A Presbyterian Church following the Bible without Qualification
and the Lord Jesus Christ without Compromise by Faith      

Sermon Notes Acts 28:17-31





First we see the phases of apostolic response to the opportunity of Paul's being in Rome, albeit as a prisoner. He first relates carefully and honestly with the Jews there, who had not heard concerning him, then pursues the teaching, leading to division, inevitable in spiritual matters, since the Truth and the lie are at war (cf. John 14:30), till the lie is burnt out. In this you see a dynamic as Paul continues in order, in teaching, in confrontation, in mission, in whatever circumstances he finds himself placed.  Here lies wisdom.









Since these things came from his arrest when militant Judaisers assailed him in the temple,  with risk to his life, we can conceive them as results of arrest, leading to great things, just as Joseph's arrest did in Egypt.  In this, there is the patience of continuing despite his condition, for years, and persevering in this, with the net production doubtless of many new saints, much sound instruction and a force of stability.






This illustrates a broader situation. Israel, despite its national infamy with Christ, was thus involved in exporting through Jewish apostles and believers, the faith leading to eternal life, into the world. This was life in death, export despite the national error, through the proclamation of the Gospel and the teaching of the word of God in the power of the Spirit of God. While the nation of Israel was 'under arrest' by desolating powers, first from within the Jewish misrule, then from Rome and others, the apostles and many more became ultra-productive by the power of God (Acts 10-28).

As by them, precious exports were made, in contrast, now there has been and is abundant  import of death to Israel  from sundry sources, international pressure and presumption, effort to divest Israel of more land, gross libel and the like. These are features of the end of the Age, of which we have seen much more lately, in an obvious intensification of war, earthquake, seas and waves roaring, more incendiary attitudes to Israel, confirming even more acutely, that the this time up! is near.

Whatever the current blight and suffering on the part of many, the glory is therefore much nearer, and its delectable peace and rest from the works, is looming like a vast lake, as the train crosses on a bridge,  to the other side.










with emphasis on export-import. 

Thus while Israel was first by its own misled forces, then by Rome, Turks and others, a land in prison, yet through apostles and many others (cf. Acts 11:19), it exported the Gospel of God's gift of grace, through which many Gentile peoples became His, even some nations giving formal support. It was given to import however much in the way of lethal rockets, some from the land of Gaza which it had freely delivered to its enemies, who then exploited it in this way,  as formerly they launched attack from Jordan, when given free citizenship and access there. Now that it is back, yet Israel the nation is not back with the Lord through its Messiah, Jesus Christ (cf. Christ the Citadel ... Ch. 2). There is here a far greater import impending (cf. Revelation 3:20, Romans 11:25ff.). Meanwhile, that time and that of the end of the Age, is moving like self-propelled artillery nearer to the camps of this world.


The following elements are recent and worth noting.



1) There was the Life-Giving Flow of Grace through converted Jewish missionaries in Israel, to Gentiles outside it,


In divine providence and grace, this led to  entire nations adopting  pro-Christian attitudes at various times. Thus God used some in Israel in the early formation of the Christian Church, in this planned export. The nation failed, but the apostles triumphed and the Gentile world was regaled.


2) The  Death-Dealing flow of assault on Israel by Gentiles near and far, proceeds as predicted, now that Jerusalem is restored to Israel, showing we are near the end (Luke 21:24, 28, Zechariah 12:1ff.).


3) Alike is the array of mordant and mortal messages, directed to Israel the nation. Various parties say Israel should  go back to Germany or wherever, and some have said, into the sea. Discriminatively, they do not want it to pollute the territory which is nevertheless, that of their forefathers for some 1450 years.


4) Argentina is inclined to accept an offer from Iran to abandon seeking the cause of earlier assaults on Jews in that country, thought to have come from Hamas and Iran, and this in exchange for financial aid. If so, then is Israel betrayed the more, even at the information level.


5) Egypt's new foreign minister is keen on changing policy re Israel, and may open border, thus allowing free movement of help to Israel-haters in Gaza.


6) Gaza rockets can now reach the outskirts of Tel Aviv, and have hit Beer Sheba. They are said to be Russian and have been so used.


7) Israel is preparing an Iron Dome defence weapon, to repel missiles from Gaza. It seems that currently, there need to be separate pieces of this equipment to cover separate parts of Israel. Gentile Gaza, gift of Israel, is  now a centre for making bombardment easier against the land donor. As such, it is one more nail in the coffin of this Age, which invites the very divine action foretold, and it is statedly when Israel is WEAK, that God is strong, in a movement more decisive than that of the USA and allies against Libyan terrorism (Deuteronomy 32:36). This cordiality from the USA for Israel, it is so no more. That day has changed, that also.


8) Now the USA has permitted the Palestinian Authority diplomatic mission in Washington for the first time, to raise their flag over their site (Israel My Glory, March-April 2011), "symbolically transforming the location into a national embassy".


9) In this, it moves with Ireland, which has upgraded the PLA delegation to the  status of diplomatic mission with the leader referred to as Ambassador. While the move is muted somewhat, the ingredients and their direction are clear.


10) Medvedev has made it clear that since  the  20th century, Russia has supported a Palestinian state with capital in East Jerusalem, and that it will  continue to do so. It is almost as if he too has a passion, to fulfil and write in the modern equivalents of the surge assault to come on Israel as in Ezekiel 37-39! Certainly, this enduring animosity to Israel fits most neatly with the God-Magog prophecy.


11) The support of the USA, great in the days of Nixon and Reagan, has become the sort which a lettuce needs from snails, for it is pushing for a serving of the miserable sliver of the Palestine accorded Israel by the League of Nations, to be sliced off and apportioned to the Islamic body. This would enable that body to add this to such choice already available spots, favourable to Islam,  as Iran, Iraq, Jordan which gained most of Palestine, Armenia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and regions of Africa. For the USA to seek this, is in the face of clear knowledge  that Jordan offered vagrant Palestinians citizenship which they abused, making war on Israel from this location and helping to induce what became near to civil war in Jordan, at which they lost their welcome. So the farce cachinnates the more.

As these unwillingly imported assaults on Israel amplify, following its return to its historic land
and are repossession of Jerusalem,  so the clock moves, the torch of approaching tragedy for many draws nearer, and the return of Christ brings joy for Christian people.



The Middle East in ONE respect is incredibly simple as an action centre.

In this, there are two parties:  God on the one hand gave Israel its land by divine decree (Genesis 17:7-8), which while including in covenant, results of departure from it, which have been fulfilled in the dispersion (cf. Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28-32), also included an impermeable insistence on their continuation there. Hence their divinely ensured return (cf. Micah 7:14ff., Deuteronomy 32:29ff., Ezekiel 36-39 cf. SMR Appendix A). On the other hand, man gives Israel's appointed land to whoever will have it, be it Roman or Turk, or Arab, so that although Palestine was appointed for a homeland to Israel, yet much of it was given   to Jordan instead, while now more is sought, including part of Jerusalem.

Accordingly, there is a biblically predicted war which would start, as it in fact  did start,  with triumphs by Israel, as in 1948, 1967, 1973, disproportionate though the battle was from numerous enemies, as foretold in Zechariah 12. This continues when conversions to Christ come in great numbers in Israel (12:10-13:1) and ends in a massive malady for those who do not stop at taking God on, even when the whole earth is there, no small part of it in Islamic hands. Despite this,  they MUST have Israel and it MUST become even more indefensible than it now is, except that is, by God.

Fancy disputing property rights with the Maker of land! Yet if Israel is an index, what of Christ ? How many are involved in repeats of that slaughter in their hearts, these living lands unyielded, divested from the divine mercy, alike with weighty results! That, the real estate of the heart, is the most crucial of all.

Voiding reality is worse than anaesthetic, and far more fatal. Imprisonment by sin pits vision, slays uprightness and imperils life (John 8:34-36), and in this is small profit.

It is the liberation of THAT land of which Paul spoke boldly in Rome, as do and must we in our day throughout this present world, while it remains. Without its Maker, many are unmade, fashioned by fiasco, finished along with their idols; and of that kind of thing, surely Israel has given the world ample exhibition of the cost! Great will be the day of its spiritual return in large measure (Romans 11:25ff.), for long enduring Israel (Jeremiah 33:10ff.), whose distinguishable continuation amazes the world, just as it was guaranteed by God. If return to their land was great, then  greater yet will be the day of any one, Jew or Gentile, who finds the Lord crucified, yes rather risen, and peace in Him. It is this, the return in heart to man's heartland in Christ, which matters most (Luke 15:10).

Above all, Christ was under arrest, importing nails, exporting pardon. When HE is imported, then grace is exported (Revelation 3:20, John 7:37-38), for then the heart is regenerated, the spirit is infilled with His presence (Romans 8:9, Ephesians 3:16), which being uncontainable, wells up, springs out and brings hope to many. Hope only is not all, for as His imprisonment in locales ending in the that of the cross, has brought liberty, so His resurrection brings certainty, conferring to faith in Him,  everlasting consolation, eternal life and scope for service till He comes, however arresting our circumstances may appear (II Thessalonians 2:16), who for every Christian,

"will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body,
according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself"
(Philippians 3:21).