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30 October - 2 Chronicles 28; Daniel 8; Acts 8


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Posted 30 October 2007 - 08:55 AM

First Portion

2 Chronicles 28


28:1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and he didn’t do that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, like David his father; 28:2 but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for the Baals. 28:3 Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel. 28:4 He sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree. 28:5 Therefore Yahweh his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they struck him, and carried away of his a great multitude of captives, and brought them to Damascus. He was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with a great slaughter. 28:6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed in Judah one hundred twenty thousand in one day, all of them valiant men; because they had forsaken Yahweh, the God of their fathers. 28:7 Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, and Azrikam the ruler of the house, and Elkanah who was next to the king. 28:8 The children of Israel carried away captive of their brothers two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria. 28:9 But a prophet of Yahweh was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria, and said to them, “Behold, because Yahweh, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, he has delivered them into your hand, and you have slain them in a rage which has reached up to heaven. 28:10 Now you purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondservants and bondmaids for yourselves. Aren’t there even with you trespasses of your own against Yahweh your God? 28:11 Now hear me therefore, and send back the captives, that you have taken captive from your brothers; for the fierce wrath of Yahweh is on you.” 28:12 Then some of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who came from the war, 28:13 and said to them, “You shall not bring in the captives here: for you purpose that which will bring on us a trespass against Yahweh, to add to our sins and to our trespass; for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.”

28:14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the assembly. 28:15 The men who have been mentioned by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all who were naked among them, dressed them, gave them sandals, and gave them something to eat and to drink, anointed them, carried all the feeble of them on donkeys, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brothers. Then they returned to Samaria. 28:16 At that time king Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria to help him. 28:17 For again the Edomites had come and struck Judah, and carried away captives. 28:18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the lowland, and of the South of Judah, and had taken Beth Shemesh, and Aijalon, and Gederoth, and Soco with its towns, and Timnah with its towns, Gimzo also and its towns: and they lived there. 28:19 For Yahweh brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he had dealt wantonly in Judah, and trespassed severely against Yahweh. 28:20 Tilgath Pilneser king of Assyria came to him, and distressed him, but didn’t strengthen him. 28:21 For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of Yahweh, and out of the house of the king and of the princes, and gave it to the king of Assyria: but it didn’t help him. 28:22 In the time of his distress, he trespassed yet more against Yahweh, this same king Ahaz. 28:23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, which struck him; and he said, “Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, so I will sacrifice to them, that they may help me.” But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. 28:24 Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of Yahweh; and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem. 28:25 In every city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked to anger Yahweh, the God of his fathers. 28:26 Now the rest of his acts, and all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 28:27 Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem; for they didn’t bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 08:56 AM

Second Portion

Daniel 8


8:1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, even to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first. 8:2 I saw in the vision; now it was so, that when I saw, I was in the citadel of Susa, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision, and I was by the river Ulai. 8:3 Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. 8:4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; and no animals could stand before him, neither was there any who could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and magnified himself. 8:5 As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west over the surface of the whole earth, and didn’t touch the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. 8:6 He came to the ram that had the two horns, which I saw standing before the river, and ran on him in the fury of his power. 8:7 I saw him come close to the ram, and he was moved with anger against him, and struck the ram, and broke his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to stand before him; but he cast him down to the ground, and trampled on him; and there was none who could deliver the ram out of his hand. 8:8 The male goat magnified himself exceedingly: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and instead of it there came up four notable horns toward the four winds of the sky. 8:9 Out of one of them came forth a little horn, which grew exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the glorious land. 8:10 It grew great, even to the army of the sky; and some of the army and of the stars it cast down to the ground, and trampled on them. 8:11 Yes, it magnified itself, even to the prince of the army; and it took away from him the continual burnt offering, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. 8:12 The army was given over to it together with the continual burnt offering through disobedience; and it cast down truth to the ground, and it did its pleasure and prospered. 8:13 Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who spoke, How long shall be the vision concerning the continual burnt offering, and the disobedience that makes desolate, to give both the sanctuary and the army to be trodden under foot? 8:14 He said to me, To two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. 8:15 It happened, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, that I sought to understand it; and behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. 8:16 I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 8:17 So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was frightened, and fell on my face: but he said to me, Understand, son of man; for the vision belongs to the time of the end. 8:18 Now as he was speaking with me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and set me upright. 8:19 He said, Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the latter time of the indignation; for it belongs to the appointed time of the end. 8:20 The ram which you saw, that had the two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia. 8:21 The rough male goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 8:22 As for that which was broken, in the place where four stood up, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not with his power. 8:23 In the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have come to the full, a king of fierce face, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 8:24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and do his pleasure; and he shall destroy the mighty ones and the holy people. 8:25 Through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and in their security shall he destroy many: he shall also stand up against the prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. 8:26 The vision of the evenings and mornings which has been told is true: but seal up the vision; for it belongs to many days to come. 8:27 I, Daniel, fainted, and was sick certain days; then I rose up, and did the king’s business: and I wondered at the vision, but none understood it.

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 08:59 AM

Third Portion

Acts 8


8:1 Saul was consenting to his death. A great persecution arose against the assembly which was in Jerusalem in that day. They were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles. 8:2 Devout men buried Stephen, and lamented greatly over him. 8:3 But Saul ravaged the assembly, entering into every house, and dragged both men and women off to prison. 8:4 Therefore those who were scattered abroad went around preaching the word. 8:5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ. 8:6 The multitudes listened with one accord to the things that were spoken by Philip, when they heard and saw the signs which he did. 8:7 For unclean spirits came out of many of those who had them. They came out, crying with a loud voice. Many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. 8:8 There was great joy in that city.

8:9 But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who used to practice sorcery in the city, and amazed the people of Samaria, making himself out to be some great one, 8:10 to whom they all listened, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is that great power of God.” 8:11 They listened to him, because for a long time he had amazed them with his sorceries. 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching good news concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 8:13 Simon himself also believed. Being baptized, he continued with Philip. Seeing signs and great miracles occurring, he was amazed.

8:14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 8:15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit; 8:16 for as yet he had fallen on none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of Christ Jesus. 8:17 Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 8:18 Now when Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 8:19 saying, “Give me also this power, that whomever I lay my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” 8:20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 8:21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart isn’t right before God. 8:22 Repent therefore of this, your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 8:23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.”

8:24 Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that none of the things which you have spoken happen to me.”

8:25 They therefore, when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the Good News to many villages of the Samaritans. 8:26 But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise, and go toward the south to the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is a desert.”

8:27 He arose and went; and behold, there was a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, who had come to Jerusalem to worship. 8:28 He was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah.

8:29 The Spirit said to Philip, “Go near, and join yourself to this chariot.”

8:30 Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

8:31 He said, “How can I, unless someone explains it to me?” He begged Philip to come up and sit with him. 8:32 Now the passage of the Scripture which he was reading was this,

“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter.
As a lamb before his shearer is silent,
so he doesn’t open his mouth.
8:33 In his humiliation, his judgment was taken away.
Who will declare His generation?
For his life is taken from the earth.”

8:34 The eunuch answered Philip, “Who is the prophet talking about? About himself, or about someone else?”

8:35 Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture, preached to him Jesus. 8:36 As they went on the way, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Behold, here is water. What is keeping me from being baptized?”

8:37 [TR adds] “Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ He answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’”
8:38 He commanded the chariot to stand still, and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.

8:39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, and the eunuch didn’t see him any more, for he went on his way rejoicing. 8:40 But Philip was found at Azotus. Passing through, he preached the Good News to all the cities, until he came to Caesarea.

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 10:37 AM

30 October 2008

2 Chronicles 28
Daniel 8
Acts 8

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 10:16 AM

30 October 2009

2 Chronicles 28
Daniel 8
Acts 8

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 01:35 PM

30 October 2010

2 Chronicles 28
Daniel 8
Acts 8

RECEIVING THE WORD OF GOD

We recall how, in the Gospels, Jesus often went through Samaria in travelling from Jerusalem to Galilee and back. On several occasions he had encounters with the Samaritans. On occasions Jesus spent time with the Samaritans. We read earlier this month of an occasion when he heeded their request to stay and teach them and, as a result, some said, “we know that this is indeed the saviour of the world.” [John 4:42] So we can see that the Samarians were ready for the Gospel harvest. Jesus commissioned his disciples as he was about to ascend to heaven that they were be to “be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:8] Only today, is the message really reaching “the end of the earth”

They were at first slow to carry out his commission. Preaching was concentrated on Jerusalem until Stephen was killed, but, as we read today in Acts 8, after “his execution … they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” [Acts 8:1] Philip made a particular effort to preach in Samaria [Acts 8:5] “and the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said … and saw the signs that he did … so there was much joy … ” [Acts 8:6,8]

“When they believed Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God, they were baptised … now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God they sent to them Peter and John” [Acts 8:12,14].

This is a key word – receive, received, that we will encounter in the book of Acts and apostolic writings. Acts 11 starts, “Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.” [Acts 11:1]. The point is; it is one thing to read and to hear about the message of the Kingdom and of Christ’s is return to establish it – but the vital thing is whether that message is received into the heart and mind.

Look up the words in Acts 17:11 as a special example. If you “receive” a message it becomes part of your thinking and motivates the person into action. Have you “received” the word of God – or only just know about it? To find it interesting is only a stepping stone – the journey to conviction has to be completed.
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Posted 30 October 2011 - 12:15 PM

30 October 2011

2 Chronicles 28
Daniel 8
Acts 8

“… HAD RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD”

We recall how Jesus often went through Samaria in travelling from Jerusalem to Galilee and back. On several occasions he spent time with the people there. We had some thoughts a couple of weeks ago of the occasion when he heeded their request to stay and teach them and, as a result, some said, “we know that this is indeed the saviour of the world.” [John 4:42] So we can see that the Samarians were ready for the Gospel harvest. Jesus commissioned his disciples as he was about to ascend to heaven that they were to “be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:8] Only today is the message really reaching “the end of the earth.”

They were at first slow to carry out his commission. Preaching was concentrated on Jerusalem until Stephen was killed, but, as we commented yesterday on Acts 8, after Stephen’s death the believers “were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” [Acts 8:1] Philip made a particular effort to preach in Samaria [Acts 8:5] “and the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said … and saw the signs that he did … so there was much joy … ” [Acts 8:6,8]

“When they believed Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God, they were baptised … now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God they sent to them Peter and John” [Acts 8:12,14].

This is a key word – receive, received, that we will encounter in the book of Acts and apostolic writings; for example when we come to Acts 11 – it starts, “Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.” [Acts 11:1]. The point is; it is one thing to read and to hear about the message of the Kingdom and of Christ’s return to establish it – but it is another to receive it into our heart and mind.

Look up the words in Acts 17:11 as a special example. If you “receive” a message it becomes part of your thinking and motivates you into action. Have you “received” the word of God – or only just know about it? To find it interesting is only a stepping stone – the journey to conviction has to be completed and it is a fascinating, exciting and totally rewarding journey.
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:59 AM

30 October 2012

2 Chronicles 28
Daniel 8
Acts 8

"THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD"

We recall how, in the Gospels, Jesus often went through Samaria in travelling from Jerusalem to Galilee and back. On several occasions he had encounters with the Samaritans. On occasions Jesus spent time with the Samaritans. We read earlier this month of an occasion when he heeded their request to stay and teach them and, as a result, some said, “we know that this is indeed the saviour of the world.” [John 4:42] So we can see that the Samarians were ready for the Gospel harvest. Jesus commissioned his disciples as he was about to ascend to heaven that they were be to “be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:8] Only today, is the message really reaching “the end of the earth”

They were at first slow to carry out his commission. Preaching was concentrated on Jerusalem until Stephen was killed, but, as we read today in Acts 8, after “his execution … they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” [Acts 8:1] Philip made a particular effort to preach in Samaria [Acts 8:5] “and the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said … and saw the signs that he did … so there was much joy … ” [Acts 8:6,8]

“When they believed Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God, they were baptised … now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God they sent to them Peter and John” [Acts 8:12,14].

This is a key word – receive, received, that we will encounter in the book of Acts and apostolic writings. Acts 11 starts, “Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.” [Acts 11:1]. The point is; it is one thing to read and to hear about the message of the Kingdom and of Christ’s is return to establish it – but the vital thing is whether that message is received into the heart and mind.

Look up the words in Acts 17:11 as a special example. If you “receive” a message it becomes part of your thinking and motivates the person into action. Have you “received” the word of God – or only just know about it? To find it interesting is only a stepping stone – the journey to conviction has to be completed.
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Posted 30 October 2013 - 10:12 AM

30 October 2013

2 Chronicles 28
Daniel 8
Acts 8

“WHEN THEY BELIEVED … THEY WERE BAPTISED”

The enemies of the gospel thought they had had a great victory when they stoned Stephen to death; but when we assess what happened as a result, it was a great victory for the spread of the Gospel. We can see this as we take an overview of today’s 8th chapter of Acts.

We recall the 1st chapter , the words of Jesus to his disciples just before he ascended to heaven, he told them, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem …” [Acts 1:8] But he said much more than that “… and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

They had not done this, the community in Jerusalem had grown larger and larger – it’s very size creating difficulties that needed to be solved as we read in Acts 6:1-4. When we take an overview of the events we read of today we cannot help but see God at work. In one sense the stoning of Stephen was a tragedy, in another, it provoked a flood of activity in starting to carry out the final words of Jesus, for Saul (soon to become Paul), emboldened by the death of Stephen, became the leader of “a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” [Acts 8:1]

Saul “was ravaging the church, entering house after house, he dragged off men and women …” [Acts 8:3] But “those who were scattered went about preaching the word” [Acts 8:4]

The first area to benefit was Samaria. Philip played a leading role in this, “… when they believed Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ they were baptised…” [Acts 8:12]

Later, under the guidance of the Spirit, Philip was caused to join an Ethiopian who was returning from worshipping at Jerusalem [Acts 8:27] and teach him how to understand Isaiah’s prophecy (in Isaiah 53) about the Messiah. When they eventually “came to some water” [Acts 8:36] he asked to be baptised, and after confessing his belief “they both went down into the water” [Acts 8:38] and Philip baptised him.

It is clear baptism involved going down into water – and being plunged under the water as a symbol of the death and resurrection of Jesus, Paul stresses this in Romans 6:3-5. The concept of ‘christening’ was invented centuries later by the R C church, God’s word knows nothing of this, it is a human invention. The final chapter in the Bible is a warning against “anyone (who) adds to the words of … this book” [Revelation 22:18-19] Let us faithfully follow God’s word – recognizing that a central feature is the teaching of “the kingdom of God.”
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Posted 30 October 2014 - 12:36 PM

30 October 2014
 
2 Chronicles 28
Daniel 8
Acts 8  
 
“HAD RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD”
                                                                                                                     
We recall how, in the Gospels, Jesus often went through Samaria in travelling from Jerusalem to Galilee and back. On several occasions he had encounters with the Samaritans.  On occasions Jesus spent time with the Samaritans.  We read earlier this month of an occasion when he heeded their request to stay and teach them and, as a result, some said, “we know that this is indeed the saviour of the world.” [John 4:42]  So we can see that the Samarians were ready for the Gospel harvest. Jesus commissioned his disciples as he was about to ascend to heaven that they were to “be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:8]    
 
They were at first slow to carry out his commission. Preaching was concentrated on Jerusalem until Stephen was killed, but, as we read today in Acts 8, after “his execution … they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” [Acts 8:1]  Philip made a particular effort to preach in Samaria [Acts 8:5] “and the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said … and saw the signs that he did … so there was much joy …” [Acts 8:6,8] 
 
“When they believed Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God, they were baptised … now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God they sent to them Peter and John” [Acts 8:12,14].  And for us,  only in our generation, has the message really reached “the end of the earth”
 
This is a key word – receive, received, that we will encounter in the book of Acts and apostolic writings.  Acts11 starts, “Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.” [Acts 11:1].When they believed what Philip preached, “they were baptised, both men and women.” The point that we must realise is; it is one thing to read and to hear about the message of the Kingdom and that Christ’s is to return to establish it – but the vital thing is whether that message is received into the heart and mind.  
 
To find God’s word interesting is a major stepping stone in these godless days – but the journey to conviction has 
 
to be completed, and then your journey into the kingdom is assured, reading God’s word daily to maintain and build up your conviction is essential “because the days are evil.” [Ephesians 5:16]
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Posted 30 October 2015 - 06:55 AM

30 October 2015
 
2 Chronicles 28
Daniel 8
Acts 8
 
“… HAD RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD”                                                                                             
 
We recall how Jesus often went through Samaria in travelling from Jerusalem to Galilee and back. On several occasions he spent time with the people there.  Remember how some said, “we know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.” [John 4:42]  So we can see that the Samarians were ready for the Gospel harvest. Jesus commissioned his disciples as he was about to ascend to heaven that they were to “be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:8] Only today is the message really reaching “the end of the earth.” 
            
The disciples were slow at first to carry out his commission. Preaching was concentrated on Jerusalem until Stephen was killed, but, after Stephen’s death the believers “were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” [Acts 8:1]  We read today how Philip made a particular effort to preach in Samaria [Acts 8:5] “and the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said … and saw the signs that he did … so there was much joy …” [Acts 8:6,8] 
           
“When they believed Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God, they were baptised … now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God they sent to them Peter and John” [Acts 8:12,14].  
            
This is a key word – receive, received, that we will encounter in the book of Acts and apostolic writings. As an example,the first verse of Acts 11 tells us, “Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.” [Acts 11:1].  The point we must recognise is that it is one thing to read and to hear about the message of the Kingdom and of Christ’s return to establish it – but it is another to receive it into our heart and mind.  
              
When we come to Acts 17 we will see a special example of this in Acts 17:11. The Jews “in Thessalonica   “received the word with all eagerness, to see if these things were so.”   A message that becomes part of your thinking - motivates you into action to examine the Scriptures daily. 
            
Have you “received” the word of God – or only just know about it? To find it interesting is only a stepping stone – the journey to conviction has to be completed and it is a fascinating, exciting and totally rewarding, it is the only journey worth taking in this ungodly world.   
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Posted 30 October 2016 - 09:24 AM

30 October 2016
 
2 Chronicles 28
Daniel 8
Acts 8
 
“RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD” 
 
The Gospels tell us Jesus often went through Samaria in travelling from Jerusalem to Galilee and back. On several occasions he had encounters with the Samaritans and on occasions spent time with them. We read earlier this month of an occasion when he heeded their request to stay and teach them and, as a result, some said, “we know that this is indeed the saviour of the world.” [John 4:42] So we can see that the Samarians were ready for the Gospel harvest.
 
Jesus commissioned his disciples as he was about to ascend to heaven that they were be to “be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:8] Only in our days, is the message really reaching “the end of the earth”
 
They were at first slow to carry out his commission. Preaching was concentrated on Jerusalem until Stephen was killed, but, as we read today in Acts 8, after “his execution … they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” [Acts 8:1] 
 
Philip made a particular effort to preach in Samaria [Acts 8:5] “and the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said … and saw the signs that he did … so there was much joy …” [Acts 8:6,8] “When they believed Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God, they were baptised … now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God they sent to them Peter and John” [Acts 8:12,14]. 
 
This is a key word –, received and receive that we will encounter in the book of Acts and apostolic writings. Acts 11 starts, “Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.” [Acts 11:1]. 
 
The point is; it is one thing to read and to hear about the message of the Kingdom and of Christ’s is return to establish it – but the vital thing is whether that message is received into the heart and mind. 
 
Look up the words in Acts 17:11 as a special example. If you “receive” a message it becomes part of your thinking and motivates the person into action. Have you “received” the word of God – or only just know about it? To find it interesting is only a stepping stone – the journey to conviction has to be completed.
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- DC


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Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:50 AM

30 October 2017
 
2 Chronicles 28
Daniel 8
Acts 8
 
"MY WITNESSES IN JERUSALEM"
 
The enemies of the gospel thought they had had a great victory when they stoned Stephen to death; but when we assess what happened as a result, it was a great victory for the spread of the Gospel. We can see this as we take an overview of today’s chapter in Acts, Acts 8.
 
We recall in Acts 1, the words of Jesus to his disciples just before he ascended to heaven, he told them, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem …” [Acts 1:8] But he said much more than that “… and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
 
They had not done this, the community in Jerusalem had grown larger and larger – it’s very size creating difficulties that needed to be solved as we read in Acts 6:1-4. When we take an overview of the events we read of today we cannot help but see God at work. In one sense the stoning of Stephen was a tragedy, in another, it provoked a flood of activity in starting to carry out the final words of Jesus, for Saul (soon to become Paul), emboldened by the death of Stephen, became the leader of “a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” [Acts 8:1]
 
Saul “was ravaging the church, entering house after house, he dragged off men and women …” [Acts 8:3] But “those who were scattered went about preaching the word” [Acts 8:4]
 
The first area to benefit was Samaria. Philip played a leading role in this, “… when they believed Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ they were baptised…” [Acts 8:12]
 
Later, under the guidance of the Spirit, Philip was caused to join an Ethiopian who was returning from worshipping at Jerusalem [Acts 8:27] and teach him how to understand Isaiah’s prophecy (in Isaiah 53) about the Messiah. When they eventually “came to some water” [Acts 8:36] he asked to be baptised, and after confessing his belief “they both went down into the water” [Acts 8:38] and Philip baptised him.
 
It is clear baptism involved going down into water – and being plunged under the water as a symbol of the death and resurrection of Jesus, Paul stresses this in Romans 6:3-5. The concept of ‘christening’ was invented centuries later by the RC church, God’s word knows nothing of this, it is a human invention. The final chapter in the Bible is a warning against “anyone (who) adds to the words of … this book” [Revelation 22:18-19] Let us faithfully follow God’s word – recognizing that a central feature is the teaching of “the kingdom of God.” 
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- DC





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