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Category Archives: Paul’s 3rd missionary journey

Overview of Paul’s Journey to Jerusalem

Paul had intended to be in Jerusalem by the Passover but was prevented in doing so when a plot against his life was uncovered (Acts 20:3). His second plan was to be there by Pentecost (Acts 20:16). Obviously, he would have more time to spare on his journey than if his first plan was fruitful. Since he spent the winter months at Corinth (Acts 20:3; cp. 1Corinthians 16:6), he would have been ready to embark from there to the Province of Syria in late February or the first week in March. However, due to the plot on his life Paul spent three or four weeks journeying through Achaia and Macedonia visiting the churches there and didn’t set sail from Philippi until after the Days of Unleavened Bread (Acts 20:6). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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Paul and Believing the Holy Spirit

Awhile back I had addressed this in a blog entitled Did Paul Disobey the Holy Spirit. I haven’t changed my mind about what I said there, but I do believe I need to address certain implications that were perhaps not addressed in that blog. For example, the text says in Acts 21:4 the disciples in Tyre “said to Paul through the Spirit that he should not go up to Jerusalem.” This certainly seems like a direct command from God. Is it, and if so, why wouldn’t Paul be disobedient to the Holy Spirit by continuing on to Jerusalem? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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Wolves Shall Come in Among You

I used to wonder, at times, what it would look like if a wolf in sheep’s clothing entered my church or perhaps my denomination. Does anyone else think of these things? I think it must be important, because both Jesus and Paul and every other writer in the New Testament warn of men entering the flock of Christ in order to steal people away for themselves. If the idea weren’t worth mentioning, why would this warning be given by every writer in the New Testament, and wouldn’t it be naive to simply brush it off, saying ‘it could never happen to me’? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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Purchased by the Blood of God

Does God have blood? The Scriptures say the “life… is in the blood” (Leveticus 17:11). The actual quotation is the “life **of the flesh** is in the blood”, but Jesus tells us that God is Spirit (John 4:24), implying that God is not flesh. So, if this is an accurate conclusion, how should we understand Paul’s words – “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28 – emphasis mine)? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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Paul, Bound in the Spirit

Paul told his believing audience from Ephesus, that they would see him no more (Acts 20:25), for he was committed in his spirit to going to Jerusalem, knowing full well that trouble, perhaps even death awaited him there (Acts 20:22-24). It seems that Luke intends to show in Paul’s life an image of Jesus going to Jerusalem to be rejected and killed (cp. Luke 9:51), and just as Jesus was committed to fulfill the plan of God, so was Paul. Paul conformed himself to the pattern he saw in Jesus, even to the point of betrayal (Acts 21:20-24)! Was it an accident or was it a conspiracy conducted by false brethren (cp. Galatians 2:4; 2Corinthians 11:26)? Luke doesn’t tell us, but leaves the whole matter shrouded in mystery undaunted by our curiosity. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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Paul’s Defense before Believers

In what remains of what we know as Acts 20, Luke treats us with Paul’s final speech as a free man. Furthermore, it is his only speech in Acts that is given before only a believing audience. So, we can expect his words here to be of greater depth than what he is shown to have said before at the Athenian Areopagus in Acts 17, for example or even before the Jews of Pisidian Antioch in Acts 13. Here at Miletus, a prosperous coastal city on the eastern Aegean Sea, Paul summoned the elders of the Ephesian church (Acts 20:17), for he sailed past the port at Ephesus not wanting to delay his course to Jerusalem longer than was necessary (Acts 20:16). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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Does the Church Ever Get ‘Lucky’?

I am reminded at this point in Paul’s third recorded missionary journey of the beginning of his second. Originally, Paul had intended to evangelize Asia about six years earlier, but was drawn away by the Spirit to minister to other areas (Acts 16:6). Now, he intended to sail to Syria with an offering for the poor at Jerusalem, but, after discovering a plot against his life, Paul began a tour of the churches he had planted in Europe and Asia Minor with messages of encouragement, comfort and warning. None of these things we have in Acts 20:4-38 would have occurred had Paul been able to leave for Syria from Corinth. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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Has the Sabbath Morphed into Sunday?

Most Christians today worship on Sunday, and many of these worshipers call Sunday the Christian Sabbath. Yet, I have not found a single Scripture to support this idea. Am I saying that Christians should return to worshiping on the 7th day rather than Sunday? No—even though the reason we turned to Sunday had more to do with anti-Semitism than the truth, it is done. We do, however, need to be honest about what occurred, admit what we’ve done and move on. We are not under the Law but under Christ. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Paul and Grace

One of the things that has bothered me over the years is the conception we have concerning whom we don’t accept as Christian. Who is and who is not Christian, and how do with justify this understanding with “judge not lest you be judged” and “…and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:1-2)? Now, I have participated in this judgment, but slowly and deliberately I’ve come to realize I have no right to say who is and who is or is not one of Christ’s if that one claims him as their Savior. This includes what we have called nominal Christianity. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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Not Just Another Contender

Because Luke has the town clerk[1] say that the image of Artemis fell “out of the sky” (Acts 19:35), many scholars believe that actual stone that was worshiped as Artemis’ image could have been a fallen meteorite, and I agree that this conclusion has merit. Surprisingly, it is this very matter, which, if true, helps to calm the crowd and answer Demetrius’ charges against Paul. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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The Riot at Ephesus

From the context of Acts 19:23-29 we can be fairly certain that this riot took place in the spring cir. 55 CE, because the Feast of Artemis (Diana) was about the time of spring equinox. Note, as well, that Luke shows that Paul’s intention to leave Ephesus (Acts 19:21-22) was to fulfill the work of God and not because of a public demonstration against his work done in Ephesus over the past two years and several months (cp. Acts 19:10). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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Paul’s Collection for Jerusalem’s Poor

Luke doesn’t mention the collection Paul made for the poor at Jerusalem, but this is understandable, since Luke’s addressee is Theophilus, Annas’ son and former officiating high priest at Jerusalem, because the Annas family had been mistreating the poor, especially the priests. They had sent men to rob them of their tithes, which some depended upon for life itself. The time is cir. spring of 55 CE, and Paul planed to continue at Ephesus for awhile to preach the Gospel, but he sent Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia (Acts 19:22) to confirm the churches of Europe concerning his intention to bring an offering from them to Jerusalem. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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The Word of God Grew and Prevailed

In Acts 19:20 Luke sums up the fifth section of his thesis by saying: “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” It almost seems out of place here before the riot later in the chapter, but it isn’t. Paul’s 3rd recorded missionary journey is not yet complete, but Luke uses what is already said to sum up what turns out to be Paul’s mission to the world in the name of the Kingdom of God as a free man. A glance backward would show us that Luke sums up his entries into his thesis at the conclusion of conflicts—either within the Church (Acts 6:7; 16:5; 19:20) or in respect to the unbelieving community (Acts 9:31; 12:24; 28:30-31). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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Can Evil Be Made to Destroy Evil?

In Acts 19 Luke related a strange story about a Jewish high priest and his sons—seven in all (Acts 19:13-20). At first glance this strange story seems to place the power of God over against the power of magic, because the result of it all was many who became believers of the Gospel at Ephesus brought their own books of the curious arts, which they had used before they came to the faith, and burned everything as a testimony to their friends and family, who didn’t believe (Acts 19:18-19). However, is this really all about magic not being as powerful as the Gospel? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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The Kingdom of God in Diana’s Land

The province of Asia is now part of modern day Turkey in the Mediterranean. It was once the home of the world renowned Artemis or Diana, the great goddess of the Ephesians. For two years Paul preached at Ephesus, sending emissaries throughout the province and perhaps beyond, preaching the Kingdom of God and bringing men and women under the Lordship of Jesus (Acts 19:10). During this time aprons or handkerchiefs of Paul’s were sent to the sick and those possessed and they were healed (Acts 19:11-12)! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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