Acts 18:23 - 19:10 All In Asia Heard
It is time to depart with Paul on his third missionary journey. Are you ready? Let's put on our Hebraic thinking caps.
I want to remind you once again that to appreciate Acts more fully, we need to become participants of the times. One of the problems we have in studying this book, is in attempting to read where we are today, back into where they were then. (Hope this makes sense.)
(There are seven questions with this study. Feel free to respond to any or all the questions, or to any other part of the study.)
Ok. Let's saddle our camels and travel on down the road. : )
This is Acts035 - Acts18:23 - 19:10 All in Asia Heard.
Acts 18:23: "And having spent some time there, he left and passed successively through the Galatian region and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples."
... How long Paul stayed in Antioch is not known. As the apostle begins his 3rd missions trip, he seems to be alone. Paul begins this trip about 52 A.D. To give a perspective on time, we are just over the half way mark between the cross and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. Old Testament Judaism disappears with the temple. At the point of this study it has been almost 20 years since the cross.
Q1: In what sense can we say that Old Testament Judaism disappeared in 70 A.D.?
Vss24-28: Synopsis on Apollos. Apollos was from the diaspora of Egypt. There was a very large contingent of Jewish folk in Alexandria, Egypt. They even had their own temple there. Over time a great many of these folk became Christian. The movement of John the Baptist had become a rather large movement on its own. It reached Alexandria, Egypt, and Apollos was one of the adherents of that movement. His knowledge of Jesus Christ was limited, yet he had a heart for the things of the Lord. Apollos comes to Ephesus, and Priscilla and Aquila take him under their wing. Under their tutoring Apollos becomes a completed Biblical Christian. He, in turn, also becomes one of the strongest early church teachers of the faith. It says,
"....he greatly helped those who had believed through grace, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ."
Here is something Paul wrote about this man; "So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God." (1Co3:21-23)
Q2: What does Paul mean in saying that "all things belong to [us]."
Acts 19:1-7: Synopsis on Paul's encounter with 12 disciples of John the Baptist.
... This is a very interesting scene. When Paul comes across these men, he detects something amiss in their spiritual makeup. It may have been a lack of 'Jesus' in their communication. True Biblical believers have their lives wrapped around Jesus. But this wrapping involves the Holy Spirit. The apostle is puzzled, so he asks, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"
The KJV fails to translate Paul's question correctly. It may sound stilted, but it translates directly as, "The Holy Spirit did you receive -- having believed?"
Of course the problem is soon realized. They had never gotten past John's baptism on to the finished work of the cross. Once Paul explains this, they are then baptized with a believer's baptism, that is, in the name of Jesus. When Paul lays his hands on them it says, "the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying."
Q3: Why do you think it was important for these men to be rebaptized?
Another point of interest is that this is the last time in the book of Acts there is a mention of someone speaking in other languages and prophesying. The other two times are in Acts 2, and then in Acts 10. All three cases are sovereign acts of God.
Q4: How can a believer know if another person has the Holy Spirit?
Vss8-10: "And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the people, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks."
Q5: What does the term 'the Way' refer to? (Feel free to elaborate.)
... Notice that when some began to harden themselves against the gospel, Paul takes those who had believed out of the midst of unbelief. We can be sure that the apostle is lead of the Spirit to do this. But the apostle remains faithful to the charge of 'to the Jew first.' Once the synagogue begins rejecting the gospel message, Paul knows that to press the issue any further would only hardened their hearts further.
Q6: Is there any Scripture reason for removing new believers from unbelieving influences?
... Paul later writes the Colossian believers, an speaks of their being transferred out of darkness into "the kingdom of God's beloved Son."
Q7: What does the term 'the kingdom of God's beloved Son' refer to?
... Next we find Paul at the school of Tyrannus where he teaches for two years. The Ethiopic version says that Paul "taught daily before the court and the governors." Tyrannus must have been someone of importance.
... It is here that we read, "All who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks." The term 'Asia' refers to a region that encompasses much of what is called Turkey today.
Let's leave the study open at this point.
This study was originally part of a series on the book of Acts given to members of Hebraic Foundations from July 10, 2002 through January 19, 2003. They were written by Pastor Buddy Martin, a former United Pentecostal Church minister, who founded Christian Challenge International. Writings are the copyright of Buddy Martin and reprinted on this site by permission.
Page added October 22, 2004
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