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Chapter Thirteen — Part One: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 01/16/2022

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 13:1-12

1. Prophets and Teachers.
a. Paul, Barnabas, and John Mark returned from Jerusalem to Antioch.
b. Whilst they were there, they received fresh instructions from the Holy Ghost.
c. Acts 13:1a NKJV — Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers:
d. The titles, prophet and teacher, are designations of both commission and ability.
e. Gifts from God to the Body of Christ (Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4:8).
f. A prophet (Greek prophētēs) is a compound word meaning: to speak forth, speak out; hence, properly, ‘one who speaks forth;’ to divulge; make known; announce; a foreteller; an inspired speaker.
g. A prophet is one through whom God speaks; one who speaks forth by divine inspiration; including concerning future events.
h. Teachers (Greek didaskalos) translated: Master (Jesus); master; teacher; doctor.
i. A New Testament teacher is an instructor, with a call from God and an anointing from the Holy Spirit.
j. One who teaches, under the unction, concerning the things of God, and the duties of man.
k. Acts 13:1b NKJV — Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
l. Niger means “black,” referring either to his hair or his darker complexion.
m. This is the only place Lucius is mentioned.
n. Manaen was brought up (meaning “nursed together”) with Herod Antipas, who murdered John the Baptist.   
o. Apparently, Manaen’s mother jointly nursed them both.
p. Jewish writers mention him as a prophet saying that while still a child, he predicted Herod’s future kingship.
q. When Herod became king, he sent for him, and he was held in high esteem at his court.

2. Set Apart and Commissioned.
a. Acts 13:2 NKJV — As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
b. It is not mentioned how, or through which prophet, the word was given.  
c. Separate (Greek aphorizō):
   - To mark off from others by boundaries (Mt. 13:49; 25:32; Lk. 6:22; Acts 19:9; Gal. 2:12).
   - To limit; to separate.
   - To appoint; set apart for a specific purpose or work (Acts 13:2; Rom. 1:1; Gal. 1:15).
   - To live separated from sin (2 Cor. 6:17).
d. Acts 13:3 NKJV — Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
e. Even after the word came forth, and before they laid hands on them, they continued to fast and pray.
f. This is how seriously they treated the laying on of hands to commission someone to a specific office or task.
g. They fasted, they prayed, they laid hands on them, and they sent them away.
h. Even though you know what the Lord wants you to do, it is still important to continue to pray that He would also make a way and help you to fulfill it.
i. Paul and Barnabas were called AND sent.

3. Sent Out.
a. Acts 13:4 NKJV — So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
b. This was the beginning of Paul’s first missionary journey.
c. Acts 13:5 NKJV — And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant.
d. The apostles used Jewish synagogues to preach the Gospel, when and wherever possible (Acts 13:5,14,16, 42; 14:1; 17:1,10,17; 18:4,19; 19:8).

4. False Prophet.
a. Acts 13:6a NKJV — Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos…
b. Paphos, meaning “boiling, or hot’” was the capital of Cyprus and the location of a temple of Venus (Aphrodite), who was worshipped as “Queen of Paphos.”
c. Acts 13:6b NKJV — …they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus.
d. Bar-Jesus means, “son of Jesus/Joshua.”
e. He was a fortune-teller, a sorcerer (soothsayer; magician), and a false prophet (pretended foreteller or religious impostor).
f. Jesus warned us, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15 NKJV).

5. Sergius Paulus.
a. Acts 13:7a AMPC — He was closely associated with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent and sensible man of sound understanding…
b. Acts 13:7b AMPC — …he summoned to him Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the Word of God [concerning salvation in the kingdom of God attained through Christ].
c. This prudent proconsul (deputy) was hungry to hear the Word of God.
d. Acts 13:8 AMPC — But Elymas the wise man — for that is the translation of his name [which he had given himself] — opposed them, seeking to keep the proconsul from accepting the faith.
e. Elymas was not very wise, as he claimed—instead, he was wicked—operating under demonic power.
f. Acts 13:9 AMPC — But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit, looked steadily at [Elymas].
g. Paul was not afraid of him, or his demons, but under the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit, uttered a heavenly rebuke!
h. Acts 13:10 AMPC — And said, You master in every form of deception and recklessness, unscrupulousness, and wickedness, you son of the devil, you enemy of everything that is upright and good, will you never stop perverting and making crooked the straight paths of the Lord and plotting against His saving purposes?
i. Acts 13:11 AMPC — And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind, [so blind that you will be] unable to see the sun for a time. Instantly there fell upon him a mist and a darkness, and he groped about seeking persons who would lead him by the hand.
j. God struck him blind for a season.
k. Acts 13:12 AMPC — Then the proconsul believed (became a Christian) when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished and deeply touched at the teaching concerning the Lord and from Him.
l. The proconsul was astonished at the power of God, in demonstration, and he believed.
m. He willingly received the Lord and became a Christian.