The Dynamic Duo

“The Dynamic Duo”

Acts 13:1


  • Remember our last study I believe that we mentioned the fact that in the first 12 chapters of Acts, the main focus was Peter.
  • Peter was focusing only on the Jews conversion from Judaism to Christianity when God spoke to Peter in a vision revealing the true will of God in allowing the Gentiles to understand and repent and become a part of the Kingdom as well.
  • We also should remember that from this point (Chapter 13) The main focus is on Saul/Paul who preaches Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.
  • Saul’s work began at Antioch and will continue throughout the Roman world while Peter’s ministry pretty much stays in Jerusalem and Judea focusing on the Jews.
  • Some of you may ask… Why title this study “The Dynamic Duo?”
  • The reason is because I reckon these two men (Barnabas and Saul) to my childhood heroes Batman and Robin who were also called the “Dynamic Duo.” Robin was his helper, his friend, his assistant in every way shape and form. They were very close and knew exactly what the other was thinking and etc. Though these two were crime fighters they both had their own characteristics.
  • Barnabas and Saul were like this. Barnabas was the one who would calm Paul down if need be and lead Paul in the right direction dealing with people. Paul had a tenancy to rub people the wrong way because Paul was hot headed and very persistent. However, Paul was very zealous and effective in getting the gospel across to people who were stubborn.

I. Barnabas and Saul are Appointed

  A) Certain Prophets

  • Acts 13:1…Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
  • These “prophets and teachers” were preachers of God’s word elected by the early church to instruct the local church in the things of God that were before “hidden” and now revealed.
  • Look at the words of Paul in I Corinthians 12:27…Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
  • These are the things that the preachers are to instruct the church about… Everyone is a part of the body of Christ (The believers) and each person is an important part of the body as individual.
  • The idea is that like your physical body has an arm which has specific functions, your head has specific functions and so on, so does the body of Christ (the church) having each member with specific functions all working together to become “one body.”
  • Paul goes on to instruct the church at Corinth (of whom had many issues) 28) And God hath set some in the church (It is God that sets certain people in certain churches for a specific reason), first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
  • Here in verse 28 we can see the 8 different kinds of people that God has working in the church at Antioch.
  • Let us examine the gifts of the people and their authoritative order
  1. The Apostles These are the twelve men who walked, talked, prayed with, and ate with Jesus Christ. These were men who Christ had specifically chose to carry on His Father’s will. These men were the elect men whom God allowed His Son to establish the church of Jesus Christ. WHY? Because they “knew” Jesus. They had an intimate relationship with Jesus. They did not hear anything second hand or through a grape vine, or even gossip. I believe it is also important to recognize the offices of each member in the church. The apostles held the highest office as those chosen specifically by Christ. There are no other men called apostles in the kingdom of God because to be an apostle you must have been an “eye witness” to the teachings, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  2. The Prophets These were men judged by the apostles in their doctrines and their preaching. These men are supposed to follow the order of Christ, then the apostles. The apostles were under strict order of Christ to preach the message of Jesus Christ. The prophets are also men that were given visions from God or the Lord as to what instructions to give to His people. Prophets of today are preachers, evangelists, missionaries, and pastors.
  3. The Teachers – Teachers are third in the order of authority given to the church members. A pastor or prophet can also be a pastor or minister. Teachers are to be “seasoned” (taught and experienced) members of the church. You never want to have a novice or a new member become a teacher. WHY? Because they have not developed a love for the people they are teaching, nor do you know exactly what they believe. Not everyone is capable of being a teacher.
  4. The Miracle workers – These are those who do have the gift of performing miracles. Some have said that this only applied to the apostles of Jesus Christ and others believe that it applies to all those that God has given the gift of working miracles to honor God with. I believe the latter. However, the problem in todays miracle workers is that the glory is their own and not God’s. If there are miracle workers out there today, they should be silent and not boastful.
  5. The gifts of Healing – I believe these are as Luke in the bible which are those having the profession of healing people as a doctor. God gives to certain people this ability to be a doctor, a nurse, a dentist, a chiropractor, and etc.

NOTE: All these people are in the profession to heal or fix or repair the body that we are using while on this earth. The body we possess now is temporal for the Christian because we are to receive our glorified body after we leave this earth.

  • The Helps – These members of the body are helpers, assistants, or aides. The word “antilēmpsis” translated from the Greek is “help” in the English. It means helper, assistant, or aide. It is like the Hebrew word in the Old testament when describing Eve as “…a help meet” in Genesis 2:18. In my opinion I believe these are a special breed of people who are satisfied with being a helper or assistant and are often more humble in that desire not a leadership role. There are some “helps” that do nothing but try to tell the leaders how to do their job. Helps are necessary in the ministry.
  • The Governments – These are members in the church who may be officials of our government in some way, shape, or form. These may also be people within the kingdom of God that may assist the church in laws of the land, or income tax preparation, or defending its members against would be attackers of the church. These are also ministers of God that have somewhat of a leadership role in the church to minister to the saints of God.
  • The Diversities of Tongues – These are people with the gift of speaking many different languages. I think of Bro. Jim Sloan with Deaf Outreach who has the knowledge of speaking sign language in 7 different dialects. WOW. I barely have the one (ASL) learned. And they are different. I know of no one else that has learned that many different signs. God bless him and his ministry.
  • HERE IS THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER… Look now at I Corinthians 12:29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
  • Paul is explaining a simple truth to the church at Corinth. What is it? Can every member of the church be an apostle? NO. Can every member of the church be a prophet? No Can very member of the church be a teacher and so on. NO.
  • Note what Paul said here in verse 31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
  • Is Paul asking us to covet the best gifts” which means to break one of the 10 Commandments of God? Of course not.
  • What Paul meant here is for each member to have a strong desire to have the “best gift” from God that is applicable to you. In other words…whatever you do best, do it for God to help minister to God’s people as you give Him the glory.
  • Okay, so I chased a rabbit for a bit. I believe I shot it, so let us get back to the hunt in finishing Acts 13:1…
  • Acts 13:1…(KJV)Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
  • The doctor and apostle Luke had written here that there were “certain prophets and teachers” at Antioch. He gives Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, and Manaen as examples.
  • Note the explanation of Simeon who was called Niger (Pronounced Ni-jur). Niger means “black.” Named because he was from Nigeria, an African with very dark skin. Jews were dark skinned but not as dark as those from Africa.
  • These “certain prophets and teachers” are the ones that “…had been (past tense) brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.”
  • The term “brought up” means to be educated or nourished together at the same time. This means that these four members of the early church were friends and more than likely participated in many activities and feasts with their families and other church members.
  • Then Luke describes Herod (Antipas) who was a governor or prince over Galilee. There were usually 4 rulers in one province and so Herod was ruler of one fourth of the part of the province of Judea being Galilee.

B) Paul and Barnabas sent out

  • Let us look now at Acts 13:2…As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3) And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them
  • QUESTION: How does a priest/preacher/man called of God minister to God?
  • ANSWER: In the Greek the word “ministered” here is “leitourgeō” which being interpreted describes the priest’s duties. Serving as a leader in the church is an act of worship to God that may include sacrifices to God, taking care of God’s sheep spiritually, overseeing the church functions, prayer, preaching, and teaching the church.
  • Ministering entails so much. “Fasting” is another duty of a preacher/priest or pastor. This is most generally connected with prayer, however not mandatory with prayer.
  • To look deeper into fasting and prayer let us check out these scriptures that show a passionate and vigilant (watchful) prayers… Nehemiah 1:4, Psalms 35:13, Daniel 9:3, Matthew 17:21, Luke 2:37.
  • As I read this scripture verse in Acts 13:2, I can’t help but notice “…the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”
  • Were all the people at church one day and the Holy ghost appeared unto them and made this announcement? Or did the Holy Spirit speak to each one individually causing them to be under conviction as to the vote of who to send out? Or was a Divine revelation to everybody?
  • All of the above could be a possibility. God works in mysterious ways.
  • I personally believe that God had sent the Holy Spirit to each member of the church that was in a leadership role that had the authority to send men out of the church to go and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • I further believe that Barnabas and Saul may have been quite content with their ministry there at Antioch and had many friends there and actually quite happy in everything being done. Barnabas and Saul needed to be “prodded” or encouraged to go where God has planned for them to go.
  • May I say that God will never send men out of a church unless they are prepared to do what He has called them to do.
  • Also keep in mind that no man of God sends himself to minister to God’s people. He must be “called of God” not called of self or called of a committee. He must be called of God as it says in Hebrews 5:4…And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was
  • The Holy Spirit of God had come to each man that had fasted and prayed seeking God’s will for the church. The Holy Spirit made it obvious to these men the clear Divine order of God that Barnabas and Saul be “separated” from the church at Antioch.
  • In verse 2, we see the 5 men praying and fasting. And now we notice the authoritative men in the church fasting in verse 3…And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them
  • Fasting is when you have a loss of desire for food, or when a person decides to set aside a meal(s) for the purpose of God to be revealed unto them.
  • Fasting is not “a diet plan.”
  • When you truly want God to be involved in a big decision, or you wish for God to reveal something to you that is according to His plan and not yours…fasting is strongly suggested.
  • Notice also the terminology “…and laid their hands on them,” in verse 3.
  • It is not a special anointing of the church. It is not the Holy Spirit of God being filled in the receiver’s hearts. It is not a power of the church being given to the receivers in order to fulfill the call of God.
  • The “laying on of hands” was expressed by O.T. people who offered up sacrifices when they laid their hands on the animal as an expression of identification. (See Leviticus 8:14, 18, and 22. Also see Hebrews 6:2)
  • Then by our Lord when He healed people in Mark 6:5, Luke 4:40, Luke 13:13 and Luke 28:8. Jesus was identifying Himself with these believers and understanding them as prisoners to their sins needing to be released.
  • Stop and think about it! Jesus did not have to lay His hands on anyone He healed. He healed many by just a voice command and some he healed when He was not even near their body.
  • Matthew 8:5-13 a story of this centurion soldier with great faith and Christ healing this soldier’s servant long distance. Never touched the man and he was healed.

C) Barnabas and Saul in Cyprus

  • Look now at Acts 13:4…So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
  • The city of Seleucia was 16 miles away from Antioch and it rested at the mouth of the Orontes River which fed into the Mediterranean Sea.
  • At Seleucia, the men got on a boat and sailed to the island of Cyprus.
  • Now look at Acts 13:5…And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their
  • The city of Salamis was on the SE side of the island of Cyprus. It was a major sea port and later changed its name to Constantia.
  • I think it is interesting when we see that “, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews:”
  • This was a practice of Paul in that he typically preached to the Jews first then the Gentiles (Romans 1:16; Rom. 2:9, 10).
  • With Paul being a Jew, the gospel of Jesus Christ was more readily accepted by the Jews.    
  • Interestingly enough they added John Mark to their mix in ministering to those at Cyprus “…and they had also John to their” As you remember John Mark was Barnabas’ cousin.

 D) Desiring to hear the word of God

  • Acts 13:6…And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:
  • The island of Cyprus was around 170 miles long and Paphos was to the extreme west part of the island.
  • Cyprus is the island in which the goddess “Venus” was said to have derived from and the worship of this goddess was very popular throughout Cyprus. The temple of Venus was also erected at Paphos.
  • At some point this island was said to have had millions of inhabitants living there.
  • The term “false prophet” here means that this sorcerer (practitioner of witchcraft, magician) claimed to be a prophet.
  • Also notice the sorcerer’s name being “Bar-jesus.”
  • Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament said this word “bar” is Syriac, and means son. Jesus, or Joshua, was not an uncommon name among the Jews. The name was given from his father—son of Jesus, or Joshua; as Bar-jonas, son of Jonas. It can be compared to Kenny Jr. or Kenneth II in America.
  • Adam Clarke’s Commentary said this of the name Bar-JesusThat is, the son of Jesus or Joshua; as Bar-jona is the son of Jonah; Bar-tholomew, the son of Thalmi, etc.
  • To be honest, the important thing in this verse is the fact that he was a “false prophet.” Jesus Christ made His apostles understand the importance of knowing false prophets and steer clear of their prophecies.
  • Luke continues in his description of this false prophet in Verse 7) Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
  • This man named Bar-jesus was described very well by Luke here in the book of Acts 13, and now we add verse 7’s descriptive words as being…
  1. A certain sorcerer (he practiced witchcraft, astrology, and magic)
  2. A false prophet (Most everything that came from his mouth was false)
  3. A Jew (He fit right in with the entire crowd.)
  4. Being with the deputy of the country – Luke says that he (the false prophet) was with this deputy called “Sergius Paulus.” This deputy was a “prudent man” meaning that he was a man with good sense and sound (solid) I would believe that the reason for Bar-jesus to be with this deputy is to make himself look good and probably just tagging along with the group uninvited.
  5. He was seeking to find Barnabas and Saul – Luke also says that the deputy was inquiring (asking his men to get the attention of) of the two called Barnabas and Saul for the simple fact that he “…desired to hear the word of God.”

E) Satan shows up to thwart the dynamic duo

  • Now look at verse 8…But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
  • Here is another fact about this no-good false prophet named Bar-jesus. He had a nick name of Elymas. The word “Emyas” is a transliteration of the Arab word for magician.
  • Note what Bar-jesus did… “withstood them.” This means that he “opposed” what they were trying to do.
  • I personally believe that it played out something like this… These guys (The deputy, his men and Bar-jesus) were wandering around the streets near Barnabas and Saul as they were preaching the word of God. Then this Bar-jesus dude starts to pull on the clothing of the deputy and saying bad things about Barnabas and Saul to discourage them from hearing the word of God. The devil’s ultimate goal in life is as Luke put it here… “seeking to turn away the deputy (Or anyone) from the faith.”
  • Satan always shows up when the Holy Spirit is at work in someone’s heart. This scene is no different.
  • Look at verse 9… “Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,” This means that the Holy Spirit guided Paul and made him recognize what was happening in the deputy’s group. Saul could see the false prophet tugging on the clothes of the deputy trying to hinder the Spirit’s work in his heart.
  • “…, set his eyes on him,” He put a “Heat seeking missile” vision and verbiage of the Holy Spirit towards the group.
  • Here we can see God’s omnipotent, omniscience, and omnipresence at work.
  • Now look at what Saul (filled with the Spirit) says to this false prophet (Son of Belial) in verse 10…And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
  • You cannot sit there and tell me that this kind of verbiage just spilled out in a loving way and soothing voice like a peaceful little brook flowing by. BALOGNY!
  • I believe that God’s anger was unleashed in the mouth of Saul and unloaded on this false prophet like a shotgun on the opening day of duck season. BALLOOM!
  • It is amazing to me to see the vision of the Holy Spirit in calling a person exactly what they are. In today’s world… he would be arrested for verbal abuse, and sued for defamation of character.
  • Saul did not know this man at all. Saul knew nothing of his character, his traits his heart, his life, nothing. Saul knew nothing. What come out of Saul’s mouth was nothing but the Holy Spirit of God who knows the intent of the heart in every man, woman boy or girl.
  • Look at verse 10 again and note the character of the false prophet revealed…
  1. “O full of all subtilty” – he is full of “subtilty” meaning, not open or direct in speech, delicately clever or skillful, never obvious in suggestion.
  2. “… and all mischief, – this is harm, damage or injury to people. An annoyance (bother) to others. Play tricks on, or vex people.
  3. “… thou child of the devil,” – To be called a child of the devil is the ultimate degradation of all. Satan is “a liar and the father of it.” In other words, he does everything that Satan does. A son always emulates his father. Satan deceives, lies, manipulates, perverts, schemes, and etc.
  4. “…thou enemy of all righteousness,” – Meaning that he opposes all things that are Godly, true, meaningful, good, and righteous.
  5. “… wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?” – Here is a continuance of the character analogy given of the Holy Spirit… “Are you ever going to stop twisting what is the truth of the Lord and making it a lie?” This statement makes him a compulsive liar. A compulsive evil person in every manner. “Compulsive” means to do something repeatedly, without thinking of its ramifications or results. They do it continually. Have you ever experienced a compulsive liar, one that lies every time their mouth is open? I have. And to me that is compulsive and it is repulsive (disgusting).

F) The Holy Spirit of God in Action

  • Look now at Acts 13:11) And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
  • This verse deserves some attention here.
  • Surely as I have, you have recognized some similarities here in this verse to that of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. It is different, but similar.
  • The Holy Spirit says… “And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind,” Isn’t this what our Lord Jesus Christ did to Saul on the road to Damascus? And now the Lord is using the vessel of Saul to do the same thing to this false prophet.
  • The term “the hand of the Lord is upon thee” means to say “God’s judgement is coming to you, the verdict is given, and sentence is passed. YOU ARE GUILTY!
  • In Saul’s judgement and Bar-jesus judgment the similarities are
  1. They both were blinded
  2. They both received immediate judgement
  3. They both were met by Jesus Christ
  4. They both were guilty of their sins
  5. They both were hindering the works of the holy Spirit of God in people’s heart.
  6. They both were perverted in their minds as to what the truth is.
  • But, what are the differences in Saul’s judgment and this false prophet’s judgment?
  1. Saul thought he was doing a God service, Bar-jesus was doing a service for Satan
  2. Saul was a Godly person, Bar-jesus was the son of satan.
  3. Saul had an experience of light in Acts 9:3… “and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:” Bar-jesus had an experience of darkness in Acts 13:10 “…there fell on him a mist and a darkness.”
  4. Saul was led in his blindness by his brethren in Acts 9:8 (KJV) …And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.. Bar-jesus was led in his blindness by no one… “he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.” God will spank or scold His children but is always there to guide us. Satan could care less about his children. God doesn’t assist anyone that does not belong to Him. They are on their own seeking help.
  5. Paul’s judgment was for three days, this Bar-jesus judgment was for a season. How long was this “season?” There is no clarity or clear distinction of the time for the judgment. But it would definitely be longer than 3 days. There are some historians that claim that Bar-jesus was saved as a result of this incident. Again, there is no record in the bible of it. I disagree with that because of the darkness rather than the light of God being displayed around him at the time of his judgment.
  • All of God’s judgments whether on saved or unsaved are just and timely according to His Divine plan.
  • Who are we to question His judgment. We must endeavor to endure it knowing that we are deserving of it.

G) The deputy believes

  • Acts 13:12…Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.
  • First of all, we recognize the fact that the deputy “saw what was done.” He was an eye witness to the fact of Saul (empowered by the Spirit of God) exposing all of this man’s traits, characteristics, thoughts and relationship with God (which was nonexistent.)
  • Then the deputy also witnessed Bar-jesus becoming blind and the darkness that surrounded him.
  • “Believe” is a word that we at SBBC are familiar with as I have drilled it into our heads that it is more than just a mere thought in the brain or a passing fancy.
  • To believe is to be completely immersed in whatever it is to be believed. It becomes evidenced by your everyday actions, thoughts and conversation.
  • As we have said before, Satan believes in Jesus, he knows the Jesus is the Son of God and died, arose from the dead, and all that…but Satan’s life does not believe enough to have it evidenced in his life. Satan does what he wants.
  • Note the third thing in verse 12 “…being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.”
  • I was floored at one commentator of the book of Acts when he wrote… “Was convinced that Elymas was an impostor, and that the doctrine of Paul was true.”
  • Oh, I agree that the deputy believed that Bar-jesus was an imposter (a fake) but then he discredits our Lord in this verse when Luke writes… “, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.” Not the doctrine of Paul. Yes, that was Paul’s doctrine as well but do not take away from our Lord and replace His holy name with a sinful man’s name.
  • Now in closing this particular episode in Acts 13, let us look at verse 13) Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.
  • “Paul and his company” can be described as Barnabas, John Mark, and any converts to Christianity that was won there on the island of Cyprus and Paphos. It was typical of the new converts to follow the Lord in associating themselves with the apostles as their pastor so to speak in their journey.
  • John Mark we notice, had left the group once they sailed across the ocean back inland at Perga to go back to Jerusalem.

II. Paul Preaches at Antioch

  A) A preacher must also listen to the Word

  • Now let us look at Acts 13:14…But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
  • We need to take note that Paul and his followers which some may have been ministers of the word as well, came in and sat down in the church.
  • They were not planning on preaching. They came to worship.
  • Evangelists and preachers of the word do not always preach. They many times love and enjoy listening to someone else expound or read the word to them.
  • I personally believe that everyone who preaches God’s Word has different personal emotions and feelings that are expressed in their speech but the same doctrine should always apply. That being the doctrines of Jesus Christ.
  • You can always know a new convert, a new speaker, a new preacher by the things they know and how they preach.
  • Paul was becoming a seasoned preacher and more accepted by the Jews he once had scared the daylights out of by his “pricks against” the church of Jesus Christ.

B) An opportunity to speak

  • Acts 13:15 …And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
  • And after the reading of the Lawwas a typical start of the service to God on the Sabbath day in the synagogues. The priest or elders of the church would get up and read from the Law (5 books of Moses). Then they would expound on the verses that were previously read.
  • It is also considered to be an honor to speak in the pulpit of God and also a pleasure to the soul for a pastor to recognize a man of God and ask him to come and speak.
  • This is exactly what happened here as the priest or elder of the church sent some member (possibly an usher) to ask Paul or a member of the group to come and expound on what they had just read.
  • Stop and think a minute. None of these men had bible commentaries to refer to.
  1. None of these men had Bible commentaries.
  2. None of these men spent hours preparing a lesson or message.
  3. None of these men expected to be asked to come and speak.
  •  This is what is great sometimes as a preacher of the Word, when you go into the pulpit unprepared and just allow the Spirit of God to speak through you as you read the Word of God with compassion, zeal, and excitement.
  • Every once in a while, it is good I believe for a minister, pastor, or evangelists to go into the pulpit of God armed only with the Spirit of God and the Word of God.
  • This is exactly what Paul did here.
  • Look at Acts 13:16 (KJV)…Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.
  • Note the two people Paul is addressing here in this verse at the church…
  1. Men of Israel – You people that are born Jews
  2. Ye that fear God – The Gentiles who had been converted from their paganism to Christianity.
  • Then Paul says… “…give audience.” This is a term which means to give attention to, or listen to what I am about to tell you.

C) Paul’s sermon

  • Now look at Paul’s introduction to his sermon in Acts 13:17… 
  • Verse 17…The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. Paul is reminding these Jews how God brought their ancestors out of bondage in Egypt where they were the strangers (foreigners) in the land. The term “with an high arm” refers to the power of God displayed to them through Moses and the plagues and the parting of the water and the manna to eat and the water to drink, destruction of their enemies and etc.
  • Verse 18) And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness. Now, Paul is hitting them right in the heart (Like every child of God) where they complain about the providence of God. You give people what they want and they still complain! Isn’t that amazingly stupid. It is proof that no matter what happens or where we are in life or how good we have it…we always want more. We always want better. The “forty years” refers to the years in the wilderness before reaching the promised land.
  • Verse 19) And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot. The Canaanites, Hittites, Girgasites, Amorites, Hivites, Peresites, and Jebusites. The Rabbis would often refer to these people “the Seven Nations.” God had given this land to Israel (Jacob’s offspring) as He had promised. Did they deserve it? NO. They continued to fail as we do. Do we deserve Heaven? NO. because we like Israel have failed miserably in our worship, in our faithfulness. But like Israel, we too are the beneficiaries of His mercy, Grace and forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • Verse 20) And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. Here again Paul is talking about God’s provision in giving them someone to rule over them and guide them. God has always chosen Israel’s “leaders” such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, and then as he mentions for the space of 450 years there were 12 different judges that ruled Israel. God is always the Highest judge (ref. Judges 11:27)
  • Verse 21) And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. Now Paul reminds them of the time when God gave them what they wanted and how they chose themselves a king to rule during this 40 year period of Saul.
  • Verse 22) And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Paul brings up the interesting fact that David did not remove Saul, but rather God removed Saul. Another fact was that David was a man who always sought God in every decision concerning God’s people. We do know for fact that David did not always seek God’s divine will in his personal life. But he did seek God’s will for the people.
  • Verse 23) Of this man’s seed (David’s seed, or blood line) hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: Now we come to the meat of Paul’s introduction… “A Savior.” Paul had pointed out all through this remembrance of the leaders, the judges, and kings, that they were some type of “savior” or “deliverer” that God had provided them because of their ignorance and rebellion against God. Paul brings to light of a “Real Savior” The Savior among saviors.” Paul more importantly was pointing out to the people of the prophecies in the O.T. that God said the Messiah would come through the lineage of David just as Jesus had.
  • Verse 24) When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. Note that Paul said “…the baptism of repentance.” Not the baptism of water, but repentance. To be “baptized” is to be completely submerged in something and not necessarily water. Completely engulfed in your repentance is not half- heartedly. This same metaphor is applied to being “baptized in Christ.” To be completely submerged in Jesus Christ. Not half Buddah, half Jesus. Or half God, and half Muhammed. Completely submerged in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior from your deserving destination called hell.
  • 25) And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose. Paul in this verse is telling the Jews and Gentiles of the synagogue where he is preaching of John the Baptist, and how he tried to get people to understand that he was not the promised Messiah but rather it was Jesus who is the Messiah. John said He wasn’t worthy of being the Messiah.
  • What is Paul’s point in his “introduction?” I believe that it is several things…
    1. That God has always provided for them physically and spiritually.
    2. That God has always punished them by his judgment
    3. That God has always brought to them a savior and a deliverer.
    4. That Israel has always complained with God’s judgment
    5. That Israel has often rejected who God had chosen for them to be a leader.
    6. That Israel never has accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior but rather they accepted John the Baptist.
  • There are several sermons that God has laid on my heart that God has allowed me to give a large introduction that lays the groundwork for the message that God has for us.
  • Paul is still in the introductory stage of his sermon here because you will note later in verse 42, that they ask Paul to continue to preach to them on the next sabbath Day.

D) Paul condemns the Jews and the Sanhedrin

  • But Paul continues to preach as we continue to study Acts 13:26…Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation
  • Here in this verse (26) is the topic of Paul’s sermon… “The word of this Salvation.” Not the salvation of Moses, or the judges, or John the Baptist, but rather the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul is addressing the entire population of the church that is included in the kingdom of God as being sent to the Jews first (Stock of Abraham) and the Gentiles (whosever among you feareth God) secondly.”
  • Now look at Paul accusing those who are guilty of the innocent blood of Jesus Christ that was shed in Acts 13:27) For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
  • Paul here in the continuing condemnation of these Jews is giving them the reason for why the Salvation of Jesus Christ was necessary. Because the Jews and leaders of the Jews “knew him not,” they had no personal relationship with the Word of God. The Sanhedrin did not understand the O.T. prophet’s description of the Messiah (Christ). The leaders were too hung up on their rituals and ordinances and traditions. Paul said “You guys read the Law of the Prophets every Sabbath Day and don’t even know what you are reading. In fact, you guys have fulfilled the prophecy of God by condemning Jesus to die on the cross.”
  • Paul really has repeated what Peter and John had preached at the “beautiful” gate back in chapter 3. It is quite possible that these same people were there at Peter’s revelation to them and now Paul is backing up the rebuke to the Jews.
  • Paul continues to chew out the Jews who rejected Jesus as messiah in verse 28) And though they found no cause of death in him, (They really had no reason to kill Jesus) yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. (It was the Jewish Sanhedrin that demanded Pilate to crucify Jesus.) Paul here is showing them the errors they made in their judgment. Some people think that they know it all because they have studied so much. In reality, “they knew him not.”
  • This next verse Paul is reminding them of the prophecies foretold of the Messiah to get these new comers a cause to stop and think in verse 29) And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
  • When Paul said in verse 29) “And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him,” he was referring to Psalms 22, and Deuteronomy 21. These were the prophesies telling what was going to happen to the Messiah. When the prophecies were being told, crucifixion was not invented yet. Jesus burial was prophesied in Isaiah 53:9.
  • Now look at verse 30) But God raised him from the dead: 31) And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. Verse 32) And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
  • Paul here in these verses is trying to get across to the listeners of the sermon (being Jews and Gentiles) That Jesus is the messiah prophesied of.
  • Note Paul’s call to remembrance of the prophecies when he quotes …
    1. Verse 33) God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. (Prophesied in Psalms 2:7)
    2. 34) And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. (Prophesied in Isaiah 55:3)
    3. 35) Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Prophesied in Psalm 16:10)
  • Now then Paul knows the crowd he is talking to because the Holy Spirit has filled his mind and tongue with the what he says in verse 36) For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:
  • What Paul is saying is that the prophesies of David were not of himself because David died, was buried, and he never arose from the dead.
  • Paul shows the true Messiah sent from God in verse 37) But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. No sin was in Jesus, perfectly sinless.
  • Paul now wants them to “know” the truth, because as we know the truth will set you free. 38) Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man (Jesus) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
  • Paul now preaches justification of their sins in verse 39) And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
  • Paul warns them of not repenting, and not believing in verse 40) Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Paul is warning them of the rejection of this free gift of salvation offered only through Jesus Christ. If they don’t accept Jesus then they will be judged as the prophets prophesied of judgment. (The prophet here is Habakkuk 1:5-10)
  • Look at verse 41) Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you. Paul here is quoting Habakkuk 1:5.

III.   The Dynamic Duo is Being Followed

  A) After church was over

  • Acts 13:42…And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
  • After the services for the sabbath were over, or rather after Paul’s deliverance of a sermon, we note two things… 1)“…the Jews were gone out of the synagogue” These were some of the Jews who did not believe the words of Paul and left disgusted at the thought of someone ruining their name, their belief, etc. These are the hard hearted lost people who have not a clue as to what the kingdom of God is about. 2) “…the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.”  These were those who believed and couldn’t wait for Part II of the salvation sermon.
  • Look at what Luke pens here in verse 43) Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes (These were converts to Judaism who had been circumcised) followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. I believe that these Judaizers were a hard sell on Christianity because they had gone through the ceremony to get circumcised and were persuaded of the church leaders that they were doing the right thing and all of that.
  • But the “Dynamic Duo (Paul and Barnabas)” had persuaded them to follow them and obtain more knowledge on the Word of God and the Kingdom of God.

B) The next Sabbath Day

  • 44) And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
  • WOW! Get this….Almost the whole city went to church to hear the Dynamic Duo’s message of Jesus Christ.
  • It is not the a repentance as it was with Jonah at Nineveh in Jonah 3:10 (KJV) And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it
  • It was not like Matthew 8:34…And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.
  • The key word is “almost” in Acts 13:44. You can also take it in a positive way in that almost all the city is better than half the city.
  • We must realize that it is extremely difficult to get everyone in a church to come to the Sunday services “all the time.” In fact I find that in our own church (SBBC) that you can’t even get everyone that is a member in the church to show up in one service.
  • There is always someone with an excuse of some sort that they try to justify in their being absent.
  • But you know what? I would be elated if all the deaf almost the whole city would come to church.

 C) Filled with the wrong spirit

  • Acts 13:45…But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
  • How can you tell if you have an evil spirit? You know by the actions you take. Are they Godly actions, or are they evil actions?
  • What caused the negative response by the Jews? “…when the Jews saw the multitudes.” Realize that “the Jews” mentioned here are the ones never converted to Christianity. These are the Jews who would not accept Christ so they crucified Him.
  • The key to knowing why they were filled with the wrong spirit is because Luke wrote that “…they were filled with envy.” The word “envy” is not a word associated with Godly behavior.
  • Look at two words that often get mixed up…
  • Envy – a feeling of discontent and ill will because of another’s advantages, possessions, etc. ; resentful dislike of another who has something that one desires. 2. Desire for some advantage, quality that another has. ENVY is a quality or action of Satan.
  • Jealous – very watchful or careful in guarding or keeping of one’s rights. 2. Resentfully suspicious of a rival or a rival’s influence (like a husband jealous of other men flirting with his wife). 3. Requiring exclusive loyalty (like Ex. 34:14 says that God’s name is Jealous, and is jealous). JEALOUSY is a Godly action or characteristic.
  • When Luke writes that the Jews were filled with “envy,” it was an evil spirit, with evil intentions, with satanic involvement.
  • They weren’t jealous as to protect God’s honor, they were envious (resentful and discontented) because the apostle Paul had more followers than the Jewish priests. Paul was more popular than the priests.
  • The priests were looking at huge following from a demonic viewpoint in that they were losing parishioners who would contribute monetarily, and also not fill in areas where needed such as janitors, cooks, caregivers, ushers, candle lighters and biscuit holders, and so on.
  • Paul and Barnabas thought nothing of the numbers and the monetary gain. They looked at the lost souls and the need for spirituality for which they lacked.
  • Spiritually, the Jews were bankrupt. They were used to all the rituals, the traditions and the unnecessary laws of the Pharisees that Christ rebuked the religious leaders about.

D) The boldness of Paul and Barnabas

  • Now look at Acts 13:46…Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
  • Note the first part as to say “Paul and Barnabas waxed bold…” it means to say that they became bold and spoke openly (no trying to beat around the bush or hurt people’s feelings.)
  • In today’s society, we have to be careful what we say and how we say it. I mean, God forbid we hurt someone’s feelings or discriminate against the gays and lesbians or the African American or Indians or whatever.
  • In those days and should always be that preachers get up and preach the word of God with no filters, no withholding, or as it says here… “waxed bold.”
  • What was it that was so bold about what they were preaching or said? The rest of verse 46 tells us “…It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you:” (We gave you opportunity first as per God’s request, the message of grace and forgiveness from God that would only come through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross for the Jew first and then the Gentile.)
  • Verse 46c “… but seeing ye put it from you, (You rejected it) and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, (they had proved themselves unworthy by their own actions) lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” (Since you rejected God’s son, we turned to the Gentiles who gladly accepted His Son)
  • Sinners condemn themselves by their conduct. They do not realize it but they do.
  • One scripture verse gives us this idea that Jesus preached in Matthew 7:6 (KJV) Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
  • What did Jesus mean here “…Give not that which is holy unto the dogs?”
  • First, we must know that “that which is holy” refers to anything that you or God has determined or set aside to be holy. It could be the sacrificial lamb, the tent, the ground around the tent or temple, clothing, etc.
  • “…that which is holy” is anything that God has given you as a blessing. Anything that God has asked you to keep separated from the world as holy.
  • This principle here is why Jesus Himself would not perform miracles to unbelievers. This to be done with respect for that which is holy, not out of contempt (feelings or actions towards something that is considered as low or worthless.) for dogs or swine.
  • Jesus as well as all Jews considered dogs and swine as the lowest and most worthless creatures of all God’s creation. In fact swine (pigs, pork) was never accepted as an edible meat for God’s people until after the flood.
  • No matter where you look in the Bible, dogs are never mentioned in a good way.
  • The first mention of a dog is in Exodus 11:7…But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue (Not allowed to bark), against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.
  • Deuteronomy 23:18 (KJV) Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog (Male prostitute), into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
  • Judges 7:5… So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. Any person who imitates a dog shall sit by themselves. In doing this, it means that they are not clean, they are unholy, not sanctified.
  • 1 Samuel 17:43… And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. What Goliath said was to his own condition of the heart in that he asked David “Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves?” Meaning “Are you treating me like a dog that you try to get rid of when it comes to threaten the flock of sheep?” That is exactly what David was doing. Goliath had threatened the house of Israel and no one would stand against him. Goliath was a dog, an unsaved man, a Philistine, a hater of God, a no account reprobate that defied anything Godly. He needs to be removed.
  • 1 Samuel 24:14..After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea. Again, a dog looked at as the least of God’s creation next to the flea.
  • I know we have many animal lovers in this world today and many in the house of God. But scripture is scripture and God’s word tells us the truth and relays to us the truth about dogs. They are always referred to as the lowest of any creature and never to be allowed around anything Godly.
  • When you associate dogs with male prostitutes and homosexuals which are an abomination unto God…it tells you what God thinks of dogs.
  • Some people go as far as claiming dogs as children. That is a perversion of the truth in that dogs have no soul as do children. God never said that we are to be like a dog but rather to be as children in our behavior.
  • It is also a direct slap in the face of womanhood.
  • God has never referred to dogs as being His children. In fact, He has directed dogs as the opposite of His children. Revelation 22:15… For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
  • To be “without” means to be outside Christendom. To be outside of the house of God, not to be joined with.
  • Did you notice the kinds of people a dog is to related to? Sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters, and liars. Not children of God.

E) Paul gives the purpose

  • Acts 13:47… For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
  • Their (the apostles) purpose was of God.
  • Paul again was quoting Old Testament prophecy and this time from Isaiah 49:6…And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob (Israel), and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
  • Note the words of the LORD here in Isaiah… “It is a light thing.” The word “light” here means “a small” thing. In other words, it is not a huge task for anyone to be my servant. God would not give to his servants a task that is too difficult to handle.
  • Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:30 (KJV) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Christ is not a slave driver.
  • The LORD is also saying in Isaiah 49:6, that He (God) “…to restore the preserved of Israel:” And HOW is God going to restore Israel? “…I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
  • God said I will give you “a light” Paul said this in Acts 13:47 “…I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles”
  • I hope that you have not forgotten what the word “light” means in the Bible. It means understanding. The Jews did not understand. God knew His sheep and their lack of vision on certain things so God advised the Jews early through Isaiah’s prophecy of sending them “a light.”
  • God is always trying to provide a way of salvation from hell. God made hell to be only for Satan and his angels that left the splendors of Heaven to do what they want.

F) Receiving good news

  • Look now into Acts 13:48… And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
  • Paul was preaching “the gospel.” What is the gospel? It is mentioned 325 times in the New Testament only. It is the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ that is SALVATION to all who believe in Him. That is the gospel.
  • The Greek word “euangelion” is same word translated into English as “gospel” and it means “good tidings or good news.”
  • Paul said here in Acts 13:48And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord:” Good news makes you glad. They had heard (understood) the message of the Lord through Paul’s sermon here at Antioch and were glad.
  • I would like us to now look at the last part of verse 48… and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
  • The word “ordained” here means “appointed” or chosen by God.
  • God sees the heart of man and judges each person according to his own heart. The Bible tells us “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness” and the heart is desperately wicked who can know it.”
  • The wicked people, God does not ordain (choose).
  • The righteous are those who choose to do that which is right in the sight of God. And it is these kids of people that God ordains (chooses).

G) The publishing of the Word

  • Look now at Acts 13:49… And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
  • The “Word of the Lord” meaning the gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news of Jesus Christ, was “published.” To “publish” something means to make it known, to announce, to spread by mouth or literature.
  • Everyone in the entire area of Judea, Jerusalem, and Antioch all heard of this message of Paul.
  • This was the “good news” the Jews were waiting for. This made many happy and gave them hope.
  • As always there are those among us who do not believe the gospel of zjesus Christ and they have to raise their ugly head (led by Satan himself) as was the case here in our account of Paul and Barnabas’ message at Antioch in Verse 50) But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
  • They got kicked out of the coastal area. Do you think this stopped the “Dynamic Duo?” Not hardly. In fact, I believe that when God’s men sense Satan trying to snuff out the fires lit in people’s lives it makes them more excited, and more challenged about spreading the gospel.
  • Watch what happens in verse 51) But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.
  • When you have a good teacher, you will do as he teaches. The apostles did exactly as Jesus had taught them to do in Matthew 10:14…And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
  • Shaking the dust off their feet is an expression of the Jewish antagonism towards the Gentiles (those who do not believe as they do). When passing through Gentile countries or across their land, they didn’t even want to bring their dirt into their home land because it was considered “unclean,” and bringing it into their country would “defile (ruin)” any blessings that God may decide to award them.
  • In closing, look at 52) And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost. Satan cannot extinguish hearts that are on fire for God.