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Act 27,1-8

(44j) Judgment >> Transformed >> Fulfill your ministry according to the will of God Ė People didnít travel much back then; they generally didnít have ships that hauled people, but cargo. Traveling was usually a one-way ticket, called migration, and migration was rare, so virtually all ships at sea were cargo ships, which is mostly true to this day, because traveling by ship is far too slow in contrast to flying. They didnít sneak Paul aboard, but were welcomed so long as there was room, no doubt paying a small fare.

(117d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Rest in Jesus (Sabbath) >> Let Jesus do the work >> Let Him work on your circumstances Ė We have Paul going to Rome, but the storm got in the way. A person might say, ĎThis storm was of the devil, who was trying to keep Paul from fulfilling Godís purpose,í but not every storm is of the devil. Storms form because that is what the earth does. It was nobodyís fault; it just happened. There are people in the Church who believe that God is in control of everything, but randomness is part of the curse. The winds blow as they may, and sometimes they blow in ways that create storms, and this ship got caught in one. The storm was not necessarily attempting to thwart the will of God. People are goal oriented, and so is God, but not so much that He becomes anxious about fulfilling His purposes. When we are in Godís care, we need to relax and allow all things to be fulfilled in their proper time. God thinks about time differently than we do; we are usually in a big hurry to accomplish our missions, but God never gets in a hurry to do anything. The storm was not an obstacle to keep Paul from going to Rome; rather, he was destined to go there, so there was no force big enough to keep him from the great city. God was in no hurry to get Paul to Rome, in that He made time to show Paulís captors who was really in charge.

(121l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in God as you fulfill your ministry Ė When we look at church history, years after Paulís demise Rome grew fond of Christianity, but they founded it upon the apostle Peter (because of the erroneous interpretation of Mat 16-18). Paul was probably the most influential of all the evangelists that came to Rome, yet the Roman Catholic Church doesnít speak that much about him. This was mostly because of Paulís personality; he was all business. Paul was just not a very likable person, whereas Peter enjoying the limelight as spokesman, was bigger than life, a blusterous fellow with a big heart who immeasurably loved God, but was a bit of a screw-up. That is not to put him down, because ďscrewupĒ basically describes us all. The Catholic Church chose him over Paul as their mascot, and Paul, now in heaven, is sure to be perfectly content with that, though perhaps sorry for Peter that he got his name associated with such a demon-infested religion.

Act 27,8-10

(35d) Gift of God >> God is willing to Give >> No partiality with Godís generosity -- These verses go with verses 23-25

Act 27,9-31

(62o) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Righteous deception >> God deceives the world

Act 27,9-11

(69k) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Executing Godís judgment by His authority -- These verses go with verses 20-26

(70f) Authority >> Sin of familiarity >> Familiarity-enemy of discernment >> Familiar with the spirit of error

(93n) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective on the circumstances of this life Ė They did the opposite of Paulís advice; they left the shelter of Crete (v7). Paul knew what they were about to do, not because he saw a storm coming or that he could read the weather better than the sailors, but because he knew his God and heard His Spirit telling him that if they go any farther, they would risk everything, the cargo, the ship and even their lives, except that Paul prayed for them.

(168h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world listens to itself >> The world hears itís own words Ė What Paul told the men on the ship was the word of the Lord, but the circumstances didn't pan out that way, suggesting the future was edited through prayer. It could be that Paul prayed and God granted the lives of everyone on the ship. They viewed Paulís advice as coming from a prisoner; they didnít listen to him, unaware on some level that he was a man of God. They may have known he was a preacher of righteousness and an evangelist of the Christian faith, but for them it was irrelevant. They didnít know or didnít care that he was a prophet, but chose rather to tackle the situation using their own resourcefulness. They didnít think they needed Paul telling them what to do; they were probably competent sailors who had been on the sea all their lives; the last thing they needed was some Christian instructing them about their business.

Act 27-9,10

(152ia) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Prophets >> The Church holds the position of a prophet >> Church operates under a prophetic anointing >> Delivering a prophetic message from God -- These verses go with verses 21-26

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Act 27,10-25

(167h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind does not receive the things of God >> It does not believe the word of God Ė Jettisoning the cargo was the first of Paulís warnings to the crew (v10). The moment their hands touched it they were fulfilling the word of the Lord. Had they listened to Paul they would not have lost a thing, but they must have assumed Paul was speaking on his own behalf to delay going to Rome to face trial, assuming he was guilty of a crime. They must have thought in their hearts when they started throwing the cargo off the ship that Paul knew something, but they would not admit it; they had to lose the ship before they would whisper in their hearts that they should have listened to him. These men were slow to believe in God, and they represent the generations and millenniums that would pass that was full of people just like them.

(181c) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Rebelling against God >> Rebelling against the men of God -- These verses go with verses 30,31. To throw the cargo into the sea was to abandon their purpose for sailing in those dangerous waters. They were still hoping to save the ship, but when it came to throwing the ships tackle and cargo overboard usually the ship doesnít have much hope either. They were in a race for their lives; this is where rebellion leads. 

Act 27,10-21

(162a) Works of the devil >> Carried away by the storms of the devil -- These verses go with verses 38-44

Act 27,10-13

(178a) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Presumption (Hinduism) >> Presuming the will of God >> Presumption fills in the blanks

Act 27-10,11

(20m) Sin >> Disobedience >> Demonstrating unbelief in the validity of Godís word -- These verses go with verse 21

(89d) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Answers of wisdom Ė Hugging the shoreline in case they got into trouble was wrong thinking. Paul had extensive experience with the sea and knew how she acted at certain times of the year and knew that the door had already closed on the season for sailing in those waters, that there was no way they would ever make it to their destination. In other words, Paul didnít warn them by the Spirit; he warned them through his own wisdom. These men were seafaring sailors; they earned their living by the sea, yet Paul seemed to know more about the idiosyncrasies of the sea than they did. They were willing to take the risk, whereas Paul was in no hurry to be shipwrecked. To sail close inshore had its pros and cons; they could steer their course by visible land at their side, which appeared comforting, but if a storm came from the open sea, it would drive them into shore, and that is what happened. Conversely, had they sailed in open water, they would no longer have land as their guide but had more reaction time to battle storms.

(97i) Thy kingdom come >> Attention >> Giving attention to the wrong things -- These verses go with verses 30&31. The centurion believed the man wearing the captainís hat more than he believed Paul, which would be expected, since the captain should know better than Paul, who was just a prisoner with no voice or rights, and whose opinion rated lower than the workers of the ship. The man who was guarding Paul was unaware of his experience with the sea and didnít care to know. The one with greater authority had more influence than the one with greater experience.

(148b) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Solemnly testify against unbelief -- These verses go with verses 20-24

(223a) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Conceit >> Thinking you are superior to others >> Thinking you are inherently better than others Ė The angel said that if they followed Paulís word, everybody would survive, and it ended up that everyone had to listen to Paul, though he was a ďnobodyĒ. He had less than zero status as a criminal, yet they had to listen to him in order to survive, which took humility. When their lives were at stake and they ran out of options, the only thing they could do was listen to Paul, and it is also the only time people are willing to believe in Jesus, after they run through all their options. Everything they tried ended in failure; they played all their cards and had one left, so they listened to Paul and their lives were spared, yet nobody was eternally saved.

(246i) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of Godís kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Demonstration of His words -- These verses go with verses 21-26

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Act 27,14-25

(164f) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world system >> Satanís system of authority >> He is the prince of the power of the air Ė When it says that all hope of being saved was abandoned, this was the attitude of the men onboard, not necessarily of Paul. He knew that what the men had done was foolhardy, leaving port that time of year; the gale-force winds of autumn would be blowing in winter. Paul was probably disgusted with them after voicing his opinion before the onset of their trip without being heard; they wouldnít listen to him because he was a prisoner. It didnít matter how many sailing adventures he had experienced over a lifetime of service to the Lord. Paul had preached the gospel to the whole known world by this time, yet they wouldn't respect his experience or skills or advice on the sea to save their lives, perhaps suspecting he had ulterior motives as though trying to create an opportunity for escape. This is how the religious establishment treats Christians too; we are merely called to sit down and shut-up. See also: Business of religion; Tit 1,9-14; 180a

Act 27-14

(216b) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Suddenly >> Satan uses the element of surprise Ė If we are doing something that we shouldnít do, and it puts in a place where we shouldnít be, we become easy prey for the devil. Paul warned the people in charge of the ship not to set sail but to wait in safe harbor till spring. They considered his advice an attempt to procrastinate arriving in Rome, where he would be tried, convicted, sentenced and beheaded. The captain of the ship assumed he was guilty of the crimes of which he was accused. Why would they listen to his advice about their ship, though ignoring him put themselves at risk of the deadly winds of winter that they knew were coming? These sailors were not novices; they were probably more experienced than Paul, but Paul didnít need more experience to know better, because he was an intelligent man who had the Lord on his side, who taught Paul wisdom and humility to avoid storms like this along his journeys. He never got caught in a storm of this intensity when he was at the helm, making all the decisions. Paul spent many years in prison; he was used to waiting. Before he jumped in a boat and lifted sail, he checked the calendar, having learned from seasoned sailors when not to sail certain seas. Paul was content to winter storms at safe harbor and preach Jesus to the people in that vicinity before he forged to the places he intended in the spring, when it was safer to travel. Most of his travels were on freighters; he would pay a nominal fee to board and no doubt helped the crew and made converts among them. These sailors knew how to sail a ship, and they knew the ocean, and the captain knew about storms, but he had priorities that preceded the safety of the ship, its crew and cargo; plus there were officers onboard who were used to giving orders that must have told the captain what to do with his ship. Why would he listen to them and put his ship in harms way, knowing that noríeasters were coming and would shove his boat toward land and upon a reef, where they all could have been killed. He was probably showing-off to Roman soldiers, wanting to make a name for himself, hoping one of them would talk to Caesar about him and make him the kingís chief captain of his fleet. People have motives for taking serious risks, but Paul didnít care if he made it to Rome early or late. What did matter were his life and the lives of the people on the ship. What motivates us becomes the reasons for the decisions we make; and if we are motivated by the wrong things, such as pride and arrogance, we can make wrong decisions that cause us to fall, if they donít get us killed.

Act 27,18-44

(188b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man>> Die to the flesh >> Dying to self keeps you on Godís course

Act 27-19

(234i) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Relinquishing your assets to Christ >> Dispose of every asset except Christ

Act 27,20-26

(28e) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> God protects the world through the Church -- These verses go with verses 32-37. Jesus said, "you are the salt of the earth" (Mat 5-13); we are the preservative of the world. Paul was not above telling the men, ďI told you so.Ē We hear it said that this is disrespectful. In Paulís case and with the case of so many who serve the Lord, we are constantly ignored and rejected. In the case with those who are persecuted for their faith, it would probably do their hearers some good to hear the words, ďI told you so.Ē Paul rubbed it in their faces (this is what it takes to get their attention), that he warned them not to leave the Cretan port. When it comes to spiritual matters, worldly people are hard of hearing; I said, Ďworldly people are hard of hearing!í Paul was filled with the Spirit and wisdom from God, coupled with his experience and knowledge of the sea. He told them that an angel had spoken to him, but not before he told them that what they had done was a mistake. He wanted God to receive the glory for his wisdom and experience as a seaworthy navigator through a lifetime of service in the many journeys as a missionary of the gospel. He wanted his captors to remember that he told them they were making a mistake long before they even boarded the ship; as Godís bondservant he received this wisdom. Paul wanted them to know that though they didnít have enough sense to stay in port and wait for better whether, he served a God that led him to develop wisdom that would keep him from facing these kinds of troubles. In their day, having trouble at sea was inevitable, much more to the foolhardy, bounding from the harbor at a time they knew storms were coming.

(31j) Gift of God >> Gift of His grace >> Being responsible with it -- These verses go with verses 30&31

(69k) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Executing Godís judgment by His authority -- These verses go with verses 9-11

(73d) Authority >> Respect Positions Of Authority >> In the Church

(97h) Thy kingdom come >> Attention >> Facing the direction of Godís will >> Focusing your attention on what matters to you Ė The angel of the Lord came and spoke to Paul about his immediate circumstances that concerned him and the whole crew; God intended to spare them all. He was not done using Paul; the Bible doesnít say he stood before Caesar, yet he no doubt did, because the angel said he would. God spared the crewmembers for Paulís sake, Paul, the man whom they despised. He finally got their attention once their lives were in danger; they didnít have any other choice but to listen to him. They tried all their ideas, and all it did was get them shipwrecked. Now that they have put themselves in this predicament, they had one last hope, which was to listen to their prisoner, who claimed to be a messenger of God and heard from an angel, who told him that if the crew listened to him, their lives would be spared. These people did not believe in God, but they listened to Paul and followed his instruction, not because they were sure an angel had spoken to him, but because they had no plan B.

(138h) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Exhortation >> Exhorting the people to glorify God

Act 27,20-25

(139b) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouragement >> The adversity of our brothers encourages us -- These verses go with verses 33-37

(227g) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Depending on Jesus to have compassion >> Depending on Jesus to deliver us Ė There is something in this statement that must have really opened the eyes and ears of the men on that ship; Paul said the angel of the Lord had spoken to him and he must stand before Caesar. In the minds of all who were aboard that ship, if they got out of this alive it would prove that Paul was innocent of all charges, because Godís angels donít speak to law-breakers and criminals. It was Godís idea for Paul to go to Rome, meaning the captain was no longer in charge. God was taking over their circumstances, their destiny and their purpose, and it was the storm that was revealing this to them. Paul must stand trial before Caesar in order to give his testimony about the grace of God and preach Jesus to leaders of a world-empire. Caesar in Paulís day did not establish the Roman Catholic Church, but a number of kings after him did, namely the Emperor Constantine I in AD 313. He claimed to become a Christian after he saw a strange vision or had a dream of going into battle to slaughter his enemies in the name of the Lord with a cross poised in front of him, and in his military conquest he defeated Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (Wikipedia). Most agree that it never was about faith with Constantine. Paul was not responsible for any of this spiritual mayhem, though it did take pressure off Christian persecution and many millions of souls have been saved throughout the centuries despite the Roman Catholic Church. See also: Paul going to Rome encouraged the formation of the Catholic Church (He never stood before Caesar); Act 28,17-21; 18c

Act 27,20-24

(148b) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Solemnly testify against unbelief -- These verses go with verses 10&11

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Act 27,21-26

(88k) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God >> Revering God Ė They sailed to a place called Fare Havens in Crete (v8), and as a result of leaving that port all their problems befell them. They continued because there weren't many accommodations at that port, but how comfortable were they battling the sea, starving, cold and exhausted? Paul warned them to stay put, because it was too late in the year to travel those treacherous waters. He spoke to the centurion about his trepidation, but it fell on deaf ears; and when his words came true, he earned their respect and used it to save their lives. Paul had made the proclamation that if they listened to his word and did exactly as he instructed, their lives would be spared, and that too was coming to pass, and so the centurionís respect for Paul grew, indicating that he was a good man. All the prisoners survived because of Paul; they benefited from his life; otherwise the soldiers would have killed them all to keep them from swimming to shore and escaping.

(152ia) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witness of the father >> Prophets >> The Church holds the position of a prophet >> Church operates under a prophetic anointing >> Delivering a prophetic message from God -- These verses go with verse 34. It is not polite to say, ďI told you so!Ē but in this case it was apparently warranted. He spoke this way to get their attention so they would be sure to listen to the next thing he would tell them. When it comes to spiritual matters, we must rub peopleís noses in it, because they are actively trying to avoid God. When their lives were at stake, though, it added a special dimension to the situation that they could not ignore, and they had to take Paul seriously. Had they listened to him at first, they would have escaped all the problems that were currently assailing them. 

(246i) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of Godís kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Demonstration of His words -- These verses go with verses 30&31

Act 27,21-25

(15e) Servant >> Angels are messengers from God >> They are sent to impart information Ė Before Paul received a word from the angel he told the men, ďI perceive that the voyage will certainly be with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our livesĒ (v10), but then an angel appeared to Paul and promised that every bodyís life would be spared if they followed his word. As their circumstances deteriorated, he didnít rush to tell the captain about his vision; instead, he waited for the vision to be fulfilled. After it was clear their lives were in danger, Paul then intimated his vision with the centurion.

Act 27-21

(20m) Sin >> Disobedience >> Demonstrating unbelief in the validity of Godís word -- This verse goes with verses 30&31. It is sad that after they had all made it to the island of Malta, none of the crewmembers got saved. It said that some of the islanders received divine healing in their bodies, which Jesus equated with salvation (for if they will receive one they generally will receive the other), yet no one from the ship was reported to have surrendered their hearts to the Lord after obeying Him to save their natural lives, showing their allegiance to the flesh but none to God. After their feet touched sand they immediately forgot God, who was responsible for bringing them safely to the island. To the Christian, the saddest thing they know is the fact that most people will not be going to heaven with them, simply because they refuse to believe. As a result, the Christian has a heavy weight upon him as one of many layers of burden that people in the world simply do not experience and are unaware, yet Jesus said this burden is light compared to the weight of sin in the world.

(93h) Thy kingdom come >> Following Jesus >> Through the leadership of men

Act 27-22

(206h) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Conditions to promises >> Conditions to the gifts of God >> Conditions to salvation -- This verse goes with verse 31


Act 27,23-25

(35d) Gift of God >> God is willing to Give >> No partiality with Godís generosity -- These verses go with verses 8-10

Act 27-23

(213j) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> Jesus owns you >> His will becomes our will >> As a master owns a servant

Act 27-24

(23o) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Fear of death

(235a) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Be a blessing >> God blesses those around you

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Act 27,27-31

(57d) Paradox >> Opposites >> Worldís wisdom versus Godís wisdom Ė Traveling by sea back then was hazardous. We will probably never know how many ships have sunk since man started traveling the sea. The fact that wood submerged in water dramatically slows the decaying process suggests that many of the ships that died at sea are still at the bottom of the ocean, which must be littered with debris, especially along the coastlines and reefs, and nearly every ship represents a loss of life. Millions of people have drown at sea over the course of six millennia, so it was a good chance that Paul and those on the ship were about to drown, except that Paul was in the hand of God, and if the crew precisely followed Paulís instructions, they would become recipients of God's grace through Paul. After making so many bad decisions, they couldnít afford to make any more. At this point everything they did was focused on saving their lives, floating to the island on pieces of the ship as it was torn to shreds by the force of the waves.

Act 27,30-37

(123e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Compassion >> Being willing because you are able Ė Paul was the kind of man that would have sacrificed his life for any one of those guys, but God wanted him alive. God through Paul touched the men so much that the prisoners who had earlier tried to escape, when they arrived safely to land didnít run.

Act 27-30,31

(20m) Sin >> Disobedience >> Demonstrating unbelief in the validity of Godís word -- These verses go with verse 10&11. The deal was, everybody is saved or nobody is saved. Paul told them, ďUnless these men remain in the ship, you yourselves cannot be saved.Ē He introduced all the men on that ship to the ways of God, which is defined by one word ďobedience.Ē If they followed Paulís command explicitly, not veering to the left or to the right, but walking a straight and narrow course, they would be spared. It happened just as he said, though some of the crew needed correction, who were threatening the lives of everyone by transgressing the divine command. In order for this prophecy to come true, they had to follow directions, for all Godís promises are conditioned on obedience. God turned the tables on everybody: Paul the prisoner who always maintained his freedom barked the orders, and the crewmembers, who were now prisoners of the sea obeyed his word. See also: Conditions to promises; 31j

(31j) Gift of God >> Gift of His grace >> Being responsible with it -- These verses go with verses 20-26. When God performs a miracle, He does it primarily for his own glory to further the gospel of Christ, so people would believe in Him and be saved. God can speak a word to us about something, and we must do what He said, being the condition that He includes with every promise. In this case the condition was that God would save the people as a unit. By this they were doing what was right, which is important to God, but acting against their conscience, provoking mutiny in the midst of catastrophe, would be grounds for termination regarding the promise, for He has no interest in saving people in the midst of rebellion. See also: Conditions to promises; Act 27-31; 206h

(97i) Thy kingdom come >> Attention >> Giving attention to the wrong things -- These verses go with verses 10&11

(181c) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Rebellion >> Rebelling against God >> Rebelling against the men of God -- These verses go with verses 10-25

(246i) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of Godís kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Demonstration of His words -- These verses go with verses 10&11

Act 27-31

(54e) Paradox >> Opposites >> The prisoner is in charge Ė The guards appeared to be in control, when in fact Paul was in control, not really Paul but God, who was in charge of Paul. In this way, Paul was in control of the situation of traveling to Italy from beginning to end. The guards thought they were taking Paul to Rome to prosecute him, but little did they know they were merely giving him a personal escort to the emperorís city, thus alleviating the threat of robbers, so he could speak of his faith in Jesus to the highest authorities on earth.

(206h) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Conditions to promises >> Conditions to the gifts of God >> Conditions to salvation -- This verse goes with verse 22. Everyone on that ship was God's prisoner. Some of the crewmen were planning an escape using the ship's boat, but Paul saw what they were doing and told the captain that unless they stayed on the ship, Godís promise would be null and void. Paul was doing more to guard the prisoners than the centurion, but was watching them for a different reason. He didnít care if the prisoners escaped; it wasnít his job to guard them; Paulís job was to make sure that the conditions to Godís promise was met, giving the centurion incentive to keep everybody onboard saying, ďUnless these men remain in the ship, you yourselves cannot be saved.Ē Note that Paul didnít say if these leave the ship they will die, but if they leave you will die! That was strong incentive! Everyone needed to stay on the ship because it was the condition of Godís promise. God wasnít interested in helping a band of rebels escape the sea; the implication was that if everyone did what they were told and stayed together, they would all be saved as a unit. The prisoners who were attempting to escape in the shipís boat were about to lose their lives in the sea. Moreover, to let them go would have broken the condition of Godís word to Paul, so that the rest of the crew would no longer be under Godís protection. Note also that Paul exempted himself from this condition, since he would remain faithful to the Lord and be saved regardless of the others. If they screwed up the conditions of Godís promise and everyone died, that would have no bearing on Paulís safety, for Paul was the reason of God's protection. One way or another he would stay alive, for he was destined for Rome according to the word of the Lord; he was merely trying to bring everyone alive with him to the island, just like he did on his missionary journeys when he sought to bring as many people with him to heaven as possible. Paul was like Moses in that he interceded for the people, instructing them that they had to do something to save their own necks, and like Moses he made sure everyone knew that when they came through this alive, they would give God all the credit. See also: Conditions to promises; Act 27-30,31; 20m

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Act 27,32-37

(28e) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> God protects the world through the Church -- This verse goes with verses 20-26. Paul knew the time had come for the ship to be destroyed on the reef and to swim for their lives to the island on whatever makeshift raft they could find from the boat. All the food on the ship would be lost, so they might as well eat some of it to sustain their energy for the long swim to the island, for they could not very well go through the tumultuous experience starving; they could have fainted in the ocean and drown. The actions they performed were as though choreographed by the God whom Paul served, who provided them with a step-by-step process of salvation, like the salvation that God has given us in Christ, which also has a choreographed feel to it, suggesting that these are the ways of God. This was much easier than trying to figure out a strategy on their own to get to the island in one piece, never knowing what insurmountable circumstances might develop to foil their own plan of salvation. These concerns were no longer relevant because God was in control now. Itís just a matter of following the steps provided for them through Paulís prompting. They put their trust in Paul, which in this case was tantamount to trusting God.

Act 27,33-37

(139b) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouragement >> The adversity of our brothers encourages us -- These verses go with verses 20-25. Wheat was their cargo. People didnít travel much back then, so they didnít have passenger ships; if anyone wanted to travel, they had to hop on a cargo ship. They really were in a bad situation. Part of saving their lives was the realization that they werenít going to save the cargo or the ship. They had two things against them: the storm and the sea. The fact that they were in a place where two seas meet, which usually generates tremendous currents and whirlpools, where waters have different temperatures and directions causing turmoil, this was a place that swallowed ships. Apparently they got past all that and hit the reef and got a ticket to the island on the surf riding a plank of wood.

Act 27,33-36

(189k) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Fasting >> Fasting is a state of mourning

Act 27-34

(152ia) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Prophets >> The Church holds the position of a prophet >> Church operates under a prophetic anointing >> Delivering a prophetic message from God -- This verse goes with verses 42-44

Act 27,38-44

(162a) Works of the devil >> Satan determines the world's direction >> Carried away by the storms of the devil Ė This was a very dramatic narration of the events that transpired (Luke wrote it), being one of three shipwrecks in the adventures of Paul (2Cor 11-25), and God was always with him. After this terrible storm, wouldnít it be nice to land on a sandy island beach with a view, but that is rarely how storm work. Many options were taken from them, being driven by the wind and the waves, which were making all the decisions for them about where they were going, and if there was a reef between them and the beach, they couldnít stop the boat, and so they were at the mercy of the sea. This too is what happens to people when they make bad decisions; they spend what remains of their lives jettisoning the cargo, their purpose for being on the water in the first place, after realizing it is weighing too heavy on their ship that is entering dangerous, shallow waters. They must abandon their vision and throw everything overboard in attempt to salvage what remains of their lives. Perhaps they can make a new start after the storm passes if they can reach land. Paul used his shipwrecks as analogies in regard to a lack of faith (1Tim 1-18,19). They made ashore, but most shipwrecks end in loss of life. Throwing their cause (cargo) overboard requires an admission that they were wrong about everything, in their case wrong in leaving Crete, saying that it wasnít a good port to stay the winter, it didnít have much for restaurants and sleeping quarters (or a tavern), but it was better than being stuck on a reef in the midst of a storm. They regretted their decision to set sail as Paul warned them.

Act 27,42-44

(152ia) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Prophets >> The Church holds the position of a prophet >> Church operates under a prophetic anointing >> Delivering a prophetic message from God -- These verses go with verses 9&10. The centurion who first ignored Paul, when his prediction came to pass learned to respect Paul. He probably began to suspect that he was innocent of whatever charges were against him. Making predictions and having them come true and then attributing them to God engendered reverence in the centurion. Had Paul been a criminal and knew the sea, he wouldnít have made any suggestions but would have waited to see what opportunities might arise to escape in the midst of their distress, but Paul clearly wasnít thinking this way.

Act 27-44

(173e) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Scripture that contradicts the catholic faith >> Catholics who are converted to the faith







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Act 28-1,2

(127b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Kindness >> Be kind like God >> Kindness is meeting the needs of the saints Ė Paul wasnít always received everywhere he went, and when he was received, he was grateful. When entering a town, he would go to the village square and there preach the gospel to everybody within earshot of him, and sometimes the people believed him and other times they ushered him out of town at the end of the mayorís foot. It was usually leaders of the town that conspired against Paul, and many of them were religious leaders, and most of them were some form of Judaism. So when these natives received Paul, they also received the gospel. Paul was able to perform healings among the people, and the way Jesus taught, if they received healing, they would also receive the gospel and vise-versa.

Act 28,3-6

(18e) Sin >> False Judgment lacks evidence >> Presumptuous speculation Ė The natives were adherents of the Hindu belief that revolves mostly around karma, the doctrine dictating that whatever a person does whether good or bad will return to him. According to karma, if something bad happens to someone, it is not just evidence but absolute proof that he did something evil and is getting his just deserts, or if something good happened, he too is getting what he deserves. How then does God get the glory for the gifts that he showers on both the evil and the good (Mat 5-45)? One thing absolute about Hinduism, it is absolutely false! According to the Hindu faith, God only gets credited for evil that happens in the world and not for the good, since the good that comes is always deserved, but evil is a judgment from god. The Bible teaches that consequences are not a hard and fast rule, as though it were a law written into the creation like the law of gravity. According to the natives, the snake hanging from Paulís hand was a consequence of his past sins, leading them to assume that he was guilty of whatever crimes he was being accused. They were convinced of this and intended to treat him as a criminal. Paul never ministered the gospel to them. See also: Hinduism; 157j / Karma - God does not baby-sit mankind; Rom 2,9-11; 166g

(19f) Sin >> Having the mental disease of the world >> Incorrect thinking Ė Mk 16-18 says, ďThey will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them.Ē The proper interpretation of this verse is that if a poisonous snake bites a disciple of Jesus, it will not harm him, in the same way that drinking deadly poison will not harm him. This renders Christian snake charmers fraudulent, for if they want to fulfill this Scripture, they must let their snakes bite them! These snake charming Christians mostly from the south pick up rattle snakes during church services and walk around with them. They have become very proficient at handling snakes, yet so are many other snake charmers, so what does that prove? The point they want us to believe is they must be spiritual because they are not getting bitten, claiming the snakes are not biting them because God is protecting them. Iíll believe they are spiritual based how they live, not how they handle snakes. Solomon built God an elaborate house but didnít get any points for doing it; his favor with God remained contingent on whether he obeyed His laws. Therefore, the greatest evidence of spirituality is a life that has been set free from bondage to sin by the power of the Holy Spirit; these are the ones most likely to survive a deadly snake bite.

(28j) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> God protects us from the devil Ė The natives were familiar with this highly venomous snake. Some can deliver a dry bite, meaning no venom was transmitted but perhaps the snake merely grazed the skin with its fangs and the injection never occurred, but this was not the case with Paulís bite, since it hung from his hand by its fangs. Nothing happened to Paul because God looked after him. He didnít pray about it but went on with his business, knowing that God didnít send him to Rome to be killed by a snake. Why doesnít it happen this way for other Christians; all kinds of things happen to Godís people and they are rushed to hospitals and some die? Paul was unaffected by this potential tragedy because he was in the exact will of God, which is not something most Christians can confidently say about themselves. God was using him and he was irreplaceable. In contrast, most Christians are living in a way they think will give them the best advantage to glean as much as possible from this life, but there is only so much spiritual blessing that can come of this kind of so-called service to God. If we want this level of divine protection, then we must be dedicated to driving Godís purpose into our lives. The person living for himself as a "Christian" may go to heaven, but he will miss many benefits in this life that God had planned for him and many rewards in the next life. 

(58b) Paradox >> Opposites >> From being condemned to death to being worshipped

(117d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Rest in Jesus (Sabbath) >> Let Jesus do the work >> Let Him work on your circumstances

(147d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> God exercises authority over every living thing

(157j) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Unable to know the truth Ė Paul didnít stop the natives of Malta from believing he was a god anymore than he showed concern in their thoughts of him as a murderer. In Acts chapter fourteen after Paul and Barnabas performed miracles of healing, the people considered them to be gods, intending to deify and worship them, but the evangelists stopped them, explaining that they were mere men, but in the case of the natives at Malta, there was no evidence that Paul attempted to stop them, their minds twisted around Satanís finger in the teachings of Hinduism. Unraveling such a devious belief system cannot be done in a day, being no less malevolent than Satanís original lie in the Garden of Eden. When Satan spoke to Eve, he said, "Did God really say...?" (Genesis 3-1), questioning whether God said they could not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and defying what God said would be the consequence, ďYou will not certainly dieĒ (v4). He spoke to them in half-truths, but are half-truths true enough? Obviously not! Satan went on to explain in his own terms what would happen if they ate the forbidden fruit, that their eyes will be opened, suggesting that God wanted them ignorant, thus planting a seed of conspiracy about Godís motives. He told them another half truth when he promised they would ďbe like God, knowing good and evil.Ē The fact was, they were already like God, having been created in His image, but after they ate the forbidden fruit they were more like God than ever, in that now they knew about sin, but they had to sacrifice other godlike qualities to obtain this knowledge, namely their relationship with God, their perfection and their innocence. Looking at this from our limited perspective is convoluted enough, but from Adam and Eve's standpoint, who were completely inexperienced in deception, this was impossible to understand. The only way out was to obey Godís word verbatim without asking any questions, because stepping away from God's simple command was a level of darkness that was inconceivable, but really no worse than Hinduism, which they say is the oldest religion in the world, suggesting that it was the second lie of Satan, no doubt related to the first. Satan kept speaking half-truths, just like karma is a half-truth. Sometimes it is true that bad things happen to bad people, but itís not a law that every bad thing that happens is the result of past sin. It is really hard to unravel half-truths. See also: Hinduism; 166g / Satan lied to Adam and Eve; Rev 12,7-11; 46h

(166g) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Wisdom of the world >> Nature Of Manís Wisdom >> Manís wisdom contradicts itself Ė On the one hand, Hinduism actually fosters evil, and in so doing, according to their own religion, evil should come back on them for being a Hindu, and in this way sin increases as a snowball effect in Hindu societies. On the other hand, Paul taught just the opposite of Hinduism in 1The 5-15, ďSee that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.Ē The Bible teaches that if someone has sinned, we should attempt to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness, lest we too be tempted to practice the same sins (Gal 6-1,2); that is, we may be tempted to fall into the trap of Hinduism. Neither sin nor its consequences are contagious in a state of humility, but in judgment yes. If we judge another, their sin will become ours. See also: Hinduism; 195f

(175m) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Ignorant of God

(176k) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> False doctrine >> Extremes >> Truth is never found in your thinking on either extreme of any subject Ė It is a shame that while the natives of Malta were overhauling their opinion of Paul, they didnít also overhaul their religion that led them to their false beliefs. Instead, they merely changed their minds and started calling Paul a god, probably with the intension of worshipping him. These natives swung from one side of the pendulum to the other, embracing opposite notions, and there was no truth on either side. The truth is always in the middle; he was a servant of the Most High God, being neither murderer nor divine.

(178c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Presumption (Hinduism) >> Presuming the facts about the circumstances >> Presumption interprets our observations

(195f) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Worshipping men >> Idolizing men Ė There are many gods in Hinduism but no one god at the pinnacle of the Hindu faith, giving room for man to worship himself through Hindu philosophies. This also allows other regions that boast in a god to append a variation of Hinduism to their deity and thus derive a near infinite combination of beliefs. Hinduism can therefore be seen as an add-on religion, which only adds on confusion to the worldís already skewed beliefs about God. See also: Hinduism Act 28,7-10; 145d

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Act 28,7-16

(216j) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Godís will over man >> God Is Independent Of His Creation >> You cannot control Godís desire for you >> man is not in control of his own destiny Ė Paul had taken charge of the situation long before they reached the island of Malta, while they were still at sea battling the wind and the waves; but when he saw the brethren, he took courage that he was not the only Christian in the world, after spending so many months with unbelievers. God was in control and Paul was His spokesman, and now Paul had all the more authority among the people after performing miracles of healing. The natives developed respect for Paul because he was obedient to His God, and the guard and all the men who were delivered from that tumultuous sea learned to respect him too.

Act 28,7-10

(145d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Jesus heals through the Church -- These verses go with verses 26,27. Signs, wonders and miracles are about the only way to reach a Hindu, in that Paul had something their religion could not explain. Just as they use karma as proof for good and evil, so God put heal in Paul's hands to prove that they should respect his opinions about spiritual matters and give him a hearing as to what he believes, and seriously consider abandoning their Hindu beliefs. See also: Hinduism; 191d

(191d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Extract the leaven of false doctrine Ė The Hindu-believing natives needed to be healed of their sicknesses and they also needed to believe in Jesus and possess the Holy Spirit in their hearts, and they were willing to give up their Hindu beliefs in order to embrace the faith that Paul unveiled to them. However, as Jesus said in Mat 13-52, ďEvery scribe who has become a disciple of the Kingdom of Heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old,Ē meaning the Hindu natives will never fully recover from their Hindu beliefs. The old religion in people before they were saved never quite dies. This is why it is important to 'believe the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God,' for whatever we have believed we can never fully disregard. See also:

(235g) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Giving (your inner self) >> Hospitality (providing a temporary home) >> Being a good host Ė Paul spent some time with this family before he prayed for their father. They courteously welcomed them and entertained them for about three days, developing relationships with them; then Paul prayed for their father and God healed him. It meant more to the family to have someone other than a complete stranger pray over their father, and Paul had an opportunity to build faith in the family who provided his needs, so when Paul went to pray for the father, he had the whole family behind him, which created an environment of faith. This takes a special kind of person in Paul to develop relationships like this on the spry. He was able to reach many people of different backgrounds and cultures, beliefs and languages without offending them. The gospel may be on the radio and TV and on the Internet, but these things are not as effective as personal relationships. Our generation is an isolationist society, making relationships difficult to foster. People have their family and a few friends and that is all they want; nobody else matters to them. Hospitality is largely a thing of the past, and for this reason the good news of the gospel travels very slow in our day, as opposed to Paulís day when it spread like wildfire.

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Act 28-14,15

(139a) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouragement >> Our brothers encourage us in our adversity Ė Paul met the brethren in Rome, and they encouraged him in his faith after spending months with the heathen. There are two kinds of brothers: there were Jewish brethren, because Paul was Jewish and any Jew would be considered a brother to him according to the flesh whether they were saved or not. Then he had Christian brothers, who were both Jews and gentiles.

Act 28-14

(228g) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> God is working in you to place you in His will >> To lead you in His purpose Ė The fact that they made it to Rome was significant, for it was the fulfillment of prophecy, but it was also significant in what Paul would do there.

Act 28,17-22 

(95f) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having a cooperative attitude >> Cooperating with each other

Act 28,17-21

(1a) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God and man by respecting authority -- By following the proper channels, Paul was able to obtain his goal of bringing the gospel to Rome, which had the strongest influence on the world at that time to model Christianity and to pass laws that would favor the gospel and the Church. This one accomplishment has changed the course of history forever by mass producing Godís truth through thousands of missionaries that proceeded from the faith that was generated by popular leaders of a nation great as Rome, adhering to the gospel and making Jesus a household name everywhere in the developing world.

(18c) Sin >> False Judgment lacks evidence >> Charges not defined as crimes >> Accusing Paul without formal charges Ė Paul was speaking first (and last) to the leading Jews in Rome, because they understood Jewish customs and laws and the issues that frequently arose. The idea was that he would speak to them first, who would determine his case, then hand it to Roman officers to try him according to their law, but it never got any further than where Paul stood, for no papers were sent describing his alleged infraction. Remember, in Acts chapter 25 Festus was confounded with how to frame Paulís charges; apparently he never wrote anything. Paul appealed to Caesar and to Caesar he went, or at least to Rome. Had any charges been written against him, they would have gone ahead of him, but neither Felix, Festus or King Agrippa were close to scrawling out a formal charge against him;  his case completely fizzled. Paulís case was an abject conundrum. We can only assume that Paul stood before Caesar, but if he didn't, it makes Paulís visit to Rome all the more significant with the Roman Catholic Church in that he was in no way responsible for its formation. For what we know, not a single Christian personally witnessed to Caesar; the empire merely heard about Christianity through the grapevine. See also: Protestant services model after the Catholic Church; Mat 23-10; 240a

Act 28-19

(63b) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Righteous deception >> Church deceive their enemies

Act 28,20-22

(58c) Paradox >> Opposites >> A blameless reputation preaching an unpopular gospel -- These verses go with verses 25-29

Act 28-20

(236b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> All things are for your sake >> We are fighting for you >> Our bondage is for your sake

Act 28-21,22

(20b) Sin >> Nature of sin >> Unbelief >> Unwilling to acknowledge the facts

Act 28-21

(42d) Judgment >> Be like Jesus >> Innocent >> No evidence against you in a court of law Ė This has got to be the greatest testimony anyone could receive, to a public figure that virtually everybody knew about him. He was not exactly famous, because he wasnít well liked, which made him infamous. As much as people hated him and made up stories about him and exaggerated every supposed negative thing against him, none of their arguments had any staying power. All their stories were forgotten, because they werenít true; they were unprovable and unsustainable. No concrete charge was ever brought against him. He was hated and heatedly pursued throughout his Christian life for preaching the gospel, yet none of his adversaries could bring a single charge against him, meaning that they couldnít say why they hated him; they just did. They didnít really hate him; they hated his gospel and his God.

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Act 28,22-29

(200b) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Rejecting Christ >> Rejecting the will of God >> Rejecting the gospel

Act 28-22

(142g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Reputation exposed to slander >> Your reputation under attack

(154e) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Witness that the world is godless >> Witness that the world hates God Ė The world has always hated the gospel far back as the first century, because it bears witness against sin. We try to lighten the offense of the gospel by overemphasizing the grace and love of God at the cost of warning people about His judgment and wrath among those who refuse to obey Him. People are willing to admit they are imperfect, but they donít like hearing that they have a sinful nature, and they are unwilling to accept the fact that God finds us miserable creatures destined for hell unless He redeems us through faith in Jesus Christ. People are unwilling to admit that their sin is offensive to God, yet He proved it by sending His Son to let man butcher Him to death just to prove we are sinners and at the same time forgive man through the very act of murdering Him. See also: Gospel; 242h / Offense of the gospel; 2Cor 11-32,33; 201g

(160d) Works of the devil >> Satan determines the world's direction >> Led by the devil to suppress the word of God >>  Suppressing the truth with false doctrine

(165a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is at enmity with God >> The world rejects God Ė If we widened our perspective to see the suffering that the saints have endured over the centuries, we would better understand that the Church is not of this world, that we are a distinct people. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can look for the exit door to this world and be saved. To be set apart from the darkness of the worldís satanic delusion is at the heart of the gospel, for this world is under the judgment of God.

(168g) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world listens to itself >> The world speaks itís own language Ė Why does the world hate the gospel of Christ; what is so offensive about it? Scripture testifies against man that he is intrinsically evil. The gospel asserts that man needs to be saved from sin in order to find favor with God and to have any hope in the afterlife. If we donít confess our sins and repent and believe in the resurrected Savior, we are certain to go to hell and suffer eternal damnation apart from God. That is extremely offensive to the vast majority of people for one terrible reason: they have absolutely no intension of repenting or believing anything, except whatever the world dictates for them to believe. They are happy to obey the world, their flesh and the devil, which are all in agreement against God. When we combine these three forces, we discover an entity that is controlling mankind, Satan. He is the epitome of Godís opposite in every imaginable way.

(176g) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Zeal without knowledge (Spirit w/o the word) >> Intensity without insight

(201a) Denying Christ >> Whoever is not with Jesus is against him >> He is against Christ who does not receive Him >> Whoever does not receive Godís word is against Christ

(201e) Denying Christ >> Jesus is an offense >> Truth offends error >> The gospel offends the religious establishment Ė The Bible teaches that we are called to drop everything and follow Him, like the disciples did when Jesus called them. God has a trail of good works custom designed for each of us and expects us to follow it. It is a tremendous offense to the world to be told that we must live by faith in the Son of God, because the world has its own plans to live for the world, the flesh and the devil. People are happy to be forgiven and believe in a set of doctrines if it will make God happy, but if we must tailor our lives after what we believe, the world loses interest. If we donít believe in Jesus through obedience, we simply donít belong to Him. These are the teachings of Scripture: at the end of our lives when we die, if we have not lived for the cause of Christ, we will spend eternity in hell. No wonder the gospel is such an offense to the world. This is bad news to them, though the ďgospelĒ means good news. The world understands the gospel based on what they have heard about it from other sources in the world, which promises a warped version of it. People have put their spin on the gospel and then conveyed it to others, who adopt their views and add their spin to it before conveying it to others, etc.

(221g) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Kingdom hidden behind the veil from the world >> God hides from the mind of man >> He denies His kingdom to manís stubborn will

(242h) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Worldly pressure >> World pressures you to forsake your convictions Ė This statement was spoken in Rome, and it contains the reason the Roman Catholic Church came into existence. Christianity was relentlessly persecuted, and people got sick of it and subsequently institutionalized faith in Jesus Christ, turning it into a religion instead of a relationship with God, and thus it has persisted to this day. Churches all across America have become entities of the state with a legal right to exist, which sounds good but has a negative side affect of complacency, which has invariably led to apostasy. In other countries Christianity is persecuted, and where it is persecuted it is blossoming. These are the places where people are sincere and genuine, which are the characteristics that cause Christianity to spread. People need God in their lives, for without Christianity people are monsters. Ironically, persecution stifles the spread of Christianity by threatening those who would adhere to its beliefs and practices, facing stiff prison sentences or even death. So persecution is a deterrent to Christianity, yet it causes the Church to flourish by weeding out the false brethren and forcing those who believe to dedicate themselves all the more to their faith. Persecution also has a cleansing affect on its doctrines, in that no one would risk their lives for a faith that was tainted with heresy. See also: Gospel; 154e / Persecution (It causes the Church to flourish); Rom 8,35-39; 238g

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Act 28,23-31

(6k) Responsibility >> Protecting the Gospel >> Persuade men that Jesus is the Christ Ė We have received authority from the Holy Spirit and from the Scriptures to preach the gospel of Christ. Paul preached to many in Rome until the end of his life. They came to him because they heard about his reputation, that he was an evangelist and had been all over the world with his gospel, which made them curious to hear his message. So they all gathered around him, and he spoke to the Jews first, which was his custom, and when they rejected it, he preached to the gentiles and found willing hearts. They didnít go there to be disappointed, but came in hope of hearing a message that would change their lives in a positive way. The Jews wanted Godís truth to dovetail with their pre-existing beliefs, and when they discovered they would need to revamp their whole belief system and repent, they lost interest, but the gentiles didn't have the obstacle of Judaism in their way. Rejecting the heavenly message was like committing spiritual suicide. Paul had the word of God on his side, and after they rejected his message, he warned them that the Scriptures had already spoken to them about their unbelief. It was written centuries in advance that the eyes of man would become dull and their ears scarcely hear and their heart slow to understand. We have a persuader of truth in the Holy Spirit and have authority to tell people about Jesus, and if they reject our message, we have authority to warn them about their impending doom, that rejecting the gospel is not something they can do for free, but they do it at the cost of their eternal souls.

(143d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> The public >> Paul ministered publicly

(148b) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Solemnly testify against unbelief

Act 28,23-29

(19m) Sin >> Nature of sin >> Unwilling to believe >> Spirit of unbelief Ė In Act 27,20-25 it says that an angel told Paul that he personally would not lose his life in the shipwreck, and he also said that he would stand before Caesar. It says that he established a school of sorts where first the Jews came and listened to his gospel, and he got very little to nowhere with them because of their unbelief. Then the gentiles came and listened and believed, and He was not persecuted for a period of two years. Hundreds of years had passed since the prophetsí ancient writings, and all this time allowed interpretation and reinterpretation to slowly mutate their understanding of what was written, until the Jews believed something entirely different from the law and the prophets. Now, 2000 years later, the same thing has happened to us regarding the New Testament.

(97b) Thy kingdom come >> Having a negative attitude about yourself >> An uncooperative attitude

(190da) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Spiritual suicide

Act 28,23-28

(79h) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word >> Practice listening to Godís word so you can hear it

Act 28-23

(81h) Thy kingdom come >> Pray without ceasing >> Preach the gospel through continuous prayer -- This verse goes with verses 30&31. Ė Paul poured many hours of prayer into his ministry, and even then the people would not believe. He had compiled all the verses of the Old Testament that pertained to a coming new covenant and was ready to quote them to anyone who would listen, and he was ready to explain through the Old Testament the purpose of God in Christ Jesus. This is how he preached. Some of the people were persuaded but others would not believe, and apparently they dissuaded those who were trying to believe, but before they could leave the building Paul made one parting word to them, quoting Isaiah 6-9,10. These were Roman Jews that Paul was trying to convert, and they were in Rome when this happened. There was something in their way that kept them from believing the words that Paul spoke to them: their preconceived notions about Godís plan and purpose for mankind and especially for the Jewish people. They were waiting for the kingdom to come in great power and glory, but they never saw coming the 2000-year age of grace that would precede it. The same problem is plaguing the Church today: we have preconceived notions that have gotten in the way of understanding Godís plan and purpose for mankind, especially for the Jews. God is trying to do something for His people, but they are resisting Him because we are waiting for something else. We donít believe Godís true plan and purpose for the Church today, and for this reason the Church is going mostly nowhere, stalled for many generations with an occasional revival here and there. We should seek Him for His will; if we did, He would reveal His will to us for the Church, for Israel and for mankind in general. The problem is, people donít seek Him without bringing their preconceived notions with them, and for this reason they cannot hear the Holy Spirit speaking to them, because He says things that contradict what they expect to hear. God is speaking to us but we canít hear Him, and we are waiting for Him to tell us something that we already believe. That is, we want God to confirm our doctrines to us, instead of receiving our belief system from Him. We are more willing to receive from pastors preaching from the pulpit and from Bible study teachers. In our personal studies we look for the things they have heard and can readily see them in Scripture; but when God tries to tell us what Heís doing, we wonít listen. We are more convinced by man than we are by God, and for this reason God finds fault with us. We need to lose their preconceived notions and come to Him naked, without an agenda, without telling God what Heís doing, instead letting God tell us what Heís doing.

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Act 28,24-29

(164a) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Entertaining demons by rejecting the word of God Ė God sent Paul to Rome because there were many gentiles who were ready to believe in Jesus. However, when Paul quoted this passage of the Old Testament, he was speaking to the Jews. The book of Romans was one of the longer of his epistles, suggesting that he had great success there, but not with the Jews, as it shows here. His threat to turn to the gentiles enraged them more than anything else, indicating that they didnít want to accept the gospel, but they didnít want the gentiles to have it either. They wanted the gospel to remain with them to continue rejecting it, so it would die, but they couldnít manage the gospel through unbelief. The Jews didnít like the gospel because they thought it spoke against them, hinged on their disobedience, but there were many Jews who had good sense and realized that Jesus had to be crucified and the Jews had to do it, albeit unwittingly, and that anybody who does not participate in his death cannot be forgiven.

(183h) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Spirit of the broad road >> Spirit of unbelief

(221f) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Kingdom hidden behind the veil from the world >> God hides from the mind of man >> He hides behind manís slowness of heart Ė Paul left an indelible mark in the city of Rome, and about 230 years later the great world empire would form the Catholic Church. Had Paul not established a Christian church in Rome, it is questionable if Catholicism would have ever seen the light of day. It began after Godís watchdogs fell asleep, the original apostles and some of the great men of God who came after them. Catholicism ruled the world for centuries with their fractured fables, and we call their greatest hour the dark ages. Nevertheless, it was better that Paul went to Rome, because for years afterward God used the great city to dispense the Gospel into every known corner of the world.

Act 28,24-27

(202a) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Running from God >> Manís will over God >> Man is unwilling to walk in Godís grace Ė With some people the gospel message just bounces off them, and they canít hear a word we say about Christ. We donít see miracles every day, but a day will come when miracles, signs and wonders will return, and when that day comes to a generation of hardened hearts, people will see miracles performed in front of them and be totally unaffected by it. This seems impossible, but the Bible teaches that this is what happens to those who refuse to know God.

Act 28-24

(172e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Tares among the wheat >> Communion between the world and the Church >> The Church in the world

Act 28,25-29

(58c) Paradox >> Opposites >> A blameless reputation preaching an unpopular gospel -- These verses go with verses 20-22

(158d) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Divide and conquer >> Strife >> Disagreements

Act 28,25-27

(80a) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word as a sword in spiritual warfare >> To oppose religion

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Act 28-26,27

(19b) Sin >> Twisted thinking >> Evil is good >> Darkness of manís thinking Ė This passage perfectly frames the darkness of the human soul. Their eyes work fine, but they cannot see the works of God; there is nothing wrong with their ears, but they cannot hear His word. It goes back to Eph 4,17-19, ďSo this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.Ē We can preach His word to them with no effect. They might be able to quote some statements we made, but nothing ever reaches their hearts. This is actually mysterious to the saints who know and love God; it is mind-boggling if not downright spooky. In a natural sense they can hear just fine, but spiritually they cannot understand what we are saying. Believing in God is incomprehensible to them.

(94o) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective is your personal reality >> How your location influences you

(142c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> Prophesy about evangelism

(145d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Jesus heals through the Church -- These verses go with verses 7-10

(168j) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world has deaf ears to God >> Deaf from a hardened heart Ė Some people harden their heart against God because of something that happened; perhaps a woman lost a child. She prayed to God that He would heal her daughter, but the little girl died, and the mother didnít get an explanation, no wisdom, no insight, no understanding, no apology, just silence. Since then the mother's heart grew bitter with chronic unforgiveness toward God. Her inner rage against a distorted image of God has blinded her eyes and deafened her ears to the true God who loves her. God tested her to see how she would respond if God took away her child, but we think God should have done something to save the child. In our minds God is supposed to run to the rescue every time somebody gets sick or gets in trouble. Many people donít like to be tested by God; they think He is evil for doing it, but God has every right to test us to see if we are worthy of His eternal kingdom, where there is no pain or suffering. He has his reasons for what he allows, though complicated, yet God wants us to trust Him in this life with our partial understanding, but some people are unwilling to do this. See also: God allows suffering and evil to test us; Phi 3,7-11; 103m

(169a) The World Is Blind To God (Key verse) Ė This quote came from Isaiah 6-9,10, being quite possibly the Bible's most commonly quoted passage of the Old Testament. Jesus quoted it in the first three gospels (Mat 13-14.15; Mk 4-12; Lk 8-10), and now Paul was using it to make his point to the Roman Jews.

(169f) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Willful blindness Ė On some level blindness and deafness toward God is willful, otherwise He would not accuse them of sin. If they were purely victims of their spiritual blight like people who are physically blind or deaf, God could not accuse them of sin, but they are controlling their spiritual impairment on a conscious level. They choose not to hear; they choose not to see; they decide in their minds they donít want to know God. After they have resisted the Holy Spirit over the course of a lifetime, at some point their heart becomes hardened, so their spiritual blindness and deafness becomes permanent and thus less willful, yet God still finds fault with them, since they conditioned their hearts to reject Him. Even if they wanted to change their minds, their hearts would not let them, having become so hardened they canít respond to the word. We could say that this is a form of bondage, but it was self-imposed. They trained their hearts over a period of years to reject anything to do with the truth of God. They found fault with Him and determined they would have nothing to do with Him. If they changed their minds, how will they ever believe? This was how they lived, and it was how they died.

(219d) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> The elect >> God transforms the world into the Church >> God chooses to speak to whomever He wishes Ė God's will of us is just as complicated as His predestined choice of us. For example, everybody was against Paul going to Jerusalem, yet he felt compelled by the Spirit to go. This was not a mistake, though he seemingly could have been more productive as an evangelist on other missionary journeys. After Paul was captured by the Jews in Jerusalem and held in custody, over a course of many years he was led to Rome, where he was supposed to stand trial in his own defense, and the court found that no charges were ever brought against him, so the case was dismissed. Now that he was in Rome and had become old with his missionary days behind him, he set up shop for two years unhindered just outside of Rome where people came to him and discussed the Scriptures.

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Act 28-28

(24i) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Jews are envious of the gospel

(211b) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> God gives the Gentiles Israelís place Ė There were many Jews who believed in the gospel and were saved, but there were more who didn't. They fought against the gospel wanting it to die, because they thought it testified against them, but they were looking at it all wrong. All they could see was their own fault and sin; they couldnít see the grace of God emanating from the cross. The Jews wanted some level of credit for the gospel, but there was no room to boast. There was no obedience involved, only disobedience, which was all the Jews ever showed God throughout the millennia, so God found a way to use their disobedience to bless the world and it incensed the Jews to be tricked by God into being an unwitting participant in helping redeem the world. Had they received the gospel, they would have been leaders in it, but instead they rejected it and lost everything, yet God is also willing to make something good come from their post-rejection of the gospel. See also: Israel (God tricked the Jews to crucify His Son); Rom 11,1-36; 50dc

Act 28-30,31

(29bb) Gift of God >> God delivers us from our enemies >> Church assembles in people's houses (underground)

(81h) Thy kingdom come >> Pray without ceasing >> Preach the gospel through continuous prayer -- These verses go with verse 23

(232l) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Seek the essence of his kingdom >> Seeking the truth

(239g) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Teachers are construction workers >> God raises up teachers to raise up the body Ė In his younger days Paul developed a name and a reputation in all his adventures in evangelism, but he was getting old and wasnít going out witnessing to people anymore; rather, they were coming to him. There were many thousands of people he touched, and he wrote the book of Romans, and it was one of his greatest epistles. Without the book of Romans it is hard to say if we would fully understand the grace of God. Many Roman Jews came to hear what he had to say, and then the Book of Acts suddenly ended. It doesnít say what happened to him, but the historical record shows that he was martyred, but before that the gospel got a huge foothold in Rome, and the saints there were persecuted for about two hundred years, until the Roman emperor Constantine popularized Christianity, and the Church has remained an entity of the state to this day. Although Catholicism is literally built on the Apostle Peter, Paul educated the church in Rome to the Kingdom of God, so they had a richer understanding of the gospel, and in their understanding the Church in Rome grew in strength and numbers, which ultimately transformed into the Roman Catholic Church as a means of alleviating persecution. Peter may have been the first apostle to visit Rome, but he never left; his body is still buried beneath the Vatican after being martyred for his faith. The saying is true that the Church grows in faith and numbers through the blood of the saints. Peter was martyred prior to the formation of the Catholic Church, yet many martyrs of great faith and wisdom met their end at the hands of the Catholic Church.