• Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 28th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 28

    Bible Study: Acts 28

    As we gather together Lord to wait on You, for the work of Your Spirit in our lives, as we have gathered together, Lord, to sing our praises unto Your glorious name, to open our hearts to You and to that work that You wish to do in our lives tonight by Your Holy Spirit. And so Lord, we just commit now ourselves and this service. We ask Your work. Lord, we thank You for the hundreds of our young people from high school that are up at the camp now. And we ask Lord that even this first night, while they are there, that You would begin tonight Your marvelous work in their lives, that You plan to accomplish this week. Let them cast aside the works of darkness. And Lord, let them just be open and hungry after You and the things of righteousness. And so, Lord, bless them abundantly. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 27th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 27

    Bible Study: Acts 27

    Let’s turn now to the Book of Acts, chapter twenty seven. Paul, realizing that he is getting the run around in the Roman courts, exercised his prerogative as a Roman citizen and appealed his case directly to Caesar.

    And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment. That is that he was one of the personal guards of Caesar. And at that point that was Caesar Nero. So he was one of the elite and one of the elite of the elite! Being a centurion meant that he was over a hundred or so men. The centurions were hand picked men. And they were all of them very fine men. Whenever we meet a centurion in the Scripture, he is always cast in a very good and positive light. You remember in the gospel (Matthew 8:5-13) how that there was a centurion there in Capernaum whose servant was sick. And the people came and told Jesus and said he was a good man. He helped them build their synagogue.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 26th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 26

    Bible Study: Acts 26

    Let’s turn in our Bibles to Acts, the twenty sixth chapter, as we continue our journey through the Word of God. Paul has been arrested in Jerusalem. He’s actually been taken into protective custody by the Roman government to spare him from being killed by the Jews. He was taken for his own protection down to Caesarea where the Romans had a stronger fortification and where the Jews had a smaller presence, where Paul’s life would not be threatened as much as in Jerusalem. There he appeared before Felix who was the Roman governor at the time.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 25th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 25

    Bible Study: Acts 25

    We continue our journey through the Bible. As we noted in the twenty fourth chapter, the last verse, two years after Paul’s imprisonment in Caesarea, and after Felix had been reigning for five years over the province, but two years from the time he met Paul, Porcius Festus came to replace him. The rule of Felix had been so abusive, so corrupt, that he was finally recalled by the Roman senate. And would have been put to death except for the interceding of his brother, Pallas, who was a close friend of Caesar Nero. And so he was spared the execution, but was banished. Now we know very little about Festus, even from secular history. The reason probably is that he only reigned for two years before he died. And so his reign was very short. Little is known about him. Most of the secular history from this period is found in the writings of Josephus, the Jewish historian, and in Tactitus, the Roman historian. And so not much is written concerning Festus.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 24th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 24

    Bible Study: Acts 24

    Father, we pray that there might just be a fresh anointing of Your Holy Spirit upon our lives as we look to You and as we worship You and as we call upon You, Lord. We live in a world, Lord, that is filled with evil and unrighteousness. Lord we find our hearts being torn because of the unrighteousness of this world. The things that are allowed and tolerated and encouraged! The destruction of man. Lord, how we need the power of Your Holy Spirit to stand against these powers of darkness that rule and are in control of this evil world. Lord, indeed, our prayer is for a fresh anointing of Your Holy Spirit tonight. Enabling us Lord to stand against all of the powers of darkness that have been aligned against Your church and against Your people and those who would live Godly. And Lord, may we stand. Stand firm, Lord, in the faith and against all opposition. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 22nd, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 22

    Bible Study: Acts 22

    Paul has come to Jerusalem, ostensibly to bring an offering from the Gentile churches to the church in Jerusalem, which had been experiencing tremendous financial problems. So Paul to sort of break down the walls that existed between even the Gentile believers and the church in Jerusalem, gathered from the Gentile churches an offering. In order that he might demonstrate to the church in Jerusalem the love and the support of the Gentile believers. Now the church in Jerusalem was sort of a strange kind of a church in that there was a tremendous admixture of Judaism with Christianity. We are experiencing quite a bit the same today in some of the Messianic fellowships. T

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 21st, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 21

    Bible Study: Acts 21

    Luke writes, Now it came to pass, that when we had departed from them and set sail, running a straight course we came to Cos, In the last chapter, Paul was with the elders of Ephesus. They had come out to the coast to Miletus to meet with Paul for this final meeting with them and so they accompanied Paul as far as the ship, it said in the previous chapter. And so when they let loose from Miletus, they sailed in a direct course to Cos.

    On the following day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 2And finding a ship sailing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. On their way to Jerusalem, Paul’s determination to be there in time for the feast of Pentecost. 3When we had sighted Cyprus, we passed it on the left, sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload her cargo. 4And finding disciples, The Greek would indicate that they searched for and found the disciples. They came to Tyre. They said let’s find out where the church is, where the body of Christ is meeting.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 20th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 20

    Bible Study: Acts 20

    In the later part of chapter nineteen, there was a great uproar in Ephesus, that was created by Demetrius the silversmith, who had called fellows of the same craft together and was concerned that their livelihood was in danger because Paul was leading so many people to Jesus Christ. They were saying that gods were not made with hands. These little idols of Diana that they made and sold by which they made their profit and became wealthy. People had quit buying them who had come to believe on Jesus Christ. So he created quite an uproar. He got people stirred. And they began to gather in the main theater there in Ephesus which held twenty thousand people. And they began to just chant, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” Finally the town clerk or the mayor got the people settled down and dismissed that uproarious assembly. And so we begin with chapter twenty.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 19th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 19

    Bible Study: Acts 19

    Last week we saw the eloquent ministry of a man by the name of Apollos, who had come to Ephesus and was there in the synagogue, teaching diligently the things of the Lord, but limited in his knowledge, only knowing the baptism of John. Paul’s friends, Priscilla and Aquila, took him aside and explained to him more fully the Scriptures and what God had done through Jesus Christ. So Apollos left Ephesus and he was commended to the saints that were in Corinth because Aquila and Priscilla had been with Paul in Corinth, they knew the saints that were there and so Apollos was sent on. There in Corinth he mightily convinced the Jews publicly showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 18th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 18

    Bible Study: Acts 18

    There were mixed reactions. Some of them mocked. Some of them said we will hear more of this later. And some believed. And that is pretty general for the reception of the gospel. There are some that believe. There are some that procrastinate and then there are those who receive it. And this was the case in Athens.

    So After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. Now as we said this morning, Corinth was an extremely wicked city! Corinth is right there at the isthmus of Greece. From the Aegean to the Adriatic Sea, it is less than five miles. So that in those days when you were shipping goods from the east to the west, from the major centers of the east to Rome, it was much better, much easier to bring the goods to the port of Cenchrea, which was the port of Corinth.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 17th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 17

    Bible Study: Acts 17

    Paul has begun a missionary outreach in Europe. By divine calling of God through a vision, he has come to Philippi where he began his European mission. He left Philippi under strained circumstances, but leaving a pocket of believers there, that he later wrote one of his epistles to. So leaving Philippi, chapter seventeen says:

    Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, (Now this sounds like a nice little stroll, but Amphipolis was thirty-three miles from Phillipi. Apollonia was another thirty miles from Amphipolis. And another thirty-seven miles beyond that was another major city known as Thessalonica. It was on the main Roman highway and so Paul liked to come to the cultural centers and the centers of commerce because there were so many people coming and going, it gave opportunity for a more rapid spread of the gospel)

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 16th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 16

    Bible Study: Acts 16

    Paul was wondering how the believers were doing in those churches that they had established. He wanted to go visit them, encourage them. So you remember how Barnabas was wanting to take his nephew, John Mark. Paul said no, I don’t want that boy. He deserted us on the first journey. Let’s not take him. And Barnabas said, well I want to take him. He’s my nephew. He’s matured and I want to take him. Paul said, no I don’t want him to go with us. So the contention was so great that Barnabas took Mark and he went Cypress. And Paul then took Silas, who was one of the leaders of the church in Jerusalem. They together went on through Cilicia and Pamphylia. So in chapter sixteen:

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 15th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 15

    Bible Study: Acts 15

    And certain men came down from Judea (to the church in Antioch) and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” They were saying basically that in order to be saved, you had to become a Jew. And this was a very strong feeling in the early church. It was a stronger feeling among the Jews. The Jews felt that salvation was only for the Jews. They did not believe that a Gentile could be saved. If a Gentile wanted to be saved, he had to proselytize and become a Jew in order to be saved. In the process of proselytizing you had to submit to the rite of circumcision. You had to be baptized and you had to then obey the law of Moses. And they felt that was necessary in order to be saved. Now many of the Jews in Jerusalem were accepting Jesus Christ, but they still held to the belief that only Jews could be saved. And actually when Peter went to the Gentiles with the gospel, Peter was called on the carpet. They said, we heard that you went to the house of a Gentile and that you ate with them! And Peter had to say, well look, it wasn’t my idea. The Lord gave me a vision. The Lord told me to go and I was just obedient to what the Lord told me to do.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 14th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 14

    Bible Study: Acts 14

    You remember last week as they were ministering there in the church in Antioch, the Spirit of God separated Paul and Barnabas for a special missionary journey. The first outreach of the church into the uttermost parts of the world. Jesus said, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. You will be witnesses of Me both in Jerusalem and Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. And as we look at the Book of Acts we find that this is exactly what is happening. They began their ministry in Jerusalem. They spread out through Judea. Philip went to Samaria. And now beginning with chapter thirteen we have the witness of the church to the uttermost parts of the earth. So they went first to the island of Cypress and then over to the area of Antioch in Pisidia, which is present day Turkey.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 13th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 13

    Bible Study: Acts 13

    Nearby the coast there is a port city right nearby and this becomes now the center for the church and the churches’ activity. Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. First of all I’m interested with what diverse backgrounds make up the church. You see in Christ we are all one! But in this church there were many diverse backgrounds. Barnabas, he was from the island of Cyprus, a Jew. Simeon who was called Niger. Now Niger was an African name, in fact you have Nigeria. And thus, he, was thought by some, interestingly enough, to be the Simon of Cyrene who was called upon to carry the cross of Jesus. Simeon and Simon are the same name. And being from Africa. Of course they compelled one Simon who was a Cyrenian to bear the cross for Jesus. It is thought that perhaps it is this same Simeon that was here. Lucius of Cyrene, which is Africa also and Manaen which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, or Herod Antipas. He was a boyhood friend of Herod Antipas, who of course, ordered the execution of John the Baptist. He was a son of Herod the Great.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 12th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 12

    Bible Study: Acts 12

    Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Herod the king was Herod Agrippa 1. The first Herod that we meet in the New Testament is Herod the great. And Herod the great confused things tremendously by having ten wives and children by these different wives. So that most of his sons were only half brothers because most of them were born from different wives. He had two wives, to confuse things a little more, by the name of Mariamme. The one Mariamme he seemed to love more than the other wives. However he thought that she was conspiring with her sons to overthrow him so he had her put to death along with two of her sons. He then felt remorseful and built a beautiful tower for her in Jerusalem. But his other wife, Mariamme had a son by the name of Aristobulus. Aristobulus had a son by the name of Herod Agrippa 1. He had a daughter by the name of Herodias. Now another son, Herod Antipas was the Herod who was called the tetrarch, because he was over a third part of the original Herod’s kingdom. He had built the city of Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee as his capital because he was ruling over that section of the country. He was there at the time of the ministry of Christ. He was the one who at the instigation of Herodias, his wife, beheaded John the Baptist.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 11th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 11

    Bible Study: Acts 11

    Last week we were with Peter as he went by direction of the Spirit to the house of the Roman centurion, Cornelius, who was in the city of Caesarea, and how that as Peter was sharing with them the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit suddenly descended upon them and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit as on the day of Pentecost. There was speaking in tongues and evidences that the power of the Holy Spirit as He had come upon the Gentiles. When the Holy Spirit came upon the Gentiles, they immediately concluded that God was no respector of persons and that Gentiles could actually be saved! Up until this time, the Jews felt that a Gentile could not be saved. They felt that to be saved, if you were a Gentile, you would first have to become a Jew. But now they realized that God is no respector of persons and that all of those who call upon Him will be saved.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on August 10th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Acts 10

    Bible Study: Acts 10

    There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, In the Bible we are introduced to different centurions. They all of them seem to be of high character. A centurion was over a hundred soldiers in the Roman army. You remember there was a centurion in Capernaum who had a servant who was very sick(Matthew 8:5-13). The people came and said to Jesus, this fellow has helped us build our synagogue. He is a good man. He is worthy. So Jesus said I will come and heal his servant. So as Jesus was on the way to the house to heal the servant, word came to the centurion that Jesus was coming to his house. His wife probably said, honey, the house is a mess, the servant is sick. He hasn’t been able to clean the place. We can’t have the Lord coming here! Look, all the mess here and all. So he sent other messengers back. Don’t bother coming. I understand authority. I am a man under authority. I have under me men. I can say to one, go and he goes and to another come, and he comes. I know that all You have to do is to speak the word and my servant will be healed. It’s not necessary that You come to the house. Just speak the word. Jesus commended him. He said I haven’t found this kind of faith in all of Israel. From among the Israelites He had not seen such faith as was manifested by this Roman centurion.

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