Meanwhile, the believers who had been scattered during the persecution after Stephen’s death traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch of Syria. They preached the word of God, but only to Jews. However, some of the believers who went to Antioch from Cyprus and Cyrene began preaching to the Gentiles about the Lord Jesus. The power of the Lord was with them, and a large number of these Gentiles believed and turned to the Lord. When the church at Jerusalem heard what had happened, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul. When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.)
(Acts of the Apostles 11:19-26 NLT)
The area of Phoenicia was a major commercial region. The Phoenicians were very successful in trade, particularly purple, which was derived from the purple dye of the Murex snail. This purple was used to make Royal clothing and perhaps other garments for affluent people. The Phoenicians also are credited with the invention of oar powered ships and the alphabet, from which most alphabets today derived.
Cyprus was a Mediterranean island. Antioch was the third largest Roman city, following Rome and Alexandria. These areas were highly populated and made perfect places for the evangelism of the gospel. Remember, it was the laity(church congregants) that had carried the gospel to these places(see Acts 8). The apostles had remained in Israel. Many people were converted to faith in Jesus Christ in theses places, so many that word had reached Jerusalem and Barnabas was sent to investigate the claims. He was so impressed that he went north to Tarsus, where Saul(or Paul) was staying to bring him back with him to Antioch in Syria to help disciple these new believers. They spent an entire year in that city teaching these believers the truths of Jesus. It was in this city that the believers were first called "Christians". They were called this, not because they owned a bible, went to church, dressed a certain way, or even had certain rituals. They were called "Christians" because they not only professed faith in Jesus, they conducted themselves in a manner that mimicked Jesus Christ. By the way, Christ means Anointed One. It is a title. It isn't Jesus last name. We, today, should make sure that we, too, conduct our lives in such a way as to mimic Jesus. Only then can those around us identify our professed faith in Jesus. Let's do more than profess, let's possess and practice. There are far too many professors. We need possessors. In our modern, American age, we have many who identify themselves as "Christian" yet they have no fruit that evidences that profession. If a tree is an apple tree, shouldn't it bear apples? You will know a tree by its fruit(Matthew 7:20; 12:33; Luke 6:44).
They arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!” So they talked together and went inside, where many others were assembled. Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. So I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. Now tell me why you sent for me.” Cornelius replied, “Four days ago I was praying in my house about this same time, three o’clock in the afternoon. Suddenly, a man in dazzling clothes was standing in front of me. He told me, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your gifts to the poor have been noticed by God! Now send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. He is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.’ So I sent for you at once, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here, waiting before God to hear the message the Lord has given you.”
(Acts of the Apostles 10:24-33 NLT)
Peter got up the next morning and went north with the three men to Caesarea. Cornelius had called relatives and close friends to his residence to hear the message he was anticipating from God's messenger. Cornelius bowed before Peter to worship him. Peter was immediate and clear in his response. He pulled Cornelius up and told him that he was human just like him and that God alone was worthy of worship. They had a little conversation and then went inside to meet and address the gathered. Peter told the group that it was customarily inappropriate for a Jew to assemble in a home of Gentiles. However, God used the vision Peter had of the dietarily unclean animals on the sheet let down from heaven to teach Peter not to discriminate against the Gentiles (the unclean). Obediently, Peter is in Cornelius' home and asks why he was sent for. Cornelius proceeded to tell him about his experience four days prior with, apparently, an angel. He went on to say that the angel said that God had heard his prayer and was pleased with his compassion to the poor. He, then, was instructed to send for Simon Peter in Joppa at the home of Simon the tanner near the shore. He told Peter that God had something to say to them through him. Cornelius expressed his gratitude for Peter's coming.
Cornelius was truly a fine man. God wanted to further his understanding of the truth, the gospel. Peter was ready and available. Are you?
Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house. Standing outside the gate, they asked if a man named Simon Peter was staying there. Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.” So Peter went down and said, “I’m the man you are looking for. Why have you come?” They said, “We were sent by Cornelius, a Roman officer. He is a devout and God-fearing man, well respected by all the Jews. A holy angel instructed him to summon you to his house so that he can hear your message.” So Peter invited the men to stay for the night. The next day he went with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Joppa.
(Acts of the Apostles 10:17-23 NLT)
Peter was pondering the interpretation of his vision. The Lord had shown it to him three times. Interesting, it is, that Peter denied Jesus three times (Matthew 26:75), was asked by Jesus about his love for him three times (John 21:15-17), saw this vision three times (Acts 10:16), and had three men come to seek him (Acts 10:7). God was certainly trying to drive home some things to Peter. Does God have to repeat things to you? He does to me sometimes!
God has a way of getting our attention no matter where we are. He is always aware of our whereabouts and can reach us right there. Peter didn't fully understand what he was supposed to do but it was about to be made clear. The story unfolded step by step. God's will is unfolded step by step. When we don't understand, when we can't see His plan, when we can't trace His hand, let's trust His heart.
After a while some of the Jews plotted together to kill him. They were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him, but Saul was told about their plot. So during the night, some of the other believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall. When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus. So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown. The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers. (Acts of the Apostles 9:23-31 NLT)
Wow! What a way to be received into ministry! There was no welcome party in Damascus for Saul. Nobody applauded his ministerial aspirations. He who had been the arch rival was now the strongest advocate. His conversion to Jesus as Messiah and his preaching of such was not well received by his former colleagues. They now wanted to kill him. Imagine your current family, friends, and religious acquaintances turning on you for your conversion to Christ. Saul was now a most wanted! His preaching and teaching about Jesus was infuriating his peers. Some were convinced and converted but many refused to hear the truth.
In spite of the opposition, Saul remains steadfast. Nothing will deter this man from proclaiming the truth. He is bent on everyone hearing the truth of Jesus Christ. His soul will not be satisfied until he has given his last breath for the cause of Christ. Would to God we had men like this in our time.
After being let down the wall in a basket by some fellow believers, he made his way back to Jerusalem. There, he was not welcomed by the church because they weren't convinced of his conversion. They were afraid of him. Imagine being in that predicament. He was hunted on one side, rejected on the other. Thankfully, Barnabas came to his defense. He stood up for Saul and shared his story with the other believers. Saul then went to stay with the Apostles. He went preaching with them and gained acceptance in the church by his preaching and teaching. However, he was met with the same hostility by the Greek speaking Jews. They, too, wanted to kill him. Let's not forget that Jesus told Ananias that Saul would suffer these things (see Acts 9:15-16).
The church then took him to Caesarea, a coastal city to send him by ship back to Tarsus, his hometown. Tarsus is in the area we now call Turkey (Asia Minor in biblical times).
Following that time, the church had a period of rest from persecution in that region.
Too often, we here in the states take for granted the freedom we have to share Jesus Christ. May we not be fair weather church attendees. Let us be true disciples of Jesus until death!
And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!” All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?” Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.
(Acts of the Apostles 9:20-22 NLT)
What a dramatic change!
Pharisee turned gospel preacher. He was probably the last person the church thought would be their ally but now he is preaching in the Jewish synagogues (houses of worship). His understanding of the scriptures had been opened. He no longer saw the Word of God as simply a religious code of legalism. He saw the principles, precepts, promises, and prophecies completely different than he had before. A light had turned on in his spirit. The Holy Spirit had opened his understanding. In I Corinthians 2:14 we are told that the natural (carnal - sinful) man cannot understand God's Word because it is spiritually discerned (understood). There is a distinct difference in someone who knows what the Bible says and someone who understands its meaning. Interpretation is essential to application. We are told in 2 Timothy 2:15 that we are to study the scriptures in order to be a workman that is prepared and properly trained in its application. Saul had been schooled in the Old Testament as well as one could be, yet he missed its understanding. He was definitely religious and zealous in his faith, yet he was nothing more than religious. He didn't know God. He thought he did but he was only deceived. This reminds me of Nicodemus in John 3. He was a ruler (religious leader) among the Jews but he was lost. I'm afraid we have people who attend church that have a head knowledge of Jesus but not a heart knowledge. Calling oneself a Christian because you own a bible, go to church, or hold an official church office is like calling yourself a car just because you are on the premises of a gas station. The gas station doesn't make the car, it fuels it. Only Jesus can save (re-create, breathe life into) us. Without the anointing of the Holy Spirit we are nothing more than a religious zealot.
Saul had experienced a total transformation. Rather than persecuting the church, he was now promoting it. The Holy Spirit made an undeniable difference in this man. He was boldly teaching and preaching in the Jewish synagogues that Jesus was indeed the Messiah (Christ). When you truly know God, you can't help but share the saving knowledge of Jesus with everyone even when it could cost you your life.
God, please cause the wind of The Holy Spirit to blow across the dry bones of the church again and raise up a mighty army for this time (See Ezekiel 37). In Jesus name!!! Amen!!!
Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord!” he replied. The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.” “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.” But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength. Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. (Acts of the Apostles 9:10-19 NLT)
When Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus he was converted. Verse 11 says that he was praying and verse 17 tells us that Ananias called him brother Saul. Both of these indicate that Saul was already a converted believer. Sometimes, in the ranks of Christianity, we get all tangled up in the formulas of our own beliefs and practices to the extent that we close out any other possible considerations. Now, I'm not talking about compromising the core doctrines of Biblical Christianity. I'm talking about arguing over how God does His work. We, often, get so set in our schools of thought on the work of the Holy Spirit, that we tell Him how and when to do His work. This is a controversial subject among denominations. I appreciate, and respect, those who strive to be sound in their teachings. I, too, desire the same. I never want to do anything that is outside the instruction of God's Word. I want to be absolutely convinced of truth and never compromise it. What I do want is to grow and learn in God's Word so the Holy Spirit can expand my understanding. I've not yet "arrived". May the Holy Spirit continually teach me His Word and Ways.
In this passage, it is clear that Saul was already converted by the time Ananias had come. Three days had passed (see Acts 9:9) when Ananias got to Saul. Ananias had his own concerns about encountering this man named Saul. He had heard about his aggressive pursuit of the believers in Jesus. God had to reassure Ananias that He had called Saul and had plans to use him in the ministry (see verses 10-16). It is interesting that Saul was at a home on the street called Straight. The street was apparently and literally named this. When we get right with God we get on the straight street. It is appropriate to mention the man who lived in the home at that location-Judas. Not much is known about this particular Judas but he is evidently a completely different one than the two listed in the twelve disciples (see Luke 6:16). One thing, however, he appears to be a believer in Jesus himself. This man was an instrument of God that played a role in the development of Christianity as we know it. Perhaps you feel like a nobody to the world? Remember, If you love Jesus, genuinely, He is using you for His purpose too (see Romans 8:28).
Last, but not least, we see what happened when Ananias arrived and found Saul. He laid his hands on him (see verse 17). As he laid his hands on him, he said that The Lord Jesus had sent him that he might receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Verse 18 describes the event as scales falling from his eyes. He regained his sight and was filled with The Holy Spirit. He then arose and was immediately baptized. He then ate something for physical nourishment.
Two things: First, Ananias wasn't an apostle, yet he was used of God to do miraculous things. Second, Saul was already a believer when Ananias laid his hands on him yet he needed the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I believe The Holy Spirit is present with us at salvation. We can't get saved apart from His work. However, I also believe that we need a baptism of His presence in our lives. Then, and only then, can we clearly see. Immerse me Holy Spirit in your person!!! Take all of me! Purge me of the old man and make me new!
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
(Acts 9:1-9 KJV)
Here we read the conversion experience of the one who watched the coats of those who stoned Stephen, the first deacon (see Acts 7:58). Saul was wreaking havoc of the church (see Acts 8:1-3). He was, I believe under conviction of the Holy Spirit. Often, when someone is being pricked in the conscience by the Holy Spirit, they respond by either submitting or rebelling. I, personally, believe Saul was rebelling against the Holy Spirit's pricking. I believe the preaching of Stephen in Acts 7 was what stirred this Pharisee's spirit (the Pharisees were the dominant religious sect among the Jews). Something about that anointed deacon got hold of this up and coming religious leader. The anointing destroys the yoke of bondage (see Isaiah 10:27 KJV). The power of the Holy Spirit speaks to the spirit and soul of man. We need this more than anything in the church.
Only the Holy Spirit can break the hold of sin in our lives. Saul's conversion is one of the most notorious in the history of the church. His determination to destroy this sect called "the church" was so intense that he sought official permission to travel to places beyond national borders to find and arrest the believers. Damascus was in Syria. On the road to this destination he had a supernatural encounter with Jesus Himself. Jesus asked him why he was persecuting Him. He also told Saul that it was hard to kick against the pricks. This pricking was the goading of the conviction he was resisting as the Holy Spirit was dealing with him. This encounter with Jesus left him blind and incapable of navigating alone. Jesus told him to rise and go into the city. Obviously, because of his blindness, he had to be escorted into the city. There he remained in a solitary place for three days without food or drink. This was the turning point of Saul's life. This Saul is not to be confused with King Saul of I Samuel in the Old Testament. This Saul would later be called Paul (see Acts 13:9). He would be used of God to write 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament. What the church has become through the centuries has greatly been affected by what Jesus did in this man named Paul. What are you willing to let Jesus do in you? Are you fighting the conviction of the Holy Spirit? Yield to His pricking and let Him open your eyes to a whole new world. Then, and only then, will you see life through God's eyes. Open my eyes Lord Jesus! Show me why I was created!
As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" [ And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."] And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities until he came to Caesarea. (Acts 8:36-40 NASB)
Philip obviously preached the whole gospel to him. The Eunuch wanted to follow the command to be baptized. There was no church service scheduled or no waiting period. The response was immediate. The procession stopped and the Eunuch humbly stepped down out of the carriage and into the waters of baptism. The scriptures clearly say that he stepped into the water. This gives an indicator that the baptism was more than a simple sprinkling of water on his head. Now, let's recognize that God is looking at the motive of a person more than at the method so let's be careful not to get dogmatic (strongly opinionated) about our preferences. God is touched by our obedience, not our self righteousness. Baptism doesn't save us. Ephesians 2:8-10, Romans 5:1; 6:23; 10:8-10,13, Titus 3:5, and even the criminal on the cross(Luke 23:43) that Jesus said would be with Him in paradise that day are all scriptural references to salvation as a divine act of God bestowed upon us as a gift. A gift is paid for by the giver at no cost to the recipient. Wages are earned, a gift is simply received (see Romans 6:23).
Baptism is a physical representation of a covenant seal. The Holy Spirit is our seal (see Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30). Just as a ring is the representative seal of the covenant of marriage, baptism is the ceremonial act of our professed faith in the lover of our souls.
Let me be abundantly clear that the blood and body of Jesus is the ONLY atonement for sin. Faith in Him is what saves us (see Romans 5:1). There is nothing we can add to that. It is finished! Our obedience in baptism is a statement of our faith in Him. Perhaps you are someone who has accepted Jesus as your Savior but you have never been baptized. I challenge you to be baptized as an unashamed act of submission to the Lord Jesus Christ. We all need to follow the command in scripture to be baptized as a result of our acceptance of The Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism never precedes salvation, it follows it. Jesus was baptized (see Matthew 3:13-16). Jesus did not get baptized because he had received salvation, rather, because He was salvation. He was God incarnate (in human flesh). As a human, He set the example for His followers. John the Baptist baptized people, Jesus commanded baptism (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16), the apostles exercised this practice in the book of Acts, and the apostle Paul mentions it in 1st Corinthians chapter 1. After the Ethiopian Eunuch was baptized, Philip was miraculously transported to a place called Azotus (also known as Ashdod- a number of miles from Samaria). The Eunuch apparently was blessed in such a way that the scripture says he went away rejoicing. His encounter with the gospel of Jesus resulted in a changed life and the joy of the Lord. Restore the joy of our salvation, Lord Jesus!!!
When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!” But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God. Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.” “Pray to the Lord for me,” Simon exclaimed, “that these terrible things you’ve said won’t happen to me!”
(Acts of the Apostles 8:14-24 NLT)
This was a diametric shift in the practice of Jewish people. They, traditionally, would not even travel through the area of Samaria, much less go there intentionally. The power of the Holy Spirit had transformed these traditional men into lovers of God and man. When Jesus told them in Acts 1:8 that the power of the Holy Spirit would cause them to witness in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth, they may not have realized how literally true that would be. When God gets hold of us, we do things we, otherwise, would not want to do or would not be capable of doing in, and of, ourselves.
Interestingly, the people of Samaria had heard, received, and responded to the message of the gospel, had even been baptized in Jesus name, and yet had not yet revived the Holy Spirit. This is where it gets divisive. There are various interpretations of how and when the Holy Spirit comes into the life of the believer. This can be contentious. However, it isn't meant to be. In fact, I believe we often try to put God in a box and tell Him how to do His business. We make our doctrinal proclamations and mean well with them. One problem: God is the one in charge, not our denominational creeds. I respect the fact that there are various schools of thought on issues such as this, but at the end of the day it is simply this: God can do things in the order He chooses, not how we tell Him to. It is clear in this scripture that Peter and John were able to impart the Holy Spirit to others by the laying on of hands(much like a father would impart blessing upon his sons in the Old Testament(see Genesis 48:13-20). Let's open our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit and welcome Him back as Administrator of the Church! Can I get an Amen??
Simon the sorcerer had believed on the Lord Jesus and had been baptized himself. It appears that Simon was still caught up in the struggle with the loss of his popularity and prosperity thereby. We can only speculate about the exact motive Simon had. He wanted the power of God and was willing to purchase it with money. The Holy Spirit can only be received freely and imparted freely(see Matthew 10:8). God says "No Charge".
A man named Simon had been a sorcerer there for many years, amazing the people of Samaria and claiming to be someone great. Everyone, from the least to the greatest, often spoke of him as “the Great One—the Power of God.” They listened closely to him because for a long time he had astounded them with his magic. But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself believed and was baptized. He began following Philip wherever he went, and he was amazed by the signs and great miracles Philip performed. (Acts of the Apostles 8:9-13 NLT)
There are false miracles performed by people like Simon all over the world. Witch doctors claim to be able to cast spells and heal people. Even among the ranks of professed believers in Jesus, there are false prophets and money hungry ministries that prey on gullible people for personal gain. Perhaps, at this point, I need to remind us all that Satan has limited supernatural powers as well as the mastered art of deception. This is, apparently, what Simon's power was rooted in. Now, let's not confuse this Simon with Simon Peter. They are not the same. This Simon was from Samaria. Simon Peter was from Bethsaida (see John 1:44). When we look all the way back to the book of Exodus, we see the Egyptian magicians performing signs and wonders as well as Moses. (Read Exodus 7:1-13). The distinct difference between the Egyptian magicians and Moses was their source of power. Moses source was God. The Egyptian magicians’ source was Satan. Satan is a powerful foe, yet he is no match for the power of God. I John 4:4 declares..."greater is He (The Holy Spirit) that is in me, than he (Satan) that is in the world". God's power is pure, purposeful, and all powerful. When God does something, He always declares the glory of His Son Jesus. Every work done under the anointing of the Holy Spirit brings praise and honor to Jesus Christ (John 15:26; 16:13-15). In Revelation 13 we read of the rise of the antichrist to power in the world. He will perform miracles before the people. Satan has always tried to mimic God. One day, once and for all, he (Satan) will be put down forever (see Revelation 20).
Only Jesus has all power (Matthew 28:18). Only His name is worthy to be praised and honored. Holy Spirit, fill and baptize each of us in the all powerful name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords!!!
Rev. Curtis Norris