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Episode: “Persecutor to Advocate”
Dr. Seif gives us background on Shaul (Paul) beginning with his persecution of the early church, his conversion on the road to Damascus and then the events leading up to his first missionary journey.
Series: “In The Footsteps of The Rabbi From Tarsus (2020)”
This series sheds light on the Apostle Paul, his movements, and his message. Dr. Jeffrey Seif follows in Paul’s footsteps all around the ancient Roman Empire and analyzes his divinely inspired letters to early Church congregations, preserved in the New Testament.

Caption transcript for In The Footsteps of The Rabbi From Tarsus (2020): “Persecutor to Advocate” (1/8)

  • 00:03 male announcer: Welcome to "Our Jewish Roots" with insightful Bible teaching by Dr. Jeffrey Seif. This week, we begin our series on the apostle Paul, "In the Footsteps of
  • 00:16 the Rabbi from Tarsus." ♪♪♪
  • 00:32 [horse neighing]
  • 00:34 ♪♪♪
  • 01:17 David Hart: Thank you so much for joining us today.
  • 01:19 I'm David Hart.
  • 01:21 Kirsten Hart: I'm Kirsten Hart.
  • 01:22 Jeffrey Seif: And I am Jeffrey Seif and I'm really
  • 01:24 excited.
  • 01:25 This is going to be TV worth watching.
  • 01:29 Guys, gals, this series, bar none, my favorite.
  • 01:34 Kirsten: Mine too.
  • 01:35 Jeffrey: The dramas all over the Mediterranean
  • 01:37 Greco-Roman world.
  • 01:38 It is just TV at its best in my opinion.
  • 01:41 Kirsten: We're going on an adventure.
  • 01:44 David: Right, so Kirsten and I, as Gentiles,
  • 01:45 has always thought of Paul as an apostle.
  • 01:49 He's a rabbi.
  • 01:51 Jeffrey: Yeah, I liked, you know,
  • 01:53 "The Rabbi from Tarsus" is a little engaging.
  • 01:54 It's edgy, but he was a member of the Perushim, a Pharisee,
  • 01:58 and the rest were farmers and fishermen.
  • 02:00 He was trained as a theologian.
  • 02:03 "The Rabbi from Tarsus," it's a little engaging and I love it.
  • 02:09 Jeffrey: He could be described as something of an
  • 02:11 angry man, to put it mildly, actually.
  • 02:15 Luke tells us that he was breathing threats and not just
  • 02:17 idle threats: murder on top.
  • 02:19 Didn't wanna just hurt him, he wanted to destroy him.
  • 02:22 Who's the "he" and who's the "them"?
  • 02:24 The "he" is a fellow named Shaul,
  • 02:27 a member of the Perushim.
  • 02:30 Perushim comes from parash in Hebrew,
  • 02:32 a verb meaning to be separate.
  • 02:34 It was a party, 6000 or so individuals in Jesus' day,
  • 02:37 one of whom was this fellow named Shaul, or Paul,
  • 02:39 and there was this movement that was getting up and going in
  • 02:43 Yerushalayim, in Jerusalem, and he was not a happy camper.
  • 02:47 In fact, his biographer, Luke, tells us in this book called
  • 02:50 Acts of the Apostles that when Stephen, a Greek-speaking Jew,
  • 02:59 was martyred that Saul was particularly proactive in
  • 03:01 facilitating his demise.
  • 03:03 So Paul's not just a disgruntled teacher who's verbally giving
  • 03:06 voice to his angst, but rather he's the kind of fellow that's
  • 03:10 given to action, not just speech.
  • 03:12 Luke tells us as well in the 9th chapter that this fellow, Shaul,
  • 03:17 was walking on a road like this, here in the Middle East.
  • 03:21 He wasn't just out for a casual stroll.
  • 03:23 Actually, he tells us that he had secured bench warrants.
  • 03:26 Luke tells us that chagrined as he was by the movement that this
  • 03:30 fellow Shaul went to the zechanim, the leaders of the
  • 03:35 synagogue and secured arrest warrants to bring these people
  • 03:39 to justice.
  • 03:41 And what was just for these believers in Jesus was death.
  • 03:43 That's the way Paul saw it.
  • 03:46 Paul was a black and white kind of guy.
  • 03:47 And he looked at this movement of Jewish people who believed
  • 03:50 in Yeshua, he looked at this as acne on the face of first
  • 03:53 century Judaism, better to be without it and he was gonna
  • 03:55 take care of the job.
  • 03:57 Well, in Acts chapter 9, we're told in verse 1 that he's still
  • 04:01 breathing threats and murder against the disciples of
  • 04:04 the Lord.
  • 04:05 In verse 2 we're told, of course,
  • 04:07 as I'd said that he had secured the warrants but then in verse
  • 04:09 3, something strange happened to him and that strange thing
  • 04:14 happens to a lot of others.
  • 04:17 That is, we're going down life's highway and we get knocked off
  • 04:19 of our horse.
  • 04:21 Luke tells the story about him once in Acts.
  • 04:23 Paul tells the story about it twice.
  • 04:25 Three times in this text, Acts of the Apostles, three times,
  • 04:29 Paul harks back to that moment when his life was
  • 04:33 radically transformed.
  • 04:35 He gets knocked off his horse, he falls to the ground in
  • 04:36 verse 4.
  • 04:38 He hears a voice: "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
  • 04:42 Well, Paul is gonna be spellbound by all of this.
  • 04:45 He's knocked off from his horse with a flash of light.
  • 04:48 He's left blinded for three days,
  • 04:51 then he's going to go to a home, right immediately after this,
  • 04:56 he's gonna go to a home and spend some time there,
  • 04:58 and then in verse 17, the Lord directs someone to go to the
  • 05:03 home to lay hands on this guy and it's an interesting
  • 05:05 story here.
  • 05:07 People are so nervous about Paul because his reputation
  • 05:10 preceded him.
  • 05:12 They knew, they're early followers of Yeshua, of Jesus,
  • 05:14 knew that this was a guy bent on their demise.
  • 05:18 What happens, all of a sudden, one of them gets a vision and is
  • 05:20 told, "Listen, you need to go and lay hands on this fella,"
  • 05:23 and he's nervous about doing it.
  • 05:25 But finally, in verse 17, we're told that "Ananias went and
  • 05:28 entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said,
  • 05:31 'Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you in the road
  • 05:35 as you came, has sent me that you might receive your sight and
  • 05:38 be filled with the Ruach Ha Kodesh, the Holy Spirit.'"
  • 05:43 Fascinating story.
  • 05:45 Paul walks away from this a new man, a converted individual.
  • 05:48 Mind you, however, he was a converted person.
  • 05:52 People come up to me and they say, "Well, you know, Mr. Seif,
  • 05:54 how long have you been a converted Jew?"
  • 05:56 And I'm very fond of saying, "Personally,
  • 05:58 I'm not a converted Jew, I'm a converted sinner.
  • 06:01 It's not a sin to be a Jew."
  • 06:02 Paul didn't understand that he used to be Jewish but now he's
  • 06:05 become something else.
  • 06:07 No, Paul has come to appreciate what it means to be fully Jewish
  • 06:10 in the wake of his encounter with the Messiah who epitomizes
  • 06:13 Jewish faith, virtue, hopes, and aspirations.
  • 06:17 ♪♪♪
  • 06:28 Jeffrey: He's led to Damascus by the hand.
  • 06:31 He's blind, can't see--can't see anything.
  • 06:34 His blindness aside, there's a disciple that has a vision from
  • 06:37 the Lord: "Go see this fella named Shaul."
  • 06:40 'Course, he has an aversion to doing so.
  • 06:42 Paul's reputation precedes him.
  • 06:44 People knew that Paul was principally engaged in
  • 06:48 eradicating the movement.
  • 06:50 He was involved in the persecution so asking Ananias to
  • 06:54 go see Paul was like asking a mouse to go visit a cat.
  • 06:56 He wasn't interested in it, quite frankly.
  • 06:58 But he went anyway and we're told that he came,
  • 07:03 in verse 17 of the 9th chapter, and that "he entered the house
  • 07:07 where Shaul was and he laid his hands on him and said,
  • 07:10 'Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus told me to come to you.'"
  • 07:14 And what happens?
  • 07:16 He prays for him and then we're told in the text that Saul
  • 07:18 recovers his vision.
  • 07:20 And then, interestingly, we're told that immediately Paul makes
  • 07:25 haste to go to the synagogue.
  • 07:27 You know, synagogues came in various shapes, sizes,
  • 07:29 and colors.
  • 07:31 Paul went into the synagogue and he was given therein to
  • 07:34 advocating for this Yeshua, for this Jesus,
  • 07:38 being the hope of Israel.
  • 07:40 It's a fascinating story.
  • 07:42 I want you to look at a text please in the 9th chapter of the
  • 07:44 book of Acts 'cause there's something I wanna underscore
  • 07:47 that, to me, is just so important and it's so
  • 07:52 underdeveloped and it's so descriptive of Paul.
  • 07:56 In verse 20, as I'd said, we're told that "immediately he
  • 07:59 preached the Christ."
  • 08:01 You know, immediately is used--eutheós, the Greek term,
  • 08:04 is used 42 times in Mark's Gospel.
  • 08:07 Jesus immediately.
  • 08:09 Sometimes, people think and feel too much.
  • 08:11 You've gotta just go after it.
  • 08:13 We're told here that Paul immediately went into
  • 08:15 the synagogue.
  • 08:17 Of course, Paul could get in there.
  • 08:19 He could make his way into a synagogue and get a speaking
  • 08:21 engagement.
  • 08:23 He was a member of the Perushim, he was a scholar,
  • 08:25 trained, studied in Jerusalem, and synagogues would give him a
  • 08:29 hearing.
  • 08:31 But then, of course, when he started talking they realized,
  • 08:33 "Well, this really isn't quite what we expected,"
  • 08:35 particularly these people because inasmuch as the Jewish
  • 08:37 followers of Yeshua knew that Paul had come to faith,
  • 08:40 the synagogue itself hasn't yet discovered it.
  • 08:44 But here, Paul's coming out of the closet, if you will,
  • 08:46 and making his vision known.
  • 08:49 We're told in verse 20 that "he preaches the Mashiach in the
  • 08:51 synagogue, that he, in fact, is the Son of God."
  • 08:56 I want you to note in verse 21 there's some disconsternation
  • 09:00 along with that.
  • 09:02 It was a rocky road, it wasn't what people were expected,
  • 09:05 and they weren't expecting that from Paul but he is what he is.
  • 09:08 He's not trying to win a popularity contest,
  • 09:10 he's trying to tell the truth.
  • 09:12 We're told in verse 22 then, that difficulties
  • 09:15 notwithstanding, and I really want you to hear me on this.
  • 09:17 We're told that "Saul increased all the more in strength,
  • 09:21 and that he confounded Judeans in Damascus,
  • 09:25 and he proved that Jesus was the Mashiach."
  • 09:29 Now, to describe this man as a man of strength, oomph,
  • 09:33 he's got some moxie, a lot of times people like their
  • 09:36 religious leaders sweet and docile and forever sheepish
  • 09:40 and compliant.
  • 09:42 That's not Paul.
  • 09:44 Those people don't change the world.
  • 09:47 Paul here is proactive.
  • 09:49 He's engaged and he's strong.
  • 09:52 When we read Paul in the New Testament,
  • 09:54 this isn't some religious philosopher.
  • 09:57 This is a man who's had a radical encounter with Yeshua
  • 10:00 and he's bent on advocating for him,
  • 10:03 much as he was bent on destroying him previously in
  • 10:06 his life.
  • 10:08 Paul was a man on a mission.
  • 10:09 Paul was an intense man, he was a focused man.
  • 10:11 He was a man with vision.
  • 10:14 Not everybody loved him but they came to respect him.
  • 10:16 This is a man that said what he thought and these apparently
  • 10:19 weren't just his thoughts but, rather,
  • 10:21 other--under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
  • 10:23 he went forth and changed the world and off into the world we
  • 10:27 go as we walk in the footsteps of this rabbi from Tarsus.
  • 10:33 ♪♪♪
  • 10:39 Jeffrey: In his own world, Paul had a vision.
  • 10:41 Oh, yes, like others, he was indelibly marked,
  • 10:44 impressed by his experience with Jesus.
  • 10:49 But his experience was different than the earlier disciples,
  • 10:51 for Paul himself never drank any water turned to wine,
  • 10:55 never ate any fish on any mountainside that had been
  • 10:58 multiplied miraculously.
  • 11:01 He never heard a single parable roll off of Jesus' lips.
  • 11:05 Paul had no firsthand experience and he was bent initially on
  • 11:09 destroying those who did.
  • 11:12 Interestingly, when he has a radical encounter with Jesus,
  • 11:15 he doesn't run to the school to learn to sit at the feet of
  • 11:20 the originals.
  • 11:22 No, he retreats.
  • 11:24 He's in Damascus, he tells us in his own autobiography that we'll
  • 11:26 get to, that from Damascus he then goes to Arabia.
  • 11:30 This is not the Arabia of the Saudi Peninsula of today.
  • 11:35 Rather, this is the Nabataean community in what would be
  • 11:39 Jordan, just east of the Holy Land in modern Jordan,
  • 11:43 trans-Jordania.
  • 11:45 And there he learned, there he developed,
  • 11:48 there he grew and he emerged from it as this striking apostle
  • 11:53 that we know who then went on to leave an indelible mark on the
  • 11:56 pages of a holy writ.
  • 11:59 And speaking of holy writ, when we look at the Galatian
  • 12:01 correspondence and this was arguably the first New Testament
  • 12:05 text written, here Paul waxes eloquent as he gives some
  • 12:10 autobiography to make a point.
  • 12:13 He notes in verse 15, he says, "And when it pleased God,
  • 12:17 who separated me from my mother's womb and called me
  • 12:21 through his grace," now hear me on this.
  • 12:23 If you have the kind of intensity that Paul had,
  • 12:26 you need to feel called, some sense of the Lord beckoning you
  • 12:30 into this.
  • 12:32 There are individuals today that have a call of God on
  • 12:34 their life.
  • 12:36 There's something inside of you, the Ruach Elohim,
  • 12:39 the Spirit of God, comes into someone and then moves them and
  • 12:42 the Lord moved Paul.
  • 12:45 But he didn't move Paul to sit at the feet of those who were in
  • 12:49 the know.
  • 12:51 He moved Paul away to a season of solace where he could speak
  • 12:55 to him personally.
  • 12:57 Paul's mind, he was already filled up with theological
  • 13:00 education as a member of the Perushim.
  • 13:02 He needed the school of the Spirit,
  • 13:04 and the Lord took him away.
  • 13:06 He says that "the Lord pleased," in verse 16, "to reveal his Son.
  • 13:12 He separated me from my mother's womb," in verse 15, 16,
  • 13:15 "and then he revealed his Son to me that I might preach him among
  • 13:19 the goyim," among the people of non-Jewish extract.
  • 13:23 Paul had a vision.
  • 13:25 The rabbi from Tarsus had a broader vision than just
  • 13:28 Judea proper.
  • 13:30 He believed that God was for [speaking Hebrew]
  • 13:32 goyim, for all of the peoples, [speaking Hebrew],
  • 13:35 and he was minded to carry the burden and carry it he did.
  • 13:40 We're told in verse 16 that he "didn't immediately go to confer
  • 13:44 with flesh and blood."
  • 13:47 Paul didn't run off to Jerusalem to get a master of divinity
  • 13:49 degree from those who were in the know.
  • 13:52 No, he went off to a barren place, to a desolate place.
  • 13:56 But he didn't just go into a cave and study,
  • 13:59 though there's plenty--there's many places for privacy to go if
  • 14:03 you want an arid dry environment you can find it around,
  • 14:06 you know, the Arabian desert, there where Paul was.
  • 14:10 The reason why we know he didn't just go away and meditate is
  • 14:14 later on when he writes 2 Corinthians 11:32,
  • 14:18 he's gonna give voice to the fact that when he returns to
  • 14:20 Damascus after some years in the area of the Nabataeans,
  • 14:25 what's referred to here as Arabia, when he goes back,
  • 14:28 he mentions how King Aretas of the Damascans,
  • 14:32 how he's hell-bent on destroying him with the net result that
  • 14:36 Paul has to sneak out of the city, get lowered in a basket.
  • 14:40 Arguably, somehow when he's out and about in the region,
  • 14:43 he's not just meditating privately,
  • 14:45 but he's confuting or rather he's debating,
  • 14:48 he's weighing in on issues, discussing, growing,
  • 14:51 going to synagogues and he's known as something of a
  • 14:53 troublemaker, and already the king of the area has warrants
  • 14:56 out for him.
  • 14:58 Reminds me of John Wesley who comes to the state initially as
  • 15:01 a missionary but then has to flee back to Europe because the
  • 15:04 constable's after him because he stirred it up over here.
  • 15:07 You know, some people are troublemakers when they advocate
  • 15:10 for the kingdom.
  • 15:11 They're not just sheepish religious philosophers.
  • 15:13 And Paul was of that ilk where he wanted to confront the world
  • 15:17 with the truth of Jesus and there was some backlash to that.
  • 15:21 Inasmuch as he pushed for Jesus, people tried to push him back.
  • 15:25 Difficulties notwithstanding, when we follow in the footsteps
  • 15:28 of the rabbi from Tarsus, we encounter someone who is not
  • 15:31 going to be bested by his troubles or his despair.
  • 15:34 He didn't care.
  • 15:36 He went everywhere to advance the Messiah's kingdom and that's
  • 15:39 what he was all about.
  • 15:41 And that's what we're gonna be all about as we continue to
  • 15:43 explore Paul as we walk "In the Footsteps of the Rabbi
  • 15:47 from Tarsus."
  • 15:50 ♪♪♪
  • 16:00 announcer: Our resource this week: the series, "Joshua: More
  • 16:03 Than a Conqueror," on DVD.
  • 16:05 This eight-program series reveals how Joshua went from spy
  • 16:09 to Moses' apprentice and then became the faithful leader of
  • 16:12 the Israelites during the conquest of the land of Canaan.
  • 16:16 With dramatic reenactments, Bible teaching from Dr. Seif,
  • 16:19 insight from Chaim Malespin, music, and much more.
  • 16:23 Contact us and ask for your copy of the DVD series,
  • 16:27 "Joshua: More Than a Conqueror."
  • 16:30 announcer: If you're thinking about visiting the Holy Land,
  • 16:33 come on a Zola Tour where the Scriptures come to life as you
  • 16:37 get teaching from a Messianic perspective.
  • 16:40 Our Spring Tour goes to Israel and Petra.
  • 16:43 In the fall, you can add a cruise of Greece and Ephesus.
  • 16:47 Come to Israel, see the Jewish roots of your faith.
  • 16:51 Call us at 1-800-WONDERS or click on the
  • 16:55 levitt.com/tourinfo.
  • 17:02 David: Dr. Seif will be teaching at one of our favorite
  • 17:04 places we go on tour which is Ephesus.
  • 17:07 We go to Greece, Israel, Ephesus.
  • 17:10 It's amazing. You're gonna see it in this series.
  • 17:13 We would love for you to join us on a Zola Tour.
  • 17:16 Kirsten: The backdrop for this whole series is gonna take
  • 17:19 you throughout the Mediterranean and, of course, Israel.
  • 17:22 We go two times a year.
  • 17:24 We go in the fall which is when you can add the Greece land tour
  • 17:27 and also the Greek Islands cruise.
  • 17:31 And we also go in the spring in March.
  • 17:34 We have many, many ways to sign up.
  • 17:37 The best way is to go to levitt.com, find our tour page,
  • 17:40 the info.
  • 17:42 It's easy, I promise you.
  • 17:44 Now, let's go back to Israel to hear more from Dr. Seif.
  • 17:48 ♪♪♪
  • 18:39 Jeffrey: Trouble seemed to follow the rabbi from Tarsus
  • 18:43 wherever he went.
  • 18:45 He's in Damascus and things deteriorate to the point where
  • 18:48 he's so much up against the wall that, for fear of his life,
  • 18:52 the brethren sneak him out of the city.
  • 18:56 They lower him in a basket and he makes haste to get out of
  • 19:01 Dodge and where does he go?
  • 19:03 He goes to Jerusalem where he's then confronted with another set
  • 19:07 of difficulties.
  • 19:10 [speaking Hebrew] is the Jewish expression,
  • 19:12 difficulties, trials.
  • 19:14 Not just for Paul in this case, but because of Paul in
  • 19:18 this case.
  • 19:20 And why do I say that?
  • 19:22 Paul has come to faith in Yeshua, but he hasn't come to
  • 19:25 Jerusalem yet.
  • 19:28 Here he comes but his reputation has been around before him.
  • 19:33 You might recall that the last time he was there in Jerusalem,
  • 19:37 he created quite a stir and why is that?
  • 19:42 Because he was there not to advocate for the movement but,
  • 19:47 rather, to advocate for the movement's demise.
  • 19:52 Luke is very specific that Paul wasn't just a casual participant
  • 19:58 in the plunder, in the carnage, of the movement and in the death
  • 20:03 of its first martyr, Stephen.
  • 20:05 No, it wasn't a casual participation.
  • 20:07 Paul was proactive, a spirited sort.
  • 20:11 Not satisfied with the death of Stephen alone,
  • 20:14 he went on to facilitate a general persecution and so it
  • 20:17 was that the believers in Judea, they felt Paul's weight already.
  • 20:24 And so, hearing that he's coming to town,
  • 20:27 they were not happy campers.
  • 20:29 It's like the way the mice feel when they hear that a cat has
  • 20:34 moved into the house.
  • 20:36 They are on red alert.
  • 20:39 Luke tells us in Acts chapter 9, verse 26,
  • 20:44 that "when Saul came to Jerusalem,
  • 20:47 he tried to join the disciples."
  • 20:51 He'd try and get close.
  • 20:53 They'd back away.
  • 20:55 They weren't comfortable with the man.
  • 20:57 And it's understandable, given the nature of the thing.
  • 21:00 It says--well, Luke says, "They were afraid."
  • 21:04 What happens is a friend comes to Paul's aid who's able to give
  • 21:10 testimony to the fact that with Paul,
  • 21:13 we're seeing a man with a transformed life.
  • 21:18 His name was Yoseph or Joseph.
  • 21:20 He was named Barnabas as well.
  • 21:23 He was a man of repute, noted previously in Luke.
  • 21:26 He gave a large sum of money to the apostles to help facilitate
  • 21:29 the gospel's advancement, to help the Judeans who were
  • 21:33 vanquished; difficulties, poverties, and the like,
  • 21:36 he liquidated assets to participate with them.
  • 21:39 And so he was a man of good reputation and this fellow,
  • 21:43 Barnabas, who was known positively to the Judean
  • 21:46 brethren, he's able to help offset the negative and so it is
  • 21:51 he gets in there and he tells the congregation about Paul,
  • 21:56 how he was converted, not a converted Jew but a converted
  • 21:59 sinner, how his disposition was rewired in the wake of his
  • 22:03 experience on the Damascus road.
  • 22:07 He goes on to note as well that this same Paul then,
  • 22:10 was fiery in his advocation for the gospel in the synagogues
  • 22:15 in Damascus.
  • 22:17 The net result is that the disciples take all this at face
  • 22:20 value and come to terms with the fact that Paul was a new fellow.
  • 22:26 We see in verse 29 that "he boldly spoke in the name of the
  • 22:29 Lord Yeshua and disputed against the Hellenists so much so that
  • 22:33 they attempted to kill him."
  • 22:37 This is the testimony: Paul, wherever he went,
  • 22:40 trouble went with him.
  • 22:42 And why is this?
  • 22:44 Because we have this inbreaking kingdom.
  • 22:46 The forces of hell are bent on stopping this man's
  • 22:49 forward momentum.
  • 22:52 Here in Jerusalem, by virtue of being a people and being on pins
  • 22:54 and needles around him, and then in Damascus beforehand,
  • 22:57 evidenced by the fact they wanna kill him.
  • 23:00 We're told here that he spent some time in Jerusalem.
  • 23:03 In his first correspondence, the first document he penned,
  • 23:07 Galatians, Paul tells as much in his own words.
  • 23:11 In Luke, here Luke is explaining Paul.
  • 23:16 We hear from Paul in his own words.
  • 23:18 So he says in chapter 1, verse 18, he's in Arabia,
  • 23:22 returns to Damascus, and then in 18,
  • 23:24 "Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter and
  • 23:28 remained with him 15 days."
  • 23:31 Paul says that it was a reasonably short visit.
  • 23:34 He gains access to the brethren.
  • 23:37 Afterwards then, in verse 21, he goes to the regions of Syria
  • 23:41 and Cilicia.
  • 23:43 The text says in Acts chapter 9, verse 29,
  • 23:46 that "the Hellenists sought to kill him."
  • 23:48 With the net result in verse 30, "When the brethren found out,
  • 23:52 they brought him down to Caesarea Maritima and sent him
  • 23:55 out to Tarsus."
  • 23:58 Paul makes a visit to Jerusalem because he's gotta get out
  • 24:01 of Damascus.
  • 24:04 He leaves Jerusalem because he's gotta get out and he makes his
  • 24:06 way to Tarsus.
  • 24:09 And he'll be in Tarsus for the better part of ten years.
  • 24:15 It seems that things have settled down some in
  • 24:18 Paul's life.
  • 24:20 He's learning, he's growing, he's ministering.
  • 24:22 He's in the great city of Tarsus, no mean city.
  • 24:27 According to the New Testament writer, it's a famous city.
  • 24:30 It's a university city.
  • 24:33 He's there, plying his trade as an evangelist and pastor,
  • 24:37 and he's networking.
  • 24:39 Arguably, he cultivated a relationship with Luke or at
  • 24:44 least Luke who's gonna join him later may well have shared with
  • 24:48 Paul in common days in Tarsus and why is that?
  • 24:52 Because Tarsus was known for its medical school,
  • 24:56 as well as its university in general.
  • 24:58 And so it is that Paul spends time in Tarsus until he's
  • 25:02 beckoned later to Antioch to then begin his famous
  • 25:06 missionary journeys.
  • 25:09 ♪♪♪
  • 25:20 David: It really is fascinating to see how Saul
  • 25:22 was trying to stop the spread of the gospel.
  • 25:24 Paul, on the other hand, the very opposite.
  • 25:27 Jeffrey: Yes, and getting the story out is so important.
  • 25:33 First, we get the story in and then it's all about getting the
  • 25:36 story out.
  • 25:38 That was the key.
  • 25:40 Paul's biographer, Luke, you know,
  • 25:42 the gospel begins in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and goes
  • 25:45 global, yes?
  • 25:47 Kirsten: It goes global, that's what our heartbeat is
  • 25:49 also but it's not cheap.
  • 25:52 There's always a cost, there's a price to pay.
  • 25:54 Jeffrey: Back in Paul's day as well, you know?
  • 25:56 It's--he relied on the support of others.
  • 25:59 His Philippian correspondence, I get to this later on in the
  • 26:02 series, was in effect a thank you letter.
  • 26:06 Now, we give thank you letters all the time,
  • 26:08 and let me give you one now for those that support us.
  • 26:12 In writing the Philippians, Paul said thank you 'cause you have
  • 26:15 stood with me, thick and thin, a lot abandoned.
  • 26:18 But there were those that stood with the man, the message,
  • 26:20 and the ministry, and for those of you that stand with us,
  • 26:23 thank you, please keep on standing.
  • 26:26 I wanna keep the old friends and make some new ones.
  • 26:28 And why is that?
  • 26:30 Because, like the nice lady said,
  • 26:32 it's expensive to get the story out.
  • 26:34 We work on various networks and there's expenses associated with
  • 26:38 making it all happen.
  • 26:40 I hope you love it, your kids love it too.
  • 26:42 The next generation needs to be captured by the story and we
  • 26:46 like doing it visually, not just materially with words.
  • 26:49 Kirsten: And we will carry on with this program,
  • 26:51 "Our Jewish Roots."
  • 26:53 We have so much more to bring you in 2020.
  • 26:56 Watch us here on your television program or on your computer.
  • 27:00 Also join us on our social media sites.
  • 27:02 If nothing else, levitt.com, you can find more information.
  • 27:06 Jeffrey: Yes, and when you watch us,
  • 27:08 let's do it again next week.
  • 27:10 As you go now, shaalu shalom Yerushalayim.
  • 27:13 Kirsten: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
  • 27:17 announcer: Join us right now for additional content that is
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  • 27:26 Visit our website, levitt.com, for the current and past
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  • 27:42 Also on our website is the online store.
  • 27:45 There, you can order this week's resource or you can always give
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  • 27:52 Your donations to "Our Jewish Roots" help us to support these
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  • 28:04 ♪♪♪
  • 28:25 announcer: This has been a paid program brought to you
  • 28:27 by Zola Levitt Ministries.

Episodes in this series

  1. Persecutor to Advocate
  2. A Message for All Peoples
  3. Turbulent Journeys
  4. Road to Rome
  5. Galatians and Thessalonians
  6. Corinthians and Romans
  7. Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians
  8. Timothy and Titus

Guest organizations and links

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