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!


Church Planting

A New Church in Thessalonica

Book of Acts Chapter 17

We should understand in this world we live in that there are some who will go to great lengths to shut up the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

It should not be surprising when our enemies try to use lies in trying to stop the spread of the Gospel!

Thessalonica was the largest city and the capitol of Macedonia.

It was founded by Sassander, who was the top military officer of Alexander the Great, after the death of Alexander.

The Romans made Thessalonica a free city because it was loyal to Rome.

A free city was allowed to form its own government and make local laws.

Thessalonica was also a port city but the key to the importance of this city was the fact of the roads built by the Romans.

This road was called the Ignatian Way. This road was also the main street of this city.

As this city became more of a city of commerce, it also became more wicked.

It is true that money is the root of all evil!

The Gospel could still spread from such a location.

The Apostle Paul was the messenger sent from God to bring the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is said that there were twenty-two synagogues in this city at this time in Thessalonica.

*Act 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:

1) The Apostle Paul set an example for all believers, but he also set an example for all future missionaries.
2) The Apostle Paul preached the Gospel despite great opposition and terrible persecution, from those who would not accept the Gospel. Paul belonged to the Lord and he had been called by the Lord to preach the Gospel.

The Apostle Paul had a personal relationship with the Lord and this is a requirement for every believer.

Even more than we, Paul knew that there were very many who had never heard the Gospel.

In fact, if everyone in this world had heard the Gospel already then the Lord would have returned to take us home.

We must keep in mind, those who have never heard the Gospel are doomed to eternal damnation and this should bother us greatly.

The Lord Jesus Christ loved this entire world and the proof is, He came to save as many who will believe Him and the work that He did, so we could be saved from the wrath of God.

All the world’s people must get this opportunity!

2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
2Co 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

3) The Apostle Paul preached the Gospel wherever he was at.

Even when Paul was just passing through, he paused long enough to preach the Gospel.

Rom 15:20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:
Rom 15:21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.

Paul is our example to tell the world about the Gospel, no matter where we are located.

Paul did not miss any opportunity to witness for Jesus Christ!

We, as the Church, need to make our own plan to share the Lord Jesus Christ to all we make contact with but it must match God’s plan.

1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
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.

*Act 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Act 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

We are not all called to preach, but as the Lord’s priests, we are to be bold in our presentation of the Gospel!

We must understand that it is the things we believe that give us direction for our lives!

Where did Paul get his sermons? From the Scriptures!

The Word of God gives the source for the truth of Jesus Christ, but also gives us “the Authority to speak in His name”!

All the Word of God came from Heaven!

We should never come up with our own ideas about the Gospel, it is already written in the Blood of Jesus Christ!

1) Jesus Christ died for our sins.
2) Jesus Christ arose from that death proving that He is God.
3) The Lord Jesus is the true Messiah (the Christ) spoken of in the Old Testament.

Act 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Act 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

Paul preached in the Jewish synagogues for three sabbaths, but he spent the remainder of those weeks witnessing to the Gentiles.

Paul remained in Thessalonica for a considerable amount of time.

1Th 2:9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
1Th 2:10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
1Th 2:11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
1Th 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our example in all things, but Paul could be an example to us for his dedication to preaching the Gospel.

When people would object as Paul preached in their worship centers, Paul would go door to door and even outdoors if that was needed.

When the church would not or could not support Paul, he got a job himself. The spreading of the Gospel was just that important to him.

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.

The results will always be that some will believe and those that believe are just one step away from salvation!

They just need to pray to the Lord and ask for His forgiveness.

Faith must always come first.

*Act 17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

The Jews are some of the most biased people and they ate blinded by their prejudices of people on this earth, yet some got saved and began serving Christ.

Sin can be overcome in any life, no matter how deeply rooted it may be, but only by the power of Jesus Christ.

We must never allow the gross sin of any individual keep us from witnessing to them if we get that opportunity.

Many of the Greek men and women got saved and became devout in the worship of Jesus Christ.

Many of them were sick of idolatry.
They were sick of speaking to them and get no response.
They were even sick of dusting them off every day like a normal household chore.
They were false gods who could not possibly offer any help to them.

Many of them now saw hope for the first time and that hope was in the Word of God!

You see there is a truth of eternal life, but it comes from God through His Son Jesus!

There will also be those who reject the Word of God and Satan causes them to turn to hatred toward those who do believe.

*Act 17:5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

Envy leads to strife, division, and hatred.

Paul preached against these things many times having seen them firsthand on his journeys.

1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and
hating one another.

We must understand that the world is going to react to the Gospel and not always in a good way!

Satan will do his best to stop the preaching of the Gospel but it is impossible for him to do so!

Notice these unbelievers were not brave enough to stand against the Christians themselves, but they hired wicked people to confront those new believers. That word “baser” gives us the meaning of our word “wickedness”.

This is exactly what is going on in America today and around the world, as most of the governments in this world are behind this push of the wickedness of the gay world to confront the Church for them. God always knows what is going on!

Antifa, the BLM, and yes even Soros and many others receive money and encouragement to go after the Church and they receive this money from the government.

These people are always ready to stir up trouble for the Church and the governments are most always behind it!

It is our own government who are trying to shut the mouths of the Christians who take a stand on the Word of God.

These sorts of people are a dangerous threat to all believers and also to themselves.

Throughout history, these sorts of people have been used time after time to try to oppose any movement of God.

We are blind if we do not see this today!

We sometimes ignore what the carnal governments are doing, so they enlist the help of these baser sort today when they would normally not get involved and stay behind closed doors.

These were men with selfish motives.
They spread rumors as they talked against Church leaders.
They aroused those who were ill-informed.
It was religious leaders who were speaking against the Church.

It was the religious leaders who brought those false charges against the Lord Jesus.
It was religious leaders who convinced the government to kill the Lord Jesus.

Religionist (Jews) are people who were moved with “envy” against Paul and the Gospel.

Envy can also mean jealousy.

Many Jews and Greeks were turning to Christ.

They were jealous because another preacher was getting the attention and recognition, following, and loyalty of the people!

These Jewish elders could not stand this!

They assaulted the house of Jason which had become a church in a home.

*Act 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
Act 17:7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.

The important thing that we should notice is, that in these three weeks a Church had been formed.

It is true that Paul had been staying at this home of Jason, but he and Barnabas were out spreading the Gospel, they were not hiding.

Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel!

Going against the law, these wicked men had dragged Jason and other believers out of his house and presented them to the rulers of the city.

They wanted Jason and these men along with Paul and those with him, charged with insurrection.

Yes, the Gospel does change lives!

Yes, the Gospel does turn men and women and children from sin and shame to God and from immorality to purity by the blood of Jesus.

Of course this charge was false!

Christians are some of the most civil people in every nation.

They are diligent workers, causing no trouble and paying their taxes because this is what the Word of God teaches.

Yes, Christians will take a stand on the Word of God, but God does not expect us to start trouble or break laws.

Does the Gospel cause a disturbance in a community? Not in the way these men described. Christian communities are orderly.

Many things have been done in the name of Christianity, but it was not Christians that did these things.

Not every building with a cross upon it is a true house of God!

Not everyone who name the Lord Jesus their Lord are God’s children!

Christians will never threaten public peace!

The Gospel will never put people in an uproar!

The Gospel does not ever infringe on the rights of others!

These charges were false in the sense these accusers meant.

These same charges are made against Christians even today, but it is only because the world has made itself self-righteous.

One charge stated that Christians claim a new King.

What the Bible teaches is the Lord Jesus Christ will return as King. He is our High priest at this time.

So this charge was also false!

Those who do not have the Holy Spirit within them, will never understand the preaching of the Gospel nor the Word of God!

What did Paul preach?

1Th 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
1Th 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

Yes, the Lord Jesus is King but he is King of Heaven and King in my heart and in every heart of the Christian.

Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
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.

The Lord Jesus rules and reigns in the hearts of each believer!

No earthly power need be concerned about Christ seizing power upon this earth because this is the period of Grace and the opportunity for whosoever will to be saved!

What the job of the Church is to start is a “spiritual revolution” and a revival of God’s people.

Godly men and women and even children become more loyal and more responsible citizens because this is what God demands of us.

It is the ungodly who cause most all the problems in this world!

It is the ungodly who cause the collapse of governments!

It is the ungodly who are dishonest and corrupt!

Pro 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

Until they knew the truth this government was concerned.

*Act 17:8 And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.
Act 17:9 And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.

During elections those in office have a fear that they could lose their positions.

This scenario is not much different.

If the news of another King reached Caesar in Rome, they were afraid it could affect their livelihood and their positions.

They placed Jason under bond much like those are released from jail on bond today probably for a pledge of his good conduct and should commit no treason, but the other brethren were released without such a bond.

Paul and Silas chose to leave the city for a time.

1Th 2:17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.
1Th 2:18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.

Why do most sinners reject the Lord Jesus Christ? Because of what it might cost them!

As Christians we are to deny this world.

We must die to our own desires and ambitions and serve the cause of Christ.

Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

By the lead of the Holy Spirit, Paul just moved to the next city.

*Act 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

We should notice how brave Christian believers become after knowing the truth of the Gospel.

Jason could no longer allow Paul and Barnabas and those with him to stay in his home, not because he was afraid for himself. He did this for their own safety.

Jason was not about to turn them in to the authorities!

So they escaped under the cover of darkness.

Every believer must have such courage especially in our day and times.

The day is coming that we might have to risk imprisonment just because we claim the Lord Jesus Christ, especially our Pastors and Preachers.

Berea was a pleasant out of the way place located at the eastern slope of the Olympian Mountains about 50 miles from Thessalonica.

Berea was not located on the Ignatian Way the main road running through that country of Macedonia.

Yes, the message of the Gospel is intended to turn this world upside down!

Yes, we must do what it takes to save the lives of our true preachers!

No, we are not afraid of death, but let’s leave this in God’s hands and be about the business of spreading the Gospel.

As soon as Paul reached Berea he found a synagogue of the Jews and he went in to share the Gospel.

Paul found something was different in this city.

*Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

A noble people are more concerned about what is going on in the world around them.

A noble people will have a greater concern about God and the things of God.

These people knew what was going on in the big cities like Thessalonica, just as we can see what is going on in New York City and Washington DC and California, and they did not like it.

They knew that God alone was the answer to this world’s problems.

Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him

These people were receptive to the Word of God.

These people had a well-balanced temperament.

These people had a healthy attitude toward other people.

These people showed concern about the welfare of others.

These people showed concern for the truth.

Most of this world shows no concern for the truth!

We would be in shock to know all the truths of corruption in our own government.

It is the truth that makes us free!

The natural man shows “bias” and “prejudice” against the truth of the Word of God, which is all truth when rightly divided.

It is because the Word of God is the truth that we must surrender to it!

We must never surrender to the lies and corruptness of this world we live in, which has truly little truth in it!

The only answer for this world is the Lord Jesus Christ!

Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Rom 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This truth is never going to change!

Paul Preached:

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.

A noble people will investigate, study, and seek to verify the truth!

A noble people do not just shut their minds or hearts to the things that are going on around them and just accept it as reality, as our own government encourages us to do.

A noble people do not just accept and swallow all the things that are said in this world.

How does anyone just do this?

Our own government speaks to us as we are just ignorant people not knowing anything.

Our own government speaks down to us.

Noble people do not accept these things.

A noble people trust God!

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.
Isa 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
Isa 1:20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Therefore many of them believed the preaching of the “Gospel”.

*Act 17:12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

Most noble people know the truth when they hear it.

They find out that God will reward every diligent search for the truth.

They find out that God will reveal the truth to the human heart by the Holy Spirit.

We see that the Gentiles in Berea were just as noble as these Jews in the synagogue.

There is something to said of honorable people.

Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

The Gospel is for all men, women, and children!

Even a child can know the truth just by hearing the Word of God!


God Will Open and Close Doors

An Open Door for Ministry

Book of Acts Chapter 16

If we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, then we must always follow the lead of the Holy Spirit!

Many people fall into the trap that the Holy Spirit is a “thing” or they say “it” when the Holy Spirit is a person, in fact the third person of the Holy Trinity.

One man said the Holy Spirit was only an influence emanating from God the Father.

This man was condemned by the Council of Churches, but his teaching still exists in many cults, one being the Jehovah’s Witness.

We must understand that only the Holy Spirit can understand the mind of the Lord Jesus.

1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

The Holy Spirit has a will that matches the Will of God!

It was the Holy Spirit that forbad the Apostle Paul to preach in Asia, but directed Him to preach in Europe.

It was our Heavenly Father who sent the Holy Spirit to guide us in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

It is the Holy Spirit who will guide us to the truth of our world!

Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Joh 16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Knowing all these things we would be foolish not obey the lead of the Holy Spirit!

The Apostle Paul knew this to be the truth!

*Act 16:6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
Act 16:7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
Act 16:8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.

We should understand that when we are in the ministry for Jesus Christ, we will be led step by step by the Holy Spirit who lives within us!

It seems that when Paul finished his first mission trip and after a while, he had returned to Antioch of Pisidia, and Paul was deciding upon a second missionary trip and just where he would begin.

The Holy Spirit forbade Paul to go westward into the Roman province of Asia, which is now Turkey and not modern Asia.

Paul was planning to penetrate Asia for the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is good to note that the seven churches from the Book of Revelation are all in this part of Roman Asia which again, is not Asia as we know it today.

The Holy Spirit also forbade Paul to go towards the North.

Paul could have ignored the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Paul’s missionary journeys would have ended with no results.

So the only direction that was left was to go toward Troas.

It was at Troas where Paul had his vision of Macedonia, we call the Macedonian Cry.

*Act 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
Act 16:10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

Paul saw a vision during the night but we should not think of this as a dream. There are differences between a vision and a dream.

A vision is applied to things seen of a marvelous character seen objectively such as the Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mat 17:9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

Dreams are far different!

Notice that the Holy Spirit did not just come out and tell Paul what to do.

The Holy Spirit opens and closes doors.
The Holy Spirit tugs at our heart.
The Holy Spirit sees if we are listening.
The Holy Spirit stopped Paul from making his own plans.

We see that we cannot have our own salvation plan, we have to trust the Lord in His plan!

Paul’s plan was still important, the cities of Asia certainly needed to be reached for Jesus Christ.

We can just say that Paul’s timing was wrong, and did not match the will of God at that time.

Note, the Apostle Paul was not given any reason for the rejection of his plan, the Holy Spirit just closed that door.

In fact, all doors were closed except for the direction Troas.

We can also understand that Luke has now joined to this group of missionaries.

Luke may have joined to help take care of Paul.
Luke may have joined to be a medical missionary.
We can be sure that Luke joined this group because the Holy Spirit led him to do so.

We can understand that Luke was a medical doctor.

The truth is, that only God knew His reasons for choosing Europe and we know that God knows best.

We know that God follows His own sure plan that He knows will work best for His own will to be followed.

What is the will of God?

1Ti_2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

God wants everyone to be saved but God leaves that choice up to us.

Paul now had his direction, and he already knew his message which was to preach the Gospel, the same message we all have.

The Holy Spirit shut the door to Asia.
The Holy Spirit shut the door to Bithynia.
The Holy Spirit opened the door to Troas.
The Holy Spirit showed Paul the vision of the man in Macedonia.

Paul followed the lead of the Holy Spirit, knowing that this was the right thing to do.

*Act 16:11 Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;

Once we understand that the Holy Spirit is opening the right door, then we should immediatly obey the Lord’s call!

God had chosen that the Gospel should first go to Europe!

This does not mean that God would not send someone else to Asia, it just was not going to be the Apostle Paul at this time.

What group has hindered the spread of the Gospel as much as Satan?

We would have to say it is the Church simply because the Church has not always entered into the doors opened by the Holy Spirit, but many times have chosen to barge through the doors that were closed by the Holy Spirit.

It is the same for not praying when encouraged by the Holy Spirit to pray.
It is the same for everyone who gives to promote the Gospel when the Holy Spirit has pushed us to give more.
It is the same when the Lord called us to be His witnesses but we ignore that person the Holy Spirit has drawn us to witness to.

We should remember a few things!

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; “but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Again I can feel the guilt of myself as I study these passages.

The Apostle Paul once wrote about his conversation with a king:

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.

How many of us can say these words that Paul said?

How many of us can say, “I have never been disobedient unto our heavenly calling”?

*Act 16:12 And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.

At this time Philippi was the gateway to Europe and it lay on a road built by the Romans.

The way was called the Ignatian Way.

The city of Philippi was named after Philip of Macedonia who was the father of Alexander the Great.

Philippi was now a proud Roman colony and, in many ways, it was like a miniature of Rome.

Rome founded these colonies to help keep the peace. Rome also encouraged veteran soldiers to retire in these colonies and would grant them citizenship if they did so and many did.

These colonies were loyal and their service was to Rome. They totally rejected the influence of the world around them!

The location of the Philippian Colony assured the spread of the Gospel to the Gentiles!

Both businessmen and salesmen travelled to and from this city from all over the world.

We know that Paul desired to evangelize Rome, but we should also notice that the Gospel moved at a faster pace than did the Apostle Paul.

Act 28:13 And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli:
Act 28:14 “Where we found brethren”, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.

The Church at Philippi was founded on Paul’s second missionary journey, and so begins the Gospel into Europe and from Europe all around the world.

The Gospel came to America from Europe.

Paul had wanted to go to other places, but the Holy Spirit insisted that the Gospel go to Europe first.

Note, Paul was not the only missionary, and the Gospel was moving in all directions at all times just as it is today.

Paul had gone to Troas because it was the only open door to him, but Paul did not understand these things at that time.

By one vision the Holy Spirit changed the cradle of society, and the world has not been the same since.

Let us take a quick look at the founders of the first church in Philippi.

Lydia a businesswoman.

Act 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
Act 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

A slave girl who was possessed by an evil spirit.

Act 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
Act 16:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
Act 16:18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

A jailer who was guarding the Apostle Paul who had been locked up again for preaching the Gospel.

Act 16:27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
Act 16:28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Act 16:29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Now if these people could start a Church for Jesus Christ then it should not be a problem for anyone if we would just listen to the Holy Spirit and go where he says to go and never try to barge through a closed door!


The Responsibilities of the Church

Responsibilities of Missionaries

Book of Acts Chapter 14

The goal of every church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
The goal of every disciple should be to lead someone to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The goal of every missionary must be to start a new church.

The truth in every step is to make sure we keep the Lord Jesus Christ the Head of the Church, the Head of each disciple, and the Head of every mission work.

No one can care for the Church like the Lord Jesus Christ can!

At every step in mission work, we must give God the glory!

It must be the responsibility of every missionary to keep in touch with the sending church and those that support them.

There is no other work more fulfilling than the Lord’s work!

There are certain responsibilities that go along with every mission work!

There are certain responsibilities that come from being a Christian!

We should understand this passage from Chapter 13 through Chapter 14 as the first great missionary journey of the Apostle Paul.

Remember Paul was not alone as Barnabas was with him and he may have picked up some disciples along the way, but I do not believe Luke was with him yet.

John Mark had departed from them and had returned to Jerusalem.

I believe we can understand that time spent around Elymas the sorcerer had scared Mark as he was still a young man and did not know what to expect from the spreading of the Gospel.

Mark became a victim of feelings and emotions.

John Mark got to see just how wicked and powerful the Devil truly is.

We know that Mark learned from these things and later became a valuable missionary in the cause for Christ.

Missionary work is not easy!

One man wrote that there are three stages of God’s work.

1) It is impossible.
2) it is difficult.
3) It is done.

In this passage we see another city named Antioch, but this city is in Pisidia and not Syria.

These are two different cities in two different countries.

This Antioch was the most important city in Galatia which is located in what is now modern day Turkey.

This same Antioch was a military center for Rome to control this area where there was much rebellion against Rome.

The major commercial route between the west and Ephesus and the Cilician cities ran right through Antioch of Pisidia.

There was now a church whose head was Jesus Christ that was started in this same city even through great difficulty.

There were enough believers in this city that it divided this city helped along by the vicious Jews that hated the Apostle Paul and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul was even stoned.

Act 14:19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
Act 14:20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Churches were established!

Evangelism will always have the goal that we must go to where the lost are located.

This is what the Lord Jesus did for us!

Jesus came looking for me and for you and for all that are now saved.

We will also see that once the Apostle Paul took the lead in Paphos, he continued to lead throughout this first journey.

Barnabas continued to support Paul throughout this journey.

Paul would soon be known to us as the Apostle to the Gentiles.

We can believe that the Holy Spirit was engaged in this also.

Paul made a habit of first going into the Jewish synagogues when coming to a new location before going to the Gentiles if one was there and he had his reasons and his reason was biblical.

Act 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Act 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Act 3:25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
Act 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

The Apostle Paul became a preaching machine.

1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Paul instructed Timothy how to be a Preacher in today’s world:

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

We must understand that preachers are instruments in the hands of the Lord.

We must understand that true preachers are so surrendered to the cause of Jesus Christ that the Lord Jesus is able to use them to the fullest to bear witness to the “Grace of God” and His desire to save all.

In fact we are all that love Christ to be so surrendered that we want to be His servants through which He can live today inside us.

After Paul and Barnabas had completed this first missionary journey he made a U-turn and went back to each new church that was formed.

Every new church will still need some guidance.

*Act 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

The first great task of the Church was to preach the Gospel, the Good News, and make disciples.

The instruction centers upon the truth of the Word of God.

Once the missionary leaves following the Holy Spirit then that new church, that new group of disciples must depend on the Bible to instruct them.

This is why the devil spends so much time trying to discredit the Word of God.

This is also why there are now so many different versions of the Bible with most of them being perversions of the Scriptures.

Act 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
Act 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Did Paul mean the laws of Moses were wrong? No!

Paul preached that salvation can come only by the Lord Jesus Christ. The laws of Moses were still good laws to live by for the Jews who they were given to.

The goal of the preacher is to make disciples and all the Word of God is important.

We must first accept that our creation was an act of God so we can acknowledge the power of God.

If God cannot create from nothing as He says, then He would hardly have the power to save.

The purpose of the Church will always be to make disciples that are usable to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The city of Derbe was the furthermost frontier city of the Roman Empire in Galatia.

Derbe was located about 30 miles from Lystra on a road built by the Romans.

These roads built by the Romans did make it easier to spread the Gospel.

A church was established in Derbe by the Apostle Paul.

Paul revisited this church on his second missionary journey.

We should all understand that it takes a commitment to serve the Lord.

Rewards come by faithfulness!

There will be much persecution from many sources come to the Church all of which will be inspired by Satan.

We must believe that persecution will increase in these last days for it will. For some it will be much more severe than others.

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.

Joh_15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

We should also understand it takes time to strengthen and make true disciples and the work of the Church is not done until this takes place.

It is a lifelong thing!

This is why the growth of the Church is not in numbers. The growth of the Church is the Spiritual strength of its disciples!

Paul clearly understood these things.

For the preacher, the evangelist, the missionary, making disciples is not as exciting as leading the lost to the Lord, but it is just as important. It requires a commitment from both parties!

1) A group of good Christians can reach far more of the lost than one good missionary.

2) It takes a good group of Christians to support that good missionary.

The Word of God is not so hard to the faithful!

Continuing in the faith means much more than just believing in Jesus!

We must believe upon Jesus!

Every doctrine spoken to us by our Lord must be followed as He commands.

We must adhere to the written “Will of God”!

The Lord Jesus Christ did not come to debate the Word of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ came to give us the truth of God and His will for us.

His first will was for us all to be saved!

1Ti_2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

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.

Some people always ask, why has the Lord not returned because this world is so evil and wicked, we see this is the only reason that we should understand and continue in the work the Lord has given to us.

We need to be patient as the Lord is patient!

It is not God’s will that anyone perish in the depths of Hell.

We do this when we reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

We must understand and teach the basic beliefs and the doctrines of God’s Word!

What is the preacher to do?

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

When we know the truth, we will not so easily fall by the wayside but remain true to the “Gospel”

Every believer must know that when our job is done here upon this earth the Lord will make sure to take us to our Heavenly home and nothing upon this earth can stop this.

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

Every Church needs to be organized.

*Act 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
Act 14:24 And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
Act 14:25 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:

We must know that the Church is not a building, but it is that group who meet together in that building is the Church. In Derbe at this time they probably met in someone’s home, but they still needed to be organized.

With Paul’s help they ordained elders.

Ordination means to appoint, to elect, to choose normally by a show of hands.

This is God and men choosing.

1) Peter wrote:

Act 10:41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

2) Paul wrote:

2Co 8:18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
2Co 8:19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:

This of course was Luke who was trusted by all the different churches.

Remember those first seven deacons were elected by the Church body and appointed by the Apostles.

This is how the Church works and they are to be independent bodies of Christ, linked together only by the truth of the Gospel and the love of Jesus Christ.

The main thing to remember in this is that it is the Holy Ghost that first chooses the preacher.

Act 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

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.

Every separate body of believers all belong to the Lord who purchased us all with His own blood!

Elders must be appointed according to these examples.

1) The Holy Spirit
2) The Church
3) Other preachers

Remember that we are all just instruments in the hand of God and He is still no respecter of persons and each of us are rewarded for the work that we have done ourselves.

Not only was the door of faith opened to the Gentiles but the entire world was open to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

With the organization of the church at Derbe complete for now, Paul and Barnabas moved on to the other churches that had been established to do the same thing, the choosing of elders for that particular church.

Only then could Paul and Barnabas return to Antioch Syria to tell the Church what the Lord had accomplished.

*Act 14:26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.
Act 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

During this first missionary trip we see some of the things that the Apostle Paul suffered.

Paul was stoned and left for dead because of certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium.

Some believe that Paul may have actually been dead and that this is the time that the Lord allowed him to view Heaven.

Notice these wicked men fell upon Paul and not Barnabas for they said Paul was the chief speaker and Paul vexed them much more than Barnabas.

These certain Jews were seditious and dangerous people.

These Jews could not bear that the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” should get started anywhere in the known world.

They simply did not understand the truth of the God that they to worshipped.

Paul was stoned by a mob without any judicial proceedings. Paul had committed no crime.

They had predetermined that Paul was not good enough to live in any city, anywhere.

Today we call this “bias” and it is “bias” that is causing most all the problems in our own nation and this “bias” is instilled by our own government!

When these things are not restrained it is very easy for them to instill evil on the other side and it is intentional.

There are now ears on both sides ready to hear and to react to anything said whether it is the truth or not.

Those that do this simply will not accept the truth of God because they do not want to hear the truth of themselves!

Paul was delivered by the power of God so he could continue the ministry of Jesus Christ.

As Paul revived, he returned to those same cities and preached the same salvation message and made many disciples.

All the stones that were thrown at the Apostle Paul could not stop him from preaching the ‘Gospel”.

It is more than possible that Timothy joined up with Paul as he returned to those cities after being stoned.

2Ti 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
2Ti 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

God’s plan is always working whether we understand all these things or not.

God’s “grace” is sufficient for us all!

As we worry, even though the Lord says not to, we do not have to worry about losing our salvation.

Whatever trials we face, Christ Jesus will give us the strength to go through them and still be victorious!

All we need do is to continue in the faith!

As they returned to Antioch Syria, they had much to tell the Church and they needed a long rest.

*Act 14:28 And there they abode long time with the disciples.

It is always good to be back with your church family after an extended absence.

The door of the Gentiles was permanently opened but the call of the missionary is a continuous calling.

There is no entering into the Kingdom of God without faith in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This message will never change because it is the truth of Abba our Heavenly Father!

It is Christ our Lord who opened the door of faith and it is Christ our Lord who will keep that door open until He returns.

This is why it is called GRACE.

God’s Riches At Christ Expense.

Rom 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
Rom 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
Rom 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever.


Church Missions

Missionaries Sent To Start New Churches

Book of Acts Chapter 13

The persecution of Christians had finally led the Church to obeying the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus had said:

Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

The Christian Church at Antioch had launched forth a deliberate effort to carry the Gospel to the entire world.

This Church commissioned its first two missionaries to tell the world of the desperate need for the Lord Jesus Christ.

This world does have a desperate need for the Lord Jesus Christ!

His message has not changed, and His message is the same today as it was when He first walked upon this earth!

There is no salvation without the Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One of God!

Not the Church at Jerusalem but the Church at Antioch had accepted the challenge of the Lord Jesus Christ and were determined to spread the “Gospel”.

As Christians this is our main job given to us by the Lord.

We all have a part to play in spreading the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

Of the many who had escaped the persecution in Jerusalem some had stopped in Antioch of Syria and formed a new church.

It appears that instead of having one man designated as the Pastor this church had five prophets and teachers.

*****Act 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

This church at Antioch was determined to do the commandments of Jesus Christ.

This church reached out to the world of the lost to teach them about the truth of the “Gospel”, the “Good News” to all the world and for all mankind.

In reality, there are thousands of Christians doing the work of Christ and the Bible cannot mention them all, but here in this passage the Bible mentions several men who were working hard in this church in Antioch Syria.


Barnabas was also called Joses.

Act 4:36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus

We see he was also a Levite and Luke described him as a good man.

He was born of Jewish parents but he was a native of Cyprus where he owned some land which he had sold to help with the Church at Jerusalem.

It is possible that Barnabas attended the same school of Gamaliel at the time of Paul.

It was Barnabas who was selected to lead the missions at this church in Antioch.

By following the lead of the Holy Spirit, Barnabas sought out Saul (Paul) to assist him.

We also first see John Mark who was still a young man, not yet thirty years old.


Simeon was no doubt a black man. Some say this was Simon of Cyrene who carried the cross for Jesus Christ.


Lucius was from Cyrene.

Cyrene which is located in Northern Africa and maybe the same location as modern-day Tripoli. He was probably a poor man but very rich in Jesus Christ as are all true Christians.

There were many Jews located at this place and many who had escaped the persecution going on in Jerusalem against the Church.


It is said that this man who was a teacher or prophet at Antioch was brought up with Herod Antipas and was possibly his “foster-brother”.

This type thing happened often in the Roman society where another child was selected to grow up a lone child of a high-ranking politician.

He was possibly educated in Rome.

**Then there was Saul.

Saul may have been mentioned last but only God knew what He was calling on Paul to do.

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.

They all ministered for the Lord.

Rom 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

We, as a part of the Church need to clearly understand this truth!

We can see that the Church at Antioch thrived because the Church leadership was diverse and from all social classes, but they all loved the Lord Jesus Christ.

Teaching is a high calling and is one of the great callings of the Holy Spirit.

Teaching is ranked second only to the Spiritual gift of prophet or pastor.

In the New Testament most preachers were also called prophets.

A prophet is a man who has the message given to them by God the Holy Spirit.

Every prophet or pastor should also be a teacher, but not every teacher will become a pastor or prophet.

There is no doubt every teacher will give a strict account to God for his faithfulness to the Word of God.

The sole goal of the teacher is to share the glorious truths of God with God’s people!

*****Act 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

Ministering to the Lord means they spent much time in prayer and fasting to give themselves more undistracted time to spiritual things such as teaching the truth of God.

They often gathered together seeking the commands of the Lord.

When we do this we will find that the Holy Spirit will find us something to do in the power of the Church and the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit had a specific work for Saul and Barnabas.

We should be able to see that if we are not faithful to the ministry we are already in, then the Holy Spirit will not give us some other work of God to do.

Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Col 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Col 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

It is faithfulness that gains the trust of the Lord to do greater things for Him!

God will only call those who are already faithful to minister the Word of God.

Those who are not faithful to the Word of God but still say they are called are not God called, but they have called themselves and are the children of the Devil.

God will only use those who sense the desperate need of the world to find the Lord Jesus Christ when He is not hard to find because He is the One who is doing the seeking!

As I write all these things down, I can see clearly how I fail the Lord!

We should understand that Paul and Barnabas were not only called to a life of witnessing for the Lord. We are all called to do this!

The Holy Spirit was calling them to a lifetime in ministry of the Lord, the special calling of the Missionary.

God does not have a retirement plan other than our home in Heaven when our time is complete upon this earth.

The Holy Spirit will only speak to us when our heart and mind are clear in the work of the Lord!

To belong to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, is to belong to the Holy Spirit and surrendered to the Holy Spirit’s use and His will.

Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Prayer and fasting truly become even more important to the ministry and the call of Christ.

*****Act 13:3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

It is of an immense importance to bathe “all” the missions of the Church with prayer and fasting.

It is foolish to launch a new mission without prayer and fasting!

We must always seek the face of God before we ever seek the arm of God!

Every mission must be commissioned by the Church body!

We must understand, it was the Holy Spirit who called Barnabas and Paul and set them apart for the mission field.

They did not call themselves!

The Body of Christ must acknowledge the call of the Holy Spirit.

The Body of Christ must commit its support and prayers to those called of God to do such things.

The Body of Christ must be obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leadership by allowing these men to be separated from the church at Antioch.

This laying on of the hands was not like an ordination, but was an act showing the Church was in fellowship in the ministry of spreading the Gospel.

Any so-called church that does not support missions are not in obedience to the will of God for the Church!

These two men would be an arm of the church at Antioch reaching out into the world. This is what all missionaries are.

They must go out into the world with the Blessing of God, and with the blessing of this Church, but there must always be some means of accountability.

It is God the Holy Spirit who will decide where a mission is to begin!

*****Act 13:4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

Act 13:5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

We will notice that the Holy Spirit paints a graphic picture of the problems that arise in missions and evangelism.

Seleucia was the closest port to Antioch and from this port they would sail to Cyprus.

The Bible teaches us that this was Paul’s first missionary journey not Barnabas.

It is extremely important for us to know that the call to foreign missions is a work of the Holy Spirit!

The Church is to manage the local missions and also assist the foreign missions and evangelism!

Those missions that strike out without the Holy Spirit will fail!

We should not just strike out on our own in mission work. Not even local visitation should be taken on without prayer and the blessings of the Church!

This does not mean we are not to be witnesses for Jesus Christ at every opportunity as we should.

This work is already sanction by Jesus Christ Himself but all the work of the Church must be centered upon prayer and the Holy Spirit!

Paul and Barnabas were sent by the Holy Spirit and the Church was to assist in the many ways that a Church can.

We must clearly understand the leadership of the Holy Spirit is critical to every servant of God!

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit we will never succeed in any work for the Lord!

Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

The Holy Spirit will even be giving us the words to say.

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Cyprus lay in the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea. It was a place that commercial ships would stop on their journeys to other places.

Cyprus was famous for their copper mines and shipbuilding industries, but it was as a resort area that brought the most revenue to this place.

The population was of Greeks and Phoenician, but there were also many Jews.

The false goddess Venus was worshipped as the goddess of love and lusts, and immorality.

Wickedness had taken over the island and they were in dire need of the Gospel.

The Romans had now ruled this island for about one hundred years and immorality followed the Romans everywhere they went and the Greeks were not much better in this day.

Keep in mind this was the home of Barnabas.

Salamis was the largest city on the island but was not the capitol city.

*****Act 13:6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:

Paphos was the capitol city of Cypress.

We should understand that from the day these missionaries landed on the Island of Cypress until they had come to Paphos, they had preached in every city and town along that route.

Paphos was a thriving city and a seat of the Roman government on this island.

Paphos was also a pagan stronghold for the worship of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. A false deity.

Cypress was great tourist attraction because of its beaches and warm climate and its cities were usually very busy with people from all walks of life.

These are places that Satan loves to get involved in.

There was a false prophet by the name of Barjesus in this city.

We should understand that if there were no false prophets, then there would be no false teaching!

Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

We can also be sure that when our missionaries preach the truth, Satan’s false prophets will go against them.

It can be much easier to preach against some idea than to preach against a false prophet, especially one who is deep seated in the government.

We have this in our own government today!

Most all false prophets will reach out to the governments long before they ever reach out to the people!

Christianity reaches out to people as instructed by the Lord Jesus.

It is those Christians that should seek to be a part of the government.

Our world is full of false prophets and false ideas about God!

The is the reason a Bible translated from the original text are so important!

Notice this false prophet was also a sorcerer.

We should not doubt the Satan will be behind any power that these children of the Devil may have, and they may be able to show certain powers.

*****Act 13:7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

That term “deputy” has the meaning of Roman proconsul who the Bible says he was a prudent man.

A prudent man can be a “man of understanding” who is cautious before he acts upon things.

He possessed some knowledge of many things but at this time did not possess the knowledge of the One True God.

He was controlled more by his mind than by his feelings and emotions.

As Christians this is a good trait for us all to have.

We cannot allow our feelings and emotions to be our guide, we need the truth of God!

The Word of God is about the truth, and not about feelings and emotions.

Up until this time of Barnabas and Paul, he had been seeking the truth in philosophy, science, and religion.

None of these things will lead you to salvation!

Most all those in government will have someone like this sorcerer around them and they will trust them for answers when they are confused and this is where Satan will dominate them.

This man had a desire to hear the Word of God.

No doubt this proconsul had heard of what was going on his island and he wanted to hear it for himself.

One other important thing to mention is the fact that without believers witnessing for the Lord, no one will hear the Word of God.

Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

This man “Barjesus” had a truthful name.

*****Act 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

The name Elymas has the meaning of magician and corrupter. The term Elymas was the official title of this sorcerer.

We can be sure he was more a corrupter than a magician!

Elymas was doing his absolute best to keep this proconsul from hearing the Word of God.

The name Barjesus means the son of Jesus or sone of Joshua.

The name Jesus was a name that was popular in this age.

When this man stood toe to toe against God’s missionaries, then God brought judgment against him.

It is dangerous to go against the One True God.

Mar 9:40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

Mar 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

Mar 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

It is not Paul who put a stop to this corrupter, it was the Holy Spirit!

*****Act 13:9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,

Act 13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

Act 13:11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

I am sure there are things like this that go on today but the difference here is, the Church was just getting started and God was not going to allow the Devil to stop it.

Mat_16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

God will only tolerate so much sin from any individual!

When the Holy Spirit is working on an individual, He will not allow Satan to interfere with His work and Satan certainly does not have the power to stand up to God and he will always have to flee the power of the Holy Spirit.

Those under Holy Ghost conviction will get their opportunity to decide for themselves if they accept the Word of God or not!

God will not do His work of salvation any other way!

It was Sergius Paulus that had decided to hear the Word of God and God was certainly going to allow this to happen, even if He already knew the results.

The Apostle Paul knew this man Barjesus was a fraud!

This child of the Devil was an enemy of all righteousness!

1Jn 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

What do false prophets do? They pervert the right ways of the Lord Jesus Christ!

We should also note that this is the first place that Saul is called Paul.

There are many things we can determine about this “judgment” of Elymas.

1) The blindness will only be for a season, so he is given room to repent.

God is also God of the second chance and most of us know that we did not come to Christ the first time that the Holy Spirit called.

2) This was a just judgment.

This was blindness for blindness and darkness for darkness.

When we blind ourselves to the truth of God, then God may pass judgement in that act of blindness.

3) This judgment was immediate.

By rejecting the truth of God we have given ourselves over to sin!

We cannot take the right ways of God and make them crooked; God will not allow this to happen for very long.

We see much of this going on today.

Isa_5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

There are a certain group of politicians who claim to be Christian, but they still approve of the sins of our world today.

This is taking the right ways of God and making them crooked.

Their salvation is a false salvation and they need to repent.

Just as this false prophet was perverting the cause of Christ these politicians are doing the same thing.

This man Barjesus was an agent for Hell and so are all those who pervert the Word of God!

Notice false prophets are full of craftiness and malice.

One man became a believer once he knew the truth.

*****Act 13:12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

This deputy had spent a lot of time with this Elymas and thought him to have certain powers which he probably did have of Satan’s power.

When he saw the power that the Holy Spirit had shared with Paul, he was amazed and astonished.

We do not know of this man’s salvation other than what the Bible says, “he believed”.

Tradition says this man not only helped with the spreading of the “Gospel” on the island of Cyprus but that he became bishop of Narbonne in France and was left there by the Apostle Paul as he traveled to Spain.

Mission work is doing the work that God has given us to do.

Mission work is being obedient to the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Not everyone can be a missionary, but we all can share in the responsibility of mission work in our church.

If we can do nothing else, we can pray!

It is the Holy Spirit who calls missionaries, some to foreign lands, some to our homeland, and even some to be locals but we of the church are still to do our own mission work bathed in prayer and fasting.

Today our church reaches around the world with our broadcast, our supported missions, and our church people.

This is what the Lord expects us all to do and we must continue until the Lord returns.


From Saul to Paul

The Enemy is Changed

Book of Acts Chapter 9

In the Bible, Paul is first known by the Greek equivalent of his Hebrew name which is Saul. Paul is best known by his Latin Roman name Paul.

Paul went from being the most hated persecutor of the Church to being the great Christian and Apostle to the Church that belongs to Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul was the most dominate missionary to the Gentiles.

To the Church Paul was a murderer and he was certainly a murderer.

It was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who came to Paul and brought salvation to him.

It is only the Lord Jesus Christ who can save anyone.

1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

It was the Lord Jesus Christ that cleansed Paul from his sin of persecuting and murdering the Church.

We can be sure Paul had other sin.

Paul hated the Church and wanted to destroy the Church.

When we persecute the Church, we are actually persecuting the Lord Jesus Christ for He is the Head of the Church!

*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 burned with a flaming fury against the Church and all Christians.

It is Christians that make the Church. The Church is not a building!

Paul was consumed with fierce anger and that fierce anger was against Christ Jesus and His disciples.

Paul hunted down and slaughtered all the believers he could find, and we can be sure the world helped him.

The followers of Jesus Christ were called “the way” before the term Christianity was used.

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 19:23 And the same time there arose no small stir about “that way”.

Act 22:4 And I persecuted “this way” unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

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 24:22 And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of “that way”, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.

The teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ were not pictured as a religion and Christianity is not a religion!

The teachings of the Lord were not pictured as rules and regulations for they are simply the truth of God.

The teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ were seen as “the way of life’ according to our Heavenly Father.

Not just that but also the “course of life”, “the means of life”, “a condition of life”, and “an experience of life”.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who showed us “the way” of salvation!

Act 16:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us “the way” of salvation.

It was the Lord Jesus Christ who showed us the “way of the Lord”.

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.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who has shown us how to have peace in our lives!

Luk 1:79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into “the way” of peace.

Rom 3:17 And “the way” of peace have they not known:

It was the Lord Jesus Christ who has shown us “the truth” of God’s creation.

2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom “the way of truth” shall be evil spoken of.

This is what Paul was doing. He was speaking evil of the way of truth!

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who has shown us “the way of righteousness”.

2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

Paul was about to see “the way” himself and what it means to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.

*Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

What is the truth of our Savior? God can save anybody, anywhere, at any time!

Saul was going to Damascus to slaughter Christians and wipe out Christianity.

Right in the middle of doing this evil, Paul was saved.

A light appeared suddenly, out of nowhere and unexpectedly. A light brighter than the noon day Sun!

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 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.

Paul saw the Lord standing in the middle of this light.

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 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

This light was the Glory of the Lord!

1Ti 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
1Ti 6:16 Who only hath immortality, “dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto”; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

Just the power of this Light struck Paul down to the ground.

Act 26:14 And when “we were all fallen to the earth”, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

The truth is, the Glory of God must shine in our hearts before we can be saved.

2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Glory of God!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord of Heaven!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God Himself!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior to all those who believe, there is no other Savior.

Isa 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Paul is converted from Judaism to Christianity.

By the way, to be a Christian is to do the best we can to be like the Lord Jesus Christ and we can only do this by being filled with God Holy Spirit!

*Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Paul had realized he had seen the Lord and now realized that He was hearing the Lord speak.

Paul was not alone but he was the only one who heard the Lord speak all the others heard was a mighty sound, but they could not distinguish the words spoken by Jesus.

What was Paul’s sin?

Paul was opposing and persecuting the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh_16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;

Paul was treading on dangerous ground and every soul upon this earth will get to meet our Savior.

Opposing Christ Jesus is serious, so serious it dooms a person to hell unless there is repentance.

This day was Paul’s chance to miss hell and Paul had to make the right choice.

This may have been Paul’s last day on earth had he remained rebellious.

Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Paul knew these things happening around him were coming from Heaven.

When Paul asked “who art thou Lord”, he knew it was the Lord of Heaven and earth who was speaking to him.

Paul knew this person was the Lord of Heaven, but he did not know the Lord as his Savior but they are One and the Same.

It takes a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved.

Until you meet Jesus and recognize His glory, you will never understand this.

When a person really sees he has been rebelling against the Lord of Glory, the Savior, he will come under conviction.

Paul understood that what he was doing was opposing God who he had great faith in.

In Judaism it is Jehovah who is worshipped and Jehovah and the Lord Jesus are the same Deity.

Paul began to understand that he was lost, separated from Jehovah God and doomed to Hell.

Heb 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
Heb 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

It is hard to kick against your own conscience.

“To kick against the pricks” is a picture of a stubborn ox being goaded with a long stick that was sharp on its end.

It was hard for the ox to kick against the goad for he would only feel more pain.

Paul was questioning himself over the truth.
Paul was fighting himself over the truth.
Paul was struggling within himself with the truth of the Scriptures which he knew very well.

When the Light of the Gospel finally breaks through our sinful darkness, we will begin to know the truth.

Everyone who chooses to go against the Lord Jesus has chosen a hard way of life!

They will never know if they have chosen right, and it will affect everything they try to accomplish.

This something each Christian understands!

Psa 51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Psa 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Psa 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Psa 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

There was only one thing Paul could do, he had to obey the Lord.

*Act 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Paul had to surrender to the truth that he was the greatest of all sinners.

Gal_1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

Paul was hardly able to bear up under the weight of his sin!

We all get this way when we realize we are just dirty rotten sinners.

These things became part of Paul’s testimony.

Paul became a shattered man, and it would take some time in prayer and meditation to clear his mind so he could learn the truth.

Paul needed the companionship of another believer who had been through similar things.

Paul had been converted and a radical change was taking place within him.

It would take proof of his conversion for the Christian community to receive him.

There were some who witnessed this event that happened to Paul.

*Act 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

There were some witnesses, but they did not know what was really happening.

In typology, we would say they were a type of the world we live in.

The world listens to false science and lies and reject the truth so the world cannot know the truth.

The world is aware of the miracle of conversion, but the world refuses to open their eyes to the truth but cling to the lies of false science.

We have to open our hearts to see the Light of the Lord Jesus.

We have to silence ourselves and our thoughts to hear the voice of God.

We have to make ourselves available to confront the Lord.

We have to be prepared to surrender if we call upon the Lord.

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.

2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Paul could only do as the Lord instructed him. It is called obedience!

*Act 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
Act 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

Paul was blind and he did not know if it was temporary or forever.

Paul was helpless and had to be led by others.

Paul could do nothing else but to think about what had happened to him.

Paul became ashamed for what he had been doing.

Paul needed some help from a Christian!

Paul thought his purpose was to eliminate Christianity, but Paul now had no purpose in his life.

Paul wondered why the Lord Jesus had chosen him.

Paul wondered what the Lord Jesus wanted with him, and he wondered what the Lord Jesus was going to tell him to do.

Paul was unable to eat or drink for three days and Paul became exhausted with no strength at all.

We must understand that once the Lord Jesus has forgiven us, He no more remembers our sin and it is best we forget that old sin.

God sent Paul a brother in Christ named Ananias.

*Act 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Act 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

What Paul needed most was the need to experience the help and ministry of a fellow Christian.

As Christians we all know we are only sinners saved by the “Grace” of God!

Paul needed to see the faith of a brother in Christ.

Paul needed to know that he was also a brother in Christ.

Paul needed to feel the power of God and a glorious healing.

Paul needed to feel the power of the Holy Spirit.

Many ask, just when was Paul saved?

Was Paul saved on the Damascus Road or when he was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Paul knew that awesome Light was from Heaven.
Paul knew that voice he heard was from Heaven.
Paul knew who ever was speaking to him was of Heaven.
Paul called this Heavenly being “Lord”.

Paul was surrendering to the Lord when Paul asked Him “What will you have me do”?

Paul did not have a personal relationship, but he knew it was the Lord God of Heaven.

Paul called Him Lord a second time.

Paul realized his only help was to obey the Lord God of Heaven as he surrendered to the Lord.

Paul prayed and the Lord Jesus heard him.

Act 9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, “he prayeth”,
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.

It is evident that Paul surrendered to the Lord Jesus on the Damascus Road.

Does not sound a whole lot different from many of us who prayed the sinners pray and many pray and never give themselves to the Lord Jesus.

We now have Paul’s history of how he served the Lord in the New Testament.

Paul could now eat because he was settled in his faith.

*Act 9:19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

Paul was a changed man because he had been “Born Again”!

We see that a Church had been established in Damascus and now Paul was identified with other believers.

Paul was a true believer; his old man had surely died!

Paul became a follower of “The Way”.

Paul became a true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

*Act 9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

Paul preached Christ, the Messiah.

Paul no longer preached religion, or tradition, or ceremony or ritual.

There is a great significant difference between the two!

Paul also did not preach his firsthand experiences, his visions, his praying.

Paul preached Christ. It takes a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ to know the truth!

2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

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:
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 preached Christ the Son of God:

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

The people were amazed at the change in Paul. We could say Paul made a 180 degree turn rom his old life.

*Act 9:21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?

Paul stood as a testimony to the change that comes about when the Holy Spirit moves in and we are “Born Again”.

The people in the synagogues and in the public were amazed at what they saw in the new Paul.

They were expecting all the things they had heard about in Jerusalem to take place.

They had known about the mission of Paul and how he treated men and women Christians.

Paul now identified as a Christian himself.

Paul would later declare to the Romans that he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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.

And to the Christians at Corinth:

1Co 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
1Co 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

Paul became steadfast and faithful to the cause of Christ and his old friends became his enemies.

*Act 9:22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
Act 9:23 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:

Paul continued to grow in his faith and his zeal was now for the truth of Jehovah who is the Messiah who came to our world to save us.

Paul grew Spiritually. We can have no strength that can compare to “Spiritual Strength”.

The Bible we have today is rich in the work of the Holy Spirit.

We should never forget the Holy Spirit is one third of the Triune God.

The Holy Spirit is not the influence of God, the Holy Spirit is God with His own work in our lives to accomplish and the power of the Holy Spirit showed mightily in the Apostle Paul.

The more Paul grew in the Lord the more he was able to confuse those who opposed the “Gospel.”

Paul could take the Scriptures and prove that the Lord Jesus was the true Messiah!

Paul grew in strength because his “faith” grew greatly every day.

Paul had been studying the Old Testament since he was a child, but he now knew the truth of the Messiah.

What is the truth of the Bible?

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

So the same ones who had encouraged Paul to persecute Christians now plotted to kill Paul.

God was not about to allow this to happen.

*Act 9:24 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.
Act 9:25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.

We would wonder why they would hate Paul with such a vengeance.

They then considered Paul to be a traitor to Judaism.

When Paul escaped, this is probably the time when Paul went to spend some time with the Lord.

Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

Where did Paul get his message?

Paul says not from man.
Paul did not immediately go back to Jerusalem to learn from the Apostles.

Paul went to Arabia where he stayed about three years. The same amount of time the other Apostles spent with Jesus.

It is after this he returned to Damascus.

Many times we just need to get alone with God and just talk to Him.

He is always ready to hear from us!

It is probably on his return to Damascus that verse twenty-three kicks in and this passage we are on now.

There are different theories about Paul’s time in Arabia.

The point being Paul spent some quality time with the Lord Jesus and became a much more mature Christian and it was time for the Lord to use Paul in a mighty way.

Even after returning from Arabia it was still 12 years before Paul went to the missionary field.

Paul fled from assassination all the remaining days of his life.

Paul was run out of Jerusalem and did not get to go home very much.

Paul went to his childhood home in Tarsus until he was called to the mission field.

The message of the “Gospel” convicted and threatened the followers of Judaism, and it still does today.

Christianity is not a growth from Judaism but in fact all those in Judaism will have to convert to Christianity which will take place after the “Rapture of the Church.

The Apostle Paul is an example for us all of the change that takes place after we are saved and the work that we need to be doing as disciples.

Paul was not some fanatic no more than a Christian is today, witnessing for our Lord and Savior.

God will always make a way to escape when we are true witnesses for the Lord.

God will deliver us from difficulty when we true witnesses.

God will carry us through to His presence when death comes.

2Ti 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

You see this is the truth of the Scriptures!

Grace and God’s Plan For Evangelism

The Gospel of Grace and Paul’s Plans

Book of Romans Chapter 15

What is the message that the Lord leaves with us?

Rom 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

We are to learn from all the Word of God which includes the Old Testament.

Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

We are to receive every child of God!

Rom 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

We must listen to the Holy Spirit!

Rom 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

What was the great quest of the Apostle Paul?

Rom 15:20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:
Rom 15:21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.

You see as the Born-Again children of God; bought by the blood of Jesus the true Messiah, we see those we need to reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

All those who have never heard the Words of Salvation!

*Rom 15:22 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.
Rom 15:23 But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;

We know who hinders the cause of Christ. It is that nasty Satan who will try to hinder us as we become witnesses the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and the message of God’s Grace.

We also know that the Holy Spirit will send us in the direction He wants us to go, rather than allow us to just take off to a place where a Church is already working and growing.

It does not matter if we become a Preacher, a teacher, or just someone witnessing for Jesus, we all must have the same message!

We all have a ministry for the Lord Jesus!

The Apostle Paul stuck to the ministry the Lord Jesus had given to him, rather than take a trip to Rome to a diligent church.

We are to complete the job the Lord Jesus has given us to do while we are still able.

It seems that Paul had been to all the areas that were assigned to him by the Holy Spirit, yet he knew all those churches that had been planted needed some guidance.

The Apostle Paul was a church planter and a true evangelist.

*Rom 15:24 Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.

Again look at verse twenty. It was not part of our lesson.

Rom 15:20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:

If we witness to some lost soul, we may go back and witness to them one or more times, but once we have planted the Gospel seed it may be time to reach out to some other lost soul and encourage some other child of God to return to that one who is resisting the Holy Spirit.

As Christian witnesses, we need to have a worldwide view of the ministry, but the Holy Spirit keeps most of us close to where we live. This would be our mission field.

We must still have that passion to reach every lost soul for Christ all around the world!

Spain at this time of Paul was on the outskirts of what was called the civilized world and Paul felt that if he could reach Spain then the Gospel message would be in place to travel throughout all the world, but he had already reached Europe and the Gospel message was spreading.

Remember the Church in Rome had never seen an Apostle.

This was a lay church that began from those who had visited Jerusalem at the Pentecost just after our Savior returned to Heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of God the Father

Spain would be somewhat like New York where we have a missionary been working for more than 20 years.

If you reach a lost soul in New York, there is a good chance the Gospel message could go to many places because New York is visited by so many from other places.

In reality, it is the same for most places where the Holy Spirit will lead us.

Every lost soul is precious to Jehovah God, and He sent His Son to die for us all!

We just need a like passion as that of the Apostle Paul!

Col 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
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:
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.

We are to be this sort of minister!

Paul was called by the Holy Spirit for a specific mission which was to come first.

*Rom 15:25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.
Rom 15:26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
Rom 15:27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.

We as Christians are not to start some new mission until the one, we are working on is complete and that according to the Holy Spirit!

We should realize that though the Israelites are blind to the truth of the Gospel, they did preserve to Word of God so that it is available to all the world, and we owe them a great debt, but this is not what Paul is talking about here.

When a Jew converted to Christianity, they were abandoned in their community many losing any way to make a living and they truly struggled in the cause of Christ, and it is these Christians that the Holy Spirit made a way for assistance by these Gentile Churches.

These Jews were suffering in poverty and still many are today in Jerusalem.

After all, we are all one Church.

No matter where we come from, and God never looks at the color of our skin or our standing in a community, or the nation in which we live.

God does not show favoritism. We are all the children of God!

No matter our plans for the Gospel, God has a far greater plan than any of which we could think.

If we have not met the needs of the local Church, then we have no cause to get involved in the needs of those in other nations except for prayer and financially.

If we have met the needs of the local Church, then we are obligated to reach out to the poor Churches in other nations, either as an individual or as the whole Church.

Act 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring 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.

If we have not helped those Christians close to us, there will be no reward for helping those in other nations.

We are indeed debtors to help other believers when they face critical needs.

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

When we cannot help financially, we must at least add our prayers or we need to pray and help with spiritual gifts.

*Rom 15:28 When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.
Rom 15:29 And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.

Notice it is for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that we have become servants.

Every ministry must come to its end before a new ministry can begin!

But we see we must always have a worldwide vision for evangelism!

We are not out to convince anyone of the Gospel, we are to present the Gospel and allow the Gospel to do its work and the Holy Spirit to do His work.

Until the Gospel has reached around the world the Church Age will not end.

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.

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

We see both these things happening at the same time in this same Age today, the Church Age.

In reality the Church has failed!

We still have this same command from the Lord Jesus Christ, and it must remain our goal, just as it did with the Apostle Paul till the day his head was removed for preaching the Gospel.

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

What has happened?

Eze 34:8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;
Eze 34:9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;
Eze 34:10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

Much of the Church is now led by false shepherds!

These things happened in the Old Testament and the same thing is happening today and this is why the wrath of God will be so severe not just upon the world but more severe on these false shepherds.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most important message that needs to be heard in this wicked world that is growing eviler every day!

Joh 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Joh 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Why is the Gospel so important?

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.

It is by the Gospel that we can be reconciled to God!

We must lay aside all the differences of the denominations and reach for the work of Christ as a unit and renewed determination!

*Rom 15:30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;
Rom 15:31 That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;
Rom 15:32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.
Rom 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

As the Apostle Paul and the Holy Spirit bring an end to this great Book of the Bible, he writes what we already know, that prayer works.

Prayer was the key to the early Church, and it is still the key to the Church today.

We need more prayer and not less prayer, but it is fervent prayer that works the best.

Jas_5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

The prayers of those who do not have the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot help at all!

Those that pray without being a home to the Holy Spirit are wasting their time.

God only wants to hear one prayer from them, and it is what is known as the sinners prayer. “Lord forgive me for I am a sinner”

All God’s children should be in daily contact with our Heavenly Father.

How can we expect success if we refuse to talk to our Heavenly Father through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ?

Those prayers must be according to the will of God, or He will not answer!

Those prayers must be for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ, or they are meaningless!

The Lord Jesus Christ must be praised.
The Lord Jesus Christ must be worshipped.
The Lord Jesus Christ must be served.

What did Paul need?

He needed deliverance from unbelievers.

Most of those were the hypocritical Jews at this time who had also rejected the Messiah.

Those that reject the Lord Jesus Christ are simply saying they had rather live in their sinful ways and have no plans to ever change!

You see, we need prayer that the message of the Messiah will be received, but it must first be received by the Church without deviation and without compromise.

The truth does not ever change, and the Word of God is the truth!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the truth!

This truth is for all those who believe there is much more to life than these few years we live in these old bodies that age until they die!

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,

It is only after we are saved and then filled with the Holy Spirit that we can realize the truth of salvation!

We need to pray for God’s help to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in every way that we can!

This is being in the Will of God the Father!

To be in the will of God is the safest place we can be upon this earth!

We must pray for all these things while still praying for all our brothers and sisters in Christ everywhere.

We must pray that they too are doing the work that Christ has given us to do.

We must also pray for them that they will succeed.

We must also pray for their safety as persecution against all the saints of God is increasing worldwide!

We must never forget that our Savior knows what we are going through, and He has felt the pains that we feel, for He was also rejected and persecuted.

We should always remember we are not being rejected; it is the “Gospel” that most of this world is rejecting because they would rather live in sin!

Salvation is a personal choice, and it will always be a personal choice!

The greatest prayer we can have is for someone to receive the Gospel and welcome the truth of a Holy God!

Peace in this life can only come by our Creator and His Savior!

Our plans to serve the Lord should be similar to this plan of the Apostle Paul.


The Christian Purpose

The Gospel of Grace and Christian Service

Book of Romans Chapter 12

What is Christian service?

After God has shown to us His Mercy and Grace and saved us from His wrath, we must choose to receive what He has done for us by Jesus Christ, and we must begin our walk of obedience with Him!

We should understand that we will serve this world, or we must accept what the Lord Jesus has done for us and serve Him.

We cannot have two masters!

Luk 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

We must remain faithful in our service until the Lord returns to take us home!

Luk 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
Luk 12:43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Luk 12:44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
Luk 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
Luk 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
Luk 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Luk 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Luk 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

Even as Christians serving with a purpose, we must never think too highly of ourselves!

The Apostle Paul describes this for us.

Act 20:18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
Act 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
Act 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
Act 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is a particularly good reason to be good servants of the Lord.

Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Col 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
Col 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

As Christians we have a purpose in this life when before the Lord found us, we were miserable and without purpose!

*Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Another way of saying these things to say we must be devoted to the Lord for the work He has done for us to get us saved.

Christian devotion means:

2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

A Christian doing a work for the Lord will stand out in this world, especially in this day that we are hated so much.

Act 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
Act 4:14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

We owe the Lord all our body can give to Him.
We owe all our energy to the Lord.
All our thoughts need to be on our service to Him!

We live in a world that desperately needs to get right with God!

The way to do this is clearly revealed through the Lord Jesus Christ!

Our “faith” in the work of Christ Jesus is counted to us for “righteousness”.

It was the same for Abraham of the Old Testament.

Rom_4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Rom_4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Gal_3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

We are to give our bodies to God while we are still alive!

Sin destroys the body!

We are Born Again now having a new soul.
We are filled with the Holy Spirit of God and need a refilling daily.
God demands we give Him our body for His service.

We are not to do our own thing.
We are not to dedicate our bodies for our families even though this should be a close second.
We are not to dedicate our bodies to our jobs or our possessions.
We are to give our bodies to God to do with them as He pleases!

Living sacrifice means a constant and continuous service.
Living sacrifice means wherever our body is located.
Living sacrifice means without our own desires but for the desires of God.
Living sacrifice means living for God!

1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We give our bodies to the Lord because it pleases Him, and we always want to please our Heavenly Father!

2Co 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

What is it that we must give with our bodies? Our Reasonable Service.

God does not ask us to do unreasonable things!

Reasonable means: rational, logical, intelligent.
Service means: worship, ministry.

We once used our minds and bodies in sin!

God now demands we use our bodies and our minds for His glory once we belong to Him!

Humanism says to worship your body.

No matter what we do this old body will not last forever.

God says give Me your body and I will return to you a new glorified body!

God came to this earth and took Himself a human body when He could have chosen any of His creations or made Himself a new creation.

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

When the Lord Jesus died and was resurrected, He took that same body to the glory world.

Now as we live and breathe and are Born Again, our body is home to God’s Holy Spirit.

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.

When we see Jesus, we will get a view of what our own glorified body will look like.

1Jn_3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

All this will begin when we are more like Jesus Christ daily!

*Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The word conformed means to be fashioned after. Made agreeable to or suited to.

That word world means the way this world operates and serves itself.

This world is corruptible, so it has corrupted itself!

We see this everywhere in our world today as corruption has taken over this world!

I never would have thought our own government could sink so low as to be in the corruption we see today.

We can say that corruption loves corruption because it is never ending!

As Christians we are to stay as far away from the things of this world as we are able.

We do these things by renewing our mind to have the mind of Christ which is a servant’s mind.

This world is built upon lies!

What is the truth?

The world itself and everything in it will pass away, but the child of God cannot pass away!

1Co 7:31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: “for the fashion of this world passeth away”.

If we are in the will of God, we are right where God wants us to be!

2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

It is the will of God that we be saved!

1Th_4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

It is the will of God that we are obedient to His Word!

1Pe_2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

It is the will of God we have eternal life!

1Jn_2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

It is the will of God that we try our best to be more like Jesus Christ. This is the meaning of being Christian!

Act_11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

Eph 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Eph 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

There is no wisdom in the governments of this world, especially those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ!

1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

We are to be transformed into the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Those that reject the Lord are corrupt.
Those that reject the Lord are reprobate.
Those that reject the Lord are carnal.
Those that reject the Lord have been blinded by Satan.
Those that reject the Lord are empty and vain.
Those that reject the Lord think only of this world and are alienated from God and are His enemies.

Humanity has become defiled!

Tit 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
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.

As Christians we must be transformed to prove to God, we love Him!

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

We must become a humble servant to the cause of Jesus 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.

As Christians we are to think highly of ourselves as God’s children and future residents of the New Heaven, but we must know that we are no better than anyone one else saved or lost.

We are just better off because we know our home is in Heaven because we know we are saved from the wrath of God!

We must always be concerned about our humility!

We must not become conceited.
We must not become prideful.
We must never be arrogant.

We must think soberly which means in one’s right mind because we have the mind of Christ and think as He did and as He does.

1Co_2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

What we now possess and what we are, comes from the Lord.

It is God who gave us a measure of faith to believe, and it is God who helps us to grow our faith!

Without this “working faith” we could never be one of God’s servants!

This includes the gifts and abilities God has given to us for the purpose He has given to us.
This includes increased faith and drive and confidence to go about the work God has given us to do.
This includes the desire to serve the Living God!

God offers so much more, but He will only give it to us one measure at a time, so we are never overwhelmed with the task that is before us.

Remember God gives all these things along with His guidance, but all results come by Him.

We cannot cause someone to be saved these things are in the hand of God.

We are to just be busy about the work He has given us to do!

God does the ploughing, we do the planting, God does the reaping!

We should remember, the Church is the body of Christ and just as our human body there are many distinct parts of the body of Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head, and we will find our task as some other part of the body.

Not everyone can be an arm or a leg.
Not everyone can be the heart or the lungs.

We should be able to see what part of the body of Christ we are and do this work with all our heart!

Luk 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
Luk 22:26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
Luk 22:27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

No matter our place in the Body of Christ we should always be praying for more faith to serve in that position!

Psa_84:10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

We must know that our faith grows according to our belief in the Word of God!

Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

This includes the study of God’s Word.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Rom 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Rom 12:7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Rom 12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

God gives to us many physical gifts as we serve, but much more important are the Spiritual Gifts.

A Spiritual gift is a God-given ability given to each believer.

All Spiritual gifts come by the Holy Spirit who lives in each and every believer.

These are separate from the “Fruit” of the Spirit, but together they make each child of God a force to be reckoned with.

Each Spiritual gift is given for Spiritual purposes.

The Fruit of the Spirit is given to every believer to make us be more like Jesus Christ!

All the gifts of God come according to God’s “Grace”.

The modern-day prophet is of those who preach the Word of God.

The Word of God we have today is complete so there is no need of prophets. We just need to hear what God has given to us and in some cases to make sense of the Word as it relates to the other Scriptures.

There is no one to try to interpret what God has already made interpretation of!

2Pe_1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

The modern-day prophet keeps the Word of God in the context it was written and makes application to our lives today.

The Word of God does not change, the circumstances of our lives may change, but the answers God gives to us, work in any lifetime!

The Living Word is the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Written Word is by the Holy Spirit both given to us by God the Father.

No one can be a prophet of God without first having accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior!

The gift of ministry is what the remainder of God’s children have been called to do.

This is the heart of the servant to minister to others!

This is one of God’s children being willing to turn their attention to others and not themselves.

Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

The gift of teaching is the ability to try to ground all God’s children to the truth of the Scriptures.

Not only does a Church need a great Prophet or Pastor, but the Church need teachers also willing to search the Word of God for God’s answers to life.

We cannot teach until the Holy Spirit has taught us!

We all need to be in one mind and in one accord with the Word of God.

After all if God said it and the Holy Ghost preserved it, then it must be important!

The gift of exhortation could be said to be the gift of motivation, but it includes much more.

It takes this gift to get us to be busy about the work the Lord has given us to do.

Every Pastor should have this gift.
Every Pastor should be able to teach.

The Lord Jesus put it this way:

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

To the Pastor the Holy Spirit put it like this:

2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

If you want to know the truth, then we can see that this time has come where no one really wants to hear the truth of the Word of God.

The gift of giving means sharing our earthly gifts with the Church and the ministries of the Church to promote the cause of Christ and in this can rewards be earned in Heaven.

Giving to charities will never gain you a reward in Heaven unless given to Christian based charities!

The gift of ruling is simply the gift of being a leader, working in the administration of the Church.

It could also be said the ability to work in government for the cause of Christ Jesus.

It takes a great zeal for the cause of Christ and there is no room for laziness and there is certainly no room for compromise.

We are never to compromise the Word of God.

It must stand as it is written!

Many in government fail in this greatly!

The gift of mercy can be seen in those Christians who are full of forgiveness and compassion.

Every child of God is called to have the gift of mercy by the Lord Jesus Himself!

Luk 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Even knowing all these things and practicing them according to gifts given by the Holy Spirit, we must do our best to be like the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is a personal drive to be a Christian and be a part of a group of Christians!

*Rom 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Rom 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rom 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Rom 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

The Lord Jesus Christ made this really easy for us.

Mar 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

We see that this is a commandment!

The Holy Spirit decided we need to understand this and explains what Jesus is saying so we can be clear on the Word of God.

We are to love one another without being hypocrites!
We must be completely free of selfish motives.

If I tell you I love you, then I had better be sincere for the Holy Spirit to acknowledge what I say.

These words must never be used just to get a reaction from that person!

We must understand that we must have this love for the saved and for the lost.

Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

We show love by hating evil!

This is a hatred with intense feelings, but love must remain for that one who did that evil.

Sounds impossible but it is not.

The Lord Jesus Christ died for us while we were still His enemy!

We must fight against evil!

We show love by fighting against evil and hating all things evil.

Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

Jas 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

We fight against evil when we cling to that which is good!

We are to desire the absolute best for all those we meet and those we know.

We are to love our brothers and sisters in Christ with that special love that Jesus showed!

Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

If we have that feeling that we have already reached perfection and these things are too far from us, then we become a larger part of the problem in the Church!

We are to honor, reverence, and respect even esteem, all of God’s children.

We can just imagine a house of God where these things were as important as salvation!

Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

We are to serve the Lord and not each other, but by serving the Lord, we will serve each other!

We must not be lazy in the things of Christ!
We must show due diligence in the work of Christ.
We must be earnest and not hesitating in our Christian life for Christ!

That word fervent means to be hot for the work of Christ.

Remember what Jesus said of the last days where the Church has become lute-warm rather than fervent.

We see this today in the modern church.

The Church has lost its fervent spirit and has given in to the world.

Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

We are to serve the Lord Jesus until He returns to take us home with the same zeal we had when we were first saved.

Not only these things, but we must conquer our trials and not allow our trials to defeat us.

God manages trials in only two ways:

1) He can remove that trial we are going through, and He does sometimes.
2) More often than not, God just goes through that trial with us so we can learn some valuable lesson.

Our job is to endure that trial while it affects our life!

We win most all battles with prayer!

We must be ready to pray at all times!

1Ch 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.

And last but not least, we are to give to the cause of Christ!

This has nothing to do with the tithe which is a command of God.

These are love offerings.

The more God provides to us the more we should be charitable to others.

To be safe with our giving then it should go through the Church and the ministries of the Church.

Most monies given to the charities of the world end up in pockets of some person and did not serve the charity or the cause of that charity.

We must be hospitable to all when that time arrives.

1Pe 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Widows have often been in the plan of God, but there are rules.

1Ti 5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

Most of our Christian ladies would be acceptable and many do need help.

If we claim to be Christian, then we should certainly act the part.

We do not learn this in the world, we learn these things from the Word of God and the Holy Spirit will call upon us to be obedient when the time comes!


God’s Grace and the Restoration of Israel

The Gospel of Grace and Israel’s Restoration

Book of Romans Chapter 11

There is a simple truth we had better understand and it is, that what we believe determines our ability to see things properly.

When we reject the truth, we will believe a lie and the things that go with that lie!

This is the exact reason the government we have in place today is doing its best to influence our children or indoctrinate our children, at every level of our school systems.

Of course they are denying this just as Iran is denying their attempt to make nuclear weapons, but it is still true.

They are both hoping that enough time will pass that these things will be irreversible!

It is not Nuclear weapons that make great nations or even powerful nations, but only foolish nations!

This same thing happened to the Israel of old!

Another thing we had better be clear on, is that God will never abandon this people!

Though the many things they did were wrong, they did preserve the Word of God down through the many generations.

To this, we as Christians owe a great debt, even though we know that God was behind this important thing to make sure it took place.

*Rom 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? “God forbid”. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

The Word of God does not just stop at the introduction of the Church!

In God’s wisdom, He has blinded the eyes of the Israelites until the fulness of the Church comes in.

The Apostle Paul said that jealousy would provoke them to see the Lord in a unique way.

It was the Jews, in the time of the trial of the Lord Jesus Christ who demanded to see the wrath of God.

Mat 27:25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
Mat 27:26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

God has promised that the Church would not see His wrath.

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

These Jews, the children of disobedience, and those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ during the Church Age, will see the wrath of God, but not the true Church.

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Th 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

The Church will not see the wrath of God!

The Jews begged to see the wrath of God, so in God’s wisdom He set aside Israel until the fulness of the Church comes in at the “Rapture”, then He will again deal with Israel as He promised Abraham and David, after they witness His wrath which they could have avoided!

God always keeps His promises!

God’s covenants are sincere!

Israel was disobedient to God and turned away the hand of a loving God.

Rom 10:21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

They had decided that they did not need to be obedient to the Word of God just as so much of the world has decided today!

Again we should be clear, God has not cast away His people.

Before God removes the blinders from this people, they will see the wrath of God that they had pleaded for at the death of their Deliverer who is the only Deliverer from the wrath of God!

Israel is not saved at this time and to be saved they must come to Jesus and repent.

This does not ever mean there is not a remnant of these Israelites ready to serve the Lord!

There will never be some new way to be reconciled to God, the Father of us all!

Jehovah has blinded the eyes of Israel, but the rest of the world just has no excuse because they have seen the truth of God through eyes that clearly see!

Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

The Apostle Paul was proud of His Jewish heritage, but most proud of his Christian heritage!

We cannot be disobedient to the Word of God and be reconciled to God!

This is something that we just cannot do and expect the “Grace of God”!

Israel is not a saved people at this time even though God will always have a remnant of the Israelites who love Him!

God’s promises are to all people and God will deal with Israel just as His Word has said, and these things are not changeable!

We should clearly understand that God always has a remnant of Jews who love Him and who will serve Him.

The Apostle Paul was part of that remnant in the days of the early Church.

The Apostle Paul could be said to be a true Jew a direct descendant of Abraham through his mother.

In fact, it is the mothers who determine the line of Jews from Abraham just as it was Sarah who determines who is a true Israelite and a descendant of Abraham!

There are many descendants of Abraham who are not part of the family of Israel, such as those from Abraham’s second wife Keturah along with the descendants of Ishmael and of Esau.

God will not cast off the descendants of Abraham by his wife Sarah!

Elijah, as powerful a prophet as he was, fell into this trap thinking that God did not have those who love Him at all times.

*Rom 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
Rom 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

The Book of Hebrews teaches us that without “faith” it is impossible to please God, because we must believe that He is the God of the Bible and the God of all creation.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God “must believe that he is”, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Once you have accepted this in your mind, then why would you ever believe He would not be “all-knowing”?

God saves those He knows!

God does not forget those He knows!

The key here is that God knows!

Remember Jesus said to those who hated Him “that He never knew them”.

God only knows those who love Him and are obedient to His Word.

If you understand the Lord Jesus, He does not even know those who do not love Him.

Remember He said, “I never knew you”!

God says you can always tell the ones that He knows by the way they live their lives!

Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Mat 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

God cannot be fooled, or He could not be God!

Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

It is a fact that only a remnant of Israel will be saved during the Church Age!

It is also a fact that during the time of Elijah and all the other prophets there was only a remnant that genuinely loved God!

But there is always this remnant!

Elijah felt alone for a moment of his life because he did not see any around him that were trying to be obedient to the Word of God.

Elijah allowed the world (wicked Jezebel) to frighten him, and he became afraid to die and we must not ever be afraid to die for our Savior who died for us.

Luk_9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

The cross is a symbol of death!

We must never believe we are all alone in serving God!

We never will be!

It is a fact that most of this world are disobedient and disloyal to our Creator and certainly disloyal to our Deliverer!(they are One and the Same person)

We should also understand that the image of a nation is determined by the lifestyle of the majority who live in that nation, not by that remnant!

As far as the United States goes, our image is not that of a godly nation, but our image is that of Sodom and Gomorrah just like the European Union and just like all nations of the United Nations that have adopted this wicked and immoral stance.

These are not freedoms; they are just sin against a Holy God!

Most of the rest are corrupt and wicked and self-righteous and seeking power they will never have.

There is a remnant today, but there is also the true Church that lives amongst all these wicked nations.

God will never leave Himself without a witness!

God will never leave His people without brothers and sisters going about the work given to us by Jesus Christ!

We must keep that work going until the Lord takes us home!

There will be a remnant of the Jews in place even when the Church has been removed from this world!

*Rom 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

The Apostle Paul knew there was a remnant of Jews in his day, and we had better know there is a remnant of Jews today who serve the Lord according to the “Grace of God”.

The Holy Spirit is alive and well, working throughout this world according to the “Grace” God has shown to us.

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
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.
Tit 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Since it is by “Grace”, then there is still only the Law of Grace, and not any other law by which we can be saved, no matter where we come from!

*Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Grace is no longer “Grace” if God allowed a remnant according to those old Laws of Moses.

The Old Testament Saints were saved because they had the “faith of Abraham” which gained their righteousness.

What was the “faith of Abraham”? That God would provide Himself to be the Lamb of God, the Messiah!

No one deserves the “Grace” of God, so all who come to the truth of Jesus Christ are eligible to receive God’s “Grace”!

We must clearly understand that no one will ever get to Heaven who does not have the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ!

There is no one who will ever work their way into Heaven!

God does not bestow His “Grace” upon anyone because we are deserving of it, because none of us are!

It is Jehovah God who placed the blinders upon the Israelites, and it is only Jehovah God who can remove those blinders!

What is said of Israel?

1) Isa 29:10 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.

Isa 6:9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

2) Psa 69:22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.

3) Psa 69:23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
Psa 69:24 Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.

They were blind to the truth of the Messiah, and they still are!

*Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
Rom 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
Rom 11:9 And David saith, Let their “table” be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:
Rom 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

They were blinded.
They were given the Spirit of slumber.
They were given eyes that they should not see.
They were given ears that they should not hear.

That table is their lust for the things of this world rather than the things of God!

Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Those who reject the truth of God experience judicial blindness and rejection by God!

Those who choose to reject the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel of Grace, have chosen for themselves damnation!

God offers His love and salvation freely, but God will not be taken advantage of, and God will not be mocked!

Unbelief only causes more obstinate unbelief!

We had better understand, God will not violate our will nor force His will upon us!

Sin only multiplies as our faith dwindles to nothingness!

Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

What is the whole truth?

2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

By rejecting the truth of the Gospel, we have placed ourselves in jeopardy and the penalties of Hell!

The Gospel which should feed and strengthen our souls, will become the means of destruction of the unbeliever!

*Rom 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
Rom 11:12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

What was the “Gospel Message” to these Jews?

Mar 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

True repentance must always be directed toward Jehovah God!
True repentance must always be for the remission of sins unto salvation!

These must be the desires of our heart!

Another especially important thing to remember is that God can save anyone, at any time and from any place!

Israel stumbled at the message of Jesus Christ!

Will Israel ever accept the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Is the Spiritual fall of Israel to be forever?

The Holy Spirit says God forbids this to happen. Perish the thought of such a thing!

We should understand that the message of the “Gospel” is for the entire world.

God sent His messengers to Israel first, but God’s salvation message is for all people.

The only ones who cannot be saved are those God has turned over to a reprobate mind!

This is a choice they have made, and the Holy Spirit will not strive with those people ever again, because it would not ever change their mind.

It is said that Israel stumbled because there were so many who chose to reject the message of God.

America was once known as a Christian nation because a greater majority of people trusted the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

This is no longer the truth!

America is no longer known as a Christian nation because most Americans have abandoned the truth of Jesus Christ!

America is now the nation of Sodom and Gomorrah, along with the European Union and most of the United Nations.

The rest are power hungry nations who will fail because of their arrogance.

When Israel rejected the Gospel Message, God sent His messengers to all the other nations and one by one each nation either becomes a Christian Nation or they become a nation of reprobates by their own choice!

Act 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
Act 13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
Act 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

The things of this world may have been much better than what we see now, had the Israelites accepted the Word of God as it was given and had been missionaries to the world.

It has now been about two thousand years since Christ returned to Heaven and still the world has not been reached with the Gospel even though there are only a few places left if any now at this time.

We can now also see how our world could be much better had most of the Gentiles have received the truth of the Gospel and believed.

Even though all these things did not take place, God has still worked out all things for the good of those who love Him!

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God’s plan cannot be overcome in any way form or fashion!

It is because of these two things that we are left with the world we now have, and God will take care of these two problems during the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.

Even though people will still be left with a choice, with Satan out of the way there will be no temptation and none of his evil works to try to sway people at least for One Thousand years, where then he would be freed to do his evil for a brief period of time.

It is after this that the Israelites and the Church will be united in one mind and one faith to serve the Living God!

God assures the Church of these promises.
God assures the restoration of Israel.
God assures a restored earth back to the original as it was in the early days of Adam and Eve.

It is the Gospel that has impacted the world to the truth, the world is built upon the lust of the flesh, lies, deception, corruption, wickedness, and the love of money.

We should understand that millions have been saved from the wrath of God.
We should understand that millions have been saved from death and Hell.
We should understand that millions now have the promise of eternal life, and many millions are already living that life.

It is by the Gospel that humanity knows about the moral laws.
It is by the Gospel that morality and purity is preached world-wide.
It is only by the Gospel that we can be saved from the wrath of God on the Children of Disobedience.

The children of disobedience are all those who reject the truth of the Word of God!

Once Israel returns to Jehovah this world will see the blessings of God!

2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2Ch 7:15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.

The Apostle Paul preached the truth until he was also murdered for preaching the truth to this world!

Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
Rom 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

We should have this same love for all the lost and be obedient servants to the Lord Jesus Christ, the God who loves us enough to die for us that we too might be saved!