Acts 22:14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.Acts 22:15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
https://youtu.be/wsxfxta_D9U Final thoughts
Dogs 1- At the park https://youtu.be/srNPlAdTv4w
Dogs 2- In the truck- on the way for their shots https://youtu.be/DiUTEnBlvOU
Dogs 3- At the vet. https://youtu.be/a0dZE6rIDWI
Dogs 4- After the shots https://youtu.be/BZ02F05QKI4
Dogs 5- on the way home https://youtu.be/PoyYlel4DUA
The Lord’s voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.
https://youtu.be/wcs_8TW2EC8 Fear God- Judge
ON VIDEO [Acts 22]-
.Animal ministry too
.They wanted to kill Paul- over religious disagreement
.Violence is never the answer- then- or now
.He recounts his conversion [Acts 9]
.What did Jesus tell Paul?
.How did it impact his teaching?
.Spiritual gifts and theology worked together in the early church
.The vision was confirmed by the writings of the prophets
.Plea for religious tolerance today
.Open forum good- have open debate
.But don’t advocate for violence while doing it
.Paul spoke out against injustice
.Halfway house story
With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
NEW- [Past teaching- verses below]
After I taught Acts 22- I went to see my homeless friends at the park.
Caveman [Jammer] told me some people were going to pick up his dogs- Fat Boy and Paisley [who you have seen on my videos in the past] and take them to get their shots- and the people were going to pay for the dogs shots.
As we were sitting there my daughters and LuLu showed up- sure enough- they were the people who Jammer was talking about.
I rode with them to the Vet and held them as they were getting their shots.
The dogs know me- I play with them all the time- so it was good that I went in the truck with them.
fat-boy did growl and scared the nurse- but I told her ‘just do it- don’t wait so long’.
He got thru it fine- and Paisley did great too.
They slept on my lap on the way back- it was cute.
So- the videos titled- Dogs 1- Dogs 2- etc- are short clips of the animal ‘ministry’ my daughters do.
Hope you enjoy them.
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
NOTE- before I taught acts 22- we went to Alice [from Sandia] and Becky and Lu treated a ladies kittens with medication- we drove for a few hours and then went back to Sandia [where Becky lives].
Then I taught Acts 22.
We went our separate ways- I wound up in the Bluff spending a few hours with my homeless friends [I see spending time with them- as ministry- we talk- the guys ask questions- it’s a part of ministry in my mind].
That’s when my kids showed up for the dogs-
Ministry- teaching- preaching- it should be a part of ‘ministry’ and it should come out of a lifestyle of good works- reaching out- charity.
As I teach the books of Acts- we see Paul on a journey- going form place to place- making a defense of the gospel.
But he was on the move- like Jesus and the 12.
It’s easy to think of ministry as simply holding meetings in a building- on Sunday.
That’s ok- but we are all called to be a part of the work.
While I was at the park- Jill asked me ‘when did you decide to be a minister’?
Jill is a new homeless person in the area- from Boston.
I told Jill- I really do not view myself as a quote ‘minister’ I told her for many years I worked with people in trouble- bible studies in the jails- stuff like that.
But I tried to simply say- it’s really more of a lifestyle- give yourself away- help others-
Yes- teaching plays a role-
But being active- works of charity-
Those things- at least to me- are the heart of the matter.
PAST POSTS- [past teaching I did that relates to this post- ACTS 22]
(820)ROMANS 6- Lets talk about baptism. To start off I believe that the baptism spoken about in this chapter is primarily referring to ‘the baptism of the Spirit’, that is the work of the Holy Spirit placing a believer in the Body of Christ. The Catholic and Orthodox [and Reformed!] brothers believe that Paul is speaking about water baptism. The MAJORITY VIEW of Christians today believe this chapter is referring to water baptism. Why? First, the text itself does not indicate either way. You could take this baptism and see it either way! You are not a heretic if you believe in it referring to Spirit or water. You are not a heretic if you believe in Paedo baptism [infant baptism]. ‘What are you saying? Now you lost me.’ Infant baptism developed as a Christian rite over the course of church history. The church struggled with how to ‘dedicate’ new babies to Christ. Though the scriptures give no examples of infant baptism, some felt that the reason was because the scriptures primarily show us the conversion of the first century believers. There really aren’t a whole lot of stories of ‘generations’ of believers passing on the faith to other generations. So some felt that the idea of dedicating babies to the Lord through infant baptism was all right. The examples they used were the circumcision of babies in the Old Testament. Infants were circumcised [a rite that placed you under the terms of the Old Covenant] though they weren’t old enough to really understand what they were doing! This example was carried over into the Christian church and applied to infant baptism. Now, I do not believe in infant baptism. But I can certainly understand this line of reasoning. As Christian theology developed thru the early centuries, particularly thru the patristic period, you had very intellectual scholars grapple with many different themes and ideas. Some that we just studied in chapter 5. Some theologians came to see infant baptism as dealing with original sin. They applied the concept of infant baptism as a rite that washes away original sin. The church did not teach that this meant you did not have to later believe and follow Christ. They simply developed a way of seeing baptism as ‘sanctifying’ the new members of Christian households. This basic belief made it all the way to the Reformation. The Reformers themselves still practiced infant baptism. It was the Anabaptists [re-baptizers] who saw the truth of adult baptism and suffered for it, at the hands of the reformers! Ulrich Zwingli, the Swiss reformer, would have them drowned for their belief. Some Protestants stuck with the infant rite, while others [the Restorationists] would reject it. Today most Evangelicals do not practice infant baptism, the majority of Christians world wide do. Now, the reason I did a little history is because Evangelicals [of which I am one] have a tendency to simply look at other believers who practice this rite as ‘deceived’. Many are unaware of the history I just showed you. The reasons the historic church developed this doctrine are not heretical! They used scripture and tradition to pass it down to future generations. I do not believe or practice infant baptism, many good believers do.
HERACLITUS- Ok- lets pick up on my philosophy stuff.
Heraclitus lived in the 6th/5th century BC. – He was from Ephesus and his key thought was Ever Present Change.
That is he saw everything as being in a state of continual flux- one of his famous sayings was ‘No man ever steps into the same river twice’.
He is called the Weeping Philosopher- sort of like the prophet Jeremiah in the bible- also called the Weeping Prophet.
Heraclitus is known for his concept of the Logos- the Word- or thought/reason.
Now- this aspect of his thought plays a role in the development of the Christian understanding of Christ himself- in our New Testaments [written in Greek] Jesus is indeed referred to as the Logos- or Word of God.
The Greek philosophers understanding of the Logos was not the same as the Christian view- mainly expressed thru the writings of John [The gospel- the 3 epistles- and Revelation].
But- some see the Greek view as a precursor to Christ.
In the work of one of the early church fathers- Hippolytus ‘The Refutation of all Heresies’ he attacks Heraclitus view of the Logos as an early form of heresy.
The apologist Justin Martyr is more gracious- he [Like Ulrich Zwingli- the great Swiss reformer of the 16th century] viewed the early Geek thinkers as ‘pre- Christian’ or ‘Christians before Christ’.
Though many reject this view- yet there is some scripture to back it up.
The apostle Paul said in his letter to the Romans that if the Gentiles [non-Jews] do by nature the things contained in the law- then they are justified in God’s sight.
Of course these things are debatable- but I add this to show you that some great Christian thinkers did indeed view the early Greek thinkers- who did live by a moral code- as being right in God’s eyes.
And the bible does teach a theme that we will be judged according to the amount of light [understanding] that we had at the time.
I should note that Plato [one of the 3 titans that arose after Heraclitus- from the city/state of Athens] disagreed with Heraclitus on all things being in a state of constant change.
When [if?] we get to Socrates- Plato and Aristotle- I’ll try and cover the ways they advanced- built upon- the thought of the pre Socratic thinkers.
As a side note- the most famous student of Aristotle- who was the most famous student of Plato- who was the most famous student of Socrates- was Alexander the Great.
This goes to show you how great an influence Greek philosophy had on the ancient world.
A few nuggets from Heraclitus- ‘all things come to pass in accordance with this Logos’ ‘follow the common’ ‘not having their own judgment’.
Recently I covered Acts chapter 2- and we see some of these ideas in the early Christian movement.
The first Christians did ‘follow the common’ they sold their goods- and had ‘all things common’ [communal lifestyle].
The apostle Paul teaches the early church to all ‘speak the same thing- that there be no divisions among you’.
And the New Testament also says the scripture should not be given to Private Interpretation- meaning- ‘not having your own personal judgment’.
All in all- we do indeed see a sort of pre Christian thought in the pre Socratic thinkers- they did indeed speak of the Divine- God- though there understanding of him was not the same as the Christian church.
In a sense- Heraclitus idea that in life- the only ‘constant’ is the fact that there is no constant- that life itself is made up of an ongoing journey- we live day by day- not ever knowing what ‘the next day will bring forth’- Jesus.
Yeah- the man had some good points- the later Stoics would consider Heraclitus as the father of their movement.
And in the study of Philosophy- the Stoics- who had a good run from a few years before the Common Era- were overtaken in the 4th century [as the main influential philosophy of the time] by some new and lasting philosophy- started by a man named Jesus Christ- who his followers claimed rose from the dead.
Yeah- this New Way was called Christianity- and this philosophy has endured now for over 2 thousand years.
(1335) GALATIANS 5- Paul’s main theme is if we possess the Spirit as believers [being indwelt by God’s Spirit] then let us also walk in/by the Spirit, as opposed to trying to please God by the law and being circumcised. Paul will use the somewhat controversial term ‘ye are fallen from grace’ which simply means that these Gentile believers started by faith and went back to the old Jewish system, much like the themes in the book of Hebrews. Paul says when you go back to the law you have left grace. Christ has ‘become of no effect to you, you who are justified by the law’. This is a good example of how words and certain phrases can develop over the centuries of church history and develop a different meaning over time. In essence the bible does teach that a person can ‘fall from grace’ but this does not describe what the modern reader might think. The first church father who attempted to formulate the Christian doctrine of the Trinity was a man named Tertullian, he lived in the second century and was what theologians refer to as one of the Latin fathers [as opposed to the Greek ones- Origen, etc.] Tertullian was famous for the sayings ‘what does Jerusalem have to do with Athens’ and ‘I believe because it is absurd’ he was resisting the influence of Greek philosophy on the church, he felt that Greek wisdom was influencing the church too much. He was trained in law before becoming a theologian [like Luther and Calvin of 16th century Reformation fame] and he used the words ‘God is one substance/essence and also three persons’ later church councils would agree with this language. But the word ‘person’ at Tertullian’s time was the Latin word ‘personi’ which was taken from the theater and meant a person/actor who would put on different masks during the play; the word had a little different meaning then what we think of today as ‘person’. Later centuries would come to condemn certain Christian groups who seem to have formulated language on the Trinity that expresses the same thing as what the original developer of the doctrine meant to say, but because words and their meanings change over time we get ourselves into disputes that might be getting us off track. Paul also tells the Galatians that if they become circumcised that they are obligating themselves to keep all the law. Of course the medical procedure that many have done in our day is not what he is speaking about, but in Paul’s day getting circumcised was the religious rite that placed you into the religion of Judaism, and this is what Paul is refuting among the Galatians, he tells them not to go down that road. This chapter has lots of good ‘memory verses’, the famous lists of the works of the flesh versus the fruit of the Spirit are found here, and it seems pretty clear to me that Paul identified circumcision with the moral law of the 10 commandments, that is he saw being circumcised as an act that obligated you to ‘keep all the law’ some theologians are discussing whether or not Paul meant the law of Moses when speaking about going ‘back under the law’ some think Paul was speaking only of the ceremonial law and the system of animal sacrifices when he was telling the gentiles that they should not go under the law, I believe if you read Paul in context both in this letter and the book of Romans, that he is speaking of the moral law too, not just the ceremonial law. All in all Paul exhorts these believers to fight for their right to be free from the past restraints of religion and bondage, he tells them to not desire to go back under a system of bondage, that Christ has made us free from that legalistic way of life and he has liberated us by giving us the Holy Spirit- if we ‘walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, for the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, and these two are contrary one to the other, so that you cannot do the things that you would’ amen to that.
 LUTHER CLASHES WITH ROME
Let’s do another post on the Protestant Reformation. I’ll probably only do a few more before I transition into another study.
By the way- all the studies I do thru out the year are posted in the February posts of the following year.
Okay- last we left off Luther was just beginning to butt heads with the church [Tetzel] over the abuse of the sale of indulgences that was going on in Germany.
In a previous post I mentioned how the priest- Tetzel- was selling these ‘get out of Purgatory’ type coupons in the area where Luther operated out- Saxony.
Actually- Tetzel never entered Saxony itself- but was selling these out of a bordering city- and many of Luther’s students/parishioners were being hoodwinked into spending their money to rescue a loved one out of Purgatory.
Tetzel is known for a jingle he started in connection with the sale of the indulgence- it goes ‘as soon as a coin in the coffer rings- a soul in Purgatory springs’- ouch!
Like I said before- the church never taught this- they did teach the Treasury of Merit [previous post] but the way Tetzel used it was a real abuse of the teaching of the church at the time.
Now- Luther responds to the abuse by writing the famous 95 thesis. This is the act that is often associated with the launching of the Reformation- the act that got the ball rolling.
The 95 thesis were simply 95 questions challenging the whole practice of the sale of indulgences- there was no mention of the doctrine of Justification by Faith- which will become the trumpet sound that springs out of the Protestant Reformation.
Luther takes these questions- written in Latin- and nails them to the university church door at Wittenberg. Sometimes while reading church history this ‘nailing to the door’ is seen as a sort of vandalism – you know- ‘he nailed them to the door!’
In actuality Luther was simply using the system of the day that one scholar would use in order to bring up an official point of contention with the church- Luther wrote the Thesis in Latin- which was the scholars language- not the language of the common man.
But Luther’s students quickly translated the Thesis into the vernacular [German] and it was said that in 2 weeks the paper made it into every village of Germany.
The challenge was a spark in the lives of many Christians who also believed the church was off track and that someone needed to rebuke her- and they picked Luther as the man for the job.
Now- the Catholic church wanted Luther to go to Rome and discuss the situation there- Luther’s friends warned him not to go- so they agreed to meet- a few times- in Germany.
The first meeting was in 1518 at Heidelberg- Luther actually gave a great defense of his argument and convinced some other top Catholic scholars that he was right [as a side note- the church had already scheduled this meeting because of a controversy that rose up between the Augustinian order of monks and the Dominicans. They were debating over which philosophy was more consistent with church teaching- Nominalism or Realism- for those of you who have read the posts this past year- I taught this when doing our posts on philosophy].
One man- Martin Bucer- wrote a stirring account of Luther- Bucer would later influence another young Swiss priest with Reformation teachings- his name is John Calvin.
As a side not Calvin will become one of the 3 big heavy hitters of the 16th century Reformation [Ulrich Zwingli is the 3rd].
Luther will meet again in Augsburg- and debate the leading Catholic scholar of the day- Cardinal Cajetan.
Then he goes to the city of Leipzig- and debates the leading German scholar- Johann Eck.
And his last meeting with the church will be at the famous Diet of Worms [pronounced- Vurmtz] and it will be here that Luther makes his last stand and officially will break with the church and launch the Protestant Reformation.
It should be noted that Luther held what we call a High Church position for most of this time- he still saw the church at Rome- and the Pope- as a legitimate expression of true Christianity- his beef was what he saw as an abuse of the system- by the priest Tetzel.
As time progressed- the other beliefs of Luther- founded upon the bible- did come into contention with Rome.
The main disagreement eventually became the teaching in the bible called Justification by faith. I have written a study on the topic on the blog- I have also written a bible study on the book of Romans and Galatians.
For those of you who can- try and read Romans chapters 2-4 and Galatians 2-3- these are the key chapters that cover the teaching.
Down the road I will cover the official teaching of both the Protestants and the Catholics on the doctrine of justification- the Catholic Council of Trent- referred to as the Counter Reformation- spells out the official teaching of Rome- and there are a few papers put out by the Reformers that explain their belief.
Since the 16th century Reformation there have been efforts made by Protestants and Catholics to bridge the gap as much as possible- to try to come to some common language since the historic split.
I like some of the efforts that have been made- and recently both groups put out a statement that jointly said we all believe that we are saved by Gods grace thru Christ- that’s good.
But as we get into some of the actual discussion- you will see the points at which the 2 sides disagreed- and the main one was on the act- the actual thing that happens- when a person is declared just- the Reformers said it takes place when a person has faith- believes- the Catholic church said it takes place at baptism- water baptism.
This- as well as a few other things- will be a defining distinction between the 2.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John
Acts 22:1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
Acts 22:2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)
Acts 22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
Acts 22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
Acts 22:5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
Acts 22:6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
Acts 22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Acts 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
Acts 22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
Acts 22:10 And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
Acts 22:11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
Acts 22:12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,
Acts 22:13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
Acts 22:14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
Acts 22:15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Acts 22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;
Acts 22:18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
Acts 22:19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
Acts 22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.
Acts 22:21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.
Acts 22:22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
Acts 22:23 And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air,
Acts 22:24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.
Acts 22:25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?
Acts 22:26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.
Acts 22:27 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea.
Acts 22:28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.
Acts 22:29 Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
Acts 22:30 On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.
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