Scripture: Acts 8

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READ and STUDY the WORD

The Church Persecuted and Scattered

Acts 8:1-8 (KJV) And Saul was consenting unto his (Stephen’s) death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.  And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.  As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.  For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.  And there was great joy in that city.

Questions:

1. Who consented to Stephen’s death (Acts 8:1a)?

2. Against what was there a great persecution (Acts 8:1b).

3. Who were not scattered abroad (Acts 8:1c)?

4. Who took care of Stephen’s body (Acts 8:2)?

5. What did Saul do (Acts 8:3)?

6. What did those who had been scattered abroad do (Acts 8:4)?

7. Where did Philip go and what did he do (Acts 8:5)?

8. What happened and how did the people in Samaria respond (Acts 8:6-8)?

Answers:

1. Saul consented to Stephen’s death.

2. There was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem.

3. The apostles were not scattered aboard.

4. Devout men carried Stephen to his burial and mourned deeply for him. 

5. Saul made havoc of the church, entering into every house and taking away men and women, committing them to prison.

6. Those scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.

7. Philip went to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.

8. The people in Samaria with one accord paid attention to what Philip said. Because unclean spirits, cried with loud voice, and came out of many that were possessed with them.  And many with palsies and were lame were healed. And there was great joy in their city.

Simon The Sorcerer

Acts 8:9-25 (KJV) But there was a certain man, called Simon, which before time in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.  11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.  12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.  13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.  14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)  17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.  18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.  20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.  21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.  22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.  23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.  24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.  25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.

Questions:

1. What did Simon do and what did the people of Samaria believe about him (Acts 8:9-11)?

2. What happened to the people of Samaria (Acts 8:12)?

3. What happened to Simon (the sorcerer) and what did he do (Acts 8:13)?

4. Who came down from Jerusalem to Samaria and why (Acts 8:14-16)?

5. What happened to those in Samaria when Peter and John laid hands on them (Acts 8:17)?

6. What did the Simon (the sorcerer) see (Acts 8:18)?

7. What did Simon ask of Peter (Acts 8:19)?

8. How did Peter respond to Simon (Acts 8:20-23)?

Answers:

1. Simon practiced sorcery and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great. All the people gave him their attention and believed he had divine power. He had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 

2. The people of Samaria believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ.  They were baptized, both men and women.

3. Then Simon himself believed and was baptized. And followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

4. When the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost (Spirit) because He had not yet come upon any of them.

5. When Peter and John laid their hands on the people of Samaria they received the Holy Ghost.

6. Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, so he offered the apostles money.

7. Simon said, “Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.”

8. Peter told Simon may his money perish with him because he had thought he could buy the gift of God with money.  He told Simon he had no part in the ministry, because his heart was not right before God.  Peter told Simon to repent and pray to the Lord.  Perhaps the Lord would forgive him for having such a thought in his heart. Peter said Simon was full of bitterness and captive to sin.  

Philip And The Ethiopian

Acts 8:26-40 (KJV) 26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot reading Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

Questions:

1. Who spoke to Philip and what did he say (Acts 8:26)?

2. What did Philip do and who did he meet (Acts 8:27)?

3. What was this person doing (Acts 8:28)?

4. What did the Holy Spirit tell Philip to do and what did he do (Acts 8:29-30)?

5. What did the eunuch say (Acts 8:31)?

6. What passage was the eunuch reading (Acts 8:32-33)?

7. What did the eunuch ask Philip (Acts 8:34)?

8. How did Philip respond (Acts 8:35)?

9. When they came upon some water what did the eunuch ask (Acts 8:36)?

10. What did Philip say to the eunuch and what was the eunuch’s response (Acts 8:37)?

11. When they (Philip and the eunuch) came up out of the water from the eunuch being baptized what happened to Philip (Acts 8:39)?

Answers:

1. The angel of the Lord told Philip to go south to the road, the desert road, that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.

2. Philip arose and went. On his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch. This man had come to Jerusalem to worship.

3. The eunuch was sitting in his chariot reading Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet.

4. The Holy Spirit told Philip to go to and stay near the chariot.  Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and asked the eunuch if he understood what he was reading. 

5. The eunuch said, “How can I, except some man should guide me?” And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

6.  The place of the scripture which the eunuch was reading was this, “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened He not his mouth: In His humiliation His judgment was taken away: and who shall declare His generation? for His life is taken from the earth.”

7. The eunuch asked Philip was the prophet Isaiah talking about himself or someone else.

8. Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached to the eunuch the good news about Jesus.

9. When they came upon some water the eunuch asked since the water was available why shouldn’t he be baptized.

10. Philip said, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” And the eunuch answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

11. When Philip and the eunuch came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip.  And the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

HEAR the WORD

Acts 8:24-25 24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.  25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.

MEDITATE on the WORD

Ponder the above verses.  Do you believe the apostles prayed what Simon asked them to pray?  There is no indication that they did.  What do you believe Simon’s response should have been?  My Bible notes: If we are rebuked for a serious mistake, it is for our good.  We need to admit our error, repent quickly and ask for prayer then.

MEMORIZE the WORD

Acts 8:4 (NIV) Those who had been scattered preached the Word wherever they went.

LOVE and LIVE the WORD

No matter where we find ourselves if we love the Word we should be living it.

TEACH and SHARE the WORD

And we should be sharing it with those around us.

PRAY the WORD

Lord, I pray even when we are living in a distant land or among strangers we will share the good news of Jesus (Acts 8:4).  Lord, I pray we will proclaim Christ (Acts 8:5).  Lord, I pray Your Word will bring great joy in every city across the world (Acts 8:8).  Lord, I pray we will discern and not accept the evil we see and hear (Acts. 8:9-11).  Lord, I pray we will recognize and follow the teaching of Your Word (Acts 8:12).  Lord, I pray all who receive You will realize they have the Holy Spirit within them (Acts 8:15-16).  Lord, I pray all believers will understand the gift of the Holy Spirit can’t be bought (Acts. 8:17). In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.

ENCOURAGEMENT

“May you and I seek to reach all the world by beginning where we are.” <>< Dona