paul was a prisoner in the company of criminals.

The story of Paul’s imprisonment had gone before him from this came sympathy from God’s children.

Some powerful Roman officials now had great regard for the Apostle Paul, including Julius the Centurion and many soldiers.

Paul had now experienced the truth of God’s promises and we all should take notice.

Paul had shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ while this terrible trip was taking place.

Paul was an innocent man seeking only to please God.

Notice how much that Paul tried to be like the Lord Jesus who was also innocent of all charges, who spent all his days reveling the Gospel and the truth of God, because he is God.

In those first three days Paul had secured a private home even still being bound to a Roman soldier.

He had now had his meeting with the Jewish leaders in Rome and gave his testimony.

*Act 28:18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me.
Act 28:19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.
Act 28:20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.

Paul knew how valuable it would be for a Christian presence in Rome.

From Jerusalem came the Law of God.

From Rome came the law of Satan.

Some say that this is still true.

You have to make your own personal trip to the cross of Jesus to understand these things.

Paganism still has a long reach but so does the Gospel and the Gospel will go to where God intends it, and the Gospel will succeed in the way God intends it.

Everyone will get an opportunity to hear the truth of the Gospel because this is the will of God!

We are all called to be witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ in this evil world that is not getting better but just the opposite, it is getting worse.

Can the Gospel change the world? Sure it can, but Satan has a strangle hold on this world and he is in his own last days, and he is spreading more evil and more wickedness and even more immorality, before his time expires and he is locked away for a thousand years.

This world should stop long enough to witness the truth of God unfold day by day, but the lies of climate change along with the immorality of the homosexuals and the transgender movement, and the threat of war and the collapse of the monetary systems keeps the world rulers occupied.

Satan is a defeated foe, but no one ever said the Devil was stupid.

Paul was an innocent man and Paul defended himself before a Jerusalem mob, a chief captain of Rome, the Sanhedrin Court, Felix, Festus, King Agrippa II and now the Jews of Rome.

How did these Jews respond?

*Act 28:21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.
Act 28:22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.
Act 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.

Paul received an open invitation to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It was the Lord Jesus Christ who had brought the Kingdom of God to Earth, just so He could take all believers to Heaven to present them to His Heavenly Father.

Mat 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Mat 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Mat 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Mat 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Mat 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The Apostle Paul was just one of those laborers!

Paul focused his preaching on the Word of God alone.

There is nothing in this world that can be used to save the soul of the lost except its wickedness!

What truth is the Gospel based upon?

1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Paul preached that it was the same Lord Jesus who would return to take His children home to Heaven.

As are normal, some believed the Word of God, and some rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

As they began to leave. Paul could not allow them to leave without a warning from the same truths of the Word of God.

*Act 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
Act 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
Act 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Act 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
Act 28:29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.

We see the same things that happen today. Some people believe and some do not and there is no third choice.

Notice how Paul speaks with the same thoughts that God had given to Isaiah.

One of those thoughts reads:

Isa_49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

What was wrong with these elders and those members of the Sanhedrin Court?

They heard the Word of God every Sabbath, but they did not try to understand what God was saying and none of the elders tried to explain it to them.

Only in the time of Ezra do we read where he made sense of the Word of God.

Remember the Jews had killed most all of God’s prophets because they rejected the truth of Jehovah God.

We need to take the time to study the Word of God ourselves and to study is much more than to just read the Bible.

Notice how Paul tells these people that it is the Holy Ghost who gave Isaiah the words he had written.

What was the biggest problem with these Jews?

Their hearts had waxed gross!

These people had become so involved in carnal and temporal things they had become hardened to the Divine and Spiritual things.

We can see again that nothing has really changed in nearly two thousand years.

Even, here in the Bible Belt, we know that many have become dull to hearing the Word of God and I am sure the patience of the Lord is wearing thin and when His patience reaches a certain amount, He will return to take His Church out of this world.

2Pe_3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Then Paul said to these Jews, if you will not believe what the Lord has said, then the Word of God would go to the Gentiles and many of them would believe.

Paul said this is one part of the Bible you had better understand because your salvation depends upon it!

These Jews could not understand that Jehovah Himself had proclaimed that His ministers were to turn to the Gentiles when the Jews would not listen.

This was not something new, God had made the Word of God to be understood before He began His creating of this universe.

This is something the Holy Trinity had decided before time began!

Look in the Book of Genesis for the words “let us” and see that the Holy Trinity was been involved in the truth of God since our Creation.

Paul simply told these Jews that the Prophet Isaiah, a prophet these Jews admired, had written that these things would happen so, now the Jews only include a portion of the Book of Isaiah in their own Scriptures.

This is also the same today. People just remove the parts of the Bible they refuse to believe, how foolish!

You see if the Gospel cannot touch the heart, then it will not be accepted.

These people had a heart of rock and not a heart that could be reached by the true Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is from the heart that this grossness reaches the mind.

Jer_17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Anyone who willfully rejects the truth of Jehovah experiences a judicial blindness and rejection by Jehovah.

All those who deliberately choose to remain blind to the truth of God and who reject the Lord’s understanding are given over to a justified punishment which is also written down in the Bible.

When you reject any part of the Word of God you will be rejected by the Writer who is God Holy Spirit.

Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

God gave Noah 120 years to preach to the world but not one was saved beyond Noah’s own family!

Not much of the world is listening to the Word of God today!

Those days of Noah are upon us again today.

Mat_24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Luk_17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

There is nothing stronger than these things that are said in the Scriptures.

Why is the Lord Jesus Christ rejected?

1) Hardening their hearts to the truth.
2) Deafening their ears to the truth.
2) Closing their eyes to the truth.

2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Psa 52:3 Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness.

The Lord Jesus explained it this way:

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Joh 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

It is tragic that the Word of God is so easily rejected by those who believe what the world is saying, when few politicians will even get near the truth themselves.

*Act 28:30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
Act 28:31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

Though these things bothered the Apostle Paul, he continued to serve the Lord.

Paul received anyone who wanted to know the truth, but it was also during this time that Paul, by the same Holy Spirit as Isaiah, authored more books of the New Testament.

Till the day Paul died he preached the coming of the kingdom of God and all things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul was confident that the message of the Gospel is all we need to reach Heaven’s Gates.

No one in Rome at this time tried to stop the Apostle Paul from preaching the Gospel.

Most of the Jews wanted nothing to do with Paul and the Lord Jesus Christ that he preached.

All those Jews now are believers because they are in the Hell that is also the truth of the Gospel along with all unbelievers at that time.

Everyone in Hell now fully believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but it is too late for them.

Paul spent as much time making disciples as he did preach the Gospel. This is something that seems to be forgotten today in most churches.

The Book of Acts began with a few believers and this hand full of believers continued to serve the Lord, and the Gospel had now made it to the Capital City of the entire world.

Sometimes the Gospel has flown freely and sometimes the Gospel has been silently counterfeited by false teachers who have infiltrated the Church.

The Word of God is sometimes added to and sometimes parts of it have been deleted.

The Gospel has never been stopped and neither is this possible!

Mortal man cannot stop the Word of God.

If we open the Word of God today, we can see how it perfectly describes this world we live in today.

Believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved!

Reject the Gospel and see the wrath of the All-Powerful God.


God Will Have His Way

Protection in a Stormy Voyage

Book of Acts Chapter 27

We seem to forget that when God gives us something to do, that He will keep us safe until we have accomplished what He gave us to do. This does not mean we will not suffer.

The Lord had told Paul in a vision that he would testify in Rome and nothing in this world could stop this from happening, as long as Paul put forth the effort to do so. Paul would never quit on God even though it nearly costs him his life many times.

What had God told Paul? That he would be a witness for the Gospel in Rome.

Act 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

It is at this point that Paul should have realized that he was going to Rome under the providence of God, and nothing in this world could stop this from happening.

When Paul appealed his case to Caesar, Festus had no legal choice, but to send Paul to Rome because this was Paul’s right as a Roman citizen.

We sometimes make good plans for the things in our lives, but our plans will always be what the Lord has planned for our lives, and we will always be better for it.

We sometimes seem to forget the power of God.

I believe this is why this story is in the Bible.

Jehovah God controls all aspects of what happens to us as we live upon this earth.

We read of a great storm in the Mediterranean Sea and just how powerless we are as humans to endure such things in nature.

Now we already know that God does not cause the terrible things that happen in this world, but He does not always stop them from happening when He certainly has the power to do so.

Paul would make a safe journey to Rome though it would be a rough journey.

Paul was traveling with hardened soldiers and men of the sea, who did not know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Maybe God allowed all these things to happen just so some of them would recognize that there is a God and He was the God of the Apostle Paul and some of them would be saved.

Unlike Jonah who was running away from God, Paul was running to God, but both were under the control of the providence of God.

God will have His way with us!

God will also test us in many ways!

As Christians we must trust that God will do as He says He will do.

We must know that God does not ever make a mistake. (Not Ever)

God does care for us.

1Pe_5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

So far, Paul’s keepers had made the right decisions on this trip to Rome.

Those captains of those ships had also used their knowledge of the Seas to do the right things.

Where they would fail is when the man of God, Paul, gave good advice and they ignored the Word of God, but God still did not allow even one man to lose his life.

There were certain times of the year when the Mediterranean Sea was more dangerous than at other times.

This proved to be true, as Paul sailed toward Rome as a prisoner but still a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

*Act 27:14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.

As Christians in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will find that the winds are not always favorable to our Christian journey.

We may find many fair havens.

These fair havens may not meet the desires of the world but are just a refuge from those storms.

Many will leave these places just because of their distance from the world when they are the safest places to stay.

To the Christian, our fair haven is the Bible believing Church.

When we are driven to a haven such as this, let us be content because the Church exists by of the “Grace” of God.

It is the ways of sin that are too easy, not the path of God, but the path of God leads to Heaven the fairest of all havens.

Paul never admits to being a sailor because he was a land man with no knowledge of the seas, but he did have the mind of Christ.

We find that men of the sea (the world) do not like land men (Paul the Christian) to interfere in the affairs of the sea (society).

We can find many types of biblical learning in these things of the Apostle Paul, and we can see how they affected all the books that he wrote led by the Holy Spirit.

A Euroclydon would be a typhoon like wind. This wind from the south could at times turn to be from the north with the same destructive power and it is these storms that last so long such as the fourteen days in this lesson from the Book of Acts.

A Euroclydon is now called Levanter but has the power of a typhoon.

These winds would not carry this ship in one direction but would be tossing them backward and forward.

*Act 27:15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.

There was no way to control the direction of the ship so they just allowed the ship to go wherever it would go.

The ship was out of their control and was in the hands of God.

This is what happens when we try to leave Satan’s control for the hand of God.

This ship was in the hands of God before the storm, but they did not recognize it.

Remember, God told Paul he would preach in Rome.

We should understand that danger is always a test of character!

The impulse of self-preservation is so strong, it will defeat itself and many will die that could otherwise be saved.

Paul was safe because the Lord had said he would remain safe.

Paul was the valuable property of the immortal Jehovah God.

Paul had resources of strength and comfort that those around him did not have except maybe the Christians that traveled with him such as Luke.

Paul now became a comforter and an adviser to all this ship.

The promises of God will always be fulfilled!

*Act 27:16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat:
Act 27:17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.

Clauda was a small island off the southwest coast of Crete and one of the last places they could still recognize as the storm became fiercer.

Those things called “helps” were big ropes or cables passed under the ship and secured on both sides to keep the timbers from separating.

This also means this was an old ship as ship building had already improved a great deal at this time.

These quick sands were huge sand banks on the shores of the Gulf of Sidra on the coasts of Tripoli and another on the coast of Tunis or Carthage. These were a known source of danger to mariners because of their shifting sands and cross currents.

Remember this ship had left Fair Havens because of a southernly wind but they had sailed close to the shorelines to avoid as much of those winds as possible.

It was a rough voyage.

*Act 27:18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship;
Act 27:19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.

On this second day they set about throwing the cargo overboard.

This cargo was probably corn from Alexandria Egypt to Italy and its load would have been very heavy and its removal would have made the ship much safer.

For this ship to throw its tackle overboard, then we can believe this ship was taking on water and in danger of going down early in this storm.

It also shows us the experience of the captain of this ship.

Even Paul and those with him helped to throw these things overboard, because the danger of sinking was so great.

They were now on their third day of this storm.

Paul had tried to warn those in charge of the coming danger.

We know that few are listening to the Christians today.

Few are paying attention to the dangers that lie ahead as we approach the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

1) We as Christians will also suffer through these things but financial gains will not be of much value in the last days.
2) We as Christians know that if our ship goes down, the body in which we dwell, our souls will be saved.
3) We as Christians know that no matter how far we drift, God knows where to find us. Sometimes we may even be immortal until the promise of God is fulfilled as was Paul.
4) When we as Christians are praying, it may be more important than all the work of the ship’s crew. Paul was pursuing his duty as a Christian.
5) When we as Christians are in such danger, we will always be more at peace than those who do not have a relationship with the Lord.
6) We as Christians may lose the sight of the natural sun and the star, but we will never lose sight of the Divine Son of God and the Star of Bethlehem.

It is extremely dangerous to ignore the warnings of God!

All of a sudden, they were sailing in almost total darkness.

*Act 27:20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
Act 27:21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.

We can say without a doubt that this ship, this crew, and Paul did not know where they were.

They were desperately lost at sea.

Again, I can imagine that many lessons in typology have been taken from this passage.

It was only natural that a sense of hopelessness would come over the crew of the ship, but also just as true that Paul and those who traveled with him did not feel this hopelessness.

God always knows where his children are located, and God is always in touch with His children, no matter where they are located!

Many days had now passed, yet this storm was still raging.

This is the same thing that sin does. Sin begins anew every day and has no end without the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the way died to pay the debt of all sinners.

The man of God, the Apostle Paul had the answer to hopelessness!

The Christian should have courage in all situations!

The trials of life will not break us down if we truly trust in the Lord Jesus Christ!

1) Paul first proclaimed their failure in listening to the Word of God.

Paul had warned that if they continued to follow the course of pleasure and greed, they would run the risk of loss and doom, of hurt and damage, but worldly people always have their own wrong answers.

Paul led by the Holy Spirit had warned those in charge of the ship.

Act 27:9 Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,
Act 27:10 And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.

2) Paul proclaimed God’s promise.

God had promised that all on board would be saved if they would obey God’s messenger.

This is all we have! We have the Word of God to be given to all the world and it is the Word of Truth.

Jehovah God is the only true God all other so-called gods are false!

This ship sailed with the idols of false gods, and they had done nothing to save this ship and its crew.

Paul proclaimed his faith in God’s promises.

Paul could not have known that no one would lose their life if not for God the Holy Spirit giving him this knowledge.

*Act 27:22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.
Act 27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
Act 27:24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
Act 27:25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
Act 27:26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.

God knows what lies ahead in our daily walk in this life!

3) Paul stated that we all must have faith in the promises of God.

God had spoken to Paul using the many methods He chooses to speak to us, and we can trust the promises that God makes to us.

None of His promises have ever failed!

4) Paul proclaimed that these trials are necessary to prove our trust in the Lord our God.

We all have to listen to the Word of God and make that decision to trust what God has said!

The proof of true faith is enduring until the end of these trials.

Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

*Act 27:33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.

Fourteen days and nights had passed yet the storm seemed to have no ending.

During the night some of the crew felt like they were close to land so they began to take depth readings and sure enough the water was getting shallower, and they cast out four anchors out the rear of the ship.

In all honesty anchors should be from the front of the ship except under certain conditions.

Why are anchors at the front of the ship? When a boat lies on its anchor, it faces the tide and/or wind. The forces can be fairly high, and so it is necessary to present the minimum cross-sectional area and minimum drag, which is the front of the ship. Therefore, holding the bow up to the tide or wind is the best policy.

This is the same for your fishing boat and your pleasure boat.

Some of the crew attempted to flee by escaping in the ship’s boat.

A ship’s boat is a utility boat carried by a larger vessel. Ship boats have always provided transport between the shore and other ships.

In the early days of shipping this boat would be used to gather drinking water and to ferry people to the shore.

This little boat could not have brought safety to these men, and they would have died unnecessarily.

Paul brought this to the attention of the Centurion and his soldiers.

What we see is when danger is imminent sometimes it is the Christian that needs to step forward after all we do know the truth and the Lord will never forsake us.

*Act 27:34 Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.
Act 27:35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.
Act 27:36 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat.

I can tell you after going through this cancer treatment that eating will sometimes become a duty for survival.

Sometimes we should eat whether we feel like it or not, just because we need our strength for what lies ahead.

This is always true of that food that is the Word of God!

God takes loving care of our souls, but He expects us to take loving care of our bodies!

When Paul gave thanks for this meal, Paul showed that is always time to ask for a blessing even if it was a meal eaten in a hurry.

Once the ship was anchored it was only a matter of time before the ship would break up if this storm did not cease its destructive power.

Once the new day arrived and they could see, they took up the anchors and ran the ship aground where the ship did break up.

In the end by trusting the man of God and the Word of God all those on this ship were saved.

*Act 27:37 And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.

Fear is something we will all deal with from time to time, but God did not give us the Spirit of Fear.

So when we are afraid, we did not get that feeling from God.

2Ti_1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

This is what most men on this ship saw in the Apostle Paul and it is our example for when things go terrible wrong.

The trials of life will sometimes cause great fear, but we must remember the Lord and the Word of God, and these great examples recorded in the Word of God.

Another thing we should notice there is never a time that we should not ask God for a blessing when we are about to take a meal.

As the messengers of God, we should take charge during these type situations if they arise.

We must believe and trust the Word of God!
We must focus everything upon God’s Word and God’s Promises!

This is the only way any of us can be saved!


Almost Persuaded

Paul Before Agrippa

Book of Acts Chapter 26

Chapter 26 begins with the Apostle Paul in the hearing room of King Herod’s palace in Caesarea, standing before the Governor Festus, King Agrippa, and his sister Bernice.

We will see that Paul will give a complete description of his calling.

When we repeat the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are giving to the world the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is what the Lord Jesus asked us all to do.

We cannot be ashamed of the Gospel!

Paul will also give his own testimony and things that concerned his own calling.

Christianity always appears in person.

The Lord Jesus uses human beings as His voice upon this earth and as His legs to take the Gospel to the world.

Christianity must be heard.

Paul gives his own testimony! We cannot give the testimony of someone else.

If we have nothing to say out of our own conscience, then we cannot be a witness for the Lord.

Our salvation may be between us and the Lord, but our experience in the Gospel is to be in full view of others.

Paul said, “I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

Before Paul was known, he was first called Saul and Saul had been on his way to Damascus to do terrible things just as before we were saved, we were on the wrong road with the wrong purpose in life.

It is the Lord Jesus who brought about a change in Paul, just as He has brought about a change in each and every Christian, no matter where they are located.

Paul said, “I have seen the Light of the Lord Jesus”.

It is the Light of Jesus that allows us to see the filth that was in our lives, and that is in this world.

To be a Christian is to have mental illumination and liberation.

Paul said it was on this day on the road to sin that he met the Lord Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah God.

*Act 26:19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
Act 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Remember, a Godly vision is much different than a dream. Dreams may seem real sometimes, but in a Godly vision all the characters have names, and the characters are real people, and it is as if you were dropped into the middle of something happening that was real because it is real.

God allowed those in these visions to see a future happening that was real. Dreams are just dreams good or bad and some bad ones are called nightmares.

Paul knew he had a Godly vision when he was on the Damascus Road.

This was Paul’s call into the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul was obedient to God’s call!

The Lord’s call was not up for discussion to Paul, and neither should it be to us.

Paul’s call was from Heaven, and this is the way we should all see it.

That call from Heaven should override any calling we may think we have in this world!

Paul’s vision of the Lord Jesus Christ was so real, that he knew he had seen the Lord Jesus in person just as the other Apostles!

There is no need to seek another’s opinion, when we are called of God, we know and understand it is reality!

All the charges against Paul were unjustified because Paul was obedient to the call of God.

We must never break any law when we are obedient to the Lord!

When we are faithful to the Lord we are on the right path, and we will be doing what the Lord wants us to do!

Our job is to let Christianity speak for itself!

We must allow the Word of God to do its job!

It is the Word of God that has the answers to all our questions and all of life’s questions!

We may think that our Godly experience is something between ourselves and God, but this is not true.

Paul never thought this because our relationship with God is to be shared with others!

Many times our testimony is the beginning of our conversation with those in the world.

If we are ashamed of our conversion, then we are ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Those who have met Jesus Christ and have turned away, are running from their call into the ministry!

We cannot eat the Word of God one time, and this be enough.

We must sit down daily at the table of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2Co_4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

When we dine with the Lord, we are refreshed with His never-ending strength!

When Paul was allowed to speak his defense was that the truth of this world is in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord is serious when He calls anyone for reasonable service to the Gospel!

*Act 26:21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
Act 26:22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
Act 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

Do you know why the queer movement, the trans crowd, the abortion industry, and many others do not believe they have to change their ways to be saved?

Because they look into the Church, and they see the so-called Christians and they do not see changed lives.

Now it is true that we cannot make everlasting changes to our lives because it is the job of the Holy Spirit who comes to live in us at salvation.

He has regenerative power, but we must be willing!

It is that changed life that shows the power of God!

We cannot neglect proclaiming the works of repentance!

Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

You, without the Lord God of the Bible cannot accomplish anything worth speaking of!

There is no salvation apart from a life of righteousness, that righteousness according to the Word of God!

Religion, ritual, ceremony, church membership, baptism, worship attendance, heritage, good parents, morality, and many other things are meaningless, without a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is faith and repentance that shows our love for Jesus Christ!

Who would want to be in a Church where you do not have to change your wicked ways? Not me!

This is saying that the Word of God has no meaning!

Who wants to go to a Heaven that is just like this world? Not me!

This is saying that Christianity is just like all the false religions of this world.

Why was Paul being persecuted? Because he was obedient to the Lord’s call to preach the truth.

The world does not want to hear the truth!

What was the message of the Apostle Paul?

That men and women, queers, abortionist, drunks, immoral people, transgenders and all the lost should repent, turn to God, and do good works as described in the Word of God.

Paul was the Lord’s witness in teaching these things.

Paul had this same message to the lowest of humans upon this earth and those who sat on thrones!

Paul added that they need look no further than himself to see that God takes care of His children.

God cares for us even when no one upon this earth does!

As true believers, we can always count on our Lord God!

God does sometimes allow trials to come into our lives to make us tougher in facing the reality of this cruel world.

The Lord Jesus Christ also suffered on this earth at the hands of cruel men, as our example of the suffering we may have to go through.

Paul did not select his audience, he witnessed to those who stood in front of him at any given time.

He showed respect to the king for his position, but the message of Jesus Christ did not change because he was a king, or a Caesar, or the title of any ruler, or for any religious man.

No one is exempt from the message of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Gospel.

What was the truth for these Jews?

Paul bore witness to the Scriptures of the Messiah, the same Scriptures that the prophets and Moses used to say the Messiah would come.

1Th 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Paul bore witness of the death of our Savior.

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

The death of Jesus Christ was ordained before God created this world!

There was no other way for God to save us, but by His death and He will explain that to us one day soon!

Paul bore witness to the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.

Jesus Christ had to be the first one to rise from His death.

He was the first fruit, the first in importance to the truth of God!

He never again had to die because another death would have no meaning!

Rom 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Lazarus rose from the dead, but Lazarus had to die again and there were others mentioned in the Bible and all these in this court room knew these things.

King Agrippa had never heard the Word of God preached in this manner and Festus could not accept these truths.

*Act 26:24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
Act 26:25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
Act 26:26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.

We see that Festus could not accept the truth of the Scriptures. Festus was a Roman and knew truly little of the Hebrew people.

The idea of fulfilled prophecy, the resurrection of the dead, and this crucified Jew, giving light to the Roman world were foolishness to Festus.

Festus had no spiritual discernment because he had no knowledge of the one true God!

The gods of Festus were all statues and imaginary, with no such power as this Christian God.

All the gods of this world’s religions, besides Christianity are all also false gods.

Festus was saying to Paul that old book of writings had no meaning in the Roman dominated world.

The same thing is said today about the Word of God, but the Word of God is alive, and its meaning is truly clear in this world, for we are in the last days and the Word of God will become more meaningful as we get closer to the return of Jesus Christ.

Paul says. No, I am not mad Festus because the truth of God stands clearly opposed to falsehood.

The Word of God is real, the Word of God is fact, spoken in a world where lies dominate our existence, and riches rule our ways.

King Agrippa did have knowledge of the things Paul spoke of and Festus had no knowledge of those things.

None of these things were hidden from the ruler of Israel.

The Scriptures had predicted the coming of the Messiah and at least a few had gotten it right.

The news that what the Lord Jesus Christ had claimed, and His death and His resurrection, had swept through the whole country and Agrippa knew these things.

So Paul gets bolder.

*Act 26:27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
Act 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

There is a Christian song that is titled “Almost Persuaded” and it was written about these words of King Agrippa.

“Almost persuaded” now to believe.
“Almost persuaded” Christ to receive.
Seems now some soul to say,
“Go, Spirit, go Thy way,
Some more convenient day
On Thee I’ll call.”

“Almost persuaded,” come, come today;
“Almost persuaded,” turn not away;
Jesus invites you here,
Angels are ling’ring near,
Prayers rise from hearts so dear;
O wand’rer, come!

“Almost persuaded,” harvest is past!
“Almost persuaded,” doom comes at last!
“Almost” cannot avail;
“Almost” is but to fail!
Sad, sad, that bitter wail—
“Almost,” but lost!

So, what is a Christian or who is a Christian?

To be religious is one thing, but to be a Christian is much much different.

This is where the false Church has its problems.

There are many who belong to the Church, but they are not Christians.

In fact, my opinion or your opinion is irrelevant!

We have to go to the New Testament, the Word of God to get this answer!

A Christian is that person who has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as the basis if his faith and the rule of his life!

The Lord Jesus Christ is our foundation onto which we shall build upon!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Law according to which we think, and we feel.

When we adopt Jesus Christ as the law of our thoughts and our feelings, then we must be Christians.

To be a Christian is to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ in His ways, not the ways of the world!

The Jews deny that Jesus was the Messiah so, they will always deny Christians are anything of value to God.

To the Jews those who followed Jesus were “the Way”, or “that Way”.

Should we be known as Christians?

When we study the Lord Jesus Christ and all that He is, and all that is said about Him, and His relation to God and to man, and see that these are the traits we need in our own lives, then we will see that we ought to be Christians. To be more like the Lord Jesus Christ.

These are the same things that were ordained by God from the beginning of creation!

When God said, “let us make man”, I believe God meant, “let us make Christians”.

Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

The image of God is the image we see in the Lord Jesus Christ!

We are not made to be gods!

We can be made in the image, our character, like our God.

In respect to intelligence.
In respect of His moral nature.
In respect to righteousness.
In respect to true holiness.
In respect to life eternal.

We are to do our absolute best, to be like the Lord Jesus Christ in all His ways!

To King Agrippa, to become a Christian would seem to be a demotion from his current status as king.

This was the most critical moment in Agrippa’s life, and he answered with “almost”, as he was beginning to close his ears to the words of the Apostle Paul.

You see, when we are offered an opportunity to meet the Lord Jesus at Mount Calvary, we will have to make a discission about our destiny.

We cannot say that King Agrippa was almost a Christian because that person does not exist!

We cannot be almost Christians!

We must in every deed become a Christian!

If we believe the Bible is indeed the Word of God, then how can we deny the fact that we need to be like Jesus Christ.

If we reject becoming a Christian, then we are saying the Bible is a book of lies!

How did Paul respond?

*Act 26:29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.

An almost Christian, is someone who wavers between Jesus Christ and the world.

Paul said; you have to move from being almost persuaded to altogether persuaded, before you can become a Christian.

There are many false notions of Christianity.

Many believe to be a Christian is having a free ticket to sin and then be forgiven but this is not true.

Rom_6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

God forbids Christians to intentionally sin and then beg for forgiveness!

We live in a pleasure mad society, and it is this pleasure of sinning that the lost refuse to give up, even though God says that pleasure will not last very long.

Yes, to be a Christian there will be suffering in this life!

Heb_11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

To be become a Christian is by “Grace”, a free gift, because it is God’s Will that we all become Christians.

That is being like the Lord Jesus Christ in all our ways!

There is a great danger than some with a vast knowledge of the Scriptures may never seek a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

This sounds like King Agrippa.

If we have been on a long journey and finding that we are near to the end brings great comfort, but to almost be a Christian should bring no comfort at all because, it is still rejection of the truth of God!

We should remember the story of the Ten Virgins.

Mat 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Mat 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
Mat 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Mat 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
Mat 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
Mat 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
Mat 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

All ten of these were virgins, but five of them did not the Holy Spirit (oil) living within them which means they had rejected the truth of God and God had never signed their names in His Book of Life so, He did not know them.

We cannot just live a pure life; we must accept the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ to be a child of God!

King Agrippa died and went to Hell, because even knowing the truth of the Scriptures, he could not give up the pleasures of this world even though they can last no more than a lifetime and usually not near that long.


A Christian On Trial

Paul Before Felix and Festus

Book of Acts Chapter 24 and 25

As Christians, there may come a time in our Christian life when we have to defend ourselves, by defending the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ, which we need to do all the time.

We should know more about some of the people involved in this farce of a trial of the Apostle Paul.

Farce meaning for the amusement of a crowd using lies which were ridiculous.

Felix was not some great ruler but was an evil ruler seeking to fill his pockets with loot.

He was originally a slave himself, who along with his brother were freed by the mother of the emperor Claudius. He had a brother named Pollus, who was more highly favored by Claudius. It is by this favored position of his brother Pollus that Felix was able to secure his position as Governor of Judea.

**Felix was a monstrous ruler, who was also cruel and despotic.

A despot means that he was independent of control of other men. Felix did what he pleased in disregard of all laws.

Sort of reminds me of the president and his family that we have today along with many of the Senators and Congress.

Felix was full of greed and corruption. He was known for taking and maneuvering for bribes.

Felix was eventually removed from office because of riots between the Jews and the Syrians which he instigated.

He was saved from the death penalty because his brother Pollus was in such high favor of Claudius.

He was married to Drucilla, the daughter of King Agrippa, which was his third marriage.

Under Felix the affairs of the country grew worse and worse.

This imprisonment the Apostle Paul suffered was because Felix as an unjust judge “was willing,” not to do what was right, but “to show the Jews a pleasure”.

**Festus was the successor of Felix as Procurator of Judea.

In just a few weeks the Jews reminded him of the prisoner Paul.

Then he heard Paul defend himself in the presence of King Agrippa II and his sister Bernice, and he did not find that Paul did anything worthy of the death penalty or even of being in prison, and would have set him free if not for Paul’s appeal to Caesar.

Festus died after being in this office for less than two years.

**Tertullus was a Roman lawyer who the Jews hired to state their case against the Apostle Paul.

He was a good orator, but he gave the term lawyer a bad name, just as many do today.

He said it was Paul who created those disturbances among Romans throughout the Roman Empire, which was a lie, it was those Jews.
He said Paul was the ringleader of a sect of the Nazarenes who disturbed the Jews in the exercise of their religion, which was also a lie. It was the Jews who disturbed the Christians in their worship.
He said Paul had introduced new gods, which was Jehovah, the same God the Jews worshiped from the same Bible the Jews used in their worship.
He said that Paul had gone as far as to profane the Temple, all these things were built upon lies.

The Jews said they would have had these things over with, if not for the Chief Captain Lysias who put a stop to their actions.

So now let us hear from the Apostle Paul.

*Act 24:10 Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself:
Act 24:11 Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.
Act 24:12 And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:
Act 24:13 Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.

What were the charges against the Apostle Paul?

1) Paul was charged as an insurrectionist: a troublemaker, he disturbed the peace, he caused sedition, and he caused disorder among the Jewish people.

Many of these same things are said about Christians today even here in America, and even by some so-called church leaders, who say they are God’s servants, when they are not and are Satan’s servants.

2) They said that Paul was the leader of the sect called the Nazarenes, which was a rebellious sect, another lie.

They did not know what to call believers at this time and even the term Christian was used in a derogatory fashion when it was first used.

Being Christian is the only truth that needs to be used because being Christian is being like Jesus Christ.

Those who are not trying to be like Jesus Christ in their daily life are not true Christians no matter what they call themselves.

If they go against any part of the Word of God, then they are not being like the Lord Jesus Christ who obeyed all the Word of God!

Christianity is not a sect!
Christianity does not promote sectarianism.
Christianity does promote unity and brotherly love, peace, and quietness.
Christianity does not promote selfishness nor worldliness.
Christianity does not promote self-indulgence, extravagance, wealth, injustice, or disorderliness.
Christianity does promote care, concern, and help, giving and justice, government, and obedience to the law, as long as those laws do not go against the written Word of God!

3) They charged that Paul profaned the Temple of the Jews, another lie.

It is a terrible day when a so-called Christian follows religion instead of following the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Head of the Church!

We cannot lean on our own ideas; we must lean on the Lord Jesus Christ and the written Word of God from the “received text”.

When we go against the Word of God, we are going against the Lord Jesus Christ who is the only One who can get us into God’s Heaven.

Heaven must be important enough for us to seek after the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

For those who say that the Lord Jesus does not say He is God, how do they explain this passage?

Paul spoke the truth to Felix.

Felix had judged Israel for about seven years.

Paul did not flatter Felix.
Paul did not lie about the accomplishments of Felix.
Paul did say things that acknowledged that his fate was in the hands of Felix, even though Paul knew his fate was in the hands of God.

Remember the Holy Spirit will guide us in the things we are to say.

In truth, Paul had gone to the Temple to worship not to cause a disturbance.

In fact Paul would never have intentionally caused any disturbance, especially in Jerusalem, especially at the Temple!

The Temple was still God’s house!

Paul simply said that five days was not enough time to do all those things the Jewish leaders had said, and it was not.

Paul had only been in Jerusalem for twelve days and Felix could easily check these things for the truth.

The Holy Spirit will not allow us to lie in our defense!

Eph 4:20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
Eph 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Paul was innocent of all those charges brought against him and Felix knew this to be true.

Paul said, if it were heresy to worship Jehovah God then he was guilty but keep in mind it was the religion of the Jews to worship Jehovah God and to obey all the Word of God so these elders would be just as guilty as Paul.

*Act 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
Act 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Act 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

That Roman lawyer had tried to persuade Felix and those of his court that Paul was the leader of a heretical sect. An unauthorized religious party that caused social disruption.

This is almost the same thing that our own government is trying to paint Christians as today!

Paul confessed to only one thing, a genuine worship of the One true God, the same God that the High Priest and all Jews are to worship not some new god and not some false god.

Paul admitted that he was a follower of the Nazarene, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus was a Nazarene, not because of some vow, but simply because He lived in Nazareth for a while.

Paul said he believed all the things written in the Scriptures just as the High Priests were supposed to.

Remember the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, or angels, and some did not believe there was a Heaven or Hell, all these things written plainly and clearly in the Scriptures.

All the words written in the Scriptures are the truth of God!

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

All these things were taught to the Jews beginning at childhood!

2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Paul passionately believed in the resurrection of the believer!

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Paul’s conscience was clear on all these things, and this is the way each Christian should look at the truth of the Scriptures.

God cannot lie!

1Pe 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

Then Paul explained why he had returned to Jerusalem, which gave Felix the idea that he could bribe Paul.

*Act 24:17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.

It was important to the early Church that the church in Jerusalem not fail!

Paul had asked all the Gentile churches to try to help this church.

It was because of the Jews, who would excommunicate those they considered offenders from all religious rights and privileges in the communities in which they lived.

They would lose their jobs and in many cases their homes. In some cases it included banishment.

It always included civil punishment! Here are some examples.

Exo 31:14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

Ezr 10:3 Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.

Paul did not return to cause any problems to these Jews!

A strong Christian church would be a benefit to this Jewish nation, just as a strong Christian church has great benefits to any nation.

Christians are some of hardest workers in any nation and they will always uphold the laws of any nation as long as they do not conflict with the Word of God, as we see here in America.

Those offerings of the Apostle Paul, not the alms, had to be offered in the Temple in obedience to the Law of Moses.

Felix wanted to hear from the Chief Captain Lysias to hear his side of what happened.

And after, He did want to hear from Paul again.

*Act 24:24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
Act 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
Act 24:26 He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.

Notice Felix had a desire to hear about the Lord Jesus Christ, but he did not want to hear about repentance.

This is the same story of the transgender and the queer people and most all sinners today.

They want to claim they are saved, but there is no evidence of repentance.

1) Felix and Drusilla wanted to hear about Christianity and the Nazarenes and faith in Jesus Christ, simply because they were curious.
They had no real desire to change the way they lived. They lived in luxury.

2) Since Paul had brought so much money to the Church, then maybe he could pay a bribe to be set free.

Paul shared his testimony and the Gospel with these two, at this opportunity.

We should never miss an opportunity to share the Gospel!

Fearlessly Paul declared the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul declared that faith in Jesus Christ would bring about a change to righteousness and a controlled lifestyle in this world and facing God’s judgment at the end of this life, which would be a judgment for rewards or to face God’s judgment at the end of time.

1) Faith in Christ concerns righteousness.
2) Faith in Christ concerns self-control.
3) Faith in Christ concerns the judgment to come.
4) Faith in Christ concerns patience.

Felix trembled with conviction!

We can also see where the Holy Spirit also reached out to Felix, but Felix denied Christ at this time and said he would talk more with Paul at a later date, which never came.

This is the way of the world today!

How many who want to know the facts of Christianity, but they reject any message of repentance?

When the Holy Spirit moves in, there will be some changes. If we do not see those changes that are according to the Word of God, then the Holy Spirit has not moved in, because there was no sincere love of Christ and His message.

After Felix rejected the Holy Spirit, the next thing on his mind was that maybe Paul would pay for his freedom.

Felix sold out justice for greed!

Remember Felix was a corrupt official.

We can see this as an example of how this corrupt world is more interested in greed and corruptness than salvation.

We can also see this as an example of how close we are to the return of Jesus Christ.

1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

This is why our Senators and Representatives will not give up the bribes of the lobbyist.
This is why they use their knowledge of new laws to take advantage of the stock market.
This is why they can be so easily bribed.

This is why Felix was soon replaced by Porcius Festus!

We as voters need to replace the corrupt government that is in place today in America!

So many are too blind to see these things, and many believe these things cannot be changed, but they can.

It is never too late to follow the ways of Jesus Christ!

*Act 25:6 And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought.
Act 25:7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.
Act 25:8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.

Notice before Festus even talked to Paul, he made sure the High Priest and those other wicked Jews would be there.

We see nothing has changed as they came with those same lies, they had before.

These things have not changed today.

When the world wants to get rid of a servant of God, they always begin with lies.

Lies control our courts, even when before testimony is given, people still swear to the truth.

The truth does not mean much anymore!

In our world today, there is no incentive to tell the truth and there is no punishment in the telling of lies, and our judges are just as guilty.

It should be today that no judge has a previous life as a lawyer and maybe we could see some change.

Mat 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Mat 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

We must never lose our saltiness!

All these things happening to the Apostle Paul never led him to giving up, but he just grew closer to the Lord.

Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Rom 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

1) Paul said, He worship the same God as these Jews said they worshipped.

2) This is the same God that the Jews had worshipped since they had escaped from Egypt.

3) Paul said that he believed in all the Scriptures, and that he denied none of those Scriptures.

Kings and Governors come and go, but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

As Christians we know this is true.

Every human being will stand before God, either at the “Judgment Seat of Christ” or at the “White Throne Judgment”, and God gives us the
all our lifetime to decide which one of these places we should see Him and God promises to reach each one with the Gospel.

There will be no one in Hell who did not decide to go there.

Everyone in Heaven will have proved that they love the Lord Jesus Christ!

Paul had a sincere belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

2Co 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

Paul did all the things he did, in order to have a pure conscience. So many of us fail in this!

Paul struggled to avoid offence toward anyone. So many of us fail in this also.

Paul did all he could to keep a disciple from stumbling in their growth in Christ. We fail in this thing also.

Paul struggled to have a clear conscience toward God and man! I know I struggle with this one also.

Then Festus asked Paul to go to Jerusalem to stand trial in which Paul replied, he could not get a fair trial from people who only wanted to kill him, which was the truth.

*Act 25:9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?
Act 25:10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.
Act 25:11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.
Act 25:12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.

The Apostle Paul had come to Jerusalem to bring the offerings to the Church of Jerusalem from the Gentile Churches that had offered to help.

Paul was far from being an insurrectionist, but this was the same charge that was made against Jesus Christ, because this charge would bring the death penalty from the Roman Government and the Jews.

Paul would never incite violence against the government!

He had not done this in any Gentile city, and he would certainly not do this in Jerusalem.

Our own government say these same things about Christians today, when so-called Christians and some impersonating Christians are the cause of much of the trouble just to give Christians a bad name.

It was the out-of-town Jews from Asia that had stirred up the city, because of their hatred of the Apostle Paul.

They followed Paul from place to place, just to cause trouble for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We may not know who exactly was behind these things, but we know it was Satan.

Those trying to destroy America are also followers of Satan.

Paul was attacked while he was at worship.

These Jews from Asia were too cowardly to show up at court, but the High Priest and his followers who were Sadducees, intended to destroy Paul.

Paul was unjustly tried in the Sanhedrin Court, who followed the lead of the High Priest.

Paul was in the midst of a terrible trial, but he was there because of a righteous deed.

Paul knew God would deliver him because he had seen the Lord in a vision and the Lord told him he would preach the Gospel in Rome.

Paul was in the will of God and God treats all His children the same.

2Pe 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
2Pe 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

2Pe 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
2Pe 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

Praise the Lord for the work of the Apostle Paul, who brought the Gospel to the Gentiles.


A Great Christian on Trial

Paul Stirs Up the Sanhedrin

Book of Acts Chapter 23

What is the Sanhedrin Council?

Moses originally created the Sanhedrin Court, in obedience to God.

Num 11:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.

The Sanhedrin was conceived mainly as a court of justice but this had changed because of corruption.

Jesus said:

Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

This same council was used against the Lord Jesus:

Mat 26:59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;
Mat 26:60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,

The members of this council were called councilors.

Mar 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

The Sanhedrin was abolished after the destruction of Jerusalem and no longer exists.

The existing High Priest was always the Head of this council.

In the time of Jesus Christ this Sanhedrin served only in Judea and had no authority over the Lord while He lived in Galilee.

After the time of Christ its orders were deemed binding to all orthodox Jews.

Remember these were the Jews that followed that all religious opinion of men should be the standard and not necessarily the exact Word of God.

Jesus Christ was charged with blasphemy by this court.

In the days of Rome, the Sanhedrin contained a mixture of Pharisee and Sadducees and Paul used this to his advantage.

When Paul was brought before this council by the Chief Captain of the Roman soldiers in Jerusalem, it was not for him to be judged by them, but this Roman Captain wanted to know what Paul was charged with.

Any ruling of the Sanhedrin had no bearing on Roman law!

The Apostle Paul was not only a Jew, but he was also a citizen of Rome by birth.

Act 22:29 Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
Act 22:30 On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.

The Chief Captain had thoughts of scourging Paul trying to gain the truth from Paul by torture, but since Paul was a citizen of Rome it was illegal to scourge him.

So, Paul addressed the Sanhedrin council knowing the High Priest was his true enemy.

*Act 23:1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
Act 23:2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
Act 23:3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
Act 23:4 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God’s high priest?
Act 23:5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
Act 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

Paul stared down at this council for it no longer represented the truth of God and therefore they were unable to serve justice.

Paul told this council that his life was now pleasing to God because he had excepted the Gospel truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, unlike them who rejected the truth.

Because Paul accepted the “authority of the Scriptures” Paul was labeled a blasphemer and the High Priests had Paul slapped.

None of us like to be slapped, but to a Jew it was truly demeaning.

For a Jew to strike another Jew was also a violation of Jewish Law.

Paul realized that he had rebuked the High Priest and he immediately repented, and apologized, because this also was against the Mosaic Law.

As for this council, Paul offered nothing but stares, as he was condemned by those who were hypocrites and reprobates.

Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

We must not forget the promise of the Lord, so the Holy Spirit was guiding Paul every step of the way.

Mat 10:18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
Mat 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
Mat 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

The Holy Spirit also reminded Paul of just what type of men were on this council, Pharisee, and Sadducee.

The Pharisees believed in the Spiritual world and the resurrection.

The Sadducee did not believe in the Spiritual world, nor did they believe in the resurrection.

Paul conceived a plan with the Holy Spirit to pit them against each other.

Paul said the reason he had been arrested was because he believed the same as these Pharisees on these issues.

*Act 23:7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
Act 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
Act 23:9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.

We see that the hatred of these two groups for one another overcame any issues they had with the Apostle Paul.

We see that the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ had held true as always, and these two parties began clamoring and arguing amongst themselves.

Paul said in his speech from the stairs that Jesus, whom they knew to be dead, was alive, and that this same Jesus had spoken to him from Heaven and also in a vision.

There is a truth that we sometimes ignore.

1) When a sinner accepts the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is an immediate elevation of the moral sense. We become new creatures!

2) When the Lord Jesus Christ comes near to the mind of anyone and He is rejected then, the last state of the rejecter is worse than the first. Those who reject the truth of Christ Jesus and quench Holy Ghost convictions, sink lower than those who never heard the name of Jesus Christ.

The Sadducees were religious but also liberal politicians of in the days of Jesus Christ.

They were wealthy, aristocratic, and the governing class of leaders in Israel. Not much different from those who govern our own nation today.

The Chief Priest of the Sanhedrin was normally a Sadducee during this time period.

The Sadducee ruled Israel on behalf of the Roman Government!

Act 4:1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
Act 4:2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

Act 5:17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,
Act 5:18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.

The Sadducees were secular and worldly minded.
They were independent thinkers.
They were heavily entrenched in the priesthood in the days of Jesus Christ.
They regularly collaborated with the Roman government in order to protect their positions, in power and in wealth.
They denied the supernatural.
They denied the resurrection of the saints.
They denied miracles.
They denied life after death.
They denied angels and also evil spirits.

To them, there was no Heaven and no Hell.
To them, there was no existence other than life on this earth.
To them, when someone died, they just cease to exist.
To them, there was no such thing as rewards or punishment in the afterlife.
To them, there was no such thing as eternal life! (Matthew 22:23-33)

We can see the world if full of modern day Sadducees.

It is no wonder that they were “sad you see”.

The Pharisee on the other hand were strict religionists.

These men dedicated themselves to practicing Jewish law in the strictest sense.

They felt that if they kept every little detail of the Mosaic laws and customs and taught others to do the same, they could save the Jewish religion and keep it from dying out.

They were the orthodox of their day.
They were strict literalists. They expanded the Jewish Law into thousands of little rules and regulations which we know of as the oral laws.
They were extremely zealous in these beliefs.
There were never many Pharisees because their strictness and their demands were too hard for common people.
They were earnest, dedicated, zealous, self-denying, and moral.
They were self-righteous and hypocritical. They lacked any sense of sin.
They were bitterly opposed to the Sadducees, hating, and despising them. They felt that the Sadducees were traitors to their own nation, and they were.

They were the main opponents of the Lord Jesus Christ and denounced Him. Their attacks on the Lord Jesus Christ were savage.


1) Because Jesus did not attend any of their rabbinical schools nor a member of their sect.
2) Because Jesus attacked their rules and regulations which had been added to God’s law.

Paul had been a Pharisee before he met Jesus Christ and was saved by the “Grace” of God.

These two groups of men allowed their hatred of each other get out of hand so, the Chief Captain had to put an end to this judgment of Paul.

*Act 23:10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
Act 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

The dungeon of Antonio Fortress became the one place of safety in Jerusalem for the Apostle Paul, led there by the Holy Spirit.

The Sanhedrin council had no authority over this case of the Apostle Paul and the Chief Captain had not submitted this case to them.

This case was in the hands of the Roman authorities, and it would remain that way.

We can certainly believe that Paul would have had no hope for justice had this case been given to the Sanhedrin and this Roman Captain knew this was true.

The command of the High Priest made sure this was true from the beginning.

In truth, this Sanhedrin Council was more guilty of blaspheming God that Paul was.

The fact that the Pharisees believed in the resurrection and Paul’s defense was the fact that the Lord Jesus had certainly raised from that death, was proof that some of the beliefs of the Pharisees were true but not much more.

This doctrine of the Resurrection was the foundation of Paul’s arguments for the truth of Christianity.

It is the “Gospel” this “Good News” of Jesus Christ that forms the truth of Christianity.

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

The Lord Jesus informed Paul:

1) The Lord said to Paul “be of good courage”.
2) The Lord assured Paul that his witness in Jerusalem was of God by the Holy Spirit.
3) The Lord assured Paul that he would bear witness of Him in Rome.

The Lord will always stand by our side if we stand by His side!

The Lord will always encourage us and see us through these things.

The Holy Spirit will always give us the things to say in these situations!

Isa 50:9 Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.
Isa 50:10 Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.

There are always those who are not satisfied with the way things are going.

*Act 23:12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.
Act 23:13 And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.

In America today there are many groups such as Antifa, the BLM, and other Soros backed groups, who are devoted to the destruction of our way of life in any means possible, causing harm to individuals and property.

We could say they conspire together to accomplish these things.

This group of Jews conspired to murder the Apostle Paul, and they actually made a vow to see that it was done and there were more than forty who made this vow.

We already know that Paul was going to Rome according to the Lord Jesus Christ and nothing, not even the best made plan, could stop what God had said would take place!

We should understand about Jewish vows.

There was always possible for a way to escape if they failed to keep a vow.

The Talmud, the Oral Law, which did not always truly explain the written law of Moses, allowed for an escape of such vows.

One passage from the Talmud reads: “He that hath made a vow not to eat anything, woe to him if he eats, and woe to him if he do not eat. If he eat, he sinneth against his vow; if he does not eat he sinneth against his life. What must such a man do in this case? Let him go to the wise men, and they will lose his vow”.

We should note that God does not release us from vows we make unto Him even though He will forgive our sin.

We should understand that since that day on the Damascus Road, the Apostle Paul had been under the providence of God and led by the Holy Spirit.

Paul was safe in the arms of God!

Paul would certainly bear witness of the Lord Jesus Christ in Rome, and nothing in this world could stop this!

God set in motion many human events to take Paul to Rome and in doing so, we as believers can see the hand of God in Paul’s life and it awakens us to the fact that same hand of God participates in each of our lives if we cling to the Lord Jesus Christ.

These men deceived themselves if they thought they could change the things that God had put in place.

We see this same type of foolishness in our world today in the many conspiracies that confront us today.

If our climate is changing, then it is because God is allowing it to change.

Matthew 24 describes to us the many things of our changing world and those are the things we need to be keeping up with.

Paul had appeared before the Sanhedrin court and these men could not stay focused because of the hatred they had for each other.

This was the Jew’s opportunity to paint Paul worthy of death, and they had failed miserably.

Paul would remain in the custody of Rome.

Any attempt to kill Paul would fail because Paul was really in the custody of Jehovah God.

It amazes me how people can deceive themselves in their sinful and wicked deeds, thinking they can overrule what God has said will take place.

If the world does not like the message of God and do not want to hear it, then it is in their best interest to leave the Church alone.

These forty or more men bound themselves under a curse before God.

The Jewish elders might relieve them of the curse, but God would not.

They had devoted themselves to God under false belief to not eat or drink until they had killed Paul.

They thought that this would be pleasing to God.

No where in the Scriptures does it read that these types of things are pleasing to God!

Paul was God’s chosen vessel!

Paul was not evil, but preached the truth of God!

We should understand that no sin is pleasing to God no matter the reason we conjure up in our minds!

Those who think this way are living in deception!

Many in the Church have gone against the truth of God’s Word and a preacher who preached the whole council of God, thinking they are right, simply because they listen to the world and ignore the Word of God.

Even modern-day science does not overrule the truth of the Word of God!

These types of people have stifled many a church and brought many of them to destruction.

Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

We are not to judge another church, but when these things take place, it is the Word of God that judges them!

These forty or so men conspired which means, they dragged other innocent men into their destruction.

Mat 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Mat 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

They then went to the elders and got them involved and many of those elders were ready to get on board with them in their evilness.

We live in a world today where many a church leader have been deceived into joining in the wickedness of abortion, and the gay lifestyle, along with the transgender movement we see today.

They need to actually read that Bible they say that guides them!

We must get the world out of the Church!

The Church cannot fail, but many a lost person will fail to meet the glory of God because of these things.

This wicked and evil plan would be found out before it could take place.

*Act 23:14 And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul.
Act 23:15 Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.
Act 23:16 And when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.

The enemies of the Apostle Paul would not be satisfied until the Apostle was no longer upon this earth.

The law said “thou shall not kill” but these Jews had intended to kill Paul.

They were like wild beasts as they thirsted for blood.

Reminds us of all those shootings going on in our nation as these shooters thirst for the blood of the innocent.

They bound themselves under a curse upon themselves.

There were more than forty of these who would murder an innocent man who only spoke the Word of God.

They were cunning, they knew they could not reach Paul without the help of the Sanhedrin.

This should tell us just how immoral the elders and the rulers of Israel were at this time.

They never gave a thought to the providence of God!

They had forgotten the advice of the teacher Gamaliel.

Act 5:38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
Act 5:39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

How does God react to these things?

1) God keeps it simple!

We do not know much of Paul’s family. We know a little about Paul’s mother and his grandmother.

Here we see that he also had a sister, and she had a son who cared enough for Paul to come to visit with him.

God does not ever need to use mighty things to accomplish great things!

2) The way God works is always unexpected!

Little did these conspirators expect their plan to be defeated by an obscure young man.

3) It was natural.

It was natural for this young man to give this information to his uncle.
It was natural for Paul to send his nephew to the Chief Captain.
It was natural for this Chief Captain being a man of honor, to act as he did.

God does not have to exhort to big mighty things to do the things He does so well!

Paul would have a safe journey to Caesarea.

God would raise five hundred soldiers to protect him from forty murderers.

Paul would go before a Roman judge, being innocent of all charges of these Jews.

Psa 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

God uses simple methods to expose the works of darkness!

As the children of God we should take great comfort knowing that our Lord God will never forsake us, and He will walk with us every step of the way until we finally reach our true home in Heaven.


The Christian Testimony

Paul Shares His Testimony

Book of Acts Chapter 22

How important is our testimony?

Our testimony should reveal to others the truth of what God has done in our lives.

The opportunity to testify about the Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation that comes only by Him, often happens in unexpected places and under a variety of circumstances.

We should take a look at our own testimony and refine it to keep it short and to the point, keeping it full of the truth of our own lives.

We must always be prepared to give our testimony because we will be asked, “how is your life different today because you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior”?

We should lead a noticeably different lifestyle than we had prior to the meeting the Lord and our testimony should include this change!

How we came to trust the Lord as our Savior is important to mention.

What difference Jesus has made in our lives is important to mention.

God will use our testimony if we allow Him to do so!

In our lesson today, the Apostle Paul had come to this place where God caused him to give his testimony to strangers.

Even before a riotous mob is a good time to give our testimony!

We will see that Paul’s defense of his character became his offence as he witnessed to the things the Lord Jesus had done for him.

*Act 22:1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
Act 22:2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)

Here we have an innocent man, the Apostle Paul, who could not be heard because of the noise of this mob finally get a chance to defend himself before being carried off by these Roman guards.

We should know that these Roman Soldiers main job was to protect the Temple and the grounds of the Temple.

Antonio Fortress was located on the northwest corner and connected to the wall of the Temple, and someone would always be on guard to see what was going on at the Temple.

It was King Herod who had caused this to happen. This was Herod’s Temple, (the second Temple) in many views because he had spent so much money to rebuild this Temple into a showcase in Israel.

Disturbances in the Temple were sometimes dealt with harshly.

Paul was an innocent man of the things he was accused.

Paul was trying to appease the elders of the church in Jerusalem by compromising his own beliefs and it was not working out very well for him.

Notice it was not the local Jews who had stirred up this people, it was some trouble makers from out of town.

Paul loved this people.

Paul spoke in the local language which this crowd was not expecting, and these Roman soldiers would not understand much of what he said.

It is a fact that Paul would have been murdered had it not been for the work of these soldiers and this crowd could have easily overcome these few soldiers that came to put an end to this riotous mob.

The Apostle Paul was willing to face death, if it would be cause for some these Jews to be saved.

What did Paul have to say?

*Act 22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
Act 22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

In Paul’s testimony he began with what he used to be.

We all as Christians have a life that we used to be.

“We are no longer used to be s”!

It had now been about twenty-five years since Paul, at that time called by the name Saul, met the Lord Jesus Christ upon the Damascus Road.

There may have been a few that recognized Paul from those early days, but most of them would not have known anything about the Apostle Paul, past, or at that present time.

Paul wanted them to know that he was a Jew and Jerusalem had been his home for many years.
Paul wanted them to know he was just as much a Jew as any of them were.
Paul was born in Tarsus but he was raised in Jerusalem. His mother, and his grandmother were Jews, which made him a Jew.
Paul had come to Jerusalem at a very young age because his mother and his grandmother knew it was at Jerusalem where the best schools were located.

Act 26:4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;

Paul was educated on the strictest laws of the Jews and became a Pharisee.

Act 26:5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

Paul was now being judged by certain trouble-making Jews, because he believed all the Word of God.

Those same laws taught of the coming Messiah, which Paul believed had already come as the Lord Jesus Christ as promised by Jehovah.

Act 26:6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:

Paul had always been zealous in keeping of the Law and had never forsaken it!

Paul claimed he had never forsaken the practice and the customs of the Mosaic Law and he had not.

Paul claimed he was as much a practicing Jew as those who accused him.

Paul even shared that part of his life which was hostile to the Church.

Many of those present knew this to be true of the Jewish High priests and the elders of Jerusalem, who had also been a part of the persecution of the Church.

*Act 22:5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.

The High Priests knew these things to be true!

Remember how the position of the High Priest had remained in one family since before the days of Jesus and was still in that family, none of them being the descendants of Aaron.

The High Priest was no more than a politician who remained friendly to Rome.

Those elders were all members of the Sanhedrin court and they could have acknowledged that what Paul was saying was the truth, but they refused to do so.

Act 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
Act 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Paul explained that with his religious training and zealous devotion, only a radical, supernatural event could have altered him to what he was on that day, a child of God.

Some of same mob that was ready to stone Paul was now ready to embrace him.

Paul describes his meeting with the Lord Jesus Christ adding to his testimony.

*Act 22:6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
Act 22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

There is only One who can save and He is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Lord Jesus will get personal with us if we allow Him to.

The Lord Jesus will aways seek us out to save us!

The reason that the “noon” time is mentioned is because it seems the sun is always brightest at noon time.

Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ will outshine the sun.

2Pe_1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

The Lord Jesus Christ is the “Day Star”!

The Lord Jesus Christ is a Nazarene not because of some pledge that was made, but because for a while He made Nazareth His home.

Joh_1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
Joh 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
Joh 1:48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
Joh 1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

Paul said he was overwhelmed by the things that were taking place around him that day, and he fell to the ground and it was then that he heard the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, the “Voice” of God.

The Lord Jesus has always been the “Voice” of God!

Notice how the Lord Jesus addressed Paul by name.

Notice that all sin is against our Savior. He is the One who commands us to live righteously.

In fact, this is what the Mosaic Laws were all about, God’s directions for living righteously. Our School Master.

Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Paul was not sure until that Heavenly Voice said “why persecutest thou me”?

Try to explain these things to the Lord and you will find that you cannot!

Why do we treat our Creator like we do?

In today’s world God is rejected.

Climate Change is all about rebelling against God.

God has said we will have all four of the seasons until He returns.

There were many witnesses to this event the only thing they did not understand was the “Voice” of God.

They heard the “Voice” but they could not understand what was being said.

This world has not changed much since that day.

God is speaking through His many voices and His many Scriptures, but the world knows He is speaking but they have chosen to close their ears to understanding.

Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
Eph 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

*Act 22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
Act 22:10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
Act 22:11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.

We know that the Lord Jesus addresses each of us personally, so it is not unusual for those around Paul not to hear what was said.

We know that the Holy Spirit had been working on Paul since the day that Stephen was murdered.

Paul had not cast a single stone, but he had held the coats of those that did.

We also know that when God saves us He does not remove us from our surroundings, He just gives us a new purpose and a new hope.

This is why it is called “faith”! We must trust God’s plan for us!

We have to make our own trip to a spiritual Damascus.

Paul had to finish his trip to Damascus to know God’s plan for him.

Paul had spent three years opposing Christianity and he would spend the rest of his life promoting Christianity.

We should not have to spend the rest of our days defending our actions while serving the Lord with all our heart.

Those traveling with Paul could not know the truth of what was happening.

All they saw was something they could not explain.

Paul continued on to Damascus, led there because he could not see for the Glory of that Light called Jesus.

God had already explained these things to a man named Ananias, who had a fear of Paul because of Paul’s reputation.

Paul had seen these things in a vision because he could not see with his eyes.

Act 9:12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
Act 9:13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
Act 9:14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
Act 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

So Paul went to Damascus.

Paul was a chosen vessel to bear the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and some of those people would be Gentiles in many nations.

Some those people would be kings and those in the governments of many nations.

Some of those people would be the children of Israel who had been scattered in many nations because they had rebelled against Jehovah God.

Act 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
Act 26:17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

The Lord Jesus had made a remarkable promise to His Apostles when He forewarned them of some things they would encounter when serving Him.

Serving the Lord will not always be easy.

God told His Apostles that when they were delivered up to councils, and rulers, and kings, for His sake, to take no thought of what they should speak, but that the Holy Spirit would speak at that time.

Mar 13:9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
Mar 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
Mar 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

This too is a sign proving we are in the last days!

Paul may have been the beginning of these things as he stood on the stairs leading to the castle of Herod at Antonio’s Fortress.

A Jewish mob even caused fear in these Roman soldiers who were greatly outnumbered.

They would be throwing dirt up into the air and ripping their clothing, surely acting like true heathens.

We could say Paul was lucky to have escaped them if we did not recognize the providence of God in all situations.

Paul was now a prisoner in the hands of heathen masters in the very unhappy country of Israel.

Paul, not a very big man, was loaded down with the chains of this world, yet he asked for a moment to speak to this unruly mob.

Surely the Holy Spirit was leading Paul to speak and he began this speech by giving his own testimony.

This is how important it is for us to have our testimony prepared for the day or the days it will become necessary.

Paul apologized for the persecution he had caused to the Church.

Paul had nothing to hide for his actions and he did not try to. These things were well known by many in this crowd he was speaking to.

Paul could have stopped with these things, but Paul had also made a promise to his Redeemer.

The church at Jerusalem needed to know that the Gospel would be preached to Gentiles throughout this world and that the Jews and the Gentile were to become one in Christ Jesus.

Paul spoke in simplicity, because the message of the Gospel is a simple message, but what could be seen is that Paul now had a great zeal for the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation of all men in every nation.

We sometimes forget that we are all in this thing together and it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that unites all Christians.

What we witness in our nation today is the fact, there is a close connection between ignorance and violence.

Those in power today try to rule without righteousness!

Paul was a true Jew, and he loved his Jewish heritage, but it would be the fact that he was also a Roman that would benefit him the most for him now.

The conflict we see in America today is not between Christianity and political power, but it is between the truth of Christianity and false religion.

Corrupt so-called Christianity must be swept out of the way so the truth of the Gospel can take its stand and continue to stand until the Lord returns.

It is the Gospel that must reach all around the world to each individual, before the Lord can return because this is what the Lord has said.


Persecution in Jerusalem

Paul Faced Persecution in Jerusalem

Book of Acts Chapter 21

As the children of God we must be willing to face difficulties and dangers to be a faithful witness for the Lord.

Those that have not seen persecution will surely see it. Yes, even here in America.

Even our own government is trying to silence the Church today.

The Apostle Paul is probably the most persecuted missionary who witnessed for the Lord Jesus Christ!

Most every man of God and every friend of Paul, tried to warn Paul of the harm that would come to him if he went to Jerusalem.

What was Paul’s answer to these things?

Act 21:13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
Act 21:14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

Paul was determined to go to Jerusalem.

We might ask ourselves why Paul would do such a thing and there is no answer except that everything happens for a reason.

Things in Jerusalem started well as the brethren, those who were saved, the Church in Jerusalem, received Paul and those with him gladly.

Paul was warmly received.

*Act 21:17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
Act 21:18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.

Paul had a great desire for his fellow Jews to be saved and it is probably this desire that pushed Paul to do the things he did in Jerusalem.

Paul also knew he would not be able to witness for Jesus in Jerusalem unless there was peace.

This being true, then Paul would have to compromise in order to reach those who opposed him.

What Paul did not know was, that they were never going to receive him!

The church in Jerusalem welcomed Paul gladly.

This was probably an unofficial welcome by just a few of his brothers and sisters in Christ.

Next Paul would meet with James the stepbrother of Jesus Christ, the pastor of the church in Jerusalem, and the elders of that church.

These men formed the government of this church, and it was these men who needed to hear the results of Paul’s mission trip.

Paul went in with those who had traveled with him.

We know that this church had not tried to help the Apostle Paul, but there were good reasons because this was a church of people who were excommunicated from the Jewish society.

This was an extremely poor church.

It was Paul who brought the love offering from the Gentile churches to help these in Jerusalem.

We should notice that none of the Apostles are mentioned, and we would think that Luke would have mentioned it if they were there.

Paul had with him all those that had helped him in this work for Christ, in hope they would get some recognition for how they had contributed, but at this time not all the church was called together.

Paul recognized the elders of this church.

*Act 21:19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.

After Paul recognized these elders, then the Apostle Paul gave God the glory for the accomplishments that were made, and the souls that were saved.

It had been at least five years since Paul had been in Jerusalem and much work had brought many accomplishments in the name of Christ Jesus.

Many churches had been planted and each one had elders just as this church in Jerusalem.

Since he had saluted the Church, when he had probably seen James last, he had labored at Antioch, in Galatia and Phrygia, and had wrought a mighty revolution in Asia.

He had consolidated his work in Macedonia and Achaia; he had held his visitation of Gentile elders in Miletus; he had visited Tyre, Ptolemais, and Caesarea, great Gentile cities, and had seen everywhere astonishing tokens of the grace of God which was with him. And now he pours his tale into the ears of the chief pastor of the mother Church of Jerusalem, and those of the Jewish elders.

It is at this time that James and the elders praised the Lord for what He had done.

It is James who points out some things of the saved Jews.

James also points out that they still were zealous of Moses’ Laws.

We should also notice that there was no unfriendliness shown to Paul or these with him.

*Act 21:20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
Act 21:21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.

These that remained zealous for the Law were some of the same ones who caused problems in the Church.

Still yet, there was not much printed material in the teaching of the New Testament Church and the truths of God.

As Paul later began to write the New Testament, he wrote many things about the Law.

That word “particularly” in verse nineteen means, one by one, in great detail, step by step, Paul described all the things that had happened.

It is always good for the Church to know these things!

Paul gave all the credit to God, and James and these elders they also glorified God, as we all should.

1) Churches should be informed of mission trips in great detail.
2) God alone should be recognized and credited as the One who caused the work to be a success.
That is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost).
3) God alone should get all the praise for what was done and what was accomplished.

Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

These are things that make God happy!

3Jn 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
3Jn 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth”.

If we want to make God happy, then we should walk in the truth of God!

After all these things are said and God is praised and glorified, then James and these elders asked Paul to compromise.

We are taught to never compromise when speaking the message of God.

Thousands of Jewish believers were disturbed with the preaching of the Apostle Paul, but Paul preached the truth of God!

What did James suggest to the Apostle Paul?

*Act 21:22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
Act 21:23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
Act 21:24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

What we see is, that most of these Jewish Christians refused to give up the ritualism in which they had been brought up.

Remember ritualism has nothing to do with salvation, and in fact, could be considered detrimental to “faith”.

Many of these Jews were still zealous of the Laws of Moses, and considered them too important than to just give them up.

If not cleared up, these things can warp our judgment!

We might ask ourselves, what is bigotry?

Bigotry consists in being obstinately and perversely attached to our own opinions, or, as some have defined it, “a tenacious adherence to a system adopted without investigation and defended without argument; accompanied with a malignant, intolerant spirit towards all who differ.”

These Jews were suffering from bigotry!

The Church is suffering from democratic bigotry in our own nation today!

It is this bigotry that had kept the truth of Grace from being received by all!

We should understand that some twenty-five years have passed since the church in Jerusalem had been formed.

There had been plenty of time for these zealous people to learn the Gospel facts!

It goes to show us that once false teaching enters a church, it can be hard to get rid of.

Bigotry still exists in the Church today!

It is true that we need peace in the Church!

We know that Paul had circumcised Timothy to keep the peace when it was not necessary for Timothy to be circumcised, because salvation comes by the “Grace” of God through “faith”.

Paul had never preached that the Jews should give up the Law, but Paul had preached that the Gentiles were not to observe the Laws of Moses.

You see we are not to become Jews, to then become Christians, and this is the message that would have been sent to the Church.

1Co 7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
1Co 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
1Co 7:20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

Paul had his way about certain things:

1Co 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
1Co 9:21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
1Co 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
1Co 9:23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

There were four men who had made the vow of the Nazarene and Paul was asked to join them.

We are never to compromise on the Word of God, but if we have the love of Jesus within us, then we should work on ways to settle social discords.

**Paul joined these Nazarites, not as a slave to human ordinances, but in the light of Christian liberty!

1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

**Paul joined these Nazarites in the spirit of brotherly love!

Rom 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Rom 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
Rom 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

**Paul joined these Nazarites in the spirit of conciliation!

1Co 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
1Co 9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
1Co 9:3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
1Co 9:4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?
1Co 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
1Co 9:6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
1Co 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
1Co 9:8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?

It was clearly understood that the Gentiles who came to the Lord by the “Grace of God”, would not be asked to do such things as this.

*Act 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

James wanted Paul to know that nothing had changed since the Council of Jerusalem where these things of the Gentiles had been established.

What had James written?

Act 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

We can see the integrity of James the half-brother of our Lord, making sure the Gentiles would not get caught up in this Jewish bigotry.

Paul followed through with this discussion with James and the church elders, but even this trouble came from the Judaizers, who traveled to the places where Paul preached just to cause him trouble.

There are people in America today who are on Soros’s payroll, who travel from city to city just to stir up trouble especially during protest.

They are not protesters; they are law breakers seeking to cause damage to a free America and push socialism and communism!

*Act 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
Act 21:27 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,
Act 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
Act 21:29 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)

Paul yielded to the advice of James and those church elders against his own judgment.

To us here today, this advice would seem to carnal wisdom rather than Spiritual wisdom.

Paul would seem to be something that he was not, making it as if he believed the law was still in force for salvation when it was not.

Salvation is by Grace through faith, and it will remain this way.

What was that old law?

Num 6:13 And this is the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
Num 6:14 And he shall offer his offering unto the LORD, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings,
Num 6:15 And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings.

To be a Christian, is much better than to claim the law of the Nazarite without these sacrifices!

Paul was an apostle, but he respected the officers of the local church, and he showed respect to their judgment.

We need to understand that the work of God must be done in God’s way!

We must stick to the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

If we obey the law of Jesus Christ, we will automatically be obedient to any of those old laws of the Old Testament!

We should be clear, those in Jerusalem had not liked the Apostle Paul since he became a Christian.

This was not going to change! Even the church had some of these people on the inside as we have already seen.

We must never compromise the truth of God!

Those Paul haters were in this church crowd trying to dictate the policy of one of the greatest Christians upon the face of this earth at this time.

Though this thing was not right, Paul was willing to become “all things to all men” that he by any means might save some.

Paul consented to these certain customs of the Jews to prove himself orthodox!

Those who seem to be orthodox are those whose religious opinion is in accordance with some assumed standard!

In other words, it is nothing more than an opinion and it is not the same in all churches.

We must not add to, nor take away from the Word of God at any time in any church!

We must focus on being right in the eyes of Jesus Christ, and not the eyes of public opinion!

As teachers we have one rule and it is to follow the Scriptures and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and not get caught up in orthodoxy.

What is the only truth we need?

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Joh 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

What is our directive in the Word of God?

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

What are we to do?

Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Rom 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

Before these seven days were ended, notice it was Jews from Asia who stirred trouble for the Apostle Paul, so it did not matter the thing he was trying to accomplish at the advice of the church in Jerusalem.

Their claim was, that Paul taught against the Jewish nation, a nation Paul loved.
Their claim was that Paul taught against the laws of Moses, which Paul only said keeping those old laws could not bring salvation and that no one could keep all those laws.
Their claim was, that Paul taught against the Temple, which was a Jewish worship center but not a Christian church.
Their claim was that Paul had polluted the Temple by bringing a Gentile into the inner temple, which was a lie.

No uncircumcised person could go beyond the court of the Gentiles.

All these things were lies!

Many a true theologian have suffered disrepute in the name of orthodoxy!

Some of these being Johnathan Edwards, Luther, and many others.

We can understand that outsiders are sometimes guilty of causing trouble in the church, but many times the troubles in the church come from those within the walls of the church, because of the way they interpret Scripture, when God says there is to be no self-interpretation.

The Scriptures speak for themselves rightly divided!

We must never allow customs and rituals to replace the Lord Jesus Christ!

*Act 21:30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.
Act 21:31 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
Act 21:32 Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.

Again, we see here the providence of God.

God was not through with the Apostle Paul, and God used some unknowing Gentiles to save Paul.

Paul had wanted to go to Rome, and he would soon go there.

The hand of God can be seen to be moving through this whole event.

As the servants of God, we can trust our life to be in God’s hand through all life’s trials and we see it here in the middle of a mob’s attack.

No matter our trial God is working out His will in each believer’s life!

When our job is done here on earth, then God will take us home as he did the Apostle Paul!


The Good Pastor

Ephesian Elders Strengthened

Book of Acts Chapter 20

As God’s children and members of God’s Church what are the qualities that matter in a good Pastor?

*Act 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
Act 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

1) A good Pastor will never hide the truth of God from his congregation, and neither will he ever water down the Word of God!

Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

2) A good Pastor or preacher will watch for our souls!

Eze 33:8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Eze 33:9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

3) A good Pastor or Preacher will warn us of the sin in this world.

Paul was given the opportunity to preach his last sermon to these elders in Ephesus.

Few preachers get this opportunity because none of us can tell if we will live through the next day.

Every Sunday there are preachers who preach their last sermon, but they do not know they are doing so.

If they knew it, what would that particular sermon say? Would they acknowledge their responsibility to God?

The pure truth is, that as we witness and as a preacher preaches, should not we preach and witness as if it were the last words we would get to say?

If we love those souls as God loves those souls, we would, make every effort to reach those souls for Jesus Christ!

Any preacher who makes an unfaithful representation of the “Gospel” is guilty of treachery before God!

Any hearer who rejects the truth of God will increase his or her condemnation!

These are just facts according to the Word of God!

Every preacher who preaches the truth of God, can be free from the guilt of those who remain lost and remain condemned!

This is also a fact!

The Apostle Paul said he remained pure.

Paul did not preach what was popular, but he did preach what was essential to salvation.

4) Every good preacher will preach what is necessary for salvation!

All matters of the Doctrine of Jesus Christ must be preached!

Those that hear these things must believe and lay these things up in their heart.

These things are necessary to be declared.

These things will include all the truth of Creation.

5) Every good preacher will be faithful to obey God!

What man was and what man has become through sin, must be established.

The person of the Lord Jesus must be preached! Jesus was one hundred percent man while also being one hundred percent God!

The nature of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) and His saving operations must be taught!

The truth of the future judgment, the resurrection of Christ and the blessedness of Heaven, must be preached as real, for they are real.

6) Every good preacher will preach the “Grace” of God and God’s love.

The Bible is not about theories, the Bible is about the truth!

We must understand our sinfulness.
We must understand our need to repent.
We must relate to our faith.
We must understand our adoption into the family of God.
We must understand our regeneration.
We must feel the truth of our hope of eternal life.
We must know and feel the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

We must understand our duty to God!

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Rom 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

7) A Pastor or Preacher called of God will preach and teach all the council of the Holy Trinity!

This is the food that we need from our Pastors and preachers!

*Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

God says we are like sheep in need of a shepherd.

The first duty of the Pastor or Preacher is to be that assigned shepherd to the flock that God has provided.

They must first guard their own lives.

This means his own life but also his character and conduct or he will not be able to look after the sheep God has given him responsibility for.

Every pastor and preacher is responsible before God for the congregation of sheep that God has made him an under-shepherd over.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the One True Shepherd of the Church because He gave His life for the Church.

He is to give his attention to concentrate upon, focus upon, and attend to his flock.

He is the first guard in place to stop any false teaching.

He is to guard against an unforgiving spirit in his congregation.
If Jesus Christ is willing to forgive all then, who are we to say we are not going to forgive all?

He is to guard against self-indulgence.
He is to guard against drunkenness.
He is to guard against the possessions of this life which we cannot take with us.

He must guard against fables, myths, ideas, and false doctrines of men and all useless knowledge of men, who do not know the Word of God.

He must study the Word of God and listen to the Holy Spirit.

He must especially give himself to Bible Doctrine and the Scriptures.

He must look after the flock! Why?

A) Sheep get lost.
B) Sheep can be seized by the false teachers in this world.
C) Sheep without a proper shepherd are left in a pathetic condition.

Mat 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

He must feed the Church that the Lord is building!

The Lord Jesus Christ came to die for His Church. “Jesus Christ paid the supreme price for each of His sheep!”

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

We must think of the “blood of Jesus” as the blood of God because no human blood has the power of His blood!

His blood is precious.
His blood is full of dignity.
His blood is very valuable. We are unworthy of His blood, but He has made us to be His own.

Why are all these things so important? Because the Devil also has his false disciples!

*Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Act 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Notice this attack by the Devil is on two fronts.

1) Grievous wolves outside the Church going after the flock of God.

2) Deceitful men who have made their way into the Church.

Satan’s disciples are hurtful, destructive, and cause mischief and this is what they will cause outside and inside the Church.

We have seen more attacks on the Church in the past few years than we ever have.

During the Covid years, our own government demanded that we not even attend church, but we could go places like Walmart without threats.

The Bible tells us not to forsake the assembling together for any reason.

Heb_10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Some of these dangers came by Judaizers and Gnostics.

Gnostics try to incorporate Christian, Jewish, and Pagan ideas into solving the problems of life.

This is like some new places that use the term “Chrislam” and this is false teaching.

This is like taking the Bible timetable in Creation to mean millions and billions of years when the Bible is specific. Every day was a twenty-four-hour day, Every week had seven days. A true year by the Sun was 365 days and by the Moon was 360 days as the Jews use it.

There was the teaching of the Nicolaitans: Who were followers of the ways of Balaam. These are those who cast a stumbling block before the Church.

Jud 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
Jud 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
Jud 1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

2Pe 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
2Pe 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
2Pe 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
2Pe 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

There were also some from inside the Church.

How can we tell most of them?

2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Those that love this present world more than the Lord Jesus Christ will destroy the Church so, we must listen to these warnings from the Apostle Paul.

These are all those that are mentioned in the Book of Revelation who have lost their first love!

It is not only the Pastor or Preacher who is to watch for all these things, it must also be the congregation.

We must know what we are listening to and compare it to the truth of the Scriptures and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This must not just be a onetime warning.

When the Lord tells us to repeat a warning then, He is very serious, and we have seen the results of these things in our own lifetime.

Many mainline denominations have given in to the teachings of the world and have forgotten the teaching of Jesus Christ and the Apostles.

*Act 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

What is one of the jobs of our preacher? To warn us using the truth of God!

If we listen to and obey the Word of God, we will not be caught off guard by the actions of this world.

In a real sense we can see the truth of God, like an open book on display in the actions of our nation and our world today.

The Church must be fed the truth, simply because the Word of God is the truth of our world today.

False teachers will come into any group of believers with just enough truth to deceive the congregation.

What did Paul teach the Colossians?

Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

The Lord Jesus Christ is our only hope to make it to the glory world!

The Apostle Paul did not just warn the Church one time, but he warned the Church constantly and continuously!

False teachers pervert the truth.

They take of the truth and pervert its meaning!

1) They attack any believer who says they believe all the Word of God.
2) They either add to the Word of God or they take away from the Word of God.
3) They will severely attack Christian Leaders trying to defame their character, trying to stir up believers against them.

*Act 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

As Christians we will have far less trouble if we would just live for God and take an unmovable stand on the Word of God.

When we become wishy washy in our faith, it just helps our enemies.

The words “one mind” and “one accord” are used many times in the Bible and these words should describe the Church at all times.

Most of the time it seems that all denominations are at war with each other when the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of all the Church.

If He is not the Head of every, body of believers, then that body of believers are not part of the Church!

The era of Grace is slowly coming to an end and the Church will soon be removed from this earth.

We are in the Age of the Laodicean Church, and time is running out and it will soon be too late to worry about that family member or that friend, you have been putting off to witness to.

1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

We will only gain a heavenly inheritance if we keep our faith till the end.

Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Another duty of the Pastor or Preacher is “to give” of their time and determination. They are not to be ministers demanding a salary.

It is by the “Grace” of God that each church will support their Pastor.

Our example again the Apostle Paul.

*Act 20:33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.
Act 20:34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
Act 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Paul did not covet worldly wealth!
Paul was committed to the Gospel!
Paul labored at secular work as a craftsman, a tentmaker.


To meet his own necessities.
To help fellow preachers and teachers.
To support the weak.
To be more like Jesus Christ.

Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Paul wanted to be free and independent of these new congregations.

He did want these congregations to feel like he belonged to them and had to do their bidding.

Many Pastors are caught up in this trap today!

Now every congregation should, as they are able support their Pastor without demands on his sermons.

Paul was a church planter.

Paul would not allow for any restraint, or any pressure put upon his right to move about and preach the Gospel.

The Holy Spirit leads every true man of God to move and preach as the Holy Spirit leads and it must be this way!

1) Paul did finally receive support from a few churches because there is immense value in being completely free from a financial burden so he could devote full time to the preaching of God’s Word. This is as it should be.

2) A true Pastor has a right to be supported by his congregation. When the Lord Jesus sent out the Apostles, He had these words.

Mat 10:9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
Mat 10:10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: “for the workman is worthy of his meat”.

3) A Pastor and his congregation should agree on all things that pertain to the Word of God.

4) Every Pastor is to set the example in all things including giving to help others in need.

5) Every Pastor is to pray with his congregation.

*Act 20:36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
Act 20:37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him,
Act 20:38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, “that they should see his face no more”. And they accompanied him unto the ship.

If we go back to our first thought of “what would a last sermon be like” if that Preacher knew he would never see that congregation again.

What would he preach?

In reality, this is the way every sermon should be developed. None of us know when our last day will come!

The Holy Spirit must be allowed free will in the topic of each sermon, but that Preacher should decide what he would say if this was his last sermon to these particular people.

It should be the same for all who witness for the Lord.

The message of God desperately needs to be told to every living soul!

A person cannot study these letters written by the Apostle Paul and led by the Holy Spirit, without seeing the love that Paul had for the Gospel and those who believed the Gospel.

1Th 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

1Th 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.


Receiving the Truth of Jesus Christ

A Mighty Work in Ephesus

Book of Acts Chapter 19

The city of Ephesus was the capitol city of the Roman province in Asia.

Ephesus was a large and ancient city even at the time of the Apostle Paul.

Ephesus was an important harbor town even though it was three miles from the coast and located on the Cayster River.

Ephesus was on the main road to Rome so, any important government or political figure would certainly come by Ephesus.

All the governors of Asia minor would always land in Ephesus!

Ephesus became the center of the work of the Apostle Paul who was led there by the Holy Spirit.

Besides the Apostle Paul, Tychius, Timothy, John Mark, the Apostle John, Priscilla, and Aquila, all spent some time in Ephesus.

There are some who say that Mary the mother of Jesus is buried in Ephesus having traveled there with John the Apostle who had promised to take of her.

At the time of Paul the harbor had been neglected and ships found it hard to dock in Ephesus and a route by the highlands was suitable for foot traffic.

Act 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

There was a lot of opposition to Christianity in Ephesus, but not for the reasons we would think.

It was the goddess Diana (Artemis) who was the maiden huntress or mother-goddess of fertility, depending on which belief you accepted.

It is said that the original idol of Diana fell down from heaven as a meteorite.

Act 19:35 And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?

Every false god or goddess each have their own false history most of them related to those old Greek gods such as Apollo and Jupiter and many others.

The salvation message of the Apostle Paul brought a revival to Ephesus.

Paul, as he did in many other places began his preaching in a Jewish synagogue.

*Act 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
Act 19:9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
Act 19:10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

Paul had made a commitment to reach the lost with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If we have accepted the Lord Jesus as our Savior, we have made this same commitment!

If we are truly saved then upon that call to salvation, we are immediately filled with God’s the Holy Spirit!

It is automatic once you accept the truth of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit begins His work of “regeneration” within us immediately.

Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

When Paul began his ministry in Ephesus he had met twelve disciples who had no association with any church and it was evident they had not known Apollos.

Paul ask them if they had received the Holy Spirit upon their salvation, but they knew nothing of the Holy Spirit.

Now the Jews require a sign so, if they had received the Holy Spirit they would certainly have known it.

They were disciples of John the Baptist, and they were still looking for the coming of the Messiah and did not know who the Messiah would be.

The true Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ had already come and had been murdered, then buried, and because the grave could not hold Him, He had resurrected from that death, as our Savior and Redeemer.

They had not been Baptized with the Holy Spirit and they had not been water baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

As much as they loved God, they knew nothing of the Gospel!

Paul did not rebuke them nor degrade them for not understanding the full message of John.

Paul pointed out that they had done well by repenting of their sin which is a part of the Gospel, but there was much more to his message that needed to be said and understood.

John had made it a point to teach all his disciples that they should believe on Him, which should come after him.

Luk_3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

When they heard this, they responded just as they should have, they believed and placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

What is the truth?

Some people repent and get baptized but still do not receive the truth of Jesus Christ into their heart and are therefore not saved.
Some people have an incomplete faith because they do not have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ so, the Holy Spirit will not enter into them.
Some people believe so much in baptism as the means of salvation, they forget that salvation must come first! Baptism is just a sign that they have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ but lack in faith just wanting to be a part of the Church.

There is no such thing as baby baptism by the sprinkling of water!

Salvation requires a decision! They must believe the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ (all the truth) and decide to accept Him or by default they have automatically rejected Him.

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

2Co 1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
2Co 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Salvation is simple but it requires truth “faith”!

These men accepted the truth and were gloriously saved in the name of Jesus, and then baptized again because baptism comes after salvation and not before salvation. That first baptism was irrelevant.

It is after these things that Paul went into that Jewish synagogue and preached boldly for three months.

Those twelve salvations had energized the Apostle Paul.

Many of them spoke evil of Christianity (the Way) and Paul separated himself and all the disciples and found another place to gather together.

Which many believe to be a private Synagogue and Paul preached here for two years.

There was no dispute with the Gentiles, it was the Jews who tried to dispute Christianity.

Now the Jews did stir up the Gentiles just to cause problems in the Church.

Paul removed the disciples because God expects us to lead a new disciple into maturity.

For those who remained blind to the Gospel, they will see the wrath of God!

We should all be settled in our heart that we have given our lives to the Lord!

Salvation is only real if we have done this.

To get the gift of salvation, then we must accept the truth of God’s Son!

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

It is God the Father who allowed Paul to have some power of miracles, Paul had no such power within himself.

*Act 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
Act 19:12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

How special were these miracles?

These healings took place without the laying on of the hands of Paul.

These healings happened without Paul being present.

These healings happened without Paul having any knowledge of the disease or the ailment.

These healings happened without Paul knowing their needs at all.

They remind us of the time when that woman was healed, who just knew if she could touch the hem of the garment of the Lord Jesus Christ she could be healed.

Jesus said:

Luk_8:46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

These healings happened with the only link being handkerchiefs and aprons that had been in contact with the body of the Apostle Paul.

These healings happened when these things were carried to the sick and those who were possessed by a friend or family.

Also reminds us of those who were healed when the shadow of Peter overshadowed them.

These were certainly special miracles, but trouble is always just around the corner from those who think they know a better way.

*Act 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
Act 19:14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

A vagabond is someone moving place to place without having a place called home.

They actually move around without having any certain destination.

After Cain murdered Abel, God sentenced Cain to be a vagabond.

Gen 4:12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

Cain felt this punishment was too great!

Gen 4:13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

These certain Jews were probably vagabond, because they were also exorcists or they believed they were.

An exorcist, has a belief in demoniacal possessions, which may be traced in almost every nation.

These things have always been attended by the professed ability, on the part of some individuals, to release the unhappy victims from their calamity.

Exorcists were common throughout the ancient world, and they traveled around living as gypsies.

They made their living off of the superstitions of the people.

These felt that power lay in the using the name of God in some imaginary formula.

These being Jews, used the name of Jehovah until they heard Paul preach the Lord Jesus the true Messiah.

In New Testament times, this so called art had developed and professional exorcists had become numerous.

This Sceva and his seven sons had become exorcists and there was always some money involved which made them professional.

The vital part of the procedure was the invocation of a name (or a series of names, of a deity or an angel), at the mention of which the evil spirit was supposed to recognize as the presence of a superior power and to decline a combat, as though a spell had been put upon him.

This is exactly what was going on here in Ephesus except this Sceva and his sons began using the name of the Lord Jesus and they mentioned the name Paul.

This Jewish priest was not doing what he was supposed to be doing as a Jewish priest, which is why he was vagabond. He could not stay in one place too long after he was found out by the Jews in each synagogue.

He used the priesthood to make money!

Do evil spirits take control of people? These demons can certainly take control of a lost person and this happens where we see all the evilest and wickedness that are taking place, even today.

Can an evil spirit or demon take control of a saved person. No this is impossible!

1Jn_4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

The child of God who have the Holy Spirit living within him or her, cannot be overcome by a demon because the Holy Spirit is far greater in His power.

How did the Lord Jesus Christ remove demons?

Christ, on the other hand, uses no spell, but in virtue of His own authority bids the evil spirits retire, and they render His slightest word unquestioning obedience.

Mar 9:25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
Mar 9:26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
Mar 9:27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.

The Lord Jesus just commanded them to leave and they did.

What we see here is that these so-called exorcists had no power to overcome any demon because no one has this power but the Lord.

*Act 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
Act 19:16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

This evil demon, using the voice of the man possessed, certainly knew the Lord Jesus Christ, and said he knew the Apostle Paul.

We should notice how this demon used the body of the possessed man to overcome these false priests.

This happens in most of all the most heinous crimes still today by people are demon possessed.

We know that we are all sinners in need of the “Grace” of God.

Those who do not know the Lord as their Savior, and home to the Holy Spirit, are easily take over by one of the Devil’s demons.

2Ti_2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

This demon possessed man overcame all seven of these false priests and they fled as described, naked and wounded.

The news of this incident spread very fast throughout Ephesus.

We see that it is the Holy Spirit who holds back the evilness in this world, until the Gospel has reached the limits set by Jehovah God.

The name of the Lord Jesus was magnified throughout Ephesus and many souls were saved.

*Act 19:17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
Act 19:18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.

Even the malice of the Devil can be used to further the Gospel!

For a time the power of God paralyzed the children of the Devil, who are the true enemies of the Gospel and people had something they could believe on, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel.

Psa 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
Psa 33:9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

We can believe that the message of the Gospel finally began to sink in.

What is wrong today? People just do not associate God with the miracles that happen every day and they just go unnoticed.

There is no fear of God and the Devil is just denied.

Hell is taught as non-existing.

The Gospel is still the message of the true Church, and the Gospel still saves souls, and the Church cannot be stopped by the Devil.
In Ephesus, the Gospel was moving and much people began to give up false teaching.

*Act 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
Act 19:20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

Today we see where there is a big question about what books need to be in school libraries, especially the early grades of school.

I believe what is happening in Florida and some other states are the right thing to do and most of them do not go far enough.

Here in Ephesus the people realized they had many books teaching evilness and wickedness, and the people themselves gathered all those books and brought them to a public place.

Instead of allowing those books to go to other places for they were very expensive, they burnt them and removed them from getting out into the world, which is the only way to handle such wickedness.

Since there were not many coins, silver was in pieces and they had to be weighed for true value.

Fifty thousand pieces of silver would have been about forty thousand dollars in this day of the Apostle Paul.

No telling what that value would be in today’s economy.

It is not just anybody who would burn 40,000 dollars’ worth of books, but these people had decided that these books served no purpose in their own future and needed to be destroyed.

There are so many books out there today that need to be destroyed and kept away from our children.

There is only one book that is completely necessary and it is the Bible that is from a good translation that goes back to the original Scriptures.

Then, maybe a revival will break out in America and around the world.


The Pleasure Mad Society

A New Church in Corinth

Book of Acts Chapter 18

No matter what happens during mission work we must see that all the work done for the Lord Jesus Christ is honorable work.

Manual labor should never be seen as beneath the hands of God’s people!

God’s people must always be seen as unblameable in the way they behave in this world.

We know that the Apostle Paul is now on his second missionary journey.

We know that Timothy and Luke will be with him with Barnabas and Mark going in a different direction.

Paul had been to Athens, but he had been laughed out of town because of his message on Jesus Christ, but not before at least a few Athenians got saved.

This is how important it is that we preach and teach the “Gospel” and not some other message, because at least a few will always understand the truth and others will have the “Gospel Seed” planted within them, and the Holy Ghost can convict them of the truth of Christ from time to time.

Paul had now arrived in the city of Corinth.

Corinth was a major city in Greece at this time and was located at the southern tip of Greece.

Corinth was located on a piece of land that was only five miles across and bordered by two harbors, one on its east coast and another one on its west coast.

It is said that there was a means to drag a ship from one coast to the other to speed up the shipping process, probably a canal.

All traffic from north to south passed right through the city.

This made the city of Corinth a city with immense wealth.

People from many nations could be found at Corinth.

Corinth was home to a pleasure mad society!

The temples in Corinth were dedicated to Aphrodite the so-called goddess of fertility.

Corinth was also a sport minded society being the home for the Isthmian Games which was second only to the Olympic Games.

The city of Corinth was a place for much sin, but Corinth was also a place where the Gospel could be spread around the world.

The Apostle Paul had become discouraged in Athens and it showed as he entered into Corinth.

Paul, just like we all are, was at the mercy of God and we see right off God would supply his need.

Athens had been a place of closeminded people.

This is the normal results of philosophical and intellectual teaching!

Intellectual pride closes a person’s mind to the truth of God!

As witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ, we must choose to use our time where it can produce more fruit, unless directed by the Holy Spirit in a case such as Phillip, who was called out of a revival to witness to one man.

Once some are saved, we must spend some time to disciple them according to the Word of God or most of them will fade away and be useless to God.

*Act 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
Act 18:2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.

God knew that Paul had been discouraged in Athens and immediately and God gave Paul two new friends.

Aquila and Priscilla were two Jewish believers that had left the Church at Rome because of the persecution of Christians caused by the Emperor Claudius.

Claudius had demanded that all Jews leave Rome.

All who were Jews by birth, whether they were Jews or Christians were commanded to leave Rome.

Some say this happened because of attacks of the unbelieving Jews on the believing Jews.

Aquila and Priscilla became two of the best friends of the Apostle Paul and they were active Christians.

Rom 16:3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:
Rom 16:4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
Rom 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

Paul had entered Corinth with fear and trembling and until he met Aquila and Priscilla, Paul had truly little strength and was most probably broke and broken.

1Co 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
1Co 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

The Jews were all taught a craft as they grew up and Paul’s craft was tentmaking and God sent Aquila and Priscilla who were also tentmakers, and they formed a business together.

These two Christians later traveled with Paul to Ephesus where they settled.

One thing we see about these two Christians wherever we find them, we find their home is a center for Christian worship and Christian fellowship.

Remember they met a young preacher named Apollos who they brought into their home to instruct him as he had known no one but John the Baptist and knew nothing of Jesus Christ.

Act 18:24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
Act 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
Act 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

They held church in their home in Corinth.

1Co 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

They held Church in their home in Rome.

Rom 16:3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:
Rom 16:4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
Rom 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

They had certainly been Paul’s helpers.

They had risked their own lives in order to save the Apostle Paul!

Paul encouraged them all to get back to the work of the Lord.

*Act 18:3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
Act 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

Paul was never too good to work in support of himself to do the work of the Lord!

Paul was not always supported by the churches he had formed and sometimes those churches that did support him was just slow in getting to him.

When Silas and Timothy arrived, they brought some support from the church in Philippi.

Php 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

The church at Philippi supported Paul all his remaining days because it was a mission minded church from the start.

Paul did not ever hesitate to work with his own hands to further the Gospel, it just took some of the time he could have been preaching.

Paul did what was necessary to reach people for Jesus Christ.

Paul reasoned with the Jews on every Sabbath.

Some may frown on this, but this was the only time the Jews would be gathered together in one place.

Paul presented sound, thoughtful, logical points and Paul answered all reasonable questions.

Paul did all he could to convince these Jews and these Gentiles the truth of Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

We should never be demanding, or argumentative when witnessing for Jesus Christ!

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Paul never got tired of talking about the Lord Jesus Christ!

Act 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Col 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Col 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Paul became more relaxed and excited when Silas and Timothy returned to him.

*Act 18:5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.
Act 18:6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.

There should be no doubt in our minds that the Lord Jesus Christ is God’s Messiah whom the entire Old Testament speaks of.

All the Bible and all the Scriptures reveal Jesus Christ from Genesis to Revelation!

Paul had been discouraged yet Paul would never quit on God!

Silas and Timothy had brought wonderful news about the churches in Macedonia.

Silas and Timothy had also brought financial support which allowed Paul to devote full time to the work given to him by Christ.

Those in the Jewish synagogues opposed and blasphemed the Lord Jesus Christ and rejected the teaching of the Apostle Paul.

Paul turned his ministry into a ministry to reach Gentiles.

This turning point began in the ministry to the Corinthians.

Note that Paul was not pronouncing a curse upon these Jews.

Paul was just stating that his obligation to the Jews first was over, that he had met his responsibility to them.

Paul was free of their blood if they never repented.

We have this same responsibility to the lost, but if the salvation plan of the Lord Jesus is rejected then we are free from their blood.

Mat 10:12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
Mat 10:13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
Mat 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Mat 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

As we witness to the lost, we can turn from those who continuously reject the Gospel and continue on to others who have not had that same opportunity.

*Act 18:7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.

Notice how the Holy Spirit works.

Paul would no longer preach in this synagogue, but without a doubt there would be times that the Word of God could be heard through the sharing of walls.

Paul also knew it would be easier to find for those converts who were seeking to hear the Word of God.

This passage proves that the physical location of a church remains important!

The Apostle Paul was now identified as the missionary to the Gentiles.

Paul could associate with them because they were now his true brothers and sisters in Christ!

Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

There was one man in particular that came to know the Lord Jesus Christ and all his family believed also.

*Act 18:8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

Notice again how the Gospel works.

Crispus, who was the chief of this synagogue came to know the Lord Jesus and then his entire family also believed.

This is the power of a godly father.

Today in America the father is a missing ingredient in far too many families!

Inside this new church would be others who were saved from a lifetime of immorality and corruption because this was the population of Corinth.

Rom_10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

We have no reason to be ashamed of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Rom_10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

The strongest churches have members from all levels of society!

The words of the Lord always prove to be the truth!

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The Lord said he would never forsake us, and He meant what He said and He always means what He says.

How did the Lord Jesus help Paul?

*Act 18:9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
Act 18:10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.

We already know there is a lot of difference between a vision and a dream.

Because of the riches in the City of Corinth, this city was full of rich and powerful people.

It could be rather intimidating to witness to most of them.

The Jews had already rejected the message of Christ Jesus.

Paul did not know how long he would be able to preach to these Gentiles.

We can also see that the Lord Jesus Christ always has His eyes upon us and He sees what we are going through.

It is easy to get discouraged when witnessing for the Lord.

Here where I live in the Bible Belt everyone you meet will say they are saved when this cannot be true.

Paul was human as we all are, and we all are dependent upon the Lord Jesus for His presence and His encouragement.

We do not have to be afraid!

We do not have to feel intimidated!

Paul’s life had been threatened many times.
Paul had been persecuted relentlessly.
Paul had been stoned to near death.
Paul had been opposed even by some in the Church.
Paul had been beaten by rods which would be like a fiberglass fishing rod.
Paul had been cast out of many cities.

Paul thought upon these things as he faced the unknown in this city of Corinth.

Yes, he needed the help of the Lord, and the Lord is always right on time.

The city of Corinth was one of those places where we wonder if it is really worth the effort to tell such people about the Lord.

The storms of life will come and they will be numerous and it will never be easy to be a Christian in such places as Corinth, but it is the Lord who decides where we live and where we are born and He has His purpose.

We are to be missionaries to the place that the Lord has placed us!

There are no accidents in this world.

If you accept the providence of God then you now that this is true so, everything happens for a reason.

If we do not believe in the providence of God, then we are missing out on reality!

Act 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Act 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

The Lord Jesus knew exactly what Paul needed to hear.

There would certainly be those who would try to cause Paul harm, except for the fact that the Lord was not going to allow this to happen.

We sometimes forget the absolute power of God!

There were more Christians in Corinth than Paul realized.

The Lord said: be not afraid. Paul had the ability to preach boldly, and he needed to continue to do so.
The Lord said: speak. All Paul had to do was to speak the words that the Holy Spirit would give to Him.
The Lord said: Hold not thy peace. Preach the Word.

Certainly, Paul might be attacked for his stand on the Lord, but this same Lord has said Paul would come to no harm from them.

2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2Ti 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Paul was faithful to the Lord’s calling!

*Act 18:11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

How can we say we have “faith” if we give up or cower down every time things get a little tough or even a lot tough.

We cannot lose our salvation because of our faith!
We cannot live on spiritual highs; we live on faith!
We must endure some things because we have this faith!

We must walk by “faith” and not by our “feelings”!

What many do not realize is, that during this time of Paul’s teaching, he also wrote the two epistles to the Thessalonians.

Authoring the books of the New Testament that Paul wrote, were just as important as his preaching to the plan of God.

1Ti 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
1Ti 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

We do many foolish things when our faith is lacking!

We need to stay as close to Jesus as we can possibly get!

The Lord Jesus loves it up close and personal with each of us!