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ACTS 28:24-31

"AND SOME BELIEVED ... AND SOME BELIEVED NOT"

PAUL ... AT THE END OF THE BOOK OF ACTS!

 

 

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

LESSON 1, VERSE 24:

I've wanted to study this Paragraph for years, Acts 28:24-31. Here are recorded the last words Luke wrote in that great Book.

"And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: for the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him." Acts 28:24-31

While the ending is rather abrupt, the message is beautiful!

Paul just kept on preaching!

Today let's notice verse 24. "And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not."

That's a summary of the whole Gospel Ministry!

"Some believed, and some believed not."

The first verb, "believed," translates "peitho," but in the passive voice. It means they "were persuaded!" They "were convinced." They "were convicted." They "were satisfied."

And they were saved.

"Spoken," a present participle of "lego," is a synonym here for the "preaching" and "teaching" Paul has been doing in Rome.

Logically presenting the Truth of God's Word!

But, conversely, some "believed not," using "apisteo" this time. They, literally, "exercised no faith."

If that happened when Paul preached, what can I possibly expect?

While God is "not willing that any should perish," we know some already have!

The emphasis here, grammatically at least, is not on the "some" who believed. Or the "some" who did not.

The subjects of both clauses in our verse today are provided by the accompanying verbs. In other words, they are each set in the 3rd person plural mode!

A few, two or more anyway, believed.

A few, two or more yet again, believed not.

If you, dear reader today, have trusted Jesus, been saved by God's Grace, rejoice in that fact!

Thank God the "Persuader," the dear Holy Spirit, came your way!

As to those of you who have not believed, it may be that you've fallen into the John 12:39 category, "Therefore they could not believe."

Frightening!

This business of preaching God's Word is important, critically so!

Also the hearing of God's Word is too!

On such things hinge the eternal values of life and death!

Into which camp do you fall?

Believers or non-believers?

And do remember this. "He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18

Also John 3:36. "He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

Thank God somehow, all of Grace of course, I got saved!

I believed!

Count me "in" that crowd, the Blood-washed throng!

Worshipping the Lamb forever!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 25:

Paul has been preaching.

"And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word ...." Acts 28:25

Tomorrow we shall study that "one word" Paul spoke! It's a Text from the Book of Isaiah really. And an ironic one, for sure.

The expression "agreed not" is nearly musical in Greek! It's a blending of the negative "a," with the word "symphony!" In other words, "not in harmony!" Simply stated, "not making the same sounds!" Out of tune!

Too many Church services end that way!

"Among" as in "among themselves" translates "pros," indicating closeness, "face-to-face" closeness really!

And the pronoun "themselves" is "heteros," meaning "others of a different kind!" They could not agree because they were all "different" at heart! Probably the Holy Spirit had already started convicting some of them, but not others! That alone makes a great difference!

"Departed" is "apoluo," the  crowd "dissolved." They dismissed. Everyone was "released." They became "untied" literally!

"Spoken," categorizing Paul's preaching, is merely the aorist participle form of "lego," the thoughtful and "logical" and premeditated proclamation of God's precious Word!

The "word" is here not "logos" however, surprisingly. It is "rema," a "specific slice" of Scripture. A particular portion, just for these folks!

Someone once said that Paul's preaching always produced results ... either a revival or a riot!

Out Text gives such a instance!

"And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word ...." Acts 28:25

Sunday, which is tomorrow as I write these words, let's go to Church and hear the Men of God proclaim Truth, out of the Bible of course.

Then let's leave, not in upheaval or disagreement, but in the spirit of reverence and worship. Pondering the Text that was used!

Sunday's sermon always makes good "food for thought," really for days to come! I mean the Biblical Text itself, especially if your Preacher is an expositor.

God records such thoughts. "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name." Malachi 3:16

The Lord likes such conversation, such meditation. He calls those people something special! "And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." Malachi 3:17, jewels!

What an interesting observation Luke has recorded for us today!

Hearing Paul preach!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSES 26-27:

Paul quoting Isaiah!

Really, Paul quoting God as recorded by Isaiah!

And the words are astounding!

Here's Luke's account: "And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word." Now here's the "word" Paul spoke. Again I remind you, he's quoting Isaiah: Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: for the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." Acts 28:25-27

"Well spake" the Holy Spirit, says the Apostle. Here's even the Godhead using the verb "laleo," as opposed to "logeo." It's almost as if God is "chatting" with His dear Prophets, men who have stood true to the Cause! Remember Amos 3:7. "God revealeth His secrets unto his servants the prophets." Wow!

The adverb "well" is "kalos," meaning "beautifully or lovely or rightly or excellently." The Spirit says all things "well." Jesus does all things "well." Mark 7:37

Paul here takes upon himself the same "calling" as Isaiah! "Go unto this people, and say ...." With this "say" verb we are back to a form of "lego" now, with much premeditated thought preceding the speech.

Now on with Paul, and Isaiah! "Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive."

This is "code language!" God uses it more than once in Scripture. There are things God invariably describes like this: "Having eyes they see not and having ears they hear not." He's talking about "idols," false gods!

And God assures us that those people who are silly enough to worship such idols, chunks of stone or wood or whatever, will become just like them, just like their gods! That is, possessing non-seeing eyes and non-hearing ears!

Isaiah just accused the Israelite people of being idol worshippers! No, really, God did that! God brought the "charge."

And since Paul's auditors were guilty of the same sin, he is given the same message! Still for the people of Israel!

Oh, here's proof of the "one will be like his god" principle. "Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: they have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: they have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them." Psalm 115:4-8

There it is!

Spiritual dummies!

By the way, if idolaters become like their gods, isn't it logical that we who worship the True and Living God should eventually become more and more like Him?

Of course it is!

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2nd Corinthians 3:18

Changed!

Isaiah continued. Or should I say Paul? "The heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

The people, notice, all have one "heart," in the singular! And it's a heart given to wickedness!

"Waxed gross" is "pachuno," meaning "to become thick or fat." By extension, "to become dull or callous or even stupid!"

"Dull" of hearing, "baros," means "heavy, burdensome." Just too "tired" to hear all those accusations!

"Shutting the eyes" amazingly uses a compound form of the verb "muo," really, "to shut one's mouth!" But the eyes are the "mouth" of the intellect, so to speak.

The verb "see" in "see with their eyes" is a form of "eido," which came to mean "knowing" something for sure. "Intuitive knowledge," some teachers tell us.

To "understand" is "to send together" certain facts to one's mind! The verb is "suniemi," a blend of "sun" and "hiemi."

"Hearing," obviously, precedes salvation!

So do "seeing" and "understanding," to some degree anyway!

Spiritually speaking, of course.

I've not literally heard God or physically seen Him.

Not yet!

But using the instrument of faith, I certainly have!

Listen to Jesus. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24 just showed us the importance of such "hearing."

One can't hear without ears!

Or see without eyes!

Or speak without a mouth!

The verb "should be converted" translates "epistrepho," meaning "to turn to, to turn back," picturing a complete reversal of direction!

Then, using the last verb in today's passage, God is the "One Who heals." Isaiah: "Lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

Spelled "iaomai," meaning "to cure or make whole," it's much like the Greek word for "physician," which is "iatros." A Christian bookstore temporarily located in our area was named that, "Iasis," the place of "healing." I think it was charismatic.

Isaiah's famous "idolatry" passage appears elsewhere in Scripture too. Either by direct quotation or subtle allusion.

God hates idolatry!

So much so that He nixes it in the first two commandments He gave Moses. First, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Secondly, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image." Exodus 20:3-4

But it's still around at the end of the Bible, too. "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen." 1st John 5:21, the very last verse in the whole Epistle!

Yes, we will be much like the Highest Object of our affections! We will be like our God!

Invariably so!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 28:

Today's Bible verse is frightening!

"Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it." Acts 28:28

The Jews at Rome had just rejected the Gospel!

They probably had opted for some kind of idol worship instead. Paul just insinuated that they had ears, but did not hear! And eyes, but did not see! Remember, idols do not have to be literal to be real! A man can worship his own intellect or education or fame!

The adjective "known" is a form of "ginosko," yet meaning "something notable or extraordinary" The accompanying verb "be" is "eimi" as an imperative, present tense, 3rd person singular.

Paul is informing these unfaithful Jews. "You might not want this wonderful salvation from God, but there are those who will gladly accept it!"

"Salvation" is "soterion," from which we get the word "soteriology," the study of our redemption in Christ Jesus, our regeneration! God whole program in saving a lost soul! "Soterion" means things like "deliverance, safety, preservation."

Notice Who "owns" such a wonderful "salvation." God does! "The salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles."

Jonah said that! "Salvation is of the LORD." Jonah 2:9, Jonah being a better preacher than we often realize. Good preacher, bad attitude!

It's not my salvation until He gives it to me! Even David knew that as he repentantly prayed: "Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit." Psalm 51:12

Also, "salvation" is something that must be "sent!" Here's "apostello," whose root verb "stello" means "to set in order, to arrange, to prepare, to equip." Thank God for true preachers of the Word who are willing to exercise their God-given authority and "set things straight" where they're serving the Lord. Gospel preaching always rebukes sin!

Our whole verse again: "Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it." Acts 28:28

The "Gentiles" are, basically, the "non-Jews" of the world. "Ethnos" is the word, translated "nations, heathen, people," and of course, "Gentiles."

Don't misunderstand! God is not finished with Israel yet, not by any means! She has a bright future, after another fast approaching time of national trouble. The tribulation!

Some day, praise the Lord, Israel will be saved! "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." God's promise to that little nation, taken from Romans 11:26-27.

But, for the time being, from Paul's day onward, until the Rapture really, national Israel has been "set aside." And the Gentiles have been offered the Gospel! Paul pictures it as a "grafting" process. See Romans 11:17 and the verses following, a lesson about olive trees!

And, look at this! God already knew that the Gentiles, some of them anyway, would "hear" the Gospel! Yes, "Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it."

Amen!

"Akouo," the source of our word "acoustics," means "to give audience, to heed, to hearken, to have the capability of hearing." But here "akouo" implies more. It means "to obey" as well.

God just "predicted" a Revival, a great one.

An ingathering of multitudes of Gentiles, old lost sinners, into the Family of God!

That's people like you, and me!

And God saving us, praise His Name, just might "provoke" the Jews a bit too! Mankind often wants what he seemingly can't have. "God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy." Romans 11, again, verse 11 this time.

Our verse today is then not exclusionary, not as much as first appeared on the surface. Rather, God is ultimately planning to saved many, Jews and Gentiles!

That's His Nature!

His Character!

Truthfully, "The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2nd Peter 3:9

But lost men and women will have to be saved God's Way!

There is no other!

Now we know why Paul is called "the Apostle unto the Gentiles." Paul's words: "God was mighty in me toward the Gentiles!" See Galatians 2:8.

All us old Gentiles should be praising the Lord today!

He saves the likes of us!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSE 29:

The "wrong" way to respond to the Gospel!

In fact, the "wrong" way to respond to God under any circumstances!

Luke writes: "And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves." Acts 28:29

The "he" of our verse is Paul the Apostle. He's been preaching. He's a bit agitated, too! The Jewish people have rejected the Word of God. Paul, then, immediately offered the Gospel to the Gentiles!

That would have been a nearly "unheard of" move in those days.

Paul had Jewish blood flowing through his veins. Reared in a Jewish family. He had been taught by a Jewish Rabbi, in Jewish schools, amid Jewish culture.

To have said the following words to his native people would have been astounding! "Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it." Yet Paul said such, Acts 28:28.

The expression "these words" in Greek is just "tauta." This pronoun is demonstrative, pointing to Paul's most recent sermon. It just might be the most important pronoun in all the Book of Acts, at least for these folks. They rejected "these words," and, as far as we know, died and went to Hell.

To "depart," as these "hearers" of the Word did, "hearers" only, is not represented by "erchomai" in its most simple form. The verb is here compounded, becoming stronger in the process. It's "aperchomai," to get away in the sense of "walking out" on the man of God. To depart, rejecting that strange new message! The added prefix, "apo," implies "separation," usually defined as being "away from" something or someone!

In other words, they rejected the Word of God! They spurned this lowly Preacher, powerfully Spirit-filled as he was, Paul the Jew himself. They rebelled against the Gospel! They placed themselves among those, quoting Hebrews 10:29, "who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace."

Wow!

The "reasoning" they pursued, the noun "suzetesis," is built upon a verbal root meaning a "questioning" of things.

They did not believe!

They doubted!

They denied!

They consulted!

They discussed the weaknesses of Paul's arguments, one with another!

Folks, we are two verses from the end of the Book of Acts.

Paul will continue his preaching.

These Jews will continue their rebellion.

And, still, Hebrews 9:27 is true. "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."

Talking "among themselves" did no good at all! "En eautou" is a recipe for disaster theologically.

Reasoning with each other is dangerous.

Here's the kind of "reasoning" every sinner should do. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD." Isaiah 1:18, that's it!

Don't walk "in the counsel of the ungodly." Don't "stand in the way of sinners." Don't "sit in the seat of the scornful!" Psalm 1:1

Take these matters to the Lord!

Again I share it.

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." God is in the saving business!

Even if one's sins were "red," obviously showing from a great distance, conspicuous, well-known, degrading!

Still, God can wash such filth away and cleanse a repenting soul and grant eternal life to a trusting heart!

Red like crimson!

Pure and clean like wool!

What a change!

The Bible has several great paragraphs on "how to be saved," God's Plan of Redemption.

Here today, we have seen a paragraph that, sadly, describes "how to be lost, eternally!"

Self-consultation is not the answer!

Talking to your lost mentors isn't either!

Only trusting Jesus will suffice!

Something like this will do. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." Jesus said so in John 5:24. The Holy Spirit though will have to take these words, expound them, and apply them to your heart.

It's called "conviction."

It's like our opening verse said five days ago. "And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not." Therein is the difference, an eternal difference!

Are you a Believer?

Or a disputer?

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSE 30:

"In jail," but not in jail!

Definitely not "maximum security" anyway!

Paul the Apostle, who at times had been thrust into the "inner prisons" of various cities, now enjoyed some liberty, although quite limited.

No doubt Paul made the best of it, too!

Acts 28:30 tells us. "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him."

It's almost as if Luke does not want to put the Romans in "bad light" here!

While back in verse 17 of this same chapter we are reminded of the stark situation. "And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans."

Like I said, "in jail" ... but things certainly could have been much worse.

Of course Paul did not complain. Nor would he ever, even if he had been at the point of death, execution I mean.

Here's proof, though written several years later. "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 2nd Timothy 4:6-8, not a negative word.

The Roman government, not known for its leniency, must have realized that the "charges" against Paul were rather frivolous. Yet, for the sake of political expediency," not to "offend" certain citizens or perhaps to garner some "bribe" money from Paul's accusers, Paul is nonetheless incarcerated.

He can't travel and preach.

Again, our verse today: "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him."

This implies some kind of "rental" arrangement. And Paul had no source of income. Someone had to provide the Apostle these funds! He had to have financial support from somewhere, from someone! The expression "hired house" is "misthoma," a commercial term. It speaks of "money." Technically, "the price for which anything is loaned."

And this is the way Luke ends Acts?

Before Paul's trial?

With the great Preacher waiting two whole years?

"Whole" is obviously an adjective, "holos," meaning "every bit" of something. "Every whit" the lexicons say. "Two years," spelled "dietia" in Greek, blends "dis" meaning "twice" and "etos" meaning "year."

The verb "dwelt" is "meno," that is, "to remain, to abide" in a place. He had no liberty to change addresses, to move. No doubt guards were there too, Roman soldiers.

But, amazing as it may seem, Paul could "receive" visitors. "Dechomai," when prefixed by "apo" as here, means "to welcome gladly!" Such construction often empowers a verb even further.

"All" or "pas" just means "everybody!" No exceptions! Saints and sinners! High level planning sessions and new convert classes as well! Preaching and teaching sessions!

Maybe the Lord was just slowing Paul down some! He was certainly a "driven" man! Obsessed, in a good sense, with his mission! I saw a book last night about "passion" in one's life. How such a quality would help a person be a better worker! Well, Paul never knew he "worked," his "work" being his very "life!"

The verb "came in," a little unusual here, is "eisporeuomai," a "traveling from point 'a' to point 'b' in order to interact" with a person. We know from the Book of Philippians that some came long distances to see Paul in this "hired house." Others, no doubt, were local Roman believers.

Paul, the preacher.

Paul, the teacher.

Paul, the mentor.

Paul, God's Man!

Making the best out of a less-than-ideal situation!

Practicing what he preached. "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11

Amen!

Puts us to shame, doesn't it?

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, VERSE 31:

For two years this was Paul's ministry: "Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him." Acts 28:31, the last verse in the whole Book of Acts!

Though under arrest, this much liberty had been afforded the Apostle!

No travel was allowed, of course, but folks could come to him and hear!

Our verse sounds a lot like the last two verses in Matthew! "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Remember, Paul was already in the city of Rome, the virtual Capital of the world at that time!

We started our paragraph, Acts 28:24-31, several days ago. It was then we learned the results of Paul's preaching. "And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not." Acts 28:24

Paul, ever faithful, just kept on serving the Lord. "Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him." 

The verb "preaching" is "kerusso," really meaning "to proclaim as an official of the King!" And it was not King Nero Paul represented either! It was King Jesus!

The noun "kingdom" is "basileia," ultimately from the Greek word "basis," the very foundation of anything. That  upon which one can "base" everything else!

By the "kingdom of God" here Paul most likely means that whole realm of God's domain that consists of all the saved of all the ages. It's different from the "kingdom of Heaven," which is millennial in nature, millennial only.

"Teaching" is "didasko," probably from "dao," meaning "to learn." It's "orderly instruction," in other words.

The word "concerning" is represented by the little preposition "peri," everything "around" the Lord Jesus Christ! Everything "about" Him! Don't you wish they had possessed a recording device in those days?

And Paul can't just say "Jesus" here!

Nor even "Lord Jesus!"

It must be "the Lord Jesus Christ!"

As Lord, He rules!

As Jesus, He saves!

As Christ, He's coming again!

And Paul did these things, not fearfully, but "with all confidence." The word is "parresia." It is a blend of "pas" and "reo," that is, "saying it all!"

Not afraid to tell everything!

Withholding no facts!

Neglecting no doctrine!

No sins ignored, either!

Paul even preached against the very sins Nero was famous, infamous, for committing!

Boldly!

"With all confidence" here, "parresia," is the same word that's translated "boldly" in Hebrews 4:16. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Come before the Lord in prayer, and tell Him everything!

For some strange reason, at least for these few years, Paul was not a "worry" to the Roman government.

Not at all!

Later, when the political situation changed, the safety of Paul's "hired house" apparently become the damp uncomfortable darkness of a dreaded "dungeon." But most of us believe Paul was released from custody, at least for some time, between those two imprisonments.

I say that because in our Text, as Paul preached and taught, he was granted nearly complete liberty! "No man forbidding him," Luke concluded.

And "no man forbidding him," the whole clause, translates one Greek word, "akolutos." The verb stem here, "koluo," means "to hinder, to hold back, to cut off, to restrain," and the added prefixed "a" simply reverses the verb's meaning. It's therefore called a "prohibitive."

Preaching, "without restraint!"

Interestingly, "koluo" is derived from "kolazo," meaning "to prune" a tree, or "to lop off" things like branches or vines. To curb, to check! And, at the very bottom of it all, is the noun "kolos," meaning "dwarf."

Paul was not diminished, not minimized, by the circumstances in Rome! Not in Acts 28:24-31.

In fact, as he wrote the Philippians, perhaps from this very "hired house," he said: "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel!" Not the "hindrance" of the Gospel, it's very "furtherance!"

Paul just will not look on the dark side of anything!

For the child of God, knowing the Heavenly Father like he or she does, nothing discourages! He, God above, can control everything, anything, all life's circumstances.

That word "furtherance" is "prokope," picturing a man in a dense jungle, "cutting his way forward" with a machete or scythe! "Blazing a trail," in other words!

If a man can live like that, believe that, nothing will stop him!

Nothing but a sword severing his head from his body!

And even then, the executioner has merely send his so-called "victim" straight to Heaven!

That's about all the devil can do to an obedient child of God!

Meanwhile let's leave Paul to continue his work. He doesn't like to be bothered while serving the Lord. "Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him." 

Amen!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

                                 What a way to conclude a history book!

 

 

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