Jean's Bible Study of the New Testament

Topical Concordance of the New Testament

 

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ACTS CHAPTERS 22 & 23

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Act 22,1-22

(44k) Judgment >> Transformation process >> Fulfill your ministry in evangelism Ė We are seeing the unfolding of Godís will in Paul going to Jerusalem, though it may not have been God initiating His will for Paul to go to Jerusalem in the first place; rather, it was Paulís will to go there, and God worked with him, manipulating the circumstances and protecting His servant from harm in a tough spot, and slowly turned the situation into an opportunity to administer the gospel of Christ. There is something about Jerusalem; itís the city that "kills the prophets and stones those sent to her!" (Lk 13-34), but itís also the place where prophets want to go. It has an attractive force, being the city of God, and they want to evangelize the people who live there, and they want to see the greatness of Godís glory return to that place. There may have been a hidden motive in Paulís heart to go to Jerusalem, perhaps hoping he could somehow necessitate the return of Christ, if he could just strike a revival in Jerusalem and all Israel would be saved as it says in Rom 11,25-27. It was either that or he had a martyr complex.

(148k) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Obligation to preach the gospel >> Consumed by the desire to do it

Act 22,1-11

(42i) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Transformed >> Conform to the mind of Christ Ė Itís hard to know how many languages Paul knew; he went around the world preaching the gospel and didnít need an ambassador; then he spoke to his own people and they were amazed. Paul was a savvy person, which makes this whole problem of spirituality that much more of a conundrum. Being slow of mind does not make anyone slow of heart. The intelligent are often more confident in what they believe, figuring their intelligence has led them wisely, but they donít understand that intelligence and wisdom are two different things, that slow people can have wisdom and intelligent people can be completely devoid of it. Jesusí statement is true, ďYou did not choose me, but I chose you.Ē The highly intelligent think they are in control and that they can choose to believe in God, because they have the mental capacity to manipulate ideas, but knowing God does not borrow from intelligence; rather, God is someone we must believe from the heart. The heart and the mind are the difference between intelligence and wisdom, and after Paul met Christ on the road to Damascus, he had both. For this reason Paul was extremely effective in the word as an evangelist; he had the gift of gab; he could talk people to death (Act 20-9), and then afterward raise them from the dead. He could speak in various languages, whichever one they preferred, and the words he spoke were graced with truth from the Holy Spirit. Paul had it all, but he realized that God had given it to him, that if he didnít have a simple faith in Jesus, he had nothing, and this was essentially his message to the world.

Act 22-2,3

(148d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Natural advantage as an evangelist regarding the flesh -- These verses go with verses 22-29

Act 22,3-22

(191j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Set apart >> Set apart from the world Ė Paul was talking to people just like his old self, like a drunk who gets saved and goes back to the same bar and speaks to his former drinking buddies about Jesus; what kind of reception did he get? They gave him a hearing but nobody gave him an ear. We can have everything in common with certain people, but the moment we give our heart to Jesus, we become alien to them. We might as well have been beamed from another planet and have green skin. On a spiritual level we have nothing in common at all with unbelievers, and the fact that they can learn to hate us tells us how deep this spiritual level goes. Paul was trying to reason with those who best described him prior to his conversion and they could not relate to him one iota. He believed virtually everything they believed; in fact he was a leader of their faith; he persecuted the church when no one else dared. There were people present at that hearing with whom Paul conferred in condemning Christians to death, who knew him very well before his conversion to Christianity, being blood brothers in martyring the saints. These people were present at the hearing who gave him letters to bring Christians to Jerusalem as prisoners to be punished when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, and now they were ordering his death.

Act 22,3-5

(173k) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Manís Religion >> Deeds that are not initiated by God >> Traditions of men

(176a) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Misguided -- These verses go with verses 18-20

(182f) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Three causes of interpreting Scripture falsely >> Because they do not understand the Scriptures -- These verses go with verses 18-20

Act 22-3,4

(176e) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Zeal without knowledge (Spirit w/o the word) >> Devotion without direction

Act 22,4-8

(136h) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Body of Christ consists of individual members

Act 22-4,5

(164b) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Entertaining demons by persecuting the church

Act 22,6-20

(193e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> Bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance >> Testimony of Paulís life Ė Had Paulís experience on the road to Damascus not still had an affect on him, he most likely would not have mentioned it; as it was, however, this is the testimony of Ananias that we havenít heard until now, relaying the things that Paul had seen and heard, and Paul verifying that this single moment of Godís glorious presence and the word from His Spirit forever changed his life, verifying also that he used this experience to turn the world upside down for Jesus. The world we see today still feels the influence of that moment through this one man, the apostle Paul. He did more to bring the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the nations than all the evangelist of his time put together, and did more to clarify the Scriptures, bringing us the New Testament as we understand it today, than any other man. He taught us the theology of grace and the replacement of old covenant law by the Spirit of God. Paul did all these things, and a single moment was responsible for it all. This is the power of God; therefore, imagine how heaven must appear, the power we will see and hear, not just spending a single moment there, but living there as our new home for the rest of all eternity! What changes are in store for us to understand just how heavenly is heaven?

Act 22,6-9

(112b) Thy kingdom come >> LIGHT >> Jesusí light overcomes darkness >> The light of His power -- These verses go with verse 14. The analogy of light in the Bible is defined as Truth in the presence of God, which is another way of referring to the interplay between the Holy Spirit and the word of God. Paul said that those who accompanied him did not understand the voice who spoke with him, whether they heard it or not. This goes back to various incidences in other passages of the New Testament when someone would see a light but not hear a voice and be unaffected, or hear a voice and see no form and be equally unaffected (Jn 12-29), but those who both saw and heard the voice of God were forever changed (Mat 17,1-6). In other words, one without the other is useless. That is, the Spirit without the word is just a lot of hoopla, and the word without the Spirit is just inkblots on a page, but when they come together, the Holy Spirit with the word of God, we discover a power that is dynamic enough to change peopleís lives from the inside-out. It is like chemistry, two chemicals separated from each other are uncreative, but when combined react with each other to create a whole new substance, sometimes generating a violent reaction as at Pentecost, a violent wind of the anointing.

(117i) Thy kingdom come >> Eyes of your spirit >> Seeing visions -- These verses go with verses 17,18. Ironically, the first thing that happens when someone finally sees the light is to go blind, blind to his former self. Suddenly Paul no longer understood what he was thinking before he met Jesus. God will send someone to us to speak words of grace so we understand what changes are transpiring in our spirit that allow us to regain our sight, and we begin to see the world around us in a whole new light. Ananias was the first Christian Paul saw with his new pair of eyes, and the words he spoke to him further opened his eyes to the reality of God. He could also now hear, for seeing and hearing are one and the same in the kingdom of God. Paulís companions saw the light but it didnít blind them, why? They looked away, and because they looked away they could not hear the voice. Paul was a man of sincerity; he really wanted to know the truth at any cost, even at the risk of losing his sight. He was willing to go blind looking intently into the light in order to hear the purpose and meaning of this heavenly visit.

Act 22-6

(215i) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Suddenly >> The kingdom of heaven appears suddenly >> Without warning

Act 22-9

(168i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world has deaf ears to God >> Deaf to the word of God from a lack of understanding

Act 22-10

(220d) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Predestination >> Divine appointments

Act 22-11

(57c) Paradox >> Opposites >> Vision impairs sight, but the blind can see

(112h) Thy kingdom come >> Light >> Light exposes sin >> Light reveals hidden deeds

(237k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The church is transferred to the kingdom >> Transferred from darkness to light

Act 22-12

(205k) Salvation >> Salvation is based on Godís promises >> Faith versus works >> The faith of God versus the faith of men >> Faith versus the law Ė Ananias was devout by the standard of the law, but he was also a Christian. This was the kind of Christianity that existed back then. It was really Paul who changed Christianity to be what it is today. The transition of being weaned from the law wasn't complete until Paul came along and demonstrated through the Scriptures that God had replaced the law with the anointing that He bestows on us as we obey the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. That is, through Godís help Paul was able to understand that we are saved by grace through faith and not through the works of the law. During the days of Ananias, Christianity embraced both grace and works of the law, which was not wrong or evil, but both Paul and God knew that people would come after the founders of the church had all past away and turn Christianity into a works oriented religion instead of a faith-based divine relationship as it was intended.

Act 22-14

(71g) Authority >> Ordained by Godís sovereign will >> God chooses you

(112b) Thy kingdom come >> LIGHT >> Jesusí light overcomes darkness >> The light of His power -- This verse goes with verses 6-9

(219d) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> The elect >> God transforms the world into the church >> God chooses to speak to whomever He wishes

(245j) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Manifestation of Godís righteous judgment >> Manifestation of Godís authority

Act 22-15

(144c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> The Church Bears Witness of Jesus >> By being with Him

Act 22-16

(103e) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> Godís cleansing power >> cleansing of baptism Ė Baptism was big back then, and it still is big, but it seemed to mean more to them than it does to us today, albeit polarized. On one extreme, there are some denominations of Christianity that see baptism having the power to save the human soul, but more commonly on the other extreme there are denominations that see baptism as a mere ceremony. The early church, however, saw baptism balanced in the middle between these two extremes, more than a mere ceremony but having no power to save. God would never place His power in the fate of a ceremony, because then even the wicked could get baptized and obtain access to heaven. The one who sees baptism as more than a ceremony says that it must be accompanied by faith, but the Bible says faith itself is what God has chosen to imbue his power to save. What then is baptism? Here we see Ananias saying by the Holy Spirit to be baptized and wash away our sins as an analogy for water of baptism, suggesting the profound imagery of its multi-layered significance of Godís power to forgive sin through the state of the human soul hosting the indwelling Holy Spirit.

(246j) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of Godís kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Outward demonstration of an inward work

Act 22,17-22

(185c) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Mystery of lawlessness >> Having no grounds for your hate >> Hating the church without a cause Ė To unbelievers we are aliens from another world, and in a sense they are right. We are now the enemy, just like so many alien movies we have seen when they land and come strolling out of their spacecraft and into the crosshairs of gunfire without even asking any questions. They just assume they are the bad guys just because they are different. So it is with Christianity; believers in Jesus are a threat to the world. Just like Paul saw the light, so do we turn the light in their eyes and show them that they are actually hiding from God. The light reveals this fact, so that when we are born again, those he once knew us cannot relate to what has inwardly transpired. They cannot relate to the idea that God dwells in us and that we actually have a relationship with Him. These are the very things that scare the bejeebers out of them, for they are running from God, and they donít want anything to do with Him. How then does a person get saved? Jesus said in Mat 19-26, ďWith men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.Ē It is impossible to lead anyone to Jesus or anyone to get saved whom God has not both called and chosen to be a constituent of his kingdom. God does ninety percent of the reaching-out and man does the rest by simply receiving the offer of eternal life, and the transformation occurs within the human soul and slowly overtakes the darkness in that personís life.

Act 22-17,18

(117i) Thy kingdom come >> Eyes of your spirit >> Seeing visions -- These verses go with verses 6-9

Act 22,18-22

(199j) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Rejecting Christ >> Unwilling to receive Christ >> Rejecting Christ as the Messiah

(201a) Denying Christ >> Whoever is not with Jesus is against him >> He is against Christ who does not receive Him >> Whoever does not receive Godís word is against Christ Ė Paul is about to place a gigantic rebuke on his audience, for those who would not receive his testimony were present at this oration. They formerly knew Paul, so when he revealed to them that he now believes in Jesus, he expected them to respect his opinion and at least listen to his testimony, but God said no. It is not like somebody who jumps into a vat of pancake batter and then emerges covered in it and stands next to his friends who watched him take the plunge. They know it is him under all that gook, but God says that this is not how it works in the spiritual realm. When we come to believe in Jesus, He transforms us on the inside, unlike pancake batter glopped on our outer form. It is that inner change that makes a person different by nature, so that we are no longer recognizable in their eyes. Whether people know it or not, they can see in the spirit realm, so that when we come to Jesus, we scarcely meet their criteria of being human, but in reality, we who believe in Jesus are more human than they who do not believe. 

Act 22,18-20

(176a) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Misguided -- These verses go with verses 3-5

(182f) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Three causes of interpreting Scripture falsely >> Because they do not understand the Scriptures -- These verses go with verses 3-5

Act 22,21-29

(28d) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> God protects the church through the world Ė The commander intended to torture Paul with a whip to ascertain why the people so violently reacted to him, but he could have just asked him. Paul had the Jews on one side who were led by demons, and the Roman commander on the other who was a bloodthirsty heathen, yet God was able to protect him from his enemies on both sides, so that he might continue carrying the gospel of Christ into the world. 

Act 22-21,22

(24i) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Jews are envious of the gospel Ė The Jews listened to Paul until he used the word ďgentiles,Ē and then they wanted to kill him from jealousy. They didnít want Jesus or His gospel, but they didnít want the gentiles to have it either. How do you win with people like this? If you try to give them what is theirs, they reject it, but if you try to give it to someone else, they hate you for it. Isnít that the kind of no-win situation the devil devises? Many Jews believed in Jesus, so these had no excuse. They were the same type of people who had Jesus crucified; they believed the same things and operated by the same principles. They who fight against the gospel will receive the greatest judgment, for anyone who would attempt to stop the gospel is fighting against God Himself. These people are the epitome of arrogance, who would touch the apple of Godís eye, who are so depraved not even confidence guides them, as though they believed in their convictions, rather more on par with satanic delusion. Paul was once one of them; however, he had one difference; he was actually sincere and genuine. When he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he found the person he had been seeking his whole life, whereas these other Pharisees were content with their hollow religion, one that their fathers never obeyed, and not even they obeyed the religion that they claim so strongly to believe. Since they turned away from Paulís words, how much more would they have turned from the light had Jesus appeared to them?

Act 22-21

(211b) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> God gives the Gentiles Israelís place

(222c) Kingdom of God >> The elusive kingdom of heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> God does not entrust his treasures to dogs >> Do not invest yourself in dogs

Act 22,22-29

(62i) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Taking advantage of the circumstances

(148d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Natural advantage as an evangelist regarding the flesh -- These verses go with verses 2&3. Paul had a natural advantage being a Roman citizen, born in Tarsus of the province of Cilicia, being one of the many reasons God chose Paul to be the kingpin of Christianity. There may have been a hundred reasons for God choosing Paul, but His greatest reason was that he had a sincere and genuine heart for God. Paul used his Roman citizenship as a get-out-of-jail-free pass many times, pulling it from his sleeve in this case. He said in 2Cor 11-24 that he received 39 lashes five times from the Jews, so his Roman citizenship didnít work on the Jews, since they didnít respect the Romans, being they suffered under their rule. Nevertheless, had he not been born Roman, he probably would have been killed years earlier.

Act 22,22-25

(18d) Sin >> False Judgment lacks evidence >> Undefined charges -- These verses go with verse 30

Act 22,22-24

(122c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in God to keep the church

Act 22-22

(25d) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Murder >> Persecution to the death >> Murder is the way of the world

Act 22,24-30

(97h) Thy kingdom come >> Attention >> Facing the direction of Godís will >> Focusing your attention on what matters to you

Act 22-24

(96o) Thy kingdom come >> Having a negative attitude about sin >> Having an abusive attitude

Act 22,25-29

(84e) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Boasting >> It needs to be said and no one else is saying it >> boasting of my weaknesses

Act 22-25

(148c) Natural advantage as an evangelist (Key verse)

(214c) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Godís timing >> Godís timing transcends our comprehension >> Godís time line gives the wicked just enough rope to hang himself

Act 22-28,29

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

Act 22-29

(215k) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Suddenly >> Working quickly

Act 22-30

(18d) Sin >> False Judgment lacks evidence >> Undefined charges -- This verse goes with verses 22-30

Act 23,1-5

(1a) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God and people by respecting their authority Ė Here Paul started badmouthing a man for ordering him to be struck in the face, until he discovered that he was Israel's high priest. After learning about his position, Paul's tone instantly changed. Later in the chapter, he was rewarded for respecting his leaders, in verses 28 and 29, when it says that they found no changes against him deserving death. The same theme runs through the rest of these verses in the book of Acts. He was found to be a "real pest" (Act 24-5), but Paul had not committed any crime that could be defined by their own law. The lesson here is, being innocent of all evil glorifies God, offends no one and keeps open the windows of opportunity for ministry.

(80f) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word to learn the ways of God >> Understanding His will

(155c) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> Conscience >> Having a good conscience >> Conscience bears witness that we obey Godís law Ė Paul wasnít lying when he said, ďI have lived with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this point.Ē He wasnít just talking about since his conversion, but even before that, meaning when he was dragging Christians to their death, he thought it was the right thing to do. He was convinced as a matter of Truth (with a capital T) that Christians were wrong and were a threat to Judaism and needed to be expunged. Had Paul known the Truth and rejected it in favor of his beliefs prior to his conversion, God would not have chosen him to carry the gospel to the nations, because God canít use people who live against their conscience as a way of life. They can repent of it, but it is more like trying to repent of where you have built a city, how do you repent of something like that? 

(175l) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Lack of knowledge -- These verses go with verse 8

Act 23,1-3

(179c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Hypocrisy >> Jesus rebukes the Pharisees >> The world runs into the church to escape Godís judgment

Act 23-1

(232l) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Seek the essence of his kingdom >> Seeking the truth Ė People who live against their conscience as a way of life often have destroyed their conscience to such a degree that they canít even get saved, let alone become the greatest evangelist the world has ever known. They are the ones who believe there is no such thing as Truth as Pilate asked Jesus before he crucified Him. ďWhat is Truth?Ē (Jn 18-38) being a rhetorical question, implies that such a concept either does not exist or the human mind cannot attain to it. He was speaking for himself because he had destroyed his conscience far back as he can remember as a prerequisite to being a political leader of a corrupt society. We hear it a lot nowadays that Truth is unattainable, a figment of the human imagination, suggesting we are a society of reprobates, incapable of understanding a truth greater than our personal belief system. In other words, people like Pilate donít think it is possible to know God, but Paul was not like Pilate. The big saying nowadays is, ďThere is no reality, just perceptionĒ (Dr. Phil). In contrast, Godís Truth is His reality, and He wants His reality to be ours. Manís truth is more in line with the devilís reality, so that if we give up our truth for Godís reality, we will know the Truth from God, and the Truth will set us free. Paul believed in his own perceptions, being very zealous for his faith even before his conversion, and didnít live against his conscience, and God respected him for that even though he didnít know the Truth. A person who doesnít know God but lives by his own perceptions with a clear conscience has hope, but the person who lives against his conscience in regard to his own perceptions as a way of life will violate Godís Truth in like manner.

Act 23,3-5

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

Act 23-5

(27d) Consequences of sin >> Knowledge can bring a curse if you donít walk in it Ė We see a contrast between Paul who walked according to his conscience and his enemies who were not bound by such concerns. It is not against the law to live according to your conscience; nevertheless, it is common for people to live contrary to their own belief systems, though it is never a good idea, and Paul indicated this fact to his enemies rebuking them for their hypocrisy. Paul complained that the man had him struck for reasons that did not violate the laws of God, basically telling him that he was a hypocrite, not knowing he was high priest, and once he realized this fact, it caused Paul to do some fast backpedaling. Verse five defines conscience and provides an example of Paul serving his conscience when he said, ďI was unaware, brethren, that he was high priest,Ē suggesting that conscience is directly related to knowledge, like the original sin in the Garden of Eden when they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Had God not told Adam it was sin, it would not have been a sin to eat its fruit. This defines the nature of sin, doing what we know is wrong. Therefore, our conscience defines sin, which is why some people destroy their conscience, reasoning that if they eliminate conscience, they can no longer sin; they become invincible, like a god. This is the mindset of a psychopath! What does God do to people like that? He plays along with them and says, ĎOkay, I will judge you only for the one sin of destroying your conscience,í and then assigns them a place in hell of possibly the greatest torment. At the same time that Paul recanted his statement, he exposed the fact that the high priest and those around him lived against their conscience. Paul respected the position of high priest, not particularly the man who occupied the office or the manner in which he exercised his religion.

Act 23,6-11

(122k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Boldness in adverse circumstances >> Go in places of adversity Ė This was a huge risk that Paul took to go to Jerusalem, and it no doubt would have cost him his life without back-to-back miracles from God. When we look at the testimony that Paul gave, what exactly did he accomplish? He gave his testimony that Jesus met him on the road to Damascus, but his greatest testimony was his audacity to come to the camp of his enemies and show his face in Jerusalem. This was extremely intimidating to the Jews who hated Paul, who communicated the message to his enemies that he would never be afraid of them and that nothing they did would ever stop him short killing him, and they couldnít even do that. coming to Jerusalem conveyed the message to them that this gospel of Christ was going forward regardless of any and all efforts to stop it. His boldness spoke volumes about his level of faith and commitment to the cause of Christ. A person can sincerely believe and be sincerely wrong, but not to the degree of Paulís faith. It caused his enemies to stop at some point and wonder if these things were actually true, if only in their bed at night, because this level of boldness can only come from God. They didnít have it, and they werenít going to risk their lives for what they believed.

Act 23,6-10

(62i) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Taking advantage of the circumstances

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

(65d) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Jesus brings division >> He divides a society along itís natural fault lines Ė This is an example of God causing division. Usually this is the devilís department, but this was a strategic move on the part of Paul, who was very familiar with the belief systems of everyone present. Paul wasnít on trial for committing a crime, but was in the Roman court system for what he believed, and when some of the Roman governors realized this they wouldnít even hear his case. The Romans found Jewish law and the particulars of their belief system concerning God irrelevant. To them it was not illegal to believe anything about God, but to the Jews, believing the wrong thing was a crime, punishable by death! They were trying to get rid of Paul because his influence was threatening the establishment of Judaism, yet in contrast to the Sadducees, suddenly the Pharisees saw the prospect that Paul may have seen a vision, but without the Sadduceesí disparity of faith this would have never surfaced as a possibility. They didnít think Paul may have had a connection with the Holy Spirit based on anything he said or did, but based purely on the opposite notion furnished by the Sadducees, that there are no such thing as spirits. We need a bigger and better reason to believe in the truth than to spite our enemies; rather, we must believe in the truth because it is true, and that is the only proper motive.

(75b) Thy kingdom come >> Motives of the heart >> Motives for doing the will of God

(97h) Thy kingdom come >> Attention >> Facing the direction of Godís will >> Focusing your attention on what matters to you

(148e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Natural advantage of the public eye

(179e) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Stir up the crowd >> Stir up the crowd for a godly motive

Act 23,6-8

(20c) Nature of sin >> Unbelief >> Having a mind that is unable to receive

(39c) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Preaching the resurrection

Act 23-8

(86f) Thy kingdom come >> Belief >> Mental ascent (believing a set of facts) Ė Paul announced he was a Pharisee, and then proceeded to tell the crowd that he believed in the resurrection from the dead. This put all the Pharisees on his side, and divided them from the Sadducees, who didnít believe in the resurrection or in angels or in spirits. When then is left to believe? The Sadducees obviously believe there is a God, but if there is not such a thing as a spirit, then neither there is a spirit realm to them, and if there is no spirit realm, then there is only a natural realm, so they were secular in their belief system. They probably didnít have a strong faith in the Old Testament, which taught about spiritual things, so there was probably much biblical rejection from the standpoint of the Sadducees, who merely associated with Israel and the Pharisees, being fringe believers.

(175l) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Lack of knowledge -- This verse goes with verses 1-5

Act 23-9

(176i) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Zeal without knowledge (Spirit w/o the word) >> Passion without principles

Act 23-10

(58a) Paradox >> Opposites >> World takes the kingdom of God by force

Act 23-11

(6c) Responsible to advocate Godís cause >> Jesusí yoke of evangelism

(7e) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> God defends His own word

(106o) Thy kingdom come >> Hearing from God >> Purpose of hearing from God >> God ordains our calling

(139e) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouragement >> Encouraged by the word of God

(144b) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> The Church Bears Witness of Jesus >> Of the cross

(148a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Solemnly testify about the grace of God

(247h) Priorities >> Godís priorities >> Godís interests >> God is interested in the gospel -- This verse goes with verses 31-35. As we know Catholicism started in Rome, which is where Paul was headed, so Paul had something to do with the existence of Catholicism. Had Paul not gone to Rome and witnessed to this world empire, it is possible that Catholicism would have never existed. It happened that various leaders within the Roman Empire became convinced on some level, whether they ever developed a saving faith in Jesus Christ is anyoneís guess, and then mandated Christianity as the official religion throughout the Roman Empire. Thus Christianity became an institution that the world acknowledged and accepted as an entity of the world, in spite of Jesusí word that His people were not of the world. Not only did Paulís natural advantage of being born in the Roman province of Cilicia deliver him from death, it also gave him a hearing, an open door to convey the gospel to Roman governors, who held influence over the whole world at the time. Here lies great irony in the disparity between the scriptural account Paulís life and the historical account of manís religion, being that Paul had by far the greatest influence on Rome, yet the Roman Catholic Church raised up the apostle Peter as the icon of their faith and almost completely ignored Paul by comparison. In fact, Paulís adventures to Rome were the direct result of Peterís inability to wean Jewish Christians off the laws of Moses to adopt the grace of God instead. This led to Paulís arrest in Jerusalem instigated by Jewish Christians and his subsequent imprisonment where he wrote his letters to the churches, which we now read as the epistles of the New Testament. The Roman Catholic church chose Peter over Paul as their mascot partly from a misinterpretation of Scripture in Mat 16-18 that says, ďI also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it,Ē and partly from the fact that the Catholic Church doesnít particularly like Paul especially after he made comments like this one, ďI know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themĒ (Act 20-29,30). 

Act 23,12-24

(2e) Responsible to keep your commitments >> it is better not to vow at all Ė This oath these forty men took, the Bible called it a curse. Prior to the written document the oath was an agreement between parties that stood as a legal condition, which was contingent upon the honesty and integrity of the people involved and upon society as a whole. The signed legal document has replaced the oath, implying that it took over the oath as a result of an epidemic problem with lying. The oath bound a person to a certain action or agreement, just like the signed document. People in biblical times took the oath (or promise) very seriously, so if anyone made an oath, they were required to make good on it, just like we are required to carry out the obligations contained on a legal document that we have signed. When Jesus said that it was better not to vow at all, he was telling us to be careful what we sign. Amazingly, the Old Testament did not command a designated consequence for breaking an oath, no stoning, no cutting-off from the people, etc. However, the general consequence of oath breaking was when it became rampant in society, Israel lost their place and their nation to the Babylonians. So, what is the collective consequence of oath breaking? Whole nations are removed! What would happen if America abandoned the legal signed document and went back to the oath? People lie as a manner of speaking in todayís evil and perverse generation. The signed document replacing the oath can be seen as a sign of the last days, for when lying has become so common that no one can be trusted, it is game over. Actually the oath has been used as a legal state between parties until about 150 years ago. Earlier than that, the paper used for the document was usually worth more than the oath represented. When a nation uses its word to be deceitful as a lifestyle, essentially it is already too late for that country to repent, for the hole in its boat is fatal and the ship will sink regardless of any efforts to save it. 

(26l) Consequences of sin >> Curse >> Deeds that return to the doer >> Words of your mouth Ė Notice that these forty men who put themselves under oath to kill Paul did not challenge this garrison of soldiers that safely escorted him to Antipathies, but willingly accepted the curse of an unfulfilled vow. A personís oath was so significant in earlier days that it was considered a curse if they didnít fulfill it. The signed legal document has completely bypassed the whole concept of honesty and integrity and all the positive values required of a person who takes an oath. The signed legal document has become a requirement in order for civilization to advance because the human soul has degraded to such a point that people can no longer be trusted at their word. Therefore, the signed legal document is a curse unto itself that any society or civilization that uses it as a prerequisite lacks honesty and integrity. This depicts our contemporary world.

(29a) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> Delivered from our persecutors

Act 23,12-22

(21k) Sin >> Premeditated murder

(25c) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Murder >> Persecution to the death >> For prestige

(180f) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Wolves steal, kill and destroy >> Killing the sheep

(181f) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Lawlessness >> Having no regard for the law >> Forsaking the law Ė In the days of Israel leading up to the Babylonian captivity, society had degraded to such a degree that the oath had become invalid from a lack of integrity, which made civilization as they knew it impossible. Every other aspect of their lives disintegrated, their lying, deceptive ways necessitated their impending doom. Prior to the Babylonian captivity there may not have been any direct consequences for breaking an oath, but there were general consequences for being a society of liars and for allowing civilization to degrade to such a point that nearly everyone was untrustworthy. We are living in days like that today. Generally, we canít trust those we donít know, because people lie at the drop of a hat; their word means nothing to them. There are times after making an oath circumstances change, making it impossible to fulfill the oath, thus cursing the person who made the oath. Such was the case with these forty men who bound themselves to an oath to kill Paul before they ate another bite of food. They probably didnít starve to death, but instead lost respect among their countrymen. For this reason Jesus said it was better not to vow at all, echoing Solomonís wisdom. They could have made an attempt on Paulís life without vowing to kill him, but they made the vow to increase the stakes, thus increasing their determination. The vow said, ĎWe either kill Paul or our own lives are worthless.í The vow transformed their desire to kill Paul into a mission they had to fulfill. This is how much they hated Paul to risk putting themselves under a curse rather than allow Paul to live.

Act 23,12-16

(46c) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Subjecting your flesh >> Knowledge is our weapon -- These verses go with verse 22

Act 23,12-15

(163f) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Used by Satan to destroy the word of God >> Used to destroy the mouthpiece of God

(251c) Priorities >> Godís prerequisites >> Making plans >> Making evil plans

Act 23-12

(85k) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Better not to say anything >> Words will make you obligated

Act 23,16-22

(14m) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> They are always there when you need them

(29h) Gift of God >> God is on our side >> He fights our battles for us

(131a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Interdependent on each other to do the will of God

Act 23-22

(46c) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Subjecting your flesh >> Knowledge is our weapon Ė This verse goes with verses 12-16

(62e) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Keep your mouth shut

(85j) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Better not to say anything >> Shut up!

(89e) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Wisdom is sometimes best when there are no words

Act 23-23,24

(7c) Responsibility >> Defend the gospel by protecting the men who carry it Ė These verses go along with verses 33-35. 

Act 23,25-27

(148d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Natural advantage as an evangelist regarding the flesh -- These verses go with verse 35

Act 23-28,29

(1a) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God and people by respecting their authority Ė See Act 23,1-5 

(18c) Sin >> False Judgment lacks evidence >> Charges not defined as crimes

Act 23-30 -- No Entries

Act 23,31-35

(247h) Priorities >> Godís priorities >> Godís interests >> God is interested in the gospel Ė These verses go with verse 11. God wanted Paul to witness to Rome, though knowing it would ultimately result in institutionalizing the gospel after it has fallen into the hands of established world leaders, initiating the formation of the Roman Catholic Church, which would overall do more harm than good to the gospel of Christ. Perhaps Godís thinking was that this way at least His gospel would become widely known throughout the world and many people would make up their own minds and be saved, as Paul said in Phi 1-18, ďWhat then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice.Ē As Paul said, there were those who had misconceptions of the gospel and were preaching them, but said that it was better this than that the gospel should be unknown altogether. He would rather people hear misconceptions of the gospel than for His gospel to be unheard and unknown in the world. We can always iron out the details later; we just want people to hear about Jesus and believe in Him for eternal life. There is a will that God would have His gospel widely distributed by a worldly government than for it to be hidden under a bushel known only by a few. It was not that God thought they would do well by His gospel and be saved by faith, but that they would influence society to do so, and that the peasants themselves over whom they ruled would do well to obey the gospel and be saved. Bringing the gospel to Rome was like hooking it to a megaphone and preaching it in a loudspeaker for many people to hear as opposed to only a few. God didnít necessarily want His gospel institutionalized; He only wanted it to become available to all and for all to believe in Jesus for eternal life.

Act 23,33-35

(7c) Responsibility >> Defend the gospel by protecting the men who carry it Ė These verses go along with verses 23&24. Another way of saying "Herodís praetorian" is "The governorís official residence." Paul was literally given the royal treatment. Usually, he was beaten for doing the will of God, but this time he was treated like a king and sent to live in the governorís mansion. Obviously, the justice department did not take Paulís accusers very seriously, especially since there were no official charges filed against him. This is reminiscent of a favorite passage in Proverbs 30-28, "The lizard you may grasp with the hands, Yet it is in kings' palaces." Paul was acting as God's lizard for whom He was manipulating the circumstances to get him a stay in the king's palace for the sake of conveying the gospel to those who would ultimately send it throughout the world in the coming centuries. 

(231d) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> Godís grace is the mystery of godliness >> Having favor with God is a mystery

Act 23-35

(32f) Gift of God >> Father will honor you if you die to self >> In His service

(33j) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> God serves His people who serve Him >> He treats His people with special care

(148d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Natural advantage as an evangelist regarding the flesh -- This verse goes with verses 25-27

(228a) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Comforted >> God comforts you in times of adversity >> He comforts you in your suffering

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