Book Of Acts – Advance Study (Part 18)


1 And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto 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, 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 tarried for us at Troas. 6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days.

The Doctrine of the Evangelist/Missionary: Who was Paul exhorting? The lost? No. It was the churches that he (and others with him) had started. This is one of the key functions of a true biblical Evangelist (exhorting his previous church plants). This <TOPIC:evangelist> went into many different countries, and wasn’t just confined to America, or wherever his expensive RV would take him ! How many American born-and-raised Evangelists do you know of that go to another country to be an ‘Evangelist’ (their title)?…. I know of none! (3) Here, the Evangelist (apostle) stayed in one place 3 whole months…it wasn’t just holding a ‘week of meetings’ with a large ‘Revival’ banner placed in front of the church building. (4) A “multi-national” Missions team; Paul picked up ‘key’ men (or a man) in most cities where he spent some time in; he didn’t wait at the city to have them trained…he, rather, took them with him and trained them ‘on the road’; these men functioned much like Missionary Helpers do today, except that these were being trained and then sent out as an Evangelist / Pastor-Teacher.

7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto 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.

The Doctrine of Preaching: They had Sunday evening preaching with ‘the church’ there. Paul preached maybe for 3 or 4 hours….all the way until midnight! On some occasions it’s very reasonable to preach longer than normal (when you have a special speaker like the apostle Paul !). (9) Young men are notorious for taking chances, and, not paying attention to ‘uninteresting’ things. Though, it is understandable that he fell asleep since Paul preached so long. Whose fault is it when someone falls asleep during a sermon? If you put them to sleep, then it is up to you to wake them up. Be prepared dear long winded preacher for problems to occur as a result of your ‘long preaching’!…

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 thence, 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 unto them, Ye 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 temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: 20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, 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.

The Doctrine of Evangelism: Here is a good example of how Paul the Evangelist and church planter went about his ministry in a city: he taught them those things that would be very profitable to them spiritually (the gospel first, and then much more); he taught publickly in areas where people congregated (market square, aka ‘street preaching’) and also taught ‘house to house’ (aka ‘doorknocking’, and/or in-home bible studies). We see that Paul (at least in Ephesus, and I assume in every city that he ministered in) typically went house to house (door to door) in testifying the gospel (21 carries on the thought from 20). Thus if someone is ‘against door to door soulwinning’, then they are against the method Paul used. We might be totally for this method, but what about the other method… ‘teaching publickly’?!… This sounds at least somewhat like modern day ‘street preaching’. Does our church want to be involved with teaching the people publickly?!… Paul’s methodology of evangelism included ‘street preaching’ and ‘door to door soulwinning’.

In soulwinning you need to testify to the lost person that they need to have ‘repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ’! Repentance was clearly part of Paul’s message to the lost of Ephesus. Also, the faith needed to be directed totally toward the Lord Jesus Christ; not some vague ‘faith in God’ (easy believism… universalism). Thus, in door to door soulwinning we need to talk to them quite a bit about ‘repentance’.

22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that ye 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 men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

The Doctrine of Missions: If you as a Missionary are going to have the mindset of Paul’s, you will not be concerned about the danger that might await you in the field God has called you to; in fact, you won’t even count your life dear. The goal is to finish your course (ministry) with joy…whether you are killed there, or not. Obviously, it would be a little different scenario if you had your family with you. I just don’t see on the pages of the NT ‘families’ involved with the initial evangelism/church planting effort.

28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 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.

The Doctrine of the Pastor: An elder’s, Pastor, bishop, first priority in his ministry is himself, not the flock. The Holy Ghost has ordained the pastor to be the ‘overseer’ of every member, every ministry, and the church as a whole. One of the main jobs of the elder is to feed the church. Also, for those who feel that an ‘elder’ is different from a Pastor, it sure does seem that the elders at Ephesus were fulfilling the role of a Pastor by what Paul was commanding them to be doing. When a strong pastor leaves the flock, it is very probable that ‘wolves’ will move on in for the kill. These wolves in sheep clothing will come in as visitors (prospective members) and will hurt the flock; young, new pastor, be on the lookout for ‘wolfy sheep’ seeking to become members! Trouble can even come from within the church membership. Pastor, be watching for a member forming his own disciple followship group within the church…he is attempting to steal them away. Protecting the flock needs to be done with great intensity and passion, even to the point of tears…as Paul did, daily, for 3 years.

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 man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. 34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. 35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye 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 spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.

The Doctrine of Missions: Sadly, I believe that a large majority of preachers on ‘deputation’ (or furloughtation) are guilty of coveting men’s silver, gold, and apparel; they want their money…so they go around for 2 to 3 years begging for them to give it to them. Else, they would be serving the Lord on the field that God has called them to! They want the money so badly that they are willing to avoid going to the lost people that God has called them to for up to 3 or 4 years; and are willing to leave those people for up to a year at a time… so they can obtain man’s silver and gold! Paul hadn’t ever asked for money or clothing! Isn’t he suppose to be our example (along with Jesus Christ)?! He met his needs (necessities) via his own hands (tentmaking, etc.). He even used that money that he made himself to help others that were on his missions’ team! Paul set the example for this new church in Ephesus that the elders (pastors) need to work hard outside of the church in order to be a blessing to those in need within the body…yes, even in a foreign country. A Pastor/Missionary needs to be willing to minister unto his own necessities, and not expect (or demand) that others do it for him (i.e. supporting churches, sending church, or even his own church that he pastors). A Missionary doesn’t have to necessarily wait until he has 100% of his ‘support’ before he goes to ‘his field’; why not find a way to minister unto your necessities and get to your field right away?!…


1 And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara: 2 And finding a ship sailing over unto 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 unlade 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. 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 abode with them one day. 8 And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. 9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

The Doctrine of the Evangelist: Philip was originally one of the seven deacons of that first church in Jerusalem; was he still one of them? I assume that he was ‘promoted’ to being an evangelist (‘which “was” one of the seven’). What does an Evangelist do? I would be fairly sure that it involves evangelizing. In fact, I am certain that the main ‘job’ of ‘the evangelist’ is to evangelize. Thus, if you call yourself an ‘evangelist’, then you better do a whole lot of evangelizing (and I’m not talking about from the pulpit). If you are called the ‘lawyer’ or the ‘doctor’ or the ‘electrician’, etc., then I would be fairly certain of what each of those main jobs would entail… This evangelist lived in a house with a family. Thus, at least at this time, they were not out travelling city to city. He must have been evangelizing this city for a year or more.

10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.

11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth 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, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine 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.

The Doctrine of the Will of God: Was Paul out of God’s will here? No. I believe that the Holy Spirit was speaking to both: Agabus to warn Paul, and Paul to be willing to sacrifice his own life. It was probably more so for those that were with Paul; they could see Paul’s stellar conviction to do anything for the Lord no matter how dangerous it would be. Be careful that you don’t try to overly influence someone against the will of the Lord. It may seem good to you, but you are not that person. They understood that God’s will might have been for Paul to go. It is good to end a disagreement with a brother with “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 unto James; 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.

The Doctrine of Missions: Some of those dear ones in that city decided to go and be a helper to the Missionary. Here, we see that their decision apparently was sudden and they didn’t wait a year to raise support, etc, to go with the Missionary! Mnason must have had a house he owned where they were going. Elderly Baptists can help out Missionaries! How did they ‘lodge with him’?

It is good for Missionaries to give testimonies to churches on what God had wrought by their ministry; it can help create, or increase, a burden in a church for ‘their field of ministry’.

20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: 21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest 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 thou art come. 23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; 24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest 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.

The Doctrine of the Gentiles: The leaders of that church in Jerusalem seemed to have turned what Paul was saying and changed it to focus on their main concern; that Paul hasn’t changed to be a Gentile himself, but still teaches to follow the law. They were very concerned that the saved Jews were dropping the following of the law and were just focusing just on grace.

These pastors were amazingly ignorant of what Jesus Christ had been teaching them. Did they understand that circumcision, etc, was not now important for a Jew…or a Gentile, or anybody!? There was a conspiracy to get Paul’s popularity tarnished.

They were going to have a church vote (multitude come together) on this important issue. It is almost unbelievable that this ‘Mother’ church (the mother of all true churches) would be struggling with this doctrine (heresy) involving the importance of circumcision and the law.

Paul took this Jewish vow in order to show that he still followed the Mosaic law, and hadn’t become a Gentile. Though, I don’t know if it was the Lord’s will or not for him to do such. “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the Law, as under the Law, that I might gain them that are under the Law.”

“It is exceedingly difficult to account for the conduct of James and the elders, and of Paul on this occasion. There seems to have been something in this transaction which we do not fully understand.” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary)

They made sure to clarify the difference between Jews and Gentiles concerning the keeping of the law. This was a transitional stage and the devout Jews could not seem to let go of the law; hopefully they were indeed saved.

Is it right to have different principles, laws, commandments, rules, guidelines, from God for different people groups (i.e. Jews, Gentiles, Blacks, Whites…)?

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 purifcation, 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, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath 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 unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto 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.

The Doctrine of Persecution: Public opinion can be easily swayed by starting some controversial statements and voicing it through the media. Once it’s in the ‘blogosphere’ then it will potentially have all in the city ‘moved’ by it. What happened here to Paul was totally illegal; they were in a rage. They were going to kill him by beating him to death. Paul was probably hurt pretty bad. No cell phones; it probably took at least 5 minutes for the tidings to reach them.

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 unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek? 38 Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers? 39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people. 40 And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,

The Doctrine of Persecution: They thought Paul was an Egyptian rebel leader. But Paul spoke in Greek to the captain, and then spoke in Hebrew to the people. Knowing a foreign language can help you when you are being detained by the police in a foreign country. God probably allowed this tumult and beating in order to have this occasion come about. Does that seem fair to you? If you are ever detained or imprisoned for being a Christian, use that ‘venue’ to declare the truth of Jesus Christ. They use to ‘require’ you to have a license to preach.