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Bible School - Book of Acts

64. Book of Acts - Introduction to the Book of Acts

Book of Acts - Introduction to the Book of Acts
The Book of Acts

Existing Manuscript
BookActs of the Apostles
Date62 AD
P29. Consisting of Acts 26:7-8, 20 dating from the third century.
  • P38. Consisting of Acts 18:27-19:6, 12-16 from circa 300 CE.
  • P48. Consisting of Acts 23:11-17; 4:31-5:13 from the third century.
  • Audience

    “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”    Jesus, Acts 1:8

    JerusalemJudea and SamariaEnds of the Earth
    Acts 2-7
    Acts 8-12
    Acts 13-28
    30-32 A.D. – 2 years
    33-48 A.D. (15 years)
    48-62 A.D. (14 years)
    Peter and John
    Peter and Philip
    Jews and Samaritans
    Jews and Gentiles
    Judea and Samaria
    Syria, Asia Minor, Macedonia, Greece, Italy


    • In Jerusalem (Acts 1-7)
      • Jesus’ instructions and ascension
      • Matthias selected to replace Judas
      • The coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost
      • Peter’s First Sermon
      • Lame man healed in the temple; Peter’s Second Sermon
      • Peter and John arrested and taken before the Sanhedrin
        • Peter preaches to the Sanhedrin
        • Sanhedrin Forbids Preaching in Jesus Name
      • Ananias and Sapphira
      • Apostles Miracles
      • Apostles Persecuted
      • Deacons Appointed
      • Stephen arrested and preaches to the Sanhedrin
      • Stephen killed by Sanhedrin
      • Saul advances Christian persecution
    • In Judea and Samaria (Acts 8-12)
      •  Philip
        • Philip in Samaria
        • Philip and Ethiopian Treasurer
      • Saul
        • Persecution
        • Road to Damascus
        • Saul in Damascus
        • Saul in Jerusalem
      • Peter
        • Peter in Lydda
        • Peter in Joppa
        • Peter in Caesarea
      • Early Church
        • Church growth in Antioch
        • Church persecution in Jerusalem
    • To the Ends of the Earth (13-28)
      • Paul’s First Missionary Journey
      • Jerusalem Council
      • Paul’s Second Missionary Journey
      • Paul’s Third Missionary Journey
      • Paul’s Arrest
        • Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem
        • Paul in prison in Caesarea
        • Paul in prison in Rome
    Acts 2 acts_pentecost
    Because of the day of Pentecost we know that a church began in both Cyrene and Rome.  Both these churches began without an apostle planting the church.  The churches in Rome and Cyrene grew, maintained correct doctrine and began missionary work.  Other churches would also have been started when the new converts took the gospel back to their home towns.
    Acts 3 and 4 temple_acts In Acts 3 at 3:00 in the afternoon, Peter heals a lame man at the Gate Beautiful (also called Nicanor Gate) which led from the court of the Gentiles into the court of women.   The people came running out to Solomon’s Porch or Colonnade to see. (Acts 3:11) Peter began to preach about Jesus.  The priests, the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees (Acts 4:1) came out and seized Peter and John.  They were put in jail for the night and the next day Peter and John appeared before the Sanhedrin for questioning. (Acts 4:5)  Peter preaches to the Sanhedrin but is warned not to preach in Jesus name anymore.
    Acts 5 and 6 The Jerusalem church is growing in numbers and in organization.  They would meet in Solomon’s Colonnade (Solomon’s Porch).  The apostles continue to perform many signs and wonders (5:12).  People were bringing their sick from nearby towns to the temple in Jerusalem to be healed by the apostles. (5:16)  The high priest and his political party, the Sadducees, had the apostles put in jail but an angel opened the doors and told them, “Go stand in the temple courts and tell the people the full message of this new life.” (5:17-20)  The next morning the Sanhedrin met to question the apostles but they could not find them in jail.  Instead they were found preaching in the temple courts. (5:21-26)  A Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel (the Apostle Paul’s teacher) suggested a policy of tolerance against the apostles until their momentum faded away. (5:33-40) The apostles were released but they continued to proclaim the good news that Jesus was the Christ in the temple courts and from house to house. (5:42)  To help the apostles maintain and organize their growing movement seven deacons where appointed to help them manage the material needs of the young church. (6:1-7) 

    65. Book of Acts - Day of Pentecost

    Book of Acts - Day of Pentecost
    Lessons 64-67 refer to notes from Lesson 64.

    66. Book of Acts - Preaching on the Temple Mount

    Book of Acts - Preaching on the Temple Mount
    Lessons 64-67 refer to notes from Lesson 64.

    67. Book of Acts - Church on the Temple Mount; Stephen's Speech

    Book of Acts - Church on the Temple Mount; Stephen's Speech
    Lessons 64-67 refer to notes from Lesson 64.

    68. Book of Acts - Philip in Samaria; Paul in Damascus

    Book of Acts - Philip in Samaria; Paul in Damascus
    The Book of Acts (part two): Chapter 6-12; Philip and Peter's Ministry in Judea and Samaria
    Acts 6 and 7 Jews came to Jerusalem to oppose this new teaching about Jesus.  They came from cities and provinces that had already been infected with this new teaching from Jerusalem :
    • Cyrene - North Africa
    • Alexandria - Egypt
    • Cilicia - the province of Saul’s (or, Paul) hometown of Tarsus just northwest of Syria
    • Asia – the western side of modern Turkey or Asia Minor  (6:9)
    Stephen, one of the seven deacons, was challenged to an argument by these Jews who came to Jerusalem to defeat Christianity.  Stephen’s wisdom and the Spirit of God argued convincingly that Jesus was the Christ.  Because they could not defeat him his opponents had to lie about Stephen’s teaching. (6:11-14)  Charges of blasphemy were brought against Stephen and he appeared before the Sanhedrin.  They listened to his long speech as he reviewed Jewish history from the scriptures for them, but when he charged them with murdering the Righteous One, or the Christ, he was stoned to death.  The stoning of Stephen by the same Sanhedrin that had condemned Jesus was orchestrated by Saul from the city of Tarsus in the province of Cilicia.
    Acts 8 Saul from Tarsus of Cilicia began to lead a great persecution against the believers in Jerusalem.  Saul was going house to house arresting believers and putting them in prison.  Many believers fled Jerusalem for other cities in Judea and Samaria, but the apostles stayed in Jerusalem.
    Philip, one of the deacons, went to Samara to preach the gospel.  After many Samaritans had accepted the gospel, the apostles in Jerusalem sent Peter and John up to Samaria.  Later an angel told Philip to, “Go south to the road – the desert road – that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza”  On this road Philip meets the Ethiopian man who is the official in charge of the treasury of Queen Candace in Ethiopia.  After the Ethiopian hears the gospel and is baptized the Spirit of God “took Philip away”.  The Greek verb used here is the aorist indicative active of the word “ ’arpazw” or “harpadzo” which means “to snatch, to carry of to a different place, to seize, to carry off by force, to rapture.”  It is the same word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 that is translated “caught up”.  Philip appeared at Azotus where he continued to preach the gospel in the surrounding towns.  Philip settled in Caesarea.  Twenty years later the book of Acts records that Philip still lived in Caesarea and had four daughters (21:8)
    Acts 9
    Who is Saul of Tarsus?
    Saul of Tarsus, the first great persecutor of the church, would later be known as the Apostle Paul.  Paul describes his earlier years in his own words:
    Paul’s Ancestry

    Acts 21:39
    “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia,  a citizen of no ordinary city.”
  • Acts 22:3
    “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city (Jerusalem).”
  • 2 Corinthians 11:22
    “Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. 
    Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I.”
  • Romans 11:1
    “I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.”
  • Philippians 3:4,5
    Paul’s Education
    “If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel,
    of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews.”
  • Acts 22:3
    “Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and
    was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.”
  • Acts 23:6
    “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee.”
  • Acts 26:4-5
    Paul’s Character
    “The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem.  They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.” 
  • Philippians 3:6
    “As for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.”
  • Paul the Persecutor
    “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man.”
    1 Timothy 1:12,13
  • “Saul began to destroy the church.  Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them n prison.”
    Acts 8:3
  • “I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison . . . I went to Damascus to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.”
    Acts 22:4,5
  • “I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you . . . when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.”
    Acts 22:19
  • “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth . . . On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.  Many times I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme.  In my obsession against them,
    I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.” 
    Acts 26:9-11
    In Acts 9:1-2 Saul left Jerusalem under the authority of the High Priest.  Paul had secured written authority from the High Priest to go to Damascus, Syria 130 miles north of Jerusalem to arrest the followers of Jesus and bring them back to Jerusalem for prosecution. The resurrected Jesus appeared to Saul outside the city of Damasus.  Saul could see the light and hear Jesus voice but the military escort he had traveling with him could not see anything.  Saul stayed in Damascus for “several days with the disciples.”  According to Galatians 1:6-17 Saul “went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.”   After being in Arabia for several months to a couple of years, Saul returned to Damascus and began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.  Saul’s convincing preaching in the synagogues of Damascus disturbed the Jewish community to the level that now Saul’s own life was in danger.  Three years after his conversion on the way into Damascus, Saul now has to escape Damascus at night by being lowered in a basket through an opening in the wall. (Acts 9:22-25; 2 Cor. 11:32)
    Acts 9 and 10 While Paul was in Arabia, Peter had left Jerusalem to travel through the Judean countryside.  Peter went to Lydda were he raised a paralytic named Aeneas.  In Joppa Peter raised Tabitha from the dead.  Word of these miracles and the good news of Jesus spread through the country side.  Peter stayed in Joppa at the house of Simon the tanner.  At this time an angel visits Caesarea to speak to Cornelius, a Roman centurion in the Italian Regiment.  The angel tells Cornelius to send men to Joppa to get Peter.  When Peter arrives in Caesarea he enters the house of the Gentile to preach the gospel to them.  While Peter was speaking the Holy Spirit came on the Gentiles assembled at Cornelius’ house. acts_peter Acts 11 and 12 When Peter returns to Jerusalem from the house of the Gentile Cornelius, he has to explain his behavior and the results of his ministry to the other apostles and leaders.  The Jewish believers criticized Peter for fellowshipping with Gentiles.  Peter explained how the Lord had worked through angels, visions and the Holy Spirit.  He ends his defense by saying, “Who was I to think that I could oppose God?”  When the Jewish believers in Jerusalem heard this they had no further objections.  They summed up what this experience had revealed to them by saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”  Although it had now been revealed to the Jews that salvation by faith was for the Gentiles, also, many would continue to require observance of the Jewish law and culture for both Jews and Gentiles as a prerequisite for salvation in Jesus.

    69. Book of Acts - Saul's Conversion and Life (Acts 9; Gal. 1:17-22; 2 Cor. 11)

    Book of Acts - Saul's Conversion and Life (Acts 9; Gal. 1:17-22; 2 Cor. 11)
    Lessons 68-70 refer to notes from Lesson 68.

    70. Book of Acts - Peter's Early Journeys and the Gentiles (Acts 9-11)

    Book of Acts - Peter's Early Journeys and the Gentiles (Acts 9-11)
    Lessons 68-70 refer to notes from Lesson 68.

    71. Book of Acts - Antioch Church; Events in Jerusalem (Acts 11-12)

    Book of Acts - Antioch Church; Events in Jerusalem (Acts 11-12)
    The Book of Acts (part three): Paul's Time in Damascus and Arabia; Antioch Church; First Journey to Galatia; Jerusalem Council


    Jesus Death, Resurrection, Ascension
  • Day of Pentecost in Acts 2

  • 31
    • Peter heals crippled man in temple (Ac.3)
    • Peter and John arrested by Sanhedrin (Ac.2)

    • Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus (Barnabus)
      sells a field (Ac.4:36)
    • Ananias and Sapphira Die
    • The Jerusalem church meets by the temple
      in Solomon’s Colonnade (Porch) (Ac.5:12)
    • Apostles perform many miracles
    • Apostles arrested but released by angel

    • Seven deacons chosen (Ac. 6)
    • Church is growing rapidly (Ac.6:7)
    • A large number of priests believe (Ac.6:7)

    • Saul arrives in Jerusalem
    • Stephen debates Jews coming from Cyrene,
      Cilicia (ie. Saul), Alexandria (Ac.6:9)
    • Stephen arrested by Sandhedrin (Ac.6:12)
    • Stephen stoned (Ac.7:59)
    • Saul persecutes the church in Jerusalem
    • Philip goes to Samaria (Ac.8:4)
    • Philip meets Ethiopian Treasurer (Ac.8:26)

    • Saul converted on road to Damascus (Ac.9)
    • Saul is in Damascus
    • Saul leaves for Arabia (Gal.1:17)

    • Saul is in Arabia

    • Saul is in Arabia

    Caligula is emperor
    • Saul returns to preach in Damascus
    • Saul’s life is threatened (Ac.9:23)
    • Saul escapes to Jerusalem
    • Barnabus introduces Saul to disciples
    • Saul stays with Peter 15 days (Gal.1:18-19)
    • Saul debates Grecian Jews (Ac.9:29)
    • Saul flees to Tarsus in Cilicia (Ac.9:29,30)

    • Saul preaches in Cilicia and Syria for
      five years (Gal.1:21)
    • Persecution has ceased in Jerusalem
    • Jerusalem church continues to grow
    • Peter travels Judean Countryside (Ac.9:32)
    • Peter heals Aeneas in Lydda (Ac.9:33)
    • Peter raises Tabitha in Joppa (Ac.9:36)
    • Peter called to Caesarea by Cornelius (A.10)

    • Peter has to defend having preached in a
      Gentile house to the church leaders in
      Jerusalem. (Ac.11)
    • Missionaries from Cyrene in North Africa
      come to Antioch in Syria and preach to
      the Gentiles (Ac.11:20)
    • Saul is preaching in Cilicia and Syria

    Emperor Caligula marches to the English Channel to invade Britain then orders his Roman troops to collect sea shells
    • Saul is preaching in Cilicia and Syria
    • Jerusalem expands the city walls which places
      the site of the crucifixion inside the city

    Caligula assassinated; Claudius is emperor
    • Saul is preaching in Cilicia and Syria
    • Barnabus is sent to visit the church in
      Antioch by the Jerusalem church (Ac.11:22)

    • Saul is preaching in Cilicia and Syria
      Barnabus leaves Antioch to look for Saul
      in Tarsus (Ac.11:25)
    • Barnabus brings Saul back to teach in the
      church in Antioch in Syria (Ac.11:26)
    • Saul teaches in Antioch for a year (Ac.11:26)
    • Believers are called “Christians”

    Rome invades Britain
    • Agabus, a prophet from Jerusalem,
      visits  Antioch church
    • Antioch church sends Paul and Barnabus
      to Jerusalem with an offering (11:29,30)
    • James is beheaded by Herod Agrippa I
    • Peter is arrested but an angel releases him
    • Herod Agripp I dies in Caesarea (12:18)

    Herod Agrippa I Dies
    • Paul and Barnabus return to Antioch
    • John Mark leaves Jerusalem to go
      to Antioch with Paul and Barnabus
    James writes James from Jerusalem

    acts_paul_antioch Now after three years Saul returns to Jerusalem no longer the persecutor of Jesus but the preacher of Jesus.  The Christians in Jerusalem still fear Saul but Barnabus takes him to meet Peter and James.  After 15 days in Jerusalem that involved preaching to the Grecian Jews, Saul is again in danger.  The believers took Saul to Caesarea and sent by ship to Tarsus where he will stay in oblivion until Barnabus comes to find him and take him to the church of Antioch in Syria.
    The Church in Antioch, Syria
    In 43 AD, thirteen years after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ a man named Barnabas was sent out from the Jerusalem church to assist the church in Antioch, Syria.  This church was a unique mixture of believers from both the Jewish and the Gentile world.  Unknown even to Barnabas the Antioch church was to become the pivot on which the truth of the ages would be identified by revelation and separated forever from all of the religions of man.
    Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.  The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.   News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.  He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.          Acts 11:19-24
    acts_antioch Jerusalem was the center of Christianity in 43 AD.  Many of the apostles still called Jerusalem home and were the leading members of that church.  Peter had traveled and taught through the Judean country side, but had always returned to Jerusalem.  The Apostle John still lived in Jerusalem, providing a home for Mary, the mother of Jesus.

    “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.  Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the country not enter the city.  For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.”   (Luke 21:20-22)
    John understood Jesus’ teachings and would move to Ephesus where Paul had started a church and Timothy had served as pastor.  In Ephesus John would write the Gospel of John and 1,2,3 John.

    Apostle John Leaves Jerusalem

    John would reside in the city of Jerusalem until 66 AD when he fled, along with Mary if she was still alive, to Ephesus in order to escape Rome’s vengeance on the city of Jerusalem for the Jewish revolt.   Jesus had told the disciples thirty-six years before how they should respond when they saw the Roman armies approaching Jerusalem.  Jesus had said:

    Those that left Jerusalem to teach the gospel were of the Jewish culture and trained in the Law of Moses.  It was natural then for them to not only teach the gospel message of the Messiah, but to also teach it from the Jewish perspective.  This was not a problem as long as Jewish believers where sharing their faith with other Jews.  The problem would begin to arise when the Jewish believers began to teach their faith to the non-Jewish crowd.  Anyone who was not a Jew would be called a Gentile. 
    In other words, when the Gentiles heard the gospel message explained by a Jew the predominant message was often nothing more than a promotion of Jewish lifestyle, cultural and religious rituals.  The gospel message was in danger of becoming nothing more than the promotion of a culture, first for the Jews and then for the Gentiles.  The church in Antioch was going to be the battle ground for the supremacy of either the revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ or the religious rituals and lifestyle of the Jews.
    Through out church history, the gospel of Jesus Christ has had to engage in the battle for supremacy with many other religious rituals of man.  Many of them that developed in the very churches that were formed to advance the gospel.  Not only that, but every culture (and there have been many) that Christianity has entered has desired to replace the message of the gospel with the preaching of a lifestyle.
    The church in Antioch became the place of a new Christian experiment.  A church was formed out of two different cultures.  Two cultures whose core beliefs included separation from each other (Judaism's traditional values, see Acts 10:28) to the extreme practice of termination of the other cultures (see the prophecy of Antiochus Epiphanes in Daniel 11:30-32).
    When the Jerusalem church heard the news of the Antioch church they possibly perceived that their mission work was running wild and out of control.  To insure that the gospel message had not been compromised they sent Barnabas to bring this mission work back under control.

    Profile on Barnabas

    Original name was Joseph
  • Born in Cyprus
  • From the tribe of Levi
  • Cousin of John Mark
  • He had family in Jerusalem
  • Joined the apostles in Jerusalem church
  • Sold land to give money to church
  • Named “Son of Encouragement”
  • “Encouragement” is the Greek word that also means “exhortation, comfort”
  • He was known for his gift of “preaching” the truth, not “teaching”
  • Barnabas was the first to reach out to Saul, the persecutor,
  • after Saul was converted to Christ  (Acts 9:26,27)

    Barnabas was the perfect man for the job.  He was raised as a Jew in Gentile culture on the island of Cyprus.  His given Jewish name was Joseph but the apostles in Jerusalem recognized the spiritual gift in this man once he became a believer and gave his the name “Son of Encouragement,” or Barnabas.  Barnabas would have been an exhorter or a preacher who brought comfort and encouragement to the people when he spoke. 
    Barnabas could see that God was working in the church in Antioch when he arrived.  He was pleased and sent back a positive report to the apostles in Jerusalem.  Barnabas had a ministry among the people of Antioch that “encouraged them to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” 
    Barnabas’ response to the situation encouraged the church to continue their work.  He did not bring needless debates, pointless issues or distracting personal opinions into the church.  Instead Barnabas was able see past the opportunity for distraction and see that God was at work among these people.  Antioch had to be a step down from the Jerusalem church in many ways.  Jerusalem had as their pastor James, the half-brother of Jesus.  The apostles Peter and John were there working in and among the church.  None of this presented a problem for Barnabas and his attitude allowed the church of Antioch to continue to grow with a great number of people coming to the Lord.
    We can be sure the leadership style in the Antioch church was different than that of the Jerusalem church.  We would expect the atmosphere of an established, all Jewish church in the heart of Jerusalem that often met in the temple would be considerably different than a young church in Syria filled with Gentile converts from paganism
    It is easy to imagine the things that Barnabas overlooked in order to stay focused on the true issue of the gospel.
    The church of Antioch was growing and thriving as a great number new converts were added to the group of believers.  But, the church’s responsibility is more than collecting people.  The church is responsible for the spiritual growth and production of those people they have collected.  The local church has a mission to the people of their communities, the moral fiber of their culture and the security of their nation.  This is not going to occur just because a group of people believe in Jesus. 
    The gospel message is the foundation of every believer’s spiritual life, their spiritual growth and their spiritual production.  Without faith in Christ there is no life, no growth and no production.  But understand this:  Faith in Jesus Christ is the foundation for spiritual growth but faith in Jesus alone is not spiritual growth.  Nor is it maturity, nor fruit nor the fulfillment of the plan of God in your life. 
    Jesus said it best himself when he said, “I am the door.”  Doors always lead you into a room.  Doors are not rooms.  Jesus said he was the way to God’s plan for your life.  The believers in Antioch are standing in the doorway and they are very excited.  But, wait until they get into the room that Jesus has led them into.
    Barnabas’ next mission is to find someone who can lead this church into an understanding of what is in the room.  He knows who he needs.  He knew this man before either of them were believers. This church needs to hear the teaching of the former Pharisee and persecutor of the church named Saul.  Saul had come to visit the leading apostles after having spent a good part of the three years after his conversion in the wilderness being taught the gospel by revelation from Jesus Christ himself.  The problem is Saul fled Jerusalem for his life five years earlier.  Barnabas must find Saul.
    Saul had been escorted by the believers out of Jerusalem to the sea port of Caesarea five years earlier to deliver him from the hands of the Jews.  Saul was sent away to his home town of Tarsus.
    Saul would write later in his letter to the Philippians that he had “lost all things” for the sake of Christ.  In the context of this letter Saul is discussing his Jewish heritage.  Saul’s arrival home to Tarsus would have been preceded by reports of his behavior and teaching in the great religious city of Jerusalem that had threatened his life.  Saul’s father, who was a Pharisee, had sent Saul as a youth to school in Jerusalem.  Now this same family would disinherit Saul.  He would lose all contact with his family along with the right to claim his ancestral home, heritage and inheritance.  Saul was alone.
    At the time of his conversion Jesus told Saul,
    “I am sending you to [the Gentiles] to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:17,18)  So for the next five years Saul took his gospel message to the Gentiles in the province of Syria and Cilicia.  Saul had no contact with the apostles or with Jerusalem.  “They only heard the report: ‘The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.’ ” (Galatians 1:23)  Barnabas had heard of his friend’s work in the ministry as had many, many others.  Reports of his work even reached the churches in Judea and Jerusalem.
     “Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch.  So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people.  The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” Acts 11:25,26
    The phrase “
    look for Saul” is a Greek phrase that means, “to seek up and down, back and forth, to make a thorough search till success comes.” Barnabas would have began his search in Tarsus and tried to retrace Saul’s footsteps over the last five years until he caught up with him.
    Saul had received the gospel by direct revelation from Jesus beginning on the road to Damascus in 35 AD and continuing over the next three years while he was alone in Arabia.  In 38 AD Saul had visited Jerusalem to compare notes with the apostles who had seen Jesus.  They accepted Saul’s revelation as the truth and in line with their teaching, though it was more advanced and developed than they had.  Saul then spent the next five years teaching his revelation in Syria and Cilicia.  In 43 AD Barnabas brings Saul, the vessel of the complete revelation from Jesus Christ, back into the front lines of church history. 
    Saul would never leave the front line again.  From this point on church history was going to be set on course by the greatest apostle and teacher of the church age. 
    For the next year the gifted preacher Barnabas and the gifted teacher Saul worked with great numbers of believers in Antioch.  This combination of Barnabas the exhorter and Saul the teacher produced one of the greatest churches of all time.  Several things happened during the next year that indicate the spiritual growth that took place in these believers. 
    First, it was here that the name “Christian” was assigned to believers.  Saul would have identified what it means to accept Christ, to believe in Christ, or to be born again.  A change had occurred on the inside of each believer and they needed to know it.  This accepting the gospel produces an eternal, spiritual change that can not be seen accept by the fruit of that change.  In order for a believer to understand that change they need to be taught the word of God.  There is no doubt that Paul’s teaching led to the disciples realizing who they were as believers in Christ.  They were “Christians” and soon the city of Antioch itself could see who they were. 
    The title “Christian” was a natural development for those who followed Christ.  The followers of Herod were called “Herodians.”  The believers became servants of Christ.  The term translated “were called” literally means in the Greek “to transact business” or “to bear the title.”  The believers were transacting in the business of life in the name of the Christ.  They were living the life of a Christian.
    The other things we will see this early church begin to do after they had sat under Paul’s daily teaching for a whole year are that they followed the Spirit’s directions (Acts 11:27-28) and  the Christians gave money to support other believers.  It says they decided to help the Jerusalem believers and that they gave according to their ability.  It takes a maturing Christian to give with the right attitude.  It is natural for believers to support Ministries.  Giving is both the result of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and a Gift of the Spirit (Romans 12:8).  If believers are taught the Word of God and instructed concerning their salvation that came through the gospel they will mature and begin to bear fruit in due season.  A church should not have to ask, beg, or manipulate money from mature believers.  Giving is as natural for a mature Christian as producing apples are for an apple tree.  Of course, if you are standing in front of a maple tree looking for apples you have not identified your tree correctly.  The same is true if you are standing in front of people begging them to give your church or ministry money.  You have not identified spiritual maturity very well.  Teach the word, let the believers grow by the Spirit of God and they will produce the fruit in many areas.  The Antioch believers began doing things because they matured through the teaching of the Word.
    In chapter 13 of Acts we find the church of Antioch having identified and developed their individual spiritual gifts.  They are seen in true worship, fasting before the Lord and seeking direction for their lives and their ministries.  Their prayer meetings did not consist of telling God the things that they wanted, but instead where seeking to achieve the things that he specifically wanted for them and their church.  Finally, in Acts 13:2-4 the church sends Barnabas and Saul back out into the field to do mission work.  What others had done for Antioch during the last nine years (35-44 AD), Antioch is ready to do it for others.  In 35 AD believers fleeing persecution arrived in Antioch and began home based meetings. Nine years later they are sending and supporting men to go and begin ministries in not just one town, but the Church of Antioch has their eye on every town in Asia Minor. 

    Result of Believers Receiving Teaching in Antioch

    lives were changed to be Christ like.
  • followed the Spirit of God in their service to the church.
  • gave money to assist other believers based on:
  • a)  Their own decision b)  Their own financial ability

    • spiritual gifts
      Individual believers identified, developed & used their
    • worshipped, fasted before the Lord.
    • received direction from the Lord.
    • sent gifted individuals to other places to expand the church.

    The facts are that they where the beginning of a ministry that not only reached all of Asia Minor, but also, their efforts would successfully reach Macedonia, Greece, Rome and even Spain.
    Saul and Barnabas left Antioch to board a ship in the seaport city of Seleucia.  They were carried to the island of Cyprus and docked at Salamis.  With John Mark’s help they unloaded their baggage and made contact with the local Jewish synagogue leader. 
    As always doors opened for Saul who was a highly trained and respected rabbi from Jerusalem.  Saul’s credentials and reputation were so impressive that even rumors of his recent influence by the claimed messiah, Jesus, did not raise enough suspicion among the Jews still scattered in Gentile lands.  The synagogues in distant Gentile territory would be in awe to stand in the presence of Saul, the skilled rabbi trained by the living legend Gamaliel, the grandson of Hillel.  Through out the book of Acts the natural acceptance of a prominent rabbi from Jerusalem and his being given a chance to teach their congregation on the next Sabbath was always an open door for Saul.
    Barnabas himself is a native of Cyprus and wealthy enough to have been a land owner, was of the tribe of Levi.  The tribe of Levi was the teaching tribe in the nation of Israel.  This tribe was responsible for the care of the temple and the teaching of the law.  Barnabas’ presence along side that of the rabbi Saul would be an insurmountable advantage for getting the gospel message into synagogues on this missionary trip.
    John Mark, Barnabas’s cousin from Jerusalem (Colossians 4:10), went along as their “helper.”  The word “helper” is the Greek word “hyperetes” whose literal meaning is the “under rower” on a boat.  The ancient boats were driven by unseen men seated below the deck supplying the power to the oars.  This picture would also include the people who were on the upper deck being taken somewhere on the ship.  John Mark was under rowing while Saul and Barnabas were doing the visible ministry of the Word.  John Mark was to be the unseen power.  The Greek word translated “helper’ means “assistant, attendant, a helper who willingly submits himself to carry out the will of the one over him.”  His responsibilities could have included carrying scrolls of scripture and possible quotes of Jesus, making travel plans for lodging, meals and transportation, helping teach new converts and serving as an eyewitness of the life and ministry of Jesus.
    The ministry often exalts those who are visible and stand before people.  This can often cause those who are providing the power to ministry to neglect their roles due to a lack of understanding of the importance of their position.  Imagine the ship that Saul, Barnabas and John Mark took from Seleucia to Salamis.  What would have happened if the rowers decided that they too wanted to be passengers and left the oars in the lower deck and went to the upper deck to stand and be seen along with the passengers?  If this would have happened the boat would have gone adrift by itself or been dead in the water.  With out the under rowers of the church the entire ministry would collapse. 

    Profile on John Mark

    Mother was Mary, a prominent member of the Jerusalem church

    whose house was used for church meetings (Acts 12:12)

    • John was his Jewish name and means “Yahweh is gracious”
    • Mark was his Greek name that may indicate Roman citizenship.
    • His father apparently was dead.
    • His family was wealthy enough to maintain a large house in     
    Jerusalem and have at least one servant (Acts 12:13)
    • He traveled with Peter (1 Peter 5:13)
    • He records Peter’s account of Jesus life in the Gospel of Mark
    • He was with Timothy in Asia Minor in 67 AD.
    • At the end of Paul’s life he writes:
    “Get Mark. . .he is helpful to me in my ministry.”

    The real production of the church is not done by those who are seen.  The apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers are “to prepare God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up.” (Ephesians 4:11,12) 
    As Saul moved through the Gentile lands and moved further away from the Jerusalem and Jewish crowd he began using his Greek name of Paul.  This had probably been his practice over the years of preaching to the Gentiles before he was brought to Antioch by Barnabas. 
    Paul, Barnabas and John Mark left the island of Cypress from the seaport and capital Paphos to sail for the mainland of Asia.  They landed in Perga in the small Roman province of Pamphylia (75 miles along coast and 30 to the North) . 
    John Mark “left them” in Perga and returned to his mother’s home in Jerusalem.  The Greek phrase “left them” can mean “to depart, to leave, to desert.” The reason for his leaving is not given by Luke but we do find out later that Paul was disappointed that John Mark “had deserted them in Pamphylia and not continued with them in the work.” (Acts 15:38)  Here the word “deserted” means “to depart, to desert, to give up.”  Something had happened that caused John Mark to abandon the mission and these actions where considered by Paul to be an abandonment of the work of the gospel.

    Could this be true. . .?
    50 Then everyone deserted him and fled. 51A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus.  When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.” Mark 14:50-52

    If the last supper was held at Mary’s house, as some believe, then John Mark would have been a young man living in that house that night.  Jesus left for the garden around midnight after having dismissed Judas to betray him.  Judas would have first led the soldiers to Mary’s house in search of Jesus around 1:00 AM, thus waking up John Mark.  As the troops moved to the garden John Mark may have followed in the shadows still wearing his bed clothes.  This would explain this verse concerning Jesus’ arrest recorded only in Mark’s gospel:

    It is important to note that although Paul and Barnabas land in Perga that they do not look for a synagogue there or even spend time preaching.  Instead they move quickly north to the city called Antioch in Pisidia.  It appears for several reasons that Paul’s plan was to pick up the main Roman road running through Asia.  Paul’s style of ministry was to go to the main cities on the main roads with the gospel.  He would form a church there and then when the church matured they would take the gospel to the surrounding communities that where near them on the back roads.  We can assume that this is Paul’s plan here as well.
    The Roman road system was an engineering wonder that still leaves us with roads that exist today 2,000 years later.  Paul was a strategist who would not have let a potential ministry tool like the Roman roads not be used as a communication network and a church planting system. 

    Roman roads still exist today.  Mile marker stones still exist from 6 BC.
    The picture above is a Roman road in the ancient city of Sepphoris.  Sepphoris is about four miles or an hours walk north of Nazareth.

    The Roman road was nine to twelve feet wide and allowed two chariots to pass.  Mile markers were planed to indicate distances and eventually maps were made that detailed routes, miles, towns, inns, mountains and rivers. 

    During construction a trench was dug six to nine feet deep to form the road bed.  Lime or sand was placed in this trench to create a level base.  Four to five inch diameter stones were laid twelve to twenty four inches deep.  Then came nine to twelve inches of concrete.  Several layers of rolled concrete covered this at the depth of twelve inches on the sides and eighteen inches in the middle to crown the road for drainage.  The final layer was made up of blocks of stone six inches or more fitted together in the  final layer of wet concrete.


    Antioch Pisidia was positioned on the Roman road called Via Sebaste, or the Sebasten Way, that ran from the Euphrates river through Antioch Pisidia all the way to Ephesus.  Paul was probably planning on heading west after Antioich, Pisidia.  On his second missionary journey Paul would have followed this road from Antioch, Syria all the way to the coast north of Ephesus to the city Troas, or ancient Troy.
    “On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, ‘Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.’ ” Acts 13:14-16

    , “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

    Synagogue Service consisted of several parts each week:


    Together they would say
    Prayerby the synagogue leader
    Reading of the Law(Genesis-Deuteronomy) which was read in sequence through out the year.
    Reading from the Prophets(Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, twelve minor prophets) that corresponded with the reading from the Law.
    Sermon“A Message of Encouragement” from a member of the congregation
    Closing Blessing 

    Synagogue Service consisted several parts each week:

    Shema—Together they would say, “Hear O Israel: The       Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4) Prayer by the synagogue leader Reading of the Law (Genesis-Deuteronomy) which was read in sequence through out the year. Reading from the Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel , twelve minor prophets) that corresponded with the reading from the Law. Sermon, or “A Message of Encouragement” from a member of the congregation. The Closing Blessing
    It appears that Paul and Barnabas simply attended a regular synagogue service one Saturday, or Sabbath, morning.  This synagogue was large enough that they had several synagogue leaders.  It was common for the synagogue ruler to request someone from the congregation to bring the mornings message after the reading of the Law and the Prophets.  When they realized Rabbi Saul from Jerusalem was joining them for their service that day they sent one of their assistants to ask if he or Barnabas would bring the daily message to the people.

    “Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!  The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt, with mighty power he led them out of that country, he endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert,  he overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to his people as their inheritance.  All this took about 450 years.  After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet.   Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years.After removing Saul, he made David their king.  He testified concerning him: ’I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ “ Acts 13:16-22
    Paul addresses the crowd by identifying them as two groups of people:  Jews and Gentiles (often called “God fearers”).  Paul sermon here can be broken into four parts:

    • The Old Testament message with four points of faith.
    • The new message of Jesus with four points of Christian faith.
    • The use of three Old Testament passages of scripture to prove the validity of Jesus as the Messiah.
    • An exhortation to believe the message of perish.
    Directly above in Acts 13:16-22 is the Jewish portion of the sermon.  The four points are:             a)  God is the God of Israel             b)  God choose Israel             c)  God redeemed Israel from Egypt             d)  God gave Israel their inheritance
    Paul’s last OT character, David, will be used as the bridge to begin the Christian message.  Paul has so far preached consistent with all the Jews and Gentile converts present that day.  At this point Paul is going to make a connection that he himself had to personally make eleven years before in order to recognize Jesus as the savior and the Messiah.  Paul, the Rabbi, trained in the Old Testament scriptures since his youth has been presenting the scriptural connection to Jesus in front of congregations, crowds and mobs for over a decade.  Many of Paul’s beatings have already come from Jews during those ten years.
    “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.  Before that coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel.  As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you think I am?  I am not that one.  No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’  Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.  The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.  Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed.  When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.  But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.  They are now his witnesses to our people.”                       Acts 13:23-30
    Paul begins the Christian portion of his message by stating two important facts to establish Jesus as the Messiah:             1)  He is a descendent of David as promised in scripture             2)  He was identified as the Messiah by a prophet (John the Baptist)
    With Jesus’ claim to Messiah being verified by scripture and a prophet Paul address the two groups of his audience again to make his next point very clear.  He address both the “Children of Abraham” (Jews) and the “God-fearing Gentiles” as “Brothers” because the message of salvation through the Messiah Jesus is for them both.  Everyone, both Jew and Gentile, can receive this message.  This teaching could be met with  skepticism from both groups since the Jews and their temple worship have been the way to God for the Gentiles in the past.
    Paul then establishes the four main points of the gospel message             1)  Jesus was
    crucified             2)  Jesus was laid in a tomb dead             3)  God raised Jesus from the dead             4)  People saw Jesus alive and are witnesses to the truth
    These four points are repeated to the Corinthians:
     ”For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:
    1)  that Christ
    died for our sins according to the Scriptures,             2)  that he was buried,             3)  that he was raised to life on the third day according to the scriptures,             4) and that he appeared to                         a) Peter,                         b) and then to the Twelve. c)After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.                         d) Then he appeared to James,                         e) then to all the apostles,                         f) and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one                                                                      abnormally born.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
    “Believe in Jesus” means you understand & accept as truth:


    died for your sins
  • buried
    Jesus was
  • raised to life by God
    Jesus  was
  • saw him alive
    Jesus appeared alive to many people who
    These four points are the basis of Christian faith.  If some one is asked what a person needs to believe or accept in order to be saved and receive eternal life these four points would be a solid biblical answer.  To believe in Jesus does not mean that someone believes there is a God.  Believing in God does not bring salvation, though it is obviously hard to believe that sin exist, that Jesus died for us and that God raised him from the dead if you reject the reality of a being greater than creation.  Confessing your sins means you realize you have a problem but that is not salvation.  Doing good works for people or for the higher being called
    God will not cause you to have salvation.  You must believe in the Jesus.  And, Jesus is simply, yet richly, described as the one who died for our sins, was buried, was raised to life by God, and was seen alive by many witnesses.  If you can accept that for yourself, then you have received the message and have salvation
    “We tell you the good news:  What God promised our fathers  he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.  As it is written in the second Psalm
    ‘You are my Son today I have become your Father.’ (Psalm 2:7)
    The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words:
    ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’ (Isaiah 55:3)
    So it is stated elsewhere:
    ‘You will not let your Holy One see decay.’ (Psalm 16:10)
    For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.” Acts 13:32-37
    Paul follows his proclamation of the Christian message with three Old Testament verses that foretell the Messiahship of Jesus and his resurrection.
    In the first Old Testament quote that Paul uses he is expressing a new relationship between the Son and the Father.  The word “become” or the Greek verb “gennao” means “to bring forth, to begat.”  This is not speaking of bringing forth or giving birth to God the Son by God the Father since they are both eternal.   It is instead speaking of a new relationship between these two eternal beings.  What new relationship between God the Son and God the Father could this refer too?
    The Son of God has existed eternally as has the other members of the Trinity, God the Father and the Holy Spirit.  In the Old Testament the Son of God was called LORD, or Yahweh.  At the first Christmas the Son of God took on flesh and became a man.  The Son of God did not cease to be God at this point, nor did he lay his deity aside.  The Son of God instead maintained his deity but also added something to it.  The Son of God added the very nature of manhood to his eternal nature as God.  He even took the human name of Jesus.  The LORD became LORD Jesus.
    It is correct to call him LORD Jesus because during his entire time on the earth he was both God and man, and he is still both God and man today.  But, this is not the new relationship of spoken of in Psalm 2:7.
    In Israel during the Old Testament men where chosen to fill three basic offices.  They were the king, the priest and the prophet.  Each generation of Israelites would have one or more kings, priests, or prophets anointed with oil.  The oil represented the Holy Spirit coming upon these men to unable them to serve in these offices.  Once these men were anointed into an office they also entered into a new type of relationship with God.  They were no longer just men, they were men who stood before God as the king, or the high priest, or as a prophet.
    There was one unique office that was often mentioned and prophesied about, but it had gone unfilled for generations.  It was a unique office because it would only be filled one time by one man and then that filling was forever.  It was the office of the Messiah.  The Messiah would be the savior, the king, the deliverer and the one who made things right with God for man and creation.  The Messiah was to be a man.  This man was spoken of in the Garden of Eden as the seed of the woman, Job called him his redeemer, Abraham believed in him, David knew he would sit on his throne and Isaiah described him as coming as a suffering servant but also as a conqueror.
    The Hebrew word for “Messiah” means “to smear, or anoint” and is simply called the “Anointed One” by Daniel.  The Greek word for “the anointed one” is “christos” or, in English, “Christ”.   The word Christ means “the anointed one”, or the Messiah.
    When the Son of God, or the LORD, took on the nature of a man, and received the name Jesus, he maintained the nature of deity but added the nature of man.  As a man he was a baby, a child, a twelve year old, a young adult, and a thirty-year old man.  At the age of thirty the LORD Jesus, the God-man,  went to be baptized by the prophet John the Baptist.  John Mark records in his gospel that
    “as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ ”  (Mark 1:10,11)   It was at this point that the LORD Jesus entered into a new relationship with God the Father and became the “Anointed One”.  The man Jesus entered into the office of the Messiah.  It was at this point that Jesus became the Christ.  His name and title would now and forever be The LORD Jesus Christ.  Jesus was not born the Christ.  God was born a man and that man was anointed by the Spirit of God to fulfill the office of the Christ.  The man Jesus was anointed the Christ by God the Father.  This is the meaning of Paul’s use of Psalms 2:7 in his synagogue message in Antioch Pisidia.  God the Father is quoted as saying, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father, or  “You are my Son from eternity past; today as a man you have been anointed to enter a new relationship with me as the chosen Messiah.”
    Paul uses two more verses to show that through out the Old Testament people like David realized that the Holy Spirit had revealed that the Messiah would die, that he would be buried, but that also he would clearly be raised from the dead.  This prophecy is called “the holy and sure blessings” by Isaiah.  David clearly states that God the Father would “not let your Holy One see decay.”
    This was the message Paul used to introduce the LORD Jesus Christ to the synagogue in Antioch.  He had used teaching to explain the Old Testament in light of the New Testament faith in Jesus.  But, at this point Paul, the teacher, was going to switch into the exhorter, or Paul, the preacher.
    “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the         forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.  Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you: ”Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.”
    Acts 13:38-41
    This portion of the message is the exhortation to believe.  Paul has wrapped up his teaching and is pleading with them to accept the gospel message.  Not only was the coming of the Messiah was foretold and the resurrection of the Messiah was foretold.  Also foretold by the Jewish prophets was the people’s response to the message of the Messiah.  They would scoff at the message even if someone explained it to them.  Paul is telling the people in Antioch to make sure that this prophecy does not apply to them and accept the gospel.
    If they insist on being “scoffers”
    (the Greek word means “one who despises and thinks down on another”) then they are left to “wonder” (this means to wonder at something and be amazed, but to never understand it) at the message but never comprehend it or believe it.  If they are left in this state of “wonder” with out faith, they will “perish” (which means to be destroyed so as to vanish and disappear) from the face of the earth and not see the future kingdom of the Messiah.
    Paul’s means of salvation was belief in the message that through Jesus there is forgiveness of sins.  Paul says that “everyone who believes is justified.”  He adds that they are justified from everything they could not be justified from by the law of Moses.  With this Paul identifies the law of Moses with it rituals, sacrifices and temple worship as being unable to justify, or remove sins to save anyone.  Only through faith in Jesus work can a man be justified before God.
    Paul would continue the practice of preaching in the Jewish synagogues in all of the Gentile cities he would reach.

    A Sample of the Synapogues were Paul Preached the Gospel
    At once he (Paul) began to preach in the synagogues that     Jesus is the Son of God.”  Acts 9:20 In Antioch, PisidianAs Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them  to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath.” Acts 13:43 In IconiumAt Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue.” Acts 14:1 In ThessalonicaAs his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days  he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the  Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead.” Acts 17:2 In BereaOn arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.” Acts 17:10 In Athens “So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews.” Acts 17:17 In CorinthEvery Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue.” Acts 18:4 In Ephesus “He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the     Jews.” Acts 18:19 In Ephesus “Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months,  arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.” Acts 19:8

    In Damascus



    Paul and Barnabus leave for
    first missionary journey

    • Peter has come to Antioch in Syria
    • Paul travels in Galatia to Antioch in
      Pisida, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe
    • James sends Jews from Jerusalem
      to Antioch (Gal.2:12)
    • Judaizers confuse the Antioch church

    • Paul returns through the same cities
      and sails back to Antioch
    • Peter and Barnabus are led astray by
      Judaizers from Jerusalem (G.2:13)
    • Paul opposes Peter and the Judaizers
    • To resolve the conflict of Judaism &
      Christianity the Jerusalem Council
      is held (Acts 15 ; Gal.2:1-10)
    • Paul goes to Jerusalem Council
    • Judas and Silas are chosen by the
      apostles to return to Jerusalem
      Paul and Barnabus (Ac.15:22)

    • Paul teaches in Antioch
    • Galatians against the
      Judaizers who have gone there
      Paul writes to the
    • Paul and Barnabus argue and separate
    • Paul leaves on second missionary
      journey through Galatia to Troas
    Paul writes Galatians from Antioch in Syria
    Roman historian Suetonius (70-122) records that Emperor Claudius expelled Jews from Rome.  He wrote that Claudius “expelled the Jews from Rome since they rioted constantly at the instigation of Chrestus (or, Christ)”

    72. Book of Acts - Paul's First Trip (Acts 13-14)

    Book of Acts - Paul's First Trip (Acts 13-14)
    Lessons 71-73 refer to notes from Lesson 71.

    73. Book of Acts - The Jerusalem Council in 48 AD (Acts 15)

    Book of Acts - The Jerusalem Council in 48 AD (Acts 15)
    Lessons 71-73 refer to notes from Lesson 71.

    74. Book of Acts - Paul's Second Trip; Philippi and Thessalonica (Acts 16-17)

    Book of Acts - Paul's Second Trip; Philippi and Thessalonica (Acts 16-17)
    The Book of Acts (part four): Paul's Second and Third Journey's; Paul's Arrest and Five Years in Prison


    In Troas (ancient Troy), Paul sees a
    vision of a Macedonian man
  • Paul goes to Macedonia
  • Paul in prison in Philippi (Ac.16:11-40)
  • Paul preaches in Thessalonica, starts
    a church and a riot (Ac.17:1-9)
  • Paul goes to Berea but flees to Athens
  • Paul arrives in Athens alone, preaches
    in the streets, is invited to present
    at the Areopagus in Athens (17:19)
  • In the fall, Paul goes to Corinth alone
    without money and gets a job (18:1-4)
    Matthew writes his gospel of
    Rome adopts the 7 day work week and names the days after the 7 known planets
    Rome founds the city of Londinium (or, London) in Britian
    • Silas and Timothy bring an offering
      and a letter from Macedonia (18:5)
    • First Thessalonians
      Paul responds to Thessolonians with a
      a letter,
    • Paul stays in Corinth, starts Corinthian
      church,  appears before Gallio (18:12)
    Paul writes First Thessalonians from Corinth
    Gallio is proconsul of Achaia 51-52
    • Second Thessalonians in
      response to questions from
      Paul writes
    • Paul leaves Corinth in the spring
      and sails for Ephesus.
    • Paul reasoned in the synagogue and left
      Aquila and Priscilla in Ephesus (18:19)
    • Paul sails to Jerusalem, greets the church
      there and returns to Antioch, Syria
    Paul writes Second Thessalonians from Corinth



    Paul spends time in Antioch.
  • Paul begins third missionary journey traveling
    through Galatia and Phrygia
  • In Ephesus, Aquila and Priscilla explain the
    gospel to Apollos (18:24-26)
  • Apollos goes to Corinth (18:27)
  • Paul arrives in Ephesus
  • Paul stays in Ephesus for three years
  • Paul teaches daily the lecture hall of Tyrannus
    for two years. (19:9)

  • 54
    • Paul is in Ephesus all year
    • Paul sends Timothy into Macedonia (Acts 19:22)

    Nero, age 16, is emperor
    • 1 Corinthians) mentioned in 1 Co.5:9.  In this
      letter Paul instructs them to collect money for the
      Jerusalem saints. (1 Cor.16:1) An offering for the Jerusalem believers is started and in year Paul will speak of this offering in his letter called
      Second Corinthians (2 Co.8:10)
      Paul writes the Corinthians his first of four letters
    • A delegation from the Corinthian church arrives in Ephesus with problems and questions.
    • First Corinthians in Ephesus and sends it to Corinth.  (This is his second letter to Corinth.)
      Paul writes
    • Paul follows this letter with a quick visit directly
      across the Aegean Sea from Ephesus to
      Corinth and back. (2 Cor. 2:1)  This would
      have been his second visit to Corinth
      (2 Cor.12:14; 13:1,2)
    • Paul writes a third letter (which we do not have) in
      Ephesus and sends it to Corinth. (2 Cor.2:3,4; 7:8,9,12) Titus carries this letter and stays to fix the church. (2 Cor.7:15,13,14)
    Paul writes First Corinthians from Ephesus



    • In the fall Paul leaves Ephesus for Corinth and goes
      through Troas and into Macedonia
    • While Paul is traveling through Macedonia he
      meets Titus who has left Corinth to return
      to Ephesus (2 Cor.7:5,6)
    • Second Corinthians (2 Co.2:13;7:5)
      In Macedonia Paul writes his fourth letter
      to the Corinthians known as
    • Second Corinthians
      (2 Cor.8:17,18)
      Titus and Luke are sent back to Corinth with
      the letter
    • Paul follows them into Corinth to spend the winter in
    Paul writes Second Corinthians from Macedonia

    • Romans with a delegation of people led by Phoebe to Rome. (Rom.16:1)
      In the spring, Paul writes to the Roman church from Corinth and sends the letter of
    • Paul plans to sail to Syria from Cenchea but the Jews planned to kill him so he went by land up through Macedonia and down past Ephesus (Acts 20:3-6)
    • Paul arrives in Jerusalem (Acts 21:17)
    • Paul is arrested at the temple (Acts 21:27)
    • Paul is placed in prison in Jerusalem at Fort Antonia (21:37;22:24)and appears before the Sanhedrin (22:30)
    • Jews plan to kill Paul so Paul is transferred to Caesarea (Acts 23:23)
    • Paul is in prison in Caesarea for two years (Acts 24:27)
    • Paul appears before Felix (Acts 24)
    Paul writes Romans from Corinth



    Paul in prison in Caesarea

    • Paul in prison in Caesarea
    • Paul appears before Festus and King Herod Agrippa II (Acts 25,26)
    • Paul appeals to Caesar in Rome (25:11) so Paul is sent to Rome by Festus (25:12) and Agrippa (26:32)
    • In an attempt to beat the coming winter a ship of prisoners leaves for Rome (Acts 27)
    • Paul advised the commanding centurion, Julius, to harbor at Fair Havens on Crete but they decided to go onto Phoenix.  The ship was blown off course out into the Mediterranean Sea and crashed near Malta. (Acts 27:9-28:10)

    • Paul arrives in Rome and is allowed to live by himself with a Roman soldier to guard him (Acts 28:16
    Paul writes Ephesians from Roman imprisonment
    • Paul continues in Rome under house arrest.
    Paul writes Philippians from Roman imprisonment
    • Paul continues in Rome under house arrest
    • First Peter
      Peter comes to Rome and writes


    • Paul is released from Roman imprisonment.
    • Paul either leaves for Spain or first visits Philippi and Corinth along with other churches in Achaia and Macedonia.
    • Paul writes Timothy a letter.  Timothy is in Ephesus and Paul may have written it from Macedonia.
    • Paul leaves for Spain

    Paul writes Colossians and Philemon from Roman imprisonment
    Peter writes
    First Peter from Rome
    Paul writes
    First Timothy from Macedonia


    • Paul was under house arrest in Rome at the end of the book of Acts.
    • In his prison epistle to the Philippians he seems to believe he will be released as soon as he hears a report of his case: “I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me.  And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.” (Philippians 2:23,24)
    • Paul also writes Philemon from prison and tells him to prepare a room for him in his home in Colosse: “And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.” (Philemon 22)
    • Upon release Paul may have visited the churches in Macedonia and Asia and then headed for Spain or he may have left for Spain from Rome as he had planned when he wrote the Roman church in 57 AD: “I plan to do so when I go to Spain.  I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there . . . I will go to Spain and visit you on the way.” (Romans 15:24,28)
    • According to Titus 1:5, Paul visited the Isle of Crete but left Titus there to work with the church.  Paul then tells Titus in 3:12 that he is planning on spending the winter (64-65 AD) in Neapolis, a Mediterranean resort on the coast.  It is likely Paul would have went to Corinth and wrote the epistle of Titus after dropping Titus off at Crete as he moved towards Neapolis. 
    • In the spring of 65 AD Paul might have visited Philippi as he had said in Philippians 2:23,24.
    • Paul writes his final letter to Timothy from his second and final imprisonment in Rome in 67 AD.  In this letter he gives some indication of where he had been during his final months before being arrested in Troas.  Paul mentions that everyone in Asia had deserted him (2 Timothy 1:15).  He says he had been in Miletus where he left Trophimus because he was sick (4:20).  He says that Erastus had stayed in Corinth. (4:20) Timothy himself seems to still be in Ephesus because he is asked to greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus which is in Ephesus.(4:19;1:16,18)
    • Finally, Paul asks Timothy to come to him in Rome before winter sets in. (4:21)  Paul also asks for his cloak and his papyrus scrolls (letters and New Testament documents) and parchments (Old Testament and other valuable scrolls) that he had left in Troas. (4:13)  It would seem these are things that Paul would not have forgotten but something had interrupted his plans.  In this case it might have been his arrest and imprisonment.
    • Paul was executed by decapitation be Nero’s orders either in winter of 67 AD or in the spring of 68 AD.


    James, the Lord’s brother, is martyred in
  • Paul is in Spain

  • 64
    • Paul is in Spain
    • Second Peter from Rome
      Peter writes
    • Peter is martyred in Rome
    • Paul returns from Spain to Crete.
    • Paul leaves Titus at Crete (Titus 1:5)
    • Titus
      Paul goes to Corinth and writes Titus
      the epistle called
    • Paul spends the winter in Neapolis
      (Titus 3:12)
    Peter writes Second Peter from Rome
    Paul writes
    Titus from Corinth
    Rome is burnt; citizens believe by Nero
    Rome begins its first persecution of Christians
    Herod’s temple in Jerusalem is completed.  Began in 20 BC.
    • Paul travels through Macedonia and Asia

    • Paul probably spends time in Colosse,
      Ephesus, Miletus

    Jews revolt against Rome in Judea; led by the Zealots who drive Rome from Jerusalem
    • Paul leaves Asia for Macedonia but is
      arrested in Troas and taken to Rome
    • Second Timothy
      While in prison in Rome Paul writes to
      Timothy in Ephesus the letter
    • Paul is possibly executed by Nero
      in the fall or in the spring of 68
    Paul writes Second Timothy from Roman Prison
    Rome is at war with Judea
    Galilee is conquered 37,000 Jews taken to stadium in Tiberias
    Nero enters Olympics and is declared the winner in every event he enters
    • Paul is executed by Nero on the Ostian Way
      or the road from Rome to Ostia.
    • The book of Hebrews is written by an
      unknown author.
    The book of Hebrews is written by an unknown author from an unknown location. (Possibly Barnabus or Apollos from Corinth or Ephesus)
    Essenes hide their scrolls in caves near Dead Sea to save them from the Romans
    Nero commits suicide
    Galba is emperor
    • (35-110) becomes bishop in
      Antioch, Syria.  Knew Peter and Paul.

    Otho and Vitellius are emperors
    General Vespasian proclaimed emperor
    • July 1, Titus assaults Jerusalem’s walls
      battering rams
    • August 8, Fort Antonia is destroyed
    • August 29, Rome’s 10th Legion burns the
      temple in Jerusalem after a
      nine-month siege of the city
    • Josephus records that Rome took 50 tons
      of gold and silver from Jerusalem

    Titus conquerors Jerusalem
    • Emperor Vespasian and his son General
      Titus enter Rome and parade through
      the streets with the plundered treasure
      from Jerusalem.
    • The Jerusalem gold is used to finance the
      building of the Colosseum in Rome.  The
      Colosseum will open in 80 AD



    Masada Falls to Rome
    • (69-155) is bishop of the church
      in Smyrna.
    John writes the gospel of John in Ephesus
    John writes
    1, 2, 3 John in Ephesus

    • (30?-100) is bishop of the church in
    • Clement worked along side of Paul
      around 57-62 AD (Phil.4:3)

    • John sent to the Isle of Patmos by Emperor

    • John on the Isle of Patmos
    • (60-135) is bishop of Hierapolis in Asia

    • John receives the book of Revelation while
      on the Isle of Patmos and sends it to the
      seven churches of Asia
    • Domitian dies and the new emperor, Nerva,
      releases Domitian’s political enemies
    • John is released from Patmos and returns
      to Ephesus


    John writes Revelation on Patmos
    On September 18, 96 AD Domitian is assassinated by his political enemies in the senate. Nerva is emperor

    • First Clement
      Clement, bishop of Rome, writes an epistle to
      the church of Corinth,

    • The last apostle of Jesus, John, dies of
      natural causes in Ephesus

    Tajan is emperor from Jan.28, 98 - Aug. 9, 117

    Book Seven Churches in Asia

    75. Book of Acts - Paul in Athens, Corinth; Letters to Thessalonica

    Book of Acts - Paul in Athens, Corinth; Letters to Thessalonica
    Lessons 74-78 refer to notes from Lesson 74.

    76. Book of Acts - Paul in Corinth and Ephesus (Acts 18-19)

    Book of Acts - Paul in Corinth and Ephesus (Acts 18-19)
    Lessons 74-78 refer to notes from Lesson 74.

    77. Book of Acts - Paul Goes to Jerusalem (Acts 20-23)

    Book of Acts - Paul Goes to Jerusalem (Acts 20-23)
    Lessons 74-78 refer to notes from Lesson 74.

    78. Book of Acts - Paul's Court Case and Journey to Rome (Acts 23-28)

    Book of Acts - Paul's Court Case and Journey to Rome (Acts 23-28)
    Lessons 74-78 refer to notes from Lesson 74.