Tag Archives: Acts

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!

Acts 10- Peter’s Vision

On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. Acts 10:9-13

One of the great controversies in Christianity was the vision Peter received on the rooftop. There are many who debate what the correct interpretation of Peter’s vision is, was it just a sign of the New Covenant, or was it a direct message that we are no longer under the dietary laws of the Mosaic Covenant, or both?

Peter saw a vision from Heaven of many different kinds of animals, including reptiles and birds. Now knowing the Mosaic Law, reptiles and many of these animals were considered unclean and not appropriate to eat or you would be breaking the Torah. But God commanded Peter to kill and eat! What was God trying to tell Peter?

But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Acts 10:14-16

 Peter’s initial response was “No , Lord I have never eaten anything unclean” Even though God commanded Peter to eat the unclean animals, Peter was still afraid of breaking the Torah. This was, in my opinion, the purpose for this vision from God. Many today are still trying to live “Under The Law” instead of living under the grace of Jesus Christ. God was trying to reveal to Peter he is now in the New Covenant instead of the Mosaic Covenant

God also revealed to Peter “Don’t call anything impure what God has made clean” Peter still related these animals to being impure, however God is the creator of all things and can cleanse all things

I believe this is also a revelation of the Gentiles being grafted into the New Covenant. In the Mosaic Covenant, Gentiles (Non-Jewish) were considered unclean and should not be associated with. However Christ came to bring, Jew and Gentile, as children of God by the blood of Jesus! Amen!

Acts 9- Paul’s Transformation

And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. 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? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. Acts 9:20-22

Paul went from persecuting Christians to now preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, what happened? Paul became Born Again through Jesus on the Road to Damascus. God can transform and save anyone by his blood and spirit, Paul is a great example of this! When people heard Paul preaching they were amazed, saying “Isn’t this the same man who wreaked havoc on the Christians in Jerusalem”

Is this the same way people look and think about you? When people who knew you before you were saved, do they wonder how can this person be preaching about God? Yes our personal lives are a testimony of the power of the gospel, we became new creatures through Christ just like Paul

And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. Acts 9:23-25

Even though the Orthodox Jews didn’t understand Paul’s conversion, they had enough of him preaching about Jesus and plotted to kill him. Understand that your conversion will not be understood or possibly not accepted by the world around you. Anytime you preach the gospel, expect a strong reaction from the world. Because the world is enemies with God

And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. Acts 9:26-28

Even the Christians were hesitant of accepting Paul, many didn’t truly believe he was a disciple. Did you ever feel this or experience this in a Church? Sometimes our conversions are too much for people to believe. How can God take a wretched sinner like them and make them a saint! Only by the blood of Jesus!

Make no mistake about it, Paul was transformed on the Road to Damascus, just as we are transformed when we become Born Again! Let your story be a testimony to our Lord Amen!

Acts 9- Baptism of Paul

And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Acts 9:10-12

Ananias was given a mission by The Lord, which many probably would have refused. He was called to baptize the same man who terrorized the Christians. As mentioned God can restore and use the worst of all sinners, Christ called Paul by name and made him Born Again

Paul was also given the vision of having Ananias restore his vision. God had a clear plan for Paul’s life, this “change of heart” was not by mistake or coincidental, Paul was called by Jesus to be a vessel for his Kingdom

Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 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: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. Acts 9:13-16

Ananias expressed his concern with The Lord, this man Paul “has done much evil to Christians” however Jesus was stern “Go”! , Paul is a chosen vessel for Christ! But notice this calling is not going to be a walk in the park for Paul, Christ said “how much he will suffer in Jesus name” Paul had a great calling but it will also come at a great price!

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. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized  Acts 9:17-18

Ananias put his hands on Paul as commanded by Christ, and he received the Holy Spirit. The scales fell from Paul’s eyes and now he is looking through the eyes of Christ. Were these literal scales or just figurative? Either way anyone who has become Born Again knows what its talking about. When you become Born Again in Christ, you see the world from a whole new perspective. You are now filled with the Holy Spirit, seeing things through the eyes of God

Paul’s conversion is a strong example of the grace of God and the spiritual rebirth through Jesus Christ. When you are called by name, you will never be the same Amen!

Acts 9- Road to Damascus

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 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. Acts 9:3-5

Every Christian has that “Come To Jesus” moment, and Paul had his moment on the road to Damascus. While Paul was on his way to persecute more Christians, Jesus had different plans for Paul. As Paul literally saw the light and heard the Lord call him by name! Paul’s response was “Who are you Lord”? And Jesus revealed to Paul, Christ is the Lord, the same Lord you have been persecuting

This is the same for our conversions , Jesus has called us by name! Previously we were spending our days fighting against God, maybe not even realizing it, but Christ still loved us enough that he died for us even when we were still sinners!

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. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 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. Acts 9:6-8

Paul was humbled on the road to Damascus, before this conversion he was terrorizing Christians, now Paul was blinded by the light. He became humbled and realized that Jesus was really Lord and he had a new mission to complete. Notice Paul’s response to The Lords calling “What do you want me to do”? This should be our response also, let the Lords will be done!

And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. Acts 9:9

Obviously the transformation is not going to be easy, as Paul previously spent his days persecuting the Church, now Paul is part of the Church! This is how God works, he can take anyone and make them new again for his glory and purpose!

The Road to Damascus was meant to terrorize the Church , however it brought glory to God as we know Paul will go on to be one of the greatest preachers in Church history! Spreading the gospel to all the Gentile nations Amen!

Acts 8- Philip and The Eunuch

And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. Acts 8:30-33

The Holy Spirit led Philip to talk to an Ethiopian eunuch, have you ever felt led by the Holy Spirit to talk to someone? The eunuch was reading Isaiah 53 and didn’t understand who the prophecy was talking about, notice the eunuch said to Philip “How can I understand, unless someone should guide me” This is why preaching is very important, we can’t assume everyone understands the Bible or knows Christ

The Bible is clear that the prophecy of Isaiah 53 was fulfilled by Jesus, when you read the detail and accuracy of the prophecy, it’s amazing that it was written over 700 years before Christ was born. What would have happened if Philip was not obedient to the Holy Spirit? The eunuch may have never known Christ or heard the gospel message, listen to the Holy Spirit and be obedient!

And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? Acts 8:34-36

Who was Isaiah 53 written about? It was all about Jesus, and Philip shared the gospel with the eunuch based on Isaiah 53. If someone asks you to show them the gospel from the Old Testament, show them Isaiah 53! The eunuch understood the gospel and received Christ, now “What would prevent him from being baptized”? Nothing! Baptism is a profession of your faith in Jesus, if you believe you should be baptized!

And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:37-39

The eunuch professed Christ as Lord and Philip baptised him. Some translations are missing verse 37 which doesn’t make sense. If you haven’t received and understood that Jesus is your Lord, then why would you get baptized? After the baptism the Holy Spirit removed Philip, and the eunuch went back to Ethiopia sharing the good news of Jesus Christ!

One obedience of the Holy Spirit probably transformed hundreds, many thousands of lives. Think about it, the eunuch , who had a high position of authority, probably went back to Ethiopia and preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone! Listen to the Holy Spirit, be obedient in Jesus Name , Amen!

Acts 8- Simon The Sorcerer

But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Acts 8:12-14

There was a sorcerer named Simon, he became very famous among the people performing magic. However when Philip came with the gospel and demonstrated signs and wonders via the Holy Spirit, Simon became jealous and wanted the power of the Holy Spirit. Little did Simon understand that this is not how God works. Many false prophets and teachers today try to mimic and blasphemy the Holy Spirit today

As Philip continued to preach the gospel many people came to Christ and were baptized. This generated such a buzz that the Apostles decided to come down to Samaria to see the revival that was happening

Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. Acts 8:15-17

Now the interesting thing we see here is even though the believers were baptized with water, they were not yet baptized with the Holy Spirit as Jesus taught in John 3. The Apostles laid hands on the new believers and they were baptized by the Holy Spirit. There are two baptisms, the water and the spirit!

And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Acts 8:18-20

Simon the sorcerer wanted the power of the Holy Spirit, he was a false convert. He didn’t really care about God, he just wanted the power of God. How many false converts do we still see today? Peter rebuked the sorcerer because Simon believed he could purchase God with money! Again we see the deity and sacredness of the Holy Spirit

Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Acts 8:21-23

Peter told Simon to repent of his sin, and his heart was not right with God. This is the difference between a true and false convert. Christianity is a heart issue, we must become Born Again with a clean heart through Christ!

God will not be mocked, we can’t pretend to be a Christian, God reads our hearts and minds. Examine yourself, and get right with God in Jesus name Amen!

Acts 8- Persecution of The Church

And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. Acts 8:1-2

As we continue to look at the death of Stephen, we see that Paul consented or approved of his death. Saul began to persecute the Church, as it says “there was a great persecution” why did Paul do this? Well he had zeal for God, yet his zeal was misled. He believed he was honoring God with his work, however Paul was actually fighting against God, as he will later find out on the Road to Damascus

We see that the Church began to become scattered, remember how Jesus described us as sheep scattered without a Shepherd. Paul was actually doing the work of Satan and trying to destroy the Body of Christ, but what we found out over history is that the Church is unbreakable. The more you persecute the Church, the more it grows stronger and bigger in size!

Notice there was a great sorrow or lamentation over Stephen. As stated previously he was believed to be the first martyr of Christianity, but Stephen is now with The Lord as we seen in Chapter 7

As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. Acts 8:3-4

Paul tried to single handedly destroy the Church, he went from house to house , seeking Christians and putting them in prison or persecuting them. However the more he persecuted the Church , the stronger they became. As the Christians began scattered, it allowed them an opportunity to share the gospel to a larger audience. Christianity was actually spreading due to the persecution

This reign of terror by Paul was why the Church was reluctant to accept Paul when he became Born Again on the Road to Damascus. We must remember that Jesus has the power to transform even the worst of sinners!

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. Acts 8:5-7

Philip used this opportunity to head to Samaria and preach the gospel there. There he started a revival, performing miracles and healings by the Holy Spirit. Even though the Church was being persecuted, the Body of Christ was growing and spreading across the entire world

God can use what was meant for our harm and use it for our good, don’t live in fear, trust in Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you Amen!

Acts 7- Death of Stephen

When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Acts 7:54-56

Chapter 6-7 in the book of Acts documents the events of a disciple named Stephen. Now remember from previously , he was one of the seven men chosen by the Apostles, a deacon of the Church of Jerusalem.  Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit and highly respected among the Church. Many historians believe Stephen was the first martyr in Christianity. 

Stephen was performing many signs and wonders in the name of Jesus, and when the orthodox Jews confronted him about this, they couldn’t stand up against the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. So they made false accusations against Stephen, claiming he was speaking blasphemy against Moses and God. They acquired false witnesses to make false claims against him in front of the religious leaders (Acts 6: 8-15)

While Stephen was on trial, being filled with the Holy Spirit, he looked up into Heaven and saw Jesus sitting at the right hand of God. Imagine the comfort Stephen must of felt knowing The Lord was looking over him

Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Acts 7:57-59

When they asked Stephen to give his testimony, he basically went through the entire Bible from Abraham to Moses to Jesus. Only someone filled with the Holy Spirit could have gave such a great exegesis of the Bible, however the religious leaders were unable to comprehend the gospel

We notice a man named Saul responsible for the stoning of Stephen, this was the Apostle Paul before he became Born Again on the road to Damascus. This is why Paul calls himself the “Chief of Sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15) Paul was partly responsible for the death of Stephen, and he carried that guilt with him the rest of his life. But God took a man like Paul and used him for his good to spread the gospel to all the Gentiles

Notice what Stephen says before he dies “Lord Jesus , receive my Spirit” This is significant because in the Old Testament Psalm 31 “Into your hands I commit my spirit” , this was a prayer often said in Judaism to God. Stephen is displaying the deity of Christ by committing his Spirit into the hands of Jesus!