bible study devotion

Saved by an angel: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

Photo by Lisa Fotios on


Heavenly Father, we pray for enlightenment, wisdom, insight, and sensitive spirits to hear from You, in Jesus’ name, Amen,


Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold possessions and decided to give only part of the the apostles. Peter rebuked Ananias for his dishonesty. Ananias immediately died and young men came to carry him out and buried him. Three hours later, Sapphira came in, told the same lie, and met with the same fate. The church members were overwhelmed by fear. The church of Acts grew rapidly, amidst signs and wonders, and miraculous healings. The anointing of Peter was so strong that even his shadow could heal the sick. 

Acts 5:17-23

17 But the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy 18 and laid hands on the apostles, then put them in public custody. 19 But an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night, and brought them out and said, 20 “Go stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”

21 When they heard this, they entered into the temple about daybreak and taught. But the high priest came, and those who were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But the officers who came didn’t find them in the prison. They returned and reported, 23 “We found the prison shut and locked, and the guards standing before the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside!”

Acts 5:17-23

The high priest and Sadducees and arrested the apostles and threw them into the prison. An angel of the Lord came at night, opened the prison door, took them out, and told them to speak to the people in the temple.

The next day, the high priest summon the prison guards to bring the prisoners. But the prison guards could not find the prisoners.   

One prison officer reported to the high priest that the prisoners were teaching in the temple. The chief prison officer and his men went and brought the prisoners to the high priest for questioning. 

The high priest censured the apostles for breaking the gag order. Peter replied that must obey God and not men. Peter accused them of murdering Jesus of Nazareth, whom God raided back to life of and that they were witnesses of this. 


Persecution of Christians is very real even until today.. We are not fighting against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, Ephesians 6:12. Our defence is the armour of God, which includes the sword of the Spirit, i.e. prayer and the word of God. Pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit and boldness to face persecution. 

The apostles were anointed by the Holy Spirit to fulfil their calling. They rejoiced to be counted worthy to suffer for Christ. They refused to be gagged, fearless, and unstoppable. As soon as they were rescued, they came back to the temple to preach. 

For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12


Heavenly Father, thank You for anointing of the Holy Spirit. Help us to preach and teach the Gospel without fear or favour. Strengthen our faith. We pray for boldness to obey You and not people. You and not men, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

bible study devotion

Persecution: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh



Heavenly Father, we pray for Your presence to be with us as we open up the book of Acts. Thank You for making us right with You through the atoning sacrifice of Your Son. Nourish our souls, water our hearts, and deepen our roots to bear the fruit of the Spirit. Reveal Your truth to us. We pray for ears to hear, eyes to see, and minds to understand scripture, and willing hearts o obey, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 


The high priest and Sadducees and who did not believe in the resurrection arrested the apostles and threw them into jail. Meanwhile, another 5000 Jews believed in Jesus and were added to the church. The next day, the high priest and the religious rulers questioned the apostles’ authority and power to heal the paralysed man.

 Acts 4: 8-13

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “You rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we are examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 may it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, this man stands here before you whole in him. 11 He is ‘the stone which was regarded as worthless by you, the builders, which has become the head of the corner.’ Psalm 118:22. 12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that is given among men, by which we must be saved!”

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled. They recognized that they had been with Jesus.

Acts 4:8-13


Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, testified that is was Jesus of Nazareth who healed the paralysed man. Peter accused the religious leaders for murdering Jesus of Nazareth but God raised Him back to life on the third day. 

Peter quoted Psalm 118:22 that Jesus was the chief cornerstone whom they had rejected. 

The Jewish leaders were amazed at the anointing of the apostles who were uneducated, untrained, and unlearned, but noted that they were followers of Jesus.

The Jewish leaders could not deny that a great miracle had taken place.They issued a gag order to the apostles forbidding them to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.  

Peter and John rejected the gag order saying that they must obey God and not men. The Jewish leaders released them because they had no case against them. The apostles glorified God, returned to the house church, and prayed. 

The stone which the builders rejected, hath become the chief cornerstone

Psalm 118:22


The apostles were not afraid of men. Are you afraid of men? The secret is prayer. If you are able to kneel before God in prayer, you will be able stand before men. Prayer is powerful. Pray faithfully, regularly, persistently, consistently, continuously, and unceasingly.

Your testimony is powerful. Share it.

Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. There is no other name under heaven by whom we can be saved Him. Believe Him.

The apostles were ordinary people who had no theological training but they were followers of Jesus. Follow Jesus.


Heavenly Father, today, we saw the boldness of the apostles. Even though they were uneducated, they spoke, preached, and prayed very well because they knew Jesus and they were Spirit filled. Help us to walk with You and follow You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

bible study devotion

Devotion: rise up and walk

Dr Andrew C S Koh

box set


Heavenly Father, we commit this time to You. We pray for understanding and application of Your truth into our lives. We pray for guidance, direction, discerning Your will, spiritual nourishment, and personal transformation. We pray for the Bread of Life and Living Water, in Jesus’ name, Amen.



Following the footstep of Jesus Christ, Peter performed his first miracle by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Peter and John encountered a congenitally paralysed beggar at the beautiful gate of the temple complex. The gate was called Beautiful, but the beggar was anything but beautiful. He had no muscle development, no motor power in his legs, and had never walked. since birth. The man was begging for money but not for health. The beggar looked at John and Peter expecting them to give him cash. Peter declared, ‘’in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk’’. Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up. The man arose, walked, leaped, and praised God for healing him. On seeing this, the people marvelled with amazement, astonishment, and excitement. 

Acts 3:11-16

11 As the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering. 12 When Peter saw it, he responded to the people, “You men of Israel, why do you marvel at this man? Why do you fasten your eyes on us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up, and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had determined to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, to which we are witnesses. 16 By faith in his name, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which is through him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

Acts 3:11-16


Peter, John, the paralytic, and the Jews ran to Solomon’s porch. Peter addressed the people with a full sermon. He said, why looked at them as though they were the ones who had healed the paralysed man. He acknowledged that it was the God of Abraham, the God of Jacob, and Jesus of Nazareth, who had healed the man. He reminded them that even though Pontius Pilate was determined to free Jesus of Nazareth, they forced him to free Barabbas, who was a murderer. They had murdered Jesus of Nazareth but God raised him back to life and the apostles were witnesses of this event. It was faith in the name of Jesus Christ that healed the paralysed man. Peter gave Jesus Christ three titles. He was the Holy One, the Righteous One, and the Prince of Life. 


Jesus Christ is a miracle working God. The paralysed man arose, walked, leaped, and praised God for healing him. Have you praised and thank God for healing you? 

Peter and John gave all the glory to God. Did you give all glory to God for your own salvation?

Faith is the most important ingredient for a miracle. It was faith in the name of Jesus Christ that healed the paralysed man. Without faith, it is impossible for God to act.

All the people were amazed when they saw this miracle. Are you amazed when you read about this miracle?


Heavenly Father, You are the God of the impossible. You are a muracle working God. We claim the promise that You are Jehovah Rapha. Heal us of all our infirmities. Thank You for Your word by Your Son Jesus Christ who fulfilled scripture and turned everyone from their sins. Thank You protection, healing, salvation, justification, sanctification and eternal life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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bible study devotion

Pentecost: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

 a painting on the last supper
The Last Supper by Bill Nicholls is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0


Heavenly Father, we come before You today as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to You, as these are our spiritual acts of worship. We give You our full attention, hearts, spirits, and minds, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

The day of Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. On this day, the Holy Spirit descended upon the 120 disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem. The sound of a strong wind came from heaven and individual tongues of fire rested upon the heads of everyone one of them, and they spoke in foreign languages or tongues. 


Acts 2:5-13

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under the sky. When this sound was heard, the multitude came together and were bewildered, because everyone heard them speaking in his own language. They were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Behold, aren’t all these who speak Galileans? How do we hear, everyone in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabians: we hear them speaking in our languages the mighty works of God!” 12 They were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Others, mocking, said, “They are filled with new wine.”

Acts 2:5-13


Following the command of the Lord, 120 Jewish disciples from Jerusalem and all regions of the first-century world assembled in the upper room to awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit came, they were amazed, astonished, and shocked. The heard everyone speaking in other people’s languages. They could not understand what was happening. Onlookers and scoffers accused them to be drunk with wine. 

Peter silenced the crowd saying that nobody was drunk as it was only 9 am in the morning. Peter quoted Joel 2:28. Joel had prophesied this day when the Holy Spirit will be poured out on the people so that young men will prophesy and old man will dream dreams. 

Peter preached his first evangelistic sermon with and boldness and power, The Holy Spirit transformed Peter from a timid fisherman into a fearless evangelist and leader of the apostles. 

The Jews who listened were convicted by Peter’s sermon. They asked Peter what must they do to be saved. Peter told them to repent of their sins, be baptised in the name of Jesus. and called on the name of the Lord for salvation. 

As many as 3000 Jews believed in Jesus and were baptised on that day! They received the apostle’s teaching, fellowshipped, broke bread, and prayed.

This was how the first-century Christian church of Acts was born in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. The believers sold all their possessions and gave the proceeds to the apostles. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the church grew rapidly. 

It will happen afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions

Joel 3:28


When the Holy Spirit descended on the believers, they spoke in tongues and prophesy. Speaking in tongue on Pentecost was speaking in known languages. Can you imagine a Chinese speaking in Arabic, a German speaking in French, or Japanese speaking in Dutch and so on? This was what happened. People were able to speak in foreign languages spontaneously and fluently.

Paul described speaking in tongues as one of the spiritual gifts in the book of 1 Corinthians 12 and 13. The tongues described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 and 13 may not be the same as in the tongues described in Acts 2.

At conversion, the Holy Spirit indwell a person and imparts spiritual gifts on him/her. Speaking in tongues and prophesy are two of the gifs of the Holy Spirit. There are seven spiritual gifts, wisdom, knowledge, healing, miracles, prophesy, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.

To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues

1 Corinthians 12:8-10


Heavenly Father, thank You once again for speaking to us Thank You for the day of Pentecost when You gave the Holy Spirit to the Jewish disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem. Thank You for this historic moment when the first Christian church of Acts was born, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

book review books

Acts volumes 1 and 2: from Jerusalem to Rome

by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

Amazon ranking No 1 in Life Application Christian Bibles.


Acts is a sequel to the gospel of Luke, written by Luke between 70-90 AD, in Rome. This is a historical narrative of the first-century Christian church from 33 to 60 AD. It is an action-packed, fast-moving, Hollywood-style narrative on the adventures of Peter, Paul and others.


This is an educational journey in the Book of Acts as only Dr. Koh can so brilliantly explain. A good book

R E Creech, Bookbub, Goodraesd, 5 stars

A very informative read about the travels of Peter and Paul, two Apostles who greatly influenced Christian teachings. Those amazing miracles and sermons help us to think differently about our lives. Very inspiring book. Beautiful prayers accompany each chapter. I am on the ARC team. I leave an honest review. I recommend this book to other readers

J Sharmani, Amazon, 5 Stars

What an excellent novel to use as a guide for a weekly Bible Study Group. Many of us do not know that Acts is a sequel to the gospel of Luke. It is written by Luke somewhere between 70-90 AD. Luke looks back on the world of the first-century Christian church. Take a chance to step out of our tightly conservative view of the church and follow along with Luke, Peter, Paul, and others as they journey through the world of the first Jewish Christian believers. We travel with the first believers from Jerusalem to Samaria all the way to Rome. This book will introduce the reader to the sermons and testimonies of Peter and Paul. You will come across many “firsts” in Acts, e.g., the birth of the first-century Christian church, the first miracle, the first sermon, the first Christian martyr, the first Christian burial, the first Gentile convert, the first European Christian convert, etc. This is the time of the first hundred years of our heritage. What a joy for the reader. I received this novel from StoryOrigin. This is my true and honest review

P A Reinert, Bookbub, 5 stars

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bible study devotion

Pentecost: devotion

by Dr Andrew C S Koh

a photo showing an open book
open book

Acts 2: 1-4


Heavenly Father, we come before You today as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to You, as our spiritual act of worship. We give You our full attention, hearts, and minds. Help us be transformed to the image of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Saviour, in Jesus’ name, Amen.


1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:1-4


Easter corresponds to the Feast of First Fruits in the Old Testament. The day of Pentecost is celebrated fifty days after Easter (Feast of First Fruits), Leviticus 28:16. Pentecost is also known as the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering, Numbers 28:26 and Exodus 23:16. The Holy Spirit descended upon the 120 disciples in the upper room on day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came with the sound of a strong wind and rested on the head of each disciple as a tongue of fire and they spoke in tongues.

Jesus compared the activity of the Holy Spirit with the blowing of the wind in John 3:8. In Greek, the word for wind and Spirit is the same word, pneuma from which we get our English word pneumatic.

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit

John 3:8

Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord.

Leviticus 23:16

Also on the day of the first fruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the Lord at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work.

Numbers 23:16

and the Feast of Harvest, the first fruits of your labors which you have sown in the field, and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.

Exodus 23:16


The New Testament church was born on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the 120 disciples in the upper room of Jerusalem. This was a fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to His disciples in the upper discourse in John 14:26.

 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

John 14:26

Church Age

The time period from the day of Pentecost until now is the church age. The church age will end on the day of rapture when the church will be taken up to heaven to meet the Lord, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit descended open the disciples as visible tongues of fire resting over their heads and they spoke in the languages of other people’s nations. Like a Chinese person speaking French, a German person speaking Arabic, a Korean person speaking Japanese, and so on.

The power of the Holy Spirit is as strong as the wind. Typhoons and cyclones can blow off rooftops! Once, I was in Hong Kong and I saw the effect of a typhoon damaging houses. Another time, I was in India, and I saw the power of a cyclone.

You cannot see the Holy Spirit but you can feel His presence and you can see the result of His work. You feel His presence as goosebumps all over you and in other ways. Once, when I was in a boat in the Sea of Galilee, I felt goosebumps all over me! You see the result of the Holy Spirit in the millions of lives that are transformed by Him all over the world.


Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to us through Your word of truth. Thank You for sending us the Holy Spirit to be our helper, teacher, truth revealer, counselor, and advocate. Thank You for the amazing power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives. Thank You for Your love, mercy, and grace, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

bible study

Bible Study: Acts 28

Chapter 28: Acts 28:1-31, Rome at last

The gospel finally made it to Rome!


Heavenly Father, thank You that finally, we reached the last chapter in our journey of faith. Thank You for faith, stamina, strength, perseverance, and persistence to complete the whole book of Acts, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

VV 1-2, And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. 2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.

They were shipwrecked in Malta. Malta or Melita is a Phoenician word that means a place of refuge. The natives made fires to welcome the shipwreckers.

VV 3-6, 3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. 5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. 6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

When Paul was gathering sticks for the fire a poisonous snake wrap around his hand. The natives thought Paul to be a murderer and expected him to drop dead at any time. When nothing happened to Paul, they changed their minds and thought that he must be a god.

This is a fulfillment of Mark 16:18.

Mark 16:18, ‘’they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover’’.

The promise of Mark 16:18 is given specifically to the original apostles and Paul. This is not a universal promise and does not apply to present-day Christians.

VV 7-10, 7 In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously. 8 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. 9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed: 10 Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.

It so happened that the father of Publius, the native chief man, was sick with fever and dysentery. Paul laid hands and prayed for him and healed him. Word spread around the island. The natives brought many people with sickness to Paul for prayer and were healed. The natives honoured Paul I’m many and assisted them when they departed.

VV 11-16, 11 And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. 12 And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days. 13 And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli: 14 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome. 15 And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.

After three months in Malta, they boarded an Alexandrian ship whose signboard was the Twin Brothers, Castor, and Pollux. They landed at Syracuse, proceeded to Rhegum, Puteoli, and Rome. Paul was strengthened and encouraged when met Christian disciples who came to see him. At Rome, the centurion delivered Paul to the captain of the prison. Paul was put on house arrest. Paul lived by himself in a house chained to a Roman pretorian guard. Paul could not leave the house but visitors could visit him. You can follow Paul’s journey to Rome on maps available on the internet.

Paul wrote four prison epistles, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon during his house arrest in Rome.

VV 17-20, 17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. 19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. 20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.

Three days later, Paul called the Jewish leaders to explain to them why he was in Rome. He narrated the mob in the temple, his trial before the Sanhedrin, before Felix, before Festus, and before Herod Agrippa the 2nd, house arrest in Caesarea, and appeal to Caesar. Paul said he was in chains for the ‘’hope of Israel’’ which means the Messiah.

VV 21-24, 21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee. 22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against. 23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. 24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were not interested in pursuing Paul and did not update the Jewish leaders in Rome concerning Paul’s arrival to Rome. Paul shared the gospel with them from morning till evening. He proved to them from scripture that Jesus was the Messiah prophesied by Moses and the prophets. Some believed but some did not believe.

VV 25-27, 25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

the Jewish leaders could not agree among themselves. Paul quoted Isaiah 6:9-10.

Isaiah 6:9-10, “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.”

VV 28-31, 28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. 30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

Paul announced to the Jewish leaders that since the Jews did not believe, salvation would be given to the Gentiles. They disputed among themselves and left. Paul lived 2 years in his own rented house under house arrest, preaching the gospel and teaching the word of God with confidence to all visitors and the praetorian guards, who took the gospel to Caesar’s household.

The book of Acts ended on this note somewhat open-endedly. Secular history informed us that Caesar Nero released Paul in 62.AD, but rearrested and beheaded him at Rome in 66 AD.


Paul used his house arrest to preach the gospel. The prison was his pulpit. The praetorian guards and visitors were his congregation. Did you use your home or your office to preach the gospel?

Paul was chained to a soldier, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but he preached the gospel far and wide. Are you chained to your job, sickness, lockdown, or pandemic? Do not lockdown the gospel. Preach the gospel in season and out of season, in pandemic and out of pandemic.


Heavenly Father, thank You for such an amazing journey of faith across 27 years of church history, through the eyewitness account of Luke. Thank you for the valuable lessons that we can take away from these amazing stories. Thank You for making scriptures come alive, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

bible study

Bible Study: Acts 27

Chapter 27: Acts 27: 1-44, Shipwrecked in Malta


Heavenly Father, thank You that we made it into the second last chapter of our journey. Thank You for giving us persistence, perseverance, insight, and understanding, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

This was the last leg of Paul’s journey to Rome. He was arrested in Jerusalem, tried before the Sanhedrin, before Felix, before Festus, before Herod Agrippa, pronounced innocent, and imprisoned in Caesarea. Paul appealed to Caesar Augustus and Festus approved his appeal.

VV 1-3, And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band.

2 And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us. 3 And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.

The plural pronouns “we” and “us” mean that Luke had rejoined Paul again. Paul was placed in a prison ship Adramyttium to Rome, under a centurion named Julius. Aristarchus, a disciple from Thessalonica accompanied Paul. The centurion Julius was very kind to Paul and gave him the freedom to be with friends. The ship sailed coast to coast and arrived at Sidon the next day.

A centurion was a soldier in charge of 100 soldiers. A regiment is a battalion of 6000 soldiers.

VV 4-8, And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. 5 And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. 6 And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein. 7 And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; 8 And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea.

They passed through Cyprus, Cilicia, Pamphylia, and arrived at Myra. Here, they disembarked and boarded an Alexandrian ship en route to Rome. They passed through Cnidus, Crete, Salmone, and with great difficulty, they arrived at fair havens. The sea was rough and the winds were blowing against them.

VV 9-12, 9 Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, 10 And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. 11 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.

12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.

After many days, the winds became even rougher and sailing became more dangerous by the day. The Jewish fast or Day of Atonement was already over. Paul announced to the crew that they were heading into a storm and advised the centurion to stop the journey. The centurion did not believe Paul and did not want to stop at fair havens. He hoped to reach Phoenix and disembark there.

VV 13-15, 13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. 14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. 15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.

Initially, the wind was gentle, but as soon as they sailed past Crete, another typhoon-like storm called Euroclydon hit the ship causing it to toss and turn.

VV 16-20, 16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: 17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. 18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; 19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. 20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.

They sailed past at a small Island called Clauda. They used cables to stabilise the ship and lighten the ship by throwing the ship’s tackles overboard. The sky was gloomy with no sun by day and no stars by night for many days. The ship was sinking. Everyone gave up hope on survival.

VV 21-26, 21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. 22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. 26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.

No one dared to not eat food because of fear. Paul took charged of the situation and addressed the frightened crews, sailors, prisoners, and passengers. He told them to cheer up and eat. An angel of God had appeared to him in a vision and said that he must appear before Caesar in Rome and God will save everyone onboard. However, a shipwreck was inevitable. The angel of God was Jesus Christ, whom he served and to whom he belonged. This was the 6th time that Christ had appeared to Paul.

VV 27-32, 27 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; 28 And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. 29 Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. 30 And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, 31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. 32 Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.

They had drifted in the Adriatic Sea for fourteen days. About midnight, the sailors sensed that they were approaching land. They took soundings and discovered that the sea was becoming shallower and shallower. Soundings are measuring ropes with weights attached to measure the depth of the sea bed. When the sea was quite shallow, the sailors dropped four anchors into the ocean floor to stabilise the ship and prayed for daylight. When Paul saw some sailors letting down a small boat to escape, he told the centurion to stop them otherwise no one could be saved. The centurion cut the rope of the boat and foiled their attempt.

VV 33-38, 33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.34 Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. 35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. 36 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. 37 And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. 38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.

As daylight approached, Paul begged them to eat food. Paul took the bread, prayed, and said grace in front of everyone and started to eat. Paul said grace and prayed before non-believers as a testimony to them. They cheered up and started eating. There were 276 people on board the ship. They lightened the ship further by throwing the wheat into the sea.

VV 39-44, 39 And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. 40 And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. 41 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. 42 And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. 43 But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: 44 And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

At dawn, they spotted land and planned to run the ship aground. They took up the anchors and allowed the ship to run aground. The ship broke into two parts. The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners but the centurion stopped them from carrying out their wicked plans. Everyone reached the shore safely, some by swimming, and others by floating on parts of the ship.

They landed on the Island of Malta. In the 1960s divers discovered a Roman anchor off the coast of Malta. Whether this is one of the anchors from this ship remained to be proven but it is permanently on display in a maritime museum in Malta.


A storm is an inevitable fact of life. It is not if but when. You may have to throw things overboard in a storm. Do not jump ship. Pray and wait on the Lord. He had not forsaken you. He will reveal His glory and rescue you by creating a miracle just for you.

Paul said grace before a meal in the presence of non-believers. Did you say grace in the presence of non-Christians?


Heavenly Father, thank You for refining us through storms. We pray for boldness, and strength to face the dark and stormy situation of the pandemic storm. We pray for anchors to stabilise our faith in the pandemic storm. We pray for protection and strength, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

bible study

Bible Study: Acts 26

Chapter 26: Acts 26: 1-32, preaching gospel to a King


Heavenly Father, You are I AM, Yahweh, Jehovah, Adoni, Elohim, Melchizedek, and Messiah. Thank You for bringing us almost to the end of our journey in Acts. We pray for strength energy, and perseverance to complete this journey, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

VV 1-3, Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: 2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: 3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.

Herod Agrippa was very friendly to Paul. He allowed Paul the freedom to say whatever he wanted to say. Paul was happy with this arrangement. Paul took this golden, God sent opportunity to share his testimony to King Herod Agrippa the 2nd. In Acts 9:15, the Lord said that he would share the gospel to King, Acts 9:15.

VV 4-8, 4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; 5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, unto our fathers: 7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. 8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?

Paul said that he was a Jew and a Pharisee. He believed in the promise of the Patriarchs and served God fervently day and night. The Jews falsely accused him of blasphemy against Judaism because he testified about the resurrection of Christ.

VV 9-11, 9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. 11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.

Paul narrated his past life before he met Christ. He was once a persecutor of the Christians. He persecuted, harassed, beaten, arrested, imprisoned, and consented to the death of Christians with the blessings of the high priest in Jerusalem. He even went on a rampage to harass, beat, punish, and arrest Christians in foreign cities.

VV 12-14, 12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.

14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Paul narrated how he met Christ on the Damascus Road. He was going to Damascus to arrest Christians. At noon, a bright dazzling light enveloped him and he fell. A voice from heaven spoke to Paul in Hebrews asking him to stop persecuting Him.

VV 15-18, 15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Paul asked the voice who He was and He said He was Jesus, whom he was persecuting. The Lord told Paul to get up because He had chosen him to be a witness to the Jews and the Gentiles, to turn them from Satan to God, from darkness to light, to forgive their sins of everyone who believe in Him.

VV 19-23, 19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. 21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

Paul narrated what happened to him after he met Christ. He preached Christ to the Jews in Damascus, Jerusalem, Judea, to the Gentiles in other countries telling them to repent and turn to Christ. The Jews arrested him because of his faith in Christ. With God’s help and protection, he continued to preach Christ to everyone, small and great. Christ suffered and died under the hands of the Jews but God raised Him from the dead to be a light to the Jews and the Gentiles. The gospel is all about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

VV 24-27, 24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. 25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. 26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.

At this stage, Festus interrupted Paul’s testimony alleging that Paul was out of his mind for making such claims. Paul said that he was speaking the truth and King Agrippa understood. There and then, Paul gave an altar call to King Agrippa to receive Christ.

VV 28-32, 28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. 29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds. 30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them: 31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds. 32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

Herod Agrippa heard the gospel but hardened his heart, and did not respond to Paul’s altar call. Herod Agrippa almost became a Christian but a miss is as good as a mile. He missed an opportunity that might not come to him again. Agrippa issued his verdict that Paul was not guilty. He could have released Paul if he had not appealed to Caesar. Paul had to go to Rome to fulfil his God-ordained destiny.


Paul took the opportunity to share his testimony to Herod Agrippa. His testimony was in three parts, before he met Christ, how he met Christ, and after he met Christ. You should compose your testimony in three parts, before, how, and after. Learn to say your testimony in a few ways and share it out whenever an opportunity arise.

Agrippa hardened his heart. Today, if you hear the gospel, do not harden your heart, Hebrews 3:15.

Hebrews 3:15, “While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation”.


Heavenly Father, we pray for boldness to share our testimonies to non-believers without fear. We pray for wisdom to prepare our testimonies and the ability to share them out in several formats. We pray for opportunities to share our testimonies to glorify Your name, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

bible study

Bible Study: Acts 25

Chapter 25: Acts 25: 1-27, trial before Festus


Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word, the Holy Spirit, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Help us to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

VV 1-5, Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem. 2 Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him, 3 And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him. 4 But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither. 5 Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.

When Festus came to Jerusalem, the high priest and elders approached him requesting him to send Paul to Jerusalem so that that they could assassinate him. Festus rejected their wicked demand and proceeded to Caesarea. He invited them to follow him to Caesarea to accuse Paul officially.

VV 6-8, 6 And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought. 7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove. 8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.

Paul stood trial before Festus. The Jews from Jerusalem charged Paul with serious charges which they could not prove. Paul defended himself saying that he had not done anything against the Jews, the law, the temple, Caesar, or anyone.

VV 9-12, 9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? 10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. 11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.

Wanting to please the Jews, Festus persuaded Paul to go to Jerusalem for another trial before him. Paul refused Festus’ request. He did not want to face so many trials since he was innocent. As a Roman citizen, he appealed to stand trial in Rome under Emperor Caesar Augustus and Festus granted his appeal.

VV 13-21, 13 And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus. 14 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul’s cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix: 15 About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.16 To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him. 17 Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth.18 Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed: 19 But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 20 And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters. 21 But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.

After some time, King Herod Agrippa the 2nd and his wife Bernice came to Caesarea for an official visit. Festus told Agrippa about Paul, the prisoner that he had inherited from Felix, about the trial before the Jews, about his refusal to be tried in Jerusalem, about his appeal to Caesar., which he had granted. The charges concerned Jewish religious issues and a man called Jesus of Nazareth who had died whom Paul claimed to be alive.

King Herod Agrippa the 2nd was the son of Herod Agrippa the 1st, grandson of Herod Antipas, and great-grandson of King Herod the Great. Herod was in an illicit relationship with his own sister Bernice.

VV 22-23, 22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him. 23 And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus’ commandment Paul was brought forth.

Herod Agrippa wanted to meet Paul. He entered the auditorium with a great show of splendour and colourful attires, accompanied by commanders and VIPs of the city. Festus commanded Paul to be brought in.

VV 24-27, 24 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him. 26 Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write. 27 For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.

Festus introduced Paul to King Herod Agrippa the 2nd, explaining his background and narrating all the events that had transpired since his arrival to Caesarea. He explained that Paul had appealed to Caesar Augustus but he did not know how to write his letter to Augustus Caesar since the charges were so vague. He requested King Herod Agrippa to cross-examine Paul in the case of “Paul versus the Jewish religious leaders”. King Herod Agrippa agreed to cross-examine Paul.


Here we see providence at work. Paul wanted to visit Rome after Jerusalem but he was arrested and sent to Caesarea. Now his appeal was successful. He would be going to Rome soon! God had protected Paul. His destiny was to go to Rome, to preach to Jews, Gentiles, and Kings, Acts 9:15.

God had a destiny for every Christian, Romans 8:28.

Acts 9:15, “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel”.

Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”.


Heavenly Father, thank You for Your providence in our lives. We claim the promise of Romans 8:28, that all things will work for her for good, for us, who loved you and are called by Your name, in Jesus’ name, Amen.