Saturday, May 26, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 14

Exodus 14

-The miraculous Red Sea crossing is narrated in this amazing chapter of Scripture. Pharaoh assembled his army in defiance of all God had done to release His people, and they embarked on a quest to bring back their slave labor force even after all the plagues and destruction. However, a key reiteration is made several times through the chapter with God speaking, “I will be honored through Pharaoh (Exodus 14:4, 17, 18).” God is not mocked and only He in the end will receive the glory and honor because of His great power (Galatians 6:7).

-The people were naturally afraid of the advancing army against them. They were indecisive and skeptical about the situation. This is where Moses’ leadership was incredible. He told them not to fear but to stand by and see the salvation of the LORD (Exodus 14:13). “The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent (Exodus 14:14).” They only had to trust in the LORD; it was not by their own might or power (Zechariah 4:6). God sent His angel behind the camp to divide the parties, and He sent a strong east wind all night, which dried up the sea so that they could cross on dry land towards safety. *Application* How many times in life do we feel trapped like there is no way out of a particular situation and no possible solution to a dilemma. God can make streams in the dessert and dry land to walk across when your back is against the wall (Isaiah 44:3-4). He can make a way where there is no hope at all. Trust in Him with whatever circumstance you find yourself in today!

-The LORD sent confusion amongst the Egyptians as they pursued their enemies into the Red Sea, and their chariot wheels swerved making driving difficult. They realized they were in over their heads as the LORD was fighting for the sons of Israel. But, before they could retreat Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the water returned killing the entire Egyptian army. “Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. When Israel saw the great power which the LORD had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in His servant Moses (Exodus 14:30-31).” *Application* Here are the two great biblical principles that lead us to salvation and knowing the LORD. Fear the LORD; this is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10). This is reverential awe of His power. He is ultimately in control and we are called to submit to His authority, which is kind and just. Secondly, belief in the LORD is essential. Without faith it is impossible to please God “for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Verses to Memorize: Exodus 14:14, 31

Friday, May 25, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 13

Exodus 13

-The consecration of the firstborn of man and beast is what God communicates with Moses as the LORD leads them out of the places where they lived in Goshen toward Succoth and then Etham on the edge of the wilderness.

-The LORD institutes the feast of unleavened bread with them as a remembrance of all He had done to deliver the children of Israel from the oppressive hands of the Egyptians. “With a powerful (mighty) Hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt (Exodus 13:9, 14, 16)” is the refrain that is reiterated to remind them of their deliverance from slavery. *Application* Again remember that this has significance for us in the realm of our salvation. Sin had us in bondage until the powerful Hand of Christ delivered us through His death, burial, and resurrection. We should forever remember and be thoroughly grateful for the work that our God has done for us to redeem and rescue us.

-The redemption of the firstborn serves as a sign on the children of Israel’s hands and as phylacteries on their foreheads to sanctify them before the LORD. It is a constant reminder of His power and how He killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt because of their stubbornness in letting them go when it was the appointed time.

-Now God took them out toward the Red Sea by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He was always with them and never left them. He took them on a route that would avoid war with the Philistines even though it would have been a shorter route. War would be avoided going this way and the devastation of seeing that the LORD knew may make them faint of heart and return to captivity. *Application* We need to be willing to let the LORD take us on His path and in His time. He knows what is best and what we need to avoid. The shortest way is not always the best way and God knows the pitfalls to steer us away from. We should let Him always guide the way even when it may not make the most rational sense to us in our frame of thinking. Remember that God’s ways are always best.

-The bones of Joseph are taken out of Egypt as he had made them swear. The prophesies had come true and the Israelites were heading back to their promised land covenanted to them by the LORD.

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 13:22

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 12

Exodus 12 

-The Passover is initiated with its ordinances for the children of Israel and all who will become circumcised under the covenant. This becomes the beginning of months for the Jewish nation and sets the course for their national identity. It is to be a perpetual celebration and ordinance throughout their generations commemorating the work that the LORD did in bringing them out of slavery by His mighty right Hand. The firstborns of all the Egyptians and their beasts (livestock) were struck down dead and a mighty wailing cry arose in the land. The Hebrews were ushered out immediately with the favor, gold, silver, and clothing of their oppressors. “Thus they plundered the Egyptians (Exodus 12:36b).”

-*Application* A hermeneutical device used here for many interpreters is typology. What is history and observable in the Hebrew people is a “type,” which helps us understand a deeper spiritual meaning in our own experience with the LORD. The land of Egypt would represent our natural state, which is in disobedience and sin before the LORD and estranged from Him in bondage (slavery). Our release comes when we groan for God and His deliverance from this bondage (Exodus 2:23-24). God hears us and has mercy on us to come and save through His incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Passover; see the types here depicted in Exodus as a pointing, or perhaps we shall say a tutor (teacher, educator) to help us understand better the work of Christ (Galatians 3:24-25). He is the perfect Lamb of God (John 1:29) who was killed for our transgressions in a substitutionary atonement so that the LORD will “Passover” our sins and iniquities. The blood which was applied represents the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. The shape of the lintel and two doorposts where the blood was to be applied forms the shape of a cross. Anyone who was under the blood was safe from the death angel. This applied not just to the Jews, but anyone who would apply the blood. God made no distinction here; it was open for all. These were under His blessing and were released from death. Salvation was theirs and they were freed from their bondage. A release was given. In future chapters the Christian walk is further defined in this typology hermeneutic. Read on!

-430 years to the day when they arrived in Egypt, the children of Israel left with all the hosts of the LORD. God had come through big time and the slaves were finally set free. But, this is only the beginning as the 600,000 men (not including children and probably women) ventured away from their captivity. They went out with rejoicing seeing the awesome and mighty Hand of the LORD with all they owned plus their plunder, but the adventure was just beginning.

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 12:12

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 11

Exodus 11 

-Chapter 11 recounts the exchange of words between the LORD, speaking through Aaron and Moses, and Pharaoh before the very last plague. A complete driving out is prophesied and the children of Israel are instructed to ask from his neighbor for the articles of silver and gold. The LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians and Moses was highly esteemed in all the land of Egypt.

-The LORD’s warning is crystal clear as to what was about to happen giving Pharaoh and Egypt one last chance to repent and let God’s people free without repercussions. However, Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened and his eyes were blinded to what was about to envelop his land and his people including his own family.

-Some of Moses’ last words to Pharaoh included the fact that God was making a distinction between Egypt, who worshiped false gods, and Israel, who worshiped the true and living God. *Application* This is the great line of separation and still is today. There is only one truth, one way, and one life, which comes only through Jesus Christ, God’s Messiah (John 14:6). God has only one way to salvation and it is up to us to accept that reality.

-Moses leaves Pharaoh’s presence in hot anger, and the LORD reassures him that there is purpose in this so that His wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt. Pharaoh fulfilled the word of God by hardening his heart to the things of God one last time, and it would destroy his soul, his family, his pride, and his nation. *Application* Oh friend, if the LORD is calling you please do not spurn His voice and turn your own way. Call upon the Name of the LORD while you can and receive His forgiveness and restoration that comes abundantly and freely to all that will accept Him (Isaiah 55:6, Romans 10:13). He is gracious and compassionate abounding in love and favor for those who cry out to Him (Exodus 34:6, 2 Chronicles 30:9, Nehemiah 9:17, Psalm 103:8, Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2).

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 11:5

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 10

Exodus 10 

-Two more plagues and interaction between Pharaoh and Moses and Aaron are given for us in chapter 10. God reveals again His purposes for the signs and wonders and hardening. His purpose is for knowledge of the Holy One, the Righteous One, the All-Powerful One. “That you may know that I AM the LORD (Exodus 10:2).” These works were manifested for a perpetual testimony throughout the generations to the awesomeness of the Living God and that there was no other god besides Him. The testimony was instructed to be taught and carried on into the future. *Application* God reveals Himself to us so that we can instruct others in the knowledge of His greatness.

-As Moses and Aaron go before Pharaoh for one of the last times they give him the word of the LORD asking the question, “How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me (Exodus 10:3)?” This gives us the heart and root issue facing the god of Egypt, Pharaoh. He simply could not bring himself to acknowledge that there was a power greater than himself and kept refusing to let God’s people go so that they could fulfill His purposes back in the land of promise. His stubbornness is known by the LORD and drastic action has to happen and keep happening to bring about the release of the Hebrew people. He would not even listen to his servants who were telling him that Egypt is destroyed because of his actions. They realized that Moses was a snare to them and that he needed to be let go along with the children of Israel.

-Now locusts cover the land and eat the remaining vegetation left after the tremendous hail storm. Pharaoh hurriedly calls for Moses and Aaron as he realizes the complete annihilation that this plague is causing. He even acknowledges his sin against the LORD and the children of Israel and begs for the prayers of the righteous. Moses graciously makes supplication to the LORD, and the LORD does relent by shifting the wind so that the locusts are driven into the Red Sea. But, Pharaoh’s heart is again hardening by the LORD and he refused again to let the people go. *Application* Waffling back and forth is a horrible approach to God. He was overly gracious with Pharaoh as we see here in the text, but he spurned the grace of God and went back to his pride. For Pharaoh and us the LORD’s patience eventually runs out and His wrath comes only after every effort is made to draw us into His love and protection. It is foolish to keep resisting God and His authority in our lives. Don’t let His patience run out. Give up and run to Him for His mercy is great and endures forever. You’ll be glad you did.

-Darkness is now covering the earth in the next to last plague of God’s demonstrated power in Egypt for the release of the captive children of Israel. This is an intense darkness that could be felt, which was an ever increasing and ominous declaration that the gods of Egypt were futile to do anything against the LORD. God was making a statement against false gods. Let’s review a bit to see the powerlessness of the Egyptians gods as they began to realize the LORD’s power. Hapi, the god of the Nile River, could not prevent the waters from turning to blood (Exodus 7:20). Hathor, the shrewd cow-goddess, was helpless as Egyptian livestock died in vast numbers (Exodus 9:6). Amon-Re, the sun god and head god of the Egyptians, could not stop an entire and eerie darkness from covering the land for three full days (Exodus 10:21-22). God was marking out His exclusivity as the true, living-personal Being that was the only One worthy of being worshiped. He made these things manifest to not only His children of the promise, but the Egyptians as well. If we understand the cultural context, we see that God made every effort in His desire to draw them to repentance and knowledge of His truth. In other words, His wrath on them in the end was justified because He made every attempt to show them the way to life.

-Pharaoh was willing at this point to let them go with their children, but he wanted the livestock to remain with him. This partial disobedience was once again nullified by Moses in argument that sacrifices had to be made and the exact number had not yet been determined; therefore, the livestock must go with them. This led to Pharaoh’s last refusal to let them go. Pharaoh threatens Moses with death if he sees his face again. Moses prophesies in retort that indeed Pharaoh will not see his face again. The stage is set for the Passover.

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 10:27

Monday, May 21, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 9


Exodus 9

-Three more plagues are described in chapter nine with no more effect on Pharaoh in the end than the first ones. Moses and Aaron maintained that he should “Let My people go, that they may serve Me…” from the LORD, but the response remained bitter and anti-God in the final analysis. The distinction was made every time between Israel and Egypt that the world would know that there was a powerful God who was ultimately in control and wanted His rightful place to be worshiped. There is no One like Him in all the earth (Exodus 9:14). *Application* We must understand God’s redemptive purpose in all that happened during the Egyptian plagues. God wanted mankind to know and obey His ways. The stubbornness of man is the great theme we must keep in mind as we read these acts of the LORD. He would have relented at any point if the hearts of the Egyptians would have come into conformity with His will. Our arrogance towards God will never allow us to succeed ultimately. The quicker we give up ourselves to His perfect will, the quicker we will experience true and good life to the full (John 10:10). Submit to His authority and He will raise you up in His power for His glory. This is His always His purpose and plan. He has plans for you to prosper you (Jeremiah 29:11).

-The first plagued was the death of all the livestock in Egypt. The second was boils that made the magicians crazy. The third was a fierce and violent hail, thunder, and lightening storm that destroyed much in the land. There was a gracious warning to take cover in this storm.

-Pharaoh admitted sin with this plague and claimed the LORD as the righteous One and that his people were wicked. He asked again for supplication, which Moses did, and he promised he would let them go and not have to stay any longer. All these acts of God were done so that they would know that the earth is the LORD’s. This is Moses’ plea, but he knew that Pharaoh did not yet fear the LORD God. When the LORD relented, Pharaoh again hardened his heart and he did not let them go, just as the LORD had spoken through Moses (Exodus 9:35).

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 9:1, 14

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 8

Exodus 8 

-The plagues are now under way with three more coming in this chapter. The first one has to do with the frogs coming onto the land and into their houses and bedrooms and beds and into their cooking facilities. Every aspect of their lives was altered by the frogs. The magicians were able to do the same with their secret arts, but this time Pharaoh called upon Moses and Aaron to entreat the LORD for the removal of the frogs. Pharaoh said he would let them go at this point, but when relief was given by the LORD, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them just as the LORD had said would happen (Exodus 8:15).

-The swarms of gnats and insects were commanded by the LORD upon the land. Now it had gotten to the point that the Egyptian magicians could not duplicate the feats, and they counseled Pharaoh that this was the finger of God. But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened as predicted, and he did not listen to them.

-There was also now a division between the Hebrews and the lands of the Egyptians. Goshen, where the Hebrew people were, was not affected by the swarms of insects. The LORD gave His people separation from the plight of His plagues. *Application* God is our protection in adversity. Pray the prayer that God will have mercy on His servants in this day and age in the midst of His wrath and judgment on a wicked world.

-Pharaoh is beginning to crack a bit and tells Moses and Aaron they will be able to go sacrifice to their God in the land of Egypt. Moses, at the LORD’s direct command, stands firm on the three day’s journey into the wilderness. *Application* Pharaoh wanted partial obedience from the Hebrews, but Moses knew what God had commanded and would not back down from it. When God gives you instructions, don’t compromise at any point. Otherwise, your partial disobedience is fully a sin against God. He will bless you eventually when you remain utterly true and faithful. Stick to His Word!

-Pharaoh makes promises to let them go and is asking for supplication from the prophet, which he got. God did what Moses asked for, but Pharaoh again spurned the LORD and hardened his heart against Him. He did not let the people go. *Application* There is something to be said for honesty and following through with what you promise here. Pharaoh’s word was no good. He went back on his promise. Do we follow through with people on the things we tell them we will do for them? Be a person of your word.

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 8:15

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 7


Exodus 7 

-Moses is made as God to Pharaoh with power from on high and Aaron is the prophet that will speak to Pharaoh and tell him all that the LORD says for the release of the sons of Israel from their Egyptian captivity.

-God hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that His signs and wonders would be multiplied in the land of Egypt. This was God’s will and it was redemptive in purpose. The LORD knew Pharaoh’s heart was evil and that repentance was not going to be a part of his life. Therefore, his heart toward the LORD was hardened and he fulfilled all that God had ordained for the purpose of making His Name great in the whole world. Egypt was the world power at this time, and the works of the LORD would become known everywhere through these signs and wonders.

-The plagues start with the staff being turned into a snake, which was able to consume the magicians of Pharaoh’s serpents. *Application* Satanic forces can often duplicate by illusion or tricky the miracles of God. They do have power, but it is never to the level of the LORD’s work. Don’t be fooled by the imitation. Seek the real deal of the LORD God Almighty.

-The second plague is also duplicated as the waters of the Nile are turned to blood killing the fish that were in it. Most of the country was affected now by this plague, but Pharaoh was still unmoved and unconcerned even for this (Exodus 7:23). The compulsion of the LORD had not yet begun to effect his decisions, but it soon would. *Application* Don’t be hard headed like Pharaoh when the LORD tries to show you something that you need to do to change and come in line with His ways. The sooner you turn to God the better off you will be, always!

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 7:1

Friday, May 18, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 6


Exodus 6

 -The LORD immediately answers the desperate agony of Moses’ frustration as chapter 6 begins (Exodus 5:22-23). He will now be shown the power of God as the LORD will do what He has to do to get Pharaoh’s attention and let His children be free from slavery. It will be under compulsion. In other words, Pharaoh will force the LORD’s hand to do awesome and mighty plagues on the land and people of Egypt to the point that the Hebrews will be driven out into freedom. *Application* There comes a point when God fights for His chosen people for their good. Wait on the LORD and let Him fight your battles (1 Samuel 17:47).

-God speaks further to Moses concerning His Name, which He has now given to Moses His servant. He recounts His covenant given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but LORD (I AM) is a new revelation and has delivering power associated with it for this situation. He will redeem them with an outstretched arm (His special and vigorous action) and great judgments (Exodus 6:6). They will be His people and He will be their God with complete knowledge of Him in His delivering power (Exodus 6:7).

-Moses is told to go to the sons of Israel with this message, but their despondency and cruel bondage had left them with no hope and they did not listen. With this, God told Moses to go to Pharaoh, but he didn’t think Pharaoh would listen and again had no confidence because of his speech impediments. But the LORD gave them (Moses and Aaron) charge to the sons of Israel and Pharaoh to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

-The listing of the heads of the families of Israel is denoted with some genealogy information. This has important historical significance and is worth investigating as the narrative plays out.

-At the end of the chapter the LORD is speaking again the same words to Moses and he again is showing his lack of confidence in what the LORD is up to. *Application* There are times in our lives when our faith is weak. Even though we want to trust the LORD for all our provision and sustenance we lack the patience and confidence to let Him show up and demonstrate His great power. When you have those feelings, remember this biblical story of Moses and the LORD’s great and awesome strength to overcome all obstacles. Learn from the examples God gives us. He is LORD!

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 6:1

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 5

Exodus 5 

-Moses and Aaron go before Pharaoh with the request to let the people go to the wilderness for a three day feast to the LORD and sacrifice to Him. They tell the Pharaoh that pestilence or the sword will befall them if they are disobedient to this command of the LORD. This is the word of the LORD God.

-However, Pharaoh answers in defiance just as the LORD had warned. Pharaoh does not know God and sees no reason to bow down to His or these slaves demands. He does not let them go and in fact creates tension in their camp because of the increased work load. The people of Israel are seen as lazy and therefore more work is exacted cruelly on them as they will now have to gather their own straw for the bricks they were forced to make. The quota though for the day’s production remains the same, and the taskmasters pressed them into hard service, too hard to even complete reasonably. The foremen are beaten for their not being able to make the quota.

-This dilemma brings the foremen of the sons of Israel before Pharaoh asking why he is being so cruel on them. Pharaoh accuses them again of being lazy and nonsensical for wanting to go and sacrifice to the LORD. This reaction drives the foremen back to Moses and Aaron with complaint because they had now become a stench in the nostrils of Pharaoh and they feared physical harm by the sword.

-Moses goes before the LORD and pleads, “O LORD, why have You brought harm to this people? Why did You ever send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your Name, he has done harm to this people, and You have not delivered Your people at all (Exodus 5:22-23).” *Application* Sometimes when we follow through with what the LORD is asking us to do it starts out bad, rough, and even terrible. There will always be a crisis of faith when you step out into God’s preferred plan for the future. When these ordeals seem insurmountable, remember that God is in control and will work out the situation in His favor every time (Romans 8:28). There will always be struggles and obstacles to overcome, but don’t give up on what the LORD has told you to do. We see the frustration of Moses here and the honest questions he has before God. This is evidence that he was merely human just like we are and has trouble seeing the big picture sometimes. At those moments in our lives, we must learn to trust in God all the more and let His ideal plan develop.

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 5:22-23

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 4

Exodus 4

-The conversation between God and Moses takes a turn as we begin chapter 4. Moses’ fear surfaces as he communicates concern over the acceptance of his (or really God’s) message. The LORD lovingly gives him three miraculous signs, which he can use to demonstrate that the power of God is with him. *Application* When God is in something, He will provide the power and authority to accomplish it. He will not let it fail. He always comes through.

-Then Moses begins to use excuses for why he is not a good candidate for this particular mission. He states that he is slow of speech and slow of tongue. This once again revolves around fear and the thought of being embarrassed or rejected. God reminds him that He is the maker of the mouth and the eyes. He is in control and will bring His purposes to pass. *Application* In what ways do we make excuses in trying to get out of what the Lord is telling us to do? Often we are just like Moses in our fear and trepidation.

-Moses flatly attempts to get out of his God-given assignment by the end of the conversation. He wants someone else to do this task, which draws the LORD’s ire and a solution to the excuses Moses is making. God will call Aaron, Moses’ brother, and he will be his mouth piece. Moses will speak all the words of the LORD into him and Aaron will speak out to the audience. God makes a promise that He will teach them (the plural form of you is used here in the Hebrew) what they are to do. *Application* God is persistent with us sometimes and bears with us giving us the adequacy with need to accomplish the tasks that He has called us to. Thank the LORD for His forbearance.

-Moses goes back to Jethro and gets permission to go as the LORD had commanded him, and his father-in-law tells him to go in peace. This is not insignificant. Moses goes through the proper procedures and protocol to do his assignment. Thankfully Jethro gives him his blessing, which shows his willingness to help his son-in-law accomplish the will of the LORD.

-The time comes when the LORD speaks to Moses again in Midian and tells him to go to Egypt because the ones that wanted him dead are deceased themselves. So Moses takes his wife and sons, mount them on a donkey, and returns to the land of Egypt with his staff in hand.

-The LORD assures him of his destiny and that the power is his from Him, but He also warns that Pharaoh will harden his heart and not let the people go. God, who sees the end from the beginning, gives the final analysis for Pharaoh to Moses from the start. He will kill his firstborn son because of his hardness in not letting God’s children go to serve Him (Exodus 4:22-23). This ends up being the final act of the plagues God brings on Egypt (Exodus 11, 12:29-30).

-A strange portion of Scripture for interpretation now comes in Exodus 4:24-26. What is going on here is that God was about to kill His servant for not obeying His covenant of circumcision. It is understandable that Moses would have had limited knowledge of this law of the LORD since he was raised in Pharaoh’s household and the other half of his life to this point had been spent in the wilderness of Midian. The requirements of the covenant with Israel (Genesis 17) had not been carried out in 400 years. He also had a foreign wife who apparently from the reading opposed circumcision. The key point here theologically for us here is that Moses could not effectively serve as deliverer of God’s people until he had fulfilled to conditions of God’s covenant, and one of these conditions was certainly circumcision. Moses and his family had to follow the LORD’s commands completely before he was allowed to move forward. What we must understand is that failing to circumcise your son was to remove yourself and your family from God’s blessings. Moses had to learn that disobedience towards the LORD was even more hazardous than dealing with the Egyptian Pharaoh.

-Now Aaron is called by God and meets his brother in the wilderness in a sweet reunion. Moses told him all the words of the LORD that he had been sent to deliver and the signs that He commanded him to do. Then Moses and Aaron went to the land of Egypt and told the elders all the words of the LORD and then Moses performed the signs (1 Corinthians 1:22). So the people believed and realized that God was about to do something incredible in their generation and they bowed low and worshipped Yahweh, the great “I AM.”

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 4:15

Monday, May 14, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 3

Exodus 3 

-Moses was now pasturing the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro (or Reuel, Exodus 2:18). What a humble job he was now performing compared to the riches and honor he enjoyed as he grew up as an adopted son of Pharaoh’s princess. He had been used to having all his needs provided, and his culture would have taught him that sheep herding was detestable (Genesis 43:32; 46:32-34). Now he was doing everything himself, but God was teaching him about the people he would lead out of Egypt. *Application* God uses every experience to equip us for His good purposes as we stay obedient to His call and direction. Allow every opportunity to become a teachable moment in your life. God doesn’t waste occurrences and incidents.

-It is while he is tending the sheep that the LORD visits him at His mountain, Mount Horeb (or Mt. Sinai). He appears in a burning bush that catches Moses’ attention because it is not being burned up, yet if flames and flames. Moses turns aside to glimpse this marvelous sight (Exodus 3:3). *Application* God will do some amazing things to grab and hold your attention if you are observant enough.

-The LORD begins to speak as He calls out Moses’ name. He tells him not to come too near, for he is standing on holy ground and a respectful removing of the sandals is required. Obviously Moses is afraid and hides his face from the Holy One. Then God assures him that He has seen the affliction of His people who are in Egypt. He has given heed to their cries for help because of their taskmasters. He was certainly aware of the whole situation and their sufferings. Now was the time of His coming down for deliverance from their oppressors and oppression. *Application* God is just and will defend His people. Sometimes this takes longer than we’d like or think, but God knows best and acts when it is perfectly appropriate.

-God’s purposes are indicated in this meeting with His servant Moses. He is going to bring His people out of their slavery to a good and spacious land that flowed with milk (probably refers to the goat’s milk of the region of Israel) and honey (probably refers to the date palm honey of the region of Israel). He also recognized the coming conflict and enemies that would need to be removed in the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites (do a web search to find out more about these ancient cultures that inhabited the land of God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). The LORD promises to be with His servant as He commands him to go to Pharaoh for the release of the captives. Moses doesn’t think that he is of the pedigree to do such a task at this point. God gives him a sign that he will come back to Mt. Horeb (Mt. Sinai) to worship the LORD.

-Now Moses asks for the Name of this God who is sending him for the deliverance of His people. God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM…I AM has sent me to you (Exodus 3:14).” This Name shall be His Name forever. It is the self-existent title of the Living God who is. It is the form of being verb denoting His eternality and reliance on no one. This is the God of the universe making Himself revealed and known to man. This was to be His memorial Name of all generations. From the Hebrew form as it has come down to our English language as pronounced Yahweh or sometimes Jehovah. Kind of mind blowing when we think about it, right?

-God also promises that the elders of the Hebrew people would listen to him and go with him before Pharaoh in this daunting task of freedom. However, a prophecy is given by the LORD that Pharaoh is known by God and he will not permit the children of Israel to go easily. It will have to be by compulsion that they are released. *Application* God absolutely knows the heart of each man and has perfect understanding. This doesn’t mean that He controls or manipulates them in any way. God gives Pharaoh free will just like anyone else, but the LORD knows exactly Pharaoh’s response and reactions before they ever take place. This is how prophesy works. God’s foreknowledge must be understood properly in these deterministic matters.

-God knows that He will have to strike Egypt with all His miracles for the purpose of getting His children out of slavery. Further, He will bless His children as they go out with favor in the sight of the Egyptians and they will not go out empty-handed. They will end up plundering the Egyptians in the end with their silver, gold, and clothing.

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 3:14

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 2

Exodus 2

-The story of Moses begins with his salvation from the Nile as he is rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses’ sister arranges his mom to be the nurse for her own little boy in times of persecution. Once again we see the sovereignty of God being demonstrated to His people and His plan for the redemption of mankind. Moses grows up in Pharaoh’s house as an educated, adopted son of his daughter with power and prestige. He would give all this up for his people and his God one day according to the LORD’s purpose. *Application* When God wants something to happen, it will, and no force on earth can stop it. What does the LORD want to do in your life? He has a call out for you.

-Circumstances necessitate Moses’ fleeing to Midian where he meets Reuel, the priest of Midian, and his seven daughters, one of which would be given as his wife, Zipporah. Moses had chosen to fear God more than man for the first time that we know of. This would be a trait that continued to be developed in this great and humble prophet of God who would change the course of history (Numbers 12:3). By faith he spurned the passing pleasures of sin and comfort in Pharaoh’s house and went forward as a sojourner and later received ill-treatment with the people of God (Hebrews 11:24-27). Because of his sojourning he named his first son, Gershom. *Application* How content are we in our walk with God? Are we at times too complacent with the status and position that we have been given? Sometimes, as we see here, our prosperity is a test to see where our heart really is. If we are not careful, we will gravitate to the pleasures and riches and cares of this temporary world and miss out on the LORD’s greater purpose (Matthew 13:22, Luke 18:18-24).

-Now the narrative turns to a new phase as the king of Egypt died and the sons of Israel begin to cry out to their God, to which He heard and responded from Heaven. The LORD heard their groaning, knew their needs, and remembered His covenant with them through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He took notice of them and things were about to miraculously change. Slavery was about to become freedom! *Application* Notice carefully the process that takes place. Many times in Scripture we see people crying out to God in their affliction and down times. One thing we must remember about the Creator of the Universe is that He hears and responds to His creation. Don’t ever think that the Almighty is aloof and not paying attention. He is not some God that is distant in any way. He is with us.

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 2:24

Friday, May 11, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 1


Exodus 1

-Four hundred and thirty years after the time of Joseph (Exodus 12:40, Acts 7:6), the Hebrew children are set free to return to their promised land. Exodus begins before this releasing with a new king who arises over Egypt that did not know Joseph and feared the multiplication and might of the Hebrew people. He enslaves the sons and daughters of Israel making them labor vigorously building storage cities in Pithom and Raamses and labor in the fields. They worked with brick and mortar very rigorously as slaves.

-The dread of the sons of Israel continued to grow as they kept multiplying and increasing in might. The Egyptian rulers made their lives bitter with increasingly hard labor, but God was with His children.

-The king of Egypt plotted against the Hebrew boy population by telling the Hebrew midwives to put to death males that were being born. However, these women feared God and did not do as the Pharaoh commanded. The LORD blessed them for their fear of Him and established households for them even though they had lied to Pharaoh. They had done the greater good of promoting God’s plan for redemption by saving lives. This, just like with Rahab later on (Joshua 2:1-6), does not make this a sinless act, but is used for God’s purposes.

-Pharaoh takes another step in dread of the Hebrews by commanding the people of his nation to cast every male Hebrew child into the Nile. The evil of this king is clearly evident and God was now at work to deliver His people, although it would be a process and take some time (approximately 80 years, Exodus 7:7).

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 1:8

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Acts Bible Study Notes Chapter 28

Acts 28

-The remarkable description of the events on Malta begin the last chapter of this incredible book of Scripture. The natives, which history tells us were of Phoenician descent, were extremely kind and helpful to the weary and beaten down travelers. They were nourished back to well being. *Application* The word of God is clear that we should be welcoming to strangers and sojourners who come along our path (Exodus 22:21; 23:9, Leviticus 19:10, 33-34; 23:22, Deuteronomy 24:20-21; 26:11, Zechariah 7:10, Matthew 25:34-40). In fact we may at times be entertaining angels and be total unaware of it (Hebrews 13:2). These people from Malta should be our example in how to help people in a sincere and loving fashion.

-Paul pulls out a snake that fastens to his hand and flings it in the fire on the Island of Malta. When he doesn’t swell up and die, the accusers turn to worshipers (Luke 10:19). Although the text is silent after this event, I am sure that Paul corrected them and directed them to the true God and Lord, Jesus Christ, who gives the power for protection and all good things.

-Paul does a healing of a leading man of the island’s dad. This leads to other miraculous healings and a powerful witness on the island. The crew destined for Rome is treated well with many marks of respect as they set sail and were provided with all that they needed for their journey. *Application* What a powerful story of hospitality in a desperate situation. God ordained this event for safe passage to the capital of the Roman empire so that His fame could be spread throughout the whole world! God looks after His servants and works all things out for good (Romans 8:28).

-As the party ventured northward towards Rome they made several stops along the way. It is fascinating to read how the brethren (God fearing believers in Christ) connected up with Paul and his entourage. The question becomes, how did they come to know Christ in these places? The answer lies somewhere in the spreading of the gospel throughout the Roman Empire. It may have been other converts that matriculated to these environs. It could have been people who were in Jerusalem at Pentecost and returned with the joy and Spirit of the Lord to spread the gospel (Acts 2:10). In any event, the word of God was reaching places further and further away from Jerusalem as was prophesied (Acts 1:8). These brethren encouraged Paul a great deal. This gave him the vigor and strength to go on and face the call of God on his life in Rome. *Application* Be an encourager to someone today. All they may need to continue on is a good word from you. People need words of blessing and hope.

-Paul finally enters Rome and is given some privileges by his guardians. He calls together the leading men of the Jews and witnesses to them defending his innocence of being against his people and their customs. We must understand that Paul never ventured away from his Jewish roots. He abided by the Law, but accurately pointed out its deficiencies in its ability to provide salvation (Galatians 2:15-3:29). As was always the case, some were persuaded to believe in Christ and received eternal life. Other rejected the message of God and left unbelieving. Paul quotes Isaiah 6:9-10 upon their rejection of the gospel and again turned his message of salvation to the Gentiles. There arose a great dispute over the issue of Jesus concerning His work on the cross and resurrection. *Application* This fight of faith still rages today doesn’t it?

-Paul remains two full years in his own rented quarters awaiting trial and his accusers. He was welcoming all who would come to him as he preached the Kingdom of God and taught the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered. God had given him an open door! He was able to even penetrate Caesar’s household with faith in Christ (Philippians 4:21-23). We are not told from Scripture what happened next in Paul’s life. The point of the Holy Spirit’s work unto the utter ends of the earth (Rome was the commercial and governmental center of the known world) was accomplished in the text, and therefore there was no need for further revelation. Historical tradition has that Paul was released for a short period of time (maybe because of the two year limit on the prosecution bringing a case to trial). There is no record of him standing before Caesar. He also indicated that he hoped he would soon be released in his letter to the Philippians (Philippians 2:24). Paul mentioned places he would like to take the gospel like Spain (Romans 15:24,28). He may have gotten that chance according to early Christian literature that speak plainly about other travels by Paul.

Writings from nonbiblical orthodox and heterodox traditions include:

  • The Acts of Paul (Orthodox, 160-190) A collection of legendary stories which emphasize the asceticism of Paul and his followers
  • The Acts of Thecla (Orthodox, circulated separately and as a part of the Acts of Paul, 160-190) Legends about a young virgin from Iconium (now Konya, Turkey) who refused to marry and followed Paul in the face of many persecutions
  • The Acts of Peter and Paul (Orthodox, c. 200) Only the first chapters of this book describing Paul and Peters last days and their confrontation with Nero survive
  • Acts of Xanthippe, Polyxena, and Rebecca (Orthodox, c. 270) Legends about some women in Spain who leave their husbands to follow Paul
  • Apocalypse of Paul (Orthodox, c. 380) A widely circulated book which claimed to describe Paul's experiences when he was caught up in the third heaven (I Corinthians 12:2-4)
  • Apocalypse of Paul (Gnostic, 2nd century) This heterodox fragment of a book exalts Paul above all of the other apostles. It is entirely different from the one by the same name listed above.

-Tradition tells us that Paul eventually died a martyr’s death in Rome in the mid to late 60s A.D. His life is a testimony of the graciousness of God and a man who died to himself and lived in Christ’s resurrection power (Galatians 2:21). His example has been the standard for Christian missionaries ever since.

-God’s church was expanding and the world was becoming aware of His love and chance for redemption. We read in Acts the work of the Holy Spirit in ever-widening circles of influence through merchants, travelers, slaves, jailers, church leaders, males, females, Gentiles, Jews, rich, and poor. The gospel is for all and we should receive and transmit it gladly. It is the hope for eternity! Continue the story of God’s glory!

Verses to Memorize: Acts 28:30-31

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Acts Bible Study Notes Chapter 27

Acts 27

-Paul finds himself being boarded an Adramyttian ship on the first leg of his journey toward Rome and an appeal to Caesar. Luke is on the trip as evidenced from the use of his pronouns in this narrative. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica who was spoken of when they were in Ephesus, also accompanied them (Acts 19:29; 20:4, Philemon 1:24). The centurion given charge of Paul was Julius of the Augustan battalion. He gave Paul some favorable treatment and spared his life during the course of travel, probably because he had a closeness in proximity to the Apostle and gained respect for him (Acts 27:3, 31, 42-43).

-The Lord was with them during this long and arduous trip, even though there were times that brought the company to the point of despair and hopelessness. Just at the crucial moment, “that very night,” an angel of the Lord came to Paul and told him, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you (Acts 27:24).” Paul then addressed the men, “Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told (Acts 27:25).” *Application* God is near us in our times of need. He is an ever present help in time of trouble (Psalm 37:39; 46:1). Many times God will take us to the brink of disaster so that our confidence and faith will be solely on Him. God is our great rescuer.

-In the end, God’s word of prophecy comes to fruition and they all were brought safely to land. *Application* God always keeps His promises.

Verse to Memorize: Acts 27:24-25

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Acts Bible Study Notes Chapter 26

Acts 26 

-Paul makes his defense before Agrippa and Festus pointing out Agrippa’s vast knowledge (Acts 26:3) and faith in Judaism (Acts 26:27) and recounting his testimony as he himself turned to Christ. This defense was convincing and almost persuaded Agrippa to become a Christian it appears from the text. Paul would have been let go had it not been for his appeal to Caesar (Acts 26:32). They concluded he had done nothing worthy of death or imprisonment (Acts 26:31).

-Some interesting words of Christ are given in this third detailed account of Paul’s Damascus road conversion. God called Paul and sent him “to open their eyes so that they (Jews and Gentiles) may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me (Acts 26:18).” There is some great theology in this statement by Jesus. First, there must be recognition of our depravity before a living, holy, and righteous God. Our sin is great and separates us from the God who illuminates us in His light and His control (dominion). Repentance (a turning, a changing of the mind, a new direction in life) must occur for us to begin to inherit the Lord’s salvation and receive forgiveness of the terrible and horrible sins we have committed that tear us apart from the God who loves us (John 3:16). The crucial last step is sanctification (a setting apart, a making holy), which happens as a result of our faith in Christ Jesus’ atonement based on His death on the cross, burial, and resurrection (faith is only as good as the object it is placed in). Christ gave Paul this message upon revealing Himself to him along that Damascus road and Paul was faithful to preach it everywhere he went after receiving it. *Application* Have you been saved and sanctified? Have you turned from the darkness of Satan’s dominion to the light of the Lord’s authority? Have you believed in Him?

-*Application* Some people might think we are crazy as Festus did with Paul. But the facts of the gospel stand and the resurrection gives us power to hope in a bright future for all eternity. Paul’s hope was for all to be as he was as a believer (Acts 26:29). Let us also tell the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone we meet.

Verses to Memorize: Acts 26:18, 29

Monday, May 7, 2012

Acts Bible Study Notes Chapter 25


Acts 25

-Festus arrives in the province to be governor and three days later he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea Maritima, the Roman port city on the west coast of Israel. He is confronted by the chief priests and leading Jewish men concerning Paul as they wanted him to be brought back to Jerusalem for a trial and planned to kill him on the way.

-Festus wisely has them come to Caesarea for the accusations at first, but wants him to consent to a trial in Jerusalem as a favor to the Jews. This was a political move much like Felix had done to attempt to keep the peace with these religious fanatics in their opinion. Paul, however, maintains his innocence of any wrongdoing and appeals to Caesar as a Roman citizen.

-King Agrippa and Bernice come and spend many days with Felix in Caesarea and hear about the situation with Paul. Amid great pomp and circumstance Paul is brought out before the king and the prominent men of the city to give his defense to his accusations. *Application* Paul’s life had been prophesied and now was the time of fulfillment to stand before kings and give an account for the hope that was in him through Jesus Christ, his living Savior (Acts 9:15-16). How about you? Has God given you a word about your future and the destiny that He has for you? Abide in His plan and work and He will bring forth all His good promises for you even though there will be suffering associated with it. Keep the faith and persevere!

Verse to Memorize: Acts 25:12

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Acts Bible Study Notes Chapter 24

Acts 24

-After five days in Caesarea Maritima, the high priest Ananias (who had struck Paul in the mouth and been rebuked, Acts 23:2-3), came with his attorney, Tertullus, to accuse Paul before the governor, Felix. Tetullus smooth talks the political figure to gain favor and a decisive advantage in their case against the Apostle. The Jews along with him joined in the accusations. Here we see the venom of these religious power players. *Application* Religious fervency doesn’t necessarily put one in the right. The truth is what we should all be after. These Jews were sincere, but sincerely wrong just as Paul had been at one point in his life. They had so hardened themselves to the truth of the gospel and its saving power that they missed the entire point of Paul’s message, which he states in his defense, “having a hope in God,” and “resurrection” of the soul (Acts 24:15). Paul’s message was not for destruction, but for life change into the abundant grace of God (2 Corinthians 5:17). We too can become so callous in our beliefs that we make no room for truth to invade our lives and change us to what God really wants us to be. Be an open vessel and pliable clay in the hands of the living God (Isaiah 64:8).

-Paul makes a successful defense and questions where his accusers from Asia were at because they should have been present for this trial, though they were not. He also appealed to his presentation before the Council, which did not incriminate him in any way as to the accusations which were being levied against him.

-Felix ends up postponing the case as a political favor to the Jews and waits for Lysias, the commander, to come down to the coast there in Caesarea Maritima. Felix gives Paul quite vast freedoms in his custody and allows his friends to minister to him. He listened to Paul often concerning faith in Christ Jesus, but never would accept Him and sought after a bribe. *Application* It is a tragic mistake to turn God away when He comes calling in your life. Felix was close to salvation by his hearing of the message, but he denied the power of it and is now suffering the consequences of that. We will too if we don’t accept the truth of Jesus Christ.

-Paul was left imprisoned for two years until Porcius Festus succeeded Felix. This was a season in Paul’s life where he was forced to slow down as the Lord willed it. He took this time to minister to those who would come to see him as he had opportunity and he no doubt wrote some of his letters to the churches that we now have as the New Testament. *Application* Make the most of the time that the Lord gives you no matter what the situation. As the old saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”

Verse to Memorize: Acts 24:14

Friday, May 4, 2012

Acts Bible Study Notes Chapter 23


Acts 23

-Paul defends himself before the Council of the Jews declaring his life lived under a good conscience before God. Ananias had him illegally struck on the mouth for this comment and Paul rebuked him strongly in the presence of all. However, when he found out that Ananias was the high priest, he retracted his comments and apologized in accordance to the Law (Exodus 22:28). *Application* Ananias’ inability to follow the very Law that he was supposed to be chief priest over left him unrecognizable to Paul. The same can happen to us if we are covert Christians who do not really represent Christ Jesus. Do people actually know who you are in this world O Christian?

-Paul then astutely divides the Council with his hope and resurrection of the dead beliefs. This led to a great dissension and the binding of Paul being taken into the custody of Roman barracks.

-This orchestrates the vow made on Paul by 40 Jews to kill him. Paul’s nephew learns of this mayhem and saves Paul’s life. Paul makes his way to Caesarea Maritima under custody of the Romans and is incarcerated in the official governor’s residence of Herod’s Praetorium waiting to appear before Felix, the governor.

-God appears to Paul in the middle of all this crisis in Jerusalem and gives him His word that he will solemnly witness the Lord’s cause in Rome. *Application* The voice of the Lord is sure. His promises never fail and we can count on every one of them. The Lord stands beside His chosen people. Paul does end up in Rome spreading the gospel of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Verse to Memorize: Acts 23:11

Acts Bible Study Notes Chapter 22


Acts 22 

-Paul makes his defense before the Jews in Jerusalem in Hebrew recounting his testimony. This time he emphasizes the question he asked of the God, “What shall I do Lord (Acts 22:10)?” *Application* This question reflects steps in a journey that begins with our finding the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Paul asks the right questions: 1. Who are You, Lord? and 2. What shall I do? Once we figure these two things out the rest of life naturally falls into place one step at a time.

-Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles is what makes them extremely upset and wanting to kill him. This reveals the exclusive nature of their thinking, which was not at all what God intended when He choose the Jews to be His people. *Application* Exclusivity should not be a part of the Kingdom of God once Jesus Christ is introduced (Galatians 3:27-29).

-Paul goes through quite an ordeal with the Roman commanders, and Paul uses his Roman citizenship, as he had before, to his advantage and well being.

Verses to Memorize: Acts 22:14-16

Acts Bible Study Notes Chapter 21

Acts 21

-Paul and the team go back to Jerusalem despite the prophetic words that he would be bound. *Application* Paul’s courage should embolden us to step up for Christ in this Godless-secular age in which we live. If we love the Lord we will not be cowards.

-Paul meets with the elders and reports all God has done among the Gentiles. They advise him to purify himself and pay four men’s expenses for head shaving (keeping the Law).

-Asian Jews stir up the Temple crowd and Paul is beaten and seized by the Romans, but now he wants to address the Jewish crowd with the gospel of Jesus Christ. *Application* What selfless heroics we see in this sold out man of God. He will go through whatever punishment and sacrifices that it takes to gain an ear for the message of Christ and His salvation. He typifies here what he wrote about in Romans 12:1-2. Let us be that yielded to the Spirit’s work in our lives!

Verse to Memorize: Acts 5:31, 39

Acts Bible Study Notes Chapter 20


Acts 20

-After the debacle in Ephesus, Paul exhorts the brethren there and takes leave to Macedonia through those districts giving much exhortation all the way southward into Greece.

-He returned through Macedonia because of a plot by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria.

-Back in Asia in Troas he teaches for a week during Unleavened Bread days. This is where Eutychus falls from the 3rd floor after falling asleep during Paul’s midnight message. *Application* Don’t fall asleep in church, bad things can happen J. However, Paul falls upon him and the young man’s life returns to him (a miracle). Paul goes back up and preaches until daybreak and then goes by land to Assos. *Application* This gives us a glimpse into the hard core nature of the early church. There were no watch watchers in Paul’s audience. He would go all night! These disciples of Christ were fervent!

-The disciples go from Mitylene to Chios to Samos to Miletus. In Miletus Paul called to him the elders of the church in Ephesus and gave his farewell message to them. These are the things he did while laboring over them in the Name of Jesus Christ: He was humble, shed tears, suffered in trials, did not shrink back from declaring the word of God and anything that was profitable and according to the whole purpose of God, went from house to house, taught repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ, did not covet, and worked hard to help the weak remembering the words of Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).”

-Paul prophesies what awaited him in Jerusalem. He relates that his life was meaningless in comparison of finishing his course for God in His strength. He tells the elders to beware and be alert for the savage wolves that would come in (Revelation 2:1-7).

-The tearful goodbye with embracing and affectionate brotherly kisses ends Paul’s time with the elders as he moves on toward the Promised Land. *Application* What a picture perfect way to say so long. Paul had no regrets in his labor over this body of believers he had diligently poured into. He is beloved and the brethren knew this would be it. Remember to say good-bye appropriately and passionately when the time comes to leave any particular situation. Remember too that we as believers will all be reunited in the eschaton when we are resurrected in Christ.

Verse to Memorize: Acts 20:35

Acts Bible Study Notes Chapter 19


Acts 19 

-While Apollos was in Ephesus, Paul came once again and believers received the Holy Spirit who were familiar only with the baptism of John. They were baptized in the Name of Jesus and Paul laid hands on them. With that laying on of hands they received the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues and prophesying (the power of God came upon them!). There were about twelve of them. *Application* Oh the mighty power of God when He is in a place. I have seen His awesomeness sweep through a place that is hungry for Him and allows Him to have His way in all things. It is truly supernatural and just as real as in these New Testament times. Praise the LORD!

-Paul taught in the synagogue for 3 months with effectiveness, but some were becoming hardened and disobedient to the faith speaking evil of him and the Way. *Application* Any time God’s Spirit is moving there will be a counter punch by the enemy. These are spiritual battles we should expect and prepare for with fervent praying and many times fasting (Matthew 17:21).

-Paul withdraws then from the synagogue and takes disciples that were of faith in Christ. They reason together in the school of Tyrannus for 2 years. In this amount of time the Bible states that all in Asia heard the word of the Lord (Acts 19:10). *Application* Notice that the message of Christ was not taught in the traditional setting here as the church grew in Asia. In Christian work and ministry we must remember to be flexible. The church is the body of Christ and not a building. His message can spread from any location. Be flexible and adaptable in your service for the Lord as Paul shows in this passage. God can do great things in whatsoever manner He pleases. Rejection in a traditional place doesn’t mean God is through working through you in that particular locale.

-God was giving great power and authority to Paul. The seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were trying to cast out demons but the demons didn’t know them and chased them out naked and wounded. Fear of the Lord was on Ephesus as a result of these remarkable events and magic practices were being eradicated and destroyed. The word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing (Acts 19:20)! *Application* Our nation at this time needs some of this type of Holy Spirit type fire and power. However, Christians must stand up for God and what is right for this to happen. Are we giving God a chance to show up big for us?

-The Demetrius incident occurs, but it is subdued concerning Artemis’ idol worship. *Application* What are the idols in our modern society? Where would we see this kind of back lash to the growth of the gospel and sold out Christianity? I know one thing for certain here where I live in Texas. If you dared to put a Christian meeting up against high school football in the fall, there would be an uproar from the carnal saints. Where do our affections reside?

Verse to Memorize: Acts 19:20

Acts Bible Study Notes Chapter 18


Acts 18

-Paul arrives now in Corinth and receives the vision of the Lord in the night to stay at that point speaking out unafraid and boldly in the Name of Jesus Christ. He is told further that no one will attack him in order to harm him for God has many people for Himself in that city (Acts 18:9-10).

-The leaders of the synagogue and many Gentiles in Corinth come to believe in Christ. *Application* God always fulfills His word; His promises are magnificent, great, and sure (2 Peter 1:4). Trust in what He reveals.

-During Gallio’s proconsul a disturbance is brought before the judgment seat but is dismissed. Sosthenes is beaten but Paul stayed out with the brethren’s protective efforts. He stays many more days and meets Priscilla and Aquila there doing tent making together for provision.

-Paul departs Corinth finally going Cenchrea and Ephesus, Caesarea, Jerusalem, and back to Antioch.

-After spending some time there back at the home bases, he ventures out on a third missionary journey starting by land through Galatia and Phrygia. In Ephesus, Apollos the Alexandrian who was an eloquent speaker and knew Jesus from John the Baptist’s testimony and studying the Scriptures is introduced. He was taught Christ’s completed work through Priscilla and Aquila. He had great power as the Lord was upon him. *Application* God gifts certain people for His mighty purposes. Sometimes these need growth and understanding. Who knows, you may influence the next great Christian leader of the future generation by your simple acts of Christian obedience. Think about that for a bit.

Verses to Memorize: Acts 18:9-10