Saturday, April 29, 2017

Acts Chapter 21: Women Preachers Spiritual Gifts Persecution

    1: And it came to pass that after we were gotten from them and had launched we came with a straight course to Coos and the day following to Rhodes and from there to Patara 2: And finding a ship sailing over to Phenicia we went aboard and set forth 3: Now when we had discovered Cyprus we left it on the left hand and sailed into Syria and landed at Tyre for there the ship was to unload her burden 4: And finding disciples we tarried there seven days who said to Paul through the Spirit that he should not go up to Jerusalem[1] 5: And when we had accomplished those days we departed and went our way and they all brought us on our way with wives and children till we were out of the city and we kneeled down on the shore and prayed 6: And when we had taken our leave one of another we took ship and they returned home again 7: And when we had finished our course from Tyre we came to Ptolemais and saluted the brethren and stayed with them one day 8: And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed and came to Caesarea and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist which was one of the seven[2] and stayed with him 9: And the same man [Phillip] had four daughters virgins who did prophesy[3] 10: And as we tarried there many days there came down from Judaea a certain prophet named Agabus 11: And when he was come to us he took Paul's girdle and bound his own hands and feet and said Thus says the Holy Ghost So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owns this girdle and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles 12: And when we heard these things both we and they of that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem 13: Then Paul answered What mean ye to weep and to break my heart for I am ready not to be bound only but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus 14: And when he would not be persuaded we ceased saying The will of the Lord be done 15: And after those days we took up our carriages and went up to Jerusalem 16: There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus an old disciple with whom we should lodge 17: And when we were come to Jerusalem the brethren received us gladly 18: And the day following Paul went in with us to James (the half-brother of Jesus. James the brother of John had already been martyred) and all the elders were present 19: And when he had saluted them he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry 20: And when they heard it they glorified the Lord and said to him You see brother how many thousands of Jews there are which believe and they are all zealous for the law 21: And they are informed of you that you teach all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses saying that they ought not to circumcise their children neither to walk after the customs 22: What is it therefore the multitude must needs come together for they will hear that you are come 23: Do therefore this that we say to you We have four men which have a vow on them 24: Them take and purify yourself with them and be at charges with them that they may shave their heads Numbers chapter 6 (They were concluding their Nazarite vow—Paul also had a vow on himself—Acts 18:18 ) and all may know that those things whereof they were informed concerning you are nothing but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law 25: As touching the Gentiles which believe we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols and from blood and from strangled and from fornication 26: Then Paul took the men and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification until that an offering should be offered for every one of them 27: And when the seven days were almost ended the Jews which were of Asia when they saw him in the temple stirred up all the people and laid hands on him 28: Crying out People of Israel help This is the man that teaches all people everywhere against the people and the law and this place and further brought Greeks also into the temple and has polluted this holy place 29: For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple 30: And all the city was moved and the people ran together and they took Paul and drew him out of the temple and forthwith the doors were shut 31: And as they went about to kill him tidings came to the chief captain of the band that all Jerusalem was in an uproar 32: Who immediately took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers they left beating of Paul 33: Then the chief captain came near and took him and commanded him to be bound with two chains and demanded who he was and what he had done 34: And some cried one thing some another among the multitude and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult he commanded him to be carried into the castle 35: And when he came upon the stairs so it was that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people 36: For the multitude of the people followed after crying Away with him 37: And as Paul was to be led into the castle he said to the chief captain May I speak to you Who said Can you speak Greek 38: Are not you that Egyptian who before these days made an uproar and led out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers 39: But Paul said I am a man who am a Jew of Tarsus a city in Cilicia a citizen of no insignificant city and I beseech you allow me to speak to the people 40: And when he had given him permission Paul stood on the stairs and beckoned with the hand to the people And when there was made a great silence he spoke to them in the Hebrew tongue saying…

[1] This is interesting. These disciples, by the Holy Spirit, warned Paul not to go to Jerusalem. Yet, Paul himself felt constrained by the Holy Spirit to do just that. He was willing to face the consequences, of imprisonment and house arrest--and by giving his life in the end—for the cause of the gospel. Everything the New Testament prophets had warned him about came to pass, but, even so, Paul maintained that it was his calling to go to Jerusalem. Was it the perfect will of God for Paul to become a martyr, but warned him multiple times and with such detail in order to give him a choice to stay within his permissive will by not  going at all?
[2] Acts 6:3-6 describes the ordination of Philip as one of the seven. Though they are commonly known as deacons, and most Christians are taught that the story of the seven is the ordination of the first deacons, the Bible never calls them diakonos, so it is simply conjecture whether or not The Seven were the first deacons (diakonos) or not. They could have been and likely were. It is worth noting that a woman, Phoebe, is directly referred to as a diakonos in Romans 16:1. Misogyny in translation prevents Phoebe’s status as a deacon (she is not called a deaconess but a deacon [diakonos G1249]) from being read correctly in most English versions.
[3] For Luke to state that Phillip’s daughters were New Testament prophets Romans 12:6, 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11-13, means the gifts of the Holy Spirit and calling of God on these women was recognized and respected. Some denominations define prophesying as preaching. So be it. The daughters of Phillip the evangelist were preachers. They spoke publicly and authoritatively to anyone God called them to—including men. Nowhere, do we read in the scriptures that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are distributed according to gender. 

Additional commentary pending for this chapter. Questions and comments are welcome.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Acts Chapter 20: Sabbath Miracles Jesus is God Received Text

   1: And after the uproar was ceased Paul called to him the disciples and embraced them and departed for to go into Macedonia 2: And when he had gone over those parts and had given them much exhortation he came into Greece 3: And there abode three months And when the Jews laid wait for him [tried to ambush him] as he was about to sail into Syria he purposed to return through Macedonia 4: And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea and of the Thessalonians Aristarchus and Secundus and Gaius of Derbe and Timotheus and of Asia Tychicus and Trophimus 5: These going before waited for us at Troas 6: And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread and came to them to Troas in five days where we abode seven days 7: And upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread Paul preached to them ready to depart on the morrow and continued his speech until midnight 8: And there were many lights in the upper chamber where they were gathered together 9: And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus being fallen into a deep sleep and as Paul was long preaching he sunk down with sleep and fell down from the third loft and was taken up dead 10: And Paul went down and fell on him and embracing him said Trouble not yourselves for his life is in him 11: When he therefore was come up again and had broken bread and eaten and talked a long while even till break of day so he departed 12: And they brought the young man alive and were not a little comforted 13: And we went before to ship and sailed unto Assos there intending to take in Paul for so had he appointed minding himself to go afoot 14: And when he met with us at Assos we took him in and came to Mitylene 15: And we sailed from there and came the next day over against Chios and the next day we arrived at Samos and tarried at Trogyllium and the next day we came to Miletus 16: For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus because he would not spend the time in Asia for he hasted if it were possible for him to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost 17: And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church 18: And when they were come to him he said to them You know from the first day that I came into Asia after what manner I have been with you at all seasons 19: Serving the Lord with all humility of mind and with many tears and trials which befell me by the lying in wait [ambushment] of the Jews 20: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable to you but have showed you and have taught you publicly and from house to house 21: Testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ 22: And now behold I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem not knowing the things that shall befall me there 23: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesses in every city saying that bonds and afflictions continue [for] me 24: But none of these things move me neither count I my life dear to myself so that I might finish my course with joy and the diakonia which I have received of the Lord Jesus to testify the gospel of the grace of God 25: And now behold I know that you all among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God shall see my face no more 26: Wherefore I take you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all 27: For I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God 28: Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over the which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to feed the Church of God which he has purchased with his own blood [1]29: For I know this that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you not sparing the flock 30: Also of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them 31: Therefore watch and remember that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears 32: And now brethren I commend you to God and to the word of his grace which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified 33: I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel 34: Yes you yourselves know that these hands have ministered to my necessities and to them that were with me 35: I have shewed you all things how that so laboring you ought to support the weak and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus how he said It is more blessed to give than to receive 36: And when he had thus spoken he kneeled down and prayed with them all 37: And they all wept sore and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him 38: Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke that they should see his face no more And they accompanied him to the ship

[1] This is just one clear statement to the deity of Jesus. The scriptures are filled with them. He is not a little god who came in the name the One True God. He is the One True God. Another verse that confirms this is 1 Timothy 3:16. In the Egyptian Minority Texts and other “eclectic” texts, both Acts 20:28 and 1 Timothy 3:16 have been corrupted to blur these clear statements that Jesus is YHWH the Creator, the Almighty, the Father of Eternity. The Received Text, which underlies the New Testaments of the King James Version, Young’s Literal Translation, the J. P. Green Literal New Testament, and some others, repeatedly affirms that the fullness [entirety] of the Godhead dwells in Jesus in physical form.

Additional commentary pending for this chapter. Questions and comments are welcome.