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7-22-12. Psalms 8th chapter is read to open Sunday School and Clara Lafferty led the opening prayer.
Todays lesson continues on to Acts, chapter 23. Paul is brought to the High Priest, Ananias. Paul knew the law because he was a Pharisee. He corrects Ananias for commanding his attendees to smite Paul in the mouth. Ananias really thought he was something, but Paul told him in the 3rd verse, “thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the Law?” He more or less has called the high priest a hypocrite. He is a dirty trashy wall that has falsely made himself to look all clean. The ones standing by probably thought, “Paul, are you crazy?” In the 4th verse they ask, “Revilest though God’s high priest?” In the 5th verse, Paul saw it offended them and repents by saying in the 5th verse, “for it is written, thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.” Paul knew Ananias who poses as a high priest of God was actually a stumbling block to Christianity, but the people were not ready to accept this as of yet and Paul knew this too. He doesn’t apologize, but he does recount what the law states for their benefit as the gospel of Christ become known to them. Paul notes that part of the gathering were Pharisees and part were Saducees. He calls out to the gathering in the 6th verse that “he was a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee of the hope and resurrection of the dead. This was a good protector for Paul because the Saducees did not believe in a resurrection, angels or spirit. It would be interesting to find out just exactly what they believed in because all three of these topics are throughout the Old Testament. This caused some argument amongst the gathering and the Pharisees there cried out in the 9th verse, “we find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoke to him, let us not fight against God.” Then it really breaks out into a big dissension. God provided a protection for Paul through this mass argument and confusion. The Chief Captain takes him back to the castle because he feared Paul was going to be pulled in pieces. Jesus himself encourages Paul in the 11th verse by saying, “thou has testified of me in Jerusalem so must thou bear witness also at Rome.”
Paul will continue his ministry to the Gentiles, thank God for that included you and me. Praise His Holy Name! The leaders vowed they weren’t going to eat or drink till they had killed Paul. They made a plan for the head council to ask the chief captain to bring Paul to them to question him some more and then they would kill him. Paul’s nephew heard their evil plan and he went to the chief captain to inform him that there were more than forty men planning to kill his uncle when Paul was brought down. The chief captain tells Paul’s nephew in the 22nd verse, “see thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.” The chief captain gets 22 hundred soldiers, 70 horsemen and 200 hundred spearmen to take Paul out at the third hour of the night in verse 23. He is sending Paul to Felix the governor with a letter of explanation that the Jews were going to kill him and he was a Roman. He states that there was found no cause worthy of death or bonds. Felix the governor read the letter and commanded Paul to be held in Herod’s judgment hall. For now, Paul was safe.
Our service changed to congregational singing before Bro. Cub (Joe) Lafferty took his sermon from Ephesians, chapter 4. After Jesus has come to reside in our hearts, the old man should die and the new man that strive to be righteous should be a testimony before all men. The things of sin we done before should be put away so as not to give place to the devil to be further deceived and led astray. Being Christians we should love and be at peace with one another. There may be disagreement from time to time but in the 26th verse if says, “Be ye angry; and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath.” Repent when you’ve lost your temper to the one who angered you and to God in and through Jesus Christ. Keep your speaking clean and use it to edify God so as to minister grace unto hearers. Grieve not the Holy Spirit. Let Him work freely in your life. This chapter is a good one to remind all of us Christians how we should behave. God help us to do thy will in all things. Praise your name.
The Fourth Sunday Singing is today at Gentry Church. Also the Fifth Sunday Singing will be at the new Dogwood Church of the Nazarene.
Congratulations to David and Angel Haden for their new little one, Waylon Paul. God bless you all.