King James Bible Study – [Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.]
Date: Friday, November 19, 2021
Chapters: Acts 6-8
Message: Whatsoever I Commanded
Hello My Friend,
It has been a week since I lost my job, I still have not heard from that job that I had hoped to get, but was told previously that if I did not hear from them right away then it is probable that I did get the job, and would know my next steps in a few weeks. In the meantime, that does not stop me from putting in more applications as that job was my only source of income and the bills are not going to pay for themselves. I did apply for a bank job that would be even better because I could work from home, that would begin in the middle of December as well. So, here I am, which seems to happen to me every Christmas, no income, and literally looking for every legal way that I can to earn some money until someone tells me that I have a job with them. That is when Jesus reminded me, [Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.]
Well, despite the fact that God knew that I was going to need this unexpected vacation to recover from this sickness that I had gotten, God also reminded me that it has been a while since I worked in my ministry other than getting out the devotions, and it was time to get back to it, and stay at it since I was going to be getting some position that will not take up a lot of my ministry time like the last one did. I cannot explain how God does it, or why He puts these things in my mind that lead me to believe that certain things are going to happen. It is probably because it actually does, only not in the conventional way that I would expect it. Of course, God gave me the answer of what I need to be doing as I patiently await that job He has for me. As we continue in the reading of the Book of Acts, some strife had gotten between the Greeks and the Jews among the first church for Christ. Notice that the Jews are called Hebrews for the first time since Saul was king, the Greeks went to the disciples for help because they felt as though the church was neglecting their widows.
[Acts 6:1-7 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.]
[leave the word of God, and serve tables.] So, things were finally coming together in Jerusalem as far as the church was concerned. The Apostles were gearing up to follow the great commission that Jesus had given them to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, and knew they would not be able to do that staying there and looking after the church. The congregation chose seven men, all saved and born again, devout Christians, who had knowledge of the Scriptures, and not only were the Greeks happy, so were the believing Jews, even priests were converting to Christ, but it was Stephen who became the under shepherd. Of course, that did not go over so well with the Jews in the synagogue, they despised Stephen and falsely accused him of blaspheming the Word of God because he preached the Gospel over the Law.
[Acts 6:9-15 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. 11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. 12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: 14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. 15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.]
[saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.] Here is proof that the soul that has the Holy Spirit in it shines through its flesh body as well. Well, at least, the one that is devout, and knows exactly what to say in response to these reprobates who are against everything Christ stands for. Now, these men demand to know the truth, did Stephen blaspheme the Word of God, but Stephen responds a little history lesson.
[Acts 7:2-7 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, 3 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. 4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. 5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. 6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. 7 And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.]
[none inheritance in it,] Stephen was referring to the piece of land that Abraham had purchased with his own money to bury Sarah when she died, [Genesis 23]. The purchasing of the land signified three things that Christ did for us. First; it was bought and paid for with a price. Second; it was a sure place, meaning, the purchase was sealed, never to be sold again. And third; It was a token of Abraham’s belief and expectation of what was to come of God’s promise, [Hebrews 11:37-40 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.]
Since they accused him of blaspheming the words Moses spoke, Stephen explained exactly what Moses wrote, from Abraham to the time they rejected God and spent forty years in the wilderness. He finishes his speech by upbraiding them for refusing to believe in Christ, knowing the law has been written with Him in mind from the start, and that the building itself that could be destroyed did not contain the Spirit of God.
[Acts 7:35-37,48-51 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. 36 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. 37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. 48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? 50 Hath not my hand made all these things? 51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.]
[which said unto the children of Israel,] Stephen was referring to this verse, [Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;]. Stephen was trying to show them that the tabernacle and temple both were a reflection and foreshadow of Christ Himself, all of which they have rejected since Moses. Can you imagine this, they were so angry that they began biting him? Well, they did more than bit him, they killed him.
[Acts 7:54-60 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.]
[lay not this sin to their charge.] This sounds like what Jesus said when He was on the cross and they were gambling for His clothes, [Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.] They really do not know what they are doing, Saul only did what he was taught. Religion is the biggest killer of souls, as well as men, women, and children for their faith in Christ. In fact, more people have died for their faith in Christ than Jews during the Holocaust. God will always protect Israel because they are His people, but it is the believers that He protects, and that includes both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles) believers, [Galatians 3:26-29 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.]
After Stephens death, Saul was convinced that every person who believed in Christ and preached the Gospel needed to be prosecuted, and made an appoint to capture them all. Fearing for their lives, both, the Apostles and disciples scattered, which lead them to start preaching outside of Jerusalem. The more scattered, the more people got saved, [Acts 8:1-4 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. 4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.]
[and haling men and women committed them to prison.] Jesus did give the command that once they received the Holy Spirit that they were to go outside of Jerusalem as well, [Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.] Chapter 8 gives the account of Philip when he began preaching the Gospel in Samaria, this was northern Kingdom of Israel’s territory, [I Kings 16], which further followed this great commission from Jesus.
[Acts 8:5-10,12-13 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city. 9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. 12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.]
[came out of many that were possessed with them:] Okay, so, a true believer will hear the words of the Gospel, and in that instant, Satan has no power on that soul, any evil spirit that might have been keeping that person from being saved comes out and the Holy Spirit moves in. However, if they did not truly believe, the Holy Spirit will not come into that soul, and there is nothing, but faith that could change their fate. Now, watch what Simon does when he realized that the Holy Spirit was not upon his soul.
[Acts 8:18-24 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. 24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.]
[For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness,] [Gall of Bitterness; in a state of extreme impiety or enmity to God.] Until we come to the knowledge of the fact that we are sinners and need repentance, we are enemies to God. Until we believe that Jesus died a sinless death and arose to save the one who admits they are a sinner, we are enemies with God. And until we confess that we need Jesus and ask Him to save us, we are enemies with God. The fact that this man thought that he could buy his salvation made him an enemy of God, and the only way that anyone can reconcile with God is by believing in and accepting Christ as their Saviour, [Romans 5:9-10 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.]
People can tell me until they are blue in the face that someone who was saved can turn from their faith, but I will never believe that. A true believer may get into some trouble and fall away from serving Christ, but they will never renounce their faith in Christ because their soul belongs to Him, and nothing can pluck it out. How do I know this? Because I was one of them before I dedicated my life to Him. Jesus might have hung on to me by the thread of His garment, but He never let go, and when the time was right, He did pull me up and gave me the life that I was led to live through Him. Philip watched Stephen get stoned, I am sure he was scared that day, wondering if they would come after him too for preaching the Gospel, he could have walked away, instead he continued preaching the Gospel, leading many to the Lord, wherever the Holy Spirit led him he followed. Philip was then led by the Holy Spirit to meet an Ethiopian official on his way home.
[Acts 8:29-31,35-39 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.]
[what doth hinder me to be baptized?] Do you see how water baptism does not save a soul? Millions of people get baptized in the Jordan River, but let me tell you, all they do is get a bath. The Holy Spirit only baptizes those whom have receives Christ as their Saviour with His Spirit, [Romans 6:3-4 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.]
Let Us Pray: God, I cannot ever forget the love and mercy that You showed me when You brought me up out of the pit I was in and gave me a new beginning. No suffering can compare to what I would receive had I not put my faith and trust in Your Son to save me. It is only by Your power that I am what I am today and even though I am going through some struggles I know You are with me, and You will see me through them as I stand by my faith in You. I love You, Lord and pray this in Your name, Jesus, Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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