Chapter Twenty-Two — Part Two: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 01/22/2023Foundation Scriptures:
1. Seeing Jesus.
a. Acts 22:17 NKJV — “Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance…
b. Trance (Greek ekstasis) – trance; amazed with; astonished; any casting down of a thing from its proper place or state; displacement; a throwing of the mind out of its normal state; alienation of mind; a half-conscious state, seemingly between sleeping and waking, in which ability to function voluntarily may be suspended.
c. A trance is a state where one is more aware of the subject of the vision, rather than the surroundings (Acts 10:10-16).
d. Paul saw, heard, and spoke to Jesus multiple times (1 Cor. 9:1; 15:8; 2 Cor. 12:1-4).
e. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul described his experience of being caught up into Heaven, and his visions and revelations of and from the Lord Jesus.
f. 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 NKJV — It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago — whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows — such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows — 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
2. Make Haste.
a. Acts 22:18 NKJV — …and saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’
b. Paul clearly saw with his eyes, and heard with his ears, Jesus speaking to him.
c. How comforting it is, to know that we have the Lord to lead us, guide us, reveal the future, and tell us what we are to do.
d. Jesus knows who is ready to hear and receive the Gospel and who is not.
e. He told Paul to get out of Jerusalem immediately, because the Jews would not receive his testimony.
f. Acts 22:19-20 NKJV — So I said, ‘Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You. 20 And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’
g. This is who Paul was and what he did before his encounter with Jesus (see Acts 7:58; 8:1; 9:1-2).
h. Paul reasoned with the Lord, because he was hoping that the Jews would receive and not reject his testimony, since they knew his history as a Jewish zealot and should have believed and been convinced by his testimony.
a. Acts 22:21 NKJV — Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’”
b. There was no use in Paul staying and being killed, God had another plan and another mission field for Paul.
c. Paul hoped that they would understand that he had received a commission from Heaven to go preach to the Gentiles.
d. The Jews rejected their Messiah and were so blinded by their demonically inspired religious spirit that they did not want anyone else to know or acknowledge Him either.
e. They wanted nothing to do with the Gentiles and the idea of another Jew ministering to them and treating them as equals, was more than they could bear.
f. This statement was the last straw for them.
g. Acts 22:22 AMPC — Up to the moment that Paul made this last statement, the people listened to him; but now they raised their voices and shouted, Away with such a fellow from the earth! He is not fit to live!
h. Again, they shouted, “Away with him!” demanding that he be executed.
i. Under their law, the man who brought strange doctrines to the people was to be put to death (Deut. 13:12-18), although they only applied it as it suited them.
4. Provoked to Jealousy.
a. Paul preached that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Jewish Law, and that Jews and Gentiles were brought into covenant with God and each other (Eph. 2:10-19).
b. To the Jews, this was abhorrent and a “strange doctrine.”
c. They despised the Gentiles and refused to think of them as having an equal share in the grace of God.
d. Through the years, Israel made God jealous and angry over their worship of strange gods.
e. God warned Israel that they would be provoked to jealousy and anger by His choosing of another people—strangers; outsiders—to experience His grace and covenant blessings (Deut. 32:21; Isa. 65:1-2).
f. Romans 10:19-21 AMPC — Again I ask, Did Israel not understand? [Did the Jews have no warning that the Gospel was to go forth to the Gentiles, to all the earth?] First, there is Moses who says, I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry. 20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, I have been found by those who did not seek Me; I have shown (revealed) Myself to those who did not [consciously] ask for Me. 21 But of Israel he says, All day long I have stretched out My hands to a people unyielding and disobedient and self-willed [to a faultfinding, contrary, and contradicting people].
g. The Gentiles were not seeking salvation—they did not even know it was available—yet they received and embraced it.
h. God did His best to reach Israel, but once again, and sadly for them, they had disobediently and rebelliously refused Him.