Acts to Revelation | Episode 4 | TBN

Acts to Revelation | Episode 4

Watch Acts to Revelation | Episode 4
May 2, 2018
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Acts to Revelation | Episode 4

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  • Da
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  • Dave
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  • Dave Sto
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  • Dave Stott
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  • Dave Stotts:
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  • Dave Stotts: I
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  • Dave Stotts: In
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  • Dave Stotts: In ou
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  • Dave Stotts: In our
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  • Dave Stotts: In our la
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last ep
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last epis
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episod
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episode
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episode th
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episode the
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episode the go
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episode the gosp
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episode the gospel
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episode the gospel m
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episode the gospel mes
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episode the gospel messa
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episode the gospel message
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episode the gospel message w
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  • Dave Stotts: In our last episode the gospel message was
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  • just beginning to spread throughout the cities and towns
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  • of Samaria and Judea.
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  • The gospel was taken specifically to a Gentile for
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  • the first time, when Peter preached in the home
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  • of the Roman centurion, Cornelius at Caesarea.
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  • Meanwhile, prosecution continued to be the norm for the way.
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  • A devout Jewish leader named Saul, stepped up his efforts to
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  • round up Jesus followers and destroy their growing movement.
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  • Saul was on a terrible mission.
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  • Is there anything or anyone who would dare stand in his way?
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  • Dave: I'm underneath the streets of modern day Jerusalem,
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  • surrounded by ruins of the city of Jerusalem that date back to
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  • the Roman era.
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  • Now, the context of the early church is the Roman Empire,
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  • and the story of the early church wouldn't be complete
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  • without a close examination of a Jewish man who happens
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  • to be a Roman citizen named Saul.
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  • Now, we learn from Luke's account that Saul was born in
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  • the city of Tarsus, a city of immense importance
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  • in the first century.
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  • It was known as one of the great learning centers of the ancient
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  • world, alongside Alexandrea in Egypt, and Athens in Greece.
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  • Although Tarsus was quite Hellenistic, that is culturally
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  • Greek and even pagan in many ways, there was
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  • a large community of Jews there.
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  • Scripture tells us that Saul's family had somehow acquired its
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  • Roman citizenship, so Saul was born a Roman citizen himself.
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  • He was a Jew, but unlike most of the Jews in Judea, he had
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  • all the benefits of Roman citizenship.
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  • As a child, Saul was sent here, to Jerusalem,
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  • for his formal education.
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  • According to Scripture, he was actually trained
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  • under the renowned man named Gamaliel.
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  • Now, in a previous episode we learned that Gamaliel saved
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  • the lives of the apostles from certain death at the hands
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  • of a furious religious council.
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  • After his education in Jerusalem, Saul returned to
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  • Tarsus, where he would have been trained in Greek philosophy
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  • and literature.
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  • He would have also learned Hellenistic and Roman subjects.
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  • At some point, Saul also began learning his trade, tent making.
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  • This was big business in Tarsus, since the region was well known
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  • for a type of felt cloth from the wool of shaggy black goats,
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  • that is still used today.
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  • In short, Saul was wise in the ways of the world
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  • and his Israelite heritage.
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  • He was well connected in the Roman machinery of Tarsus
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  • and the religious establishments of Jerusalem.
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  • Today, Tarsus is in the area that is now south central
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  • Turkey, about 12 miles from the Mediterranean Sea.
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  • Let's take a quick run up the Mediterranean coast and see what
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  • we discover there, and on our way, let's learn some history
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  • related to our ride, Steve McQueen.
  • 00:04:05.120 --> 00:04:09.140
  • The first Land Rover had the steering wheel
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  • right in the middle of the vehicle.
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  • Yeah, that didn't work out so well, but their formula for a
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  • rugged aluminum body, four wheel drive utility vehicle,
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  • has turned out to one of the most successful designs
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  • in automotive history.
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  • It had a production run from 1948 up to the present year.
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  • That's 68 years with over 2 million Land Rovers built.
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  • Three generations of workers have produced the Land Rover,
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  • which has served farmers, the Queen of England,
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  • and millions of ordinary folks around the world.
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  • A tip of the hat to the workers at Land Rover.
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  • Well done.
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  • Dave: Tarsus has a long history of commerce, and has
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  • been an important trading post for thousands of years.
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  • Today, Tarsus is a thriving agricultural district with
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  • a solid industrial center, devoted to food processing,
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  • farm equipment and textiles.
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  • The population of Tarsus and the surrounding farming region,
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  • is over 300.000.
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  • There's not much to see from the time of Saul that's been
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  • excavated here in Tarsus yet.
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  • The modern city has been built on top of the ancient ruins.
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  • However, there are few sites that you can visit that are
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  • connected to the Roman period.
  • 00:05:36.080 --> 00:05:38.090
  • Here, you can see a major paved and colonnaded street
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  • that goes back to the first century.
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  • Other excavations have turned up baths, porticoes,
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  • a Roman theater and a Roman temple.
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  • During the Roman Republic in 67 BC, the military leader
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  • Pompey the Great made Tarsus the capital of
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  • the Roman province of Cilicia.
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  • In 42 BC, Mark Anthony, the Roman general who then
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  • controlled the eastern provinces,
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  • declared the city free.
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  • That means the citizens of Tarsus weren't subject to
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  • Roman taxation and received other special privileges.
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  • In 41 BC, when Mark Anthony was in a struggle for power with
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  • another Roman leader named Octavian, Anthony established a
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  • military alliance with Cleopatra of Egypt, here in Tarsus.
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  • Dave: This is the Gate of Cleopatra, also known as
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  • the Sea Gates, which still stands here in ancient Tarsus.
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  • Now, this gate has been restored since the time of Cleopatra,
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  • but ancient accounts tell us that this was the gate that she
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  • came through to meet Mark Anthony to start
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  • their secret coalition together.
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  • It is said that she disguised herself as Aphrodite, the Greek
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  • goddess of love and beauty, and set sail up the Cydnus River
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  • to meet Mark Anthony, here in his capital city.
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  • That same river today, which connects Tarsus to
  • 00:07:05.270 --> 00:07:09.080
  • the Mediterranean coast, is known as the Berdan.
  • 00:07:09.090 --> 00:07:12.210
  • Now, the Apostle Paul would have gone through this very gate
  • 00:07:12.220 --> 00:07:17.070
  • many times during his life here in Tarsus.
  • 00:07:17.080 --> 00:07:23.080
  • 00:07:23.090 --> 00:07:27.220
  • Dave: This ancient well, many believe existed here in Tarsus
  • 00:07:27.230 --> 00:07:31.080
  • at the time that Saul lived here.
  • 00:07:31.090 --> 00:07:33.290
  • It might have been a well that he himself used.
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  • Over the course of doing the show, I've been to many places
  • 00:07:36.020 --> 00:07:39.010
  • of biblical significance.
  • 00:07:39.020 --> 00:07:41.090
  • Like many people, Jerusalem is my favorite.
  • 00:07:41.100 --> 00:07:44.190
  • I just love going there.
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  • But oftentimes, it's less traveled places, like here in
  • 00:07:46.150 --> 00:07:49.270
  • Tarsus that remind me that the Bible is not
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  • just made up stories.
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  • It's a documentation of real people from real places,
  • 00:07:55.040 --> 00:07:59.230
  • who lived very real lives, which makes what happens next
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  • all the more remarkable.
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  • Dave: Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous
  • 00:08:08.200 --> 00:08:11.080
  • threats against the Lord's disciples.
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  • He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the
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  • synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there, who
  • 00:08:16.230 --> 00:08:21.090
  • belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them
  • 00:08:21.100 --> 00:08:24.190
  • as prisoners to Jerusalem.
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  • As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly, a light from
  • 00:08:27.090 --> 00:08:31.110
  • heaven flashed all around him.
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  • He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul,
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  • Saul why do you persecute me?
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  • 'Who are you, Lord?' Saul asked.
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  • 'I am Jesus, who you are persecuting,' he replied.
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  • 'Now, get up and go into the city and you will be
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  • told what you must do.'
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  • The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless.
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  • They heard the sound, but did not see anyone.
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  • Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes
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  • he could see nothing.
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  • So they led him by the hand into Damascus.
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  • For three days he was blind and did not eat or drink anything,"
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  • Acts 9, 1 through 9.
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  • What an extraordinary moments in time, and seemingly centering on
  • 00:09:19.240 --> 00:09:24.100
  • one of the least likely people to be called to believe in
  • 00:09:24.110 --> 00:09:28.030
  • Jesus, the very man who was leading the charge to kill
  • 00:09:28.040 --> 00:09:31.230
  • those who did.
  • 00:09:31.240 --> 00:09:34.020
  • But as the Prophet Isiah once wrote, "For my thoughts are not
  • 00:09:34.030 --> 00:09:37.130
  • your thoughts, and neither are your ways my ways,
  • 00:09:37.140 --> 00:09:41.290
  • declares the Lord," Isaiah 55:8.
  • 00:09:42.000 --> 00:09:46.040
  • Now, Saul was a devout Jewish leader and likely knew much
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  • Scripture by heart.
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  • I wonder if at a thought like this ever crossed his mind.
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  • Think about it, as Saul was blindly led toward Damascus,
  • 00:09:55.130 --> 00:10:00.200
  • his whole world was crashing in.
  • 00:10:00.210 --> 00:10:03.200
  • Everything he assumed, everything he believed and
  • 00:10:03.210 --> 00:10:06.120
  • everything he had done to the followers of Jesus,
  • 00:10:06.130 --> 00:10:10.080
  • for three dark days in Damascus, Saul would get
  • 00:10:10.090 --> 00:10:14.090
  • to live with the most extreme guilt imaginable.
  • 00:10:14.100 --> 00:10:19.080
  • Dave: Now, it would be great if I could tell you the story of
  • 00:10:20.130 --> 00:10:22.130
  • Saul from Damascus itself, but Damascus is located in Syria and
  • 00:10:22.140 --> 00:10:28.020
  • Syria has been a dangerous home for civil war
  • 00:10:28.030 --> 00:10:31.080
  • and terrorism for years.
  • 00:10:31.090 --> 00:10:33.180
  • Sadly, jihadists in the country have killed many Christians, and
  • 00:10:33.190 --> 00:10:38.160
  • have destroyed some ancient sites tied to the early church.
  • 00:10:38.170 --> 00:10:42.050
  • Obviously, extreme persecution of Christians in this part of
  • 00:10:42.060 --> 00:10:45.260
  • the world continues, even to this day.
  • 00:10:45.270 --> 00:10:50.120
  • 00:10:50.190 --> 00:10:59.030
  • Dave: I'm here east of the Sea of Galilee, in the northern
  • 00:10:59.290 --> 00:11:02.140
  • part of Israel, not far from the border with Syria.
  • 00:11:02.150 --> 00:11:06.170
  • This section of the famous road to Damascus, can still be
  • 00:11:06.180 --> 00:11:11.070
  • followed today, despite being nearly 2000 years old.
  • 00:11:11.080 --> 00:11:18.040
  • In recent decades this area has been anything but peaceful.
  • 00:11:18.050 --> 00:11:23.080
  • In fact, during the six day war of 1967, Israel recaptured this
  • 00:11:23.090 --> 00:11:28.080
  • land and made it a buffer zone against attacks
  • 00:11:28.090 --> 00:11:31.100
  • along its northern border.
  • 00:11:31.110 --> 00:11:33.080
  • Six years later, during the Yom Kippur War of 1973,
  • 00:11:33.090 --> 00:11:37.250
  • this area was the subject of another fierce battle.
  • 00:11:37.260 --> 00:11:41.150
  • By 1981, Israel had fully annexed the Golan Heights into
  • 00:11:41.160 --> 00:11:45.230
  • its country but skirmishes, especially rocket fire,
  • 00:11:45.240 --> 00:11:49.130
  • still occur around here from time to time.
  • 00:11:49.140 --> 00:11:53.040
  • Dave: The ancient road near here, takes us about 35 miles
  • 00:11:53.050 --> 00:11:56.000
  • to the city of Damascus.
  • 00:11:56.010 --> 00:11:57.290
  • That's the road Paul would have been on, on that fateful day
  • 00:11:58.000 --> 00:12:01.050
  • when he met the Lord.
  • 00:12:01.060 --> 00:12:02.240
  • We're near the border of Syria, and there's been some talk of
  • 00:12:02.250 --> 00:12:05.200
  • ISIS activity near this part of the country.
  • 00:12:05.210 --> 00:12:10.040
  • So I'm going to probably head the other way.
  • 00:12:10.050 --> 00:12:18.280
  • For another prospective on the road to Damascus, let's travel
  • 00:12:18.290 --> 00:12:22.110
  • up those hills right there, to some higher ground.
  • 00:12:22.120 --> 00:12:26.270
  • 00:12:27.060 --> 00:12:37.060
  • Dave: You ever been to a spicy chicken restaurant called,
  • 00:12:39.220 --> 00:12:41.210
  • Lord of the Wings?
  • 00:12:41.220 --> 00:12:43.220
  • How about a Mexican place called Juan in a Million?
  • 00:12:43.230 --> 00:12:47.130
  • What about a stir fry joint called, Wok This Way?
  • 00:12:47.140 --> 00:12:51.210
  • Well, I'm here at Café Annan.
  • 00:12:51.220 --> 00:12:55.020
  • [laughing]
  • 00:12:55.030 --> 00:12:57.070
  • Get it?
  • 00:12:57.080 --> 00:12:58.180
  • male: Ah, I don't get that Dave.
  • 00:12:58.190 --> 00:13:00.230
  • Dave: Come on, it's a pun; Café Annan.
  • 00:13:00.240 --> 00:13:04.110
  • Kofi Annan, the United Nation's secretary general.
  • 00:13:04.120 --> 00:13:08.210
  • male: Nope.
  • 00:13:08.220 --> 00:13:11.040
  • Dave: Am I the only guy who didn't sleep through
  • 00:13:11.050 --> 00:13:12.210
  • poli sci class?
  • 00:13:12.220 --> 00:13:15.210
  • Café Annan sits high atop Mount Bental, here in
  • 00:13:15.220 --> 00:13:19.000
  • the Golan Heights in Israel.
  • 00:13:19.010 --> 00:13:21.110
  • Surrounding me are old military bunkers and encampments
  • 00:13:21.120 --> 00:13:25.040
  • from prior wars.
  • 00:13:25.050 --> 00:13:27.000
  • It's really easy to see the strategic importance of
  • 00:13:27.010 --> 00:13:29.240
  • high ground in a place like this.
  • 00:13:29.250 --> 00:13:33.010
  • That entire region over there is Syria.
  • 00:13:33.020 --> 00:13:36.020
  • In fact, the Israeli Military has an old saying,
  • 00:13:36.030 --> 00:13:38.260
  • "From Mount Bental, you can almost see Damascus."
  • 00:13:38.270 --> 00:13:43.090
  • 00:13:43.260 --> 00:13:47.130
  • Dave: This base was opened to the public by
  • 00:13:47.140 --> 00:13:49.040
  • the Israeli Defense Forces.
  • 00:13:49.050 --> 00:13:51.110
  • Today it's guarded by a United Nations peace-keeping force,
  • 00:13:51.120 --> 00:13:54.260
  • which is comprised of soldiers from all over the world.
  • 00:13:54.270 --> 00:13:59.190
  • [speaking in foreign language]
  • 00:13:59.250 --> 00:14:02.140
  • Dave: Don't mess with Texas.
  • 00:14:02.150 --> 00:14:04.010
  • Of course, if you're going to open a military base to
  • 00:14:04.020 --> 00:14:05.190
  • the public, you got to have a café.
  • 00:14:05.200 --> 00:14:11.100
  • Café Annan is famous for being the highest restaurant in
  • 00:14:11.290 --> 00:14:14.240
  • Israel, and since the name Kofi Annan, sounds in Hebrew
  • 00:14:14.250 --> 00:14:19.140
  • like coffee in a cloud, the name stuck.
  • 00:14:19.150 --> 00:14:23.060
  • Café Annan or Cloud Coffee.
  • 00:14:23.070 --> 00:14:26.180
  • Makes perfect sense to me.
  • 00:14:26.190 --> 00:14:28.110
  • One thousand, one hundred sixty-five miles
  • 00:14:28.120 --> 00:14:32.030
  • above sea level.
  • 00:14:32.040 --> 00:14:34.090
  • Hey, it's just science.
  • 00:14:34.100 --> 00:14:37.200
  • Dave: Damascus, 60 kilometers.
  • 00:14:41.190 --> 00:14:45.120
  • As you can see, if we head in that direction 60 kilometers or
  • 00:14:45.130 --> 00:14:49.070
  • about 37 miles, we will reach the city of Damascus in Syria.
  • 00:14:49.080 --> 00:14:56.220
  • Under the circumstances, I think I'll stay right here by
  • 00:14:56.230 --> 00:14:59.060
  • the Cafe Annan, and just tell you about that once great city.
  • 00:14:59.070 --> 00:15:05.190
  • Dave: Damascus is one of the oldest, continuously inhabited
  • 00:15:05.200 --> 00:15:08.240
  • cities in the world.
  • 00:15:08.250 --> 00:15:10.160
  • It was cultural and commercial hub for three major trade
  • 00:15:10.170 --> 00:15:14.100
  • routes, connecting North Africa, Arabia, and Asia.
  • 00:15:14.110 --> 00:15:19.030
  • At the time of Saul, there was a significant population of Jews
  • 00:15:19.040 --> 00:15:22.210
  • in the city, including several synagogues.
  • 00:15:22.220 --> 00:15:26.150
  • From Luke's account, we learn that Saul was taken to the house
  • 00:15:26.160 --> 00:15:29.260
  • of a man named Judas, who lived on Straight Street.
  • 00:15:29.270 --> 00:15:33.150
  • This 50 foot wide, colonnaded street, ran east and west
  • 00:15:33.160 --> 00:15:37.070
  • through the center of the city for an entire Roman mile.
  • 00:15:37.080 --> 00:15:40.280
  • Remarkably, Straight Street still exists today.
  • 00:15:40.290 --> 00:15:44.140
  • Some of the Roman columns have been excavated and some still
  • 00:15:44.150 --> 00:15:47.070
  • stand amid the modern shops.
  • 00:15:47.080 --> 00:15:49.170
  • Saul spent three days on Straight Street,
  • 00:15:49.180 --> 00:15:53.000
  • dazed and in the dark.
  • 00:15:53.010 --> 00:15:55.080
  • Then Acts introduces us to a man who was given the unsettling
  • 00:15:55.090 --> 00:15:59.070
  • task of going to meet face to face with this notorious killer
  • 00:15:59.080 --> 00:16:03.120
  • of Jesus followers.
  • 00:16:03.130 --> 00:16:05.280
  • In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias.
  • 00:16:05.290 --> 00:16:09.060
  • The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias?"
  • 00:16:09.070 --> 00:16:12.140
  • "Yes, Lord," he answered.
  • 00:16:12.150 --> 00:16:14.110
  • The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight
  • 00:16:14.120 --> 00:16:17.120
  • Street, and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul,
  • 00:16:17.130 --> 00:16:20.160
  • for he is praying."
  • 00:16:20.170 --> 00:16:22.060
  • In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place
  • 00:16:22.070 --> 00:16:26.030
  • his hands on him to restore his sight.
  • 00:16:26.040 --> 00:16:29.100
  • "Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about
  • 00:16:29.110 --> 00:16:33.120
  • this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in
  • 00:16:33.130 --> 00:16:36.230
  • Jerusalem, and he has come here with authority from the chief
  • 00:16:36.240 --> 00:16:40.140
  • priest to arrest all who call on your name."
  • 00:16:40.150 --> 00:16:44.120
  • But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go, this man is my chosen
  • 00:16:44.130 --> 00:16:48.090
  • instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles,
  • 00:16:48.100 --> 00:16:52.080
  • and their kings, and to the people of Israel."
  • 00:16:52.090 --> 00:16:56.000
  • Then, Ananias went to the house and entered it, placing his
  • 00:16:56.010 --> 00:16:59.260
  • hands on Saul he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus
  • 00:16:59.270 --> 00:17:04.090
  • who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here,
  • 00:17:04.100 --> 00:17:07.100
  • has sent me so that you may see again and be filled
  • 00:17:07.110 --> 00:17:11.100
  • with the Holy Spirit.
  • 00:17:11.110 --> 00:17:13.060
  • Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes
  • 00:17:13.070 --> 00:17:17.180
  • and he could see again.
  • 00:17:17.190 --> 00:17:19.140
  • He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food
  • 00:17:19.150 --> 00:17:23.120
  • he regained his strength."
  • 00:17:23.130 --> 00:17:25.220
  • Acts 9, 10 through 19.
  • 00:17:25.230 --> 00:17:29.060
  • Saul was baptized, and he immediately began his new life.
  • 00:17:29.070 --> 00:17:33.120
  • In one long weekend, his world view flipped 180 degrees.
  • 00:17:33.130 --> 00:17:39.120
  • Saul, the persecutor, would soon be known to history as Paul,
  • 00:17:39.130 --> 00:17:44.120
  • the apostle.
  • 00:17:44.130 --> 00:17:46.030
  • Almost immediately, he poured himself into his new mission,
  • 00:17:46.040 --> 00:17:50.000
  • spreading the gospel as zealously as he had previously
  • 00:17:50.010 --> 00:17:53.030
  • tried to kill it off.
  • 00:17:53.040 --> 00:17:55.090
  • He spoke in the synagogues of Damascus, proclaiming
  • 00:17:55.100 --> 00:17:58.230
  • Jesus as the promised Savior, the Son of God.
  • 00:17:58.240 --> 00:18:05.260
  • Saul continued to preach the gospel in
  • 00:18:05.270 --> 00:18:08.290
  • the synagogues of Damascus.
  • 00:18:09.000 --> 00:18:10.230
  • Most of his Jewish listeners were baffled because they
  • 00:18:10.240 --> 00:18:13.260
  • totally expected to hear the exact opposite message from him,
  • 00:18:13.270 --> 00:18:18.040
  • some were downright furious.
  • 00:18:18.050 --> 00:18:20.190
  • "After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among
  • 00:18:20.200 --> 00:18:23.170
  • the Jews to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan.
  • 00:18:23.180 --> 00:18:27.190
  • Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order
  • 00:18:27.200 --> 00:18:31.030
  • to kill him, but his followers took him by night and lowered
  • 00:18:31.040 --> 00:18:34.230
  • him in a basket through an opening in the wall,"
  • 00:18:34.240 --> 00:18:38.120
  • Acts 9, 23 through 25.
  • 00:18:38.130 --> 00:18:41.290
  • So Saul escaped Damascus and hit the road.
  • 00:18:42.000 --> 00:18:45.290
  • At one point, he went to Jerusalem to meet the church
  • 00:18:46.000 --> 00:18:49.110
  • leaders for himself.
  • 00:18:49.120 --> 00:18:51.100
  • "When he came to Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples,
  • 00:18:51.110 --> 00:18:55.110
  • but they were afraid of him, not believing that he really was a
  • 00:18:55.120 --> 00:18:58.140
  • disciple, but Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles.
  • 00:18:58.150 --> 00:19:02.280
  • He told them how Saul, on his journey, had seen the Lord
  • 00:19:02.290 --> 00:19:06.190
  • and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had
  • 00:19:06.200 --> 00:19:10.190
  • preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.
  • 00:19:10.200 --> 00:19:13.190
  • So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem,
  • 00:19:13.200 --> 00:19:17.220
  • speaking boldly in the name of the Lord,"
  • 00:19:17.230 --> 00:19:20.160
  • Acts 9, 26 through 28.
  • 00:19:20.170 --> 00:19:25.250
  • Dave: But like before in Damascus, there was ultimately
  • 00:19:26.090 --> 00:19:28.210
  • a Jewish plot to kill Saul.
  • 00:19:28.220 --> 00:19:31.070
  • When the church in Jerusalem learned of this, they quietly
  • 00:19:31.080 --> 00:19:34.050
  • escorted Saul here, to Caesarea, and put him on a ship
  • 00:19:34.060 --> 00:19:37.270
  • back to Tarsus.
  • 00:19:37.280 --> 00:19:40.020
  • Saul of Tarsus would become known as Paul.
  • 00:19:40.030 --> 00:19:44.050
  • St. Paul, the apostle, would go on to be one of the boldest
  • 00:19:44.060 --> 00:19:47.150
  • evangelists in the history of the Christian church.
  • 00:19:47.160 --> 00:19:51.070
  • He would spend the rest of his life traveling the
  • 00:19:51.080 --> 00:19:53.220
  • Mediterranean region, planting churches wherever he went.
  • 00:19:53.230 --> 00:19:58.030
  • We will dedicate a number of episodes to Paul,
  • 00:19:58.040 --> 00:20:01.100
  • and we'll visit these incredible places of the world.
  • 00:20:01.110 --> 00:20:05.140
  • Dave: Paul had a tremendous heart for the Gentiles.
  • 00:20:06.060 --> 00:20:08.100
  • As it turns out, when he was away from the churches that
  • 00:20:08.110 --> 00:20:11.100
  • he planted, he carried around the responsibility for them
  • 00:20:11.110 --> 00:20:15.040
  • in his heart, like a father for his children.
  • 00:20:15.050 --> 00:20:18.160
  • As we will discover later in this series, much of
  • 00:20:18.170 --> 00:20:21.040
  • the New Testament, after Acts, is made up
  • 00:20:21.050 --> 00:20:23.110
  • of Paul's letters to these same churches.
  • 00:20:23.120 --> 00:20:27.250
  • Dave: At this point in history, the Roman Empire
  • 00:20:27.260 --> 00:20:30.020
  • was entering a state of change.
  • 00:20:30.030 --> 00:20:32.110
  • Emperor Tiberius spent most of his final decade in seclusion,
  • 00:20:32.120 --> 00:20:36.040
  • while the Roman bureaucracy ruled the empire.
  • 00:20:36.050 --> 00:20:39.180
  • Tiberius died in 37 AD and was succeeded by his great-nephew
  • 00:20:39.190 --> 00:20:44.160
  • Gaius, now known to history by his childhood nickname
  • 00:20:44.170 --> 00:20:48.170
  • of Caligula.
  • 00:20:48.180 --> 00:20:51.070
  • At first Caligula's reign was rich with promise.
  • 00:20:51.080 --> 00:20:54.190
  • He was young, energetic and popular, but he quickly turned
  • 00:20:54.200 --> 00:20:58.000
  • out to be an evil madman obsessed with a vision
  • 00:20:58.010 --> 00:21:01.290
  • of himself as a living god.
  • 00:21:02.000 --> 00:21:04.140
  • Though his reign turned out to be short, killed at the hands
  • 00:21:04.150 --> 00:21:07.150
  • of his own praetorian guards in 41 AD, his crazy demands
  • 00:21:07.160 --> 00:21:12.240
  • had long-term fall out.
  • 00:21:12.250 --> 00:21:16.060
  • Dave: You see but prior to this, Roman had a fairly
  • 00:21:20.050 --> 00:21:23.210
  • tolerant view of other religions.
  • 00:21:23.220 --> 00:21:26.000
  • That meant that for various people groups under Roman
  • 00:21:26.010 --> 00:21:28.240
  • control, they could worship whoever and however they wanted,
  • 00:21:28.250 --> 00:21:33.000
  • provided that they paid homage to the Roman emperor
  • 00:21:33.010 --> 00:21:36.280
  • and didn't defy the imperial cult.
  • 00:21:36.290 --> 00:21:39.160
  • This policy of tolerance did much to promote peace
  • 00:21:39.170 --> 00:21:43.080
  • throughout the Roman Empire.
  • 00:21:43.090 --> 00:21:45.070
  • However, Caligula's actions were considered a violation of this
  • 00:21:45.080 --> 00:21:48.180
  • policy, and they did much to inflame resentments,
  • 00:21:48.190 --> 00:21:52.080
  • especially in places like Judea.
  • 00:21:52.090 --> 00:21:55.120
  • It seems that Caligula took things too far when he claimed
  • 00:21:55.130 --> 00:21:58.190
  • divinity, and began erecting statues to himself
  • 00:21:58.200 --> 00:22:01.280
  • all over the city of Jerusalem.
  • 00:22:01.290 --> 00:22:06.020
  • Another act that affected the future of Judaism and the spread
  • 00:22:06.030 --> 00:22:09.220
  • of the Jesus movement, was Caligula's appointments in 37 AD
  • 00:22:09.230 --> 00:22:14.280
  • of Herod Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great, as King over
  • 00:22:14.290 --> 00:22:19.090
  • the lands of Galilee and Peraea.
  • 00:22:19.100 --> 00:22:22.120
  • After Caligula's death, the next Emperor, Claudius, appointed
  • 00:22:22.130 --> 00:22:26.190
  • Agrippa, king over all Judea and Samaria, giving him pretty much
  • 00:22:26.200 --> 00:22:31.000
  • the same territory that his grandfather,
  • 00:22:31.010 --> 00:22:33.100
  • Herod the Great had ruled.
  • 00:22:33.110 --> 00:22:36.180
  • Herod Agrippa was raised in Rome, but he was
  • 00:22:36.190 --> 00:22:39.270
  • conscious of the role of Judaism in his territory.
  • 00:22:39.280 --> 00:22:44.030
  • As a politician, he publicly supported the religious leaders
  • 00:22:44.040 --> 00:22:48.100
  • in and around Jerusalem.
  • 00:22:48.110 --> 00:22:50.180
  • In fact, to gain their support, Herod Agrippa started a major
  • 00:22:50.190 --> 00:22:54.210
  • attack against the Jesus movement.
  • 00:22:54.220 --> 00:22:57.240
  • It would appear that Herod's first victim was James,
  • 00:22:57.250 --> 00:23:02.110
  • the son on Zebedee.
  • 00:23:02.120 --> 00:23:04.130
  • Now, as you might recall from the gospels, James was
  • 00:23:04.140 --> 00:23:07.140
  • an apostle, a fisherman and the brother of John.
  • 00:23:07.150 --> 00:23:11.250
  • And we don't really know why, but Jesus referred to James
  • 00:23:11.260 --> 00:23:15.240
  • and John who were brothers as the sons of thunder.
  • 00:23:15.250 --> 00:23:22.230
  • "It was about this time that King Herod arrested some
  • 00:23:22.240 --> 00:23:25.240
  • who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.
  • 00:23:25.250 --> 00:23:29.150
  • He had James, the brother of John, put to death
  • 00:23:29.160 --> 00:23:32.180
  • with the sword.
  • 00:23:32.190 --> 00:23:34.090
  • When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews,
  • 00:23:34.100 --> 00:23:37.110
  • he proceeded to seize Peter also," Acts 12, 1 through 3.
  • 00:23:37.120 --> 00:23:42.120
  • Dave: Herod Agrippa put Peter into prison and had him guarded
  • 00:23:42.130 --> 00:23:47.100
  • by four squads of four soldiers each.
  • 00:23:47.110 --> 00:23:51.150
  • Herod had intended to bring Peter out for public trial,
  • 00:23:51.160 --> 00:23:55.280
  • sometime after the Passover celebrations.
  • 00:23:55.290 --> 00:23:59.110
  • "The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was
  • 00:23:59.120 --> 00:24:04.000
  • sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains
  • 00:24:04.010 --> 00:24:07.160
  • and sentries stood guard at the entrance.
  • 00:24:07.170 --> 00:24:10.230
  • Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared and a light
  • 00:24:10.240 --> 00:24:14.210
  • shone in the cell.
  • 00:24:14.220 --> 00:24:16.150
  • He struck Peter on the side and woke him up.
  • 00:24:16.160 --> 00:24:19.160
  • 'Quick, get up,' he said, and the chains fell off
  • 00:24:19.170 --> 00:24:22.180
  • Peter's wrists."
  • 00:24:22.190 --> 00:24:24.190
  • Acts 12, 6 and 7.
  • 00:24:24.200 --> 00:24:27.030
  • Peter put on his clothes and followed the angel past
  • 00:24:27.040 --> 00:24:30.200
  • the guards, and right out of the prison.
  • 00:24:30.210 --> 00:24:33.230
  • Peter had no idea if this was a dream or really happening.
  • 00:24:33.240 --> 00:24:37.270
  • They got to the main gate leading to the city
  • 00:24:37.280 --> 00:24:40.230
  • and it just opened by itself.
  • 00:24:40.240 --> 00:24:42.250
  • Peter walked through and the angel was gone.
  • 00:24:42.260 --> 00:24:47.150
  • Then Peter came to himself and said, 'Now, I know
  • 00:24:47.160 --> 00:24:50.130
  • without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angels and rescued
  • 00:24:50.140 --> 00:24:54.100
  • me from Herod's clutches, and from everything
  • 00:24:54.110 --> 00:24:57.020
  • the Jewish people were hoping would happen,'" Act 12:11.
  • 00:24:57.030 --> 00:25:02.000
  • Herod Agrippa died in 44 AD while presiding over
  • 00:25:02.010 --> 00:25:05.150
  • a festival of games, here at Caesarea.
  • 00:25:05.160 --> 00:25:09.040
  • According to Roman historian Josephus, Herod was decked
  • 00:25:09.050 --> 00:25:13.080
  • out in royal garments made entirely of silver.
  • 00:25:13.090 --> 00:25:16.290
  • He was a spectacle to behold, and the people proclaimed
  • 00:25:17.000 --> 00:25:20.180
  • him a god.
  • 00:25:20.190 --> 00:25:22.280
  • Both Josephus and Acts tell us that after he was hailed as
  • 00:25:22.290 --> 00:25:26.150
  • divine by the crowd, Herod was gripped with a sharp pain in
  • 00:25:26.160 --> 00:25:30.230
  • the stomach, some type of worms, and he died five days later.
  • 00:25:30.240 --> 00:25:36.080
  • Acts simply tells us it was quote, "Because he did not
  • 00:25:36.090 --> 00:25:40.110
  • give God the glory."
  • 00:25:40.120 --> 00:25:44.150
  • Herod Agrippa's son, Herod Agrippa II, would
  • 00:25:44.160 --> 00:25:47.160
  • serve as the seventh and final king in the Herodian family.
  • 00:25:47.170 --> 00:25:52.060
  • It was this Herod Agrippa who would play a later role in Acts,
  • 00:25:52.070 --> 00:25:56.010
  • when he, along with his sister, Berenice, participated in the
  • 00:25:56.020 --> 00:25:59.180
  • trial of Paul, here at Caesarea, but that's a story
  • 00:25:59.190 --> 00:26:02.240
  • for another episode.
  • 00:26:02.250 --> 00:26:04.090
  • In the meantime, however, despite ramped up persecution,
  • 00:26:04.100 --> 00:26:07.200
  • the Jesus movement continued to spread from house to house,
  • 00:26:07.210 --> 00:26:12.060
  • and from town to town.
  • 00:26:12.070 --> 00:26:14.040
  • Just north of us, we will learn in our next episode, there was
  • 00:26:14.050 --> 00:26:18.080
  • a large movement forming, and a large church growing,
  • 00:26:18.090 --> 00:26:21.180
  • at a place called Antioch.
  • 00:26:21.190 --> 00:26:24.170
  • 00:26:25.060 --> 00:26:30.030
  • 00:26:31.250 --> 00:26:41.250
  • 00:26:46.030 --> 00:26:56.030
  • 00:27:02.120 --> 00:27:11.200