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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.

Cyprus

"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.

4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. 4:22 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was showed.

4:23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 4:24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 4:25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ [see What Happens After The Messiah Returns?].

4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate [see also What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven?], with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 4:30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.

4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God [see What Does Word of God Mean To You?] with boldness." (Acts 4:18-31 KJV)

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.

4:36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite [see Are Levites 'Jews'?], and of the country of Cyprus, 4:37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet." (Acts 4:32-37 KJV)

"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.

Straight Street In Damascus

"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)

"8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 8:2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word." (Acts 8:8-4 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?

9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord?

And the Lord said, I am Jesus [see Who Is The LORD?] whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

9:10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias.

And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 9:12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

9:13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 9:14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 9:16 For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 9:19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus." (Acts 9:1-19 KJV)

"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.

Paul Meets Barnabas

"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.

9:23 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: 9:24 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. 9:25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.

9:26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 9:28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. 9:29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. 9:30 Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.

9:31 Then had the churches [see The Church In The End Time] rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied." (Acts 9:20-31 KJV)

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.

11:22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. 11:23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. 11:24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.

11:25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

11:27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. 11:28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. 11:29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: 11:30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul." (Acts 11:19-30 KJV)

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?
See The Passed Over Pharisees and What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?


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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.





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