Almost Persuaded

Paul Before Agrippa

Book of Acts Chapter 26

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

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

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

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

We cannot be ashamed of the Gospel!

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

Christianity always appears in person.

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

Christianity must be heard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul was obedient to God’s call!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our job is to let Christianity speak for itself!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He has regenerative power, but we must be willing!

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

We cannot neglect proclaiming the works of repentance!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The world does not want to hear the truth!

What was the message of the Apostle Paul?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was the truth for these Jews?

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

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

Paul bore witness of the death of our Savior.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So Paul gets bolder.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is where the false Church has its problems.

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

In fact, my opinion or your opinion is irrelevant!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Should we be known as Christians?

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

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

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

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

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

We are not made to be gods!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We cannot be almost Christians!

We must in every deed become a Christian!

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

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

How did Paul respond?

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

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

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

There are many false notions of Christianity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This sounds like King Agrippa.

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

We should remember the story of the Ten Virgins.

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

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

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

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


A Christian On Trial

Paul Before Felix and Festus

Book of Acts Chapter 24 and 25

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So now let us hear from the Apostle Paul.

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

What were the charges against the Apostle Paul?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul spoke the truth to Felix.

Felix had judged Israel for about seven years.

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

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

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

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

The Temple was still God’s house!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul passionately believed in the resurrection of the believer!

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

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

God cannot lie!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It always included civil punishment! Here are some examples.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We should never miss an opportunity to share the Gospel!

Fearlessly Paul declared the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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

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

Felix trembled with conviction!

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

This is the way of the world today!

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

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

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

Felix sold out justice for greed!

Remember Felix was a corrupt official.

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

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

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

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

This is why Felix was soon replaced by Porcius Festus!

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

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

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

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

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

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

These things have not changed today.

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

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

The truth does not mean much anymore!

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

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

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

We must never lose our saltiness!

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Christians we know this is true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul would never incite violence against the government!

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

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

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

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

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

Those trying to destroy America are also followers of Satan.

Paul was attacked while he was at worship.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A Great Christian on Trial

Paul Stirs Up the Sanhedrin

Book of Acts Chapter 23

What is the Sanhedrin Council?

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

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

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

Jesus said:

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

This same council was used against the Lord Jesus:

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

The members of this council were called councilors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus Christ was charged with blasphemy by this court.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pharisees believed in the Spiritual world and the resurrection.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is a truth that we sometimes ignore.

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

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

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

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

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

The Sadducee ruled Israel on behalf of the Roman Government!

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pharisee on the other hand were strict religionists.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord Jesus informed Paul:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We could say they conspire together to accomplish these things.

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

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

We should understand about Jewish vows.

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

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

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

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

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

Paul was safe in the arms of God!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul would remain in the custody of Rome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

They thought that this would be pleasing to God.

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

Paul was God’s chosen vessel!

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

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

Those who think this way are living in deception!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We must get the world out of the Church!

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

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

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

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

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

They were like wild beasts as they thirsted for blood.

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

They bound themselves under a curse upon themselves.

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

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

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

They never gave a thought to the providence of God!

They had forgotten the advice of the teacher Gamaliel.

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

How does God react to these things?

1) God keeps it simple!

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

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

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

2) The way God works is always unexpected!

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

3) It was natural.

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

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

Paul would have a safe journey to Caesarea.

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

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

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

God uses simple methods to expose the works of darkness!

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


Persecution in Jerusalem

Paul Faced Persecution in Jerusalem

Book of Acts Chapter 21

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

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

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

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

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

What was Paul’s answer to these things?

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

Paul was determined to go to Jerusalem.

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

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

Paul was warmly received.

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

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

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

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

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

The church in Jerusalem welcomed Paul gladly.

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

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

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

Paul went in with those who had traveled with him.

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

This was an extremely poor church.

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

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

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

Paul recognized the elders of this church.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These are things that make God happy!

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

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

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

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

Thousands of Jewish believers were disturbed with the preaching of the Apostle Paul, but Paul preached the truth of God!

What did James suggest to the Apostle Paul?

*Act 21:22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
Act 21:23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
Act 21:24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

What we see is, that most of these Jewish Christians refused to give up the ritualism in which they had been brought up.

Remember ritualism has nothing to do with salvation, and in fact, could be considered detrimental to “faith”.

Many of these Jews were still zealous of the Laws of Moses, and considered them too important than to just give them up.

If not cleared up, these things can warp our judgment!

We might ask ourselves, what is bigotry?

Bigotry consists in being obstinately and perversely attached to our own opinions, or, as some have defined it, “a tenacious adherence to a system adopted without investigation and defended without argument; accompanied with a malignant, intolerant spirit towards all who differ.”

These Jews were suffering from bigotry!

The Church is suffering from democratic bigotry in our own nation today!

It is this bigotry that had kept the truth of Grace from being received by all!

We should understand that some twenty-five years have passed since the church in Jerusalem had been formed.

There had been plenty of time for these zealous people to learn the Gospel facts!

It goes to show us that once false teaching enters a church, it can be hard to get rid of.

Bigotry still exists in the Church today!

It is true that we need peace in the Church!

We know that Paul had circumcised Timothy to keep the peace when it was not necessary for Timothy to be circumcised, because salvation comes by the “Grace” of God through “faith”.

Paul had never preached that the Jews should give up the Law, but Paul had preached that the Gentiles were not to observe the Laws of Moses.

You see we are not to become Jews, to then become Christians, and this is the message that would have been sent to the Church.

1Co 7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
1Co 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
1Co 7:20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

Paul had his way about certain things:

1Co 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
1Co 9:21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
1Co 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
1Co 9:23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

There were four men who had made the vow of the Nazarene and Paul was asked to join them.

We are never to compromise on the Word of God, but if we have the love of Jesus within us, then we should work on ways to settle social discords.

**Paul joined these Nazarites, not as a slave to human ordinances, but in the light of Christian liberty!

1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

**Paul joined these Nazarites in the spirit of brotherly love!

Rom 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Rom 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
Rom 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

**Paul joined these Nazarites in the spirit of conciliation!

1Co 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
1Co 9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
1Co 9:3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
1Co 9:4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?
1Co 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
1Co 9:6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
1Co 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
1Co 9:8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?

It was clearly understood that the Gentiles who came to the Lord by the “Grace of God”, would not be asked to do such things as this.

*Act 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

James wanted Paul to know that nothing had changed since the Council of Jerusalem where these things of the Gentiles had been established.

What had James written?

Act 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

We can see the integrity of James the half-brother of our Lord, making sure the Gentiles would not get caught up in this Jewish bigotry.

Paul followed through with this discussion with James and the church elders, but even this trouble came from the Judaizers, who traveled to the places where Paul preached just to cause him trouble.

There are people in America today who are on Soros’s payroll, who travel from city to city just to stir up trouble especially during protest.

They are not protesters; they are law breakers seeking to cause damage to a free America and push socialism and communism!

*Act 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
Act 21:27 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,
Act 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
Act 21:29 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)

Paul yielded to the advice of James and those church elders against his own judgment.

To us here today, this advice would seem to carnal wisdom rather than Spiritual wisdom.

Paul would seem to be something that he was not, making it as if he believed the law was still in force for salvation when it was not.

Salvation is by Grace through faith, and it will remain this way.

What was that old law?

Num 6:13 And this is the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
Num 6:14 And he shall offer his offering unto the LORD, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings,
Num 6:15 And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings.

To be a Christian, is much better than to claim the law of the Nazarite without these sacrifices!

Paul was an apostle, but he respected the officers of the local church, and he showed respect to their judgment.

We need to understand that the work of God must be done in God’s way!

We must stick to the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

If we obey the law of Jesus Christ, we will automatically be obedient to any of those old laws of the Old Testament!

We should be clear, those in Jerusalem had not liked the Apostle Paul since he became a Christian.

This was not going to change! Even the church had some of these people on the inside as we have already seen.

We must never compromise the truth of God!

Those Paul haters were in this church crowd trying to dictate the policy of one of the greatest Christians upon the face of this earth at this time.

Though this thing was not right, Paul was willing to become “all things to all men” that he by any means might save some.

Paul consented to these certain customs of the Jews to prove himself orthodox!

Those who seem to be orthodox are those whose religious opinion is in accordance with some assumed standard!

In other words, it is nothing more than an opinion and it is not the same in all churches.

We must not add to, nor take away from the Word of God at any time in any church!

We must focus on being right in the eyes of Jesus Christ, and not the eyes of public opinion!

As teachers we have one rule and it is to follow the Scriptures and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and not get caught up in orthodoxy.

What is the only truth we need?

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

Joh 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

What is our directive in the Word of God?

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

What are we to do?

Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Rom 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

Before these seven days were ended, notice it was Jews from Asia who stirred trouble for the Apostle Paul, so it did not matter the thing he was trying to accomplish at the advice of the church in Jerusalem.

Their claim was, that Paul taught against the Jewish nation, a nation Paul loved.
Their claim was that Paul taught against the laws of Moses, which Paul only said keeping those old laws could not bring salvation and that no one could keep all those laws.
Their claim was, that Paul taught against the Temple, which was a Jewish worship center but not a Christian church.
Their claim was that Paul had polluted the Temple by bringing a Gentile into the inner temple, which was a lie.

No uncircumcised person could go beyond the court of the Gentiles.

All these things were lies!

Many a true theologian have suffered disrepute in the name of orthodoxy!

Some of these being Johnathan Edwards, Luther, and many others.

We can understand that outsiders are sometimes guilty of causing trouble in the church, but many times the troubles in the church come from those within the walls of the church, because of the way they interpret Scripture, when God says there is to be no self-interpretation.

The Scriptures speak for themselves rightly divided!

We must never allow customs and rituals to replace the Lord Jesus Christ!

*Act 21:30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.
Act 21:31 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
Act 21:32 Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.

Again, we see here the providence of God.

God was not through with the Apostle Paul, and God used some unknowing Gentiles to save Paul.

Paul had wanted to go to Rome, and he would soon go there.

The hand of God can be seen to be moving through this whole event.

As the servants of God, we can trust our life to be in God’s hand through all life’s trials and we see it here in the middle of a mob’s attack.

No matter our trial God is working out His will in each believer’s life!

When our job is done here on earth, then God will take us home as he did the Apostle Paul!


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.


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.


The Gospel Is For All the World

Gentiles Receive the Gospel

Book of Acts Chapters 10 and 11

We know that it was the Apostle Paul who was the Apostle to the Gentile world but before Paul, it was the Apostle Peter who first took the “Gospel” to the Gentiles.

God knew that Peter would have to be convinced that the Gospel was also written to the Gentiles, which means to all the world and not just to the Jews.

The Jews would have kept the Word of God to themselves if they could have.

This is known as discrimination. Everywhere we go we find that people are different.

People differ in beliefs, religion, speech, looks, color, behavior, status, and many other ways.

This has been true since the time of Cain and Abel.

In our nation today all these things are brought together in one word, racism.

There is only “one race”, and it is the “human race” and we are all full of flaws.

In our lesson today we find that God treats everyone the same and He encourages the Church to treat everyone the same.

We all stand on level ground at the foot of the cross!

The Jews had their own laws and customs and they looked upon Gentiles with suspicion.

We should keep in mind that the Jewish people have always been mistreated, enslaved, and persecuted more than any other people upon this earth.

They had been conquered by army, after army, after army and by the millions they had been removed from their nation and scattered all over the world.

Their religion is what has kept them together all these years and their belief in the One true God.

They opposed anyone who threatened or attempted to break their laws of religion or the laws of their nation.

Instead of proclaiming God to the world, the Jews claimed God was the God of the Jews and to no one else.

All gentiles were called dogs.

A gentile could have no dealings with the Jews until they were ritually cleansed.

They would never help a Gentile to give birth for the fear that another Gentile would be born into this world.

The Jews were too stubborn to change their ways, but God was not going to allow Christianity to follow that same path.

If God could convince Peter, then all the Apostles could be convinced of this truth.

God will not allow prejudice any room in Christianity!

God had convinced Peter of all these things the day before Peter had gone to visit Cornelius, a Roman Centurion.

*Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

It was the Apostle Peter who first preached to the Gentiles the means of salvation to all people.

God does not show partiality or favoritism to any person because of looks, position, or circumstances.

God has no favorites in the Church! We may think so, but the fact is God looks upon all His saved children exactly the same!

God will never discriminate between His children!

Appearance, or position, abilities, works, health, or stature do not make any person acceptable to God!

God has always said these things even throughout the Old Testament but hardly anyone paid attention to Him.

Deu 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
Deu 10:18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.

2Ch 19:7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.

And God does not ever change in the New Testament:

Rom 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

God simply does not play favorites!

God’s love is in equal portions to all!

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

There are two things that grab God’s attention:

1) Fearing God.

This fearing of God is a reverent fear of God along with an absolute fear of God.

Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Heb 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

2) Working righteousness according to the Word of God. (To be right and to do right).

Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

We cannot just stress righteousness but we must also do righteousness.

We cannot just believe but we must be a doer of the Word.

We must walk the talk as some would say.

There are so many who claim to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and acceptable to God, but they neglect obeying God and serving Him.

Loose living allows one to go out and do pretty much as he desires. He may feel secure and comfortable in his faith. He knows that what he does may affect his fellowship with God, but he also does not think it affects his salvation.

In reality this is false righteousness! It is self-righteousness or legalism.

There is no such thing as righteousness without living righteously!

We must obey the law of love and acceptance! God loves us and accepts us not because we do good but because we love and trusts the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

We have no righteousness in ourselves.

There are no laws that can keep us righteous and we certainly cannot judge the actions of others to try to be as righteous as they are.

Our goal is to be like the Lord Jesus Christ!

We cannot be acceptable to God without being made righteous in the Lord Jesus Christ!

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

*Act 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
Act 10:37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

It is true that God sent His Word through Israel.

The Word of God is very clear that a Savor, the Messiah would arise out of the Jewish nation and from that point the knowledge of Christ the Savior should spread to all nations under Heaven.

Joh 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Joh 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Israel was the first nation to receive the Word of God:

The Apostle Paul wrote:

Rom 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
Rom 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
Rom 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

None of these things can be denied.

God sent the New Testament by the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s very own Son.

These things being true, the Word of God was not meant for Israel alone.

The Lord Jesus Christ did not come just for Israel’s salvation!

God is no respecter of persons.

God accepts people from every nation.

The Lord Jesus Christ is Lord of all!

1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

There is almost no one today who can truthfully say they have never heard some part of the Word of God!

The world still pays no attention to what God says.

Today people will tell you that the Word of God is not relevant to the world of today.

In America many say the same thing about our Constitution and the Word of God is much more important than our Constitution.

The “Gospel” of Jesus Christ has been published around the world today, it is just ignored by most of the world.

Jesus began preaching the Word of God in Galilee just after John was imprisoned.

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.

Jesus then preached the Word of God in every city and village.

Luk 8:1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,

There are no excuses for rejecting the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

There is no excuse for ending up in Hell at your death.

The ignorance of the Lord Jesus Christ will put you in Hell!

*Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Act 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

Jesus Christ is the Anointed One of God, the Messiah, God’s Anointed Savior!

The word Christ in Greek and the Hebrew Messiah denote the Lord Jesus as the “Anointed One” of God.

Jesus was anointed with God the Holy Spirit but he was anointed in a way that no other person has ever been anointed.

The Holy Spirit was given without measure to the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh 3:33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
Joh 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
Joh 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

What did Jesus say?

Luk 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit so that He could go about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil.

What are some the things the Devil will oppress us with?

Evil spirits and demons, lying and deception, bitterness and hatred, killings and wars, selfishness and greed, immorality and lust, power over death and many other things.

When we receive the Holy Spirit, the devil will have lost any and all power over us!

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.

This part of the “Good News” we can witness to others about.

There is proof that the Lord Jesus did all these things.

The disciples were with the Lord for about three years and were eyewitnesses of all these things.

The Lord Jesus did not come to debate the Word of God!

The Word of God stands as the absolute truth for this world!

The Lord Jesus may no longer be upon this earth in body, but He is still working in lives today. Still delivering from the oppression of the Devil.

The Scripture speaks of at least four anointings:

1) The anointing of respect or of hospitality.

Mar 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

2) The anointing for service:

Exo 28:41 And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.

3) The anointing for medical purposes.

Luk 10:34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

4) The anointing of God’s Son. (Our Scripture)

Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Many of the disciples of Jesus Christ were also witnesses to His death!

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.

Act 3:13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
Act 3:14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
Act 3:15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

But God raised Him up from the dead.

*Act 10:40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
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.

There was no doubt that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was done in such a way that showed He had victory over Death, over Hell, and over the Grave.

The Lord Jesus appeared to a selected group of witnesses.

1) God showed Jesus openly. He was visibly, openly, and publicly seen as the Risen Lord.

2) The Lord Jesus appeared to chosen witnesses who were chosen for a reason.

3) Certain witnesses did eat and drink with Him after He arose from the dead.

Peter tried to stress that the person we know as Jesus, did die, and did raise from the dead and did have fellowship with His disciples.

Peter tried to emphasize that he and the other disciples, men and women were as closely associated with Jesus as people can be. These were all true, verifiable witnesses.

Peter emphasized that the Lord Jesus Christ actually died and actually rose from the dead and he was certain of it!

The person that rose from the dead was the same person that died. He was the same Jesus that they knew before He died!

His body was a real body, not as a ghost, but a body that could only be described as “glorified”.

He was real. He could eat, drink, speak, and do all things that people do, but He could do all sort of Heavenly things also.

The same body that was buried was the same body that was resurrected!

This same Lord Jesus who they had traveled with also repeated some the same commands He had already given to them.

*Act 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

Peter said we had all get it very clear, the Lord Jesus Christ is the only Judge of the living and the dead of all nations and all peoples.

He will judge the Jew and the Greek and all other nationalities and He is no respecter of persons!

He is ordained of the same God that the Jews had worshiped all these years beginning with Abraham.

Jesus Christ is the One and Only Judge of all people no matter who they are or where they are, alive or dead.

He and He alone will judge all their works from the day they were born to the day they die within His creation.

Act 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

All the prophets of the Old Testament when they spoke of the Messiah, they were speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ.

*Act 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

The Bible from the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation tells the story of God’s Messiah, our Savior.

Peter had been convincing of this truth.

Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

It is the believing in all these truths that He allows the forgiveness of sins.

There is no other way to be forgiven by our Heavenly Father!

So, what are the results when people hear and understand the truth of God?

*Act 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
Act 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Without the Holy Ghost we cannot be “Born Again”.

Without the Holy Spirit we will have no power against the Devil.

Without the truth of the Word of God we will remain lost in a dying world.

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.

While Peter was still preaching, faith entered into these Gentiles and they were gloriously saved.

Hearing the Word of God is a requirement before the Holy Spirit will enter into the soul of any human.

Our “Faith” must be based upon the truth. Not just any truth but the truth of God!

Jehovah God caused the Holy Spirit to fall upon these Gentiles because they had become believers.

No man not even Peter had anything to do with God pouring out His Spirit upon these believers.

The gift of the Holy Spirit is an act of God!

They received the Holy Spirit because they received the truth of Jesus Christ and believed.

The Jewish believers who were present with Peter were astonished. They had been taught since childhood that the Holy Spirit was available to only the Jews.

They in their teachings had developed a hatred for the Gentiles.

The signs they saw were identical to what the Jews had seen on that day of Pentecost and could not be denied.

We know that speaking tongues was them speaking in a language they could not have known, probably the Jewish language as these were Greek speaking Gentiles with some knowing Latin.

This called the “baptizing of the Holy Spirit.

Note: Even today the Jews are always seeking some sign that what God does is true. Their faith has always been lacking.

*Act 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

Tongues is simply another word for languages.

The words of Jesus:

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.
Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Mar 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

*Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
Act 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Peter then challenged those Jewish believers to see if they would deny water baptism.

There could be no question that these Gentiles were just as saved as those Jewish believers.

God will never teach a lie!

The door to the Gentile world was now opened.

It seems it was the Jewish believers who baptized these Gentile believers.

They all believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and they all became part of the Church, the Bride of Christ.

They were all baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Father God said:

Isa 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

God the Son said:

Mat 22:9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

The Holy Spirit directed all these things to be written down so we would all have the truth!


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!