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Acts 1:4-14 And, [Jesus] being assembled together with them [on the Mount of Olives - at the Ascension of Jesus], Commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for **the promise of the Father [to send the Comforter - the Holy Spirit as a companion], which, saith He, ye have heard of Me [John 14:6]. For John [the Baptist] truly baptized with water; but ye [already baptized by Jesus, with the Firstfruits of the Spirit (John 20:22) - Christians] shall be baptized [by the Father] with the Holy Ghost [for comfort, wisdom, truth, empowerment, etc. to be a witness of Jesus Christ to the world] not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, *wilt thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel [from Rome]? And He said unto them, It is not for you (Christians) [before Pentecost] to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. ***But ye [Christians] shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. **And when He [Jesus] had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their [visible] sight. **And while they looked stedfastly [for His return] toward Heaven as He went up, behold, two men [Angels] stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, **why stand ye gazing up into Heaven [at this spot on Mount Olivet]? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven {but when Jesus visibly returns to Mount Olivet it will be to the Jews not the Church - the Church will already be in Heaven}. Then [departed Mount Olivet] returned they unto Jerusalem from the Mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath day's journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room [in the upper room - where the Passover, Last Supper was eaten], where abode [lived] both [Apostles and Disciples (brethren)] {Apostles} Peter, and James [brother of John], and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James [son of Alphaeus]. These all continued with one accord [combined purpose] *in prayer and supplication, with the women, *and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His {Disciples} brethren [Christians]. The Promise of the Father is to send the Comforter and the empower [the Holy Spirit] to those who acknowledge Jesus [John 14:16]. The Promise of Jesus is to give eternal life [John 14:6] to all that come to Him. - John 14:6-21 Jesus saith unto him [Apostle - Thomas], ***I [Jesus] Am *the Way, *the Truth, and *the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. ... If ye love Me, keep My Commandments [instructions]. And I will pray the Father, and He [Father] shall give you another (along with Jesus) Comforter [Holy Spirit], that He [Holy Spirit] may abide with you [eternally] for ever; Even the [Holy] Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him [Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit] not, neither knoweth Him [God]: but ye know Him; for He [God] dwelleth with you, ***and shall be in you [Firstfruits - Resurrection Day - birth of the Christian Church]. I [Jesus] will not leave you comfortless: I [Jesus] will come to you [Resurrection]. Yet a little while [death on the cross], and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me [Resurrection]: **because I live, ye shall live also. At that [Resurrection] day ye shall know that I Am in My Father, and ye in Me, **and I [Firstfruits] in you. He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father [who will baptize with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit], and I will love him, and **will manifest [show] Myself [Jesus] to him [Christian]. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 2 - The Christian Church already individually (Luke 24:31) [by faith in the cross and resurrection of Jesus] having the 'born again' Firstfruits of the Spirit of Jesus - The Church corporately (all in one group) receives the 'experience' the promised Baptism of the Father the Comfort and empowerment of the Holy Spirit - Note: At Pentecost The Holy Spirit is poured out upon the entire world [John 16:8] - With Pentecost [empowerment for the Church, conviction for the world] comes the Baptism of Persecution (Fire) for the Church -- 'Acts 2:1-5 And when the Day of Pentecost [lit. 50 days - after the Feast of Firstfruits] [5th levitical Feast - Leviticus 23:16] was fully come, they [Christians] were all with one accord in one place [in the upper room]. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire [refinement, trials, persecution], and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled [empowered] with the Holy Ghost, and [experientially] began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, ***out of [representing] every Nation under Heaven.' - 'John 16:7 Nevertheless I [Jesus] tell you the Truth; It is expedient for you that I go away [back to Heaven]: for if I go not away, the Comforter [Holy Spirit] will not come unto you [at Pentecost]; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He [Holy Spirit] is come, ***He will reprove the *world [Pentecost is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the entire world] of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me [Jesus]; Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more [after the Ascension]; Of judgment, because the prince of this world [Satan - Devil] is judged.'

Acts 2:14-21 But Peter, standing up with the Eleven [Apostles - Judas has committed suicide], lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, *be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour [9:00 A.M.] of the day. **But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel [Joel 2:28-32]; And it shall come to pass in the Last Days [days since - The Triumphal Entry of Jesus in to Jerusalem], saith God, I will pour out of My [Holy] Spirit *upon all flesh [the entire world]: and your [Jewish, Christian and Gentile - *the entire world] sons and your daughters shall prophesy [at times everyone (inside and outside of the Church) speaks for a prophetic truth about God, however (outside of the Church) it is often a corrupted message i.e. New Age message (Acts 16:17-18)], and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on My servants [Christians] and on My handmaidens [men and women] I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: [including all days - even the days of Tribulation and Great Tribulation] And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke [Tribulation]: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood [Great Tribulation], *before that Great and Notable Day of the Lord come [2nd Coming of Jesus]: ***And it shall come to pass [at any day, at any time, at any moment, Last Days, Church Age, Tribulation, Great Tribulation], that *whosoever [any person] shall call [at any time] on the Name [Jesus] of the Lord [that person] shall be Saved. - Pentecost, empowerment, witness and persecution: In the few days before Pentecost the Christian Church gathered in the Jewish Temple and worshiped Jesus [Luke 24:53] without any incidents because the Church was without the [external upon] witness of the Holy Spirit. With Pentecost and the giving of the Holy Spirit upon the entire world, upon every individual and with the empowerment of the Christian Church by the Holy Spirit and now all of mankind with the increased presence of God among mankind the conflict between man and God has dramatically increased and the Christian Church is at the forefront of man's conflict with God. With Pentecost the desire for mankind to either accept or reject the Ministry of Jesus Christ has been heightened and those who reject God do so in a more violent manner. - Note: The Baptism of Fire (persecution) upon the Christian is a baptism directly enacted by Jesus [Matthew 3:11] therefore Jesus controls all aspects and intensities of the persecution (Baptism of Fire) in the life of each Christian. To receive the Baptism of Fire from Jesus is to be given the opportunity to grow in faith and trust in Jesus and it is to be trusted enough by Jesus to be able to endure in the Christian faith while continuing to be a witness of Jesus. - Also Note: With Pentecost and the global outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all mankind [since the blood, cross and death of Jesus - the blood of Jesus has cleansed the entire world (Acts 10:15) - the world [system] is now a clean - however [unclean from within] unsaved mankind is working overtime to corrupt what Jesus has cleansed upon] with the Holy Spirit upon all mankind Christianity and the resurrection life of Jesus Christ that Christianity represents is not a philosophy nor just an idea of a select few but Christianity is the living Spirit, Blood and Word - Testimony of God and therefore because Christianity is a living Spirit that unsaved mankind then physically reacts out of proportion [sometimes in strong denial, rejection, even dangerously, etc.] to the Spiritual calling on their life by God in Jesus Christ. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 3 - The early Christian Church continually Worshiped and Served Jesus Christ even after His bodily Ascension back into Heaven - As a part of their Christian Devotion to Jesus their lives and the lives of those around them were dramatically altered being transformed by the Holy Spirit to conform within the Kingdom of God -- 'Acts 3:1-9 Now Peter and John went up together into the Temple at the hour of prayer [Christians went to the Temple only to pray and perform certain services but no longer to sacrifice (a lamb) as Jesus is our eternal sacrifice], being the ninth hour [3:00 P.M.]. And a certain man lame [unable to walk] from his mother's womb [physical birth] was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the Temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms (gifts) of them that entered into the Temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the Temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us [make eye contact]. And he gave heed unto them [looked them in the eye], expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said [worldly wealth], Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have [Heavenly wealth] give I thee: *In the Name [at Jesus' bidding] of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he [Peter] took him by the right hand [Christian fellowship], and lifted him up [cross and resurrection of Jesus]: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood [new life - resurrection], and walked [Christian walk], and entered with them [into fellowship] into the Temple [to pray to God], walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God ...'

Acts 3:10-26 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the Temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering. And when Peter saw it, he *answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? ***The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of [Pontius] Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer [Barabbas] to be granted unto you; And killed [Jesus] **the Prince of life, whom God hath raised [resurrection] from the dead; **whereof we are witnesses. And His Name [Jesus] *through faith [cross and resurrection] in His Name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by Him [Jesus] hath given him [lame man] this perfect [complete] soundness [health] in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it [crucified Jesus], as did also your rulers. *But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth *of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled. ***Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And He [Father] shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: [Jesus] *Whom the heaven must receive [remain] {this is where the concept of the Church Rapture emerges as Jesus is to remain in Heaven and not to come physically to the earth until the end of the Book of Revelation and His 2nd Coming to the Jews, Jesus will have gathered His Christian Church together unto Himself in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17) avoiding coming to earth until later} until the times of restitution [end of the Book of Revelation] of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His Holy Prophets since the world began. **For Moses truly said (Deuteronomy 18:15) unto the fathers, A Prophet [who is God] shall the Lord your God raise up [resurrection] unto you of your brethren, [a leader of the people of Israel] like unto me [Moses]; Him [Jesus] shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that Prophet [Jesus], shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the Prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. *Ye [redeemed of God] are the Children of the Prophets, and of the Covenant which God made with our fathers, **saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed [Jesus] shall all the Kindreds [Ethnicity] of the earth be Blessed. Unto you [Jews] first(,) God, having raised up [resurrection] His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you [Jews, first], in turning away every one of you from his iniquities [inability to have a real meaningful relationship with God]. - The Apostles Peter and John demonstrate to the people both in their life and in their preaching that the Spiritual nature of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ though it has only partially arrived [Firstfruits] for mankind the partial Kingdom of Jesus Christ fully Triumphs over and supersedes the current fallen physical realm and predicament of mankind. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 4 - The Gospel of God in Jesus Christ has begun to be Preached (Proclaimed) to mankind first to the Jews in Jerusalem then to the mixed multitude [Jews and gentiles] in Samaria [the ancient (O.T.) Kingdom of Northern Israel] and ultimately to all the Gentiles of the world -- 'Acts 4:1-4 And as they [Apostles] spake unto the people, the Priests, and the Captain [of the guard] of the Temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, *Being grieved [since Pentecost Christianity is a perceivable Spirit that men either rejoice in or are grieved by] that they taught the people, *and preached through Jesus *the resurrection [of just humans] from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide [lit. close of a regular day - G2703]. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men [converts to Christianity] was about five thousand.'

Acts 4:5-31 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the High Priest [the Jewish appointed High Priest], and Caiaphas [the Roman appointed High Priest], and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred [Levitical Tribe] of the High Priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? *Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost [the continuing empowerment and witness of Pentecost], said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole [lit. Salvation]; **Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised [resurrection] from the dead, even *by Him [Jesus] doth this man stand here before you whole. *This [Jesus] is the stone which was set at nought of you builders (Isaiah 28:16, Psalm 118:22), which is become the head of the corner. *Neither is there Salvation in any other: ***for there is none other Name under Heaven ***given among men, ***whereby we must be Saved [eternal resurrection life in Jesus]. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned [unschooled in ministry] and ignorant men [tradesmen], they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this Name [Jesus]. And they called them, *and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the Name of Jesus. **But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. *For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man [who was healed] was above forty years old [an adult], on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they [Christians] heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, **and said, *Lord, thou art God, *which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For of a truth against thy Holy Child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the Name of thy Holy Child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, *and they [Christians] spake the word of God with boldness. - Now the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ has been removed from the religious institutions and the Gospel News is to be brought directly to the people of the world directly from the Children of God. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 5 - With the presence and assistance of the Holy Spirit people are able to Trust and discern the Truth of Christianity and as a result the Christian Church realizes an enormous, explosive, unprecedented exponential growth in numbers of participants -- 'Acts 5:14 And [Christian] believers were the more added to the Lord [Jesus Christ], multitudes both of men and women.'

Acts 5:17-42 Then the High Priest [Annas] rose up, and all they that were with him, which is the sect of the Sadducees [liberal sect of Judaism (Democrats) - Pharisees are the conservative sect (Republicans)], and were filled with indignation, And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. *But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, **and said, Go, stand and speak *in the Temple [speak to the inner spirit of man] to the people all the words of this [eternal resurrection] life. And when they heard that, they entered into the Temple early in the morning, and taught. But the High Priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council [Sanhedrin - Jewish Supreme Court] together, and all the senate of the children of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the [Jewish] officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. Now when the High Priest and the Captain [of the guard] of the Temple and the Chief Priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the Temple, and Teaching the people. Then went the Captain with the Officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the Council: and the High Priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this [Jesus] Name? and, ***behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your *doctrine, and intend to bring this man's [Jesus'] blood upon us. **Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, **We ought to obey God [Jesus] rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince [Son] and a Saviour, *for to give repentance to Israel, **and forgiveness of sins. ***And we are His witnesses of these things; ***and so is also ***the Holy Ghost, *whom God hath given [in comfort, wisdom and empowerment] to them that obey Him. *When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, *and took counsel to slay [kill] them. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named *Gamaliel [the Apostle Paul's teacher - Paul was a Pharisee], a doctor [teacher] of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the Apostles forth a little space [in another room]; And said unto them [Jewish Council], Ye men of Israel, *take heed [from God - pray first] to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. For before these days rose up Theudas [a false christ], boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, *and [God] brought [it] to nought. After this man rose up Judas [false christ] of Galilee in the days of the taxing [about the time of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem], and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed [by God]. *And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: *for if this counsel or this work [of the Apostles] be of men [acting in the Name of God], it will come to nought: **But if it [ministry of the Apostles] be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. And to him *they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and *beaten them, *they commanded that they should not speak in the Name of Jesus, and let them go {they somewhat agreed}. And they [Apostles] departed from the presence of the Council, *rejoicing that they were counted worthy [by Jesus] to suffer shame for His Name. And daily in the Temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. - Note: The famous teacher Gamaliel [who's writings are still with us today - quoted in the Talmud] is who the Apostle Paul as a boy and as a young man received his instruction in the Torah (Bible) from before Paul (Saul) became a Christian. - [Gamaliel, also called Gamaliel I or Gamaliel the Elder was a first century authority on Jewish law who appears in the Acts of the Apostles. In Christian tradition, he was later considered to be a Christian saint (Saint Gamaliel). In Judaism he is a respected authority quoted in the Talmud referred to as Rabban Gamliel. - Wiki.com] (The title "Rabban," was borne only by presidents of the highest religious council, first prefixed to the name of Gamaliel - www.jewishencyclopedia.com). [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} The Apostle Paul - When Paul became a Christian, his very thorough [Jewish] education was enormously helpful - He was able to assimilate Christian doctrines rapidly and relate them accurately to the Scripture teaching he had received - From his education, both from Gamaliel and in the desert [Saudi Arabia] from the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul developed a divine viewpoint attitude toward human history - *Paul knew that the existence of God [by the Holy Spirit since Pentecost] can easily be perceived by anyone, *that man can become aware of God, *but that many men's deliberate sin halted this good beginning [after becoming aware of God] by [continued] immoral activities which accompanied their [past] idolatry

The Apostle Paul - The apostle Paul was one of the most famous citizens of the Roman Empire and without question one of the most influential individuals in history. He was used by the Lord in his missionary and evangelistic activities to set in motion a great deal of the organization known as the Christian Church, the Body of Christ on earth, to the extent that billions of human beings have been directly or indirectly affected by his ministry. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote the foundation documents for the Christian way of life, the Word of God which has changed the lives of millions. -- Paul's Education: Paul was educated by his mother until the age of five. From age five to ten he studied with his father in the Hebrew scriptures and traditional writings. At the same time, being a Roman citizen and living in a Greek and Roman environment, he received a thorough education in the Greek language, history, and culture. He was sent to Jerusalem at about the age of ten to attend the rabbinical school of Gamaliel, who was the son of Simeon the son of Hillel. Gamaliel was a most eminent rabbi who was mentioned both in the Talmud and in the New Testament (Acts 5:24-40; 22:3). Gamaliel was called Rabban - one of only seven teachers so called. He was a Pharisee, but he rose above party prejudice. He composed a prayer against the Christian "heretics". He lived and died a Jew. At this time, Herod was dead, and the Romans had complete control of Judea, hence, there was Roman money, language, and culture. The Jews, therefore, were inclined to cling more closely to their religion as the center of unity. [Refer to the topic: Judean History] There were two great rabbinical schools, those of Hillel and Schammai. Hillel, the grandfather of Gamaliel, held that tradition was superior to the Law. The school of Schammai despised traditionalists, especially when there teachings clashed with the writings of Moses. The religious school of Gamaliel (Hillel) was chiefly oral and usually had a prejudice against any book but Scripture. They used a system of Scriptural exegesis, and Josephus in his writings expressed the wish to have such a power of exegesis. When school was in session, learned men met and discussed scriptures, gave various interpretations, suggested illustrations, and quoted precedents. The students were encouraged to question, doubt, even contradict. -- When Paul became a Christian, his very thorough education was enormously helpful. He was able to assimilate Christian doctrines rapidly and relate them accurately to the Scripture teaching he had received. From his education, both from Gamaliel and in the desert from the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul developed a divine viewpoint attitude toward human history. Paul knew that the existence of God can easily be perceived by anyone, that man can become aware of God, but that many men's deliberate sin halted this good beginning by immoral activities which accompanied their idolatry. Therefore, Paul had an intense hatred of idolatry of any kind. Paul's teaching shows that the only reality is God. Idolatry distorts man's conception of the world and external nature. Idolatry is the enemy of mankind. Paul knew the law of growth of human nature. As a Roman, Tarsian, Hebrew, and culturally Greek, he knew of the many distortions of the life of his society. As a nation becomes unhealthy, development is halted. Societies errors as to the nature of God and the true relation of God to man prevented nations from getting rid of their besetting evil. The books of Acts is the chief authoritative record for the ministries of Paul and the other apostles. For a brief outline of Paul's ministry, see the Chronological Table of Paul's Ministry. The most thorough, accurate, and interesting secular work on Paul is The Life and Epistles of St. Paul, by Conybeare and Howson. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 6 - The early Christian Church and Church leaders in Jerusalem learn to handle the continual controversies and conflicts that arise both from within the Christian Church and from outside the Church -- 'Acts 6:1-7 And in those [early Church in Jerusalem] days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians [Greek Jews] against the Hebrews [Israel Jews], because their widows were neglected [not on the list] in the daily [food giving] ministration. Then the Twelve [the Eleven plus Matthias the (temporary) replacement for Judas - Paul in all likeliness became the Twelfth Apostle permanently replacing Judas] called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the [study and preaching] word of God, and serve tables [distribute food]. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this [charity] business. But we [leaders] will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word [Bible]. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a [Greek - Jewish convert] proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the Apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the [Levitical Temple] Priests were obedient [converts] to the [Christian] faith. - Note: The Grecian Christians issued the complaint and the early Church (primarily Hebrew) responded not in a compromise but by selecting all seven of the appointed charity workers from the Grecian group. The Greek [Greece the 5th Kingdom of the world - Revelation 17:10] nation ruled over Israel for about 200 years [336 B.C. - 149 B.C.] before Rome began to rule over Israel and the Greek culture was deeply implanted into Jewish society in Israel.'

Acts 6:8-15 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain [Greek - Helenistic Jews] of the Synagogue, which is called the Synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the [Holy] Spirit by which he spake. Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him [Stephen], and brought him to the council, And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this Holy place [Temple], and the law: For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place [Temple], and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. And all that sat in the council, *looking stedfastly on him, saw [observed] his face [with the presence of the Holy Spirit upon him] as it had been the face of an angel [in the very presence of God]. - Stephen living enough in the presence of God to become loving enough to witness to the people around him becomes bold enough to die for the Christian faith and becomes the first Christian martyr. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 7 - Stephen under arrest for blasphemy and on trial for his life in Jerusalem - Stephen uses as his defense the known fact that nearly every single prophet of importance to Israel throughout the history of Israel the people of Israel have first rejected the true Prophet before they ultimately accepted them and their ministry as being of God - Stephen is saying that Jesus was obviously God in the flesh though many people refused to believe it but then rejecting the true Prophets of God is the track record of mankind when it comes to interactions between man and God - Mankind has a propensity to reject the true interaction with God while at the same time embrace the false prophets of the world -- 'Acts 7:52-53 Which of the [true] Prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them [true Prophets] which shewed before [prophesied] of the coming of the Just One [Jesus Christ]; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers [their Jewish forefathers put to death the true prophets but they managed to go a step further and put to death the Messiah, Jesus the one prophesied about]: Who have received the law [the image of Jesus] by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it [because the law revealed the nature of Jesus].'

Acts 7:52-60 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One [Messiah]; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law [Divinely] by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart [enraged in their soul], and they gnashed on him with their teeth. *But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, *looked up stedfastly *into heaven, *and saw the glory of God, *and Jesus *standing [Jesus is standing as the Melchizedek High Priest ready to receive into Heaven the acceptable offering of the sacrifice and life of Stephen] on the right hand of God, And said, **Behold, I see the Heavens opened, and the Son of Man [Jesus] standing on the right hand of God [Father]. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city [outside the city limits, probably at the dump], and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul [later the Apostle Paul] {Note: Saul (the Apostle Paul) although perfectly within his rights did not throw a stone himself - Paul was not the violent aggressor that the secular world wants to portray}. And they [not Saul] stoned Stephen, ***calling upon God, and **saying [as Jesus said from His cross (Luke 23:46)], Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. *And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge [as Jesus had said from His cross (Luke 23:34)]. And when he had said this, he fell asleep [to the Christian death is as harmless as sleep and often in the Bible death is referred to simply as a [harmless] sleep for those who are saved and will awake in Heaven]. - Note: Normally in the Bible Jesus is represented as seated [enthroned]at the right hand of the Father Matthew 26:64)however Stephen describes Jesus as standing - standing is a part of the office of the High Priest - sitting is a part of the office of the King. Jesus preforms all three offices of God as King of the Universe, High Priest [Melchizedek] and True Prophet. The Christian Stephen lived his life with Jesus as his example, he preached his life with Jesus as his example and in his death (sleep) he departed with Jesus as his example and as such Stephen saw Jesus standing in Heaven and was received directly into Heaven receiving what the Apostle Paul would call the martyrs death the "better resurrection" (Hebrews 11:35). [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} wikipedia.org - St. Stephen's Day [December 26th]: Commemorates Saint Stephen, the first [Common] Christian martyr

St. Stephen's Day, or the Feast of St. Stephen, is a Christian Saint's day celebrated on 26 December in the Western Church and 27 December in the Eastern Church. Many Eastern Orthodox churches adhere to the Julian calendar and mark St. Stephen's Day on 27 December according to that calendar, which places it on January 9 according to the Gregorian calendar used in secular (and Western) contexts. It commemorates St Stephen, the first Christian martyr or protomartyr. -- Protomartyr (Greek "first" + "martyr") is a term for the first Christian martyr in a country. Alternatively, the phrase the Protomartyr (with no other qualification of country or region) can mean Saint Stephen, the first martyr of the Christian church. -- See also: Boxing Day [day after Christiams] - The name derives from the English tradition giving seasonal gifts (in the form of a "Christmas box") to less wealthy people. In the United Kingdom this was later extended to various workpeople such as labourers, servants, tradespeople and postal workers. ... Boxing Day is traditionally celebrated on 26 December, St. Stephen's Day, the day after Christmas Day. Unlike St. Stephen's Day, Boxing Day is a secular holiday and is not always on 26 December: the public holiday is generally moved to the following Monday if 26 December is a Saturday. If 25 December is a Saturday then both the Monday and Tuesday may be public holidays. However the date of observance of Boxing Day varies between countries. In Ireland - when it was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland - the UK's Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of St Stephen as a non-moveable public holiday on 26 December. Since Partition, the name "Boxing Day" is used only by the authorities in Northern Ireland (which remained part of the United Kingdom). Their Boxing Day is a moveable public holiday in line with the rest of the United Kingdom. The Banking and Financial Dealings Act of 1971 established "Boxing Day" as a public holiday in Scotland. In the Australian state of South Australia, 26 December is a public holiday known as Proclamation Day. -- Calendar: In the countries that observe this holiday, 26 December is commonly referred to both as Boxing Day and as St. Stephen's Day, no matter what day of the week it occurs. However, in some countries, holidays falling on Saturday or Sunday are observed on the next weekday. Boxing Day cannot be on a Sunday, that day being the officially recognised day of worship, so traditionally it was the next working day of the week following Christmas Day, (i.e. any day from Monday to Saturday). In recent times this tradition has been either forgotten or ignored. Most people consider 26 December to be Boxing Day even when it falls on a Sunday. The last year 26 December was called Christmas Sunday in the United Kingdom and Canada was 1993. The next time the date fell on a Sunday (1999), it was known as Boxing Day. If Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, then Monday 28 December is declared a bank or public holiday. In the United Kingdom and some other countries, this is accomplished by Royal Proclamation. In some Canadian provinces, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday that is always celebrated on 26 December. As with most statutory holidays in Canada, if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, compensation days are given in the following week. If Boxing Day falls on a Sunday then Christmas Day would be on a Saturday, so in countries where these are both bank or public holiday, the Statutory Holiday for Christmas is moved to Monday December 27 and the Statutory Holiday for Boxing Day is moved to Tuesday December 28. If Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, then Boxing Day is on Monday 26 December, and no Royal Proclamation is required. In such a circumstance, a 'substitute bank holiday in the place of Christmas Day' is declared for Tuesday 27 December, so the Boxing Day holiday occurs before the substitute Christmas holiday. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 8 - The early Christian Church begins to experience wide scale opposition and persecution -- 'Acts 8:1-3 And Saul [later the Apostle Paul] was consenting unto his [Stephen's] death. *And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they [Christians - Disciples] were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, *except the Apostles [Apostle means 'sent out' at this point in the Church the Disciples basically fled while the Apostles remained calm]. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to *prison [early Christians in Jerusalem were primarily sent to prison for a short time].'

Acts 8:4-25 Therefore they [Christian - Disciples] that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the [Gospel] Word. Then Philip [one of the seven servants as was Stephen] went down to the city of Samaria [ancient capital of Northern Israel], and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man, called Simon [the Sourcer - Warlock], which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. *But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus Christ, *they were baptized, both men and women. *Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the Apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God [but not yet the actual Kingdom of God], they sent unto them *Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost [Jesus instructed that the Christian Church would expand orderly and with the participation of Peter (Matthew 16:17-19) the leading Apostle]: For as yet He [Holy Spirit] was fallen upon none of them [Pentecost empowerment]: only they were baptized [Firstfruits] in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they [Peter, John] their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost [i.e. the 2nd Pentecost of the Church "Samaritans" - with the 3rd Pentecost household of Cornelius (Acts 10) Romans-Gentiles yet to come]. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the Apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given {actually a new mission field was opened up}, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. **But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee [Peter did not consider Simon the Sourcer to be saved], because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. *Thou [unsaved] hast neither part nor lot in this matter: *for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. *Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. *For I perceive [discern] that thou art in the gall of bitterness [against Jews and Christians], and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon [unwilling to go to God himself], and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. And they, when they had testified and preached the Word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the Gospel in many villages [in the now open mission field] of the Samaritans. - The spread of Christianity being a work of God ordained in the Holy Spirit was spread only through the opening of opportunities by the Holy Spirit. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 10 - Acts Chapter 10 - The birth of the Gentile Christian Church -- 'Acts 10:1-7 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a Centurion [soldier - company commander] of the band [unit] called the Italian band, A devout [Gentile] man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the [Jewish and Gentile] people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour [3:00 pm] of the day an Angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he [Angel] said unto him, *Thy prayers and thine alms [giving] are come up for a memorial [eternal remembrance] before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is [Apostle] Peter He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he [Peter] shall [open the doors for the Christian Church to now receive Gentile members] tell thee what thou oughtest to do. ...'

Acts 10:7-48 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa. On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour ... And the voice [of God] spake unto him [Peter] again the second time, *What God hath cleansed [with His blood on the cross], that call not thou common [unclean]. ... Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate, And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. ... Now therefore are we all here present [back at the house of Cornelious in Caesarea] before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee [Peter] of God. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons [Jew or Gentile]: But **in every Nation he that feareth Him [God], and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him. The word which God sent unto the Children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: He is Lord of all: That Word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea [Israel], and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; *How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. **And we are witnesses of all things which He [Jesus] did both in the land of the Jews, and in [Holy Week] Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed Him openly [visibly]; ***Not to all the people [only Christians (Firstfruits) those haven received the born again' Spirit of Jesus witnessed the Resurrection of Jesus], but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us [Apostles], who did eat and drink [feasting] with Him after He rose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick [living] and dead. To Him give all the prophets witness, that *through His Name *whosoever believeth in Him *shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, ***the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word [the 3rd and final ethnic Pentecost globally opening the Christian Church to Gentiles]. And they of the circumcision [Jewish Christians] which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid [Baptism] water, that these should not be Baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? *And he commanded them to be Baptized in the Name of the Lord [Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit]. Then *prayed [communicated] they him to tarry certain days. - Note: By this time in history with the move of the Holy Spirit to allow Gentiles into the Christian this is about 48 A.D. with the cross, resurrection and Pentecost occurring in about 33 A.D. the Christian Church has been firmly established and is about 15 years old when Gentiles are brought into Christian Fellowship with God. The as a result of Gentiles coming directly into the Christian Church in about 51 A.D. the Christian Church will have its first council the Council of Jerusalem to decide the validity and positioning of Gentiles in the already well established Christian Church. The decision will be that Gentiles who have also been bought by the blood of Jesus Christ are to be welcomed into the Christian Church as full and equal members in the one universal Church body of the resurrected Jesus Christ. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 12 - The Apostle James the representative of [and Apostle to] the redeemed group of Martyred Saints of Revelation is himself Martyred -- 'Acts 12:1-2 Now about that time Herod [Antipas] the king [the son of King Herod the Great of Matthew 2:1] stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.' Note: Jesus only allowed the Disciples Peter, John and James [each representing a distinct group of redeemed - saved people] to witness and participate at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1) and in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:33) while the other disciples were excluded.' - Peter the Apostle representing the Jews (Galatians 2:7), the Disciple John representing the Christian Church (Revelation 4:1) and James the Apostle representing the Martyred Saints of Revelation (Acts 12:2) - John and James were brothers as the Christian Church and the future [primarily Gentile] Martyred Saints of Revelation (Revelation 6:9) are brothers (Revelation 13:7) but are not the same group - The 144,000 (Revelation 7:4) Jewish witnesses of Revelation are also Martyred (Revelation 14:1) during the tribulation period.

The death of Herod Antipas (who put John the Baptist to death) - Herod the Tetrarch (Matthew 14:1): Acts 12:20 And Herod was highly displeased with them [the cities] of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country. And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration [speech] unto them. *And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. *And immediately the angel of the Lord smote [stricken] him [Herod], **because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and [five days later] gave up the ghost. *But the Word of God grew and multiplied. And Barnabas and Saul [Apostle Paul] returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry [delivering contributions], and took with them John [Mark John - writer of the Gospel of Mark - nephew of Barnabas], whose surname was Mark. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 13 - The Missionary efforts of the Christian Church primarily to Gentiles begins with Saul [Apostle Paul] and Barnabas being sent out (Apostle) by the Holy Spirit on the first of three Missionary trips undertaken by the Apostle Paul and recorded in the book of Acts -- 'Acts 13:1-4 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 [a childhood friend of Herod], which had been brought up with Herod the Tetrarch, and Saul [Apostle Paul]. ***As they ministered to the Lord [Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit], and fasted, *the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the [Missionary] work whereunto I have called them. And when they [Church fellowship] had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, *being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia [in modern Syria]; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.' - Note: Where Jesus is the head and authority of the Christian Church it is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit that is in charge of gathering, assembling and orchestrating the Christian Church into becoming the one assembled Bride of Jesus Christ.

Acts 13:43-52 Now when the [Jewish synagogue] (redeemed - Jewish redemption) congregation was [concluded for the Saturday] broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next Sabbath day [Saturday] came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. 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. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the Word of God [for salvation] should first have been spoken to you [Jews the redeemed of God]: but seeing ye put it [Salvation] from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life [here and now], lo, *we turn to the Gentiles. *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 [eternal life] unto the ends of the earth. *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. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. 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 [evicted] out of their coasts. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost. - Note: What is being offered to the Jews is salvation. The [observant obedient - Synagogue] Jews are already redeemed (in the presence of God) and for the redeemed Jews salvation comes *after death. Jesus is offering Salvation [eternal life] here and now. The Gentiles [us]do not have redemption as the observant Jews do, some Gentiles are (saved) in that their conscience was a witness to them that there is a God but they were saved (also after death) not directly knowing God and not being in the presence of God as the redeemed Jews are. Gentiles who become Christians receive instantly both the Redemption (without sin in the presence of God) and Salvation (eternal life). Where the Jews have Jewish redemption and eventually (after death) eternal life (Salvation) a redeemed Jew can become a Christian and then also receive Salvation already having redemption but the Gentiles coming into the Christian Church only have the option of Salvation and with Christian Salvation comes redemption.
[article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} PAUL [the Apostle] has been called the greatest Christian who ever lived

PAUL has been called the greatest Christian who ever lived. He also suffered greatly for the name of Jesus Christ. When Paul defended his calling to the Church, he defined suffering as a major proof of his spiritual office. 'I have worked much harder,' he insisted, 'been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again' (2 Corinthians 11:23). Strength in Weakness: But Paul's many trials did not deter him from living the Christian life. Neither did they restrict his preaching the gospel. To the contrary, suffering seemed to impel Paul to even greater spiritual service. The apostle Paul said something remarkable about his adversities: 'For Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong' (2 Corinthians 12:10). We shouldn't, however, think of Paul as bigger than life or an indestructible superman. There were times when the tremendous hardships he confronted were far beyond his human endurance. After suffering one rather malicious incident of persecution, Paul admitted he and his companions 'despaired even of life' (2 Corinthians 1:8). But Paul had faith in the living God to see him trough his trial. 'On him we have set our hope,' wrote Paul, 'that he will continue to deliver us' (verse 10). But as Paul's life demonstrates, God usually delivers us out of troubles we are already in, not necessarily from troubles before they begin. Yet, as we must, Paul was able to rise above all his many afflictions. How did he do it? And how can we surmount our trials and troubles? Paul certainly didn't overcome by his own strength or will. He never took personal credit for being able to bear his painfully heavy cross. He attributed his spiritual muscle to its true source - Jesus Christ. Paul said: 'I can do everything through him who gives me strength' (Philippians 4:13). He exulted, not in his own will and courage, but in the power of Christ in him. By his example we know that we, too, have access to the same spiritual power and courage. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 15 - The 1st Church Council takes place about 52 A.D. at the Church in Jerusalem - The 1st Church Council was specifically in regard to the major number of Gentiles that were now joining the Christian Church daily [predominantly through Missionary efforts] and whether or not the Gentiles would have to be circumcised and observe any of the Jewish customs or take part in any of the established laws of Moses -- 'Acts 15:6 And the Apostles and [Church] Elders [including James the ½ brother of Jesus] came together for to consider of this matter.'

Acts 15:6-22 And the Apostles and Elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing [arguing], [Apostle] Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago [Cornelius and his household at Caesarea] God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, *giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, **purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke [law of Moses] upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? **But we believe that through the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we [Jews who are Redeemed] shall be Saved, even as they [Gentiles who are now being Saved - Salvation]. Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. And after they had held their peace, James [the ½ brother of Jesus - Church leader in Jerusalem] answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon [Apostle Peter] hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, ***to take out of them a [Christian] people for His Name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After [Gentile Christian Church] this I [Messiah] will return [2nd Coming], and will build again the Tabernacle [House - Dwelling] of [the Throne of King] David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That [during the Christian Church Age] the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My Name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. ***Known unto God are all His works ***from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God [those who have the Holy Spirit]: But that we write unto them, *that they abstain from pollutions of [Gentile] idols, and from [Gentile] fornication, and from things strangled [Jewish law], and from blood [Jewish law]. **For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him [abstain from idols and fornication because it is un-Christian, abstain from unclean food and blood only if it offends the local Jewish population], being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day. Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole Church [in Jerusalem], to send chosen men of their own company to [the Church in] Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren … - Note: The early Church recognized that God was active in calling Gentiles into His Christian Church and they also recognized that the Gentiles would have to conduct their new life in a manner consistent with Biblical Christianity and finally they concluded that it is important for Christians not to openly offend those that have remained Jewish. Also Note: All food including blood is now clean because the eternal blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed the world. Eating animal blood and probably human blood if it were obtained in a legal manner does not make a person unclean. Satan has devised a scheme that the world is unclean however it is not. It is unprofitable to do questionable things and germs and disease might be involved but if someone for example drank pig blood thinking it is an evil act the act itself is not but the intentions of their heart might be. - Some cultures eat blood foods and if the Jews are simply notified that it is a custom and not a slight on Moses then they are free to eat their blood food of course not offering any of it to a devout Jewish person because that would be terribly offensive. The 1st Church council was saying to the Gentiles to have our Christian Gentile liberties but also to be mindful and respectful of the [Redeemed] Jews who do still follow the laws of Moses. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 15 (Part 2) - Christian Church Councils - All of the Church Councils throughout history have dealt specifically with the issues of God's Redemptive and Salvation plan for mankind and in light of God's plan for mankind the councils have also attempt to explain who God is to mankind - A Note of Encouragement: Participation in the blog Bible Study has been going extraordinarily well since the start of the study and it continues as one of the most active projects on the Basic Christian website. I'm encouraged and blessed daily by the numbers of people who are so actively studying the Bible and seeking a direct relationship with God in Jesus Christ. Continue with prayer, study and fellowship! Continue the good work in Jesus Christ!

A brief background note on the blog Bible Study and a summary of Redemption and Salvation: The Bible is about the Redemption and Salvation plan of God for mankind therefore the blog Bible Study is attempting to be about the Redemption and Salvation of mankind in examining the predetermined plan of God in Jesus Christ for mankind. - Summary: Adam and his wife [later named Eve] were both a part of the original creation of God and were both created possessing Redemption [in the visible, perceivable presence of God] and Salvation [eternal life]. With the fall of Adam and Eve by disobedience to God that directly resulted in sin against God then Adam and Eve lost their Redemption and Salvation and as a result of not having Redemption and Salvation they were then unable to pass along Redemption and Salvation to any of their descendants including us at our present day. The very children of Adam and Eve were without God in any form except in the brief [redemptive] knowledge of God that their parents Adam and Eve were able tell them about from their experiences and for a few corrective and punitive [redemptive] measures from God. It seems we fail to realize how complete the sin separation was for mankind and how devastating the results were. Adam and Eve were a part of the original creation of God and then their immediate children [Cain, Abel, Seth, etc.] composed a group of individuals separated from God but were able through the instructions of their parents to follow substitutional sacrificial practices. This group highly separated from God consisting of individuals and families were known as the 'sacrificing righteous Gentiles' a group of disorganized individuals that encompassed the highly personally [self] esteemed Job and it finally the system spun completely out of control and came to an end in the folly of Balaam the last of the sacrificing Gentiles. God chose the man Abram (Abraham) and his wife Sarai (Sarah) from among the sacrificing Gentiles to become the father of the Jewish Nation of further redeemed of God. Jewish Redemption was to bring mankind through the laws, customs and representation of God into a more direct and more Redeemed presence of God [as an example for all of mankind] than any of mankind had previously been since the fall of mankind. God Redeemed the Jewish Nation of Israel through Covenants (Promises), Laws (Society), Kings (representation of God), Priests (access for the people to God), Prophets (access from God to the people) all a direct representation of the one coming Jesus Christ the Messiah of all mankind. With the now accomplished Redemption and Salvation for all mankind in the Messiah Jesus Christ the finalized Christian Salvation and Redemption provided in the Virgin birth, atoning Redemption blood and eternal Salvation resurrection life of Jesus Christ is the completed work of God among mankind however not everyone is yet at the completed Christian work of God in mankind. The work of God in convicting Gentiles [in remote areas who have not heard the Gospel] through their conscience about the Holy God and through the enormity and splendor of God's creation continues. Also the Redemption of the Jewish people and Nation of Israel continues and soon another group of Redeemed the End Time Martyred Saints of Revelation will be established and quickly joined by the Redeemed 144,000 [Jewish Firstfruits (Revelation 14:4), Jews who acknowledge Jesus and remain Jewish] Jewish Witnesses of Jesus Christ the Messiah. Then after the return of Jesus Christ and during His 1,000 year Righteous Kingdom reign here on earth there will be another group of Redeemed 'Millennial Saints' to continue to fulfill and establish the Redemption and Salvation plan of God in Jesus Christ existing for all of mankind throughout every age and into all of eternity. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} The Council of Jerusalem Acts 15:6-31 (Approx. 52 A.D.): where we read of the first General Church Council - A serious question of doctrine arose, and "the apostles and the presbyters came together to consider this matter" - The decree of the Council of Jerusalem went on, then, to establish a binding obligation upon all Christians in the local churches of Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: "that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality" (Acts 15:29) - Did the local churches bristle at this imposition of doctrine and practice from the ecclesiastical leadership of the whole Church? Not at all, but rather they "rejoiced over its encouragement" (Acts 15:31) {The 50 A.D. Jerusalem Council decision was yes, Gentiles can become Christians and then simple directions and reminders were given so that the new Gentile Christians would not offend God. The food (abstain from eating blood) decision was given so that Christians would not offend the Jews. Christians can eat any food however God is still protecting the Jews and He does not want them offended by others even Christians. Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them (Jews) that preach (law) him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.}

The Council of Jerusalem: We may prove this quite readily by turning to Acts 15:6-31, where we read of the first General Church Council. A serious question of doctrine arose, and "the apostles and the presbyters came together to consider this matter" (Acts 15:6). After hearing the arguments and testimony of Peter, Paul and Barnabas, the leader of the Council, James [half brother of Jesus, writer of the book of James], then passed a decree with the words, "Therefore I judge" (Acts 15:19, 'dio ego krino'). This passage describes no truly democratic process, but rather it describes submission to the judgment of a central ecclesiastical authority [an authority completely submitted to Jesus Christ]. -- After receiving the judgment of James, "it pleased the apostles and presbyters together with the whole Church" (Acts 15:22: 'apostolois kai tois presbyterois syn hole ekklesia') to dispatch delegates with a letter promulgating the decree of the Council. The council then drafted a letter in the name of "the apostles and the brother-presbyters" (Acts 15:23: 'hoi apostoloi kai hoi presbyteroi adelphoi'). This phrasing, and especially the apposition of 'presbyteroi' and 'adelphoi', is quite precise in establishing the authority of the decision of the Council in the office of the ministers who serve and lead the Church, as opposed to a democratic process. -- Does the phrase "whole Church" here refer to the universal Church, or merely to the entirety of the congregation at Jerusalem. Recalling that the leadership of the Council was comprised of the apostles who were planting local churches in the Hellenistic world, delegates of the Hellenistic churches, and the presbyters of the church at Jerusalem, we can only rightly conclude that they spoke in the name of the universal Church. Indeed, the letter explicitly states that the authors speak in the authority of the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28); since Paul tells us that it is by one Spirit that we were baptized into one body (1 Cor. 12:13) which is Christ (1 Cor. 12:27) and over which Christ is the head (1 Eph. 1:22-23), when Luke writes in Acts 15:22 of the leadership of the whole Church assenting to the decree of James which is binding on all Gentile Christians, he is necessarily speaking of the Church in its universal or catholic sense. -- The Council then sent the letter to the local churches in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. This letter remarks that the false doctrine which the council repudiated was in fact discernibly false because "we gave no such commandments" (Acts 15:24). Hence, the Bible tells us that right doctrine is subject to the discernment of the leadership of the whole Church. The decree of the Council of Jerusalem went on, then, to establish a binding obligation upon all Christians in the local churches of Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: "that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality" (Acts 15:29). Did the local churches bristle at this imposition of doctrine and practice from the ecclesiastical leadership of the whole Church? Not at all, but rather they "rejoiced over its encouragement" (Acts 15:31). Clearly, the Bible itself sets a precedent for the government of the universal Church by means of General Councils. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} 4 Great Church Councils Part 1 & 2 (Mp3s) {Note: The Council of Jerusalem Acts 15:6-31 (Approx. 52 A.D.) is the original and first Christian Church Council. All of the later Church Councils are modeled after the first Jerusalem Council.}

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{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} The Bible and The Creeds - Sermon Series: An Introduction to the Creeds (Mp3s)

Brian Borgman is the founding pastor of Grace Community Church. He earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Biola University (La Mirada, CA), a Master of Divinity from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary (Portland, OR) and a Doctor of Ministry from Westminster Seminary (Escondido, CA). [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Historic Baptist Documents - Confessions, Catechisms, Creeds

Many contemporaries have a deep-seated suspicion of catechisms. In our own Baptist denomination, many would consider the words "Baptist catechism" as mutually exclusive. A popular misconception is that catechisms are used in times and places where inadequate views of conversion predominate or the fires of evangelism have long since turned to white ash. If the Bible is preached, they continue, no catechism is necessary; catechisms tend to produce mere intellectual assent where true heart religion is absent. This concern reflects a healthy interest for the experiential side of true Christianity. Concern for conversion and fervor, however, should never diminish one's commitment to the individual truths of Christianity nor the necessity of teaching them in a full and coherent manner.~An Encouragement to Use Catechisms, Tom Nettles. [article link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Global Kingdoms of the Earth} Summary: The Apostle Paul's Journey to Rome - The Four Dispensations of the Times since the 1st Coming of Jesus Christ seem to have been mapped out and enacted throughout Paul's Journey to Rome -- 1. The Apostles Dispensation (Acts 27:1-5) -- 2. The Common Christian Church Age (Acts 27:6-44) -- 3. The Martyred Saints of Revelation Tribulation (Acts 28:1-15) -- 4. The 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom Reign of Jesus Christ on earth (Acts 28:16-31)

1. The Apostles Dispensation (Acts 27:1-5): Paul and the other Apostles [eyewitnesses] of Jesus Christ go into the world preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ. "Acts 27:3-5 And [representing the Apostolic Missionary Journey Age] the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave *him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the **winds were contrary. And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia." {Note: Luke and the Apostle Paul seem to be recording two primary things. 1. Looking back on all of Paul's Missionary Journeys that Paul felt that they had gone well and that on the whole the Gospel was being well received "him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself" that Paul had made a lot of friends on his Missionary Trips and was refreshed by the fellowship he had with the Gentile Christians. 2. Also noting that "the [spiritual] winds were contrary" seeming to imply that there was a great deal of spiritual (demonic) opposition to the Gospel Message going forward.} -- 2. The Common Christian Church Age (Acts 27:6-44): "Acts 27:6 And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein." {Note: The ship of the Apostolic Age has ended and the ship of the Common Christian Church Age has launched - carrying the nourishing wheat (Bible) and the four anchors (4 Gospels). The [Christian] ship spends a great deal of time in the port of "Fair Havens" and then departs into adversity to the extent that the storms of life strand and tear the ship apart. Noteworthy, the Church [ship] has the four anchors [4 Gospels] and correctly uses them to stabilize the ship in dangerous waters however also note how the cargo of wheat [Bible] is considered too big of a burden and is cast overboard (Acts 27:38) away from the Church. -- 3. The Martyred Saints of Revelation Tribulation (Acts 28:1-15): After the Christian Church Age has come to an end the Revelation Tribulation Age begins. {Note: The Saints of Revelation are washed ashore into a strange society and economy where they are refuges; destitute and in peril. Though working hard and trying to get along they are Bitten by the Beast and transported to fellowship with their fellow Martyrs. -- 4. The 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom Reign of Jesus Christ on earth (Acts 27:16-31): Having finally arrived in Rome the Throne of the King the Millennial Rein of Jesus Christ is now being depicted. {Note: As a type of a citizen of the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ, Paul is sent not to jail but to his own house to live [for two years]. Once in his Millennial House the Apostle Paul immediately begins to fellowship with the Jews of the Millennial Age.} -- Paul's Journey to Rome and the book of Acts concludes "Acts 28:30-31 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, **Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him." [article link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Global Kingdoms of the Earth} [Part 1 of 3] Introduction: Paul's Journey to Rome - Church History Outline: Ceasrea to Malta - End Times (Antichrist) Outline: Malta to Rome

The Apostle Paul's "Journey to Rome" covered in Acts chapters 27 and 28 is a unique set of passages of scripture and seems to tell a parallel story to the main story of Paul's journey and shipwreck while in route to Rome. The first part of Paul's journey from Caesarea, Israel to the shipwreck off of the shores of the island of Malta seems to tell the parallel story of what has been much of Church history up until today. The second main segment of Paul's journey beginning with Malta then the departure and the sailing to Italy, seems to tell the parallel story of the End Times, the Antichrist and the Book of Revelation. - In looking at these events one primary set of verses in each segment is going to be crucial to the study. In the first portion the Church History outline the verses Acts 27:41 and Acts 27:44 [the actual shipwreck and making it to shore] are going to be the crucial verses for the first segment. - The second segment the End Times outline the island of Malta to Rome the main verses are going to be Acts 28:13-15, Paul's arrival in Italy but at first not in Rome. [article link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Global Kingdoms of the Earth} [Part 2 of 3] Church History Outline: Ceasrea to Malta - In Paul's Journey to eventually stand at the feat of [the King] Caesar (Acts 26:32) the Christian Church with the Gospel departs from Israel [where Christianity originated] at the port of city of Caesarea (Acts 27:1-2) to go to the Rome and the Gentile world

Christian Church Age: After making some [missionary] stops along the way Paul and company (Acts 27:6) transfer to a ship [carrying nourishing wheat] that can take them to Rome. While sailing "many days" on their voyage to Rome the ship [Christian Church] encounters the alternating "contrary winds" of persecution and also the favorable port of "Fair Havens" entailing that "much time had been spent" on the Journey. - The first real hint of trouble for the Christian Church comes in the form of the Apostle Paul admonishing the Church that the Jewish Feast day [the fast] of Yom Kippur had passed and that the primarily Gentile Church was no longer marking or paying attention to the Jewish Feast Days putting the Christian Church in peril of not knowing the Times or the Seasons in which it sailed (Acts 27:9-12). The Church (ship) now unable to chart and follow its own course was caught in the winds of the days and the crew now instead of directing the ship the events of the day carried the ship (Church) along on its own course while the ship (Church) was mostly unable to affect, alter or counter any of the blowing winds (Acts 27:15). The ship (Church) tossed in the storms of life brought their sails down and just attempted to weather out the storm and at least they had four anchors to cast out into the water and help steady and protect (from hitting bottom) the Ship. The Apostle Paul then informs everyone that unless they remain aboard the one ship (of Christian faith) they cannot be saved (Acts 27:31). The one ship representing Christianity (the one true Church) then partakes in the act of Christian Communion (Acts 27:35). A distant land (Heaven) is sighted and the passengers (Christians) are not martyred but are able to reach the land (Heaven) alive as each person clings to some wood (cross of Jesus) from the one ship. The ship (Church) itself is finally caught in enough turmoil that it runs aground and breaks up [amazingly at a place were two sea's meet (Acts 27:41) - where the Eastern sea of Mysticism and the Western sea of Rationalism meet the Christian boat as one Catholic body gets stuck in the sand and breaks apart - into many denominations] though the individuals make it ashore (to Heaven) by clinging to wood (the cross of Jesus Christ), the one requirement to get a sinner into Heaven is to know that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on His cross. With the Church (ship) stuck and broken apart and ALL the passengers (Christians) from the one ship of Christianity safely ashore (in Heaven) the Christian Church Age comes to an end (Acts 27:44). -- "Acts 27:44 And the rest [of the Christians], some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship [all clinging to the cross of Jesus]. **And so it came to pass, **that they escaped [sin-death] **all safe to [Heaven] land."
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{Basic Christian: The 8 Global Kingdoms of the Earth} Wikipedia.org: Saint Publius (Acts 28:7) - Saint Publius [a Church Apostolic Father] is venerated as the first Bishop of Malta - Publius' conversion led to Malta being the first Christian nation in the West, and one of the first in the world - He was martyred in 125 A.D., during the persecution of Emperor Hadrian

It was the same Publius who received the Apostle Paul during his shipwreck on the island as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles. According to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul cured Publius' dysentery-afflicted father. -- Book: by Rev. Alban Butler (1711-1773 A.D.). Volume I: January. "The Lives of the Saints" last published 1866. - St. Publius, Bishop and Martyr [died January 21, 125 A.D. in Athens, Greece] HE succeeded St. Dionysius the Areopagite in the see of Athens, as we are assured by St. Dionysius of Corinth, quoted by Eusebius. 1 He went to God by martyrdom, and Saint Quadratus was chosen third bishop of that city. See Le Quien, Or. Christ. t. 2. p. 169. Note 1. Euseb. l. 4. c. 23. [article link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Global Kingdoms of the Earth} [Part 3 of 3] End Time Outline: Malta to Rome - End Times - Martyred Saints of Revelation: The refugees come ashore upon a foreign island (Malta) with "barbarous people" [barbarous only means not Romans (not citizens of the Kingdom) and not Jewish]

Paul and the other castaways find themselves on an unfamiliar island (Malta), a society of unfamiliar people with unfamiliar customs. In the entire narration of their time on Malta only one person is identified by name (and also by title) and it is the intriguing person of Publius (Public) [Publius a Latin (Roman) name - definition of Public: of or pertaining to the people; belonging to the people; relating to, or affecting, a nation, state, or community - ardictionary.com]. The intriguing person Publius is the "chief" or first [G4413 - Protos] person of the Island of Malta and though Publius is not a Roman citizen he has a Roman name and connections to Rome. - In this scenario, in what we are trying to read between the lines that Luke wrote for us in his book of Acts Chapters 27 and 28 we have the scenario that the Church Age has ended (Acts 27:44), the one ship of Christianity has broken apart and ALL the Christians are in Heaven. Here upon Malta (Acts 28:1) we seem to have the dispensation after Christianity [after the Church Age] - the dispensation of the End Times and the Martyred Saints of Revelation. In this intriguing scenario one person is in charge [of buying and selling] for an entire society and also that person is not a part of the 6th Kingdom in Rome. Publius is not a Roman citizen, instead this very public and in charge figure is first in his own system (the 7th Kingdom Revised Rome). Publius {before he becomes a Christian} is a type of the Antichrist and the Island society of Malta is a type of the 7th Kingdom (Revised Roman Empire). Further establishing that Luke intends for Malta to represent the Martyred Saints of End Times is that Luke tells of Paul being bitten by a viper (Acts28:3) but then Luke chooses to call the poisonous viper a "beast" (Acts 28:4,5) using the same word "beast" (G2342 - Therion) that John would later use in his Book of Revelation [Revelation 13:18 - the Mark of the Beast] to describe the Antichrist - Paul "he shook off the beast into the fire" (Acts 28:5) refusing to take the Mark of the Beast (Revelation 19:20). Luke is determined to present the spirit of Antichrist at the Island of Malta. - Note: The End Time events that Luke portrays on Malta is not quite like the End Times often portrayed today in common media, where saints are on the run for their lives. In this End Time depiction by Luke the Saints are busy, working, helpful and briefly an integrated part of the society of Malta. But the Saints have a determined destination and a departure date and depart the island society of Malta not out of anger or desperation but out of a necessity. It seems that Luke is portraying Malta [Revised Rome] as a society that is vastly different than today (there might not be any private property - everything might be 'public' in name only) a tightly controlled and managed society with each person knowing where they rank in society and one person Publius is first. Further after departing the island of Malta and continuing their Journey [a journey that is no longer given in great detail - because technically the Saints departed Malta as Martyrs]. The End Time martyrs of Malta continue on to their desired destination to the feet of the King [Caesar] but like the Book of Revelation the Martyrs of Malta do not go directly to Rome they depart the ship outside of Rome and fellowship with other believers for a while. In the Book of Revelation the 5th Seal "Revelation 6:9 And when He [Jesus] had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain (Martyrs) for [faith in] the Word of God, and for the Testimony [faith in Jesus] which they held:" The Martyred Saints of Revelation do not go directly (individually) to the Throne of Jesus but instead gather outside the Temple at the altar and fellowship until their numbers (dispensation) are complete. Then at the end of the End Times all the Martyred Saints of Revelation join (Revelation 7:9) in with the Christian Church also in Heaven worshiping at the feet of the King Jesus Christ. -- "Acts 28:14-15 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome. And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum, and The Three Taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage." [article link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Global Kingdoms of the Earth} Conclusion: The Apostle Paul's journey to Rome - Once in Rome the Apostle Paul continues to prophetically enact out End Time Biblical events - Amazingly the Apostle Paul does not go to jail with the other prisoners (unbelievers) instead Paul safely goes and lives in his own house - Enacting out the third part of the End Times - The Millennial Reign 1,000 year Kingdom of Jesus Christ [the 8th Kingdom] on earth - (Acts Chapters 27 and 28) -

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