|Acts 13 |
1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 And while they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Separate to me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
3 And when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent sent them off.
4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Spirit1, departed to Seleucia; and from there 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 also took John [whose surname was Mark] as their helper.
6 And when they had gone through the isle to Paphos, they found a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet, whose name was Barjesus,
7 Who was the attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, who was a man of intelligence. Now the proconsul called for Barnabas and Saul, and wanted to hear the word of God.
8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is the interpretation of his name), opposed them, seeking to turn the deputy away from the faith.
9 Then Saul, (who is also called Paul), filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him,
10 And said, "O you full of all subtlety and mischief, you child of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not stop perverting the straight ways of the Lord?
11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind, not seeing the sun for a time." And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
12 When he saw what was done, the proconsul believed, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
13 Now when Paul and his company left Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia, and John [whose surname was Mark] departed from them and returned to Jerusalem.
14 And 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 to them, saying, "You men and brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, speak."
16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, "Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen.
17 The God of this people of Israel chose our forefathers, and exalted the people when they lived as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm brought them out of it.
18 And for about forty years he endured their conduct in the wilderness.
19 Then when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided the land to them by lot.
20 And after that he gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.
21 Afterward they wanted a king, and God gave them Saul, the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king; to whom he gave testimony and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all my will.'
23 Of this man's descendants, according to his promise, God has raised up to Israel a Savior,2 Jesus.
24 Before his coming John had preached the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
25 And as John finished his course, he said, 'Who do you think that I am? I am not He [Christ]. But behold, One comes after me, whose sandals of his feet I am not worthy to loose.'
26 Men and brothers, children of the stock of Abraham, and whoever among you fear God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
27 For those who dwell in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him or the voices of the prophets that are read every Sabbath day, have fulfilled the words of the prophets by condemning him.
28 And though they found no reason for his death, they asked Pilate to have him executed.
29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree [cross], and laid him in a tomb.
30 But God raised him from the dead.
31 And he was seen for many days by those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses to the people.
32 And we declare to you glad tidings, how the promise that was made to our forefathers,
33 Has been fulfilled by God to us their children, in that he has raised up Jesus again; as it is written in the second psalm, 'You are my Son, this day have I begotten you.'
34 And the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to see corruption, he said thus, 'I will give you the sure mercies promised to David.'
35 Therefore he also said in another psalm, 'You shall not allow your Holy One to see corruption.'
36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell sleep [died] and was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption;
37 But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.
38 Therefore let it be known to you, men and brothers, that through this man the release from bondage of sins3 is preached to you.
39 And by him all who believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
40 Beware therefore, lest that which is spoken of in the prophets comes upon you:
42 And when the Jews had gone from the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these things might be preached to them the next Sabbath.
43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who speaking to them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.
44 And the next Sabbath day almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.
45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with envy, and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting them and blaspheming.
46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you, but since you reject it, and consider yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, we turn to the Gentiles.
47 For the Lord commanded this, saying, 'I have given you to be a light of the Gentiles, that you should be My salvation to 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 appointed to eternal life believed.
49 And the word of the Lord was spread throughout all the region.
50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women and the chief men of the city, and instigated persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their region.
51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium.
52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Spirit.
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1 Being sent forth by the Holy Spirit. Note! Paul and Barnabas were sent by the Holy Spirit. A true minister of the Lord is told exactly what to do and when to do it. A true minister of the Lord does not set his plans from the carnal mind. He who does not gather with me scatters. Luke 11:23, Mat 12:30 (To gather with him, is by his direction). When you witness, teach, or preach for him, not with him, you are scattering the sheep.
To gather with him, is to gather with his specific promptings, and words supplied at that moment.
If you lead someone to the Lord without his specific instructions, your convert is twice as fit for Hell as yourself.
2 The promise, from Isaiah 49:6-8,
It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give you for a light to the Gentiles, that you may be my salvation to the ends of the earth.
And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:3.
Thus says the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you; and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages; Isa 49:8
I will hold your hand, I will keep you and give you for a covenant to the people, for a light to the Gentiles, to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and those who sit in darkness out of the prison house. Isaiah 42:6-7.
So Jesus was sent in body to Israel and sent as a light to the Gentiles. Men despised him, Israel abhorred him. He was a covenant to the people, to free the prisoners [of sin], and to release those captive to darkness -- to light. In the flesh we are stumbling around in spiritual darkness because of our lack of God's direction. When he restores the light in our hearts, we walk in his light, always being shown by God what he wants us to do and say, which of course is always perfect. We must become led by the Spirit in words and acts — — Jesus like did not judge, speak, or act without the Spirit's specific promptings:
3 Therefore let it be known to you, men and brothers, that through this man the release from bondage of sins is preached to you.The original Greek for release from bondage of sin could be translated as release from bondage, forgiveness, or remission, of sin. Release from bondage of sin is far more accurate, and perfectly describes the purification necessary to avoid being banned from heaven. The cleansing of the Word, the cleansing in the Light, both attained by waiting on the Lord, listening, hearing, watching, and obeying — such cleansing is a release from the bondage of sin. But the poor souls, who were trying to translate the Bible, had not experienced release from bondage of sin within themselves, and so obviously chose to emphasize forgiveness instead. Yet release from captivity, from the prison house, from the oppression, is what Christ said he came to do:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach release to the captives [of sin], and recovery of sight to the blind, to deliver [free] those who are oppressed [by sin], Luke 4:18-19
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; Isa 61:1-2
and for what Paul said Jesus sent him to the Gentiles to accomplish:
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, release from sin's slavery, and an inheritance among those who are sanctified and purified by faith in me. Acts 26:18
Clearly forgiveness is not deliverance, recovery, healing, opening the prison, release, turned from power of Satan, — while release from the bondage of sin accurately describes all.
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