Acts 13:1-3 Paul and Barnabas Are Sent to the Gentiles
Being Set Apart by the Holy Ghost Saul and Barnabas (Verses 1-6)
Introduction: Paul’s 1st Missionary Journey (Chapter 13:1 to Chapter 14:28; Chapter 15:35 and Chapter 18:23)
In Acts 12:25, after the death of Herod Agrippa died, Paul and Barnabas returned from Jerusalem back to Antioch fulfilling their missionary work (Acts 1:27-30) of delivering the missionary offering taken up there. They came back with another leader John Mark. (Mark) Mark accompanied them to Cyprus, and afterward in several of their voyages, until they came to Perga in Pamphylia. Finding them about to take a more extensive voyage, Mark will eventually get homesick and elect to go back home and departed from them. (Acts 13:13)
Now, back in Antioch,
a. The church had among its membership certain prophets (preacher, minister or both) and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon that was called Niger ("Niger" is a Latin name meaning "black.) Nothing more is known of him than is mentioned here. Lucius of Cyrene] Cyrene was in Africa. (Libya, Tripoli) Lucius is also mentioned as being a friend of Paul (Romans 16:21) and Manaen who was brought up (raised as a child) with Herod Antipas (vs. 1)
As they ministered to the Lord. That is fasted and prayed, the Holy Ghost said: “Separate for me Saul and Barnabas for ‘called” work I’ve assigned to them”. (vs. 2)
Note: Communication between God to man: 8 ways God speaks to men:
- Prophecy b. dreams, c. visions d. tongues and interpretation of tongues
- Audibly f. still small voice g. through angels h. and by impressing upon and person’s spirit. The Lord does this through inspiration, giving you intuition, and revealing information in your inner conscience.
By the Holy Spirit’s direction the church governing body gives a formal written license on paper to indicate they have been call, qualified and equipped by the Holy Spirit to carry out the commission of Matthew 28: 19. as they will become formally trained to do. Training is designed to make their calling viable and election sure according to 2 Timothy 2:15, thus, making ‘full” proof of their ministry. This proves that they received their commission to this work directly from God the Holy Spirit. Paul and Barnabas had been influenced by the Spirit to engage in this work, but they were to be sent forth by the concurrence and designation of the church. The laying on of hands simply means the church recognizes the Holy Spirit has issued a call upon their lives and as a covering, the presberty and the church sends them on assignment out now free to accomplish the commission the Holy Spirit placed upon their lives. John Mark went with them on the 1st missionary journey.
Important: The “importance” of staying connected to Home Based church
That "work" Saul (Paul) and Barnabas was now set apart (assigned) to do was preaching the gospel in the regions round about Antioch in Pisidia. It was not any permanent office in the church, but was a temporary designation to a missionary work in extending the gospel, especially through Asia Minor, and the adjacent regions. Accordingly, when, they completed their mission, (They had traveled through Seleucia, Cyprus, Paphos, Pamphylia, Pisidia, etc.,) they returned to Antioch, having fulfilled the work to which they were separated. (Acts 14:26-27).
While you are on the mission field, check in with your Pastor from time to time to keep them informed of the progress or difficulties you are encountering on the battlefield. You’ll need somebody always praying for you and the home church who know you will also know what to and how to pray in intercession for you.
Being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, Paul begins his 1st Missionary journey.
Note: In Paul’s 1st Missionary journey, Paul visited 15 places and accomplished 14 acts of ministry: 7 of them are found in this chapter.
1. Preached the Word of God (Acts 13:5, 7, 44)
2. Caused blindness to a false prophet and detractor (Acts 13:8-12)
3. Conversion of the deputy procounsul of Cyprus (Acts 13:12)
4. First Apostle to turn the focus of His preaching and teaching work to Gentiles who gladly received the Gospel. (Acts 13:46)
5. Many converts (Acts 13:12-49; 14:1)
6. Converts Spirit filled (Acts 13:52)
7. Many miracles (Acts 13:11; 14:3-20)
8. Rejected worship (Acts 14:11-18)
9. Paul resurrected (Acts 14:19-20)
10. Preached the gospel (Acts 14:7,21)
11. Taught many (Acts 14:21-22)
12. Published the Word of God (Acts 13:49)
13. Established churches and ordained elders for them (Acts 14:23)
14. Made a missionary report (Acts 14:27)
III. Preaching in Cyprus: “Demonic Opposition” (Verses 4-13)
Whenever you preach, teach, or share the Word of God in any format, expect the devil to oppose it and you in any way he can
Opposed by a sorcerer:
A known false prophet, a Jew, and a sorcerer: : “ named Bar-jesus” or Elymas (vs. 6-8)Saul and Barnabas were summoned by Sergius Paulus, the deputy proconsul of Cyprus in Paphos to hear the Word of God. (Gospel) But…Elymas withstood (opposed their teaching) them and sought to turn away the deputy from the faith.
Saul’s Response: Set his eyes on Elymas (being filled with the Holy Ghost) (vs. 9-11)
Saul said: "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time."
You are full of all subtilty and all mischief]
You are full of "deceit and fraud," and you know it. The word rendered "mischief" in its proper character means "facility of acting out," and also: using the method of "sleight of hand; acting in a sly manner; employing cunning arts, (cunning craftiness…..slick and a trickster)
Elymas sought to defraud Saul and Barnabas by discrediting them through the practice of witchcraft and sorcery. Having a great deal of influence in the deputy’s life, through witchcraft, Elymas through Satan used this wicked art to exercise mind control over the deputy. The demonic art Elymas practiced consisted probably in sleight of hand, legerdemain, or trick, aided by skill in the abstruse sciences, by which the ignorant (simple minded) might be easily imposed on. (Acts 8:9).
You are a Child of the devil.
Elymas was under demonic influence. The devil tricked him as was using him to carry out his wicked devices. Under his influence; practicing his arts; promoting his designs by deceit and imposture, which is why Elymas was called the “son of the devil. Satan is presented here as the author of deceit and the father of lies.
You are an “enemy of all righteousness.”
Elymas practiced deceit and iniquity, and had a fierce opposition to both righteousness and honesty. Any man who lives by wickedness will, of course, be the enemy of every form of integrity. A man who lives by fraud will be opposed to the truth; a panderer to the vices of people will hate the rules of chastity and purity; a manufacturer or vendor of ardent spirits will be the enemy of temperance societies.
Wilt thou not cease to pervert the truth? (The right ways of the Lord)
Will you ever stop perverting the straight paths or doctrines of the Christian religion, which is in opposition to the crooked and perverse arts of deceivers and impostors. Won’t you ever stop challenging the "integrity, the sincerity of the truth," while promoting the ways of sinners, deceivers and true imposters (false teachers and prophets.
In what way he had opposed Paul and Barnabas is not known. It may have been either by misrepresenting their doctrines, or by representing them as apostate Jews (false teachers against the Law, thus retarding or hindering the progress of the gospel. The expression "wilt thou not cease." implies that he had been engaged sedulously in doing this, probably from the beginning of their work in the city.
Elymas Blinded (immediately) (vs. 11)And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
The Deputy Sergius Paulus believed (vs. 12) (Why?)
- He was astonished at the doctrine of the Lord
- He was convinced by what the power of God did to Elymas
Unless you are in right relationship with God and filled with the Holy Spirit, don’t engage a demon in an attempt to cast down or out of an individual. Always be in prayer and led by the Holy Ghost to do whatever you do, because you are on the devil’s radar screen and he’s stalking you, looking to either oppose the work God has given you or to attack, persecute or sift you.
1 Peter 5:8-9
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world”. But….Remember …..
If you are under the power of the Holy Spirit, you will stand boldly and defend the faith without fear and with the power to cast out demons and come against and bind all hindering demonic spirits who oppose the ministering of God’s Word to the masses, especially to those who want to hear it.
Concerning You to encourage you in the work…
2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us “God has not given us the spirit of fear…God has given us love…power…and a sound mind”
Concerning your Spiritual Weapons: Remember 2 Corinthians 10:4-6:
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled."
Preaching in Asia Minor: “Perga and Pamphylia” (verses 13-15)
Doctrine of Justification of Faith preached by Paul
From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. (vs. 13)
The reason Mark left them is speculative. It could have been that he was homesick. It could have been that he was afraid of the unknown. The area they were now traveling into was dangerous primarily because there were many in that region that worshipped “Diana or Artemus” the goddess of fertility. The Gospel message would be subject to fierce opposition there. What is evident is whatever the reason Mark chose to leave them and go back home didn’t set too well with Paul because on his second missionary journey, he refused to allow Mark to travel with them. Please note that while they were beginning to preach to the Gentiles more, Paul and Barnabas sought every opportunity to preach to the Jews first This is why every Sabbath, they went to the temple to worship.
“From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, "Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak." (vs. 14-15)
Paul (standing up) and beckons with his hands addresses the Synagogue:
“Men of Israel, and you that fear God, give audience (please listen!)
Paul starts with reviewing with them the ancestry history of their fore fathers Jews from the Exodus to Canaan, the land of promise. He emphasized they were delivered from Egypt with God’s mighty hand. (vs. 16- 19)
Paul then talked about how God both nourished them and took care of their every need for 40 years in the wilderness and despite their open rebellion and wickedness, preserved and showed great mercy upon them. He exercised a great deal of patience with them. They were a provoking, murmuring, unbelieving people; and yet he bared with them, did not deal with them as they deserved, but suffered his anger many a time to be turned away by the prayer and intercession of Moses.
Finally, after 40 years, he led them in to the Land of promise. God subdued 7 nations and while not destroying the people of these heathen nations completely, god subdued them to the point they would not pose a real threat to the Israelites as they began to occupy Canaan. These are the 7 nations God subdued so the Israelites could occupy Canaan:
The Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
History: While in Canaan: Judges to rule until Samuel the Prophet (vs. 20-29)
According to Judges 2:16-19, for about 452 years, God used judges, men who were raised up in an extraordinary way to rule over Israel, administer the affairs of the country and to protect them from their enemies. Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked in obedience to Yahweh’s commands. Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, He was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived. (The Lord had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them.) But when the judge died, the people would returned to doing evil, to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods by serving and worshiping them. In truth, they refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
Then afterwards, they desired a king. (vs. 21-22)
In Deuteronomy 17: 14-19, God prophesied that the people will at some point in Canaan desire to have a king. (God gave them the criteria of who to choose and what would be required of the king, down to how he lived, how many women he could marry and how much wealth he could have.)
The first king God chose for them was Saul, son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned as king for 40 years.
And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.
We must make a note here: The only reason he was allowed to reign 40 years was Saul was dethroned from the throne by God because of disobedience. This was done because he rebelled against God in sparing the sheep and oxen and valuable property of Amalek, together with Agag the king, when he was commanded to destroy all property of the Amalikies and all the people.
God removed His anointing from Saul, yet allowed his occupancy to continue until the next king, a shepherd boy who was still a youth was prepared by God and life to finally take the throne at the proper time. God called another Israelite to be king during the reign of Saul, David, the youngest son from the house of Jesse, and a man after God’s own heart.
The Promised Savior came from David’s seed: (genealogy) Jesus “God Promised”(vs. 23)
Jesus Christ came in a direct and indisputable line from David, according to both promise and prophecy. God assured this by blessing Bathsheba with 2 sons through David. Solomon’s birth represented the beginning of the royal line and the 2nd son Nathan’s birth represented the beginning of the legal line. Both lines came together when Joseph , a son of David through Nathan’s lineage (the legal lineage) married Mary, a daughter of David through Solomon’s lineage (the royal line) thus the 1st child of Mary “Jesus” (begotten of Jehovah through the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost upon Mary) is the “son of David and the Son of God.
John the Baptist: forerunner to Jesus proclaims His 1st coming and when questioned, told the crowd that he (John) was not He (the Christ) (vs. 24-25)
First John preached repentance and told the crowd to prepare the way in their lives for the coming of the Lord. (Messiah) (Matthew 3:2-3):
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"
Then John refutes that he (John was the Christ. (Matthew 3:11-12)
"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Message to us:
In all the years that we have been allowed to live, we all must admit that God has merciful to us and His grace has abounded where our sins abounded. The Lord has been as a tender father to us. He has supplied all of our needs and given us some of the things we desired. God has fed us all our lives and has been indulgent to us, showing himself as a God of pardons. (as he was merciful to Israel), (Nehemiah 9:17) We have tried his patience, and yet not tired the patience of the Lord for the Lord God is longsuffering toward us.
Dr. William Edward Boddie