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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Herod Agrippa and Revelation 13

Before leaving Acts 12, I feel compelled to share what I believe concerning Herod Agrippa and his place in Biblical history. Most folks today who believe in Christ follow after the prophetic view that many things in the Bible have yet to be fulfilled, and this is especially so for the book of Revelation. So many Christians today try to understand who the “beast” of Revelation 13 is or what his mark might be etc. While this chapter does, indeed, have something to say to us today, it says it in the backdrop of church history within the 1st century CE. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Herod Agrippa

 

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And Herod Killed James with the Sword!

Acts 12 is a pivotal chapter. It is the last time Luke speaks of Peter except for mentioning him in chapter 15 where he defended Paul. After this, the book of Acts is all about Paul and his Gospel to the gentiles. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Herod Agrippa

 

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The Disciples Became Known as Christians

News of Peter’s visit to Cornelius (cir. 39-40 CE) must have gotten around to those scattered abroad due to the persecution that developed over Stephen’s Gospel. Many of those who fled for their lives were afraid and preached to Jews only, but the implication in Acts 11:19-20 is that upon hearing that Peter preached to the gentiles, those who fled due to the persecution took courage and developed a plan to reach out to the gentile sectors of Antioch. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in New Testament History

 

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God Repeats Himself

I find it interesting that in the space of two chapters in Acts, God has the story of Peter’s vision of the unclean animals repeated three times, twice in Acts 10 and then a third time in Acts 11. Peter received the vision of the unclean animals three times, one after the other, while God told him to kill and eat each time. Peter knew that God never contradicts himself, so he refused to partake of the animals each time it was repeated before him. In the Law God forbade the Jews to eat such animals. While Peter pondered the meaning of the vision, Jesus told him he had gentile visitors and to go with them. Peter went with his visitors, and, when he arrived at Cornelius’ home and heard about the vision Cornelius received from the Lord, Peter understood his own vision and told the story of his vision to Cornelius, his gentile host, telling him God had cleansed Cornelius and those who had gathered with him. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2011 in Acts of the Apostles

 

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Don’t Call Common What God Has Cleansed!

With the persecution against the Hellenistic believers ended and Paul sent home to Tarsus, God used this time to introduce the disciples to the idea that he had cleansed the gentiles (Acts 10). A man named Cornelius had seen a vision from God and sent for Peter who was staying at Joppa with Simon the tanner. God prepared Peter for what was about to occur by giving him a vision of unclean animals and telling him to kill and eat. It was unlawful for a kosher Jew to eat what was ceremonially unclean, so Peter understandably refused, but Jesus told Peter that he should not call common what God has cleansed. The ceremonial laws of Moses often depicted a spiritual principle. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2011 in Paul

 

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God Brings an End to the Persecution

Before I leave chapter nine of Acts, I have to stop at verse-31. Some folks think that because Paul stopped persecuting the Jewish believers that the Church of Christ had rest or peace. Notice what the Scripture says:

Acts 9:29-31 KJV And he [Saul, later known as Paul] spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. (30) Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. (31) Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. (brackets and emphasis mine) Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Acts of the Apostles

 

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Stephen’s Gospel Was Preached by Paul

Paul was involved in persecuting the church for perhaps a year or two when Jesus appeared to him on the way to Damascus and called him. It seems that Paul was instrumental in the death of Stephen (Acts 7:58-59), so it is almost like poetic justice that he should be the one who would later preach the same Gospel that got Stephen killed. The Gospel has always been Jesus crucified and risen from the dead, but what made Stephen’s Gospel different from that of Peter was to whom it was preached. Stephen preached that the Temple was not necessary and God blesses others besides the Jews. It was this same Gospel that Paul began to preach and that to the gentiles. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Gospel

 

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