Paul’s First Missionary Journey

Scripture: Acts 13:38-39, 2 Corinthians 4:7-10, Romans 10:1-4
Date: 08/18/2018 
Lesson: 7
"Based on Paul and Barnabas’s example, what can we individually and as a church do to nourish or strengthen the faith of new converts?"

Is it Easier to be Saved or Lost? - DVD or Digital Download

Is it Easier to be Saved or Lost? - DVD or Digital Download
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Hello, friends, and welcome again to Sabbath School Study Hour coming to you here from the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. Very warm welcome to our online members and those who are joining us on the various television networks ready to study our lesson with us today. Also, I would like to welcome our regular members and visitors right here in person, delighted to see you all here today. Now as many of you know, we've been studying through the book of acts, that's our lesson that we'll be looking at. Today we find ourselves on lesson number seven, that's entitled, "Paul's missionary journey," his first missionary journey.

That'll be our study for today. For those of you online, if you don't have a copy of today's lesson, you can download for free at You want to download lesson number seven, "Paul's first missionary journey," and you can follow along as we study. Our free offer for today is a dvd sermon by Pastor Doug entitled, "is it easier to be saved or lost?" And we'll be happy to send this to anybody who calls and ask. The number is 866-788-3966, and you want to ask for offer number 853.

You can also download the sermon for free. If you'd like to do so, text the code, "sh102" to the following number 40544, you'll then receive a little email, and that'll tell you where you can download the dvd. Again, we'd like to welcome all of you to our Sabbath School Study Hour today. Before we get to our lesson, we're going to begin by lifting our voices in song. Now our song leaders will lead us.

Thank you, Pastor Ross. We are talking about Paul in this lesson. And this song, "Christ for the world," is found on 370 in your hymnal. So I would love for you to join with us as we sing all three stanzas, 370. Thank you for singing with us.

And at this time, Pastor Ross is going to have our opening prayer. Let's bow our heads for prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, thank you once again that we have the opportunity to gather together and open up Your Word. Being inspired by the great evangelist, Paul, as we look at his first missionary journey taking the Gospel to places that... Prior to that people thought weren't really that interested in the Gospel, and yet we see his tremendous response and power in preaching.

May we be inspired, Lord, to take the Gospel to those in our areas. Bless our time together, in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson today is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug. All right, good to see each of you here at the Granite Bay church. Welcome.

Also, thankful for those who are joining us online, we're glad that you're studying the word with us as well. We are going into lesson number seven in our book of acts. Now, we're in lesson seven, but we're actually studying acts 13, 14. And we have our memory verse. Memory verse comes to us from acts 13:38, 39.

And it says, "therefore my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus, the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him, everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification to you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses." Now that's actually an excerpt from one of the sermons that Paul preached. Now if you've got your Bibles, you just turn to acts 13. I'm going to do my best to read acts 13 and 14 today. So we at least cover that in our lesson.

And actually the study today goes all the way through acts 13 and we stopped two verses short of completing acts 14. But it pretty well covers his first missionary journey. Now today when we think about a missionary going to a foreign land, they typically go and they pitch their tent in a place and they stay and work in this place, sometimes for the rest of their lives, sometimes for years. Paul was not that kind of missionary. He was what you would call an itinerant missionary.

And so Paul would go somewhere, and he would go from place to place and visit different towns and synagogues, he'd get a group of believers, he tried to appoint an elder or a leader, and then he'd go on to another spot. So if you got your Bible, we'll read acts 13. And if you read verse 1, "now the church that was at antioch there were certain prophets and teachers, barnabas, simeon who was called niger, lucius of cyrene, manaen who was brought up with herod the tetrarch, and Saul." Now what is Saul being called here? I know but what did it say at the beginning? There were certain prophets. See that in verse 1, "at antioch there were certain prophets and teachers." So before this chapter is over, Saul makes a prophecy. And I believe it's also putting barnabas in that category of these.

Barnabas, was he an apostle? Well, he was definitely a missionary. It seems like he ended up being an apostle. He spent a lot of time with the apostles or at least he had that kind of authority. I don't know that he's ever called that. And then it goes on to say in verse 2, "as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, 'now separate to me barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.

' Then, having fasted and prayed, they laid hands on them, and they sent them away." And so, is it biblical to set a person aside for a special work by praying and laying hands on them? Do you know that when it talks about some of the different doctrines that were discussed and argued in the early church, it specifically mentions the doctrine of the laying on of hands? We don't have that as one of our fundamental beliefs, do we? But it is something that they did in the early days. So they fasted, they prayed. You notice they don't want to launch out doing this special work until they know they have the Holy Spirit, they know they are doing what God wants them to do, and they know they're going where God wants them to go. So they're seeking for God's leading. And the Holy Spirit said, "here's the two that I want to send first.

I want them to go as a team." Now Jesus said that we should go out at least two by two, right? Isn't that how he sent them out? And they actually take a third member with them as you'll see here. "So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to seleucia, and from there they sailed to cyprus. And when they arrived in salamis, they preached the Word of God in the synagogues of the jews. They also had John as their assistant." So you've got Paul and barnabas, and who else is in that group? John. Which John? He's known as John Mark, and we're going to say more about him, but there's a whole Gospel that we believe he wrote in the Bible.

But he starts out as a young man. Now Paul and barnabas probably were not old at this point. They may have been in the 30s, John is, you know, maybe in his 20s, but so they go out, there's a two or three witnesses. You got barnabas and Paul, he's actually called Saul in these passages. And John, who has another name, Mark.

And we'll get to him in just a minute. Now why did they go to cyprus first in their first missionary journey? Cyprus was the largest island, third largest island I should say, in the mediterranean. It was very close to asia minor, so it's a good launching point for them. There were a number of Jewish synagogues in cyprus that even predate alexander the great. There had been enclaves of jews in cyprus for trade for hundreds of years at this point.

And where did the apostles go as they went preaching? What was the message of the apostles when they went preaching? That Jesus is the Messiah. Who is the first audience that they would go to? As they went from town to town, they would start looking for jews. Why did they start with jews? Because they're more important than others? I mean here we are in acts 13, Peter in acts 10 started going to gentiles, so they've gotten over that hump, while they're still slowly getting over that hump. Does Paul say to the jew first and also to the gentile? When there is an announcement made at a wedding feast, who are they sent to first, the messengers? First, they go to those who have accepted the invitation. When they don't respond, then they go to the highways, and the byways, and the hedges.

And so if you're going to a new place and you're going to do evangelism, where would you want to go first? Wouldn't you want to go to the people who already had some foundation in what you believe? If I go to a foreign land and I'm going to do some mission work starting with buddhist, for example, it'd be very difficult. But if in that country there are some Christians that live among buddhists and speak the language of buddhist, if I can reach them, they'll do a much better job reaching the buddhist. It'll be easier for me to reach them with the message if they've already got a background in Christianity. So as you go to different parts of the world, and you've got the three angels' message, it's a special part of Christian truth, best place to start is with Christians who already have accepted Christ that maybe don't know the other points. Does that make sense? Who do you think typically comes to our evangelistic meetings? Atheists? Hindus? Muslims? Buddhists? They're evangelical Christians.

They want to know about Bible prophecy. And when they learn, it then spreads on from there. So you want to start where the customers are going to be buying, and you've got the best possibilities, right? And so they went to cyprus, they begin going into the synagogues. We already read you one example of that. And another reason they probably went to cyprus.

Now who is Paul traveling with? Barnabas. Where's barnabas from? Cyprus. You remember reading that acts 4:36. He was a jew from cyprus. So he'd know it.

Now what language did they speak in cyprus? Cypreen, no, I made that up, I don't know. They were speaking Greek in cyprus back then. And so would it help to have someone who was from that area that spoke that language? So barnabas preaches Greek, he understands Greek, he's lived in cyprus. But, you know, who really speaks Greek very well is Saul of tarsus, which was also a Greek city. And so the two of them together, they were able to go to this place.

And so John Mark goes along, probably one reason they brought John Mark along also, it tells us that he was a cousin of barnabas. John may have also been from cyprus. So they're beginning in an area they're familiar with. How did Jesus tell us to do missionary work? Acts 1:8, "you shall receive the power of the Spirit. You will be my witnesses beginning in Jerusalem.

" Why did he tell the apostles Jerusalem? It was a center of Jewish faith. Then Judea, then samaria, then the outermost parts of the earth. When the Gospel comes to you, where do you begin? Where you are. So when Christ told the disciples, "I want you to wait until you receive the Holy Spirit. When you receive the Holy Spirit, begin preaching where you are in your family, among your people.

" I think I probably told you a story that's been oft repeated, at least variations of it that billy graham said he was traveling somewhere once, and I don't know if it is by train or plane. I thought it was by train. And he met someone who recognized them and said, "oh, I'm actually preparing to go to mission work right now in a foreign country." Said, that's wonderful, and he was going to a very remote, some exotic country. He said, "what has been your evangelism experience in your hometown?" "Well, I haven't done any evangelism experiences." "Well, have you done any missionary work in your community?" "I haven't done any missionary work." He said, "why are you going to a foreign country if you haven't first honed your skills in your own hometown?" And so one of the first places... Boy, and I'll tell you what, if you can reach people in your family, then you have your black belt.

Because the Bible says that a prophet is not without honor except in his own neighborhood among his own kin. And so that sometimes is the best proving ground. And so Paul, barnabas, maybe even Mark, they're familiar with this country, they speak the language, it's a good place to start, and that's where the Holy Spirit sent them. Notice, they fasted and prayed for guidance. So before you go to a foreign land, you want to fast and pray, and make sure that, you know, God is sending you to this place.

And so they begin, they land at paphos, they cross the country presumably by foot. They're stopping in the synagogues along the way. And let me read you here. So go to verse 4. "Being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to seleucia, from there they sailed to cyprus.

When they arrived in salamis, they preached the Word of God in the synagogues of the jews. They also had John as their assistant. Now when they had gone through the island, they basically started in the east and they made their way to the west to paphos. They found a certain sorcerer and a false prophet, a jew, whose name was bar-Jesus." Isn't that interesting? He's a false prophet. What does the word "bar" mean? So it means son of.

And so, here is this guy called son of Jesus. He's a false prophet. He's also like a false Christ. He's a sorcerer, claims that power, but it's not the power of God, he's got power from the dark side. And so this is very interesting.

"And he is with the proconsul, the governor of the island, his name was sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. The man was sharp, he was intuitive. This man called for barnabas and Saul. He had heard maybe from the jews that they were teaching some things that were new. And he sought to hear the Word of God.

But elymas, the sorcerer, that's what his name is translated, as bar-Jesus is also called elymas. He is a wizard. He withstood them. He saw that he was losing his influence over the governor. Seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.

" Now what happens when you start preaching? If you're going to do mission work, does a devil wave a hanky, and throw flowers, and wish you bon voyage? Or does he try to stop what you're doing? And it may not happen right away. He usually has to get his strategy together. But if you're not working for the Lord, if you're trying to do anything great from God, you're going to meet with resistance. If you don't meet with resistance, you're probably not doing anything. All that live Godly will suffer persecution.

And so sure enough the devil, he's doing all he can to turn them away. And this is a very pivotal point in the Bible. You notice, here it says that when he's trying to turn them away, then verse 9. I'm in acts 13:9, "then Saul, who also is called Paul…" now I've underlined this in my Bible because there is... This is a transition point in the Bible.

It's a transition point for several reasons. One is, now look for the first time it goes from calling Saul, Paul. Luke never turns back. From here on, he is known as Paul. Every other point up until here he is called Saul.

The other reason it's interesting is because from this point on, instead if it mean barnabas and Saul, it's now Paul and barnabas. You know, actors when the movie is released, they fight among themselves to see who gets top billing. Whose name is going to be listed first in the credits? And who is the lead act, so to speak, and, you know, up until then barnabas was the one who found Saul. Barnabas brought him to the apostles, barnabas introduced them. Barnabas had kind of taken a leading role.

But now all of a sudden, the Holy Spirit comes on Saul, he is now called Paul, he begins to preach. Listen what he says. "Filled with the Holy Spirit, he looked intently at him," at elymas, and listen to this, this is pretty strong stuff. "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time." Any of you ever seen a pastor missionary do that? When the Holy Spirit is moving… I mean, we always think about pastors or missionaries is just blessings and grace, but when a person is a prophet of God, did John the baptist when he saw the scribes and the pharisees coming to his baptism, he called them a brute of vipers. I mean sometimes being a messenger of God means you know how to call people out for what they are.

And Jesus said... They said, "we're children of Abraham." And Jesus said, "you're not children of Abraham, you're children of the devil." And you're doing the deeds of your father, the devil. I mean, we don't get taught that in seminary, do we? How to call people out and say they're sons of the devil. But did they do it in the Bible sometimes? You better make sure the Holy Spirit's guiding you when you do that, otherwise you're not going to have many friends. So he says that, and he makes a prophecy.

"Now indeed the hand of the Lord is upon you," meaning in judgment, "and you will be blind not seeing the sun." Now did Paul know what that was like? Did Paul at one point work for the devil? Was he opposing the work of Christ? And what did God do to him? Struck him blind. But was he blind forever? It's pretty hard when you've had vision to suddenly lose it in three days, you don't know if you're ever going to see again. Paul remembered that. And after he said, "you're going to be blind," then he added to his prophecy, "for a time." That was mercy, wasn't it? And this is after he says that immediately, "a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw this, he believed.

" Now why was he struck with blindness? What is blindness a symbol of? When God says, "if the blind lead the blind." It's talking about religious leaders. They're leading other people in the wrong way, says, "they'll both fall in the ditch." And the Bible tells us in... What's the message to the church of laodicea? You don't know that you're poor, and wretched, and miserable, and blind. What's blindness mean there? You think you see but you don't. It's spiritual blindness.

You don't know that you're poor, and wretched, and miserable, blind, and naked. "And immediately a dark mist fell upon him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand." Some of your remember when Elisha struck a whole army blind in the 2 Kings. "And when the proconsul," when the governor saw this, "he believed when he saw what had been done." Now why does God do signs? Aren't the signs there to help reinforce the truth so that others will believe? It's when he saw what had been done, he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord. All right, now, I want to say just another word or two about this before. So why is Saul suddenly called Paul? There's probably a few reasons.

One is, some have wondered... If, you know, what is the word "Paul" mean? Paul means small or diminutive. I mean, you know, no one wants that nickname, "hey, shorty." So we don't really have any definite Bible proof that early church legends tell us that Paul was actually short. Others say that we believe he was nearsighted, he had problems seeing, which is why he dictated all of his letters. And in one place Paul says, "you notice with what large characters I'm writing.

When he wrote, he wrote in big letters so he could see it. When Paul was being tried by the high priest, he called them out, and they said, "how dare you revile the high priest." He said, "I didn't know it was the high priest." And he's right there in the courtroom. And Paul talks about a thorn in his eye. He had been blind and God made… brought his sight back, but it never was quite the same. And so.

.. He, Paul was short. Another reason possibly it goes from Saul to Paul, is Saul is a Hebrew name, and now he's going by a Greek name because he's working among Greek people. But I don't know if that's the best argument because even after he goes back to Jerusalem, Luke still calls him Paul. For the rest of the Bible he's called Paul.

Saul in the old testament was someone who was fighting against God. And so that could be one reason. And some have suggested because in honor of sergius Paulus that maybe he adopted this now as a Greek name to work among the Greek. You notice John's also call Mark. John is a Hebrew name, Mark was more of a Greek name.

And so, sometimes they said, look, if you're going to work among the Greeks... I've got a lot of chinese friends. And some of their names, I'll just tell you, their original chinese names are very difficult. And so when they get to America, they realize people are asking them ten times. Now how do you say your name? And so they say, "my name is jane.

" And they just say, "I'm going to get an American name." They kind of pick an english name. So that people can deal with it. Well, I think the Greeks had problems with the Hebrew names, and so the jews when they worked among the Greeks, they would take a Greek name also. So, you know, it's somewhat of a mystery, but those are some of the reasons that are given why that happened. All right, now we're going to go under the pisidian antioch.

Now this is confusing. It's telling us they've left antioch, and on the missionary journey they're going to antioch that's because there's more than one antioch. Now the word "antioch" it… I think it means powerful or driven against. And in the original it's antiokheia in Greek. And so, you know, we call it antioch.

There's a lot of churches called the church of antioch. And there was more than one. How many of you know that there's more than one farmington in North America? And if you tell people I just went to portland, they might say portland, where, portland, Maine? Portland, Oregon? We've got, you know how many farmingtons there are? It just means farming town. A lot of those spring up when America was being settled. And so there was more than one antioch.

Now they've left the antioch, that's over there near syria, and where they were first called Christians, now they're going up to the antioch in pisidia, which is in asia minor. Matter of fact, I think I've got a map that kind of gives you a little picture of where they took off from. First, you see they leave by syria, they take off from antioch, they go down, the blue line, they're going to cyprus. They make their way from one side of the island to the other, then they take a boat, and they went up to asia minor. When they get to asia minor, then they make their way up to the antioch, it's the furthest north part.

You go to acts 13:13, and it tells us that... "Now when Paul and his party set sail from paphos, they came to perga in pamphylia, and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem." Now if you underline in your Bible, you may want to underline that because that little statement has bigger ramifications. John, whose name is also... What's his name also? Mark. He was.

.. Became a close friend of Peter. When you read the Gospel of Mark, this is the same John Mark, many believe, you're really reading Peter's Gospel being dictated to Mark. There was a big argument that took place. You look at acts 15.

I know you're going to get to this next week or the week after, but I want to read it to you now. Acts 15:36, notice. "Then after some days Paul and barnabas said, 'let us go back and visit our brethren in every city which we preached the word of the Lord," let's go reinforce and encourage them, "and see how they are doing.'" Now barnabas was determine that they take with them John, who is called Mark. But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in pamphylia. Now let me rephrase it.

They should not take with them the one that had jumped ship, who had abandoned them. He quit, he got discouraged. And if you're out doing mission work and you get discouraged, you say, "I want to get sent home." Then you should be forever disqualified. Paul, he was a pharisee, and he said, "he's a quitter, don't take him with you." Barnabas said, "you've got to give... He's a good man.

Give him another chance." Then the contention verse 39, I'm in acts 15:39 became so sharp. And here's Paul and barnabas, they worked together as friends and missionaries. They'd been stoned together, I mean, they'd gone through a lot. Travel, but they had such a disagreement on this. They parted company from one another.

They said, "well, look, I'm not working with you. You're going to hire a quitter." Barnabas said, "you have no mercy, I'm not working with you." And they had a split. So Paul took silas, and he being commended by the brethren through the grace of God, he went one place and barnabas took Mark. Now who was right here? Paul was wrong. Do you know, later you read where Paul says, "send to me Mark, for he is profitable to me in the ministry.

" Have you ever gotten discouraged and quit? Do you know, I haven't told to many people this. I wanted nothing more than to get called in the ministry. And after I got called in the ministry, you know, the first one who called me to be an official conference pastor? It was cyril miller, the founder of Amazing Facts. Now he never knew I'd end up with Amazing Facts back then, but he was a president of Texas. I was working with the navajos in New Mexico.

He said, "doug, we're considering giving you a real conference call. Would you be willing to come. We've got three churches in Texas." Well, it started out two, and they add a third one because the pastor left and I had coleman, hamilton, and santa anna. And there's like 70 miles between them. And I became extremely frustrated because here for the last year and a half I had one church, one district, and I would invite everybody, they'd come that week, I preached to them.

And now I'd invite everybody that come, but I wasn't there that week, and something would go wrong, and then I'd come here and I'd invite everyone to come, they'd go to the other place, and... And I was so discouraged, I felt like I can't do evangelism like this. I'm getting torn between three different places. I was 23 years old, 24 years old, and I finally went back to cyril miller, and I brought him my paycheck, and I said, "I can't take this 'cause I'm is not earning it." I said, "I quit." He said, "don't do it, doug." He said, "it took forever for me to convince the conference committee to hire you because you don't have the education, don't quit." We had a long discussion. And you know what? I told him I quit.

But God is so good. Before the word got out that I had quit, I got a call from northern California. And they said, "doug, we heard you're working in Texas. We've got a church in the hills of covello. We're looking for someone to do conference evangelism and pastor the church.

I thought, "praise the Lord, that's exactly what I'm looking for." So I had quit, but word had not gotten out that I had quit yet. And I got called to northern California. And I've been in northern California now for 33 years. But God is merciful. He's saved me from myself, from my own discouragement.

And so, anyway, they had this sharp disagreement all about Paul. Anyway, all right, moving on from there, so Paul left them in the work it says, and that was in acts 13:13. "But when they departed from perga, they came to antioch in pisidia, and they went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets." This was normal, they read from the law and the prophets. You remember, Jesus has his custom was, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day.

He sat down and read the Scriptures. It even tells what Jesus read one day. "The rulers of the synagogue sent to them," a message was sent to them. They saw that we've got guests here that are from Jerusalem, "saying, 'men, brethren, have you any word of exhortation for the people, speak.'" They said we got guest speaker. I was in sedona, Arizona last week on vacation with the family, and didn't tell anybody we were coming, and just Karen, nathan and I showed up.

And as soon as I got there, they said, "oh, Pastor Doug, we're so glad you're here. Will you do Sabbath school?" And then they came up and said, "nathan would you do special music?" And then they said, "will you preach the sermon?" So sometimes that happens when you have visitors in the area. So they saw Paul and they saw barnabas, and they said, "do you have any word?" Then instead of barnabas, "Paul stood up, and motioned with his hand, 'men of Israel, you who fear God, listen.'" Calls them the brethren. Now, this is a very, very important passage. And the reason this is so important is because there are hundreds of times that we can track where Paul and barnabas, or Paul and silas in their missionary journeys, the first place they would go is one of these Jewish communities where there was a synagogue, and they'd stand up and they preach.

And we've always wondered what did they preached. Here is an example that you've got a whole sermon of what they preach, at least some of it. So we're going to look at this together. Bear with me as I read Paul's sermon to you. The God.

.. And I'm in acts 13:17. "The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm he brought them out of it. Now for a time of about 40 years he put up with their ways in the wilderness." He's reminding them, they've not always been faithful. "And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of canaanites, he distributed their land to them by allotment.

'After that he gave them Judges for about 450 years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they asked for a king, so God gave them Saul," which had been his former name, "The Son of kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for 40 years. And when he had removed him, he raised up for them David as king, to whom he also gave testimony." He very quickly brings them through their history and he brings them to David. And then he jumps from David to Jesus, listen. And he says, "he gave them testimony saying, 'I have found David The Son of jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all my will.

' From this man's seed…" in other word, it's a prophecy, a promise. "According to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior Jesus." Now, they had heard about Jesus at this point. Several years have gone by since the cross. And this probably... This missionary journey is like 44 to 46 ad.

Jesus ascended to heaven in 31 ad. So word had reached to Jewish settlements about Jesus' work, his death. And so he's saying, Jesus was a Messiah. "After John had first preached, before his coming, the baptism of repentance,'' they all knew about John the baptist. "To all the people of Israel.

And as John was finishing his course, he said, 'who do you think I am? I am not the one. But behold, there comes one after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.'' 'Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham.'" He's talking to the jews in the synagogue. "'And those among you who fear God, to you the word of salvation has been sent. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know him, nor even the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled the prophets in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, they asked pilate that he should be put to death.

Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses to the people. And we declare to you the glad tithings," that's the Gospel, the good news, "that the promise which was made to The Fathers. God has fulfilled for us their children, in that he has raised up Jesus as it is also written in the 2 psalm 'you are my son, today I have begotten you.

' And that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption.'" He would not experience decay in the grave. "'He spoke thus, 'I will give you the sure mercies of David. Therefore he also says in another psalm, 'you will not allow your holy one to see corruption." Notice what Paul is doing in a sermon. He covers their history very quickly. He talks about Jesus was a Messiah, then he goes back and he shows from the prophecies that Christ is the fulfillment of those prophecies.

"For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, he fell asleep, and was buried with his fathers, he saw corruption," his body decayed. "'But he whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins, and by him everyone who believes is justified from all things by which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.'" Now that's mentioned also in chapter 14 in our lesson. And so it gives us a sample here of the very sermon that he's preaching as he goes there. And when he got done preaching the sermon, it says in acts 13:42, "so when the jews went out of the synagogue, the gentiles begged that these words might be preached and then the next Sabbath.

" Now how do the gentiles know that he preached those words? Because the jews had proselytes. They were converts to judaism from the Greeks that had joined the synagogue. And they were in there... And they were listening. They went home and they told the gentile families, they said, "you should hear what this man says, did someone raise.

.. They rose from the dead." And now someone's going to read for me, acts 13:44. You'll have that? And it said... I want to just finish acts 13:43. "They went out of the synagogue, the gentiles begged at these words.

.." Oh, you know, I long for the day when that happens. When they all beg you, "will you please preach to us again next week?" And when the congregation had broken up, many of the jews and devout proselytes." Proselytes are the converts to judaism. "They followed Paul and barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them," they continued to convince them, "to continue in the grace of God." What happened as a result of that? Go ahead. "On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the Word of God." Would God that would happen again, I mean, let's just be modest. Wouldn't it be nice if all of rockland came together to hear the Word of God where we are right now.

Or when we move all of Granite Bay or be greedy, all of Sacramento came together to hear the Word of God. America's so secular now. People are so distracted with all kinds of other things. But when the Holy Spirit's poured out and trials start coming, and maybe they'll be some kind of economic implosion, or natural disaster, or a fire like no fire we've seen, I mean, who knows what it'll take. People become very religious.

I'll never forget after 9/11, the church attendance said that Sacramento central was record breaking. And that didn't even happen in our state. The whole city came together to hear the Word of God. How many of you like to see that happen again? Do you think it will happen again before Jesus comes? People will be so hungry for the Word of God. That's a good missionary to get the whole city.

Now the devil, what do you think of that? You know one reason that Paul was able to do this. Paul, how could Paul speak to a gentile city in asia minor? He's a jew. Paul spoke many languages. He was very educated. How do we know this? Acts 14:18, Paul said, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all.

" Some people read that verse, they think it means that Paul babbled like pentecostals interpret babbling, and that he babbled more often than anyone else in these spiritual tongues that nobody understands. And you've probably seen what I'm talking about charismatic churches. It's not what Paul means. Paul means, "I'm thankful, I speak with more languages than you all." Paul was widely traveled, he was very fluent in many languages, and he was probably the most educated of all the apostles. And that's how he was able to preach.

And then you got the message of what happened in iconium. You go to acts 13:45. So when the jews saw these converts, were they happy? "But when the jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy." The jews that didn't accept Jesus. "And they contradicted, and they went against them, and they blasphemed, and they oppose things spoken by Paul. Then Paul and barnabas grew bold and said, 'it was necessary that the Word of God should be spoken to you, but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the gentiles.

For the Lord has commanded us, 'I have set you as a light to the gentiles.'" Now this is also a very important statement. When they went to a synagogue, they go there first, if they accept it like the bereans, they studied whether these things are so, they embraced it, great. If they didn't and they persecuted them, they said, "look, we go to the gentiles." And when the gentiles heard this, they were glad, and they glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as have been appointed to eternal life, believed. And you go to verse 49.

"And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all of the region. But the jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, and raised up persecution against Paul and barnabas." Now someone's going to read for me Matthew 10 in just a moment. You can get ready for that, Matthew 10:14. Notice what happens. "After they persecuted them, they expelled them from their region.

" They were kicked out of the city. But they shook the dust off their feet against them. Now how many of you remember when Jesus told the apostles, "when you go out preaching, if they don't accept you, then shake the dust off your feet." You remember that? Go ahead and read that for us, darrell. "And whoever will not receive you nor hear Your Words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of sodom and gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!" Now how many of you have witnessed and shared your faith? Okay, good.

I hope every hand goes up. I think you all have to do something. How many of you have had someone tell you that they were not interested in what you had to share? Nicely or not so nicely, sometimes people just say not now. How many of you have shook the dust off your feet? Yeah, well. Yeah, the jehovah witnesses are actually taught that if they go to a neighborhood or might even be at home, if the people say, "get out of here, we don't want it.

" They go through a little ritual where they tap their... They literally shake the dust off your feet. That's biblical I guess, huh? But no one really wants to think, "I don't even want the dust of you." But they did. They said, "we're going to shake the dust off our feet." And then you have, of course, when they go to lystra and derbe. Now we're in acts 14.

And I've got to hasten along here. "Now it happened in iconium that they..." They went down to lystra, they went over to iconium. "They went together to the synagogue of the jews, and so they spoke at a great multitude both of the jews and of the Greeks believed. But the unbelieving jews stirred up the gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. Therefore they stayed there a long time.

" They had to fight against the heresy. "Speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided, part of them sided with the jews, and part with the apostles." They got the whole city divided. Now when you preach, will the Gospel bring division? What did Jesus say, "I came to send peace." What did he said, "I didn't come to send peace, I came to send a sword." A man's foes will be they of his own house. There will be division in families, and towns, and neighborhoods and cities and whole city became divided.

And people could easily say, "we know you guys are bad because you've divided our community." But does sometimes the Gospel cause division? They all have become divided over this. But God gave them signs, and wonders, and miracles. "And when a violent attempt was made by both the gentiles and the jews, with their rulers, to abuse and to stone them, they became aware of it and they fled to lystra and derbe, cities of lycaonia, and the surrounding region." When they persecute you in the city, go to the next. "And they were preaching the Gospel there. And in lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, crippled from his mother's womb," just like in acts 3, from his mother's womb, he was crippled in his feet, "who had never walked.

This man heard Paul speaking. And Paul, observing him intently, seeing that he had faith to be healed, he said with a loud voice, 'stand straight up on your feet!' And he leaped and walked." Again, it says that's what happened in acts 3. Walking, and leaping, and praising God. "Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices in the lycaonian language saying, 'the Gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!' And barnabas they called zeus, and Paul, they called hermes." Now isn't that interesting, they're trying to give Greek Gods to these Jewish apostles, Greek names or Greek Gods. Did the Romans later gave Jewish names to their idols? They called diana, mary, and they called Peter, mercury, or pluto, or jupiter, and they started renaming their idols.

And they are preparing to make offering to them, and they get oxen to be slaughtered, they're bringing flowers and garlands, they're going to make sacrifice to them because of this miracle that Gods have come down to us. That's almost as bad as a plain persecution. The last thing they want us to be worshiped. "When the apostles barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and they ran among the multitude, crying out and saying, 'men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and we preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth,'" that kind of offended them that they didn't appreciate their willingness to worship them. "God, who made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea," that's the God of the Sabbath, "and all things that are in them, who in bygone generations allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways.

Nevertheless he did not leave himself without witness, in that he did good, and he gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with good and gladness.' And with all these things they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them." In other words, they're getting ready to worship them in this verse, I just got to finish this real quick. Go to verse 19. "Then jews came from antioch and iconium. And they came there, having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and he went into the city.

And he departed the next day with barnabas to derbe." One minute they're saying, "hail, the King. The Son of David, hosanna, then they crucify him." One minute they're saying, "we want to make offerings to you, and then they stone him in the next few verses." The crowd can be pretty fickle, huh? Going from worship to war in just a few verses. And eventually you'll need to continue reading chapter 14, it says, "they strengthened the converts." And our passage ends in verse 26. "From there they sailed to antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they completed. They finally made this circle in their work, they came back, and they gave a report and had a little r and r.

And, you know, when the missionaries aren't doing their work, it's good for him to go back every now and then, and encourage, give a report. They did not have email back then to inspire. They also probably had to do a little more fund raising to go back out again. Anyway, hopefully that's been a blessing. We have a free offer, I want to remind you before we sign off that we'll send you if you call in.

It's "is it easier to be saved or lost?" You can dial 866-study-more. That's 866-788-3966 for that free offer, ask for offer number 853. It's actually a good message if I say to myself. You can text the code "sh102" to 40544, you can get a digital download of this, and listen to it right away. That should be on your screen as well.

Thank you very much for studying the word with us. God willing, we'll do it again next Sabbath. Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming. Visit the Amazing Facts media library at At aftv.

org, you can enjoy video and audio presentations as well as printed material all free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week right from your computer or mobile device. Visit Amazing Facts changed lives. It was ongoing with me, I would get up and drink, I would go to work and drink, I would come home and drink. And that was my way of life.

I had an older sister. And in 2008, we received a phone call from her husband saying that she was involved in a very serious home accident. She had fallen outside on her patio, it was a concrete patio, and she hit her head. Because she was a drunken stupor, and she needed emergency brain surgery because of the trauma that she had suffered. And so they were able to stop the bleeding in her brain, but her organs started shutting down one by one.

So here I was, you know, I hadn't had a drink being a full blown alcoholic myself, I hadn't had a drink in probably full day, which was, you know, a lifetime for me. And during the time we're watching there, and they said that she was going to make it, and we had made the decision as a group, you know, with her children present and her husband that they were just going to go ahead and pull the plug. And during that time watching her fade away, God forgive me, but I sat there asking her to die fast, so I could go get a drink. And, you know, I didn't even see it then. I didn't see how bad I was at that time.

But now I look back at it now, and it just tears me up. And alcohol, that's what it does to you. I was walking out to go to work one morning with my breakfast, which was a six pack of beer. And as I was climbing into my truck, it just hit me that it was enough. So I turned around, and took the six pack of beer and I threw it in trash can.

And I went and told my wife, I needed help. And there's two things I never do, ask for help, and throw away beer. And, you know, thank God I was able to do both. Well, when I finally got to the hospital, and they came, got me, and took me in. And when they did a blood alcohol on me, they had to do it twice because they weren't quite sure it was right, but was .

38. They were all amazed I was even able to walk in there little, you know, being conscious. It was about two months after I got out of treatment and starting my fresh life, I left home, left my wife, and I was going to start my new life with sobriety, and she wasn't going to be part of it. So I moved out, and I was on my way to the store one morning when I was t-boned, broadsided by an oncoming suv. And the driver side door of my truck, and this driver was doing at estimated 65 to 70 miles an hour, and he smack on my side of the door.

I woke up in the passenger seat of the truck. And I remember coming to and hearing people standing outside, "look, he's still alive." There was hairline fractures in my pelvis, and some compression fracture in my spine. And so on all intents and purposes, I walked away from an action. I had no business living. While with a broken back, I wasn't allowed to be vertical for.

.. But very short periods of time, and I wasn't very mobile with the fractured pelvis. So I was forced to move back home. And, you know, thank God I've got a stubborn wife who was willing to take me back and put up with all this. During my recovery, the only thing that I could really do was watch television.

And so I was thumbing through the channels, I noticed a gentleman, and I had to stop because he was proclaiming that you can't prove biblically that the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday. And that it's not biblical. And I thought, "well, you know what? I think I can do this." You know, so I took up my Bible, and did something strange to me, which was actually study. You know, and over a course of several months of watching this man who I would later discover was Pastor Doug Batchelor. I started trying to disprove everything he was saying.

And the more I read and the more I studied, the more I found out that not only could I not disprove it, I was believing it, and I realized it was the truth. Then I started soaking up everything that Amazing Facts had. I was at the website, you know, doing all the reading. I was looking at the Sabbath truths, I was, you know, downloading, streaming everything they had. You know, and I was really, really getting it.

And it helped me so much. Over a process of about three months, while studying, you know, with Doug Batchelor and the Amazing Facts team, and then, you know, of course, just my Bible. But over that three months, I had fallen in love with Christ like I never had before. And not only was my back and my pelvis healed, my soul was healed. And I experienced an emotional and a mental healing that, you know, I had been longing for, for years.

I've got to do something. What do I do next? So I looked up in the phone book, and I phoned the number for the local pastor. And I called him and said, "hi, my name is brian. I've just been converted. Where do I go?" And the poor guy was like, "brian, it's nice to meet you.

Converted from what and go where?" And I said, "that's what I want to know." But we had a little laugh over that. He thought I was moving. And before he knew it, I was, you know, heart and soul into this little church. And I was studying with the pastor and decided, you know, I want to be baptized, I want to be re-baptized. And we thought, great.

So I did some study and we agreed that I was gonna be baptized on this date. Well, the next morning, my wife asked me, said, "you realize what day this is?" I said, "well, it's Sabbath." And Sabbath was amazing in itself, but she said, "look at the calendar." And when I looked at the calendar, on that day was my one year anniversary of my sobriety. I was being baptized one year after being sober. And I just thought, you know, this doesn't seem coincidence, that was just amazing that God worked out for me. God has done amazing things with my life.

And I have to give him, you know, all the credit because short of just responding, you know, I have done nothing, and it's been him. And it's pleasure, absolute pleasure to be called child of God. I'm really thankful that God used Amazing Facts television program and Pastor Doug Batchelor to make a change in my life. Together we have spread the Gospel much farther than ever before. Thank you for your support.

Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room. But he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo. From the creation of the world to the last day events of Revelation, is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible and draw closer to God's Word. Go deeper, visit the amazing Bible timeline at

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