Acts of the Apostles 21: 11-14 (Nearing the end of Paul’s missionary work, he stayed at a house where they prophesied about his death.) He came up to us, took Paul’s belt, bound his feet and hands with it, and said, “Thus says the holy Spirit: This is the way the Jews will bind the owner of this belt in Jerusalem, and they will hand him over to the Gentiles.” When we heard this, we and the local residents begged him (Paul) not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? I am prepared not only to be bound but even to die in Jerusalem for the Name of the LORD Jesus.” Since he would not be dissuaded we let the matter rest, saying, “The LORD’s Will be done.”
Acts of the Apostles 19: 13-17 Then some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to invoke the Name of the LORD Jesus over those with evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” When the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish high priest, tried to do this, the evil spirit said to them in reply, “Jesus i recognize, Paul i know, but who are you?” The person with the evil spirit then sprang at them and subdued them all. He so overpowered them that they fled naked and wounded from that house. When this became known to all the Jews and Greeks who lived in Ephesus, fear fell upon them all, and the Name of the LORD Jesus was held in great esteem.
An explanation of this passage is as follows: Some Jewish men would travel about the towns and try to drive out evil spirits from the people in order to make a living. As they were Jews, they were not yet been baptized into Christianity and had no solid convictions about Christ. So there were seven sons of a Jewish high priest that were going about Ephesus trying to drive out demons. Because they saw how successful Paul was in driving out demons in the Name of Jesus, they too tried His holy Name. A demon was allowed to question the Jewish exorcists about using the holy Name, and then consequently lashed out at them, wounded them and scared them. The men fled the place where they were staying and realized the power of the Name of Jesus. His Name is not meant to be trifled with, It has a glorious power that is holy and may not be profaned.
Acts of the Apostles 19: 1-12 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the country and came [down] to Ephesus where he found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They answered him, “We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” He said, “How were you baptized?” They replied, “With the baptism of John.” Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the One Who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the Name of the LORD Jesus. And when Paul laid [his] hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Altogether there were about twelve men. He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God. But when some in their obstinacy and disbelief disparaged the Way before the assembly, he withdrew and took his disciples with him and began to hold daily discussions in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years with the result that all the inhabitants of the province of Asia heard the Word of the LORD, Jews and Greeks alike. So extraordinary were the mighty deeds God accomplished at the hands of Paul that when face cloths or aprons that touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.
Paul took his mission to the coasts of present day Turkey, to Europe, and Philippi in Greece and many other places. I recall watching a movie with Anthony Hopkins playing the role of Paul. It was called Peter and Paul, made in 1981, longer than 3 hrs in length. I would recommend viewing it, if you get a chance. It was pretty well done. This next post is when Paul was in Philippi.
Acts of the Apostles 16: 16-18 As we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl with an oracular spirit (evil), who used to bring a large profit to her owners through her fortune-telling. She began to follow Paul and us, shouting, “These people are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” She did this for many days. Paul became annoyed, turned, and said to the spirit, “I command you in the Name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” Then it came out at that moment.
—– Seeing that their source of income had abruptly vanished, the slave girl’s owners seized Paul and his companions. They were brought before the local officials, stripped, beaten with rods, and imprisoned. In jail they sang hymns to God. There was a severe earthquake and the prison doors swung open. Rather than escape to shame the prison guard, they converted and baptized the prison guard and his entire family. When the city officials realized that Paul and companions were Roman citizens and that they had no authority over them, they released them.—-
The Apostles traveled in small groups to baptize in the Name of the LORD. One group traveled to Antioch (part of Syria in those days…present day part of Turkey). They came to the people of Antioch with a letter.
Acts of the Apostles 15: 23-29 This is the letter delivered by them: “The apostles and the presbyters, your brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin: greetings. Since we have heard that some of our number [who went out] without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the Name of our LORD Jesus Christ. So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey the same message by word of mouth: ‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.'”
Acts of the Apostles 10: 42-43 (Peter talking about Jesus) “He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that He is the One appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins through His Name.”
Acts of the Apostles 10: 48-49 He (Peter) ordered them (Cornelius and friends- Gentiles) to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for a few days.
Acts of the Apostles 15: 14-17 Symeon (Simon Peter) has described how God first concerned Himself with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for His Name. The words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written: (Amos 9: 11-12) ‘After this I shall return and rebuild the fallen hut of David; from its ruins I shall rebuild it and raise it up again, so that the rest of humanity may seek out the LORD, even all the Gentiles on whom My Name is invoked.
The conversion of St. Paul from a murderous anti-Jesus militant to loving Apostle is one of the most dramatic stories of conversion in the Bible. Happily the story has recently been depicted in film in the movie called, Paul, Apostle of Christ. After Saul was struck blind and seeking help for his conversion, the LORD asked Ananias to help Saul.
In this passage Ananias was speaking to the LORD: Acts of the Apostles 9: 13-16 But Ananias replied, “LORD, I have heard from many sources about this man, what evil things he has done to Your holy ones in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison all who call upon Your Name.” But the LORD said to him, “Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My Name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites, and I will show him what he will have to suffer for My Name.”
Acts of the Apostles 9: 21 All who heard him (Saul) were astounded and said, “Is not this the man who in Jerusalem ravaged those who call upon this Name, and came here expressly to take them back in chains to the chief priests?”
Acts of the Apostles 9: 27-28 Then Barnabas took charge of him (Saul) and brought him to the Apostles, and he (Saul) reported to them how on the way he had seen the LORD and that He had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the Name of Jesus. He moved about freely with them in Jerusalem, and spoke out boldly in the Name of the LORD.
The Apostle Philip’s mission in Samaria
Acts of the Apostles 8: 11-12 They (Samarians) paid attention to him (Simon the magician) because he had astounded them by his magic for a long time, but once they began to believe Philip as he preached the Good News about the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ, men and women alike were baptized.
Acts of the Apostles 8: 14-17 Now when the Apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the Word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for It had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the Name of the LORD Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
The next six entries are about the circumstances regarding the healing of a crippled person.
Acts of the Apostles 3: 6 (Peter healed a crippled person in the Name of Jesus) Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: In the Name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, [rise and ] walk.”
Acts of the Apostles 3: 15-16 (Peter said) “The Author of life you put to death, but God raised Him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. And by faith in His Name, this man (the formerly crippled man that was healed in the Name of the LORD), whom you see and know, His Name has made strong, and the faith that comes through It has given him this perfect health, in the presence of all of you.”
Acts of the Apostles 4: 5-12 On the next day, their leaders, elders, and scribes were assembled in Jerusalem with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly class. They brought them (Peter, John, and healed lame man) into their presence and questioned them, “By what power or by what Name have you done this (miracle)?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them, “Leaders of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the Name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean Whom you crucified, Whom God raised from the dead; in His Name this man stands before you healed. He (Jesus) is ‘the Stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the Cornerstone.’ There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other Name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”
The members of the high-priests deliberated between themselves after the Apostle Peter’s testimony about the healing of the crippled man: Acts of the Apostles 4: 16-17 “What are we to do with these men? Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign was done through them, and we cannot deny it. But so that it may not be spread any further among the people, let us give them a stern warning never again to speak to anyone in this Name.” So they called them back and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the Name of Jesus.
After Peter was warned by the high priests, he and the community prayed to God for protection and guidance. This entry is part of their prayer: Acts of the Apostles 4: 29-30 “And now, LORD, take note of their threats, and enable Your servants to speak Your word with all boldness, as You stretch forth [Your] Hand to heal, and signs and wonders are done through the Name of Your Holy Servant Jesus.”
The high priests scold: Acts of the Apostles 5: 28 “We gave you strict orders [did we not?] to stop teaching in that Name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this Man’s Blood upon us.”
Acts of the Apostles 5: 40-42 After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the Name of Jesus, and dismissed them. So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the Name. And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Messiah, Jesus.
The book called the Acts of the Apostles follows the Gospels. It was written by Saint Luke as the second part of his writings (the first part being the Gospel of Saint Luke). Both were addressed to the general reader known as Theophilus (friend of God). Luke was one of the people in Paul’s company. He was a physician who accompanied Paul on several journeys and chronicled the events for our benefit. This work showcases the first efforts of Jesus‘ Great Commissioning… “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Setting the scene for the next scriptural entry regarding the Name of the LORD. As promised by our LORD, the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles when they were gathered together about fifty days after Jesus’ crucifixion. Little flames of fire in the shape of an oval, called a ‘tongue of fire’ appeared over each of their heads. A loud sound like a tornado was heard and after it all when everyone was talking excitedly about the events, each person understood all the others, even though they were speaking in their native language. I would compare it to something like a sports competition of the world’s greatest athletes and after the descent of the Holy Spirit, when each athlete marveled at the working of the spirit in their own language, all the other athletes from other countries could understand exactly what each one was saying.
Acts of the Apostles 2: 20-21 (Peter speaking after the Descent of the Holy Spirit) “The sun shall be turned to darkness and moon to blood, before the coming of the great and splendid day of the LORD, and it shall be that everyone shall be saved who calls on the Name of the LORD.”
Acts of the Apostles 2: 38 Peter [said] to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”