This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, available at http://www.theseason.org

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Map of Paul's Journey to Rome

The

Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 28

"Paul's Journey from Melita to Rome."

Acts 28:1 "And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita."

After every person was safe ashore, they found out that the name of the island where they landed was called Melita, or Malta for today.

Acts 28:2 "And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold."

The people on the island were good people, and of the Phoenician decent. All people that did not speak Greek were called barbarous. These people took in the men from the shipwreck and cared for them because of the weather. The local people helped the men get to shore, and provde for their immediate needs, for it was still in the winter season.

Acts 28:3 "And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the hear, and fastened on his hand."

No doubt when Paul drug the sticks and limbs to the fire, a viper was attached to one of them, and when Paul threw it on the fire, the viper clung to Paul's hand. This viper in the Greek was an "echidna", and it was know to be very poisonous.

Acts 28:4 "And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live."

When the barbarians saw the snake hanging from Paul's hand they assumed that when Paul escaped the ship wreck, it was their god's way of bringing justice to this man they considered a murderer.

Acts 28:5 "And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm."

Paul just shook the viper into the fire, and went about his business. These barbarians watched as the viper caused Paul no harm. God had a mission for Paul and not even a poisonous viper could keep Paul from reaching Rome and his meeting with Caesar. God intercedes when He is pleased, even with divine intervention, and if you don't believe that you have no business calling yourself a Christian.

There is also another level of understanding what is going on here, which is brought out in Ezekiel 28. The viper is representative of Satan the serpent from the garden of Eden, whom God said would crawl on his belly all the days of his life. This of course was symbolic of Satan, whom Ezekiel 28 calls the king of Tyre. This king of Tyre was out to cause destruction to God's children, and the end result of the king of Tyre will also be as the viper that hung on to Paul's hand, he shall be destroyed in the lake of fire in the end.

To God's children, the vemon of Satan's power has no hold over them, just as the venom of the viper did no harm to Paul's hand. Just as Paul shook off that viper into fire., so also you can command Satan and his spirits to depart from you, in the name of Jesus. Christ has give us power over Satan. Remember in Luke 10:18, 19; "And He said unto them, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." [18] "Behold, I geve unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." [19] The serpents are Satan's children the Kenites, while the scorpions are the fallen angels that will come to earth when Satan is cast out of heaven, and becomes the "instead of Christ", or Antichrist.

Remember that this entire book of the Acts of the Apostles are given for us to follow, and as a guide for us even on a deeper level then just the story form that it contains. Even to this day, those people that have a destiny and purpose put their faith in Jesus Christ. You may be bit in this life, but the vemon shall not bother you when you shake it off, as Christ instructed us to do.

Acts 28:6 "Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while and was no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god."

These barbarians watch to see if Paul's hand would swell up twice the size, and they waited to see when the venom hit Paul's heart and he would fall over dead. As time went by, Pauls hand remained normal, and Paul went on as if the viper never bit Paul and they started to view Paul in another light. Instead of Paul being a murderer, they now view Paul as a god.

Acts 28:7 "In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously."

Publius was the governor of the island of Malta, and he lived close by to where the ship wrecked. Note in this chapter just how many times the number three comes up. Paul lodged with Publius three days following the ship wreck.

Acts 28:8 "And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed , and laid his hands on him, and healed him."

First these natives watched as Paul shook of the viper into the fire and it didn't harm him, and now Paul has prayed over and touched Publius' father and he becomes healed. They are starting to look on Paul as a man from God.

Acts 28:9 "So when this was done, others also which had diseases in the island came, and were healed:"

What started as a bad situation of shipwreck and destruction, is now turning to one of healing and victory over all of Satan's powers. The citizens of Malta were now waiting for the touch of God, not only physically, but also spiritually. That is the purpose of a man or woman who is a child of the living God, to allow the touch of God to be present where ever they are. In this day and age, it may only be a smile and word of encouragement, doing it all with moderation and common sense.

Acts 28:10 "Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary."

Though they had lost everything, the people of Malta replaced all the things that were necessary to complete the journey to Rome. When you are in the service of our Heavenly Father, He will make the provision that are necessary to get that job done to fulfill His mission. God is able to take away when it is necessary, and God can resupply those that have lost everything, when the time comes that it is necessary.

Acts 28:11 "And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.."

This ship named "Castor and Pollux" is the third ship that Paul is on, with Julius the centurian since they left Caesarea. "Castor and Pollux" are the two sons of Zeus and Leda, in Greek mythology. They are the two brightest stars in the constellation Gemini. They were regarded as the deities of sailors. So we see that the names of these two stars were on the bow of the ship Paul is taking to Rome from Malta.

Acts 28:12 "And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days."

Here again the divine number three comes up, with Paul on his divine mission.

Acts 28:13 "And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli:"

Acts 28:14 "Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome."

Here we have spiritual completeness in the number seven, as Paul rested with the brethren for seven days.

Acts 28:15 "And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage."

Appii was about 43 miles from Rome, and the three taverns was about ten miles farther. They had heard of Paul far and wide, and they wanted to come and meet him.

Acts 28:16 "And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him."

Paul has finally made it to Rome, where all the prisoners were delivered to the captain of the guard, and notice that Paul was allowed to go home with Julius to dwell there under guard. Friend Paul made it all the way to Rome, and when he arrived God made the provision to where he would be comfortable.

What is important to us today here, is that Rome represents the geographic location where the world leader sits, and Caesar represents the ruler over the world. The one world system that is forming today will have it's capital in Jerusalem when the Antichrist finally comes to rule.

Acts 28:17 "And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, "Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans."

Here again is the divine number for the divine mission. After three days Paul called a meeting with the Jews. You have probably noticed that anytime the word Jews or "iaudious" is mentioned, those men have been very bad people, seeking to plot murder and all sorts of things. Now here in Rome the name Jews is mentioned and there are no plots of murder in their heart, and thus I feel these Jews are from the tribe of Judah, scattered to Rome.

This location is one of the areas that the ten tribes migrated some seven hundred years prior, as they scattered throughout western Europe. These men wanted to hear what Paul had to say, and when they heard they did not have murder in their hearts.

Acts 28:18 "Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me."

When I spoke to these men there also would have let me go, because they saw that there was no cause in me worthy of death.

Acts 28:19 "But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of."

Paul is telling those Jews that when he was tried, to save his life I had to appeal to Caesar, because of my Roman citizenship.

Acts 28:20 "For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain."

Paul is telling these Jews that this is why he has called for them to come and hear him. Paul is telling them I am bound in in these chains to bring the house of Israel the hope which is the salvation that we have in Jesus Christ. So where is the house of Israel? Remember they were scattered about the year 722 B.C. and went through the Caucasus mountains and scattered to the west throughout Europe, to be known only as the Caucasians to this day.

Hosea 1:10 discusses the House of Israel in the latter days; "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, `Ye are not My People,' there it shall be said unto them, `Ye are the sons of the living God.' " Jesus Christ is the living God, and those sons are called "Christians". So wherever you find Christian nations there you have the sons of the living God and you will find those people of the House of Israel, not the Jews.

Paul was bound by Christ, and the Holy Spirit of God to bring the Gospel to them, as well as the Gentiles and kings that he spoke before. Remember back in Acts 9:15 "But the Lord said unto him, "Go thy way: for he [Paul] is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:" That is what Paul is doing here in Rome, starting that last part, bringing the Gospel to the ten tribes of the house of Israel.

Acts 28:21 "And they said unto him, "We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee."

The reason for this is the fact that they were not of the Kenites, and there were no Kenites amongst them nor their relatives. They were open to the Gospel. Kenites were trouble makers, and these people were not of them.

Acts 28:22 "But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against."

In Rome there is much spoken of Christians, and what is said about Christians by them is against the Christians. This is also the way it is today when you teach the Word of God chapter by Chapter and verse by verse, then you are also spoken against. Why, for the same reasons as the earily church was, you did not teach their traditions.

Acts 28:23 "And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening."

Remember that Paul is still a prisoner, and they are going to give him a day in court to speak for Christianity. However while he is prisoner in this soldiers home, he is using that time to preach from morning to night from the Word of God, which was the books of Moses as well as the Prophets. We call those books today our Old Testament.

Acts 28:24 "And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not."

This is the same as it is today when the Gospel is given, some receive it gladly, and some are blinded to it and refuse to be saved.

Acts 28:25 "And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, "Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,"

Paul is talking here about Isaiah 6:9; and he is going to quote it to them.

Acts 28:26 "Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:"

Paul is telling them from the book of Isaiah that many of the people will hear the word of God and they will not understand what was spoken, and they shall see the truths of God come to pass and even seening them they will not preceive what they are seeing. This is getting to the third level of the Word of God. However you listen to what ever level you are capable of understanding at that time, and when you are ready for a deeper level the Holy Spirit will open it to you.

Acts 28:27 "For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.' "

Jesus even quoted this same verse in Matthew 13:14 and 15, where He also is quoting from Isaiah 6:9, just as Paul is here. Paul is also telling these Jews that it is not meant that all should see and understand, for God is the one that has closed their eyes, and ears that they would not be converted. Why would this be? Well in our generation it is for their own protection, that they should not commit the unforgivable sin when the Antichrist comes to reign on the earth. For when one knows who the Antichrist is (Satan) and bows to him that is the unforgivable sin, for then they will refuse to allow the Holy Spirit of God to speak through them, and condemn themselves.

But to those that do hear and see and understand and ask God to forgive them of their sins in Jesus name, there is repentance for all that will come to the Father in Jesus name, believing that Jesus is the son of God. Though it is not for all to understand the indepth truth of God's Word, to some it is meant for their full understanding, to whatever degree or level they have of understanding.

Acts 28:28 "Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it."

Paul is telling these men of Israel that they may hear and not understand the Word, but the Gentile will also hear and many of them will understand and accept it.

Acts 28:29 "And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves."

Paul had given them the full Word of God, and they were going their way thinking about it.

Acts 28:30 "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him."

Paul still stayed in this centurians house for two whole years, and spent the entire time preaching the Word of God to all that came to him. He was witnessing to where he was to witness.

Acts 28:31 "Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him."

The kingdom of God is like any kingdom, it requires a king and the domain that the king rules over. In the Kingdom of God Jesus Christ is the King of all the other kings that will be in his domain. God is eternal and His domain is everywhere, its the entire universe. So to preach the King of that domain is to preach Jesus Christ who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

When Jesus Christ comes back to earth there will be no doubts who He is. Revelation 16:19 "And he hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." The whole world will know him when He returns to earth, for he will set up His kingdom and rule for the entire Millennium age. In that time following this earth age of the flesh, He will rule that Millennium kingdom with a rod of iron, and it shall be a time of complete discipline and instruction. And all of God's elect will live and reign with him during that time.

As Paul preached and taught there in Rome, there was no man that could stop him from teaching, because Paul was being lead by the Holy Spirit. The words that Paul spoke were given by the Spirit of God, and many souls were saved. Paul's commission by the Holy Spirit was given to him way back in Jerusalem. Acts 23:11 "And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of Me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome." God not only sent Paul to Rome, but he gave Paul one of Caesar's own guards to protect him along the way, and a private home to house him there in Rome.

Paul had God's protection, and Caesar footing the bill, and Paul preached at every stop along the way. Though the book of Acts that is canonized by the church councils ends with the 28th chapter, there is another chapter that has not been canonized, or taught within the Christian Christ, Catholic or Protestant. This chapter has been hidden until the recently from the Christian schools of thought, and we will discuss this last chapter only as a matter of seeing how it applies for prophetic accuracy to the end of Paul's ministry. However note that it is not part of canonized Scripture.

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