Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


The Acts of The Apostles

Acts was taught by Dr. James Modlish


Chapter Thirteen

Paul's first missionary journey is covered in chapters (13 - 14). To this point much time has been spent on dispensationally understanding many of the scriptures we have faced. Things really begin to roll as the Judean evangelists are left behind as the great missionary work done in Greece, Cyprus, Asia Minor and Rome unfolds.

Vs. 1-13

The center of Paul's missionary journeys is Antioch of Syria. Prophets and teachers are present in the local church (Eph. 4:11,12)

Vs. 2

"They ministered unto the Lord." Jesus said he came not to be ministered unto, but here, after the Ascension, it is taking place. The wording is important because it shows that the first duty of the child of God is obeying the 1st Commandment (Rom. 13:8-10), not the 2nd. When we minister to Him, He enables us to minister to others.

Simeon could be Simon of (Mk. 15:21).

Lucius could be Luke, the author, but is improbable (Acts 16:10). If Lucius were the author, a Gentile would be the author of Luke and Acts which would be inconsistent with the other 64 books (Rom. 3:2).

Manaen was the foster brother of Herod the Tetrarch (distinguishable from the King). He was the son of Herod the Great.

"They fasted" carried over from the Old Testament (Zech. 7:5) and goes right through the book of Acts (2 Cor. 6-5; Matt. 17:21). Fasting denies the flesh and helps get prayers answered.

The missionaries are called by the Holy Ghost, equipped by the Holy Ghost and sent forth (vs. 4) from a local church by the Holy Ghost.

Separated from (Gal. 6:14) .... and to (Rom. 1:1)

The pattern for missions is established. Missionaries are sent from the local church and ordained by the local church (vs. 3). The work of foreign missions (away from the local church) is a special calling.

Vs. 3

"Laid their hands on them" (Num. 27:23).

Vs. 4-13

Paul and Barnabas set out traveling from East to West towards Barnabas' homeland, Seleucia. Remember Acts 9:27, it was Barnabas who testified to the Apostles on behalf of Saul.

Paul and Barnabas then head for Salamis the capitol of Cyprus. They preach the Word and cross the island to Paphos where they met the Jewish false prophet, Bar-Jesus. Bar-Jesus is a picture of Israel (vs. 11) blind for a season. (Rom. 11:7; 1 Thess. 2:14-18) Elymas Bar-Jesus is another example of the false spiritual activity going on in the early days of the church (Acts 8:9 and 19:14).

Serigus Paulus (vs. 7) according to records was the proconsul of Cyprus. His name is found on two inscriptions dated 51 or 52 A.D.

Vs. 8

The sorcerer tries to discourage Paulus from hearing the word of God.

Vs. 9

No explanation is given biblically for the use of two names, Saul and Paul. Dr. Ruckman suggests that the name Paul was given to him at birth as a complement to his free citizenry (Acts 22:25); however it seems no one uses the name until he begins to exercise his gifts in the Gentile ministry.

Vs. 10

"child of the devil" (Jn. 8:44)

Vs. 11

Paul blinds Elymas to prove his power and authority before Paulus. Paulus is converted (2 Cor. 13:2,3; 10:1,2)

Vs. 13

They then sail from Paphos to Perga in Pamphylia and for some reason John Mark gets cold feet (Acts 15: 37-39; 2 Cor. 11:23-27) An awful lot happens between (Acts 9-28) that is generally recorded in Second Corinthians but not specifically in Acts. The going probably got too rough for John Mark and he headed for home.

Vs. 14-25

The apostles depart from Perga and go to Antioch of Pisidia where they attend services at the local synagogue on the Sabbath. The Seventh Day Adventists use this as proof that the Sabbath day still should be observed (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-3). They fail to realize that Paul is merely taking advantage of the occasion. The service is an orthodox Sabbath service "reading the law and the prophets" and Paul as a Pharisee has an opportunity to speak. Paul begins to preach in the "tradition" of Stephen. Notice the similarity between the two messages. The men of Israel are addressed. Paul is an apostle to the Gentiles but always takes advantage of an opportunity to present Jesus Christ.

A contradiction seems to arise when Paul lays down the chronology of the Old Testament in years. By comparing (1 Kings 6:1) and this account, there is a discrepancy of 93 years.

(Ps. 90:12) says, "Teach us to number our days." We see that God counts only good time. During the times of the Judges the Jews were delivered to the heathen tribes. God does not count this time in this chronology and the lost 93 years can be found in (Judg. 3:8, 3:14; 4:3; 6:1; 13:1). (Judg. 10:8) (18 years) is not counted for it was only the tribes on the other side of Jordan that were affected. Word of mouth had to be a very prominent way of communicating the gospel for there were at this time no scriptures written concerning the events of the previous few years.

Section 2


Vs. 25

(Jn. 1:20-27)

Vs. 26

Jewish proselytes are again recognized (vs. 16).

Vs. 27

"They knew him not." (Jn. 1:10-12; 1 Cor. 2:8) If the Jews would have known and believed their Old Testaments, they would have accepted Jesus as the Messiah.

Vs. 28

Guiltless death.

Vs. 29

Scriptures all were fulfilled.

Vs. 30

He rose from the dead.

Vs. 31

He was seen physically (1 Cor. 15:6) by more than 500 eye witnesses.

Vs. 32

The "promise" referred to is the Resurrection (Acts 24:14, 15; Eze. 37; Acts 17:31; 26:23.)

Vs. 33

There is much confusion as to the doctrinal reference of (Ps. 2:7). Some believe this is a reference to Christ being "begotten in eternity. Whatever that means. Some believe it is the Resurrection that is the begetting. If this were true, the new birth would be future. Hyper-Dispensationalists believe this refers to a Jewish national phenomenon promised to the Nation of Israel. It can only be a reference to the birth of Jesus physically (Rom. 1:1-4; Heb. 1:5,6; 5:5.)

Vs. 34

"Sure mercies of David" - (Isa. 55.:3) The eternal and temporal promises will be fulfilled literally to Israel. "Sure" - sure word of prophecy. (2 Peter 1:19; 2 Sam. 7:1-12; Ps. 89:20-30)

Vs. 38-43

Here is salvation by grace through faith plus nothing. A sinner can have forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ, not baptism! (1 Cor. 4:15). The context - everlasting life (vs. 46), salvation (vs. 47).

Vs. 39

(Acts 4:12; Col. 1:14; Eph. 1:7; Rom. 5:1; Jn. 1:17; Rom. 3:25) Justification is through Jesus Christ alone. Abraham was justified by his own works - (Ja. 2:19-24). Abraham was declared righteous by believing (Gen. 15:4-6) and justified by his works (Gen. 22:6). (See Gal. 3:6; Rom. 4:4,5,9; Heb. 11:17-19) We are justified by Jesus Christ's works!

Vs. 41

(Hab. 1:5)

Vs. 42

The Gentiles receive the word of God gladly and ask for a repeat performance the next Sabbath day. Many Jews and proselytes are receptive also.

Vs. 43

"Continue in the grace of God" - often used to show that salvation can be lost by not continuing - by not continuing you are "fallen from grace", (Gal. 5:4), and lose your salvation, (Heb. 12:15). Study what GRACE is: (2 Cor. 8:7, 19; 8:9; 6:1; Gal. 5:4; Ez. 9:8; Eph. 2:8,9; Gen. 6:8, Jn. 1:14; Heb. 4:16; Rom. 1:5 and 12:6; 1 Peter 1:13).

Vs. 44-52

Another one of the major turning points is found here.

[1]. Acts (7) - Jerusalem

[2]. Acts (13:47) - Asia Minor

[3]. Acts (18:6) - European Mainland

[4]. Acts (28) - Rome

Israel more and more as this book continues falls further and further by the wayside. The Word is preached with such power that the whole city shows up for "church services." The Jews proverbial problem... envy, resurfaces. The Jews here in Asia Minor are offended and reject the Word and the apostles turn to the Gentiles (vs. 46). Envy (vs. 45) versus joy (vs. 52)

Vs. 46

(Acts 16:6) Paul is sarcastic to the Jews - seeing you fellows feel unworthy of eternal life, we'll preach to the Gentiles. (See Acts 18:6; 28:28).

Vs. 47

"Light of the Gentiles" - (Isa. 49:6, Luke 2:32)

Vs. 48

This verse is used by the Hyper Calvinists to prove that God ordain, people to get saved in the sense He chooses them to get saved against their depraved will. We should note that the word "ordain never fixes anything absolutely. (Lk. 7:8; Rom. 13:1; Acts 28:23, Matt. 28:16; 1 Cor. 9:14; 7:17) Paul ordained some things and that no more meant they were absolutely fixed to come to pass than if he hadn't used the word. (Rom. 13:1) The meaning is obviously that as many as were disposed to believe the message, believed.

(Rom. 2:7) - God doesn't ordain any Gentile to eternal life until he has followed his conscience and is willing to hear the Word of God (vs. 42,48) "ordained" something God allows to come to pass.

Vs. 50

The Jews knew how to stir up trouble. They went to the devout (self righteous) and honorable (stuffed shirts) women who in this case were the town gossips.

Vs. 51

The apostles having been expelled from the city, shake off the dust of their feet. (Lk. 9:5, Matt. 10), and keep right on going.

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