Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 13

"The Ministry of Paul to the Dispersion. (Apart from Jerusalem)."


This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location
is provided by

Acts 13:1 "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."

So we see here the pillars of that first church at Antioch, there was Paul and Barnabas, Simeon who was a black man, Lucius as teacher from Cyrene, and Manaen, who was raised with Herod the tetrarch [ruler of one forth].

Acts 13:2 "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."

The Holy Spirit is going to talk, and you can be assured that though these men are from many different backgrounds, and even tongues, they will all understand the Holy Spirit crystal clear, just as all men of all tongues also understood what was said. It is the Holy Spirit of God that called these two witnesses, Saul [Paul] and Barnabas for the delivering of the Gospel. They were sent on a special mission, and you call this a "divine assignment".

Acts 13:3 "And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away."

Barnabas and Paul were seeking God's divine direction through fasting and prayer for the path that He would have them go.

Acts 13:4 "So they being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus."

An apostle is an "sent one".

Acts 13:5 "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."

Notice here that whereever they went they preached in the synagogues of the Jews, which should read, "Israel". This "John" that was with them was John Mark.

Acts 13:6 "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."

It is important that you not settle for a transliteration of the name "Bar-jesus". The meaning of this name Bar-jesus, "Bar" is the word in Hebrew for "son", and this man is calling himself, "the son of Jesus". That is blasphemy to the highest degree. This sorcerer's other name is "Elymas", which means "wise man". The man was on an ego trip.

Acts 13:7 "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."

Elymas is traveling in prestige with the deputy of Cyprus in his company, and the deputy is under the control of his sorcery and false prophecy. When Sergius Paulus the leader had heard that Barnabas and Saul were near, he called for them to tell him of the Gospel of God. Remember though, that this false one Bar-jesus was traveling with Sergius Paulus, putting in false words. It just isn't going to work for him, for you can't serve both God and Satan at the same time.

Bar-jesus is serving Satan himself, and we are going to see how Paul is going to handle this situation. The acts of the Apostles are given to us so that we will understand what we are to do in the same situation. It shows us how to act today when we are sent forth, and someone like this Bar-jesus would come around and tell you that he is going to pray for your soul. The common reaction is to say, yes dear brother, pray for my soul. But is this of God?

Friend, when God sends one forth, the Holy Spirit will send them and tell them what to say. Let's see what the Holy Spirit has to say about this.

Acts 13:8 "But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith."

The translation is not given for "Elymas" for the proper interpretation is "wise man". When Paul stood before Sergius Paulus and was going to speak, Elymas this false prophet and sorcerer tries to stop Paul from speaking, and cause confusion in the mind of the deputy. Elymas is trying to keep the deputy from hearing Paul's gospel. Remember, this deputy Paulus is a high man in the government, and he gives status to Elymas the sorcerer, and Elymas doesn't want these two Christians anywhere near him. It is obvious that when the deputy hears the truth, he will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 13:9 "Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Spirit, set his eyes on him,"

You can not have higher credentials then Paul has here when he addresses this governmental leader. Elymas the sorcerer is trying to stop the progress of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that is in Paul, and He is going to be doing the speaking through Paul.

If we were to relate this distraction to the church house today, it would be like the person that says, "dear brother, we mean you no harm, but we as christians must act peaceably..." Let's see if that is how the Holy Spirit handles this. When it says, "set his eyes on him", it means that Paul stared Elymas down. Paul set his iron eyes of him, and looked right through him.

Acts 13:10 "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?" "

Paul called Elymas a pervert right in front of all the people, including the deputy. This is the sweet and rightous way of doing things, remember that Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit had the understanding of the mind of Elymas. Through today's traditions, it has made jelly fish out of Christians who have made a practice of yielding to Satan, where if they had a little truth in their mind from God's Word, along with their backbone they would follow the true Holy Spirit and act like men of God.

The "Tradition's of men" have made Christian men and women powder puffs at the enemies request, and their lack of knowledge of God's Word makes them like willow trees. They bend in the wind of what ever doctrine happens to be blowing at the time. They listen to one man and it sounds good to them, until they hear another man's doctrine. They never stop to take the time to study for themselves, and free themselves from those Elymas' of this generation. They simply don't know what God has to say.

The Holy Spirit doesn't sway from what the Word of God says, so when you understand the Word of God, you know exactly if it is of the Holy Spirit of God.

Acts 13:11 "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.

This is the work of the Holy Spirit, a real righteous act. Paul is telling Elymas that because you have spoken against the Holy Spirit you shall be blind for three months. It was the Holy Spirit struck him blind. The Holy spirit can make you see, or He can make you blind. The Holy Spirit is for you if you are in His Will, and against you if you are not. God the Father is in control all the time, and when we are in His will, and the Holy Spirit is within us, we have the power over Satan and all of our enemies.

How though do you know if you are in the will of God when you don't know His Word, and run about listening to the tradition's of men? You need to know the authority that comes from God, and be able to take that authority. You need to read and understand it. Don't settle for a transliteration, but translate for yourself. Get the numbered Strong's concordance with Greek and Hebrew numbered dictionaries, and the Companion Bible where much of the translation is done for you from the original Massorah text. A man that knows only traditions will give you transliterations that will only fit into his traditions.

Acts 13:12 "Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord."

People respect and are drawn to authority, and when deputy Paulus saw the authority that Paul took over Elymas, and heard the teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ, he became a believer. It was the Holy Spirit that spoke to the heard of Paulus, and the distraction of Elymas was not around, for God blinded him and removed him from the teaching that Paul delivered. Never be afraid to speak with authority, however do it when you understand the Word of God, and know that He is with you. That is why you must stay in God's Word, and not listen to the traditions of men.

What is interesting here, is that Paul called down on Elymas the same thing that happened to him on the road to Damascus. Paul learned then the effectiveness and helplessness that blindness can humble a man. Paul was blind for three days, and he became converted. Paul put a three month one Elymas.

Acts 13:13 "Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem."

So now there is just Paul and Barnabas continuing on the journey, and John Mark has left to return to Jerusalem.

Acts 13:14 "But when the departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and sent into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down."

Acts 13:15 "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."

The leaders at the synagogue in Antioch offered the chance for Paul or Barnabas to speak before the synagogue if they so chose.

Acts 13:16 "Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, "Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience."

Paul is asking all those that revere God, please listen to me. The message that Paul is about to give this group at Antioch is the same message that Stephen gave the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. We read that message back in chapter seven, and here Paul is cutting that message a little shorter. What a difference the Holy Spirit can make, for when Paul heard the first time, it made him angry enough to kill a man, and now it is Paul giving the same message.

Acts 13:17 "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."

This is a summary of the linage of the people of Israel. This delivery would be through Moses that Israel would be brought out of Egypt.

Acts 13:18 "And about the time of forty years suffered He their manners in the wilderness."

It most deffinately was their manners that kept them out of the promise land. They refuse to believe that God could deliver from the hands of the seven nations that occupied the territory that God had promised Abraham. They believed in giants that were not there.

Acts 13:19 "And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, He divided their land to them by lot."

Acts 13:20 "And after that He gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the Prophet."

During this four hundred and fifty years, Judges ruled over the nation of Israel, and all its thirteen tribes. Remember that Joseph was given a double portion through his sons Ephraim and Manassah. There were even women judges that God had appointed over His people.

Acts 13:21 "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."

God was not pleased when His people wanted a king to rule over them. God wanted Himself as the king over Israel, but the Israelites wanted a man in the flesh to rule over them, like their neighboring nations. Friend, no man in the flesh can be a perfect king, for there is improfection in the flesh. However after this long line of kings that Paul is going to go into, there would be one King of kings and Lord of Lords. That King will be the Father through the Son, as it was in the beginning of Israel as a nation.

Acts 13:22 "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 fulfill all My will.' "

God raised up David, the sheep herder, and even though David caused one man's murder, David repented of that sin, and tried to follow the will of the Father. This quotation from God is found in Psalm 89:20; "I have found David, My servant; With My holy oil have I anointed him."

When David was a young boy he killed the giant that all of Israel had feared, because David knew that God was His protector. When David faced the wild beasts, he knew that God would deliver him, and when his small band of army went up before the enemy that far out numbered his forces, God always gave David the victory.

We must have that same attitude when the elect is delived up before Satan the Antichrist, God will also take care of you, the same as He did David.

Acts 13:23 "Of this man's seed hath God according to His promise raised unto Israel a Saviour Jesus:"

Remember that Paul knew the Scriptures of the Old Testament, and was trained under the best instructor of that day, Gamaliel. As we read in Acts 5:34; it was Gamaliel, the doctor of the law, with his high reputation amongst all the people, that spoke out in the Sanhedrin, and caused Peter's release, which saved his live.

This sermon is a little different then Paul would usually do in the synagogue. What had to be added on to the Scriptures was what Jesus would say to him, "Paul why kick ye against the pricks." Meaning you are only being hard on yourself when you fight against me. The idea was that you take your shoes of your feet, and kick against a cactus plant, until your foot becomes a bloody mess.

Acts 13:24 "When John had first preached before His coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel."

They came from all over the lands around Jordan to hear John the Baptist say; "Repent ye:for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." [Matthew 3:2]

Acts 13:25 "And 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.' "

John the disciple also recorded this saying of John the Baptist in John 1:27; "He it is, Who coming after me is preferred before me, Whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose." It was very shortly after this that Christ came and was baptized by John the Baptist, and the Holy Spirit did descend upon Jesus, and a voice from the Father spoke out saying; "This is My Son in whom I am well pleased." [Matthew 3:17]

Acts 13:26 "Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent."

The stock of Abraham is the seed or offspring of Abraham. Note that there is a difference here in Paul's teaching. Before Christ's death on the cross, Jesus gave instructions in Matthew to; "go but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel". Now for the first time Paul is leaving an opening to the Gentiles, that the word of this salvation is now open to them. That offer is given to "whosoever among you feareth God", Those of Israel, and Gentile alike.

Acts 13:27 "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."

Those leaders that were in Jerusalem didn't recognize Jesus Christ when he was amonst them, nor did they understand the words of the Prophet that they had read in the temple and the sabbath day. Weak after week they read of those prophecies how they would crucify Jesus, and as the events took place they could not understand how they were actually fulfilling the actual prophecies that they were reading. Even as they read Psalm 22, where it gave such details to the very word that the wicked high priest would say, as he stood before Jesus dying on the cross.

Acts 13:28 "And though they found no cause of death in Him, yet desired they Pilate that He should be slain."

Just as it was written that they would find no cause in Him, Pilate still declared that Jesus should be slain. Friend, all of God's Word will come to pass, exactly as it is written.

Acts 13:29 "And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulchre."

Even this was prophecy, that Jesus would be buried in a rich man's tomb. Isaiah 53:9; "And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth." That tomb would be that of his own uncle, Joseph of Aremathaea, His kinsman redeemer.

Acts 13:30 "But God raised Him from the dead:"

Jesus did not stay in that tomb.

Acts 13:31 "And He was seen many days of them which came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem who are His witnesses unto the People."

Jesus walked with His disciples, and friends for forty days before His ascention into heaven, as we read back in Acts 1:9, 10. Those disciples and others remained in Jerusalem for that forty days to the time of His ascention, and ten days later, when they received the Holy Spirit, as Jesus instructed them earilier.

Acts 13:32 "And we declared unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,"

Acts 13:33 "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.' "

God kept His promise that He would raise up Jesus, and that promise is recorded in Psalm 2:7; "I will declare the decree: The Lord hath said unto Me, "Thou art My Son; This day have I begotten Thee." To understand this better, lets go back to the first verse.

Psalm 2:1 "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? Why? because they listen to false teachers and crack pots.

Psalm 2:2 "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord, and against His Anointed, saying," Jesus the Messiah is the Anointed of the Lord that the kings of the earth set themselves against.

Psalm 2:3 "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." This is what the heathen say. They are saying, let us take the Bible, [the cords] and cast it away from us.

Psalm 2:4 "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: The Lord shall have them in derision." God has His sport with those that think they can play with heathenism, and still call themselves Christians. Heathenism is any non-believer.

Psalm 2:5 "Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, And vex them in His sore displeasure." God's gift for them is all in that cup of wrath that shall be poured out upon the world to those that do not hold fast to the day of Jesus coming.

Psalm 2:6 "Yet have I set My king upon My holy hill of Zion." Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He will return to earth to set up His Millennium kingdom, at the seventh trumpet.

Acts 13:34 "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.' "

Jesus was raised from the dead by Almighty God,Jesus will not return to that flesh body, or to hell to preach to the dead. But Paul is quoting here from Isaiah 55:3 "Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."

Acts 13:35 "Wherefore He saith also in another psalm, `Thou shalt not suffer Thine Hoy One to see corruption:' "

This quote is from the sixteenth Psalm. This is referring to Jesus flesh.

Psalm 16:10 "For Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell; Neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption."

Never compare Christ transfiguration with flesh man's death, and the decay of the body, for the body of Christ did not decay, but was transfigured. This documentation is for believers, and the non-belivers just don't matter.

Acts 13:36 "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."

When David died he was laid to rest, and his body decayed just like his father's body.

Acts 13:37 "But He, Whom God raised again, saw no corruption.

Even though David's body say corruption, Jesus Christ's body did not see corruption [decay]. Even though when Jesus arose, many were seen walking around, they were not transfigured, but God allowed their souls to be seen by men, then they were taken to paradise. This was to document that one point, and they were part of that proof that Christ had defeated death.

Acts 13:38 "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:"

Paul was preaching the forgiveness of sins through repentance and belief in Jesus Christ.

Acts 13:39 "And by Him all that believe are justified by the law of Moses."

This is the condition for those that are justified. It is by Christ to all them that believe on Jesus name.

Acts 13:40 "Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the Prophets;"

This is spoken of in Habakkuk 1:5; "Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you."

Acts 13:41 " `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.' "

They are despisers of the truth, and when God worked that work before their eyes they were blinded to the Messiah that walked before them. They did not believe in Jesus Christ.

Acts 13:42 "And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath."

This was new to the Gentiles, and they wanted to hear more of this truth that Paul was preaching.

Acts 13:43 "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."

You want to be aware of who these Jews and religious proselytes are, they are the Kenites and the proselytes are the Heathen that placed themselves under the traditions of the Kenites. These Kenites are the same religious thinkers that plotted to murder Jesus, killed Stephen, and killed the prophets of the Old Testament. They both claim to be of Judah, and they lie for they are of the synagogue of Satan.

These men follow Paul and Barnabas and urged that they continue in the preaching of the Word, however many of them are not of this persuation.

Acts 13:44 "And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God."

The whole city came out to hear the story of the Old Testament, laid out by a scholar of the quality of Paul.

Acts 13:45 "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."

Again be aware these "Jews" are not of the tribe of Judah, but of those Kenites and proselytes that claim to be Jews. It is through them that this jealousy has come up. These Scripture lawyers made fun of Paul's teaching, and blasphemed the Holy Spirit of God.

Acts 13:46 "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."

Did Paul and Barnabas crumble under the pressure, of course not, He just turned from them to the Gentiles to preach the gospel. By judging Paul, they judged themselves, and condemned themselves as unworthy for everlasting life. Paul's ministry will be turned from here on to the Gentiles.

Acts 13:47 "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.' " "

This ministry to the Gentiles was ordered by the Almighty God, through the Holy Spirit. This quotation comes from Isaiah 49:6 "And He said, "It is a light thing that Thou shouldest be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My Salvation unto the end of the earth." Paul is still teaching the Bible lesson.

Acts 13:48 "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."

Do you understand the kings and queens of the ethnos described when they are spoken of in the scripture?

Acts 13:49 "And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region."

When you give out the Word of God, it is not important that you force an individual to believe it. It doesn't matter. When you plant the seed, then only God can make it grow. If a person rejacts that seed, you are not accountable for that soul, and it isn't your duty to pressure that soul into accepting anything.

Acts 13:50 "But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourabel women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts."

These Kenites and proselytes have caused trouble in the ladies social club. These women are the ones that are or were married to the so-called leaders of the community. These ladies were on the march, for they now have a cause. Get rid of the men who are upsetting our traditions. It is real easy to stir up the so-called honorable women, when all they have to do is to look for trouble, and when it isn't there, they will create their own. These ladies went to their husbands; the mayor, the deputy, the businessmen and so-on, to get them to get Paul and Barnabas out of their coasts.

Acts 13:51 "But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium."

When one of the prophets shook the dust off their feet from a town, the sign language let the town know that the prophet did not think that town to be worthy.

Acts 13:52 "And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost."

Even when they were kicked out of this city, and told to leave by these women, they were happy about it. Why? Because they had the opportunity of preaching and teaching to the people, and some were saved, and even Gentiles. Paul knew that his duty was to preach, and the Holy Spirit was the one that would convict of sin. The saving was not Paul's job, the teaching and preaching of the Gospel was his duty. If someone wants to refuse the salvation of God, and the blessings that come with it, that is not your business as the teacher.

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