Sunday, January 27, 2013

From Acts to Revelation Part 61 – Paul Arrives in Jerusalem



From Acts to Revelation
Part 61  – Paul Arrives in Jerusalem
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION
Last week, Paul arrived in Jerusalem, and spoke the believer's there, and then to the Jerusalem council at the church.

After some talk, the Edler's and Paul decide he would perform the Nazarite Vow with four other men, to prove that Paul was not against the teachings of Moses, nor the Temple.

Today we will be introduced to the perversion's of Satan, and how he continues to try and stop or destroy the work of Christ and the Cross.



SCRIPTURE REFERENCE
Acts 21:27-32
27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28 shouting, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place.” 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple area.)

30 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. 31 While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.







I.       WHAT WAS REALLY TAKING PLACE
a.      Paul purified himself before entering the Temple


b.     They (Paul & four other Jews) prepared to offer the sacrifice in accordance to the Nazarite Vow


c.      Jews came from all over the world to Jerusalem, to keep the various feasts
i.       Jews from the Asian province recognized Paul

ii.    They had a great dislike for Paul, fueled by their own pride, which gave Satan the upper hand.



II.   WHAT SATAN SAID WAS TAKING PLACE
a.      Satan perverts truth
i.       John 8:44 "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
a.      Remember last week in Bible Study: John 3:10 "You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?"

ii.    The scripture tells us, People love darkness (error) rather than light (truth), because their deeds are evil.

iii. Satan deceived Eve, and he perverted the Word towards Jesus in the desert, and he continues to pervert the Word of God to the world today, through his servants.
a.      Who are Satan's servants?
1.      Those who seek to live in darkness (error) rather than light (truth).


b.     Satan confounded, and caused confusion
i.       Using the pride and arrogance of the Sadducees and Pharisees as a foothold to manipulate them to put a stop to Christianity.

ii.    How?
a.      Because the Sadducees and Pharisees would rather live in darkness (error) than the light (truth).

b.     Remember what Jesus said to them: John 3:10 "You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?"


c.      We see in scripture Satan chooses whom he will use
i.       Satan uses religious and national leaders to destroy Christianity
a.      Satan has a long laundry list of religious and national leaders he has, and continues to use today to destroy Christianity.

b.     Pilot, Nero, Sadducees, Pharisees, Nebuchadnezzar, even to modern times, Hitler, Castro, Stalin, Qaddafi, Idi Amin, Kim Jung, and the list goes on.

c.      We hear leaders all the time denounce, and demonize Christianity, or profess things against God.

d.     Satan will also use ideals to destroy Christianity, such as Communism, Socialism, Religious hierarchical systems of government.

ii.    All serving one master, Satan, for one purpose, to destroy the work of Jesus Christ.

iii. This is why our Constitution and Amendments in this country are so important.
a.      They were designed by God fearing forefathers, who, in an attempt to preserve a Godly foundation and lasting country, wrote limitations to governmental powers, keeping the power of control in the hands of the people, so as not to have a ruling power stray from the truth, and freedoms given to us by God, which are irrevocable, and self-evident.

iv.   And Satan continues to grab-hold of leaders, and law-makers, just as he did with the Sadducees and Pharisees, so as to manipulate, control, and destroy, not just our way of life, our freedoms, our individual pursuit of happiness, but to destroy truth itself, and the way of Christ.

v.      Destroying the work of Christ is always the bottom line for Satan, regardless of the means, methods or people he chooses to use.



III.   PERSECUTION & RESCUE
a.      The Jews who took hold of Paul began to regurgitate the lies of Satan in the guise of "doing what was right"
i.       Remember, Paul's real enemy here is not the men being used by Satan, but Satan himself.

ii.    Ephesians 6:10-12  " 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."


b.     Once again, Paul's life was in danger


c.      However, God's mission for Paul was not complete as of yet
i.       God is in control

ii.    Paul was still acting in obedience to God, and would fulfill God's calling


d.     Isaiah 55:11 "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
i.       When Jesus told the Disciples to get in the boat, and row to the other side of the sea, they did not have to fear when the storm came!
a.      Jesus said to them, they had little faith.

b.     It was because they did not believe the Word Jesus said, that they would go to the other side. Instead, they believed the storm.

ii.    When God tells us we are going to do something, it will be done!

iii. God's Word WILL accomplish, and not return void!


e.      Paul, obedient to God, expected trials, tribulation, troubles and prison...because the Holy Spirit revealed this would happen.
i.       However, he remained obedient.
f.       We see that as he was being beaten by the religious Jews, they planned on killing him.
i.       The Roman soldiers arrived, and the beating stopped.

ii.    This saved Paul's life.





CONCLUSION

God does not say we will never face trials, tribulation, troubles, pain, sadness, hurt, physical pain, but He does promise, that whatever may come our way, He will be with us.

If we are living in light (truth), the Lord will lead us, and like Paul, we may face things in our lives, but as long as we are serving the Lord, He will ensure that His Word He has spoke for you in your life WILL accomplish what He sent it out to do!

Ask yourself this morning, are you choosing to live in darkness (error), or are you choosing to live in the light of truth?



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