Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
Acts of the Apostles
"Paul's Second Missionary Journey, from Athens to Antioch."
Acts 18:1 "After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;"
Acts 18:2 "And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, whith his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them."
The name "Aquila" in the Greek means Eagle, and "Priscilla" means ancient. Because we are told of this edict by Claudius, we know from secular history that it was given in the year 52 A. D. It was given because of a rebellion of the Jews in Rome, which spread into all Judaea, and left the entire state of Judaea in turmoil and rioting.
This is the first time that Aquila and Priscilla are mentioned, but their names will come up many times, and every time from this point on, we will see that Priscilla, the wife's name will given first. The reason for this was that Priscilla was the one that taught the Scriptures. Paul respected her as a great teacher. A teacher of God's Scripture. It was that Aquila [the Eagle] provided for Priscilla [the ancient] as she carried the ancient manuscripts, and they made quite a pair. Through this combination, the word was delivered to many.
Paul grows very fond of them, because they opened their home to him, as we will see, later in this chapter. Because of the care that these two gave to Paul, he gave Priscilla "Prisca", as Paul used in II Timothy 4:19 in his salutations. "Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus."
Acts 18:3 "And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tent makers.
Paul was a tent maker, just as Aquila and Priscilla were, and so their occupation brought the three of them together. Paul always paid his own way, he never took a salary even though he took offerings for others, and to apply to the ministry travel expenses, but he never took a wage for teaching for himself.
Acts 18:4 "And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks."
Paul went to the synagogue every sabbath and taught both the Jews and the Greeks. Paul persuaded these people that Jesus the Christ, the Anointed of God had come, as prophesied in the Scriptures [Old Testament].
Acts 18:5 "And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ."
It was the pressure by the Holy Spirit that pressed Paul to go back to the Jews and preach that Jesus was the Christ, the Anointed One. Jesus was the promised Messiah written of in the Old Testament.
Acts 18:6 "And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, "Your blood be upon your own heads: I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles."
Though Paul would visit synagogues in other places, because of these Kenite Jews blaspheming against the Holy Spirit, Paul was finished with these Jews. This was the start of Pauls complete focusing on the Gentiles for his ministry.
Acts 18:7 "And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue."
This mans full name is "Justis Titus" and is the author of the book "Titus". Titus lived right next door to the synagogue. In Galatians 2:3 when Titus went with Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, he was the young man that the tried to find out if he was circumcised. "But neither Titus, who was with me [Paul], being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:" This act of spying to put Titus under the bondage of the law, Paul would not stand for, and Paul let them know what he thought of their methods.
Paul takes up lodging in this Gentiles home, that was located right next door to the synagogue.
Acts 18:8 "And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized."
Paul taught in the synagogue and from his teaching the chief ruler of the synagogue Crispus, and his entire household believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and was baptized. The church in Corinth would now grow through the powerful preaching of Paul.
Acts 18:9 "Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, "Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:"
These were dangerous times for all Christians, and especially Paul, for his teaching and preaching a risen Christ, whom these Kenite Jews had crucified. The Holy Spirit came to Paul through a vision in his sleep, and comforted him, and told Paul to continue in his preaching.
Acts 18:10 "For I am with the, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city."
The good Shepherd always tends to His flock, and God will see to it that no man will hurt him. Though we cannot see the Spirit as He watches over us, but the Holy Spirit of God watches over each of His own, and cares for them. When the going gets a little tough, then His support of our needs are the strongest, and we are stronger, because it becomes His strength that we rely on, and not our own.
When someone moves to harm you, God's staff will reach out and knock that person down, for God has said, touch not mine anointed. We are to teach and plant the seeds of His Word in the minds of others, and God will take care of you. We are to use common sense to know when we are to speak, and the Holy Spirit will lead us to the ones that ought to spoken to, and He will give us the words to speak. This also shows that God approved of Pauls methods and his manner.
Acts 18:11 "And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them."
While Paul was here in Corinth for the year and six months, he wrote the First and Second letters to the Thessalonians [I and II Thessalonians], as well as the book of Hebrews, that we read in our Bibles.
Remember it was the I Thessalonians that many use to prove their so-called "rapture theory. In that letter Paul was answering the question, "where are the dead". The Christians of the Thessalonian church were selling everything they had and preparing for the return of Christ at any moment, and this was against what Paul had taught them. They also were worried about their loved ones that had died and passed on, and many were drifting back into the idea of the heathen of soul sleep in the grave. So we see that the subject of that first letter became; "Where are the dead". This first letter had nothing to do with the gathering of any person still living, at any time, but only what happens to the souls of the dead upon death.
Then after Paul had sent that letter, he hastily wrote the second letter, to correct the errors in thinking that the Thessalonians had read into his first letter. Paul warned them in that second letter:
II Thessalonians 2:1 "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him,"
Paul is getting to the purpose for this second letter, for he is reminding them of his first letter to them, of Christ returning, and our gathering back to Him. Because of their misunderstanding of the first letter, he writes the following. It is important in this generation that we pay attention for this will happen during our life time. So remember that the subject of this letter is; "our gathering together unto [back to] Him."
II Thessalonians 2:2 "That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand."
Paul doesn't want you to misunderstand what he is about to say. This is why he makes it plain and simple; Paul told them not to confuse what he is saying here with any other teaching, or spirit, or even that first letter from him. This is because there was a confusing part in that first letter where the false teachers crept in and twisted Paul's words. The prime example of this today, is the twisting of that first letter, by the "rapture theorist" to form the trap that has been set for Christians in this generation.
Paul is saying, don't let anyone trouble you [confuse you], and tell your that the "day of Christ is at hand". The "day of Christ [the Lord]" is the day when Jesus Christ will return to this earth, and gather His saints to Him. This gathering will happen at the sounding of the seventh trumpet [the last trumpet]. This is one of those traditions of men [false doctrines] that can deceive you."
II Thessalonians 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, "
Jesus Christ is not gathering anyone to Him, nor is He coming here to earth, except there be a falling away first. The word in the Greek for "falling away" is "Apostasy". Jesus told us in His revelation to John, in Revelation 9:11, that "Apollyon" is one of Satan's names, and this is derived from the word Apostasy.
The word "perdition" means "one that perishes", and Satan is the only one that has already been condemned to die [to perish by God. Satan's judgment day has come already, and he will have no part in the Great White Throne judgment, or any other judgment yet to come. He has already been judged, and sentenced by God to death "Perdition" [Ezekiel 28 covers this judgment].
What did Paul say again? Jesus Christ is coming back to earth and none, not one of the saints will be gathered back to Him until the "son of perdition", and that is Satan be revealed first. How will we know who he is when he arrives?
Revelation 17:8 "The beast that thou sawest was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the sorld, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is [shall come]."
This beast that "thou" [John] sawest, was in the first earth age; and is not on this earth now, as it is written in Revelation 12:7. This is because Satan is in heaven being our accuser, and he will be there until the day that Michael casts Satan and his angels out of heaven and upon the earth. Friend this will be shortly. "And shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition:" Remember we are talking about Satan the Antichrist here. Satan is not born of woman, but is a "supernatural arch angel" as written of in Ezekiel 28, where it is stated that he was the most beautiful of all God's created beings.
So we see from II Thessalonians 2:3 that Satan the "son of perdition", also called the Antichrist many other places, must be revealed, and the apostasy or falling away from Christ must take place before the day of Christ comes. That Apostasy comes because of teaching such as the rapture theory, for Christians are taught that they will not face Satan the Antichrist, nor his many fallen angels, and that is a lie.
They will not only face Satan, they will believe that Satan is Christ, because they are ignorant of the entire book of Revelations. Christians will flock to Satan, the Antichrist [instead of Christ] because of the many wonders and miracles that Satan will perform, and they will even stop taking Communion in remembrance to the true Christ, because they will be taught that Satan is that ture Christ.
II Thessalonians 2:4 "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
This is what Daniel spoke of in Daniel 9:27, for this is the "Abomination of Desolation" spoken of by Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:15. The more correct translation comes from the "James Moffatt translation Bible" and it says "The Abomination by the desolator." Friend, in our generation we will witness this act of Satan, where he will sit in Jerusalem, and be called God, and worshipped as God, and the entire Christian world will believe it, except those with the seal of God in their mind. That seal is thie knowledge of God's warnings as to the events and signs of the end times, before Christ's return.
II Thessalonians 2:5 "Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?"
Paul is reminding the Thessalonians, as he is writing this letter from Corinth during this eighteen months stay there, that he had told them this in person, when he was with them.
II Thessalonians 2:6 "And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time."
"And now", is Paul's reminder to them that they did talk about this who then is this one that "would be revealed in his time?" The subject here is "the son of perdition", Satan, the Antichrist, or what ever name you desire to use for him. Satan will commit the Abomination" and he is the desolator, and the entire Church world will be here on earth witnessing this desolation, because the gathering will be after the desolation that will take place at the fifth trumpet.
II Thessalonians 2:7 "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way."
There is no mystery around when this will take place, for we will know Satan's methods of operation [withholdeth], and the signs, the seasons, and the times of Satan's arrival to earth. If your are in the Word of God and not following these "one verse wonder preachers", you will know exactly when to expect the Antichrist [instead of Christ]. You will also know exactly eighty four hours [84 hours] before the return of Jesus Christ, when Jesus would come back, and Satan's reign put to an end.
The mystery of lawlessness is the mystery of iniquity. "He who now letteth will let;" in the Greek should be translated; "He who holds fast [ketcho] will stand." The ellipsis, or "omission from an expression of a word clearly implied." There is only one who "hold's fast," instead of by repeating the verb, "will let". However, "Katecho" is a transitive verb, and an object must be supplied also. So if the subject in verse six is Satan, then the object must be his position in the Heavenlies [see Ephesians 6:12] from which he will be ejected from heaven by Michael [Revelation 12:7-9].
Out of the way, in the Greek is "out of ek", or "the midst". This is the same expression used in Acts 17:33, and I Corinthians 5:2.
Many "rapture theorists" claim this one who "letteth" is the Holy Spirit, when He is "taken away", and they say then the Antichrist will come. Friend they have reversed the roles of the characters in the verses here, and they are attributing what is Satan's to the Holy Spirit, and from it they have created a whole new doctrine, a doctrine of devils. This new doctrine is called the "Any moment doctrine", and is also called the "rapture theory".
It is dangerous for the shepherd to play around with the foreign languages, when the flock depends on the shepherd for the truth of God's Word.
It is Michael who "holds fast" on to Lucifer [the Antichrist], and Michael will continue to keep Lucifer held until the appointed time, spoken of above. That time is appointed by God. Then at the appointed time, God will give Satan the keys, or authority of deception, as written in Revelation 9:1, and Michael will cast Satan and his fallen angels to the earth. This is spoken of in Revelation 12:7-9
II Thessalonians 2:8 "And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming:
"The wicked" would be better translated "wicked one", and Satan is that wicked one. This time of revelation of Satan's identy comes at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, and then Jesus comes to earth to gather His saints to Him.
II Thessalonians 2:9 "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
It is at this time those Christians who were not sealed with the Word of God in their mind, will see that they have been deceived by Satan's many lying wonders and deceptions.
II Thessalonians 2:10 "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
Then you will see that you have thrown your righteous crowns at the feet of Satan in ignorance, and it is you that Christ speaks of in Mathew 24:19; "And woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days!" They are the ones that spiritually speaking went to the wrong wedding, and married the wrong husband. Satan's rule is five months, and they stand now spiritually pregnant, and they "give suck", in that they brought others to Satan the Antichrist, even in ignorance. Why? They thought that Satan was the true Christ, because their churches taught them so. They followed their pastors into Satan's spiritual brothel house.
So we see that three very important books were written during Paul's stay in Corinth.
Acts 18:12 "And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection [stand over against, rush upon] with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,"
These Kenite Jews organized their insurrection against paul, and came to Gallio with one mind. You must keep in mind that the judgment seat hands out civil law and not religious law. This is why we must obey civil law, as long as it doesn't violate our religious beliefs, or the doctrines of Jesus Christ.
Acts 18:13 "Saying, "This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law."
So these Kenite Jews have Paul in hand and they are standing before Gallio charging Paul with a vague charge. They do not state the law, but only that it was against what they held the law to be. Gallio was a Roman, and the only law that Gallio respected at this time was the Roman law, it was the only law of the empire aloud to have authority. They are using the same claims that they used against Christ, that Jesus claimed to be a king and there was only one king, Caesar. This charge was well overworked, and the knowledge that Christ had ascended into heaven was becoming well known. Jesus Christ was not on earth to contend with the throne at Rome.
What Paul was contrary to was the traditions that the Kenites had brought in over the past five hundred years, as they sat in the seat of Moses, and changed the law Moses, to their own traditions and customs. It became the religious law, and that is why they killed Jesus, Stephen, and others, and why also they wanted Paul to stop preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it showed their law to be nothing but traditions.
Acts 18:14 "And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, "If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you:"
Gallio never gave Paul a chance to speak, but he said, If it were a matter of a civil crime, or some serious moral question I would hear you out on this matter.
Acts 18:15 "But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters."
But this is a matter of your theology, and what matters between you and your teachings, and your charge not for the court of civil law. It is a matter of breaking of traditions and customs, and for this reason I will not hear and judge such matters.
Acts 18:16 "And he drave them from the judgment seat."
Gallio was a good old fellow, and he set those Kenites right were they belonged, out of the court and onto the street. He wasn't going to hear religious squabbling between these Kenites, as they brought charges against Paul for not following their traditions. "And he drave", means he threw them out of his court, for wasting his time. Even amongst the Roman rulers there were some that had no time for the Kenites petty squabbling and lies, and saw right through them.
Acts 18:17 "Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things."
When these Jews could not get Gallio to rule on Paul, they took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue in Corinth, who listen to Paul and became a believer, and they brought him right back into Gallio's court room, and they beat him right there before the judge. When Gallio said what was happening, he could have cared less. To him it was a religious squbble over other's traditions. Sosthenes lost nothing in this beating, because he suffered for the Lord, and he will have his eternal rewards for the beatings that he took.
Acts 18:18 "And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow."
Paul was not in a hurry to get away, but he was on a very close schedule to be be in Jerusalem for the feast days. Notice that Priscilla and Aquila are going with Paul, and Priscilla is mentioned first.
Paul had taken the vow of an Nazarite, and while in Cenchrea Paul had his head shaven, as part of the outward expression of the vow. In the Greek text "Keiro", means to Shear, and "xurao" means to "shave". both words are mentioned in the original text in reference to this verse, and where it is also mentioned in Acts 21:24.
This vow of the Nazarite is given in Numbers 6:18; "And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offering."
Numbers 6:19 "And the priest shall take the sodden sholder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazarite, after the hair of his separation is shaven:"
The "heave offering" or "Terumah" is so called because it was lifted up on high in presentation to Jehovah for Himself alone. While the "Shelem" or "peace offering" conveys the idea of peace on the ground of perfection of compensation or recompense. Hence, it is connected with the thought of rendering payment of vows or praises because of peace that the one engoys. This is a eucharistic rite rather then propitiatory [in place of].
Numbers 6:20 "And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and the heave sholder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine."
The "wave offering" was an offering made to the four corners of the earth, as given in Exodus 29:27. In the Hebrew tongue it is "Asah", "to make ready the victim for sacrifice"
Numbers 6:21 "This is the law of the Nazarite who hath vowed, and of his offering unto the Lord for his separation, beside that that that his hand shall get: according to the vow which he vowed, so he must do after the law of his separation.' "
To take the vow of a Nazarite was to show the entire world that he offers his entire life as an offering to the Lord God, and he has made peace with the Father. The vow that Paul had made was that he would be at a certain place at a certain time. God told him to do this through the Spirit, and led him to take this vow.
Acts 18:19 "And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews."
Paul left Pricella and Aquila there in Ephesus. Here again is the word "Jews", which in the Greek is "ioudaus", and refers only to one living in a land, and not their blood ancestry. The Kenites lived with the tribe of Judah and ruled as priests and scribes, even though they were not of the heritage of Judah and Israel. This is what confuses many Christians today, for they are not taught the seperation of the two, the offspring of Judah, and the offspring of Cain [Kenite]. So we see that there are many different tribes and peoples that reside in Judaea, and would qualify to be called Jews, in this respect.
Acts 18:20 "When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;"
These people in Ephesis loved to hear Paul preach, however when it was time to go, Paul had to go. Paul was under the order of the vow that he had taken, and Paul would let nothing cause him to break that vow.
Acts 18:21 "But bade them farewell, saying, "I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will." And he sailed from Ephesus."
This feast that Paul must keep, is Pentecost, the very day that the church was born, and those one hundred and twenty were first filled with the Holy Spirit. Pentecost was ten days after Christ had ascended into heaven, and it is a very special time when the cloven tongue was first given. It was when those filled with the Holy Spirit spoke, and everyone that heard them speak,heard them in their own tongue, and dialect from where they lived and were born. There was no need for an interpreter, nor was there confusion, for when the Holy Spirit speaks everyone hears and understands.
So Paul is sailing for Jerusalem to be there on this very special day, and he simply will not miss it. Paul wants to be there to be a witness for the Lord at that time.
Acts 18:22 "And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch."
Acts 18:23 "And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples."
Paul is backtracking the missionary journey he took, strenthening those that he had taught on the start of this journey. He is also watching his schedule at the same time. He must be in Jerusalem on Pentecost day.
Acts 18:24 "And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, and eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus."
Apollos was a well learned and educated man. Apollos knew the Scriptures from Genesis to Malachi, completely.
Acts 18:25 "This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John."
Apollos was an preacher and teacher in the Word, and he was strong in the Spirit, and had much faith in the Lord. This is about twenty years after Christ's ascention into heaven, yet this man from Egypt had never heard of the baptism of Christ and of the Holy Spirit. Apollos had heard of the baptism of John, and that was the baptism that he taught. This lets us know that the Word did not travel as it would later.
Acts 18:26 "And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly."
This man was experienced in the Scriptures, only it took Priscilla and Aquila to bring him up to date on the matters concerning Christ. It became obvious when they heard Apollos that he had not heard of Christ, so they trained him in the word. Apollos knew that the Messiah was promised in the Scriptures, and now he knows that the Messiah has come, and the Scriptures are fulfilled.
Acts 18:27 "And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which he believed through grace:"
Now with Apollos having been educated in matters dealing with the life of Christ, and His death and resurrection, and ascention into heaven, Apollos became a mighty preacher as he continued into Greece [Achaia]. When they heard this man teach the word of God, many believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and accepted the grace that the Father has offered to them.
You do not wonder if a man has the gift of teaching, because you know it immediately when you hear him, for the Holy Spirit will give him the words, and you the open mind of understanding at the same time, that you can receive the Word. It is not the man that is opening his mouth, but it is the "gift" that is doing the speaking, and that gift is the Holy Spirit of God, the very Spirit of the Father. God's Spirit causes the Scriptures to come to life, and walk off the pages , and into your mind as reality. Christianity is not a religion, friend, it is reality of the Spirit of God living and working in you. Apollos had been preaching and teaching for over twenty years, and now God's Spirit has opened mind to know the whole truth.
Acts 18:28 "For he mightly convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ."
As Apollos spoke the Jews listened, and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Apollos' message was now complete for he now knew that the promised Messiah of the Scriptures was Jesus, and He was the promised Christ. When Apollos spoke, the sole authority that he gave was the Scriptures, the Old Testament. There were no New Testament writings that was available to him at this time of Apollos' preaching, and from the Old Testament he proved that Jesus was in fact the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed One from God.
That is what the Old Testament is all about, the promise of the coming one, and He had many names, the Savior, Emmanuel, the Counselor, the Prince of peace, and He was also the baby Christ child that would be born of a virgin. He would live a life as a man, to suffer at the hands of the religious leaders, and be put to death under false accuations. And He would speak not a word in His defense. This is all spoken of in the Old Testament, and this is what Apollos preached as he faced the public, and caused many of them to believe on Jesus name, and repent to the Father in His name.
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