BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
And he went round about the villages, teaching. 7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; 8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: 9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
In order to extend His ministry on the Galilean tour Jesus sent the twelve out. This was a common practice in that day for practical and legal reasons; twelve witnesses were required to certify any messianic miracle and so it was vital that twelve witnesses remained ready to stand before the Sanhedrin. Acts 1:15-26. The twelve were his representatives, in keeping with the Jewish concept, that a man’s representative was considered as the man himself. They were to fulfill a special commission and bring back a report. Jesus’ unusual instructions here for them therefore pertain only to this particular mission. This was to be a “Faith-Rest Mission” – where they would learn the principle of faith on a daily basis.
Here the Lord Jesus Christ calls his disciples to him and begins to send them out in pairs. He gives them specific power over unclean spirits or demons, and promises provision for them as they go. It is noted in this passage that the provision of a single staff or walking stick is required, but no food or money. The provision of excess baggage including additional clothes, which could slow them down is not permitted. It would be normal to take a small provision bag, which would also be able to receive gifts form well wishers, so food could be kept and taken from place to place. This was not to be permitted on this mission – they were to trust the Lord for provision at each place and walk empty handed to the next place. 1 Peter 5:7.
10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. 11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
When they come to the house of a worthy person, with emphasis on the individual, and not the city itself, they are instructed to give a blessing of shalom/peace and stay there. However, if later the household proves to be disinterested in the truth of the gospel of the kingdom, then they are to leave, and they are not to leave a blessing of peace, but an announcement of judgment.
The phrase, ”there abide until ye depart”, indicates that once they had accepted hospitality in a particular location, they were not to accept more attractive offers once that they were settled in. There was not be no power play with local communities, nor any jockeying for pleasant rewards for any service rendered through the preaching and healing ministry. They were not to ask for favours and gifts, and they were to humbly serve in each place, and not seek any gift on leaving. The corrupt Rabbis of the day had subtle ways of “humbly” seeking gifts, and would enrich themselves, filling their bag as they travelled. The disciples were not to be in any way like the religious hucksters – they were to preach truth and live daily by the grace of God ministered through individuals.
People would show themselves “worthy” of the Gospel message by responding to it, and unworthy by rejecting the truth and abusing the messengers. As far as the “unworthy” are concerned, once it was clear the village or town they were in was “unworthy” of truth, they were to shake the dust off their feet as they left it, which was a symbol or sign against the place, and a symbol of future judgment. Jesus makes it clear to them, that divine judgment will come upon any place that fails to receive them. Ezekiel 16:44-63.
They should also expect rejection at some places, for each place will face a free will choice when they hear the message. John 15:18ff. Devout Jews would shake the dust from their feet when they left Gentile territory, to show that they were disassociating themselves from all the beliefs and practises of that place. This act would tell the Jewish hearers and rejecters of the truth that they were acting like pagans in rejecting the disciples message.
12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
The disciples went out two by two and preached the message that people should repent. There are two different words in the Greek for repent; Metanoeo, which is used here, which means to change your mind, and Metamelomai, which is used to express feeling sorry for something. The unbelievers whom the disciples address must change their minds about who the Lord Jesus Christ is so that they can be saved. If they change their minds they will change their lives and follow him, and that is required at this time to save the nation. Ezekiel 18:23-32.
They were very successful with their ministrations to the people with whom they came into contact, exorcising many demons and healing the sick. Both these miraculous actions were signs of accreditation, proving that they were apostles of the Lord and the Lord was indeed Messiah if his accredited disciples could do such things in his name. John 5:19-27.
Anointing the sick with oil is uniquely described by Mark. This use of olive oil was both because of its medicinal properties and it’s symbolic value indicating that the disciples acted by Jesus’ authority and power and not their own. Luke 10:34, James 5:14. The oil was a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
The purpose of healing in the ministry of the Lord was to present Himself as the Messiah not to heal everyone for the prime purpose of relieving suffering. The purpose of healing in the Christian context is always to bring glory to God and to focus on Him as King and Lord.
Many times although prayers are offered for healing, God does not heal because it is not in His plan. It is far more important for us to have eternal life rather than be free from suffering and disease in time. The important thing is to focus on the fact of eternal life. Some of our greatest blessings will come through pain and suffering.
We are to love all believers but we are to have a close relationship with only a small group of believers.
When believers come into an area are we hospitable and able to assist them and provide for them as a brother or sister in Christ?
It should be noted that although the disciples were told not to be concerned about necessities of life as God would provide it for them this should not be considered to be a principle for Christians today. It is limited strictly to the disciples. They will have no need of carrying any money or any provisions at all.
Later Jesus is going to rescind this commission just before his departure. This provision was therefore limited for the period while Christ was present and when He returns we won’t have to again but now what He is absent from the earth we must plan for provision of our necessities.
CHRISTIAN LIFE: AMBASSADORSHIP [see page 14]
CHURCH AND ISRAEL
The Church is different to Israel.
1. The Jews started with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). The Church started at Pentecost. (Acts 2; Galatians 3:26-28)
2. Israel was promised blessings on earth. (Deuteronomy 28:1-14) The Church is promised blessings in heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:3; Hebrews 3:1)
3. Israel's relationship to God was based on a Covenant. (Genesis 17:7,8) The Church's relationship to God is based on new birth. (John 1:12;13; 1 Peter 1:23)
4. Israel's prophecy is mainly in the Old Testament. Prophecy of the Church is only in the New Testament.
5. Israel worshipped at Jerusalem. (Psalm 122:1-4) The Church worships where two or three are gathered together in Christ's name. (Matthew 18:20)
6. Israel lived under the law. (Ezekiel 20:10-12) The Church is under grace (John 1:17; Romans 6:14).
7. Israel's destiny is with Palestine. (Isaiah 60:18-21 ) The Church will be removed from the earth.(l Thessalonians 4:13-18)
8. Christ is King and Messiah to Israel. Christ is Head and Bridegroom to the Church.
9. Israel contained Jews only. The Church is made up of both Jews and Gentiles.
PETER – DIVINE GUIDANCE
1. SCRIPTURE - Gospels, Acts, First and Second Peter.
Born Simon the son of Jonas, he was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee. He was married and lived with his mother-in-law at Capernaum at the time he was called by the Lord. He was a fisherman, fishing with his father and his brother Andrew when Jesus found him. Together with James and John, Peter formed a group of three disciples who appeared to have a closer relationship with Jesus, as they appeared with Him at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13), and in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46). Peter was the leader of the disciples and often spoke without fully considering the situation. It was Peter who walked on the sea at Galilee (Matthew 14:22-32) before his faith collapsed. He also was the one who was commended by Jesus for recognising Jesus as the Messiah. Peter was disappointed that Jesus was not going to set up a temporal kingdom as the final act of His ministry (Mark 8:32,33). Saying that he would die rather than desert Jesus, he failed miserably later that day and denied Him three times. After Pentecost, Peter was a changed man, preaching boldly about Jesus Christ (Acts 2:14-40). He had, however, to learn that the Gentiles were also subject to the promise of Abraham and that the Mosaic law had been fulfilled at the cross (Matthew 5:17; Acts 11:6-9). Herod imprisoned him but he was released by an angel. Paul admonished Peter regarding his superficial relationship with the Gentiles but Peter eventually commended Paul's writings for the mature believer (2 Peter 3:15,16). Peter then disappears from the scripture but it is said that he was crucified upside down as a martyr.
3. EVALUATION: Acts 11:1-16.
a) Peter is in Jerusalem for a meeting of church leaders (verse 1).
b) News of the Gentile Pentecost was received (verse 1).
c) Opposition is received from legalists (verse 2).
d) This brought criticism of Peter (verse 3).
e) Peter begins to think back on the Gentile Pentecost (verse 4), bringing out the factors which led Peter to go to Cornelius' house.
f) Peter is given guidance through prayer (verse 5).
g) He is given guidance through pondering the meaning of the animals he saw (verse 6).
h) Peter is informed by God that there had been a change as far as eating of previously unclean animals was concerned (verses 7-10).
i) He is guided by coincidence or providential circumstances by the arrival of three men from Caesarea (verse 11). God opened doors for Peter.
j) The Holy Spirit confirms that he should go to Caesarea (verse 12).
k) When he met Cornelius he compared experiences with him (verses 13-15).
l) Peter is guided also by remembering Scripture (verse 16).
a) God's will for Peter depended on his being aware of:
i) Viewpoint will of God - what does He want me to think (Mark 8:33).
ii) Operational will of God - what does He want me to do (Acts 10:20).
iii) Geographical will of God - where does He want me to go (John 21:18).
b) Peter's attitude and maturity also played a part:
i) His knowledge of the scriptures (Psalm 32:8; Proverbs 3:1-6).
ii) The filling of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:13; 12:1,2).
iii) Maturity (2 Peter 3:18).
c) God will not force His own will on the believer but desires to give guidance to His children (Hebrews 3:7).
d) Guidance is given nowadays through the Bible (1 Corinthians 13:10).
e) Many items of guidance are clearly set out in the Scriptures, e.g. do not marry an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14).
f) The correct following of guidance gives blessing to others as well as the one who is guided.
JOHN THE DISCIPLE
1. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome. (Matthew 4:21) Zebedee and Salome were apparently aristocrats from Galilee. Their home was at Bethsaida (Luke 5:10, John 1:44)
2. John had a background of wealth and influence.
a) John possessed servants. (Mark 1:20)
b) His mother Salome was very wealthy. (Mark 15:40, Matthew 27:55,56)
c) He was a friend of Caiaphas who had been the high priest since 7 AD (John 18:15)
3. John became a believer probably under the ministry of John the Baptist. (John 1:35-39)
4. John and his brother James were called Boanerges - sons of thunder. (Mark 3:17). Thus both James and John were energetic types of people. (Luke 9:49 Gk)
5. John's mother, Salome, wanted her sons to be important in heaven. (Matthew 20:20-22). In (Mark 10:35-9) James and John had the same idea approaching Jesus themselves.
6. On three important occasions in Christ's ministry John was mentioned in company with his brother James and Simon Peter to the exclusion of all others.
a) Raising of the daughter of Jairus. (Mark 5:37)
b) At the transfiguration. (Mark 9:2)
c) Gethsemane. (Mark 14:33)
7. John was apparently the only disciple of the twelve to develop to maturity during the public ministry of Jesus Christ.
8. John was the disciple whom Jesus loved. (John 13:23)
JUDAS - BETRAYAL
1. SCRIPTURE Matthew 26:14-16, 25; 27:3-10. Mark 14:1-11. Luke 22:3-6. John 12:3-6; 13:2, 27-30. Acts 1:18,19.
Judas was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. He was the son of Simon (John 6:71) and was known as Judas Iscariot. Iscariot indicates that he was from Kerioth which was located in Moab (Jeremiah 48:24,41 Amos 2:2) or Kerioth Hezron (Joshua 15:25) which was situated 20 kilometres south of Hebron. Judas was the treasurer (John 13:29) and was also a thief (John 12:6). It was Judas who criticised Mary when she anointed the Lord with precious ointment (John 12 3-5). The ointment he saw as a source of income. His avarice eventually became so overpowering that he conspired with the religious leaders of the time to betray Jesus. He did not understand the whole implications of his action because when he saw what the authorities were doing to Jesus Christ, he felt sorry for his actions and eventually committed suicide (Acts 1:18,19).
a) Judas always appeared last on the list of disciples (Mark 3:14-19).
b) He was described as a traitor (Luke 6:16) and betrayer (Matthew 10:4).
c) Judas was an unbeliever who did not address Jesus as Lord (Kurios) but Rabbi - Teacher (Matthew 26:25).
d) At Simon the leper's house, Mary came and anointed the feet of Jesus with ointment while they were eating (Mark 14:3).
e) The disciples, led by Judas, complained about the waste of money, estimating it at a year's salary (Mark 14:5).
f) After this Judas left to barter with the chief priests to betray Jesus (Mark 14:10,11; Zechariah 11:12; Exodus 21:32).
g) At the last supper, Jesus gave Judas his last chance to be saved when he offered the sop, a portion of food reserved for honoured guests (John 13:26).
h) Judas rejected Jesus and was then indwelt by Satan (John 13:27). He then went to betray Jesus.
i) Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss (Matthew 26:47-50).
j) When Judas saw that Jesus was to be condemned he felt sorry (Metamelomai, Gk.) for what he had done (Matthew 27:3) but did not repent (Metanoeo, Gk.) or change his mind about Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 7:10).
k) He went and hanged himself (Matthew 27:5) and his body fell into the Kidron Valley (Acts 1:18,19), at Alcadema - the field of blood (Zechariah 11:12,13).
a) We should not doubt the Lord's sincerity in calling Judas to be a disciple. Jesus appealed to Judas on many occasions to believe in Him (2 Peter 3:9).
b) Jesus' fore-knowledge does not imply fore-ordination that Judas must become the traitor.
c) Judas was never a true believer. He remained a son of perdition (John 17:12).
d) Unbelievers are called the sons of Satan (John 8:44).
e) He was lost because he was never truly saved (John 3:36).
f) Judas is an awful warning of the future for the unconverted follower of Jesus (Romans 8:9b).
g) He was doomed and damned because he chose to be, and God confirmed him in that choice (Matthew 26:14-25).
h) The love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).
i) Feeling sorry for your sins does not save; it is a change to belief in Christ (Hebrews 12:16,17).
j) Religious apostates reject the truth and will dispose of collaborators as soon as they are no longer useful to them (Revelation 17:16).
k) The unbeliever ends his life in misery (e.g. suicide) (Psalm 37:38; Psalm 73:17,18).
CHRISTIAN LIFE: REPENTANCE
1. Two words are translated repentance in the New Testament:-
a) Metanoia - META - to change , NOIA - the mind, which means to change one's opinion or mind about something or someone.
b) Meta Melamai - to feel sorry for - an emotional reaction because of acts undertaken.
2. Repentance in salvation is to change one's attitude toward the person and work of Christ. (Luke 13:3,5, 15:7, 10, 16:30, 3 1, Acts 17:30, 31, 20:2 1, Romans 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9)
3. Repentance is used in salvation mainly for the Jews. The Jews had seen Christ as a great teacher, a wise man, a prophet. They repented and now recognised him as the Son of God. In the case of the Gentiles, the word believe is used. (Acts 16:3 1 ) as they had no previous ideas about the person of Christ.
4. The Fruit of Meta Melamai, such as penance and sorrow does not save. e.g. Judas repented of his actions and went to eternal damnation.
5. However, Godly sorrow works repentance. (2 Corinthians 7:8-11)
6. The Holy Spirit is responsible for repentance in salvation. (1 Corinthians 2:14, John 16:8-11) It convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment.
7. The Believer is told to repent from dead works or human good.
8. When God repents it is symbolic (Genesis 6:6, Exodus 32:14, Judges 2:18, 1 Samuel 15:35, Jeremiah 15:6, Amos 7:3, 6, Hebrews 7:21)
CHRISTIAN LIFE – WALKING
1.Physical walking is analogous to the faith rest life: step by step. Romans 14:5,6, Ephesians 5:16-18, James 4:13-15.
2. Being regularly filled with the Spirit and feeding on the Word are similar to walking.
3. Attacks on believers occur when they are caught off balance. Romans 13:13.
4. Walking depicts the pattern and function of the believers life in time. Philippians 3:18, Ephesians 4:17.
5. It can also represent a backsliding believer who are said to be walking backwards. Ephesians 4:17.
6. We are all told to:
a) Walk in the spirit. Galatians 5:16, 25
b) Walk in the faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7, Colossians 2:6, 4:5
c) Walk in doctrine 3 John 3.
d) Walk in the truth 2 John 4
7. Walking is a analogy for spirituality
a) Walk not after the flesh (Romans 8:4)
b) Walking in Love. (Ephesians 5:2)
c) Walking in newness of Life. (Romans 6:4)
d) Walking worthy of our vocation. (Ephesians 4:1)
e) Walking worthy of the Lord. (Colossians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 2:12)
f) Walking honestly as in the day. (Romans 13:13)
g) Walking in good works. (Ephesians 2:10)
h) Walking in light. (Ephesians 5:8, 1 John 1:7)
i) Walking in Christ Jesus. (Colossians 2:6)
j) Walking circumspectly. (Ephesians 5:15,16)
k) Walking as ye ought. (1 Thessalonians 4:1)
1. The word "Apostle" is used in three senses in the new Testament:
a. Apostles to Israel (12 in number) Matthew 10.
b. Apostles to the Church (Acts 1:21-26) (12).
c. Those sent out with or by the twelve Apostles.
At least seven mentioned in the New Testament letters.
2. The word "Apostolos" is instructive in itself, It was the word used in Attic Greek to describe the Admiral of the Athenian Navy chosen to lead the fleet into battle by the other Admirals and "sent out" to take command and prosecute the War. It therefore has primary reference to someone who holds supreme authority in his assigned area of work.
3. The function of the twelve Apostles (Revelation 21:14, 1Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11 would indicate that this is the full number who hold the office in the primary sense), was the establishment, government and leading of the church during the early stages and the writing of the Canon of Scripture or the overseeing of such writing.
4. The Apostles to Israel carried on into the church age to be re-appointed Apostles for the Church (minus Judas) Acts 1:1:1-8. This emphasises the important Biblical principle of the Olive Tree, Romans 11:13 - 32, which shows us that God has a united plan, with Israel and the church separate yet united within it.
5. The voting of Matthias as Judas' replacement was 'logical' ( Acts 1:15-26), for there was a need within Jewish circles, for there to be twelve formal witnesses for miraculous events, but not spiritual, as the Holy Spirit had not yet come and guidance was not sought. Casting lots and praying over .the fall of sticks, straws or cards in not God’s way of appointing anyone.
6. This college believes Paul may have been the replacement for Judas. (Remember that Paul was, as an unbeliever, every bit as evil as Judas, and thus was a trophy of Grace whom God could use mightily). 1 Corinthians 15:7-10.
7. Apostles were those who had witnessed the Lords earthly ministry and had been eye witnesses to his resurrection. Acts 1:21,22. They were men personally chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 9:15, 26:16,17, Ephesians 4:8 cf. 4:11, 1Corinthians 12:11, 1Corinthians 9:1, 15:8,9, Galatians 1:1.
8. Identification of Apostles was easy as their gift was associated with sign gifts that drew people’s attention to their office. e.g. gift of healing. Acts 3:1-11, 19:11,12...etc. It does appear however that once their office was universally recognised the "sign gifts" were discontinued. e.g. Philippians 2:27, 2 Timothy 4:20. God still healed in response to prayer and sovereignty but Paul’s healing touch (Acts 28:8) was gone.
9. Certain men who were closely associated with the Twelve Apostles were "sent out" on special missions and were referred to in a secondary sense (sent out with delegated authority) as Apostles. e.g. Barnabas Acts 14:14, Galatians 4:2. John Mark , James, Jude, Apollos 1 Corinthians 4::6,9. Silas and Timothy 1Thessalonians 1:1,2:6.
MIRACLES OF THE APOSTLES
MIRACLES WHERE RECORDED IN
Peter heals a lame man Jerusalem Acts 3:1-11
Ananias and Sapphira Jerusalem Acts 5:1-10
Apostles perform many wonders Jerusalem Acts 5:12-16
Peter and John communicate the Holy Spirit Samaria Acts 8:14-17
Peter heals Aeneas of a palsy Lydda Acts 9:33, 34
Peter raises Tabitha, or Dorcas to life. Joppa Acts 9:36-41
Peter delivered out of prison by an angel. Jerusalem Acts 12:7-17
God smites Herod, so that he dies. Jerusalem Acts 12:21-23
Elymas, the sorcerer, smitten with blindness Paphos Acts 13:6-11
Paul converted Road to Damascus Acts 9:1-9
Paul heals a cripple Lystra Acts 14:8-10
Paul casts out a spirit of divination Philippi Acts 16-16-18
Paul and Silas's prison doors open by an earthquake Philippi Acts 16:25, 26
Paul communicates the Holy Spirit Corinth Acts 19:1-6
Paul heals multitudes Corinth Acts 19:11, 12
Paul restores Eutychus to life. Troas Acts 20:9-12
Paul shakes off a viper Melita Acts 28:3-6
Paul heals the father of Publius and others. Melita Acts 28:7-9
HEROD'S ENQUIRY ABOUT JOHN THE BAPTIST'S DEATH