Acts to Revelation | Episode 3 | TBN

Acts to Revelation | Episode 3

Watch Acts to Revelation | Episode 3
April 25, 2017
27:33

Drive Thru History: Acts to Revelation

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Acts to Revelation | Episode 3

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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episode, the budding church
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  • in Jerusalem had the full attention and opposition
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  • of the traditional religious establishment.
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  • Leaders of the early church were even jailed and beaten.
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  • A man named Stephen so challenged the religious
  • 00:00:12.290 --> 00:00:16.060
  • establishment that he was stoned to death,
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  • becoming the first martyr for his faith in Jesus.
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  • Stephen's death also marked the beginning of a full scale attack
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  • on the church.
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  • On the leading edge of that charge
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  • was a devout Jewish leader named Saul.
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  • And as a result of this persecution,
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  • many members of the church left their homes in Jerusalem
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  • and scattered throughout Judea, Samaria, and beyond.
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  • The church, founded on the name of Jesus Christ,
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  • was starting to grow and to spread.
  • 00:00:44.150 --> 00:00:48.160
  • 00:00:48.170 --> 00:00:58.160
  • 00:00:58.170 --> 00:01:08.180
  • 00:01:08.190 --> 00:01:18.180
  • 00:01:18.190 --> 00:01:28.180
  • 00:01:28.190 --> 00:01:37.240
  • 00:01:39.060 --> 00:01:43.210
  • Dave: The execution of Stephen unleashed a violent
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  • reaction against the fledgling church,
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  • driving many believers out of the city of Jerusalem and into
  • 00:01:49.050 --> 00:01:52.240
  • the surrounding countryside.
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  • One of the seven, a man named Philip,
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  • fled north here to this region of Samaria.
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  • As we explored in the "Gospel" series,
  • 00:02:01.220 --> 00:02:04.030
  • Samaria was the land between Judea and Galilee.
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  • After the Assyrians conquered this area in the eighth century
  • 00:02:07.190 --> 00:02:11.050
  • BC and relocated people from Mesopotamia,
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  • a new ethnic group emerged, which was a mixture of
  • 00:02:15.010 --> 00:02:18.260
  • Israelites and Mesopotamians.
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  • This group became known as the Samaritans.
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  • When the exiles returned from Babylon to rebuild the temple,
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  • the Samaritans were rejected because of their mixing,
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  • and were considered outcasts ever since.
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  • Dave: Philip set up shop here in the Samaritan city
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  • of Sebaste, where he preached the gospel.
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  • Sebaste was a very important city located in the heart of the
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  • mountains of Samaria, about 40 miles north of Jerusalem.
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  • This Roman forum was the likely place for Philip
  • 00:02:51.100 --> 00:02:54.220
  • to have preached.
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  • The site was known as Shomron throughout the Old Testament,
  • 00:02:56.250 --> 00:03:00.120
  • meaning watchtower in Hebrew.
  • 00:03:00.130 --> 00:03:02.200
  • In about 30 BC, the Roman Emperor Augustus
  • 00:03:02.210 --> 00:03:06.060
  • awarded the city to Herod the Great.
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  • King Herod improved the city and changed the name to Sebaste
  • 00:03:08.160 --> 00:03:12.280
  • to honor the emperor.
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  • Sebaste, from the Greek sebastos,
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  • is derived from the Latin title Augustus,
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  • meaning venerable one or majestic one.
  • 00:03:20.150 --> 00:03:23.150
  • Morbid historical side note, when Herod the Great
  • 00:03:23.160 --> 00:03:26.090
  • was going through severe delusional paranoia,
  • 00:03:26.100 --> 00:03:29.170
  • Sebaste was the city where he had his wife, Mariamne,
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  • and two sons, Alexander and Aristobulus, executed.
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  • Isn't that nice?
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  • Today, Sebaste is located in the Palestinian territory
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  • of the West Bank.
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  • It can be a difficult place to visit
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  • due to the political conflict here.
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  • On this trip, I was able to take a new,
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  • dedicated road to the site so we could avoid
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  • some of the local issues.
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  • At the time of Philip's visit here in the first century,
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  • this Roman city was in full swing.
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  • These archaeological remains, including the city gates,
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  • the large colonnaded street, the tower,
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  • and the theatre would have all been there.
  • 00:04:07.130 --> 00:04:10.020
  • Up here on the acropolis was a temple to Caesar Augustus.
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  • You could still see this stairway that would have gone up
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  • to the temple structure.
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  • "When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed,
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  • they all paid close attention to what he said.
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  • For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many.
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  • And many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.
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  • So there was great joy in that city," Acts 8:6 through 8.
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  • The ability at that time for some in the church to perform
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  • miracles was a sign that their authority was from God, not men.
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  • While Philip was here in Sebaste performing miracles,
  • 00:04:46.240 --> 00:04:50.220
  • he caught the attention of a guy named Simon,
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  • who was a magician of sorts.
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  • Now, Simon had a huge following with the people here in the city
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  • because he was amazing them with his magic,
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  • which some thought was from God.
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  • That is, until Philip came along.
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  • "They believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news
  • 00:05:09.040 --> 00:05:12.000
  • of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ.
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  • They were baptized, both men and women.
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  • Simon himself believed and was baptized,
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  • and he followed Philip everywhere,
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  • astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw,"
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  • Acts 8:12 through 13.
  • 00:05:27.160 --> 00:05:30.070
  • Meanwhile, Peter and John heard the incredible news about what
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  • was happening here in Samaria, so they made a special trip up
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  • from Jerusalem to visit all the new believers here.
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  • While in Sebaste, Peter and John heard about Simon the magician,
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  • who had dubious motives for following Philip around.
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  • Likely he just wanted to up his game with all the power
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  • he saw in Philip, and use it for his own personal gain.
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  • Peter called it out on him.
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  • "You have no part or share in this ministry because your heart
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  • is not right before God.
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  • Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope
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  • that he may forgive you
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  • for having such a thought in your heart.
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  • For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin,"
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  • Acts 8:21 through 23.
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  • We understand from Scripture that Simon
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  • was shocked and repentant.
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  • But Scripture does not tell us what happened to Simon.
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  • He just poof, disappears.
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  • Uh, guys, seriously, what just happened?
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  • It's dark.
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  • Hello?
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  • Yeah, excuse me, yeah, could you help me, please?
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  • Hey, thanks for nothing.
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  • Dave: "After they had further proclaimed the Word of the Lord
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  • and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem,
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  • preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages," Acts 8:25.
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  • After his time in Samaria, Philip's next missionary journey
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  • was to southern Judea,
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  • on the main road from Jerusalem to Gaza.
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  • I understand that major sections of this Roman road
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  • through the desert still exist today,
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  • so let's drive down there and check it out.
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  • About 25 miles south of Jerusalem,
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  • there's an area popular with local hikers.
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  • There, we'll find a trail that will lead us to a 2.000 year old
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  • stretch of road that was used by ancient travelers
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  • who needed to get between Jerusalem and Gaza.
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  • Here, you can see a section of that road built by the Romans.
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  • This area is called Horvat Hanut,
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  • meaning ruins of the rest place.
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  • This was a rest station along the ancient road
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  • rising from the valley of Elah.
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  • The valley of Elah was famous for the battle between David
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  • and Goliath about 3.000 years ago.
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  • Now, this section of the road to Gaza,
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  • you can see the special step feature carved into the rock,
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  • probably to give carts traction as they ascended
  • 00:08:02.130 --> 00:08:06.060
  • and descended this hill.
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  • Here, we see some examples of mile markers that dotted
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  • the system of roads throughout the Roman Empire.
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  • These were stone monuments, often with the emperor's name
  • 00:08:15.290 --> 00:08:20.020
  • inscribed on them, and some type of location description.
  • 00:08:20.030 --> 00:08:23.260
  • Now, the Roman mile was supposed to be about 1.000 paces,
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  • hence mile or mille, which is Latin for 1.000.
  • 00:08:27.080 --> 00:08:31.140
  • The old Roman measurement of a mile was about 4.850 feet,
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  • which is about 430 feet shorter than a normal,
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  • everyday mile.
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  • You know, I wish my coach, Mr. Wormsbocker,
  • 00:08:42.110 --> 00:08:44.210
  • my old overachieving eighth grade gym teacher,
  • 00:08:44.220 --> 00:08:47.010
  • would have let me run a Roman mile instead of a normal mile.
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  • Maybe then I could have avoided the nickname meat wagon,
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  • feed bag, chowtime, chuck wagon, sweaty mcsizemagraph,
  • 00:08:53.200 --> 00:08:57.100
  • thightanic, supersize, jumbotron.
  • 00:08:57.110 --> 00:09:00.050
  • You've got your own gravitational pull.
  • 00:09:00.060 --> 00:09:02.070
  • Hey, Dave, does light bend around you?
  • 00:09:02.080 --> 00:09:05.130
  • And everybody's favorite, cheesecake mcjiggle shorts.
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  • I really hated junior high.
  • 00:09:11.160 --> 00:09:14.230
  • Acts tells us that the Deacon Philip on this road to Gaza
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  • came upon an Ethiopian eunuch.
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  • This Ethiopian was taking a break during the long journey
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  • from the temple in Jerusalem back to his home country.
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  • He was reading from Isaiah the prophet,
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  • a prophet whose writings dated back over 700 years
  • 00:09:31.200 --> 00:09:34.280
  • before that time.
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  • Philip approached this eunuch and asked him this.
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  • "'Do you understand what you are reading?'
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  • The Ethiopian responded,
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  • 'How can I unless someone guides me?'
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  • And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
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  • Now, the passage of Scripture that he was reading was this.
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  • 'Like a sheep, he was led to the slaughter.
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  • And like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
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  • so he opens not his mouth.
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  • In his humiliation, justice was denied him.
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  • Who can describe his generation?
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  • For his life is taken away from the earth.'"
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  • Acts 8:30 through 33.
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  • The Ethiopian asked Philip if this ancient Scripture
  • 00:10:17.230 --> 00:10:21.080
  • was about the prophet Isaiah or someone else.
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  • Philip responded by beginning with that very passage of
  • 00:10:25.150 --> 00:10:29.040
  • Scripture to share the good news about Jesus.
  • 00:10:29.050 --> 00:10:33.040
  • "After listening, the Ethiopian said, 'See, here is water.
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  • What prevents me from being baptized?'
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  • And he commanded the chariot to stop,
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  • and they both went down to the water,
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  • where Philip baptized him,'" Acts 8:36 through 38.
  • 00:10:44.280 --> 00:10:50.020
  • So, Philip had the distinction of being the first evangelist
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  • to share the gospel with the once despised Samaritans,
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  • as we saw in the city of Sebaste.
  • 00:10:57.150 --> 00:11:00.150
  • And this story of Philip and the Ethiopian is the first record
  • 00:11:00.160 --> 00:11:04.020
  • of an African believing in Jesus and being baptized.
  • 00:11:04.030 --> 00:11:08.070
  • As it turns out, Philip had a pretty significant role to play
  • 00:11:08.080 --> 00:11:11.280
  • in the spreading of the gospel in the early church period.
  • 00:11:11.290 --> 00:11:16.280
  • Dave: While Philip was busy making history,
  • 00:11:16.290 --> 00:11:19.040
  • the Apostle Peter was working wonders on behalf of the gospel
  • 00:11:19.050 --> 00:11:22.180
  • as well in a little town called Lydda,
  • 00:11:22.190 --> 00:11:25.220
  • which is where I'm headed now.
  • 00:11:25.230 --> 00:11:27.230
  • Lydda was home to one of the earliest
  • 00:11:27.240 --> 00:11:29.240
  • Christian communities in Judea.
  • 00:11:29.250 --> 00:11:32.230
  • It was the ancient city known as Lod in the Old Testament,
  • 00:11:32.240 --> 00:11:36.170
  • built by the tribe of Benjamin.
  • 00:11:36.180 --> 00:11:38.200
  • Now, the city was deserted during the Babylonian captivity
  • 00:11:38.210 --> 00:11:42.000
  • in the 6th century BC, but it was reestablished
  • 00:11:42.010 --> 00:11:45.200
  • in the 5th century BC after the Judeans returned from exile.
  • 00:11:45.210 --> 00:11:50.290
  • Today, the city is a modern city of about 70.000 people between
  • 00:11:51.000 --> 00:11:55.120
  • Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
  • 00:11:55.130 --> 00:11:57.220
  • And instead of the Greek name Lydda,
  • 00:11:57.230 --> 00:12:00.070
  • the city still bears the ancient Hebrew name of Lod.
  • 00:12:00.080 --> 00:12:04.190
  • But before we delve into Peter's first century activity in Lydda,
  • 00:12:04.200 --> 00:12:08.280
  • let's flash forward a couple of hundred years to the story of
  • 00:12:08.290 --> 00:12:12.180
  • someone else who made this little Judean village famous.
  • 00:12:12.190 --> 00:12:16.170
  • His name was St. George the Dragonslayer.
  • 00:12:16.180 --> 00:12:19.290
  • And yes, for the record,
  • 00:12:20.000 --> 00:12:21.090
  • that is officially the coolest nickname ever.
  • 00:12:21.100 --> 00:12:26.040
  • According to tradition, St. George was born in Lydda,
  • 00:12:26.050 --> 00:12:29.120
  • his mother's hometown, in around 280 AD.
  • 00:12:29.130 --> 00:12:32.280
  • He eventually joined the Roman military and worked his way up
  • 00:12:32.290 --> 00:12:36.140
  • to a commander of many troops.
  • 00:12:36.150 --> 00:12:38.260
  • He was considered a war hero and was widely known
  • 00:12:38.270 --> 00:12:41.270
  • for his courage.
  • 00:12:41.280 --> 00:12:43.100
  • George was also a follower of Jesus.
  • 00:12:43.110 --> 00:12:46.080
  • In 303 AD, he learned that the Roman Emperor Diocletian
  • 00:12:46.090 --> 00:12:50.240
  • was preparing a persecution of Christians.
  • 00:12:50.250 --> 00:12:53.250
  • George presented himself before the emperor
  • 00:12:53.260 --> 00:12:56.130
  • and publicly denounced his plan.
  • 00:12:56.140 --> 00:12:58.270
  • The emperor ordered that George recant his position,
  • 00:12:58.280 --> 00:13:02.150
  • but George stood firm in his convictions,
  • 00:13:02.160 --> 00:13:05.110
  • even to the point of horrendous torture.
  • 00:13:05.120 --> 00:13:08.100
  • It is said that George was chained and tortured
  • 00:13:08.110 --> 00:13:11.150
  • for at least a month.
  • 00:13:11.160 --> 00:13:13.140
  • In the end, his bravery was strengthen by his faith,
  • 00:13:13.150 --> 00:13:17.030
  • and many witnesses became followers of Jesus as a result,
  • 00:13:17.040 --> 00:13:21.090
  • including Queen Alexandra, the wife of Diocletian.
  • 00:13:21.100 --> 00:13:25.150
  • George was finally beheaded on April 23, 303,
  • 00:13:25.160 --> 00:13:30.040
  • as a martyr for the gospel.
  • 00:13:30.050 --> 00:13:33.020
  • Tradition tells us that the remains of St. George were later
  • 00:13:33.030 --> 00:13:36.190
  • returned here to Lydda, and a church was built in his name
  • 00:13:36.200 --> 00:13:41.050
  • over the new tomb in the fourth century.
  • 00:13:41.060 --> 00:13:44.040
  • The present day church of St. George was started in 1870,
  • 00:13:44.050 --> 00:13:48.080
  • and it was built over the ruins of various other churches
  • 00:13:48.090 --> 00:13:51.010
  • that have existed here since the Byzantine era.
  • 00:13:51.020 --> 00:13:54.170
  • As you can see, the church of St. George shares a wall
  • 00:13:54.180 --> 00:13:57.160
  • with an Islamic mosque.
  • 00:13:57.170 --> 00:13:59.240
  • Muslims also believe that George was an heroic figure in history.
  • 00:13:59.250 --> 00:14:09.160
  • Directly beneath the church is an underground chapel
  • 00:14:09.170 --> 00:14:13.110
  • that preserves the tomb of St. George.
  • 00:14:13.120 --> 00:14:16.190
  • This stone sarcophagus was restored
  • 00:14:16.200 --> 00:14:19.270
  • to its current state in 1871.
  • 00:14:19.280 --> 00:14:23.150
  • This chapel also houses some relics that tradition attributes
  • 00:14:23.160 --> 00:14:28.000
  • to St. George's martyrdom.
  • 00:14:28.010 --> 00:14:31.270
  • So, why was St. George called a dragonslayer?
  • 00:14:31.280 --> 00:14:34.210
  • Well, here's a good opportunity to discuss the difference
  • 00:14:34.220 --> 00:14:37.110
  • between history and myth.
  • 00:14:37.120 --> 00:14:39.280
  • Often, heroes of history are given legendary status as a way
  • 00:14:39.290 --> 00:14:43.270
  • to inspire people over the centuries.
  • 00:14:43.280 --> 00:14:46.180
  • In the case of St. George, his courage was turned into a
  • 00:14:46.190 --> 00:14:50.110
  • fantastic story where he battled a dragon that symbolized Satan,
  • 00:14:50.120 --> 00:14:55.100
  • to which some children were being sacrificed
  • 00:14:55.110 --> 00:14:58.020
  • in a faraway land.
  • 00:14:58.030 --> 00:15:00.030
  • Heroically, George slayed the dragon.
  • 00:15:00.040 --> 00:15:02.260
  • And as a result, the legend of his faith and courage spread.
  • 00:15:02.270 --> 00:15:08.260
  • And here's another little interesting story from history.
  • 00:15:08.270 --> 00:15:12.000
  • The sword with which St. George slew the legendary dragon
  • 00:15:12.010 --> 00:15:15.240
  • was called Escalon.
  • 00:15:15.250 --> 00:15:18.000
  • Winston Churchill, the prime minister of England,
  • 00:15:18.010 --> 00:15:20.290
  • used Escalon as the name for his personal aircraft
  • 00:15:21.000 --> 00:15:24.200
  • during World War II.
  • 00:15:24.210 --> 00:15:26.140
  • And George is the patron saint of England.
  • 00:15:26.150 --> 00:15:29.260
  • And April 23, the date of his death,
  • 00:15:29.270 --> 00:15:32.110
  • is still celebrated as St. George's day there.
  • 00:15:32.120 --> 00:15:36.260
  • Dave Stotts reporting for the BBC.
  • 00:15:36.270 --> 00:15:39.080
  • Back to you.
  • 00:15:39.090 --> 00:15:40.250
  • The cross of St. George forms the national flag of England,
  • 00:15:40.260 --> 00:15:45.030
  • and is a major feature in the Union Jack flag
  • 00:15:45.040 --> 00:15:48.150
  • of the United Kingdom.
  • 00:15:48.160 --> 00:15:50.130
  • St. George, both his life and his legend,
  • 00:15:50.140 --> 00:15:54.150
  • have made an indelible mark all over the world.
  • 00:15:54.160 --> 00:15:58.010
  • So, over 200 years before St. George was born,
  • 00:15:58.020 --> 00:16:02.060
  • Acts records that the Apostle Peter was here in Lydda,
  • 00:16:02.070 --> 00:16:06.140
  • accomplishing such amazing things in the name of Jesus that
  • 00:16:06.150 --> 00:16:10.000
  • they required no additional embellishments or legend.
  • 00:16:10.010 --> 00:16:14.120
  • These eyewitness accounts were real,
  • 00:16:14.130 --> 00:16:17.070
  • and they were supported by the historical evidence.
  • 00:16:17.080 --> 00:16:20.240
  • As Peter traveled about the country,
  • 00:16:20.250 --> 00:16:22.230
  • he went to visit the Lord's people who lived in Lydda.
  • 00:16:22.240 --> 00:16:26.230
  • There, he found a man named Aeneas,
  • 00:16:26.240 --> 00:16:29.120
  • who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for 8 years.
  • 00:16:29.130 --> 00:16:33.090
  • "'Aeneas,' Peter said to him, 'Jesus Christ heals you.
  • 00:16:33.100 --> 00:16:37.230
  • Get up and roll up your mat.' Immediately Aeneas got up."
  • 00:16:37.240 --> 00:16:43.220
  • All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him
  • 00:16:43.230 --> 00:16:47.190
  • and turned to the Lord," Acts 9:32 through 35.
  • 00:16:47.200 --> 00:16:53.160
  • The news of Aeneas walking again would have spread quickly from
  • 00:16:53.170 --> 00:16:57.120
  • Lydda because of its location next to the intersection
  • 00:16:57.130 --> 00:17:00.170
  • of the main north-south and east-west roads in the region.
  • 00:17:00.180 --> 00:17:04.130
  • One of the major nearby towns of this road system was Joppa,
  • 00:17:04.140 --> 00:17:09.060
  • known today as the Israeli city of Jaffa.
  • 00:17:09.070 --> 00:17:13.160
  • Jaffa is a port city with thousands of years
  • 00:17:13.170 --> 00:17:16.140
  • of recorded history.
  • 00:17:16.150 --> 00:17:18.110
  • Its known as one of the oldest functioning harbors
  • 00:17:18.120 --> 00:17:20.260
  • in the world.
  • 00:17:20.270 --> 00:17:22.070
  • This is the port where huge cedar trees were floated
  • 00:17:22.080 --> 00:17:25.140
  • from Phoenicia for the construction
  • 00:17:25.150 --> 00:17:27.190
  • of Solomon's temple in Jerusalem.
  • 00:17:27.200 --> 00:17:30.210
  • This is also the port where the Bible tells us that a famous
  • 00:17:30.220 --> 00:17:33.080
  • prophet named Jonah caught a ship to Tarshish,
  • 00:17:33.090 --> 00:17:36.240
  • a journey that was cut short when he spent 3 days
  • 00:17:36.250 --> 00:17:39.270
  • in the belly of a great fish.
  • 00:17:39.280 --> 00:17:42.020
  • Today, Joppa is called Jaffa, and it has a population
  • 00:17:42.030 --> 00:17:45.210
  • of around 60.000 people here at the southern end
  • 00:17:45.220 --> 00:17:49.110
  • of the city of Tel Aviv.
  • 00:17:49.120 --> 00:17:51.090
  • It's still a functioning port for small fishing boats,
  • 00:17:51.100 --> 00:17:54.110
  • but today, it's mostly known for its restaurants,
  • 00:17:54.120 --> 00:17:56.210
  • and shops, and other tourist attractions along its shoreline.
  • 00:17:56.220 --> 00:18:01.140
  • "In Joppa, there was a disciple named Tabitha.
  • 00:18:01.150 --> 00:18:04.210
  • She was always doing good and helping the poor.
  • 00:18:04.220 --> 00:18:07.250
  • About that time, she became sick and died,
  • 00:18:07.260 --> 00:18:11.040
  • and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.
  • 00:18:11.050 --> 00:18:15.130
  • Lydda was near Joppa, so when the disciples heard that Peter
  • 00:18:15.140 --> 00:18:19.090
  • was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him,
  • 00:18:19.100 --> 00:18:23.000
  • 'Please come at once,'" Acts 9:36 through 38.
  • 00:18:23.010 --> 00:18:27.180
  • So, Peter went with them.
  • 00:18:27.190 --> 00:18:29.080
  • And when he got there, he was taken to the upstairs room.
  • 00:18:29.090 --> 00:18:33.010
  • Tabitha was laying there,
  • 00:18:33.020 --> 00:18:34.260
  • surrounded by grieving family and friends.
  • 00:18:34.270 --> 00:18:37.270
  • Peter then sent them all out of the room,
  • 00:18:37.280 --> 00:18:40.110
  • and he got down on his knees and prayed.
  • 00:18:40.120 --> 00:18:43.110
  • He then turned to the dead woman and he said this,
  • 00:18:43.120 --> 00:18:47.190
  • "'Tabitha, get up.'
  • 00:18:47.200 --> 00:18:49.190
  • She opened her eyes and, seeing Peter, she sat up.
  • 00:18:49.200 --> 00:18:53.120
  • He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet.
  • 00:18:53.130 --> 00:18:56.110
  • Then he called for the believers,
  • 00:18:56.120 --> 00:18:58.040
  • and presented her to them alive.
  • 00:18:58.050 --> 00:19:01.000
  • This became known all over Joppa,
  • 00:19:01.010 --> 00:19:03.220
  • and many people believed in the Lord," Acts 9:40 through 42.
  • 00:19:03.230 --> 00:19:09.220
  • After raising Tabitha from the dead,
  • 00:19:09.230 --> 00:19:12.020
  • Peter stayed in Joppa with a tanner named Simon.
  • 00:19:12.030 --> 00:19:15.280
  • A tanner processes animal skins to turn them into leather.
  • 00:19:15.290 --> 00:19:20.040
  • After living for quite some time at Simon's place in Joppa,
  • 00:19:20.050 --> 00:19:24.110
  • Peter had a very weird experience up on the roof.
  • 00:19:24.120 --> 00:19:29.240
  • According to Acts chapter 8, Peter went to Simon's roof
  • 00:19:29.250 --> 00:19:33.200
  • to pray, but soon nodded off.
  • 00:19:33.210 --> 00:19:36.200
  • While sleeping, he had a wild vision of all sorts of animals
  • 00:19:36.210 --> 00:19:40.250
  • that Jews considered unclean to eat.
  • 00:19:40.260 --> 00:19:44.200
  • The vision ended with God saying,
  • 00:19:44.210 --> 00:19:47.190
  • "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."
  • 00:19:47.200 --> 00:19:55.140
  • St. Peter's church on the shore of the harbor commemorates
  • 00:19:55.150 --> 00:19:59.080
  • the vision at Simon's house and the healing of Tabitha.
  • 00:19:59.090 --> 00:20:04.050
  • Now, churches have been built
  • 00:20:04.060 --> 00:20:05.150
  • and destroyed here for centuries.
  • 00:20:05.160 --> 00:20:08.020
  • This latest version was completed in the late 1800s
  • 00:20:08.030 --> 00:20:11.190
  • by the Franciscans.
  • 00:20:11.200 --> 00:20:13.150
  • For hundreds of years, a church dedicated to the memory
  • 00:20:13.160 --> 00:20:17.060
  • of St. Peter has dominated the skyline here,
  • 00:20:17.070 --> 00:20:20.170
  • serving as a beacon to pilgrims coming to the Holy Land
  • 00:20:20.180 --> 00:20:24.030
  • by sea and entering the harbor at Jaffa.
  • 00:20:24.040 --> 00:20:28.240
  • Now, I'll be honest, I've been pretty hungry before.
  • 00:20:28.250 --> 00:20:31.140
  • As a matter of fact, I could actually go for some hummus
  • 00:20:31.150 --> 00:20:33.250
  • and falafel right about now.
  • 00:20:33.260 --> 00:20:35.270
  • But I've never been so hungry that I passed out
  • 00:20:35.280 --> 00:20:37.250
  • and had a vision.
  • 00:20:37.260 --> 00:20:39.060
  • Now, Peter's vision seemed pretty weird,
  • 00:20:39.070 --> 00:20:41.150
  • and he had no idea what any of it meant.
  • 00:20:41.160 --> 00:20:44.190
  • But as God often did in Scripture,
  • 00:20:44.200 --> 00:20:46.200
  • it would all be made clear soon enough because just
  • 00:20:46.210 --> 00:20:49.290
  • at that moment, three men arrived at Simon's house,
  • 00:20:50.000 --> 00:20:53.280
  • asking for Peter.
  • 00:20:53.290 --> 00:20:55.170
  • They said they were sent by a man named Cornelius.
  • 00:20:55.180 --> 00:20:59.230
  • "At Caesarea, there was a man named Cornelius,
  • 00:20:59.240 --> 00:21:03.040
  • a centurion in what was known as the Italian regiment.
  • 00:21:03.050 --> 00:21:07.010
  • He and all his family were devout and God-fearing.
  • 00:21:07.020 --> 00:21:11.040
  • He gave generously to those in need,
  • 00:21:11.050 --> 00:21:13.140
  • and prayed to God regularly.
  • 00:21:13.150 --> 00:21:15.260
  • One day, at about 3 in the afternoon, he had a vision.
  • 00:21:15.270 --> 00:21:19.160
  • He distinctly saw an angel of God,
  • 00:21:19.170 --> 00:21:22.060
  • who came to him and said, 'Cornelius.'
  • 00:21:22.070 --> 00:21:25.160
  • Cornelius stared at him in fear.
  • 00:21:25.170 --> 00:21:27.260
  • 'What is it, Lord?' he asked.
  • 00:21:27.270 --> 00:21:29.250
  • The angel answered, 'Your prayers and gifts to the poor
  • 00:21:29.260 --> 00:21:33.010
  • have come up as a memorial offering before God.
  • 00:21:33.020 --> 00:21:36.280
  • Now, send men to Joppa and bring back a man named Simon,
  • 00:21:36.290 --> 00:21:41.140
  • who is called Peter.
  • 00:21:41.150 --> 00:21:43.050
  • He is staying with Simon the tanner,
  • 00:21:43.060 --> 00:21:45.160
  • whose house is by the sea,'" Acts 10:1 through 6.
  • 00:21:45.170 --> 00:21:50.040
  • Cornelius immediately sent three of his trusted men south
  • 00:21:50.050 --> 00:21:54.140
  • to Joppa to find this man named Peter
  • 00:21:54.150 --> 00:21:58.000
  • and bring him back to Caesarea.
  • 00:21:58.010 --> 00:22:01.090
  • "And while Peter was pondering the vision,
  • 00:22:01.100 --> 00:22:03.160
  • the Spirit said to him, 'Behold, three men are looking for you.
  • 00:22:03.170 --> 00:22:08.060
  • Rise and go down, and accompany them without hesitation,
  • 00:22:08.070 --> 00:22:11.240
  • for I have sent them.'
  • 00:22:11.250 --> 00:22:13.150
  • And Peter went down to the men and said,
  • 00:22:13.160 --> 00:22:16.000
  • 'I am the one you are looking for.
  • 00:22:16.010 --> 00:22:18.080
  • What is the reason for your coming?'
  • 00:22:18.090 --> 00:22:20.170
  • The men replied, 'We have come from Cornelius the centurion.
  • 00:22:20.180 --> 00:22:24.120
  • He is a righteous and God-fearing man who is respected
  • 00:22:24.130 --> 00:22:27.250
  • by all the Jewish people.
  • 00:22:27.260 --> 00:22:29.240
  • A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he
  • 00:22:29.250 --> 00:22:34.170
  • could hear what you have to say,'" Acts 10:21 and 22.
  • 00:22:34.180 --> 00:22:39.270
  • The next day, Peter went with the men to Caesarea.
  • 00:22:39.280 --> 00:22:44.000
  • Now, the cool thing is we can still make this trip today.
  • 00:22:44.010 --> 00:22:50.010
  • Caesarea Maritima is about 30 miles north of ancient Joppa,
  • 00:22:50.020 --> 00:22:54.230
  • right on the same beautiful Mediterranean coast.
  • 00:22:54.240 --> 00:22:58.080
  • Caesarea was an incredible port city built by Herod the Great
  • 00:22:58.090 --> 00:23:02.180
  • to honor the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus.
  • 00:23:02.190 --> 00:23:07.000
  • After Peter arrived here, he was taken to the house of Cornelius,
  • 00:23:07.010 --> 00:23:11.070
  • a leader in the Roman military.
  • 00:23:11.080 --> 00:23:13.210
  • Now, this section of Caesarea is filled with ruins of upscale
  • 00:23:13.220 --> 00:23:17.230
  • homes, where high ranking officials such as Cornelius
  • 00:23:17.240 --> 00:23:21.120
  • would have lived.
  • 00:23:21.130 --> 00:23:22.280
  • Now, maybe it was while he was traveling,
  • 00:23:22.290 --> 00:23:24.200
  • or maybe it was the moment he walked into Cornelius' home,
  • 00:23:24.210 --> 00:23:27.220
  • but somewhere along the way, the meaning of Peter's vision from
  • 00:23:27.230 --> 00:23:31.230
  • God became very clear to him.
  • 00:23:31.240 --> 00:23:34.110
  • He said this, "You are well aware that it is against our law
  • 00:23:34.120 --> 00:23:38.260
  • for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile.
  • 00:23:38.270 --> 00:23:42.230
  • But God has shown me that I should not call anyone
  • 00:23:42.240 --> 00:23:46.000
  • impure or unclean.
  • 00:23:46.010 --> 00:23:47.220
  • So, when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection.
  • 00:23:47.230 --> 00:23:51.250
  • May I ask you why you've sent for me?"
  • 00:23:51.260 --> 00:23:54.050
  • Acts 10:28 and 29.
  • 00:23:54.060 --> 00:23:57.050
  • Cornelius shared his entire story,
  • 00:23:57.060 --> 00:23:59.110
  • and then Peter responded.
  • 00:23:59.120 --> 00:24:01.040
  • "I now realize how true it is that God does not show
  • 00:24:01.050 --> 00:24:04.250
  • favoritism, but accepts from every nation the one who fears
  • 00:24:04.260 --> 00:24:08.250
  • him and does what is right," Acts 10:34 and 35.
  • 00:24:08.260 --> 00:24:16.010
  • Dave: Peter went on to tell Cornelius and his entire
  • 00:24:16.020 --> 00:24:19.150
  • household about Jesus Christ, and how he had first come to the
  • 00:24:19.160 --> 00:24:23.160
  • Jewish people, but was now being declared to the whole world.
  • 00:24:23.170 --> 00:24:28.110
  • Peter ended with this powerful statement,
  • 00:24:28.120 --> 00:24:31.120
  • "Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins
  • 00:24:31.130 --> 00:24:36.040
  • in his name," Acts 10:43.
  • 00:24:36.050 --> 00:24:39.140
  • Then, according to Acts 10:44, the Holy Spirit fell
  • 00:24:39.150 --> 00:24:44.000
  • on all who heard the word.
  • 00:24:44.010 --> 00:24:46.090
  • Similar to the experience at Pentecost,
  • 00:24:46.100 --> 00:24:48.240
  • these people from other nations, or what the New Testament
  • 00:24:48.250 --> 00:24:52.020
  • often refers to as Gentiles,
  • 00:24:52.030 --> 00:24:54.110
  • started speaking in other languages and praising God.
  • 00:24:54.120 --> 00:24:58.110
  • "Then Peter declared, 'Surely no one can stand in the way
  • 00:24:58.120 --> 00:25:02.110
  • of their being baptized with water.
  • 00:25:02.120 --> 00:25:04.200
  • They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.'
  • 00:25:04.210 --> 00:25:07.250
  • So he ordered that they be baptized in the name
  • 00:25:07.260 --> 00:25:10.050
  • of Jesus Christ," Acts 10:47 and 48.
  • 00:25:10.060 --> 00:25:14.140
  • Peter spent a few days here in Caesarea as a guest
  • 00:25:14.150 --> 00:25:18.040
  • in Cornelius' home.
  • 00:25:18.050 --> 00:25:20.100
  • After that, he returned to Jerusalem and met
  • 00:25:20.110 --> 00:25:23.020
  • with the church leaders there.
  • 00:25:23.030 --> 00:25:25.000
  • After Peter had gotten back to Jerusalem and met with the
  • 00:25:25.010 --> 00:25:27.190
  • church leaders, some of them started immediately to criticize
  • 00:25:27.200 --> 00:25:31.180
  • him for having met and shared a meal with Gentiles,
  • 00:25:31.190 --> 00:25:35.120
  • which had always been a no-no.
  • 00:25:35.130 --> 00:25:38.000
  • So, Peter decided to share his vision from God with them,
  • 00:25:38.010 --> 00:25:41.230
  • and how he had seen the Holy Spirit given to the Gentiles
  • 00:25:41.240 --> 00:25:45.250
  • just as the Holy Spirit had been given to the Jews.
  • 00:25:45.260 --> 00:25:49.230
  • "'So if God gave them the same gift he gave us
  • 00:25:49.240 --> 00:25:53.000
  • who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ,
  • 00:25:53.010 --> 00:25:55.100
  • who was I to think that I could stand in God's way?'
  • 00:25:55.110 --> 00:25:58.280
  • When they heard this, they had no further objections,
  • 00:25:58.290 --> 00:26:01.230
  • and praised God, saying, 'So then, even to Gentiles
  • 00:26:01.240 --> 00:26:06.060
  • God has granted repentance that leads to life,'"
  • 00:26:06.070 --> 00:26:10.100
  • Acts 11:17 and 18.
  • 00:26:10.110 --> 00:26:13.000
  • This was a huge step in the history of the Christian church.
  • 00:26:13.010 --> 00:26:17.160
  • Salvation through Jesus was now clearly demonstrated
  • 00:26:17.170 --> 00:26:21.060
  • to be for all people.
  • 00:26:21.070 --> 00:26:23.060
  • 00:26:28.130 --> 00:26:38.120
  • 00:26:38.130 --> 00:26:48.120
  • 00:26:48.130 --> 00:26:58.120
  • 00:26:58.130 --> 00:27:08.140
  • 00:27:08.150 --> 00:27:18.140
  • 00:27:18.150 --> 00:27:28.150