CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 65

KEY SCRIPTURE: ACTS 19:22 So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.

Apostle Paul had a very successful ministry in Ephesus. Many souls were won. Many lives were transformed and more people were set free from satanic and demonic bondages.

What was the next thing for him to have done? Naturally, he should have decided to set up a tent in Ephesus, that is to establish himself there, but Paul was not going to entangle himself with such things. Paul purposed in his spirit that when he passed through Macedonia and Achaia, he would go to Jerusalem, saying that afterwards he would end up at Rome. Apostle Paul purposed in his spirit.  This meant that nothing was going to change that. Many people give up on their decisions and wonder why this is so. The truth about such people is that, they did not purpose in their spirits. Indeed, a decided mind can never be tempted. He said that after he had visited Jerusalem, he would go to Rome.

Rome was the seat of the Emperor where the Roman empire ruled parts of the world from. Paul knew very well that the emperor would not take kindly to the preaching of any Lord over men. Such sayings will be treated as high treason. Rome was quite a journey away from Jerusalem and the journey had a lot of uncertainties. None of these things was of any serious concern to him.

    Apostle Paul followed through with his decisions and firstly sent Timothy and Erastus to go ahead of him to Macedonia, whiles he stayed in Asia for a season. Around that time, there arose a strong persecution about the way or the faith. I believe by this time; Paul has been so used to these persecutions or uproars against the way or the faith such that it did not matter to him in any way.

If the church must rule the world with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, then we must not be afraid of oppositions that rise against the gospel. We must stand and not be moved, for victory would be surely ours. Apostle Paul triumphed in his time. We would also triumph if we don’t love our lives and put our trust in the Lord to see us through.

CONFESSION

I am moved by the love of Christ; therefore, the gospel flows aggressively through me to many who are lost and nothing shall hinder its flow.

FURTHER STUDIES

Mark 1:38. And he said unto them, let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

Acts 21:13

Then Paul answered, what mean you to weep and to break my heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

CHARACTER STUDIES: PAUL 64

KEY SCRIPTURE: ACTS 19:20. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

Our key scripture said the word of God grew and prevailed. The word of God is God’s identity code.

Anywhere the word of God is allowed to grow it would prevail.

God’s word growing means the word spread in the vicinity and people also gave heed to the word of God. The word of God is not ordinary thoughts but supernatural expressions of ideas, instructions and intention backed by the life of God. The Lord Jesus said, the flesh profit nothing but the word that I speak unto you they are spirit and life. John 6:63, John 1:1 says the word and God are one. How is God like? Look at his word. They are His identity code. When a man honors the word in his life, he decodes God’s identity and he manifests in his life.

 The people of Ephesus gave heed to the word of God and they saw the power of God. God became real to them. God is only hidden to those who are not yielding to his word.

Life is not a mystery. It may not fill with uncertainties depending. on how you walk with God. God has designed a path in which he walks with men and shows himself to them. It is the life of giving attention to His word. The bible says those who attend to the word of God and incline the ears to what he says would find it as life and health to all their flesh (Proverbs 4:20-22). Life becomes a mystery with unexplainable happenings and painful, hurtful situations because men live by their mind and their senses. I am not saying walking with God means everything is rosy. No, that is not what I mean. Walking with God by virtue of obeying the word, the makes you an automatic champion irrespective of what happens. You receive the energy to stand and overcome. You are not amazed at what happens but the word prevails for you.

The word would always grow and would prevail. Dear child of God, don’t get worried about the uncertainties of life. Don’t be moved at the reports of fear and danger all around us. Jesus said be of good cheer for I have overcome the world. He is the living word. Acting on the word is allowing the one who overcame the world to live through you and act through you. You would surely prevail.

CONFESSION

God’s word is living and active. I give the word access in my life to function fully. I prevail over all mountains that I face. Defeat is far from me because I have made the word my delight and meditate on it day and night.

FURTHER STUDIES.

Proverbs 3:5,6 .Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 63

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 19:15 ” And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?”

These sons of Sceva in their bid to cast out the devil in Jesus name who Paul preaches, had   the demons saying to them, Jesus I know and Paul I know but who are you? The two words used as ‘know’ for Jesus and that for Paul have different meanings: the word translated ‘know’ used in the case of the Lord Jesus is “ginosko” which means “to be certain about” and the ‘know’ used in reference to Paul is “espitamai” and means ‘to place the mind’ or’ to consider’. That statement may be said this way, for Jesus I dread him and Paul I consider him but who are you”.

Every child of God must be on the mind of the demons of hell. You should matter to them. You should be involved in destroying their kingdom such that you are a consideration to them. Such was Apostle Paul. Those sons of Sceva did not mean anything to the forces of wickedness. The demon asked, who are you? The demon through the one man bounced on the seven boys and beat them up. What kind of lifestyle makes a man a real consideration to the demons of hell? A life which is sold out to the master. In such a person the Lord has the final word. Please get this point clear it is not just getting busy or occupied with godly things like prayer or even preaching, but the man whose will and ambition is to please the master. One may be very prayerful, yet his life focus is purely carnal. Some maybe involved in evangelism yet the reason is to get people into the church just to feel good in comparing their church to other churches. Let the Lord have you in all that you do and not you using Him to get what you want.

The centurion who came to Jesus asking healing for his servant said because I am a man under authority and so I have authority (Matthew 8:9). He said I say to this servant go and he goes. We can’t exercise great authority over demons when we do not truly honor our master.

What happened to these sons of Sceva became known to the whole city and there was a great fear of God. Many came to know Jesus through this event. Kenneth Hagan said the manifestation of the supernatural is dinner bell that rallies all to dinning.

 Christianity without the supernatural is just a human institution.

CONFESSION:

I am born by the Spirit of God. My life is totally submitted to God and so all demons are submitted to me.

FURTHER STUDIES

Acts 19:17And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

Acts 19:19-And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 62

KEY SCRIPTURE: ACTS 19:13. Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, we adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.

In the above verse some vagabonds or aimless youths decided to cast out a demon in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches. They were siblings, and were seven in all. They knew not the Lord. It is rather pathetic for anyone to impose himself or herself as a child of God.

  Some people who called themselves pastors or any other title have found themselves in trouble trying to cast out demons. I have encountered people who got paralyzed, because they tried casting out a demon. Why does such a thing happen to people who are supposed to be children of God.

We would first consider the scriptural provisions concerning these things. The Lord Jesus said to the disciples and to us that, He has given us power to trample upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt us. [Luke 10:19]. The Lord also said one of the signs that would follow them who would believe in Him is that they would cast out devils. [Mark 16:17]. In Matt 10:1. The Lord Jesus also gave the disciples authority over all devils and to heal all manner of diseases. If we have such authority over all devils why does some ‘Christians’ encounter such problems?

I would say that, the first reason for such a problem happening is that these people may not know the Lord Jesus. Jesus is the Lord of anyone who has believed in Him. If the Lord Jesus is not Lord over the life of any man or woman, then he or she is deceiving himself or herself. Becoming a Christian is to receive the kingdom of God into your heart. Jesus becomes your king and you become His servant. In the mind of the Father, you are a son.

One of the reasons why people encounter problems with demons is lack of knowledge of the word of God. The bible says my people are destroyed for lack of Knowledge, {Hosea 4:6}. Knowledge is light and knowledge is power. If you have light and power no darkness can ever molest you. Faith is a product of knowledge of God’s word, and it is faith that also releases God’s power to deal with the devil

Those sons of Sceva were casting out the demons out of pride. Pride is a projection of self-interest over the Lord’s. A number of people get into trouble because of pride, doing it to project their selfish ambition or image and not to bring glory to the Lord. Dear child of God , now to the Lord belongs the KINGDOM, the POWER, and the GLORY .whatever you do ,submit to His dominion, that is acknowledging the reign of the kingdom over your life, and secondly recognize His power that is at work in you, and then finally that all glory goes to His name. With such an approach you would never be over powered by devils.

CONFESSION

I am a child of God, born by the Spirit of God. I am submitted to the Lordship of Jesus. It is always His Glory that is at stake. I am therefore superior to every devil and in the name of Jesus I cast out every devil and they will obey me.

FURTHER STUDIES

Ephesians 1:19. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power Which, he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 61

KEY SCRIPTURE: ACTS 19:11; And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul.

Our key scripture says “and God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul”. Miracles are the doings of God. It is the supernatural power of God intervening in the natural course of events. In this instant God did it through Paul.

God performs miracles to proof the authenticity of the Christian faith. Miracles show that Jesus is alive. Mark 16:20 “And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word with signs following them Amen”. Some people claim miracles ended with the Apostles. Unfortunately, some people who claim to be Christians and preach the word of God also say such things. If what happened during Jesus’ time and the Apostles day, does not happen today then Christianity is fake. Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever”. If He is the same yesterday, today and forever then what He did through the Apostles must be done now as well. Indeed, he does it. How do you explain the case of a child confirmed as having sickling genotype becoming negative after prayer?

Our key scripture reads that it was God who wrought the special miracles by the hands of Paul. Miracles are not the creation of any man.

A man might have been the vessel through whom God performed that miracle yet it is always the handiworks of God. No man must claim any glory for any miracle wrought. It is the desire of God to be working miracles in the midst of his children. The lack of miracles happening in our midst is due to men placing themselves in the path of God. I mean when a man wonders within himself either about how to perform that feat or seeks glory for himself. This is what makes men get into the way of God in performing miracles.

Apostle Paul did not hinder the workings of the Spirit. He did not focus on himself either to fail or gain any glory for himself. He wanted every glory for the Lord. Whenever a man positions himself or herself this way, God would always work miracle. Allow the spirit to lead and you would know and experience miracles on a regular basis.

In the light of the fact that miracles are the doings of the Spirit of God, no man must take any glory for any miraculous deed. People of God should stop praising men of God who work miracles. They must thank God for using these men to do such things but not to praise them.

PRAYER:

Dear heavenly, father stir in your children the desire to see your spirit work His works in their midst. Grant to your children the proper knowledge as to work miracles and when these miracles are wrought may they learn to always give GOD the glory.

FURTHER STUDIES

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Mark 16:17 ,18 ‘And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 60

KEY SCRIPTURE: ACTS 19:12: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

The scripture said aprons and handkerchiefs were taken from Paul’s body and placed on the sick who got healed. God still does these things these days, yet we must be careful not to abuse the workings of the Spirit.

These objects through which the anointing of God is transmitted for the working of miracles are called tokens. A token Is something that serves as a sign of something else. In this case it represents the power of God. Various servants of God have been using various tokens. Some use water, anointing oils, bangles, pictures and many more. 

   A few questions arise concerning the constant application of these tokens.  Should the man of God continually give out these tokens to minister to the various needs of people? 1st Corinthians 12 speaking about the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit said there are diversities of the gifts, and there are differences of administration and there are diversities of operations. These verses simply mean God’s dealings in his servants vary from one to the other. God is not is not a one-way God. We cannot attribute just one way for the Spirit to work always There are diversities of gifts by the same Spirit with different administration by the same Lord. To administrator is the way a thing is dispensed or shared. The bible says the working of the spirit is not the same in every man of God. Even the operations of the same gift can differ.

 The real challenge about the use of tokens is when people turn their faith from God and his word to these tokens, signs and symbols. Humans can make fetish out of very holy things. Our father God relates to us on our faith. Faith is never based on anything physical. Faith is always a response of your spirit to the word of God. It must never be an object of some sort.

The object, sign, symbol must only enhance the individual’s faith in God’s word. The woman with the issue of blood touched the helm of Jesus garment as a token of God’s power and she was healed instantly.   The Lord said, your faith has made you whole.  It was the release of her faith by touching the garment. It would be wrong for her to praise the garment of Jesus, just as it is wrong today for anyone to praise an anointing water or oil or any token used.

  Dear child of God, I do not condemn or speak against the use of any token, but be careful not to put your faith in it. It only represents the real thing, THE POWER OF GOD. That is where your faith must be.

   PRAYER

Dear heavenly Father, I pray for the church of God to know the truth, so Christians would experience more of God’s power and not be deceived by any man.

FURTHER STUDY

Acts 5:15    In so much that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.

2nd Kings 6:6 And the man of God said, where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 59

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 19:9 ” But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus”.

The bible said Apostle Paul spent three months discussing the gospel with the people in Ephesus.  Some of the people were hardened and believed not, and so spoke evil of the way. Once again let’s be certain that there would be people who would not accept and may even oppose the way of life.

 Apostle Paul did not stop preaching because people spoke against the gospel and even against, he himself. He stayed in Ephesus for two years sharing the word of God with the people. The bible said all that dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. Paul’s life remains a real challenge to us today. He was bent on making Jesus Christ known to everybody. As he said,” woe is me if I preach not the gospel. “(1st Corinth 9:16)

We must also say woe is us, if we fail to preach the gospel. In our modern times of swift communicating technology, no one should be ignorant of the good news. The sad news is that there are many villages close to us and far away who have not heard the name of Jesus before.

  A friend visited one of the villages close to Accra and inquired from one of the villagers if he knew Jesus Christ, he asked this friend of mine that is it a new kind of soap? This is rather pathetic how could a few miles from Accra where there is an overabundance of preaching bombarding the airwaves, market places, the way side joints almost throughout the day, and somebody had not heard the name of Jesus.

    Dear child of God, none of us would be able to have an excuse before the Father if we do not rethink the way we are going about the great commission. The Lord instructed us to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. In Romans 15:20 apostle Paul declares ” yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation. ” This was not to say that he would not continue what another man started, but rather he seeks to get the message and the word to places where no one intends to go there. Paul achieved so much for the Master. What are we doing for the Master?  We have to fully adhere to the great commission that says go into all nations. Go where the work is needed most. Go to where everyone is not going. Many years ago some Europeans left the comfort of their countries for Africa to come and share the Gospel with us.Some did come for slaves ,yet a few were also here to share their lives with us so we Africans would know  Jesus. It is our turn to go to where the gospel has not reached.

PRAYER

Dear heavenly Father I pray that the Holy Spirit will awaken the soul winning spirit among Christians, and also to extend the work to places that the gospel is not getting to.

FURTHER STUDY:   

 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 ” For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again”.

Acts 1:8 ” But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

sharing simple truths