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 Eight

Vs. 1-8

The line has been drawn on Jerusalem. The nation has officially rejected God's pleading with His own people. John the Baptist, Jesus and now Stephen head the list of murders for the "sake of" the Law and Moses and God.

The mention of Saul (Acts 7:58) is certainly not accidental. It introduces the central character of chapters 13-28. He is called Saul 16 times from Acts 7:58-13:7. Paul was a Jew from Benjamin (Phil. 3:5) yet he was a Roman citizen from Tarsus of Cilicia (Acts 22:3; 16:37). He was a Pharisee (Phil. 3:5) taught by Gamaliel (Acts 22:3; Acts 5:34).

Following the stoning of Stephen, there is a great persecution in Jerusalem. Through this God accomplishes phases two and three of His plan of evangelization (Acts 1:8). The apostles themselves stay to hear the brunt of the attack. God uses persecution to spread His Word.

Paul is a real militant (vs. 3). (Acts 22:19; 26:11; 1 Tim. 1:13). Haling (vs. 3) = hauling.

Vs. 5

Philip (Acts 6:5) leaves Jerusalem and goes to Samaria to follow up a revival held there by the preacher of preachers (Jn. 4). The people were very attentive and Philip, to prove his ministry, does miracles (vs. 6) for them.

Samaritans were hostile to Judean Jews, which is obvious from (Jn. 4:1-24), the discourse of Jesus with the Samaritan woman. For background for this see: (Num. 13,14; Josh. 24; 2 Kings 17:24-30).

Philip brings with him the apostolic signs of Moses (Ex. 4:1-9) so "there was great joy in that city." The word "preaching" occurs seven times in the chapter and the content of the preaching is "the Word" (vs. 4), "Christ" (vs. 5), "the things concerning the Kingdom of God" (vs. 12), "the word of the Lord" (vs. 25) and "the gospel" (vs. 25) plus "Jesus" (vs. 35), and the combination of these elements (vs. 40).

Vs. 7

Exorcism and healings - The result was a great revival.

Vs. 9-24

Simon the Sorcerer

Vs. 9,10,11

Simon was no penny ante carnival huckster. He was a wizard. He had power in the supernatural realm, "the least to the greatest" gave heed. Philip appeared to many to be Simon's competitor.

Vs. 12

The Samaritans believed and were baptized (vs. 12) according to (Mk. 16:16). Simon is included in this group of converts (vs. 13). However! The "gift of the Holy Ghost" which came upon the baptismal candidates of (Acts 2:38) does not show up here (vs. 15,16). There has been a transitional shift between (Acts 2 & 8); The events of (Acts 7) have changed-the whole setup, and the signs and miracles which Philip is performing here (vs. 13) cease from Jerusalem forever.

Vs. 14

Peter and John are sent to Samaria as instruments through which the Holy Spirit can be given (vs. 17). This has led many people to assume that the Holy Spirit is received by the laying on of hands. However, this overlooks the fact that the Holy Spirit was given WITHOUT the laying on of hands in (Acts 2 & 10). It also overlooks the fact that there is no "initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost" anywhere in (Acts 8), because no one in (Acts 8) speaks in tongues - baptized or unbaptized.

Vs. 17

What is the explanation for the "laying on of hands?" Jesus Christ didn't have to lay hands on the apostles to get them to receive the Holy Ghost (Jn. 20:22). Yet Ananias lay hands on Paul and Peter and John lay hands on the Samaritans.

NOTE: The apostles have found out nothing regarding a change in commission (Acts 1:8), and nothing has been revealed to them other than (Eze. 37:15-19, Isa. 2,11), etc. They are still obeying (Acts 1:8) and to all purposes they are headed for Samaria after Judea. The Samaritans are half-breeds who rebelled against the authority of Jerusalem by building a rival temple on Mt. Gerizim (Jn. 4:20). To reinforce the ancient authority of Jerusalem as the capitol of Palestine and the Ten Tribes (Deut. 14:23 and 1 Chron. 22:1), the Lord withholds the Holy Spirit from the Samaritans until His coming is connected with, the apostolic authority from Jerusalem. This also explains Paul's peculiar action in (Acts 19:1-6) in dealing with converts who had come part way through (Matt. 3 - Acts 8) without the revelation of (Acts 10:45 or Acts 15:11).

Vs. 18

"The Holy Ghost was given ..." to the Samaritans by the laying on of hands, and this is not the gift of (Acts 2:38), nor the outpouring of (Acts 10), nor the baptism of (1 Cor. 12:13). To make them all the same is to blatantly disregard the WORD OF GOD.

Vs. 19

Simon requests apostolic authority and is denied it. Simon "is saved" in the sense that any Samaritan was saved at this time (vs. 18), and in this condition he had no "part nor lot" in the matter. His heart was "not right in the sight of God," for he was in wickedness (vs. 22), bitterness (vs. 23), iniquity (vs. 23) and about to "perish" (vs. 20). If the Holy Spirit was indwelling Simon - he was like a Christian in the condition of (Rom. 8:13 or 1 Cor. 5:5).

Vs. 24

Simon asks for Prayer, as Jeroboam did that (1 Kings 13:6), and we are to presume everything worked out alright.

Vs. 26,27

Philip's instantaneous obedience reminds us of (1 Kings 17:9) where another "evangelist" was told to do something that hardly made any sense. But a spirit-filled servant goes where he is sent (vs. 27), does what he is told to do (vs. 29), says what he is supposed to say (vs. 35), and returns rejoicing (vs. 39), bringing his sheaves with him.

The Eunuch (Matt. 19:12) is an Ethiopian and he had great authority (vs. 27) in the imperial palace of the Queen of Ethiopia. Undoubtedly he had brought some of the "treasure" with him for an offering to the Lord (Jn. 12:3), exactly as the Queen of Sheba had done many years before (1 Kings, 10).

Vs. 28-31

On the Lord's orders (vs. 29) Philip runs to get to the "prospect." "Understand thou what thou readest?" (vs. 30) There is no way to understand any "prophecy of scripture" (2 Pet. 1:20) without the Holy Spirit opening the eyes of the understanding (Lk. 24:45)? " A Bible teacher can "guide" (vs. 31), but it is the Holy Spirit who teaches all things (I Jn. 2:27) and will guide you into all truth On. 16:13).

Vs. 32-33

The Context is the blood atonement of God's servant for sinners (Isa. 53:2,3,4,5,6,10,11,12), and this blood atonement is pictured as the slaughter of a sacrificial lamb (Isa. 53:6,7).

Vs. 34-35

Philip and Paul are the first to "declare his generation" (Isa. 53-:8) for his generation deals with his SEED! (Isa. 53:10; Ps. 22:30,31) The seed is promulgated through the new birth (I Pet. 1:23). -Right here Philip's eyes are opened to something that the Apostles had not noticed up to this point.

If they had noticed it, Peter would never have worded Acts 3:19 the way it is found. Philip stumbles on to justification by imputed righteousness! Look at (Isa. 53:11,12). In the text the Ethiopian is a Gentile (like you), saved by grace (like you) through faith in the Word (like you) which lead him to put his faith in the blood atonement of Jesus Christ (like you); no "tongues" followed his conversion and no laying on of hands was necessary and his belief was from the heart, not the head.

NOTE: The first man saved EXACTLY as any man was saved after (Acts 15:11) (exception in 19:6) was a Negro, for the "Bride" of Solomon was "Black, by comely, 0 ye daughters of Jerusalem" (Song of Solomon 1:5) exactly as Joseph's bride was an Egyptian! Joseph is a type of Christ in only 150 plus ways.

Vs. 36-37

"...with all thine heart..." is the proper demand for a man who wants to be baptized. Philip is already familiar with the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:31, 4:33) and the Lordship of Christ (Acts 2:36, 5:31) so when the Eunuch believes, he has to believe on a risen Savior who "died for our sins-according to the Scriptures and was buried, and rose the third day from the dead according to the scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:1-6). Acts 8:37 is missing from the latest, newest, greatest, better than best "Bibles"; the N.I.V. and N.A.S.V. Someone doesn't want you to know that the biblical prerequisite for scriptural baptism is believing with all your heart.

Vs. 38-40

"they went down both into the water" should be self explanatory, unless of course, you are a Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, etc. Perhaps some folks just don't read? Baptism cannot picture the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (Rom. 6:1-4) without a burial. Do you bury a man by standing him up against a tree and throwing dirt at him?

"The Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip..." exactly as in (Eze. 11:1 and 2 Kings 2:16). Azotus was halfway between Joppa and Gaza, so Philip preaches in Lydda and Joppa on his way home to Caesarea.

CONCLUSION: Having saved Ham in (Ch. 8), the Holy Spirit prepares to save Shem in (Ch. 9), before saving Japheth in (Ch. 10). God is through with Jerusalem in (Acts 7). He reveals the N.T. "plan of salvation" in (Acts 8). He calls the Apostle of the Gentiles out in (Acts 9); He then opens the door of faith to the Gentiles in (Acts 10, and from (Acts 13) on it is heart belief (Acts 13:39) that obtains justification Without works.

-Page Navigation-

Chapters: 1 | 1 Cont. | 2 | 2 Cont. | 2:38 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11
12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28