1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
Doctrine of Missiology: Do you think that most churches like ours follow these verses here in ‘sending out missionaries’? Let’s see what this ‘model church’ actually did in regards to Missions:
(1) The church in Antioch was commissioned most likely directly from that first church in Jerusalem. The Antioch church became a notable Missionary sending church. This church was healthy (as all churches should be like) in that they had some preachers/teachers that were ready to go to the mission field when called upon.
(2) This is the Biblical way to get ready to be called and to go to the mission field God has for you: busy ministering in your church, and also fasting for God’s will. They knew some big decision was about to be made. They were trying to hear from the Holy Ghost. He is the guide in the calling, and tells the church what to do; no mission board or denominational structure involved; not even a Pastor dictating where each would go…
It is always best to be sent with another key man to help you with the work: accountability, encouragement, helper.
The Holy Spirit had already called these two, and probably these 2 knew their calling already; they just waited for the church to agree. It was a ‘work’; thus we often call church plants ‘works’. And, it is work to do this, indeed. This ‘separation’ would involve sending them out.
(3) Proper “commissioning” of Missionaries from a church: fasting, praying, laying hands on, sending them. It is no
light thing. There is no scriptural support for any entity commissioning a missionary other than a church. And, when they sent them away, the two ‘Missionaries’ did not set out on 2 to 3 years of ‘Deputation’!…
(4) The Holy Spirit is to lead them in this undertaking; the mission may develop as they go (i.e. go to China and see how the Spirit leads). “The distance from Antioch to Seleucia by water is about 41 miles, while the journey by land is only 16 ½ miles” (Barnes’ Notes). Cyprus is an island not far from Seleucia; Salamis (now know as Constantia) was the principal seaport of Cyprus. Barnabas and Saul initially travelled to nearby cities to evangelize; they started close and then spread out over about 500 miles and then returned back to their home church. The word Missionary does not appear in our Bible; here they are acting as “Evangelists”; later churches formed. Saul and Barnabas were later called apostles. ‘Missionary helpers’ (John Mark) are scriptural, and necessary. He ‘ministered’ to their needs. Who will set out and be a ‘John Mark’?!….
Missionary helpers are greatly used of God. They can help for the time they can and then go back home (v. 13). Later, Paul believes that John Mark ‘quit the team’. The ‘company’ was a ‘missions team’; what churches practice this type of ‘church planting’ / Missionary / Evangelist work???…
6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus: 7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. 9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.
Doctrine of Persecution: Do Missionaries often experience a lot of ‘attacks’ and ‘trials’ when they first set out on their ‘mission’? Yes. Be sure of this, when you attempt to get the gospel to a key person, the Devil will try and ‘withstand’ you and ‘turn away the person from the faith’. He may use “Elymas’” to ‘mess things up’.
Preachers, soulwinners, etc, need to be filled with the Spirit so they are bold enough to withstand the attacks of the
Devil. God doesn’t take kindly to someone preventing another from hearing the gospel and getting saved…and neither should we. Point out the ‘interferer’ and call them a ‘child of the devil’ and ‘enemy of all righteousness’! We can’t curse them, but we sure can beg for God to. Even though we might be faced with persecution, we need to speak our “doctrine” boldly, and some will be astonished by it, and believe!
13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem. 14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. 15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. 16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. 17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. 18 And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness. 19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot. 20 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. 23 Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: 24 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.
Doctrine of Preaching: What better place to preach the truth than to religious people that might actually be persuadeable. Would to God the lost would ask us to preach to them! Preachers need to give out these “words of exhortation”.
A good lesson on how to witness to folk that are “religious”: find common ground; use Scripture they are familiar with and might even agree with you on.
Paul finally gets to the main point; He took them from Moses to David and finally to Jesus Christ; that was his goal; he had to take them from where they were at in their spiritual understanding, all the way to the Saviour.
Always start talking about a Baptist and you will get things stirred up…..
26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. 27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
30 But God raised him from the dead: 31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.
Doctrine of Evangelism: There are people out there who truly do ‘fear God’ (albeit, very few); these are the ones who will recognize the truth when you tell them and will run towards it. But, sadly, most who you will meet do not really fear God and are going to continue with their erred biases and will perish in Hell. When you go out evangelizing, look for those that fear God…and send them the truth of salvation! That’s exactly what Paul did.
In general, those in Jerusalem rejected Christ. The books of the O.T. spoke of the Messiah and the Jews totally missed it; they had their own view of who the Messiah should be.
Doctrine of the Gospel: Everything dealing with the Lord Jesus Christ was according to plan…according to prophecy. There wasn’t one moment in Jesus’ life that was out of ‘the plan’. The Gospel message is presented here: Slain, crucified on the tree, laid in a sepulchre, God raised him from the dead, and He was seen many days by those that had come there with Him from Galilee…they were witnesses.
32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
Doctrine of Eternal Sonship: His eternal Sonship is spoken of here. So, what day was Jesus Christ actually ‘begotten’ as His ‘Son’? Upon His resurrection? At His birth? Prior to that?
Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power upon His resurrection (Rom 1:3,4); He was the first ‘son’ begotten from (of) the dead (Col 1:18)…for the Father gave life again to Jesus’ earthly tabernacle.
“In other words, the resurrection of Christ was merely the manifestation of a Sonship which existed before, but was only then “declared with power.” Are we not warranted, then, on the apostle’s own authority, in understanding his meaning here to be the same – “Today,” meaning that memorable day of His resurrection from the dead, when God, by an act not to be misunderstood, proclaimed that He whom men killed, by hanging Him on a tree, was none other than His own Son. As Meyer happily expresses, ‘it was the divine legitimation of His Sonship’. ” (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary) Thus, Jesus Christ was begotten on this day, the day of His resurrection.
34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. 35 Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: 37 But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.
Doctrine of the Resurrection: Jesus Christ never went to Hell, the place of torments, to suffer for mankind’s sins; He suffered on the cross for these sins and then said ‘It is Finished!’ He did, though, go to the place of departed saints, Abraham’s bosom, Paradise, and preach to them and then took them to Heaven (new Paradise). (Eph 4:8-10)
The corruption might be related to His physical body that lie in the tomb; it apparently underwent absolutely no corruption. David’s physical body definitely saw corruption; dig up his grave now and see what remains of him.
The key is that His body did not lie long enough in the tomb to see corruption; moreover, God made sure that His body saw absolutely no corruption, whatsoever!
38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; 41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.
Doctrine of Evangelism: ‘Preach unto them the forgiveness of sins’; ‘all that believe are justified from all things’ (which the Law could never do). But oh so many then, as well as today, will either ‘despise’ the Gospel, or they will simply ‘wonder’ at it; but argue with it or wonder at it as you may, you will ‘perish’ in Hell if you do not wholeheartedly accept it!
42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. 50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. 51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
Doctrine of Preaching: Oh how wonderful it is to have folk be excited about the next weeks church services! Get the scoffers away and someone might actually voice their excitement about what you said to them about the Lord. It is a good thing to encourage the preacher each Sunday. Would to God that the preacher’s preaching would be so provacative that almost the whole city would show up the next week to hear the word of God!
Doctrine of Missiology: (46) Should one ever ‘abandon’ a certain ‘field’ or ‘people group’ when evangelizing? What happens if you go doorknocking in a town for 5 years and never have a convert?… Here, Paul turned away from the Jews and then started his ministry to the Gentiles. The Missionary went to a people who were glad to hear the truths of the Bible. Maybe that is a key in determining where God wants you to minister at. Paul’s field was the rest of the inhabited earth! But, some Missionaries will pick a town of 1000. What is the model presented in Scripture? Big cities…
The word of the Lord needs to be published (door to door, etc.) throughout all the region that the Missionary is in.
Missionaries need to get busy because they may not have much time to accomplish their mission before the government, etc, expels them. Apparently, missionary endeavors can end in an area if it becomes too unsafe….then you ‘shake off the dust’ and move on.