THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
Good day to you
and a warm welcome back to Daily Bread. We've got some exciting study to do,
so let's get started. I mentioned in our last story that you should remember
Saul, because he's a major part of the New Testament. He agreed to the death
of Stephen, as you probably assumed, being that he was there tending to the
garments of those who found a coat too cumbersome to wear while they were
MOVED BY THE SPIRIT STUDY ON MOVED BY THE SPIRIT STORY WITH MOVED BY THE SPIRIT MESSAGE
There was a great
persecution against the church at Jerusalem, and the disciples were all
scattered around the regions of Judea
and Samaria, except for the apostles. Devout men carried Stephen to his
burial, and grieved for him deeply, but Saul, he made havoc of the church,
disrupting every house and forcing men and women into prison. So the
disciples spread out preaching the word.
Then Philip, also
one of the seven newly appointed disciples to help with matters of the
church, went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ to them. As
you can see, the time of the Gentiles had begun. The people together
listened to Philip speak, and heard and saw the miracles that he did.
Unclean spirits, crying with loud voices came out of many that were
possessed and many who were crippled and lame were healed. There was great
joy in that city. Here again, you see evidence that not only the apostles
were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to do such things.
Now, there was a
man named Simon, who lived in Samaria, and in past times, he was a sorcerer,
and bewitched the people of the city, claiming to be someone with greatness.
The people all respected him, saying, This man is the great power of God.
But when people
heard Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the
name of Jesus Christ, they believed and both men and women were baptized.
Then, even Simon himself believed, and when he was baptized, he followed
Philip, and was amazed seeing the miracles and signs that were done.
When the apostles
at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent
Peter and John there, and they prayed that they might receive the Holy
Ghost. (The Holy Ghost had still not fallen upon any of them, they were only
baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) They laid their hands on them, and
they received the Holy Ghost! So, by this, it's clear that baptism, and
receiving the Holy Spirit are two different things.
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When Simon saw
that through laying on of the apostles' hands, the Holy Ghost was given, he
offered them money, saying, Give me this power too, so that whoever I lay
hands on, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
Your eyebrow is
lifted, I can tell. And Peter felt the same way. Peter said to him, Your
money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God can be
bought with money. You have no part in this matter, your heart isn't right
in the eyes of God. Repent of your wickedness, and pray that the thought of
your heart may be forgiven you. I can tell that you're full of envy and
bound by sin. Simon said, Pray to the Lord for me that none of the things
you said come upon me. (One can only hope that Simon said this in regret,
and not just for fear of punishment, which is a lesson for anyone when their
sin is shown to them.)
When they had
testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, and
preached the Gospel in many villages of the Samaritans. And the angel of the
Lord spoke to Philip, saying, Get up, and go toward the south on the way
that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert. Philip went and a
man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the
Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to
Jerusalem to worship. He was returning to Ethiopia, and sitting in his
chariot reading Isaiah the prophet.
MOVED BY THE SPIRIT INFORMATION WITH MOVED BY THE SPIRIT MEANING
Then the Spirit
said to Philip, Go near, and join this chariot. And Philip ran there to him,
and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, Do you understand what
you're reading? And he said, How can I, unless someone guides me? And he
asked Philip to explain it to him. The place of the scripture which he read
He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
and like a lamb dumb before His shearer,
so opened He not His mouth:
In His humiliation His judgment was taken away: and who shall declare His generation?
for His life is taken from the earth.
And the eunuch answered
Philip, and said, I ask you, Who is the prophet talking about, of himself,
or of some other man? Then Philip began at the same scripture, and taught
him about Jesus.
As they went on
their way, they came to some water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water;
may I be baptized? Philip said, If thou believe with all your heart, thou
may. He answered, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He
commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the
water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they came
up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, and the
eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was
found at Azotus, (some 20 miles north along the Great Sea coast) and passing
through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.
Quite interesting to find out that the Spirit actually took Philip, and put
him in a different place!
Well, we've seen
that the early Christian disciples had very diverse experiences in their
walk with Christ. Next in our study, we'll find out about a conversion that
changed the world. You surely won't want to miss the next, Daily Bread!