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kjv@Acts:1 @ @ RandyP comments: There is much debate as to what is happening here with the choosing of an replacement disciple and why it didn't stick. Perhaps they are ahead of the Spirit here. They were to wait for the receiving of the Holy Spirit, yet, they were already attempting to make decisions. Looks like they had thought this through, made it to appear to themselves that they were being spiritual, narrow God down to two choices, and use a spiritual method - casting lots to win God's final answer. God had other plans. No doubt the two were excellent men and well qualified but, that was not the issue. We can easily fool ourselves into this situation as well. Is it by our means or by His?

kjv@Acts:2:13 @ @ RandyP comments: Yes, new wine often produces men and women that suddenly speak in multiple foreign dialects proficiently. How else could it be explained? (sarcasm). Had I only known that when I was trying to teach myself Spanish last time.

kjv@Acts:2:1 @ @ RandyP comments: Pentecost - Feast of the Harvest, Feast of First Fruits.

kjv@Acts:2:4 @ @ RandyP comments: The importance of the "Spirit giving utterance" is paramount. There are many religions even today that profess to speaking in tongues. They are initially uttered as a steady flow of babel/gibberish and eventually become a secretive spiritual language between you and the Spirit. This however is another's ethnically/nationally derived language being used by the Spirit to communicate to that other person in their native tongue through an untaught medium. Much different - impossible if not by the Spirit. The text here is clear.

kjv@Acts:2:14-47 @ @ RandyP comments: There seems to be an observable transformation in Peter having the Spirit now. We have not heard Him quote and reason Old Testament scripture before let alone so boldly with such confidence. Just days ago he was part of a group that was over extending itself beyond the direction of the Spirit, but now he seems fully in step and infused by It. The Spirit is bringing Jesus' words and teachings to effect and Peter and the group are an observable example.

kjv@Acts:2:14-47 @ @ RandyP comments: The spectacle of the manifestation of the Spirit is providing the opportunity, the revelations (past/present/future) by the Spirit is providing the conviction, the unity in the Spirit is providing the furtherance and continuance. The very presence of the Spirit in this manner is the absolute proof.

kjv@Acts:3 @ @ RandyP comments: The Spirit moves again. Same pattern. The oppurtunity, revelation, conviction, unity. The spectacle of a miracle surrounding the Apostles opening up the opportunity to evangelize to a larger group, the stirring and conviction of the crowd etc... We wonder what made John and Peter ready to do this? Was it faith in something previously said/promised, was it something from previous experience that was prepared for with fasting and prayer, or was it an immediate urging/a voice behind them? The answer is probably yes yes and yes. Are we prepared should the Spirit move yet again?

kjv@Acts:4:1-22 @ @ RandyP comments: Being filled with the Holy Ghost did not change other's perceptions of Peter's education, it gave him the boldness to say what needed to be said, comforted them in his incarceration, and perhaps divided the resolve of the leaders to pin something on them. Notice Peter is doing most all of the speaking and receiving most of the direction, John is providing the support and unity.

kjv@Acts:4:29-30 @ @ RandyP comments: Notice here that their prayer wasn't for the tribulation to go away, it was for the word of God to be declared all the more effectively with the conformation of healings and wonders.

kjv@Acts:4:33 @ @ RandyP comments: Two ways of interrupting this: The apostles were focused on solely giving testimony of the resurrection. The combination of what they were saying about the resurrection and what the Spirit was doing was powerful. Or, what the Spirit was doing testified/confirmed/was a seal of the resurrection. Apostles were being used by the Spirit powerfully to confirm that the resurrection indeed had transpired and that the new covenant was now under way. The two understandings would not have to be exclusive.

kjv@Acts:4:33 @ @ RandyP comments: Great grace was very much upon them. That itself is a powerful testimony when it is allowed to be evident.

kjv@Acts:4:34-37 @ @ RandyP comments: For all the problems and difficulties we have with this communal lifestyle, it is a curious and proactive means of testifying of "grace upon us", a built in testimony to the outside world. We today must be careful of what that testimony would be should we consider going back to this. Would it be of "grace upon us" or "hey man... far out, lookin' groovy" or "ten months later they all disbanded disillusioned and broke". It may well have been perfect for that time, but even then it was vulnerable to considerable direct attack; from without and within. One must ask as well - is our form of "grace upon us" testimony living non communally any better?

kjv@Acts:5:1-11 @ @ RandyP comments: The question then becomes, if they believed on the name of Jesus enough to even consider selling all that they had to give it, were they saved by their belief in their lying end? I would think it quiet possible, even though they were made an example of to the others in one regard to have been saved in the most important regard. If however, this lie is tantamount to the unpardonable sin - blasphemy against the Holy Spirit we are all in trouble. What have you held back or lied about to the brethren?

kjv@Acts:7:20-43 @ @ RandyP comments: The Old Testament makes the most convincing defense for the New Testament to those familiar with it.

kjv@Acts:7:52 @ @ RandyP comments: This is not the first time we have seen the early church use this tact against the Jewish crowds.

kjv@Acts:7:55 @ @ RandyP comments: In the midst of the reality going on all around him, Stephen is shown the reality of what is truly going on above. He will not suffer what is to come alone.

kjv@Acts:8:13 @ @ RandyP comments: I find it interesting that someone accustomed to forging miracles would be impressed enough with the miracles following Phillip to believe. It is the type of miracles here that cannot be forged. A man either has palsy or he doesn't and the people around that man know it.

kjv@Acts:8:16 @ @ RandyP comments: They believed, but had not received the Spirit. Is this because they were Samaritan? Was the emphasis of this odd delay so that the Church could officially acknowledge and take note of the Spirit's cross over to the gentiles? If not, we can pursue several slippery slope theory's of the operation of the Spirit and when and how and by whom it can be received.

kjv@Acts:8:23 @ @ RandyP comments: Root cause diagnosis: "gall (poison) of bitterness". Was that the cause of his initial interest in sorcery as well? The need to exalt oneself by extraordinary measures, extract fear and reverence, mystify and amaze, to dominate, to influence and control others' wills? I wonder.

kjv@Acts:8:39 @ @ RandyP comments: The eunuch had all that he needed for a good start in the Lord. He had already gone to worship, he had been reading and seeking. By the preaching of Philip he received then an understanding into what he was reading, the understanding revealed the Lord's suffering, he believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and was baptized. If there were more than this that he needed to get started I am sure that the Spirit would have allowed Philip to stay.

kjv@Acts:8:26-40 @ @ RandyP comments: How true: How shall they believe unless they hear, and how shall they hear unless the Word is preached? The harvest is at hand but, few are the laborers.

kjv@Acts:9:1 @ @ RandyP comments: Remember this description of Saul later when most of the church will be suspicious of Saul/Paul and will have nothing to do with him. Remember this when you see what a wonderful conversion God has in store for him.

kjv@Acts:9:6 @ @ RandyP comments: We want to know the whole plan start to finish often before we will invest ourselves into it. Many times the Lord only reveals only the one small step that comes up next. Daily bread so to speak. Trust and acknowledge...He will direct!

kjv@Acts:9:1-22 @ @ RandyP comments: There are times that the Lord speaks His will to us directly. There are times He speaks directly to another and has them to speak to us. Are we prepared for the later? If someone else were to speak God's will to you would you be willing to accept it as such? Even a total stranger? If not we may be cutting out the majority of His conversation to us.

kjv@Acts:9:23-43 @ @ RandyP comments: Miracles were extremely important to the tremendous growth of the early church. Here again it is Peter identified as performing them. Were the other Apostles doing these as well?

kjv@Acts:10:1-23 @ @ RandyP comments: Cornelius and then Peter are now redirected by God. One by a voice the other by a vision, the vision being confirmed later by the voice. Notice that the meaning of the vision is still unknown to Peter and Cornelius certainly doesn't even know about it either. God produced a desire to pursue an eventual answer, created a means outside of Peters own construction to deliver it, and is insisting first and foremost on the trust and obedience of both men to reach the further knowledge.

kjv@Acts:10:24-48 @ @ RandyP comments: By my count this is the second cross over to the gentiles. The first to the Samaritans that had believed but had not yet received the Spirit. This time the non-Hebrew gentiles in Caesarean were moved to inquire, Peter came and testified, they believed, the Spirit immediately fell upon them, later they were baptized.

kjv@Acts:11:2 @ @ RandyP comments: It is clear that when God reveals such a massive addition to the faith HE does not put every apostle immediately into the loop; the matter was not conferred upon then implemented. It was implemented because of the way God brought it forth outside of the constructs of either man. Then it was conferred upon by the greater whole.

kjv@Acts:11:29 @ @ RandyP comments: It appears that the Spirit did not directly have to tell them to send relief, they were able to determine that themselves. Perhaps He had impressed upon them, perhaps He had developed the desire in their hearts, but, the decision to do it was theirs.

kjv@Acts:11:27-28 @ @ RandyP comments: This may be the first example of the gift of prophecy in the 2nd covenant dispensation by non-apostles. It has to do with a unusually terrible famine ahead. dict:torrey prophecy

kjv@Acts:12 @ @ RandyP comments: Did God then in effect kill the prison keepers by freeing Peter? No Herod did. God killed Herod.

kjv@Acts:13:2 @ @ RandyP comments: Gathering together, fasting and prayer; from this stance the Holy Spirit was able to move them in the directions He saw fit. He could have told Saul and Barnabas individually "go" to the same effect. He is dealing with the Church as a body however, beginning to promote it's many gifts and unity. The work and testimony of the Church is much like the work and testimony of OT Israel, they stand together and they fall together. He is thinking in terms of Kingdom and not rugged pioneering individuals. We often fail to listen to the Spirit because we are expecting Him to move us outside/independently of the body. Not many of us would be willing to listen to Him if he decided to speak through another so called prophet or a conference of prophets.

kjv@Acts:13:9-11 @ @ RandyP comments: This was the work of the Spirit not Paul. Not simply because of being called, not simply because of having hands laid upon by the elders, but by being filled with the Holly Spirit. The Spirit is not at our beck and call, we are at His. Being filled is being surrendered to, hungering/thirsting/being meek/being poor in spirit/presenting ourselves a living sacrifice/being faithful in the little things so that larger things can be done. In other words submitting to Christ's present tense Lordship.

kjv@Acts:13:48 @ @ RandyP comments: Are all people ordained to eternal life? We tend to think that we come to believe on our own and that this belief ordains us to eternal life. This verse and others seem suggest that because we are first ordained we believe. Is this to say that others are not ordained and therefore do not believe? Does this mean that one could be ordained but still not believe? We need to read much further before jumping to conclusions.

kjv@Acts:14:9 @ @ RandyP comments: I am not sure that we've seen healing framed this way since the healings done by Jesus; on the perception of ones faith. Seems Peter was walking by, or that others brought the sick out into the street. I better go back and look.

kjv@Acts:14:20 @ @ RandyP comments: Paul received a miraculous healing after this stoning to leave the next day. The disciples here are the vehicle for the healing. Apostolic healing has made a way for the church to proclaim the gospel. Disciple healing is maintaining the body of believers. There is a well quoted healing that Paul doesn't receive latter.

kjv@Acts:15:1-21 @ @ RandyP comments: Paul identifies three "pillars" of the early church James (Jesus' brother), John, Peter kjv@Galatians:2:9. Modern Catholics identify only one: Peter. It is James here that delivers the group's verdict. John is either silent or absent. Paul is portrayed once again as serving the church under their authority (even when he has disagreement). I have no doubt that the Spirit was sought for this momentous decision but is not quoted. There is plenty of OT text regarding the inclusion of gentiles, but not mandatory circumcision of them. The decision is based then upon the consistency of the doctrine of saving grace.

kjv@Acts:15:39 @ @ RandyP comments: Mark's gifts were in other places, he ended up collecting testimony and writing the Gospel of Mark (see: home:BookOfMark ). Paul may have done him and us all a favor.

kjv@Acts:16:2 @ @ RandyP comments: The report of trusted others is extremely important. How is such a report made of us if we are not connected. The Lone Ranger approach to ministry is not the approach Timothy pursued. The same could be said of Paul. In his position he had to develop and sustain relationships of confidence with many people enough to trust their recommendations.

kjv@Acts:16:1-15 @ @ RandyP comments: The book of Acts is really about the acts of the Holy Spirit as much as the acts of the Apostles. Here we see the Spirit closing one door and opening another; men doing as they were led. The organization by the Spirit has given them decrees to declare, the men by the Spirit are being directed where to declare. There is both order and authority.

kjv@Acts:16:16-40 @ @ RandyP comments: One spiritual event causes a series of other events. Paul and Silas remained focused on the Spirit through it all and the Spirit moved greatly through them.

kjv@Acts:17:1-15 @ @ RandyP comments: I have heard it said amongst our opposition "never defend; attack". We have seen throughout the scriptures the strategy of stirring up the citizens and authorities against us. Not arguing the facts on their merit, not reasoning alternate interpretation, but inciting crowds into frenzies. Now days we are labeled bigots, the Bible hate speech, our political rights to be separated and restrained. You do see the heart of the enemies of the Lord, do you not?

kjv@Acts:17:16-34 @ @ RandyP comments: This excellent opportunity to preach came about in a time when most of us would have been content just to wait. But Paul was stirred by the city's idolatry and he went into the synagog and from there was invited to Mars Hill before the philosophers. His argument essentially was why worship in ignorance when you can worship in the knowledge and truth?

kjv@Acts:18 @ @ RandyP comments: The acts of the Holy Spirit continue. Guiding the messengers, convicting/thwarting the opposition, gathering like minded in fellowship and ministry, expounding more fully, protecting the message bearers even in the hostile dispersions.

kjv@Acts:19:1-7 @ @ RandyP comments: Belief in Jesus always comes and is confessed before any baptism. Many scholars feel that the Spirit comes to all believers upon belief and that this hands on account of transference refers to the particular spiritual gifting of tongues and prophecy specific to these twelve Ephesians. Others are convinced that this can be understood as first a general receiving of the Holy Spirit we've all received upon belief and then an addition baptism of the Holy Spirit that is received by the laying on of hands. The question then becomes what would happen to a secluded community of new believers that have not oppurtunity to receive hands from one that has.

kjv@Acts:19:1-20 @ @ RandyP comments: The Acts of the Spirit continue. Leading certain people together. Bringing tongues and prophecy. Enabling individuals to dispute and persuade. Special uncommon gifts are providing widespread results in Asia. We also see other competing interests trying to emulate these gifts or perform them in the old covenant way and how ineffective they are in the face of the demonic. The Word is spread all the more. We read of what Paul is doing during this time but, surely there is much going on around him emanating from the community of spirit-filled believers surrounding him.

kjv@Acts:19:21-41 @ @ RandyP comments: As is so often seen public uprisings break past the containment of civic law and common sense. It is a sight into the heart of evil itself to see the dynamics of the stirred/inflamed mass. The flame may start with one man but, that one man seeks others and then many others get swept along. Paul is wisely kept away from the scene.

kjv@Acts:20:1-16 @ @ RandyP comments: Many of these names and places now seem to go by in a whirlwind. Don't let the pace of the text fool you, plenty is happening. We take a short pause to see the brethren gathering to break bread, which should be our custom as well. Too often we propose this project or that lecture or this meeting when most often the important thing is to share this moment in fellowship, in love and appreciation for the brethren. And if an Apostle like Paul happens to be in town and drop by, so much the better (just keep the windows shut).

kjv@Acts:20:17-38 @ @ RandyP comments: An interesting contrast between Psalms and Acts here. The psalmists keep speaking of an enemy that we are not quiet sure of and uncomfortable hearing prayed so strongly against. Here we know the enemy all to well. Because of our close attachment to Paul we feel all the more compelled to pray against his enemies for we sense that they are ours as well.

kjv@Acts:21:1-14 @ @ RandyP comments: The acts of the Spirit are now giving indications to many regarding Paul but not necessarily revelations of the exact divine will; or at least they are not accepting it as such. They give their counsel based on their response to the indications not to the will. Of course they are thinking as friends in Paul's best interest and safety; the two things are different. Paul must be prepared not only for what he will soon face but for what they are now facing in this turn of events.

kjv@Acts:21:15-40 @ @ RandyP comments: The muddy situation surrounding Paul's arrival to Jerusalem is perfectly clear; there is nothing that Paul will be able to say or do or concede that is going to appease the zealous masses gathering against him. It will be factions of his very own faith that will do him in. We can see that not even the counsel of other Apostles is going to be able to steer him right and may in fact steer him wrong. What is going to happen is going to happen for God has much greater purposes.

kjv@Acts:22:9 @ @ RandyP comments: Another of the mysterious ways of God. That He could speak to one man in the group and not the others, that this would be His will as if challenging the one man to prove it to the rest/himself. This is not always the case but, seems to happen more times than not. Notice that He doesn't even tell that one man what all he must do, instead stringing together a sequence of other single men and revelations again as if challenging them/him. These wonders are often tests of faith/obedience rather than rewards of such.

kjv@Acts:22:15 @ @ RandyP comments: Paul's ordained mission was quiet simple as is ours: to witness all that we have seen and heard. Not to be great thinkers or tremendous leaders. Not to attend and have considerable impact in the weekly planning committee meetings. Perhaps these things come as a result. However, no matter what our position or prowess or gifting the mission/intent is exactly the same.

kjv@Acts:22 @ @ RandyP comments: Paul again was simply testifying of the things that happened and were revealed to Him just as he had been asked/commanded. Plain, simple, honest, accurate, uninterpreted objective testimony. This is how the court of opinion reacts to objective evidence that differs from it's predetermined un-objective accessments.

kjv@Acts:23:1-11 @ @ RandyP comments: The Lord appeared and stood by Paul. This is the second time, once as a light on the road to Damascus, now bedside in Jerusalem. Note that Jesus did not appear to everyone there at the time of the testimony and riot in Paul's defense, Paul was there to appear in Jesus' defense and after word Jesus appeared in His own time to comfort Paul. This is an important distinction to grasp. Why Jesus does what He does and doesn't do what He doesn't is His masterful judgment to make and as His servants ours' to live within.

kjv@Acts:23:12-35 @ @ RandyP comments: How Paul's nephew found out about the Jewish assignation plot we are not told. Being at the right place at the right time I suppose. It could be that someone from within the Jew's confidence sought him out as well; which makes the account all the more interesting.

kjv@Acts:24:5 @ @ RandyP comments: Paul is seen as the ringleader of the sect. His influence seen throughout the world. They think that they have their man. This legal petition was important enough for them to hire a prominent orator.

kjv@Acts:24:7 @ @ RandyP comments: A bold move to implicate the chief officer of this court with indiscretion. What about the forty that were sworn to kill Paul before the chief officer could properly process him as a roman citizen?

kjv@Acts:24 @ @ RandyP comments: Felix trembled at Paul's gospel treatise just long enough to sneak in a bribe. I wonder how much these Jews paid him over the course of two years.

kjv@Acts:25:11-12 @ @ RandyP comments: The appeal to Caesar should be felt as a slap in the face of Festus. It is saying that there is no legal grounds for him to have made the judgment that he made, his motives are obvious and exposed, and that as a Roman citizen I have the right to appeal to a greater/wiser authority than you Festus. Thanks for wasting all this innocent citizen's precious time (my words not his).

kjv@Acts:25:20 @ @ RandyP comments: Isn't he playing the situation down for the King? Sending him to Jerusalem would be determining a death sentence to Paul. The reason Paul is even in Felix's keep is because of a plot of forty men to ambush the city guard in order to kill Paul.

kjv@Acts:25 @ @ RandyP comments: Pomp is right, first Festus and now Agripa. Neither man is willing to let the man off from these false acquisitions that the state has no business even hearing. Instead they are going to make a show of how just and fair and concerned about getting to the heart of the matter they are. The heart of the matter is them, the duplicity, the political cowardliness, the bribery and corruption surrounding their court.

kjv@Acts:26 @ @ RandyP comments: It is important to remember as you consider your salvation and the salvation of others that God isn't just turning you/them from their own personal sins, He is turning you/them from the power of Satan. It does little good to deal within the micro and to still leave you within the cords of deceit and destruction in the macro.

kjv@Acts:26 @ @ RandyP comments: Liberty? Paul would not have appealed to Caesar if Festus had not insisted on sending him back to Jerusalem where he would have been either ambushed or sentenced to death. How duplicitous can Festus be?

kjv@Acts:27:1-25 @ @ RandyP comments: I can't help but think of the secretary of Paul here alongside recording these events. Paul is is certainly convinced "that it shall be even as it was told" him, but, what about this man? How would you like to sit down with this man at the table and see/hear/experience him recount this story? And the many other unwritten stories he could tell?

kjv@Acts:27:26-44 @ @ RandyP comments: Through a series of successful prophecies Paul has earned the trust of these foreign men. A counter intuitive decision is made as to the course because of this that saves the entire crew and passenger hold. We must note by it's absence that Paul did not pray to God that the ship would be saved or that shipwreck would be averted as many would, he was open to and receiving divine directions which he passed on to those in charge. Maybe that should be our prayer.

kjv@Acts:28:1-15 @ @ RandyP comments: Paul took courage. Even for a man of such deep faith and conviction the process is long and tiring. The sign of other brethren and time spent with them no matter how little has to be a strong encouragement. Not everyone sees fellowship in the same light as Paul. It is a wearing experience all it's own. It is easier fellowshiping with sports fans or business associates even strangers. Perhaps the expectations and roles we assume are too much different. Perhaps we should re-learn what it is to be in Christian fellowship.

kjv@Acts:28:16-31 @ @ RandyP comments: Paul must of had some respect from these Roman Jews to have gathered such a meeting at his invite. What began as an opportunity to clear the air concerning what they may or may not have heard about him became a opportunity to evangelize. Th meeting lasted several hours.

kjv@Acts:28:27 @ @ RandyP comments: ...and should be converted... converted to what? The complaint is that Christianity is something new, that Judaism is being added to, the Law is being removed/diminished. The Law is not diminished it is being fulfilled in one person. It is not being added to, it is being completed in the manner it itself has long prescribed. It is not something new if it's leader is someone anticipated ever since kjv@Genesis:3:15.

kjv@Galatians:1 @ @ RandyP comments: This account of Paul's conversion fills in a 3 year hole between kjv@Acts:9:26 and kjv@Acts:9:27