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Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 14

"Paul and Barnabas preaching at Iconium."

Acts 14:1 "And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed."

Paul and Barnabas both spake with authority the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When the Gospel is given with authority it bring forth believers.

Acts 14:2 "But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren."

These Jews are the same ones as those in Revelation 2:9. They are the men that claim to be of Judah, but do lie and are of the synagogue of Satan. In fact, they have no trace of Israel blood in them, and are the ones that Jesus said, sat in the seat of Moses. Those rascals are the Kenites and proselytes, the kindred to those that Paul met at Salamis, Cyprus in the last chapter. This religious bunch are even at work today in the church houses, continuing to stir up a mess, when ever the Gospel of Christ is preached as it should be taught. These agitators simply do not care about the welfare of others.

It is with the mind of the Kenite that these men enter a conversation, then they try to twist the meanings of what was said, and work one side against the other. They are the busy bodies that spread false rumors to one side about another, then go to the other, and reverse their story until they have confusion and fighting going on. This is what was happening at Iconium, these Kenites are trying to stir trouble with the Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas.

When someone is weak in the word, he will believe those lies, because they are to lazy to check out the truth. Beware of who you listen to and give any credibility to, for Satan would use these Kenites even today to stir you into his camp, and do your interpretating for you.

Acts 14:3 "Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, Which gave testimony unto the word of His grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands."

It wasn't their hands that did these signs and wonders, but it was through their hands that the power of the Holy Spirit did His mighty wonders and works. It was through these signs and wonders that these Gentiles could see the presence of the Holy Spirit, and come to believe on the Living God. If you desire to discern the true man of God, from the fake, you also will be granted signs by God. God will open your eyes and give you the ability to tell the difference when you study His Word, and the Holy Spirit places within your mind that discernment.

Acts 14:4 "But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles."

Acts 14:5 "And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,"

These "rulers" were the religious rulers. We see that this was a mixed crowd, and half of the people were on Paul's side.

Acts 14:6 "They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:"

Paul and Barnabas heard of the stir that was going on, and they desired not to have the new converts hurt in a physical struggle. Before anything could develop, Paul and Barnabas fled to Lystra. Lycaonia [the wolf land] was far out of the way, and they preached in Lystra, Derbe, and other small town of Lycaonia.

Acts 14:7 "And there they preached the Gospel."

This was their main mission for going on this missionary journey, to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. Paul was preaching that Jesus was truly the Son of God. That is what this entire book of Acts is about, giving us an example of how we are to act, with the Apostles as our examples.

Acts 14:8 "And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked:"

This man was born crippled, and he had never taken a step in his life. People were accustomed in Lystra in seeing this man hobbling wherever he went.

Acts 14:9 "The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,"

Faith is essential for the healing to take place. This man heard Paul speak of the power and the wonders of the Almighty Father, and the Spirit of God moved this cripple man and gave him the faith to be healed. If you don't think God can heal, they forget about asking. This man absolutely knew without a doubt that God could heal him, and he was getting very excited.

Acts 14:10 "Said with a loud voice, "Stand upright on thy feet." And he leaped and walked."

Paul sensed that this man had the faith in God, and turned to him and said in a loud voice, "Stand up on your feet.", This man was full of the faith, and he leaped to his feet, and walked.

Acts 14:11 "And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, "The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men."

The many people that were there listening to Paul, watch as Paul commanded this man of faith to get up and walk, and when he did they were astounded. These people were heathen worshippers, and instantly they thought that Paul and Barnabas were gods in the form of men that came to them. They knew this cripple, and now they saw him walking and jumping about. They had watched a miracle take place, but don't miss the one ingredient that was here. Paul locked his eyes on this man, and the Spirit of God allowed him to see that this man had faith.

Acts 14:12 "And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker."

The people of Lycaonia worshipped strange gods, and they automatically thought Barnabas was the god, Jupiter, and Paul was Mercurius. Jupiter in the Greek myths, was "Zeus" the father of the Gods. While Mercurius in the Greek myths is "Hermes" the messenger of the gods. So we can see here why these people thought Barnabas was "Zeus", the older, and why Paul became "Hermes" to them, being the main speaker preaching the gospel.

Jupiter was the supreme god of the heathen world, and that would make him Satan, just the opposite of the Almighty Father. When people see a miracle take place before their eyes, they become confused, and there is a time is coming very shortly when Satan the Antichrist will come preforming many miracles and wonders, and most people that call themselves Christians will also be confused and worship Satan, they will be thinking he is the true Christ. They will do this in ignorance, just as these people of Lycaonia thought Paul and Barnabas to be "Hermes" and "Zeus". Their religious leaders taught them to do this.

Acts 14:13 "Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people."

This Jupiter priest lived outside the city, and when he heard what had been done, he went into action. He brought in oxen all decked out in garland, and he was ready to sacrifice the oxen in honor to these two he thought were the gods.

Acts 14:14 "Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,"

The moment that Paul and Barnabas saw this beautiful miracle of God, and working of the Holy Spirit, was being turned into idol worship, they would have none of this. They both ran throughout the crowd, taring at their clothes and telling the people to stop this. It hurt Paul and Barnabas both to see their gift of God, being laid at the feet of this supreme heathen god. Paul was determind that God would get the credit for the healing.

Acts 14:15 "And saying, "Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, Which made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:"

Paul was telling them, we have the same like feelings and emotions that you have. We are here to preach unto you, that you should turn from these empty things to God. Paul pleaded to them to worship God the creator of all things. Paul is bringing forth the good news of the Gospel, not the practices of idolatry to heathen gods.

Acts 14:16 "Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways."

God in time past allowed all ethnos peoples [nations] to walk in their heathen ways, if they so chose.

Acts 14:17 "Nevertheless He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."

Even in their heathen ways, the ethnos peoples [nations] still had a witness. Paul is reminding them, that God had cared for animals that man had never laid eyes on. This is in reference to Job 38, where God watered and fed the anamials, where there were no men. God created the creatures, and beasts of the field, and he provided also for their needs. We can see the greatness of our heavenly Father in His creation itself.

Acts 14:18 "And with these saying scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them."

These word of Paul and Barnabas just barely restrained these people from going through with the sacrifice to them.

Acts 14:19 "And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead,"

These so-called Jews, the Kenites and proselytes came in and with their evil words, turned this wonderful healing of this one that had been crippled from birth, into a mob of the people. In one moment they wanted to worship Paul and Barnabas as gods, and now the Kenites have poisoned their minds, and all they can think of is stoning Paul.

When they stoned Paul, they drug him from the city and left him for dead. I think that Paul was dead, and God brought him to life. Later in Paul's ministry he spoke of a man, speaking as a party in the third part, in II Corinthians 12:2; "I knew a man once, whether alive or dead, I know not, but he was taken to the third heaven. And he was shown things to wonderful to be spoken [remembered] of by man." This is why I feel that these Kenites did kill him, and God brought him back to life.

And upon leaving there, God gave Paul a thorn to hold him down, so he would remember his rightful position. I feel it was at this time in Lycaonia, after his stoning that this mark was placed on Paul.

Acts 14:20 "Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe."

Imagine now what has taken place here, Paul had just been stoned to death, and drug out of town, and all the believers and followers came out and circled the two bodies, and as they looked down, Paul stood up and went back into the city, and the next day he and Barnabas departed for Derbe. Paul had been stoned to death, yet when God raised him back up, Paul went right back into the city to spend the night. Paul did this because he was on a divine mission.

Remember back in 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." " Paul and Barnabas were called by the Holy Spirit to minister to the Gentiles, and when there was a little trouble , that never stopped Paul from his mission, whether killing Christians, or suffering the punishment that came while ministering for the Lord. When you think you are following the Holy Spirit's voice, make sure that it is His voice before you charge out in that ministry. As long as you are in the Holy Spirit you have nothing to fear.

Acts 14:21 "And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned agaon to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,"

Acts 14:22 "Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."

Confirming the souls of the disciples, is to support those disciples, or students that are learning and studing in the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. "Disciple" comes from the word discipline, and a disciple is one that disciplines himself or herself in the faith that he is taught in the Word. He is faithfully applying what he is learning from the Word of God, and molding his life to conform to God's teachings.

If you are a strong doer of the Word of God, you will see a little tribulation coming your way, but God will take care of you. In many cases your common sense will keep you out of trouble. Many times when you are trying to plant a seed of truth in someones mind, they will turn on you.

The rule of thumb for seed planting is that we are to protect out credibility in the community that we live in. When we plant seeds in that community, and it takes a wise person to be able to plant seeds from the Scripture and still keep his or her credibility, therefore you cannot become some religious fanitic, or others around you will think you have no common sense, nor credibility in your thinking.

You must be wiser then the serpent, and plant your seeds on fertilel ground only. When you plant God's Word on rocky ground, you are wasting you time anyway.

Acts 14:23 "And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on Whom they believed."

Paul and Barnabas went back and met in each town that they had passed through with the new believers, and they had prayed and fasted with them, and appointed leaders for each church. Paul ordained them as elders in every one of those churches. Then Paul and Barnabas turned that church and all their members over to the Lord, for the Holy Spirit to do the guiding and corrections within each of those churches.

To be a believer you are either completely convinced that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, or you do not and there is no room for doubt. There is no half belief, for when there is any doubt their is disbelief. Today we have many that say they are believers and call themselves Christians, yet they have doubts about Jesus virgin birth, about the Father and his promises, and about Jesus Christ's resurrection, and teaching.

Friend, if you doubt on any part of the Scripture, the Word of God, that is unbelief. These earily Christians believed and they staked their lives on it. In considering your position in whether you believe or not, that is what your faith is tied to. Once you have witnessed to a person, and they come to a belief and faith in Jesus Christ, then we are to comment that person to the Lord, and the Holy Spirit will watch and lead over them; God will prevail in that persons life.

Acts 14:24 "And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia."

Acts 14:25 "And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:"

Acts 14:26 "And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled."

It was here at Antioch that Paul and Barnabas received that divine order from the Holy Spirit to go to those cities. They preach to the Gentiles, and set up and establish churches in those cities, as well as ordain leaders in each. Now they have turned the work that they had done over to God, and their work is complete.

These travels of Paul and Barnabas is an example to us as to what can happen when we witness to others, and follow through with helping others. Many times the word is not well received, but we are to witness where and when the Spirit of God gives us an opening. God always looks favorable on those that do His word. Even though we plant the seed, it is He, the Holy Spirit that accomplishes the growth, and matures the person that has received the Word.

Acts 14:27 "And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles."

This was a new thing to the Christians both at Antioch, as well as in Jerusalem, for the door of faith is now opened to the Gentile peoples. It was no longer open only to Israel, all the twelve tribes. The door was opened when Peter sat on that roof top of the home of Simon the tanner, and that sheet came down out of heaven with all those unclean animals on it. We read of this back in Acts 10 when Cornelius the Gentile centurian sent for Paul. The Holy Spirit prepared Paul ahead of time for his preaching to Cornelius and his friends and family

Before this time, the Israelites called the Gentiles unclean, and this opened the gates of heaven to all races and peoples [Gentiles], and the qualification to enter that gate is that you must have faith to enter that gate. You must be a believer in Jesus Christ the Son of God, and have faith in Him.

Acts 14:28 "And there them abode long time with the disciples."

While Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch a long time after this missionary journey, and they continued to review what had happened because it was the first time that it had happened that Gentiles could actually be saved, and receive salvation like the Israelites. It matters not which race, or nation you are from, when you believe on Jesus name and repent to the Father, these is salvation for you, and the blood of Jesus Christ will wash away your sins, and blot them out forever from the records that your soul will be judged by our Heavenly Father.

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