Monthly Archives: June 2021

Acts 13- The Mission Begins

So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 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. And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: 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. Acts 13:4-7

Paul’s first missionary trip has begun, but he didnt go alone, Barnabas went with him to preach the gospel. Notice before they were sent out, the Church layed hands on them and prayed over them. It’s important before we do things, we are in the will of God, and filled with the Holy Spirit

The first thing they encountered was a false prophet named Barjesus, this is why its important to be trained and have sound doctrine before you go out into the ministry field. You will encounter and be challenged by many false prophets and false religions, always be prepared to give a response (1 Peter 3:15)

But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 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? 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 Acts 13:8-11

Paul didn’t waste any time he rebuked the false prophet named Elymas and caused blindness to fall upon him. Notice it says Paul was “filled with the Holy Spirit” during this time, many people today would say “Paul was not acting Christian” but Paul understood the seriousness of false religions. As Paul said they will “pervert the right ways of The Lord” If we don’t rebuke false prophets and false teachers they will continue to pervert the gospel of Jesus Christ

Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem. Acts 13:12-13

So would say “what good can come from Paul’s harsh behavior” however notice when the deputy saw what Paul did, he believed and accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ! We worry too much today about not offending people or hurting their feelings, if we really cared about people we would not want them to spend eternity in Hell. I would rather offend somebody and tell them the truth, the lie to them and let them go to Hell

Of course everything we do should be for the glory of God and in his will in Jesus Name Amen!

Acts 12- Pray Without Ceasing Part 2

And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place  Acts 12:15-17

As we continue to look at God’s deliverance of Peter from prison, when Peter went back to the where the disciples were staying, at first they didn’t believe it was him. So Peter kept knocking and when they saw him, they were astonished. And Peter gave glory to God how he literally rescued him from prison

Remember this was all possible because the Church continued to pray for Peter without ceasing. They never forgot Peter or any of their brothers or sisters. The power of prayer is a tool missing from the Church today!

Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter. And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode.  Acts 12:18-19

When King Herod discovered Peter was missing, he was not happy. In fact he executed all the guards who were involved in that day. Herod thought he was going to execute Peter and display his power, however God displayed he is still in control. After this event Herods whole reign came crashing down. 

And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. Acts 12:23

Herod declared himself a god and the true living God showed him who was really in charge. The angel of The Lord killed Herod because of his blasphemy, and just like that King Herod was worm food. Time for people to humble themselves and truly understand who is in control

Peter’s deliverance from prison was a miracle and it strengthened the Church, it says “The Word of God continued to spread and multiply” Even under persecution the Church continues to flourish Amen!

Acts 12- Pray Without Ceasing Part 1

Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. Acts 12:5-7

Persecution of The Church continued, as we read earlier in the Chapter, James the brother of John, was killed by Herod. The religious leaders were looking to wipe out the Christians, so they had Peter arrested by Herod also. But the religious leaders didnt realize once again, they were not fighting against the Christians, they were fighting against God Almighty.

God sent an angel and rescued Peter from prison. Notice it says “The Church prayed without ceasing for Peter” Prayer works, Prayer matters! One of the failures of the modern day Church is the removal of prayer meetings. Imagine if Christians gathered today daily and prayed together! 

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. Acts 12:8-10

Peter had no idea what was going on, he thought maybe he was dreaming or seeing a vision, but he put his trust in God and was obedient to the angels commands. Little did he realize , this was a real angel in his presence following God’s commands. Often we might not understand God’s will, but we must remain obedient

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. Acts 12:11-14

Notice when Peter got to the disciples house, what were they doing? Praying! , probably praying for Peter, see how that works! Eventually Peter realized what was going on, God had rescued him with a real angel. Can we relate, sometimes God helps us and we have to look back and say “That was God” 

Notice it says “many were gathered together praying” the early Christians prayed for each other without ceasing! The news of Peter’s deliverance was about to be announced, the Church needs to get back to its greatest weapon, prayer! Pray without ceasing, Pray for each other daily, in Jesus name Amen!

Acts 11- The Gospel Is Spread

Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Acts 11:19-21

The stoning of Stephen began the great persecution of the Church, however God used this evil for his good, as the Christians scattered to other regions, the gospel of Christ began to spread from them. This began to grow more Christians,  as it said “A great number believed”

Also remember Peter’s vision and the Holy Spirit fell upon the Gentiles. Now we are starting to see the Church truly take its form, people from all different countries and races becoming children of God through the Lord Jesus Christ! This is the New Covenant, this is the Church of God

Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. Acts 11:22-24

So many people were coming to Christ that the news spread all the way to Jerusalem. The Church then decided to send Barnabas to see what was going on. Notice it says “Many people were added to The Lord” See what was meant for our harm, God used it for our good. (Romans 8:28) The Church was growing under persecution

We see this throughout history, the more the Church is persecuted , the stronger the Church actually grows. Satan has been trying to destroy Christianity since the beginning, but doesnt realize Christ has crushed the head of the serpent at the cross! As Jesus said “The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church” (Matthew 16:18)

Jesus commanded us the Great Commission to preach the gospel to everyone! Don’t be afraid, God is with you and the gates of Hell won’t prevail against you in Jesus Name Amen!

Acts 10- The Gentiles Are Grafted In

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 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. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Acts 10:44-46

When Peter began to preach , the Holy Spirit fell upon , not just the Jews but also the Gentiles. This is the New Covenant, and this was a fulfillment of the vision Peter received earlier about God making all things clean. We are now Children of God through Jesus Christ, not Children of God because of our nationality or religion. Its only through Christ that we can be saved and reconciled back to God

It says they were astonished, probably due to the large number of people who became Born Again, but also because they were Gentiles. Christ didn’t come to just save Israel, he came to save the world!

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

An interesting event then happened, who can be baptized? Can anyone forbid someone from wanting to be baptized? The answer is no, if someone is called to Christ, let them come to Christ and be baptized. The Gentiles didn’t need to be “Church members” for 6 months or were no newborn babies, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and wanted to profess their faith in Jesus Christ

Another interesting point is the Gentiles were already baptized by the Holy Spirit before being baptized by Water. As we know from Jesus, there are two baptisms, water and the spirit (John 3) The Gentiles received the Holy Spirit and now we’re ready to profess their faith in Christ with water. You don’t have to be one before the other, not everyone’s testimony is the same. We noticed in Acts also there were Christians who were baptized by water yet not baptized by the Holy Spirit yet. 

This is testimony of the New Covenant, Jews and Gentiles becoming One through Jesus Christ! How can this be? Because of the baptisms of Spirit and Water, and the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ , Amen!

Acts 10- New Covenant

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; Acts 10:34-37

As we remember , Peter had a vision from God and  declared “Don’t call anything impure that God has made clean” As Peter pondered this vision , a centurion by the name of Cornelius was looking for Peter. Why was this man looking for Peter? Because if we remember previously, God sent an angel and told him to go find Peter

Now we need to understand who Cornelius is, a centurion is an office in the Roman army. From an outside perspective, this man should have no association with Jews or Christians. However Cornelius was a God-fearing man, and God was going to use him to spread the gospel of Christ even further!

Cornelius told Peter an angel came and told him to find him, once Peter understood this he started to realize what his vision meant by God. Peter understood that God no longer shows favoritism based on our nationality, that we become Children of God through Jesus Christ! This is the New Covenant

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. 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: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 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. Acts 10:38-41

Peter then went on to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. He preached how Christ was crucified on the cross and was raised from the dead on the 3rd day. Peter also noted that they were eyewitnesses to the risen Lord. It’s a common theme throughout the book of Acts, that the resurrection of Christ , was the central theme of Christianity

God works in mysterious ways, at first Cornelius didn’t understand his visit by the Angel, at first Peter didn’t understand his vision, but eventually they all understood that Jesus brought the New Covenant Amen!