“The Acts of the Apostles”
“Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven”
Jesus did all of his stuff until he went to heaven after giving instructions with his boys. He made his point with his words and actions, fulfilling prophecies. He stuck around for 40 more days. “Don’t leave Jerusalem. Wait for God to give you a sign. We’ve talked about this. John the Baptist may have baptized you, but wait till you see what God’s got in store for you.”
The guys asked, “Are you going to take Israel from the Romans and give it back to the people?” Jesus: “Never you mind that. You should concentrate on getting right with God. He’s running things anyway.”
Just like that he went up past the clouds. They looked up and two guys in white rolled up and said, “Why are you staring at the sky? Isn’t this the Jesus we all know? Don’t you think he’ll come back sometime?”
“Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas”
The guys went back to Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives. There were 11 of them, joined with Mary and Jesus and his brothers. Peter addressed the group, “All right. We’ve got to deal with the vacancy that Judas left.”
Judas had bought a field where he fell down and his guts blew the fuck up all over the place. The field is now called the Field of Blood.
He’s gone but we’ve got to get another guy who’s been with us since John the Baptist met Jesus. Two candidates came up: Barsabbas (Justus) and Matthias. They all prayed then voted. Matthias won.
“The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost”
Pentecost came and they were all gathered together. In came a wind from heaven and filled their house. Tongues of fire came down and plopped down on them. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in strange languages.
Jews from all over the place came to Jerusalem to be together. They asked how it was possible that so many of them could understand each other when they all came from different places and spoke completely different languages. “What’s up with that?” Too much booze.
“Peter Addresses the Crowd”
“All right, Jews, I know what’s going on. Listen up, because I’m only gonna say this once. Nobody’s been hitting the sauce. As Joel said, ‘God will be sending out the Holy Spirit to all the people when the end of the world is coming. The sun is going away and there’s going to be some wild shit.’
“We all know Jesus fulfilled the prophecies. We all saw the miracles. We all saw him die. We all saw him alive afterwards. Like David said, ‘God’s around and won’t leave me. I’m super happy to have God on my side to see me through all the shit in life.’
“David died and was buried and here he is today. God made promises to his descendants. Remember Jesus is that descendant. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise. So, let’s be happy about this.
“So, now that we’ve been left behind. We’ve got fulfill Jesus’s orders. Repent, get baptized and pray that we are forgiven of our sins. Let’s spread the word around. We still have the chance to make it right with God.
“The Fellowship of the Believers”
They focused on the important things: bread and prayer. People saw the apostles’ signs and miracles. People began to sell off their property and give the money to the needy. They ate together and hung out together, praising God.
“Peter Heals a Lame Beggar”
Peter and John were going to the temple at 3 in the afternoon. There was a lame man at the ‘Beautiful Gate’ begging for money from the temple goers. Peter told the man to look at them. “I haven’t got any money but I can sort your legs out through the power of Jesus.” The man was doing back flips down the Temple halls.
“Peter Speaks to the Onlookers”
People came to them at Solomon’s Colonnade. Peter addressed them: “Why are you surprised by this? Jesus has done this in the past and now he’s given me the same power. This is the same Jesus that you had arrested and killed. You denied him and had him crucified but you all know deep down inside that it was the power of Jesus that sorted this guy out.
“You guys didn’t know. But now you see what the power of God can do. So, we’ll draw a line under all of that and let’s start over again. You’ve got to repent and turn to Jesus and God. If you do this and make your children do this, you’ll be all right with God.”
“Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin”
A bunch of men (“The Man”) approached Peter and John as they were talking to the people. They didn’t like them talking about Jesus and the resurrection. They had them thrown in jail. The priests and elders began talking about the situation the next day and asked the pair: “In whose name and power did you do that?”
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter answered: “Jesus, the one you had crucified. He is the only way to be saved.” The priests examined them and then realized that they looked grubby and were surprised that Jesus would want to be in their company. However, there’s no denying that the man had been healed. They huddled around privately and wondered what they would do with the two. “The man is healed but we can’t let them carry on about Jesus… All right, boys, would you come here? Nice one about the lame man but stop talking about Jesus.'”
Peter asked them what was best, for them to listen to God or them… The priests didn’t know how to respond to that. People were praising God and the man was healed.
“The Believers Pray”
Peter and John were released and went back to their people. They recounted the discussion and the people decided that God was doing this. The Holy Spirit must have been involved. Herod, Pontius Pilate and the Gentiles must have been in cahoots in having Jesus killed. But that must have been fulfilling Jesus’s predictions of his own death. They asked God to help them spread the word about Jesus. They felt the Holy Spirit fill their hearts.
“The Believers Share Their Possessions”
Everybody was on board. They began to share everything they had. The apostles continued to talk about Jesus to everyone. Because they were so holy, nobody was needy among them. New recruits sold all their shit and put their money into the kitty. Joseph from Cyprus (Barnabas) sold a whole field and gave it to the cause.
“Ananias and Sapphira”
Ananias and Sapphira were a couple who sold their property and gave it to the cause. But he kept a little bit for himself. Peter saw right through this (apparently he was up on the real estate market of the time): “Why has Satan caused you to lie to us and the Holy Spirit and keep some for yourself?”
Ananias died on the sport. People saw this and began to quake in their sandals. He was buried. Sapphira had no idea that this happened. Peter interrogated her. She continued the lie. Peter: “You’re a fucking liar, just like your husband!” She dropped dead too and was buried.
“The Apostles Heal Many”
The Apostles healed people and performed miracles. People began to get afraid of meeting at Solomon’s Colonnade because of the incident with the priests. This didn’t stop new followers joining up. People brought in sick and lame people to get fixed.
“The Apostles Persecuted”
The priests and elders of the Sadducees got pissed off at all the attention Peter’s crew were getting. So, they had the apostles arrested. An angel came to them at night and busted them out. They were told to go to the temple court and continue preaching.
The next morning the priests and crew (called the Sanhedrin) called the prisoners to be seen. Nobody was there in the cells!! One observant person told them the prisoners were out preaching in the courtyard. They brought in. Priests: “We told you to stop talking about Jesus and you won’t fucking stop it! All your converts are going to start calling for our heads.”
Peter: “God told us to. We’d rather listen to God than some numb nut. We’ve seen too much and have been too filled with the Holy Spirit to stop.”
This really pissed them off. The Pharisee, Gamaliel stood up to speak to the priests. “We’ve got to be careful with these nut jobs. Remember what happened to Theudas? He had a ton of supporters and when we killed him, they dispersed. Afterwards, Judas, the Galilean started a revolt and when he was killed, people packed it in. So, let’s not bother the people. If all of this shit is made up, it’ll fall apart soon enough. But if it actually is from God, we don’t want to be on the wrong side.”
They seemed convinced. The priests whipped their hides and let them go. Everybody was happy.
“The Choosing of the Seven”
The numbers started piling up. The Greek Jews complained that the Hebrew Jews weren’t looking out for widows. The 12 got together to address the issue. They decided that some of them should responsible for the ministry and some of them should be responsible for taking care of the needy. This allowed them to preach and take care of those who need it.
Stephen began preaching but ran into some trouble with the Synagogue of the Freedmen, Jews of the Cyrene and Alexandria. They got into an argument. The Synagogue members claimed he blasphemed about Moses and God. Stephen was brought before the Sanhedrin. False witnesses were brought in to testify that Stephen was using Jesus as an excuse to change Moses’s laws. Everyone looked at him and he had the face of an angel.
“Stephen’s Speech to the Sanhedrin”
Stephen answered the accusations: “God showed himself to Abraham and told him to wander. So, he moved. God sent him to another land and he moved. He had nothing and lived a hellish life. They would live like strangers in a strange land. They would be slaves but eventually God was going to make things right. He told Abraham to mutilate baby boys’ penises. Abraham’s line led all the way down to Jacob.
“Eventually Jacob’s line led to Moses. Moses was sent away and became a part of the Pharaoh’s family until God called him to lead the Jews out of Egypt. Moses led them around for 40 years and many began to question his divine authority. Some even began to worship false idols. God sent those people to Babylon in exile. David reorganized everyone. Solomon built a temple. God’s been giving us guidance all along. Those who don’t follow it are doomed to be killed or exiled.”
“The Stoning of Stephen”
The Sanhedrin didn’t like this explanation. Stephen was so full of the Holy Spirit that he stopped them from gnashing their teeth and said, “Don’t you see heaven open? There’s God and there’s Jesus right next to him.”
They covered their ears to this and dragged his ass out of the city and started to stone him. There was Saul to approve of this killing. While he was being stoned to death, Stephen spoke to God: “Please receive my spirit. Don’t hold this shit against them.” He fell asleep.
“The Church Persecuted and Scattered”
That day the church broke up. People scattered around Judea and Samaria. The apostles were left to bury Stephen. Saul began to destroy what was left of the church, throwing people in prison.
“Philip in Samaria”
Philip spread the word in Samaria and said that the Messiah was there. People came to listen to him. He exorcized demons and healed the sick.
“Simon the Sorcerer”
Simon was a wizard in Samaria. He had quite the following because of all of his sorcery. But when Philip came along, people started getting baptized. Simon wanted in on this action too. He followed Philip wherever he went and was amazed by the miracles happening.
The Apostles liked what they heard about Samaria. Peter and John went to check it out. They prayed that these newcomers would receive the Holy Spirit because they hadn’t received it yet. They placed their hands on the people and one by one, they received the Holy Spirit.
Simon offered them money to receive the Holy Spirit and be able to give it to others. Peter told him he hoped his money would kill him. He would have no place in the church because his heart was in the wrong place. Simon prayed that he wouldn’t die and burn in hell.” Peter and John went back to Jerusalem hitting some villages along the way for some preaching.
“Philip and the Ethiopian”
An angel told Philip to go the road from Jerusalem to Gaza. He went along and met a ballless Ethiopian, official of the Ethiopian queen. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship and was reading the book of Isaiah in a chariot. The Spirit told Philip to go to the chariot. Philip asked him about the book and they began chatting about it.
Philip explained the meaning of a passage that had bothered him. The Ethiopian asked about being baptized. So, Philip baptized him. They both went into the water and only the Ethiopian came up. The Spirit had taken him away. Philip showed up in Azotus and preached all the way to Caesarea.
Saul was busy trying to put the kibosh on Christianity. He was working with high priests, writing to places as far away as Damascus to find people loyal to Jesus in order to throw them in jail. On his way to Damascus, he saw a light in the sky and a voice booming, “Why don’t you leave me the fuck alone?”
It was Jesus. He told Saul to go into the city await further instruction. The people with Saul were understandably shaken. Saul got up but he couldn’t see a think. He had to be led to Damascus. He wouldn’t eat or drink a thing for 3 days.
There was a disciple there named Ananias. Jesus called him to go see Saul of Tarsus. He was to put his hands on Saul and give him his sight back. Ananias was unsure because he had heard so many stories about Saul harassing and imprisoning Jesus’s followers.
Jesus said, “Don’t worry. He’s going to be our biggest supporter, especially in the Gentile towns. Ananias sorted Saul out. He told him that he was the instrument of Jesus. He went to get baptized and get some grub.
“Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem”
He stuck around in Damascus with some disciples. He began to preach in synagogues about Jesus. People did double takes. “Wasn’t this the ball breaker running us into the ground?” But there he was taking up the cause. Later there was a conspiracy to kill him. Saul caught wind of this. The gates of the city were guarded looking for him. He was able to sneak through an opening.
Back in Jerusalem, he tried to meet up with disciples but they didn’t want to have anything to do with him. Barnabas was the first one to extend a hand to him. He told the guys about Saul’s experience on the way to Damascus. He still had trouble convincing everyone that he was on their side now. He was sent to Tarsus (S. Turkey). Word was spreading.
“Aeneas and Dorcas”
Peter went to visit people in Lydda. He ran into a fella named Aeneas, another paralytic. Peter sorted him out. That was enough to convert the people of Lydda and Sharon.
There was a woman in Joppa named Tabitha (Dorcas). She took care of the poor. She was sick and died. Her body was taken and put upstairs in a room. Peter was in the area and went to see the woman’s body. He went into the room and told her to sit up. She sat up and people were astonished by this.
“Cornelius Calls for Peter”
There was a centurion called Cornelius. His family were devoted to the Christian cause. He had a vision and an angel called his name. “What?” Angel: “All your prayers and gifts to the poor have been appreciated. Send some people for Peter in Joppa. Here’s his address.” Cornelius sent servants to get him.
Peter went to the roof of a building to pray. He got hungry and went down for lunch. While waiting, he went into a trance. The sky opened up, he saw birds and reptiles. A voice called to him: “Kill and eat.”
Peter explained that he doesn’t eat impure food. The voice snapped back at him “Are you calling God’s food unclean?!” They went back and forth 3 times like this. Cornelius’s men found Peter’s house and were at the door. The voice said: “Peter, 3 guys are downstairs, go with them.” They explained why they were there and he invited them in.
“Peter at Cornelius’s House”
Peter and a couple hangers-on went with them to Caesarea. Cornelius brought his family around for Peter’s arrival. When Peter showed up, Cornelius dropped to his knees. This embarrassed Peter who told him to stand up. Peter attracted a large crowd. He reminded them that it was illegal for Jews to associate with Gentiles but God told him that there are no impure people. So, why am I here?”
Cornelius told him the story about the voice. Peter told him that he realizes that God accepts people from all backgrounds into the Christian camp. Peter and his crew saw Jesus speak to all the people of Israel but God has now allowed non-Jews into the fold. As Peter was talking, all listeners were filled with Holy Spirit. They celebrated by butchering the non-Jews penises. Everybody started speaking in tongues. Everybody was then baptized.
“Peter Explains His Actions”
The new message about Jesus and God was getting around. Peter went to Jerusalem to check in on things. He got an ear from people without foreskin on their penises about hanging out with people with foreskin on their penises.
Peter explained his trance in Joppa where he saw a sheet being dropped from heaven. He saw wild animals, reptiles and birds. Then he heard a voice telling him to get up, kill and eat. He complained to the voice that he didn’t want to eat impure things. The voice responded that God doesn’t make impure things.
He told them about his trip to Caesarea to visit the Roman living there. God told him to baptize non-Jews in order to bring them into the fold. God wanted Gentiles to join in the business.
“The Church in Antioch”
The faithful had scattered after Stephen had been martyred – Phoenicia, Cyprus, Cyrene, Antioch. A lot of people were converting. The news got back to Jerusalem. Barnabas went to Antioch to help continue the conversions. Then he went to Tarsus to find Saul. They got together and toured around for about a year. The name of ‘Christian’ started in their time at Antioch. Prophets went to Antioch. Agabus was possessed by the Spirit and predicted a famine all over the Roman world. The church began to grow in size and $$.
“Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison”
King Herod began to arrest people involved in the church. James was killed by a sword. He saw that this was popular with some Jews. He got a hold of Peter during the Festival of Unleavened Bread (the worst kind of bread). He was arrested and guarded heavily for a trial after Passover.
The church prayed for Peter. The night before the trial, Peter was a sleep in chains between two guards. An angel showed up and smacked Peter and his chains fell off. “Grab your gear, wrap up tight and follow me” said the angel. They walked out of there unnoticed and suddenly the angel disappeared. Peter knew that God had something to do with this. He went to Mary’s house, John’s mother. The servant Rhoda answered the door and told the people of the house. The people of the house didn’t believe him and came out to see him. “Keep quiet about this but tell James and all his people.” Then he fucked off. Herod was livid that Peter got free, so much so that he had the guards on duty executed.
Herod went down to Caesarea. He had had some trouble with Tyre and Sidon. Blastus, the king’s servant supported the push to get some help about food. Herod showed up wearing his kingly clothes and gave a speech. Since Herod did not glorify God, he was struck dead and was eaten by worms.
“Barnabas and Saul Sent Off”
Barnabas and Saul wrapped up and went home, taking John with them.
They went Seleucia and went off to Cyprus. At Salamis, they preached at the synagogue along with John. They went around until they got to Paphos. They ran into a false prophet named Bar-Jesus, attendant to the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul wanted to talk to the guys because he wanted to know what they had to say. Elymas, the sorcerer tried to stop this meeting. Saul (also named Paul) became filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk with Elymas and called him a devil child and pretty shitty in general. “You’re a liar and a cheat. Stop blocking God because you’re really going to get it. Just for annoying me, I’ll make you blind. The Proconsul was converted based on that.
“In Pisidian Antioch”
They went on to Perga in Pamphylia (S. Turkey) where John left them to go to Jerusalem. They went to Pisidian Antioch. They went the synagogue there and preached. Paul addressed them: “All right, listen up. God chose the people of Israel to be the best. They survived a lot of shit thrown at them in Egypt, the wilderness and Canaan, and finally got them to the Promised Land.
“He gave them judges until Samuel came around. The people got the king, Kish. After Saul, they got David. God really liked this move. David’s line passed down to Jesus and he was the gift to the people from God. But the people of Jerusalem don’t realize this. They had Jesus killed and he still managed to prove he’s the real deal. He is the fulfillment of tons of prophecies. In spite of the fact that all the people are turning away, they can still change their tune.”
They began to leave after the speech and the people invited them back next Sabbath. Many people followed them wherever they went. The next weekend, a lot of new convert showed up. So much so, that the “Establishment” got very jealous at their numbers. They began to heckle Paul. They answered that they are talking about God and the critics aren’t worthy of going to heaven. God told them to convert Gentiles on top of Jews. The more success they got, the more it ruffled the Man’s feathers.
Paul and Barnabas show up to the Jewish synagogue in Iconium. They gathered a bunch of converts and pissed off a lot of the people the converts were turning away from. The city was essentially split in two between the old guard and the new religion. Paul and Barnabas got out of town before things got too hairy.
“In Lystra and Derbe”
In Lystra a lame man listened to Paul speak. Paul asked him to stand up and boom! The man jumped up and started to walk. The locals were astonished and called Barnabas Zeus and Paul Hermes. The priest of the temple of Zeus came out to see this and brought gifts.
Barnabas and Paul didn’t like this. They meant to convert the people to Jesus not confirm their beliefs in the pagan gods. The Jews that came in to town from to heckle them began to stone Paul. They thought he was dead and dragged him out of the city. The disciples went to check him out and brought him to Derbe.
“The Return to Antioch in Syria”
They went to Antioch, having way more luck there. They went back to Lystra and Iconium to finish their half-assed job of converting the masses. Paul and Barnabas appointed elders to help run the church locally. They did a small tour of area and went back to Antioch. They had finished their missions.
“The Council at Jerusalem”
People came down to Antioch claiming the salvation was dependent on circumcision. Paul and Barnabas came in to debate this. They went down to Jerusalem to talk about this issue. Believers that belonged to the Pharisees agreed that new-comers must be circumcised to get into heaven.
Peter addressed this question: “God told us to go out and get Gentiles. He said that Gentiles are just as able to be saved as Jews. What matters is not the state your dicks are in but whether or not you’ve accepted Jesus.”
Paul and Barnabas told the people of all the Gentiles that had converted and all the wonders God had provided to Jews and Gentiles alike. James spoke: “Peter told us of how God spoke up for the Gentiles. If we want this thing to grow, we can’t shut them out. The idea of circumcision and keeping out foreign blood and ridiculous dietary restrictions is going to hinder our cause, not help it.”
“The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers”
The Apostles and elders decided to send Judas (not that one) and Silas with Paul and Barnabas up to Antioch. They also sent a note with them addressed to Gentile believers:
“If you could please abstain from the following that would be super: food sacrificed to idols, blood, meat of strangled animals and sexual no-nos. Thanks.”
They went to Antioch and read the letter out to followers. People seemed to like it. Paul and Barnabas stayed there to continue their work.
“Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas”
Paul wanted to check up on the progress of the towns they converted on their little tour of Turkey. Barnabas wanted to take John (also called Mark) but Paul was still upset with John for having abandoned them when they were in Pamphylia. They fell out with each other over this. Barnabas and John took off for Cyprus and Paul took Silas and went around in Syria and Cilicia (S. Turkey).
“Timothy Joins Paul and Silas”
Paul rolled up to Derbe and then Lystra. He met with Timothy, half Jewish and half Greek. He had a good reputation in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted him for his travels, so he mutilated his penis to make him proper. They continued to press the issues the Jerusalem crew wanted broadcasted.
“Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia”
Paul and company went around in Phrygia and Galatia. They got to Mysia near the city of Bithynia but the Holy Spirit stopped them from entering. So, they went down to Troas. That night, Paul had a vision of a fella in Macedonia asking for help. The next morning, he picked up and made way for Macedonia.
“Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi”
‘We’ (switches from the 3rd person narrative to the 1st person) went from Troas to Samothrace and then to Neapolis and then to Philippi, near Macedonia. On the Sabbath, ‘we’ went to the river outside the gate and talked to a woman there. The woman was named Lydia and she sold purple cloth. Paul’s message seemed to strike a chord. She agreed to have her family baptized and she invited them in to their home.
“Paul and Silas in Prison”
We ran into a slave who predicted the future. She followed us telling everyone that Paul was a man of God trying to save us. Paul got annoyed by her after a few days and she seemed to stop predicting the future. Her owners were pissed off because she wasn’t able to make money off of it anymore. They brought us to the magistrate claiming they were trying to convert Romans. The magistrates agreed that this wasn’t on and had them stripped and beaten. They were put in chains and thrown in jail. Trying to keep their spirits high, Paul and Silas sang songs about God. There was an earthquake that shook the foundation of the prison. The doors flew open and the chains came loose. Paul warned the guard not to harm himself because they hadn’t left. The jailer was a quick convert. They went off to the jailer’s house. The magistrates ordered them to be released but just to leave town. Paul wasn’t having it. They were about to escort them out until they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens and couldn’t be ordered to leave. They hung out with Lydia and then left.
Paul & Co. went to Thessalonica and checked into the synagogue. Paul spent 3 Sabbaths trying to convince the locals that Jesus was the Messiah and that he did everything that they say he did and he’s the only way to go to heaven. He managed to do well.
In come the ‘Establishment’ Jews getting upset. They convinced many to start a riot and went looking for Paul and Silas. They grabbed Jason (not that one) and shouted “Look at these dickheads. They’re claiming Jesus is king, not Caesar.” This caused a ruckus but they managed to come out unscathed.
That night Paul and Silas escaped to Berea. The Jews there were a bit more upper crust than the ones in Thessalonica. They read a lot and were taken in by what Paul had to say. The nasty ones in Thessalonica heard about them down in Berea and sent mobs down there to stir things up. Paul escaped to the coast but Timothy and Silas stuck around. Paul was brought to Athens. Timothy and Silas were meant to join him there.
When he got to Athens, Paul saw lots and lots of people worshipping idols. He would try to talk to people in the synagogue and the market there. He ran into Epicureans and Stoics there. They realized that he was pushing a foreign god on them. They brought him to a meeting of the Aeropagus (part of the Acropolis) and asked him more about what he had to say. Athenians were genuinely curious of foreign concepts.
Paul addressed them. “I realize you guys are fairly religions. I see that you even worship ‘unknown gods’. The god who made the world doesn’t live in temples. He isn’t served by human hands. He gave you life and breath. He wants us all to become one nation.
“As we all are God’s children, we shouldn’t think of him as living in some gold or silver image. God wants you to knock it off. One day the end of the world is going to come and won’t you all feel like twats doing things he doesn’t want you to do. Jesus’s life, ministry and death are the proof of all this. Now you know and it’s up to you to make the changes.”
Some just walked away from him. Some seemed interested in his speech. Dionysius (not that one) and Damaris were the ones largely interested in this.
He headed down to Corinth. He ran into a Jewish couple from Turkey named Aquila and Priscilla (that would look good on a marquee). He hung out with them and he took them down to the synagogue, where he tried to preach to Jews and Greeks.
Silas and Timothy joined up. By this point, Paul had pretty much written his sermons aimed at Jews trying to convince them that Jesus was the Messiah. The Jews didn’t take too kindly to that. He became really angry at Jews in general. He decided he was just going to stick to the Gentiles because they seemed more receptive. He got some followers and even scored a synagogue leader.
The Lord came to Paul in a dream and told him to keep at it. God was sure that Corinth was going to be good to the Christians. But the next day, Jews went crying to the local proconsul that Paul was spreading an unofficial religion in the area. The proconsul didn’t really give a shit because he didn’t care about some internal struggle within in the Jews.
“Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos”
Paul felt safe and stuck around for a while but felt the need to get back to Syria. He took Priscilla and Aquila. He stopped to get a holy haircut (devotional do) in Cenchreae. He dropped the two off at Ephesus. He told them he’d check back in if that was what God wanted. Down to Antioch, Galatia, Phrygia, seeing all his old haunts.
A Jew named Apollos went to Ephesus and he ran into Priscilla and Aquila. He scored some big victories against naysayers in the area.
“Paul in Ephesus”
Apollos was in Corinth. Paul went to Ephesus and asked disciples about receiving the Holy Spirit. “What Holy Spirit???” they asked. He asked what type of baptism they got. “They gave us the ‘The John'”.
“Ahh, you see. ‘The John’ is for repenting. You need the ‘Jesus’. That’s for the Holy Spirit.” And they got the Holy Spirit.
He stuck around for 3 months doing holy stuff, which started to rub some people the wrong way. So, he ran off. He bopped around for two years doing all this. Miracles abound, sermons, demons sorted. People saw that Paul was on to something so they changed from their old ways to join up. Paul’s plan was: Macedonia, Achaia, and Jerusalem. But the big one on his to-do list was Rome.
“The Riot in Ephesus”
A silversmith in Ephesus, named Demetrius, brought round his buddies to talk: “Paul’s been doing well around here. But he’s been convincing people that pricy idols are effective. In fact, he says they’re sinful. We’re going to go tits up before we know it with this guy around here.”
They started bigging up Artemis (Diana) and it all started to spark from there. Paul was called in on an emergency. He was warned not to go near it because it could spell trouble. Back and forth went the crowd and on and on it all went.
The city clerk got up to quiet everyone down: “All right you fuckers. We all know Artmesis is the city’s guardian. We’ve got to calm down before things get out of hand. You can’t go pushing around Demetrius and his pro-Artemis people. If they feel like they’ve been hurt, they can file charges. As it is now, all of you need to fuck off home.”
“Through Macedonia and Greece”
Things cooled off. Paul left for Macedonia, down to Syria, back to Macedonia with a fuck load of his crew. They continued up to Troas. But Paul went down to Philippi for the Festival of Unleavened Bread. They back up to Troas for 7 days.
“Eutychus Raised From the Dead at Troas”
The first day they were there, Paul started giving a speech. That fucker went on until Midnight. In the back was a youngster named Eutychus he dozed off during Paul’s snooze-inducing sermon. He fell out of the window from the third story. Dead. Paul went to him and held him. Not dead.
“Paul’s Farewell to the Ephesian Elders”
They went to Assos and then on to Mitylene, Chio, Samo, Miletus. He asked the elders from Ephesus to join him in Miletus. He told them about how humble his accommodations have been on all of his voyages. He reminded them that Jews and Gentiles were equally welcome in the Church. Also, in every city in every region he goes to he risks imprisonment and death. Such is the life that the church leaders have chosen. He was sad in his speech because he reckoned that he’d never see them again. He rushed back to Jerusalem for the Pentecost.
“On to Jerusalem”
They went to Kos, Rhodes, Patara, Phoenicia, Cyprus and back to Tyre. They stayed there for 7 days. The disciples told Paul that the Spirit told them he shouldn’t go to Jerusalem. From Tyre to Ptolemais, Caesarea with Philip the evangelist. He had 4 unmarried daughters who could prophesy.
There they met a prophet called Agabus from Judea. He took Paul’s belt and tied his own hands and feet saying “The Holy Spirit says this is how the Jewish leaders do it. They tie you up with your own belt and give you over to the Gentiles.” They tried to convince him not to go but Paul couldn’t be swayed. He stayed in Caesarea in Mnason’s house (His name is from Cyprus, not a typo).
“Paul’s Arrival at Jerusalem”
He rolls into town with a warm welcome from his friends. They went down to see James and the old gang. He gave them a report of all his work. They told him: “Nice one… But Jews are really fucked off about you getting people to turn away from Moses’s law toward Jesus’s law. They don’t like you talking down penis mutilation and not adhering to the old ways. Our Gentile believers are well on board our shit.” They did some holy stuff the next day.
Some of the Jews he’d run into up in Asia saw him there. They raised a mob to try to get Paul. They thought he was defiling the city and the temple. This really set the whole town in commotion. They got Paul and dragged is ass through the streets. Roman officers came down to see what the fuss was. They took him in chains and asked who he was and what he’d done. They couldn’t even understand the responses, so they took him into the barracks with a crowd behind them.
“Paul Speaks to the Crowd”
Paul asked to talk to the commander. “Aren’t you that Egyptian who kicked off a shit storm a few years ago and fucked off never to be seen again?” asked the commander.
Paul: “No… I’m a Jew from Tarsus and a citizen. I’d like to speak to the people…”
“Right, listen up. I’m a Jew from Tarsus but I grew up here. I studied with Gamaliel and know all about the law. I was a big zealot just like you. I chased and hounded these Christians to the end of the earth. I had them thrown in prison and put to death. Ask them, they’ll tell you.
“On the way to Damascus to continue my work, I heard a voice call my name and it was Jesus. I was blinded by a light and taken to Damascus and I sat around for a few days until Ananias sorted me out. He told me that God has chosen me to do his will. I had to get baptized and start working. I followed the voice wherever it told me to go and did whatever it told me to do. I was abused and ridiculed in about half the places I’ve been to. And I’ve been to a lot of places.”
“Paul the Roman Citizen”
The crowd started booing him and calling for his blood. The commander brought Paul into the barracks. He was to be flogged and interrogated about the shouting. Paul then whipped out the Roman citizen card on them. He was born one. This was embarrassing to the commander.
“Paul the Roman Citizen”
Still, the commander wanted to get to the bottom of all the hubbub. He brought in the Sanhedrin to see what was going on.
Paul looked at the Sanhedrin and said “Come on guys, I’m doing all this for God.” A priest smacked him in the mouth and said “If you think that’s bad wait till you see what God’ll do.”
Paul tried to recoil a little bit, apologizing. He knew that some of them were Sadducees and Pharisees. He tried to play the Pharisee card on them. “I’m a Pharisee too, you know. I’m just here because of the resurrection of the dead. Pharisees were on board with this but the Sadducees didn’t like the idea of the resurrection of the dead or angels or spirits and that.
Pharisees came around to his side but the Sadducees wouldn’t budge. The commander took him away so he wouldn’t be ripped to shreds. That night Jesus came to him and said: “Good job. You’ll have to do the same in Rome.”
“The Plot to Kill Paul”
Some Jews were dead set on getting Paul killed. 40 of them. They weren’t going to eat until he was dead. Paul’s nephew was hip to the plot and found a way to tell him. The centurion didn’t like this but told him to keep quiet about it.
“Paul Transferred to Caesarea”
They got 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen and 200 spearmen to go to Caesarea at night. Paul was going to be taken there for his own safety to see the governor, Felix. He wrote a letter: These Jews were about to tear this man apart. He claims to be a Roman citizen. I want to know what the Sanhedrin have against him. I don’t know what these fuckers do about their ‘law’s, but he can’t stay here and survive.”
They took him up to Antipatris and then on to Caesarea. Paul was to be kept in Herod’s palace while the Sanhedrin were arriving.
“Paul’s Trial Before Felix”
5 days later, the high priest and some lawyers showed up to Caesarea to talk about Paul with the governor. The lawyer spoke: “Thanks for doing this Felix. We think you’re great and would like you to hear us out. This man is a troublemaker stirring up all kinds of shit among the Jews. He’s the ringleader of the Jesus people and they’ve been fucking with our temple.”
Paul answered: “Felix, you’re a good guy. I’ve only been in town for 12 days. How much trouble could I have caused? I wasn’t arguing with anyone or fighting or stealing, etc. Sure, I’m a Jesus guy but everything I do is in accordance with Jewish laws. We just differ about Jesus. I help the poor, I’m a tidy guy. You may hear of shit coming from up north but it’s purely out of jealousy because I attract attention and admiration. The Pharisees are on my side. It’s just the Sadducees who are pissed off.”
Felix decided to wait until Lysias the commander arrived to hear the case again. Paul was allowed a bit of freedom but was under constant protection. Felix showed up a few days later with his Jewish wife. He listened to Paul talk about Jesus. He also talked about being righteous, self-controlled and about the judgment day. Felix sent him off but secretly he was hoping for a bribe. This carried on for 2 years until Felix was replaced by Porcius Festus.
“Paul’s Trial Before Festus”
The Sanhedrin pressed Porcius for some trial against Paul. Paul defended himself again: “I’ve done nothing against the law of the temple or against Caesar.”
Festus was trying to be good to the Jews and asked Paul if he was OK with doing the trial down in Jerusalem. Paul: “I’m in Caesar’s court right now. Shouldn’t I be tried here? I’ve done nothing wrong and I appeal to Caesar.” Festus agreed and told him this will go to Caesar.
“Festus Consults King Agrippa”
Agrippa and Bernice show up to see Festus. He asked Agrippa about Paul’s case. He explained everything that had gone on between the Sanhedrin and Paul. Agrippa wanted to hear what Paul had to say.
“Paul Before Agrippa”
Quite a display was put on for the arrival of Agrippa, Bernice and Festus. Paul was brought in and Festus explained that Paul had pissed off a lot of Jewish priests and he doesn’t know what to do. Paul appealed to Caesar and Festus doesn’t feel right refusing a citizen this request. However, it was silly to send him to Rome with any real charges against him.
Paul spoke: “Thanks for hearing me out. I haven’t done anything wrong. I’ve been a Jew here in the area and even a Pharisee. I’ve been preaching about Jesus and this seems to wind the other priests up. I’ve talked about Jesus rising from the dead which seemed to irk many of these people. I spent a great deal of time fighting the Jesus people until God himself appointed me to take up the cause. Since then I’ve been talking to anyone who will listen, Jews, Gentiles, whatever.”
Festus spoke: “Paul, you’re fucking nuttier than squirrel shit.”
Paul: “No, I’m telling the truth. Agrippa will understand what I’m saying. All the things I preach are fulfillment of the prophets.”
Agrippa: “How do you think you can convince me that Jesus is the guy in charge?”
Paul: “It might take a while but I’m standing here in chains.”
Agrippa decided that Paul hadn’t done anything wrong. In fact he would have already been set free if he hadn’t already appealed to Caesar.
“Paul Sails for Rome”
So, Paul was off to Italy. He was under the care of a centurion named Julius. He was put on a boat and they sailed all over: Sidon, Cyprus, Myra, Cnidus, Lasea. It was getting late in the year and that meant the seas were rocky. They approached Crete.
A big storm came over the island and they sailed along the coast. It was quite the battle. The lifeboat was causing a ruckus so it was brought on board. They sailed on for days and things seemed pretty hopeless.
At this point they had run out of food. Paul reminded the sailors that they probably shouldn’t have left Crete but since they went on anyway, to be brave. He told them that an angel told him that they would make it safely to Rome. But in the meantime, they have to run aground somewhere.
After 14 days, they went on across the Adriatic Sea. They were approaching land. Paul told everyone that they had to stay with the ship in order to survive. The angel was very clear about that. Food was in order. They were going to crash soon and they probably wouldn’t be eating for quite a while. “Cheer up boys, we’re going to make it. Let’s go.”
The next day, they were stuck on a sandbar. The ship was pretty much stuck ashore. The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners in order to stop them from escaping. The centurion made sure that Paul wasn’t killed. They swam ashore.
“Paul Ashore on Malta”
They found out that the island they were on was Malta. The locals were extra nice and put everybody up with food and shelter. Paul helped out with the firewood and a snake crawled out from under the wood and bit him. The islanders took this as a bad sign about Paul. But Paul didn’t feel any effect from the snake. Then they thought that he was a god.
They made their way up to the local lord, Publius. They were put up there for 3 days. Publius’s father was sick with dysentery. Paul went in to see him and pray. Dysentery gone. Every sick person on the island was healed. The locals gave them everything they need to go to Rome.
“Paul’s Arrival at Rome”
It was 3 months they spent on Malta. They sailed to Syracuse and stayed there 3 days. Then onto Rhegium and Puteoli. They stayed there for a week and then went to Rome. When at Rome, Paul was allowed to do as he pleased as long as a guard was on him.
“Paul Preaches at Rome Under Guard”
3 day later he got together with some local Jews. He addressed them: “You know I have done nothing wrong. I had some grief in Jerusalem and made an appeal to Caesar. It’s certainly great to be here but it isn’t exactly under the best circumstances.”
The people responded: “We haven’t heard a thing about you out of Judea. We’ve been wanting to know what your ideas are and what’s going on.”
They met up on another day and there were masses of people there. He explained about heaven, the laws of Moses and the laws of Jesus. Some bought into it and some didn’t. Paul spoke: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah. God has allowed Gentiles to become saved. They are saved because they listen!!”
Paul stayed there for 2 years in his house and did a lot of praying and speaking.