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Wednesday, October 24 2012
The Meeting Of Paul And Barnabas
Barnabas was a Levite, born on the Mediterranean Sea island of Cyprus (see the satellite photograph and the map below). Saul, later known as Paul, was a Pharisee who was born in the city of Tarsus, near the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in what is today southern Turkey. Geographically, Barnabas and Paul were born in two countries, about 150 miles apart, but when we first read of them in the Scriptures, they were, in effect, a world apart - Barnabas was a Christian, while Paul was a Christian persecutor.
Barnabas is first recorded at the time when the Church at Jerusalem was being persecuted by both the Roman occupation forces and the people of Judah who didn't yet recognize the Messiah. Paul was among those who didn't yet recognize the Messiah.
"4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 4:19 But Peter [see also The Joppa Lessons Of Jonah And Peter, The Epistles: First Peter, The Epistles: Second Peter] and John [see The Kinsfolk Of Jesus Of Nazareth and also What Did Peter and John See That Others Didn't?] answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
With economic/religious sanctions and discrimination growing against them (a foreshadow of the end-time "mark of the beast"; see What Is The Mark Of The Beast?) the people of the LORD pooled their resources. Among them was "Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas," "having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet."
"4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?]: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 4:34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 4:35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
"The LORD said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest"
The persecution of Christians escalated with the martyrdom of Stephen. Paul was among those who killed him, "consenting unto his death" and holding the clothes of the men who stoned Stephen.
"7:57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 7:58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep [see Could Christ Return Tonight?]." (Acts 7:57-60 KJV)
Saul / Paul was on a rampage against Christians. When many left the city after the killing of Stephen, Paul pursued them to Damascus. It was while on his journey there that the LORD struck him down and converted him.
"9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven [see also Who Lights Your Walk?]: 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
"The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch"
Paul's conversion was miraculous. He immediately afterward "preached Christ in the synagogues." He was so successful that unbelievers, as Paul had been, sought to kill him, just like Paul had been doing to others before he woke up.
"9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. 9:21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? 9:22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
It was then that Barnabas was sent to join with Paul in service to the LORD. Barnabas brought Paul from Tarsus to Antioch, where "the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."
"11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. 11:20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
Fact Finder: Saul, later known as Paul, was a Pharisee who became a believer. Who was another Pharisee of that same time who also became a believer - the man to whom the Messiah gave the famous "John 3:16" teaching?
This Day In History, October 24
69: The Second Battle of Bedriacum. The Danube armies under Antonius Primus, an ally of Vespasian (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones?), defeated the forces of Emperor Vitellius (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire).
439: The Vandals (a Germanic tribe; the term vandalism" originated from the Vandals) captured the North African city of Carthage from the Romans.
1147: After a 4-month siege, "Crusaders" led by Afonso Henriques reconquered Lisbon (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1273: Rudolf of Hapsburg, a Swiss count, was crowned king of Germany at Aachen, Charlemagne's old capital. Rudolf was the first Hapsburg to be "Holy Roman Emperor" (see The Holy Roman Empire).
1360: The Treaty of Calais was signed by Edward III of England and John II of France, allowing England to retain certain French territories. The Hundred Years War, begun in 1337, continued until 1453.
1537: Jane Seymour, the third wife of England's King Henry VIII, died 12 days after giving birth to Prince Edward, later King Edward VI.
1601: Tycho Brahe died at age 54. The Danish astronomer made many important discoveries of the heavens during his career (many things of which were already well-known to those to read and believed the Holy Bible - see No 'Flat Earth' In The Bible).
1648: The Thirty Years War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia between France and the "Holy Roman Emperor" at Munster. After 3 decades of war, Germany was left devastated by sword, fire and plague.
1755: At the time when northeastern North America was divided into "New England" and "New France," a British expedition against the French-held Fort Niagara was repulsed.
1795: Poland ceased to exist as an independent nation when Russia, Prussia (which is in Germany; not to be confused with Russia) and Austria negotiated the Third Partition.
1920: Alexander, king of Greece 1917-1920, died at age 27 from infection after being bit by a pet monkey.
1921: The Nova Scotia fishing schooner Bluenose defeated the New England schooner Elsie to win the International Schooner Championship. The Bluenose (which is pictured on the Canadian dime coin) remained undefeated in every race, including every year's International Schooner Championship, for the next 17 years.
1922: The Irish Parliament adopted a constitution for an Irish Free State, which formally came into existence in December.
1929: "Black Thursday" on the U.S. stock market, leading to the Great Depression. New York Stock Exchange prices collapsed with nearly 13,000,000 shares changing hands in panic selling.
1944: U.S. warplanes sank the Japanese battleship Musashi, one of the largest ever built, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf during the Second World War. The U.S. aircraft carrier Princeton was also sunk. More than 30 major U.S. and Japanese warships were sunk in the battle, including Japan's last 4 aircraft carriers. After this battle, the depleted Japanese naval forces resorted increasingly to Kamikaze suicide attacks.
1945: The founding of the United Nations.
1946: A camera on board a German V-2 rocket (used by Adolf Hitler to bomb Britain until the end of the war in 1945; see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) took the first photograph of Earth from outer space.
1964: Northern Rhodesia became independent from the British who established civilized government for the country; it thereafter became known as the Republic of Zambia.
1973: Israel's Yom Kippur War (an invasion by Arab nations on the Day of Atonement) ended (see A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).
1980: Poland's communist authorities granted recognition to the new independent trade union "Solidarity."
2003: The supersonic Concorde airliners made their last commercial flight.
2008: The "Bloody Friday" when many of the world's stock exchanges experienced the worst declines in their history.