The Second Missionary Journey

Scripture: Acts 18:9-10, Romans 3:28, Galatians 2:16
Date: 09/01/2018 
Lesson: 9
"How can we as a church show the same understanding Paul had of cultural differences and the same willingness to meet the people where they are without compromising the gospel or our own religious identity?"

Spurning a Great Invitation - DVD or Digital Download

Spurning a Great Invitation - DVD or Digital Download
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Good morning, friends. Welcome again to Sabbath School Study Hour here at the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. A very warm welcome to our online members and those who are joining us across the country and around the world and the various television networks, we're delighted that you're here with us to study our lesson together. Also, the members and the visitors as usual here at the Granite Bay church, always a warm welcome to you. Good to see you here this morning.

We've been sending through the book of acts, that's been out theme for the entire quarter. Today, we find ourselves on lesson number nine, which is entitled the second missionary journey. So we'll deal with that in more detail this morning. But before we get to our lesson, we'd like to let our friends know of a free offer, it is a sermon dvd by Pastor Doug entitled spurning a great invitation. And this is our free offer for today.

If you'd like to receive this dvd, you'd want to give us a call on our resource phone line, that's 866-788-3966, and you can ask for offer number 854. We'll be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks. You can also receive this sermon dvd in a digital format simply by texting the code "sh103" to the number 40544. You'll then receive an email link where you can download this sermon dvd, and I think it will be a great blessing to you. Well, before we get to our lesson study, we always like to begin with lifting our voices in song.

I'd like to invite our song leaders to come forward. At this time, Pastor Ross will have our opening prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, once again, we are so grateful for the opportunity to gather to get in your house, open up Your Word and study. Lord, this is an important subject and the great commission has been given to us individually to take the Gospel to those nearest to us and then to some of us to take the Gospel around the world and pray that we might be inspired and instructed as we look at Paul's example that we find in the book of acts. Bless our time together for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen.

This morning, our lesson will be brought to us by Pastor Dough bachelor. Good morning, friends. I want to welcome any who are visiting could be just my imagination, it seems like we have a lot of visitors from around different parts of California in the country, we're glad you're here worshipping with us at the Granite Bay church studying the word with us. I want to welcome our extended Sabbath school class that's watching on television, and we've got a great lesson today from the book of acts. Our focus is going to be today to read acts 16 and 17 and 18 through about verse 11.

A lot of adventures happened in here. We're dealing with Paul's second missionary journey. And there's three principle ones that it talks about, we're talking of the second journey today. And we have a memory verse. The memory verse is from acts 18:9 and 10.

I always feel more secure if you say it with me, that's acts 18:9 and 10. I'm reading it from the new king James here. Do you have it? "Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, 'do not be afraid, but speak and do not keep silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you, for I have many people in this city.'" And he makes that promise in acts 18 because in acts 16 he is attacked. And so God was trying to encourage Paul, "don't be bashful about preaching," he says, "I'm with you, I've got a lot of people in the city." They did attack sosthenes, his friend, but didn't attack Paul. God protected him.

Anyway we're going to learn a lot about this. And why don't you go with me in your Bibles to the book of acts 16, we'll be doing well if we can get through it all. Acts 16, I'm going to start right with verse 1. And it says, "and then he came to derby and lystra, and, behold, a certain disciple was there named Timothy, The Son of a certain Jewish woman, who believed, but his father was a Greek, and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were at lystra and iconium." Now it doesn't say much about how Paul got to Jerusalem or how he got from Jerusalem back up to lystra, you can read at the end of chapter 15. It says, "Paul chose silas and departed being commended by their brethren.

.." I mean, the acts 15:14, "being commanded by the brethren and departed. And he went through syria and sicilia strengthening the churches." So it doesn't go into everything he said in every church that he visited along the way, but it's kind of taking up the narrative now with a new experiences in new churches. So as he went from church to church going from Jerusalem back through antioch he makes his way up to the lystra and he's been strengthening the churches that he had established, you read in other places that he went, he's appointing elders. And if they needed a change in leadership or more leadership, he would help there. But he was in a hurry to get on and do more what? Paul is an itinerant evangelist, he's a missionary, he wants to get on and do more mission work.

Now with a little bit of sadness in the bachelor family this week, now all the kids left than this little more than a year ago, nathan came home for the summer and he's taking a year off of college and he's going to do "mission" work. And he's going to be part of the church mission program and we had took him to the airport, actually Karen took him to the airport yesterday morning, and he's flying to the marshall islands in the south pacific place called majuro, we're going to pray for him. In Bible times, they did not take jets to islands when they went to do mission work. They took very slow boats. And the cabins were not very comfortable.

And the accommodations were very primitive. And sometimes 50% of the missionaries would die of scurvy or disease or shipwreck before they ever got to their mission fields. So going to do mission work in Paul's day took a great deal of courage. Let me just read you just so you get your mind kind of wrapped around what's involved in it. Paul's account, now Paul is writing to the Corinthians and he's actually arguing a different point, but listen to how he describes what he had been through, and in some of his missionary journeys and then not over yet.

Go to 2 Corinthians 11:23. I think debbie referred to this in her comments. 2 Corinthians 11:23. "Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool)," you see them get ready to brag. I'm talking like a fool.

"I am more, in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure." I've been whipped so many times, can't even count, "in prisons, more frequently." It's like can you see all the missionaries in Christ's time getting together and say, "oh, what you guys have been doing?" "Oh, well, I've been in six prisons." "Six? I've been in eight prisons." I mean, this is the kind of thing that says I was in prisons, not prison, prisons more frequently. "I've been arrested so many times in deaths," not death, "deaths often from the jews 5 times, 40 stripes minus 1," he doesn't even talk about the gentiles. "Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked." So there you have it again, going as you travel on these missionary trips. Every time you got on a boat, it was dangerous.

Yeah, of course, how did Jonah's journey end? You remember reading about where was a king jehoshaphat went to build ships with the King of Israel, and they were all shipwrecked, the whole venture was lost. And so it was a risky business. "Shipwrecked three times, a night and a day, I have been in the deep," he floated around in the ocean. "In journeys often in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness." You could say he had a city and a country ministry. "In perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren, in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness.

Besides all of these things what comes upon me daily, my deep concern for all the churches." So Paul comes from missionary journey number one, he gets to Jerusalem, he checks into a hotel, and he gets a hot shower and a nice meal. And someone says, "are you ready for missionary journey number two?" How many of you were signed up for number two? Let alone three? You couldn't stop him. He said, "you know, I feel constrained to preach Christ." It was his hunger to do this. And so when you think about going on one of these mission trips, he was in such a hurry to get on to new places. And then you look at how they picked the different places, you'll see as we read on, he did not have invitations, he did not have, you know, now you can book a room ahead, and, you know, you've got a place to stay when you get there.

Of course, that's not always true, Karen booked a room this week, and she got to san francisco, and they said, "ah, didn't go through, there's no room at the end." And so but, you know, he would go to a town, and they would just be praying, "Lord, open an opportunity for me to preach here." Didn't know where they were going to preach. And so that took great faith back then. And so with that introduction, "then they came to derby and lystra, and behold a certain disciple was there named Timothy," you know, he comes up a lot in the Bible, this is where he's first introduced, "The Son of a Jewish woman who believed, but his father was a Greek." Now does a Bible say something is wrong with believers marrying unbelievers? Answer me, please. I just commented, no, it's not very popular because it does happen, but the Bible says you should not be unequally yoked together, Paul said that, but did it happen? And as the jews were scattered among the gentiles, it was a little more common. So here you have an example of a woman, but she must have been a devoted woman because she and her mother spent a lot of time teaching Timothy.

Matter of fact, I'm going to have someone read a verse for me. Will you do that in just a moment, katrina? You're going to have 2 Timothy. Let me read a couple of verses first, and then in the 2 Timothy 1:5, "when I call to remembrance..." Paul is writing to Timothy of course. "When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother lois and in your mother eunice, I am persuaded is in you also." This is unusual because so often in the Bible it doesn't even name the mother let alone the grandmother, but these must have been two women that had great faith. You know what else that tells me, not only was Timothy a believer in Jesus but his Jewish mother and his Jewish grandmother, they must have also been part of the churches 'cause they're mentioned by name.

What else? Go ahead, read that for us in 2 Timothy 3:15. "And that from childhood, you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." So Timothy even as a very young man, he was committed to the word, he knew the word, he had been taught it. And it tells us... He must've been very young men 'cause even later about 10 years after this, Paul says don't let anyone despise your youth. And he's already been working with Paul for 10 years.

But then again, you know, I notice now I'm calling 40-year olds young men as you get older, everything's just a matter of perspective as you're looking forward or looking back. How important is it to teach people when they're young the Word of God? What's one of the great commandments? How many of you know what the shimei is? That's that declaration that you find there in Deuteronomy 6, "hear, o Israel, the Lord our God is one. Thou shall love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength." And then Jesus adds you should love your neighbors as yourself quoting Leviticus 19:18. But read on a little further, and it tells us how you show your love for God. And you read Deuteronomy 6:6 and 7, "these words that I command you today.

.." He had just repeated the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5. "These words that I command you today shall be in your heart," how do you get them there? "You shall teach them diligently to your children, you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lay down, and when you rise up." I was thinking about this this week, and so nathan was packing for his trip. And I said, "nathan, third commandment, tell me." And he stopped and thinking about it and then he quoted to you. But that's kind of what it involves in being a Christian parent is to just drill it in. It says it's to be there when you rise up in the morning worship, when you lie down, evening worship, when you walk by the way, just surround them with the Word of God.

You know, you can have Scriptures up on the wall, but pretty soon they don't notice that, you need to talk to them. Be teaching them... Teaching them how? Diligently. You know what diligently means? It means to the point of perspiration, aerobic teaching. In other words, it's got to be deliberate, teaching them the Word of God, putting in them, helping them to memorize Scripture.

You know, you'd be surprised, but we don't challenge I think a lot of the young people to remember the word today the way they used to. Now my father, who kind of became an agnostic later in life after world war ii, but he was raised a baptist. And years later, he gave me the new testament that the issue of the servicemen. You know, when you're a serviceman, they used to give you a new testament with Psalms, maybe Psalms and Proverbs, and they give that to all the service men. And I think the Jewish service men, they might give them a Jewish prayer book.

And then he gave me his book that he had in baptist Sunday school in Oklahoma, and he got an award for memorizing the beatitudes. I thought he never would have thought that my dad had gotten an award for memorizing the beatitudes. How many of you could recite the beatitudes right now? How many could recite the Ten Commandments without making a mistake? Oh, God, I could see a couple hands. One of them was a pastor's daughter, sherry. I think I could do it.

But I'm a pastor you're saying. But shouldn't we be able to do that? I think Jesus probably had that. And it wasn't by any supernatural ability, it's because his mother taught him. I think Jesus had the book of Deuteronomy memorized. We had a young man that came to our church in Sacramento, and The Father said, "he's memorized the whole book of Revelation.

" So we had him stand up and do a demonstration, a whole book of Revelation. He says he's working on Daniel now. My next door neighbor, before we moved to where we're at now, had the entire new testament memorized. And so don't tell me you can't do it. Now if you spend all your time surfing Facebook and watching tv, you're probably going to have a hard time doing it.

They didn't have that to contend with 100 years ago. But there's so many areas, so much other dribble we fill our brains with today, when we ought to be storing the Word of God. Timothy had a great command for the word even as a young man, he was made an elder in the church because of his commitment to God in the command of the Word of God he had. All right, I haven't gotten very far. Keep going.

Go to verse... Let me see here. Go to verse 4. "And as I went through the cities..." Well, wait a second here, I want to go back up a little bit. And Paul wanting to have him go with him, he's wanting him to now join hands silas on this missionary trip, he took him and circumcised him because of the jews who were in that region for they all knew that he was a Greek.

Now this is a very important point because you read in chapter15... We're in acts 16 now, in 15, they said circumcision was or was not required? Not required. And later, Paul says circumcision is nothing, uncircumcision is nothing. And then he tells the Galatians how have you fallen from grace and that you're requiring circumcision. After all that, Paul says about that, "what's with this?" He circumcised everything.

It says because of the jews that were there. That means look, if it's going to be a stumbling block and Timothy said, "look I'm willing, my mother's Jewish, if it will help me minister to the jews, let's get it over with." So he says, you know, become all things to all people that you might read some for Christ. I'll tell you quick story, I may have told you already. Pastor Doug nearly divided the church one time over the subject of ties, not tithes, ties like I'm wearing because I don't believe in artificial ornamentation. I don't wear jewelry.

And I think that your clothing ought to be practical. And when I first learned these things, I was very idealistic and I said, "please explain to me, you say don't wear jewelry, why you wearing a tie?" You can't give me a good reason. As it just chokes you to death, they don't get washed very often, they probably carry all kinds of pathogens, and you could start a pandemic with your tie, and just drags in your food, and you wear it in the next day and the next day, and cuts off the circulation. And what man would want to start the day by putting a noose around his neck. I said there's no good reason to wear a tie.

And I was very eloquent in making an argument for that as you can tell. And so I went around among the churches and said, "why do we wear tie? You don't have to..." Now this is all happening in the context of the pastor in our church that invited me to preach, I'm a layman now. I'm just a layman in the church. And I said, "you said you'll need to wear ties." I said, "why?" I was indignant. It says here, you say no jewelry.

You say, you got to wear a tie." He said, "show me that verse." And I managed to split the whole church over a tie. I mean, it wasn't ugly, but, you know. And then something happened, I had also been visiting a local assembly of God church, and I was very involved in, you know, visiting different churches, and so I wanted to convert the world back then. And I'd come out of Sunday churches not long before, so I still was comfortable visiting there and studying with them. And the pastor actually said pastor dwayne was his name.

He said, "look, doug, how'd you like to preach next Sunday?" I thought I'd love to preach. And then after we talked a little bit about it, he said, "now, you know, you'll need to wear a tie." I was like, "oh, man." You know, I was going to waste my time trying to argue with the principle of ties here and God convicted me that look, "if you get to hang a piece of cloth around your neck, it's not going to hurt you in order to reach people or if the culture feels like it's a sign of respect and propriety, and just do it." And you know what I'm saying, become all things that all men that you might... I'm not waiting for ties to go out of fashion, it's happening slowly, and I'll be very glad when it's complete. But anyway, so Paul, he circumcised Timothy, so it won't be a stumbling block to the jews he's visiting. And they went through the cities.

.. I'm in acts 16:4. "And they delivered to them the decrees which were determined by the apostles and elders of Jerusalem." Remember in acts 15, they said, "tell the gentiles that we're not going to require that they keep the ceremonial laws, they don't have to continue with circumcision, but they're to obey the Ten Commandments, they are to obey the health laws." Remember among the things they said abstain from blood. That was in the category of the health laws. And so they sent them communicating what of these things they were to still observe and to keep themselves from fornication and so forth.

And so they're sharing these things with them and they're going through these parts of asia minor. And the churches were strengthened and they increased in number daily. "Now when they've gone through phrygia, the region of the galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word and in asia, after they'd come to mysia, they'd tried to go to bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them." So it's almost like dark, people in a room trying to find a door, they say, "now, Lord, where do you want us to go?" They didn't have their itinerary all mapped out. They're being led by the Spirit where to go from place to place in their mission work. So little frustrated, I don't know exactly how the Spirit prevented them, it's just may had no peace in their heart or when they made preparations that everything fell through, but have you ever had those experiences where you think you're supposed to do something, as you attempt to do, it's like everything goes wrong, it just doesn't feel right and you say, "yeah, I don't think that's where I'm supposed to go.

" And then they try something else and it just doesn't feel right. Now I know how that feels because every year Amazing Facts needs to plan. I mean, pastors in a church, you kind of know from week to week, you plan your preaching schedule and stuff, and you know where you're going to be. But Amazing Facts, we're planning overseas, mission work, and evangelism, we have so many invitations, we don't know which ones, we say, "Lord, we can't go to all these invitations." I remember I'd go to any invitation, I'm so thankful, I got an invitation to speak to 20 people in Texas. I drove across the country.

Praise the Lord, there's 20 people that will listen to me. But, you know, as time goes by and you get all these invitations, you say, "I want to be economical, Lord, where do you want us to go." And we really pray the Holy Spirit guides us. And so as we get these invitations, I know I frustrate some of the people around the world that invite us I say, "well, let me put it down or pray about it." And I really pray and we look for openings. We look for providential openings, we look for openings where there can be synergy, can we mix this program with some evangelism training, where are we going to get the greatest results. And so we're always looking for the Spirit to guide.

I remember one time, years ago, I had a dream about going to india. This is the truth. I dreamed I was preaching in india. I'd never been to india. The next day, a man asked if he could have lunch with me during the camp meeting, he said, "please, please talk to me.

" I said, "okay." I'll just have lunch with him, he's very persistent. I went meet... Well, he is an indian gentleman. He said, "we want you to come to india." I said, "well, this is strange." And then more he talked about it, the doors just all opened up and we ended up doing 40 days of evangelism in madras. At the time, it was one of the biggest meetings that had been done in india.

We just saw the providential opening. Now I don't always have dreams. That's one of the few times I have. But so you look for openings. They were doing this, I suppose in the Holy Spirit was just shutting certain doors and so while he's wondering what do we do, Paul in the night has a vision.

I'm in verse 9, "a vision appeared to Paul in the night, a man of macedonia stood there and pleaded with him, saying, 'come over to macedonia, and help us.'" This is the northern part of greece and they're in asia minor now or turkey area. And after we'd seen the vision, immediately we saw and made plans to go to macedonia, and now something happened here, who caught it? Something very big just happened in the book of acts. Did you miss it? Did it slip by? Let me see, read some to you again. Go to acts 16:8. "So passing by mysia, they came down to troas.

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night, a man of macedonia stood pleading with him, saying, 'come over to us, and help us.' Now after he had seen the vision immediately we..." Now the book of acts has transitioned from Luke writing "they" to Luke writing "we." What does that tell you? Suddenly, Luke is in the picture. From here on, Luke is with Paul in all of his travels, it just changed everything else before this point is they, now after he has this vision of a man in macedonia, he says we. Some have wondered does this mean who is the man that he saw in macedonia. Was it Luke? Well, the problem is Luke is now still travelling with him to macedonia. So he hasn’t gone there yet.

Luke could have been a macedonian physician. Luke is probably one of the only gentile writers of the Bible with the exception of a small passage written by Nebuchadnezzar in chapter 5 or sorry, is it 4? But the rest of the Bible is written by jews. So it could have been Luke is this man who pled, and then Paul saw him the next day, and he says, "will you please come with us?" And he's the man I saw in the vision and they went together to macedonia." And Luke is with them from there on through the rest of the book of acts. Ain't that interesting? So many people miss that, it says, "they, they, they, they, we." And then from now on, it's "we went here, we went there." So I think I made that point, we'll move on. Go to verse 10.

And it says here, "now after he had seen the vision immediately we sought to go to macedonia concluding the Lord had called us to preach the Gospel to them. Therefore sailing from troas, we ran a straight course to samothrace, and the next day we came to neapolis, and from there to Philippi which is the foremost city in that part of macedonia, a colony." When it says a colony it means it's a roman colony, the Romans had a cultural center there. "And we were staying in that city for some days. And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made." Now we're in the section, the section that's dealing with Philippi in the Sabbath school lesson. "A place where prayer was customarily made.

.. Now wait a second, why did you say on the Sabbath day? I thought they'd given up on the Sabbath. It's not a Sabbath in a synagogue. It's a Sabbath by riverside. People say, "well, the only reason that Paul and silas and barnabas, they went to the synagogues on the Sabbath is because that's where the jews went.

" But here it says on the Sabbath, we went out of the city to a river. It doesn't say on the Jewish Sabbath. All through the book of acts whenever Luke talks about the Sabbath, Luke being a gentile, he always refers to it as a Sabbath still recognized by Christians. It would be very easy for him to try to explain to gentile readers, this is a special Jewish holiday, but he doesn't. He says it is though this is something all Christians know about 'cause it's our day of rest.

He never says that on the first day, we now begin to keep a holy day. "So we go out of the city by the riverside or customary place to pray. And we sat down and we spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named lydia heard us, and she was a seller of purple from the city of thyatira who worshipped God." Now it could be that she worshipped the Jewish God, she could have been Jewish, we don't know, could be one reason that they were gathered on that time. "the Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul," it says he sat down and spoke to them.

What do you think they spoke to him about? They're talking to them about how Jesus was the Messiah, right? Now she's a seller of purple. In Bible times, this royal purple was gathered and they still do it today by collecting mollusks, shellfish that grow in certain places, and it is a very intensive process to get them to excrete, they heat them up and they excrete is very deep rich purple color, it is worth more than gold. So when it says that lydia is a seller of purple, she may also be a person of means. It was common in Bible times for people to specialize in different colors. Rahab and her family may have had a cottage ministry of scarlet, making dying scarlet.

And if you ever heard of cochineal red, cochineal red, the native Americans would sell these beans to the spanish conquistadores that they would crush, and it produced a very bright red, and the british would buy it and pay a lot of money for it because they use it to dye the coats of their soldiers. And that actually came from the deserts of the southwest. So it made a long trip to get the deepest, richest red. For years, people thought they were these tiny cedar bean, it's actually a beetle, they're cochineal beetles, and they would crush them, and produce this very bright red dye. Well, it was very time-intensive to get it.

Again, it was almost worth its weight in gold. Lydia could have because she's a seller of purple could have been very wealthy, she had a big home, she takes the apostles in, she's taking in at least Paul, and silas, and Timothy into her home. They use that as their beachhead, this is what Jesus said, "go out two by two in whatever home they receive you, there stay. Don't go from house to house, but find a home where you can get settled and work out of that place in the home." Lydia said, "look, if I found the grace of the Lord..." She opened her heart, she opened her household, she was baptized, she begged a saint, "if you have judged me to be faithful. And you have come into my house, stay.

" So she persuaded us. You know to say they always urged them to come in. "Now it happened as we went to prayer that a certain slave girl possessed with the Spirit of divination met us who brought her masters much profit by fortune telling." I drove by a place of business in rockland, there's several roundabouts there and rockland on the pacific drive or near there and one of them says psychic, place looks very ominous, it's all like dark lettering. And there are people I think that are in league with the enemy that at least some of are probably charlatans, some of them may seem to have some kind of supernatural insights. This girl really did have a spirit.

"And she begins to follow Paul up and down the street, Paul and silas, and she's crying out after them, she points them, and she cries out and advertises, 'these men are the servants of the most high God who proclaim to us the way of salvation.'" Do you want the devil doing your advertising doesn't it kind of give you a bad association. Did the devils do that to Jesus, too? When Jesus was preaching in the synagogue, this demon-possessed man said, "I know who you are you're Jesus, The Son of God." And they would call him out. And then Jesus cast out the devils. Well, Paul is having the same problem. He didn't want advertising from the devil.

"And Paul greatly annoyed, he put up with it for a while, he finally turns around he says to the Spirit," not talking to the girl. "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." Now right there is... I don't do special seminars on how to cast out devils, but if I ever do encounter someone that you're convinced as demon-possessed, don't engage them in dialogue. I hear about these people that say they've got special exorcism ministries and they talk to the devils, they interview the devils. And the Bible.

.. The only time it ever happened Jesus simply asked one question, he said, "what is your name?" For our benefit so we would know that bad man was possessed by a legion of devils. But don't engage the devil, that's how eve got in trouble, right? Kind of parley with the devil. "And he said, 'come out,' and he came out that very hour and when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone without the Spirit, she'd maybe accepted Christ that ruined their gain, they became so upset." Now this, you know, they've got a sex slave trade in different countries, including North America where there are people who we call pimps that make money off taking advantage of typically young ladies and Marketing them here with these people that were spiritual pimps. It's really what it amounts to.

It is they were using her spiritualistic skills to make money. And now she's been delivered from the devil and the hope of their gain is gone. And they get all upset. And they seize Paul and silas, I'm in verse 19. "They dragged them into the Marketplace to the authorities, and they brought them to the magistrates, and said, 'these men, being jews, exceedingly trouble our city.

'" Now the jews said, "these men, being Christians..." The pagans say "these men, being jews..." Why? Because there is very little difference in their mind between the belief of the Christians and the jews, which is why it became very difficult for Christians when the jews rebelled against the Romans because the Romans saw the jews as they saw the Christians as just a branch of judaism, they are another monotheistic branch of judaism. They said, "these men, being jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, and they teach customs that are not lawful for us to be in Romans to receive." This is what they accuse Jesus of when they brought him before pilate. "Then they multitude without examining or getting a fair trial... "Then the multitude rose up together against them, the magistrate tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods." That's a painful business. I don't know if any of you remember, a few years ago, a young American boy who was probably a little entitled, he broke some law in singapore, I think is name of Michael fay, and he was arrested.

And according to the law, he was to be beaten with a rod which is a long bamboo pole, and they strike you three or four times on the small of the back of the back of the legs, I forget. And there was big outrage in America, he had like spray graffiti on something, I forgot what he did. He did commit a crime, and the Americans and the ambassadors, everyone said, "this is barbaric. How dare you don't do this?" And they fought it. And the people in singapore said, "this is our law.

He broke our law." And he was beaten with rods. And it just raise... It's very painful, raises a well, but it will heal. But it's very painful. And so this is what they're doing now.

They're beating them with rods. And it's not designed to kill you. It's designed to extract just terrible shocking pain. And when they had laid many stripes on them, every time you strike, it's a big red welt. "They threw them in prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely having received such a charge and said, 'I'm not taking any chances.

I heard these apostles of escape from prison before.' He put them in the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks." Now you'd be in a lot of pain if that had been done to you, you're sore, you're uncomfortable. It's dark, it stinks, it's unsanitary, you can't say, "hello, I need to go to the bathroom," they don't care. I'll just leave that to your imagination. So in these terrible, miserable conditions, would you get discouraged? I would. I get discouraged if I got a dirty hotel room.

I was sure they would get discouraged, but did they? No, they had suffered for Christ's sake. And what does Jesus say you're supposed to do if you suffer for Christ's sake? "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad." And it says, "at midnight," verse 25, "Paul and silas were praying and singing hymns to God and the prisoners were listening." You know, when you're going through trials, the prisoners are listening to how you respond. When you going through a hard time, there will be other people who are imprisoned by the devil that will watch you as a Christian to see how are you going to react to your trials. Will you be positive? Are you going to mope and mourn like everyone else and be bitter and complain? Or are you going to glorify God and be positive? "And as they were singing praises to God and the prisoners were listening to him in astonishment. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake.

So the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately..." It doesn't say it's a universal earthquake, it's a prison earthquake. "And immediately, all the doors were opened. This is a very supernatural earthquake caused by angels that unlock all the prison doors, and everyone's chains were loose." Have you ever seen an earthquake that would undo handcuffs? Is it clear to you this is a supernatural specific earthquake? And I don't miss the point that if you glorify God in your darkness and trials, God will use it as a means to liberate others and yourself in the process. Paul said, "I've learned in whatever state I am to be content and to praise God even in your trials.

" Jesus sang a hymn before he went to the cross. You wonder how could he do that? Peter, I'm sorry, Daniel got on his knees and gave thanks before he went to the lion's den. It takes a lot of faith to do that. "Everyone's chains were loose, then the keeper of the prison awakened from his sleep, seeing the prison doors open supposing the prisoners had fled, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself," why? 'Cause roman law was if you lose a prisoner, it's your life or their life. "But Paul called and said with a loud voice, 'do not do yourself no harm for we're all here.

'" Now he's just a jailer, he's probably the one who would whip them. For the Bible says, "love your enemies." And because Paul cared about him instead of saying, "well, that's good, he whipped us, "go ahead, stab yourself, I want to watch. You're going to get what you deserve. We weren't even tried and you beat us. Couldn’t have been better.

" He cared about the man's soul, he said, "don't hurt yourself, we're all here." They could have run forth, they didn't. "And he called in for a light..." You know, after you've heard the apostle sing, light comes in, "he ran, and he fell down trembling before Paul and silas." It's just interesting reversal. A little while ago, Paul and silas were trembling with pain as he was beating them, now he is trembling before them. "And he brought them, and he says, "sirs, what must I do to be saved?" How many of you would like to have more people ask you that question? I went to give a Bible study to these families and neighbors years ago. And I remember the wife is with tears in her eyes, she says, "what do we need to do to be saved?" Almost right out of the Bible.

And it was so wonderful to hear somebody just ask me straight up. I didn't have to get into Bible, it was the first time there, didn't have to get in the Bible study two or three, "what do we need to do to be saved?" And I was able to kneel with the husband and wife, and pray with them, and talked about how to receive Christ. "So they said, 'believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.' Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him." So obviously, there's more in believing, they teach them what's involved. "He took them the same hour of the night, washed their stripes that he had put on earlier, and immediately he and all his family were baptized. Now when he had brought them out into his house he set food before him and he rejoiced having believed in God with all his household.

" He went from near suicide to rejoicing in one night from hearing the word. Talk about an amazing the transformation. "And when it was day, the magistrates sent the officers, saying, 'let those men go.' So the keepers of the prison reported these words to Paul, saying, 'the magistrates have sent to let you go. Now therefore depart, and go in peace.'" I just realized I took the verse she was supposed to read. I read it.

Are you okay? I got hypnotized by my own voice. I got carried away. It happened a long time ago too. "So the magistrates come and say, 'oh, you're free to go now.' And the keeper of the prison reported these words to Paul saying, 'the magistrates have sent to let you go. Now therefore depart and go in peace,' but Paul said to them, 'they've beaten us openly, uncondemned being Romans.

..'" Now what did we just read about Philippi? It was a roman colony, it is ruled by roman law, and they were Romans in a roman colony, they should have been protected by the process. They who have done this could be prosecuted by the Romans for beating a roman untried. And Paul knows this, Paul's half roman. He knows the law, uncondemned. "They've thrown us and now they're going to put us out secretly? No indeed, let them come in cells and get us out.

And the officers told these words to the magistrates and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans." This happened twice in Paul's life. "Then they came and pleaded with them, and brought them out, and they asked them to depart from the city." Now why did Paul do that? Did he do that just to be difficult? Well, he did it partially because he wanted them to know "you've just broken the law." I think another reason he did it is he had just established church in Philippi. He was now going to let the magistrates know, "I have leverage. If I want to, I can report you to the Romans, you do not bother this group, you just whipped us because of our teachings. You better not bother them or I'm going to the Romans to say that you beat a roman untried, you condemn me, I've got the welts on my back to prove it," and I think that he bought some peace for the Philippian baby church through that meeting with the magistrates.

What do you think? So I think that's part of the reason he did that. "So they came and pleaded with them and brought them out, and they asked them to depart from the city. All of a sudden the magistrates are very apologetic. So they entered the house of lydia, and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and they departed." They didn't leave the same day. So they had strengthen the church and they went on to establish another church.

Chapter 17. "Now when they had passed through amphipolis and apollonia, they came to thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, he went into them, and for three Sabbaths, he reasoned with them from the Scriptures." First, he'd go and gathered in the synagogues, people already had the foundation for the truth, "explaining and demonstrating that Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead saying, 'this Jesus, who I preached you, is the Christ,' and some of them were persuaded, and a great multitude of the devout jews, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and silas." So some of the jews, a great multitude of the converted jews, believed and some of the women, they joined. So immediately after his preaching, they've got believers, they get a church established there in thessalonica, but some did not believe. Go to verse 5.

"But the jews who were not persuaded becoming envious..." You know, what causes a lot of splits in the church? Envy. You know what's caused a lot of theological splits? One pastor is jealous of the other pastor has more listeners. Why did they want to kill Jesus? Pilate said he knew it was because of envy that they had brought Christ to him. They were jealous that Jesus had such crowds. It was their pride.

"But the jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the Marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. But when they did not find them, they dragged jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying, 'these who have turned the world upside down have come here too.'" So had Christians made some impact at this point? Amen. I mean, there must have been some truth to their accusation. They've turned the world upside down. Paul, and it wasn't just Paul going out, Peters going out, 12 apostles are going out, barnabas and Mark are going out.

So there's different missionary groups are fanning out from Jerusalem. What happened to pentecost? Devout jews out of every nation under heaven heard the Gospel, they went back home. And so the teaching of Jesus just began to permeate the roman empire. Paul being one of the most outspoken, we read about him in acts, but you can have Acts of the Apostles written about Peter, you can have an Acts of the Apostles written about Peter, you can have an Acts of the Apostles written about thomas, you can have an Acts of the Apostles written about... Pick your favorite apostle.

They were all going out doing things. And so it says, "they've turned the world upside down, they've come here now. And jason is harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of caesar, saying there's another king," isn't that what they accused Jesus of? He's saying they should worship another king. "And they troubled the crowd in the rulers of the city," they get them all stirred up, "where they heard these things. So when they had taken security from jason and the rest, they let them go.

" Then... Oh, I'm out of time. Wow. I didn't even get Paul to preach in athens, it's amazing God providentially gives him an opportunity to preach in the biggest arena in the Greek empire back then but he gives him an audience and he preaches about jehovah using one of their altars to be unknown God. It's a brilliant example of evangelism.

And then he eventually after some success there in athens, he goes into corinth and has great success there. You'll read about that in acts 18:1-11. Of course, you've got 1 and 2 Corinthians so you know that he established some significant churches in corinth. I apologize I was hoping I could just read through it, but I got involved doing some sort of expository preaching. Hope we learned something along the way.

Hey, I want to tell our friends before we sign off, I want to remind you we do have a free offer. And it's a message based on not missing the great invitation of the Gospel. It's called spurning a great invitation. We'll send you a free dvd. It's actually.

.. I think it's dvd, yeah. It's got the audio and the visual ask for offer number 854 when you request this and call the number 866-788-3966. It translates into 866 study more. And if you want to get it digitally, you can download this right now for free.

Simply go on your phone, text "sh103" to 40544, and you can then get a link and you'll be able to download that audio message and video message right now. God bless you, friends. We'll study His Word together 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 aftv.

org. At, 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 We're here on the beautiful coast of the island of puerto rico. And if you were to travel east about 2,000 miles, of course you'd be out the middle of the ocean, but you'd also be in the middle of a mystical sea called the sargasso sea.

It gets its name because of it is common brown seaweed that can be found floating in vast mass. The area of the sargasso sea is about 700 miles wide and 2,000 miles long. Now the seaweed itself is fascinating stuff. It was first observed and called gulf weed by Christopher columbus. It gets the name sargon from the portuguese.

Some people use it as herbal remedies. But out in the middle of the sargasso sea, the water is some of the bluest in the world 'cause there you can see 200 feet deep in places. It also has a great biodiversity an ecosystem that surrounds the saragossa sea. For years, scientists wondered where the American and the atlantic eels were breeding, they knew the adult eel swam down the rivers out into the atlantic, but they never could find a place where they reproduce. Finally they discovered it was out in the middle of the sargasso sea.

So it's a fascinating place. But if you are an ancient sailor, you did not want to get stuck there. Being caught in the doldrums was extremely difficult for the ancient sailors. Of course, their boats were driven by wind and sail, and they'd be caught in the vast mats of the seaweed that would wrap around the rudder, barnacles would begin to grow. It's an area that is notorious for light in baffling winds, and so they'd make no progress, they'd get stuck.

The men would become extremely dispirited. Sometimes violence and even insanity would break out as people were trapped in the doldrums. Well, friends, perhaps sometimes you felt that you're trapped in the doldrums. You've gone through episodes of depression, you feel like you're going in circles, life seems stifling. You know, the Bible offers good news.

There is a way out. Bible talks about a famous character that was trapped in a cycle of depression. He was low as you could be. Matter of fact, he even had seaweed wrapped around his head. His name was Jonah.

But God gave him a way of escape. In Jonah 2:3-7, we read, "for you cast me into the depths into the heart of the seas and the flood surrounded me, all of your billows and your waves passed over me. Then I said, 'I have been cast out of your sight, yet I will look again towards your holy temple.' The waters surrounded me, even to my soul, the deep closed around me. Weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the moorings of the mountains.

The earth with its bars closed behind me forever, yet you've brought my life up from the pit, o, Lord, my God. When my soul fainted within me, I remember the Lord. And my prayer went up to you into your holy temple." You know, friends, the way the Jonah got out of the sturgeon circumstance, he turned to God and he prayed. And if God could hear Jonah's prayers, just think about it, he was as far away from God as anybody could be, he was in the belly of a sea monster, in the bottom of the ocean, in the dark, yet he turned to God, and God heard his prayer. You know, these ancient sailors, when they were trapped on the deck of a ship for weeks, stuck in the doldrums discouraged, sometimes they would have a prayer meeting and pray that God would send a breeze that would set them free, and get their boats moving.

They turned to God in prayer, and often miracles would happen, and the wind would flutter in the sails, and bring them out of their seaweed prison. Friends, maybe you have been stuck in the doldrums. Maybe you've been caught in a cycle of depression. If God can do it for Jonah, if he can do it for the ancient sailors, he can do it for you. Turn to the Lord in prayer.

Trust his spirit to blow through your soul and to set you free. Let's face it, it's not always easy to understand everything you read in the Bible. With over 700,000 words contained in 66 books, the Bible can generate a lot of questions. To get biblical straightforward answers, call into Bible answers live, a live nationwide call-in radio program where you can talk to Pastor Doug bachelor and ask him your most difficult Bible questions. For times and stations in your area or to listen to answers online, visit bal. So what is the brightest light in the world? Well, naturally, you'd say the sun, but we're talking about the brightest manmade light in the world. It's the light that shines out of the roof of that pyramid shaped hotel in las vegas called the luxor. There in the cap of that hotelm there is a room that contains 39 washing machine size xenon bowls, and each of those bowls requires about 7,000 watts altogether, they produce about 40 billion candle power of light. Can you imagine getting that electric bill of the luxor hotel every month? That light is so bright that planes can see it 250 miles away, they're shooting light 10 miles up into space.

I mean if you happen to be floating by, you could read a newspaper up there. And as you might have guessed, that bright light has become the world's best bug attractor, bringing in moths, bats, and owls creating its own ecosystem there at night above the hotel. But the sad thing about the brightest light in the world is, especially when the night air is clear without any particles, the light doesn't hit anything and it's invisible, it shoots up into empty space. The brightest light in the world illuminates nothing. You know, the Bible tells us that there's another great wasted light, and that's the light of God's Word.

It says in psalm 119:105, "thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." And yet so many people are walking in darkness. Furthermore, Jesus said, if you do have that light, make sure you don't put it under a bushel, but you let it shine and illuminate the lives of others. Jesus said in Matthew 5, "set your light up on a hill like a city so that all might see it." Light only benefits others when it reflects off of something. God wants our lights to illuminate the lives of others. So are you glowing for God? Remember, Jesus said, "let there be light."

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