THIS CHAPTER BEGINS WITH THE WORDS “AFTER THE UPROAR AND TROUBLE HAS STOPPED”, OF COURSE REFERRING TO THE NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE OF PAUL AND A COUPLE OF HIS FOLLOWERS AT THE EPHESUS RIOT. PAUL HAS NOW CALLED A MEETING OF HIS FOLLOWERS IN EPHESUS TO ENCOURAGE THEM. THERE WAS NO UNDOING OR WATERING DOWN THE REALITY OF WHAT HAD HAPPENED; THERE WAS NO PAINTING A HAPPY FACE ON IT. WITHOUT DOUBT THE TERRIFYING EVENTS OF A FEW HOURS EARLIER TOOK ITS TOLL ON THE LOCAL BELIEVERS. IF YOU WERE A BELIEVER AND HAD BEEN A RESIDENT OF THIS OTHERWISE PEACEFUL AND PROGRESSIVE CITY, AND HAD A LONG HISTORY OF YOUR FAMILY LIVING HERE IN HARMONY, HOW MIGHT YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL SECURITY AND YOUR PLACE IN THE COMMUNITY AFTER SOMETHING LIKE THIS? YOU WOULD BE REMEMBERING EVERY WORD YAHUSHA SAID, TO STAND ON & BE STRENGTHENED.
1When all the uproar and trouble had stopped (FROM THE EPHESUS RIOT), Paul called YAHUSHA’S followers to come visit him, and after embracing and encouraging them, he left for Macedonia. 2And he had many words to uplift the followers in those places too. 3Then he went to Greece and stayed there three months. (LIKELY THIS WAS IN THE WINTER WHEN TRAVELING WAS USUALLY SUSPENDED, OR UNTIL THE SHIPPING LANES REOPENED). Paul was ready to sail for Syria, but some Jews were planning something against him. So he decided to go back through Macedonia to Syria.
4These men were traveling with him: Sopater (the son of Pyrrhus from the city of Berea), Aristarchus and Secundus (from the city of Thessalonica), Gaius, (from the city of Derbe), with Timothy and Tychicus and Trophimus (two men from Asia). 5These men went first, ahead of Paul. They waited for us (LUKE IS WITH THEM, WRITING THIS) in the city of Troas. 6We sailed from the city of Philippi after the Festival of Passover and met these men in Troas five days later and stayed there seven days.
7And at the end of the Shabath (as the sun was setting), we all met together to bread bread and catch up. Paul talked to the group until midnight, for he was planning to leave the next day.
HERE WE HAVE A PASSAGE THAT IS USED BY INSTITUTIONAL CHRISTIANITY TO DECLARE THAT PAUL LEFT BEHIND OBSERVING THE SHABATH DAY AND INSTITUTED SUNDAY WORSHIP INSTEAD. WHY WAS THAT CONCLUSION DRAWN? BECAUSE MOST BIBLES SAY THAT THIS GROUP OF BELIEVERS MET THERE IN TROAS ON A SUNDAY (THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK). BUT IT GOES FURTHER THAN THAT - FOR IT IS ALSO STANDARD CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE THAT PAUL ALSO INSTITUTED `HOLY’ COMMUNION AS A PART OF EVERY SUNDAY SERVICE BECAUSE IT SAYS THAT THE GROUP “BROKE BREAD”. THAT IS, BREAKING BREAD IS REFERRING TO THE SACRAMENT OF COMMUNION ... TAKE A LOOK FOR YOURSELF:
BRS: ACTS 20:7And at the end of the Shabath (as the sun was setting), we all met together to bread bread and catch up. Paul talked to the group until midnight, for he was planning to leave the next day. SEE HOW MEN STUFF UP YAHUSHA'S WORD AND MAKE IT SO HARD FOR EVERYONE !!!
'MOTZA’EI SHABBAT' MEANS “DEPARTURE OF THE SHABATH”; AND REFERS TO SATURDAY NIGHT. REMEMBER THAT IN THE SCRIPTURE, HEBREWS COUNTED DAYS AS FROM SUNSET TO SUNSET. SO THE 7TH DAY, SHABATH (SATURDAY) ENDED AT SUNDOWN. THEN THE FIRST DAY (THAT WE CALL SUNDAY) BEGAN IMMEDIATELY. AFTER SUNDOWN, WHICH ENDED SHABATH, MOTZA’EI SHABATH WAS CELEBRATED EITHER AT HOME OR IN THE SYNAGOGUES AS A WAY TO EXTEND THE JOY OF THE SHABATH. THIS IS NOT A SCRIPTURAL TORAH COMMANDMENT; IT IS TRADITION. SO IT WAS A PRACTICE RECOGNISED BY THE SYNAGOGUE BUT NOT BY THE TEMPLE AUTHORITIES. HOWEVER IT WAS THE COMMON PRACTICE IN THIS ERA AMONG JEWS. SINCE EACH NEW DAY BEGAN AT SUNDOWN, AND SUNLIGHT WAS ESSENTIAL FOR MOST TASKS (ESPECIALLY TASKS IN AGRICULTURE) PEOPLE TENDED TO WORK UNTIL THE SUN SET TO MAKE THE MOST OF DAYLIGHT HOURS. THUS THEY ATE THEIR EVENING MEAL AFTER DARK WHEN THE WORK DAY WAS OVER BECAUSE WORK COULD NO LONGER BE ACCOMPLISHED. SO UPON MOTZA’EI SHABATH, WHICH OCCURRED ONCE THE SUN SET ENDING SHABATH, THE EVENING MEAL WAS EATEN. FOR ONE REASON, SINCE SHABATH WAS NOW OVER, MEAL PREPARATION AND COOKING COULD
COMMENCE. THE COMMON TERM IN THAT DAY FOR EATING (ESPECIALLY WHEN REFERRING TO THE EVENING MEAL) WAS BREAKING BREAD. PART OF THE REASON THAT THE TERM BREAKING BREAD WAS ADOPTED IS BECAUSE AT THE START OF THE MEAL A BARUKAH (A STANDARD BLESSING) WAS RECITED, AND IT INVOLVED LITERALLY BREAKING THE BREAD AND PASSING IT IN PIECES AROUND THE TABLE. SO, BREAKING BREAD HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH COMMUNION IN JEWISH PRACTICE. IT JUST REFERS TO THE STANDARD BLESSING TO BEGIN THE MEAL.
BUT THIS BRINGS UP ANOTHER ISSUE; WAS PAUL INSTITUTING SUNDAY WORSHIP FOR BELIEVERS AND ABANDONING THE CUSTOMARY JEWISH DAY OF COMMUNAL WORSHIP, SATURDAY? OF COURSE NOT!! PAUL WASN’T CHANGING ANYTHING OR INSTITUTING ANYTHING NEW. HE WAS SIMPLY ENGAGING IN A TYPICAL JEWISH CUSTOM OF GATHERING AFTER THE SETTING SUN BROUGHT AN END TO SHABATH, AND THEN EATING (BREAKING BREAD) WITH HIS GROUP OF FOLLOWERS. THIS CUSTOM WAS CALLED MOTZA’EI SHABATH AND JUDAISM HAS RETAINED IT TO THIS DAY. BY DEFINITION 1ST DAY COMES IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE 7TH DAY, SO INDEED PAUL WAS MEETING AND TEACHING ON THE 1ST DAY, SUNDAY. BUT THIS WASN’T “CHRISTIANITY”; IT WAS STANDARD JEWISH PRACTICE.
DOES THIS JEWISH CUSTOM (WHICH YAHUSHA OBSERVED, SINCE HE WAS BORN A HEBREW) SHED SOME LIGHT ON THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE TODAY (EVEN THOSE IMMERSED INTO YAHUSHA) WHO THINK YAHUSHA WAS ESTABLISHING A BREAD AND WINE RITUAL AT HIS `LAST SUPPER' WHICH MUST BE ADHERED TO IN ORDER TO OBSERVE AND CELEBRATE THE PASSOVER TODAY?
IS DELIVERANCE HEBREW? IS IT GAINED THROUGH BECOMING A JEW FIRST AND FOLLOWING THEIR CULTURES AND TRADITIONS? OR DID YAHUSHA JUST HAPPEN TO SELECT (BY DIVINE CHOICE) A MIDDLE-EASTERN MAN NAMED ABRAM AND ... (WELL WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT ... ) YAHUSHA'S NEW BLOOD COVENANT IS NOT LIMITED TO MERE HEBREW TRADITION, OR EVEN YAHUSHA'S OWN TYPES AND SHADOWS THAT HE TAUGHT THEM WITH. IF HE IS NOT THE FOCUS AND MOTIVATION FOR CLEAN, SINCERE, TRUTHFUL, LOVING BEHAVIOUR ... THEN SATAN AND HIS FAKE BEASTLY RELIGION IS IN OUR FELLOWSHIP!
1. THERE IS NO SUCH CONCEPT IN THE SCRIPTURE OF A DESIGNATED “DAY OF WORSHIP”. YAHUSHA HAS NOT SINGLED OUT ANY ONE DAY OF THE WEEK AS A SPECIAL DAY FOR PERSONAL OR FELLOWSHIP GATHERING, ABOVE ANY OF THE OTHER DAYS, NOR DOES HE PROHIBIT GATHERING ON ANY DAY (EXCEPT SHABATH).
2. YAHUSHA ESTABLISHED THE SEVENTH-DAY SHABATH DAY AS A DAY OF REST AND HE SET THIS DAT APART AT CREATION. THE SCRIPTURE DESCRIBES SHABATH AS CEASING FROM OUR REGULAR LABOR. SHABATH IS NOT THE SCRIPTURAL DAY OF WORSHIP EITHER BECAUSE THERE IS NO SUCH THING.
3. THE JEWISH PRACTICE OF HAVING A WEEKLY COMMUNAL DAY WHERE EVERYONE GOES TO SYNAGOGUE FOR PRAYER AND WORSHIP ON SHABATH IS JEWISH TRADITION; IT IS NOT A SCRIPTURAL COMMANDMENT. NOWHERE IN THE TORAH WILL YOU FIND EITHER A LAW TO MEET TOGETHER ON SHABATH, OR WILL YOU FIND MENTION OF THE JEWS HAVING A REGULAR WORSHIP MEETING ON THE
7TH DAY. THIS IS BECAUSE IT WAS A CUSTOM DEVELOPED BY THE SYNAGOGUE SYSTEM; AND THE SYNAGOGUE SYSTEM DIDN’T COME INTO EXISTENCE UNTIL WELL AFTER THE BABYLONIAN EXILE AND THE CLOSE OF THE OLD-COVENANT WRITINGS.
4. THE COMMON ACCUSATION BY MANY MESSIANIC JEWS TOWARDS CHRISTIANS IS THAT MEETING FOR WORSHIP ON SUNDAY IS MEETING ON A PAGAN DAY. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A “PAGAN DAY” IN THE SCRIPTURE, FOR YAHUSHA CREATED ALL THE SEVEN DAYS. FURTHER, THE COMMON JEWISH PRACTICE OF MOTZA’EI SHABATH IS TECHNICALLY MEETING ON SUNDAY (THE FIRST DAY) ANYWAY, SINCE IT HAPPENS AT THE CLOSE OF SATURDAY (SHABATH) AFTER SUNDOWN, MEANING THE DAY HAS CHANGED TO SUNDAY.
5. IT IS CLAIMED THAT THE ROMAN EMPEROR CONSTANTINE (TOGETHER WITH THE ROMAN CHURCH) CHANGED SHABATH FROM SATURDAY TO SUNDAY FOR CHRISTIANS. THAT IS INCORRECT TOO. CONSTANTINE ABOLISHED SHABATH ALTOGETHER FOR CHRISTIANS, AND INSTITUTED A NEW DAY CALLED “THE LORD’S DAY”, WHICH WAS TO BE HELD ON SUNDAYS. AS THE HISTORICAL RECORD CLEARLY STATES, HE DID THIS PRECISELY TO REFUTE JEWS WHOM HE SAW AS WICKED AND HAVING NO PLACE IN CHRISTIANITY (THAT IS, FROM HIS STANDPOINT CHRISTIANITY WAS A GENTILES-ONLY BELIEF). SINCE JEWS MET BY CUSTOM ON SATURDAYS, THEN CHRISTIANS WOULD HENCEFORTH MEET BY CUSTOM ON SUNDAYS. THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT SUNDAY WORSHIP WAS AN IMPERIAL DECREE AND A CHURCH LAW. SO CHRISTIANS CEASED CELEBRATING SHABATH AND INSTEAD SAW IT AS A DEAD LAW THANKS TO CONSTANTINE. HOWEVER IT WAS ALSO NO CO-INCIDENCE THAT THE MITHRAIN SUN WORSHIPPING RELIGION, THE MOST DOMINANT RELIGION IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE AT THE TIME, WAS ALREADY USING SUNDAY AS ITS DAY OF WORSHIP (HENCE THE NAME SUN-DAY), AND SO CONSTANTINE FOUND IT CONVENIENT AND POLITICALLY EXPEDIENT TO DECLARE A CHRISTIAN DAY OF WORSHIP (WHERE NONE HAD EXISTED BEFORE) TO BE ON SUNDAY, THE SAME DAY AS THE SUN- GOD WORSHIPPERS ASSEMBLED.
6. SHABATH REST (FROM SUNSET FRI TO SUNSET SAT) IS ONLY THE 7TH DAY; NOT ANY DAY WE CHOOSE, SO IF YOUR FELLOWSHIP WANTS TO GATHER, THEN DO IT ANYTIME OUTSIDE OF THAT 24H HOUR WINDOW … BECAUSE SHABATH IS THE HEARTBEAT OF ALL CREATION AND WE ARE TO CEASE FROM WORKING AND LEAVING OUR GATES ON THAT DAY (EXCEPT FOR EMERGENCIES).
WHAT YOU’VE JUST READ IS A COMBINATION OF SCRIPTURE AND RECORDED, VERIFIABLE HISTORY; IT IS NOT SPECULATION. SO ONCE AGAIN: PAUL AND HIS FOLLOWERS WERE MERELY MEETING IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING SHABATH AS WAS A STANDARD JEWISH CUSTOM AND HE WAS NOT INSTITUTING A NEW SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE. AND HE AND HIS FOLLOWERS WERE EATING A TYPICAL EVENING MEAL TOGETHER; THEY WERE NOT HAVING COMMUNION.
8We were all together in a room upstairs, and there were many lights in the room. 9There was a young man named Eutychus sitting in the window. Paul continued talking, and Eutychus became very, very sleepy. Finally, he nodded off to sleep and fell out of the window. He fell to the ground from the third floor, and when the people ran down and lifted him up, he was dead. 10So Paul went down to where Eutychus was, threw himself onto him, and wrapped his arms around him, saying to the other believers, “Don’t be upset, he's alive now.”
NOW LUKE (THE WRITER OF ACTS) WAS A PHYSICIAN AND WOULD KNOW IF SOMEONE WAS DEAD.
WE'RE ABOUT TO READ THAT PAUL WAS IN A HURRY TO GET BACK FOR THE FEAST OF PENTECOST WHICH IS IS ONE OF YAHUSHA’S APPOINTED TIMES AND FOR THE JEWS, WAS A PILGRIMAGE FESTIVAL. THAT MEANT THAT ACCORDING TO THE TORAH ALL JEWISH ADULT MALES WERE REQUIRED TO PRESENT THEMSELVES BEFORE YAHUAH AT THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM (DEUT.16:10–12). AS WE DISCUSSED BEFORE, RELATIVELY FEW DIASPORA JEWS MADE THAT TRIP; IT WAS LONG, ARDUOUS, EXPENSIVE, AND RISKY. BUT IT BROKE THE LAW OF MOSES TO NOT GO (WHICH DIDN’T REALLY PHASE ISRAEL BY THIS POINT IN HISTORY ANYWAY DID IT?) BUT WE SEE THAT PAUL DIDN’T MAKE THAT TRIP EITHER. PAUL GREATLY DESIRED TO GET TO JERUSALEM IN TIME FOR PENTECOST, TO CATCH UP WITH EVERYONE, KNOWING THAT ALOT OF THEM WILL BE GATHERED TOGETHER AND HE CAN TELL THEM THE GOOD NEWS OF WHAT YAHUSHA HAS DONE IN RELATION TO THE FEAST THEY’D GATHERED FOR.
11Then Paul went upstairs again, broke off some pieces of bread and ate, speaking to them for a long time. Infact it was early into the morning before he finished, and left. 12YAHUSHA’S followers took Eutychus home alive, and they were all greatly comforted. 13We went on ahead of Paul and sailed for the city of Assos, planning to meet him there. This is what he told us to do as he wanted to go by land. 14When he caught up with us at Assos, we took him on board, and all sailed to Mitylene.
BUT HE’D ALREADY BROKEN THE TORAH COMMAND TO BE AT THE TEMPLE FOR THE FEAST OF PASSOVER AND WHILE THE TIMING OF HIS JOURNEY CLEARLY HAD MUCH TO DO WITH THE TIMING OF THE SCRIPTURAL FEASTS … DO YOU THINK THAT PAUL IS WAKING UP (THROUGH HIS MANY STUDIES AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE SCRIPTURE) TO THE FACT THAT ALL YAHUSHA’S APPOINTED TIMES ARE TAKING A BEHAVIOURAL SHIFT IN HOW THEY’RE OBSERVED? THIS BOOK OF ACTS IS WITNESSING A MONUMENTAL TRANSITION-PERIOD FROM THE OLD-COVENANT BEHAVIOUR TO THE NEW COVENANT BEHAVIOUR IN YAHUSHA, (WHO HAS FULFILLED THE TORAH AND THE PROPHETS IN HIS LIFE AND SACRIFICE). JUST LOOK … PAUL’S OUT THERE SPREADING THE GOOD NEWS OF YAHUSHA (THE MIGHTY YAHUAH AL’ SHADDAI OF THE OLD-COVENANT, MADE FLESH FOR THEIR DELIVERANCE) AND HE’S LIVING AND WORKING ALONGSIDE MANY OF THESE PEOPLE - SO DO YOU THINK HE WOULD BE TEACHING THEM WHAT A CORRECT (ADJUSTED) LIFESTYLE IN YAHUSHA WOULD LOOK LIKE? ALL THE FOUNDATIONAL STUFF … SHABATH, FEASTS, FOOD LAWS …IMMORALITY … BEHAVIOUR … ALL OF IT … WHY WOULD HE BE UP AT NIGHT WORRIED THAT HE’D MISSED THE JEWS OBSERVING THEIR OLD SHADOWS, WHEN HE LITERALLY HAS THE RISEN KING PUMPING THROUGH HIS VIEWS? HE TRIED TO GET THERE FOR THE FEASTS IF POSSIBLE, BUT THERE WAS A GREATER WORK (AND UNDERSTANDING) TO CONTINUE IN !
16Paul had already decided not to stop at Ephesus. He did not want to stay too long in Asia, for he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem by the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) if possible.
17In Miletus Paul sent a message back to Ephesus, telling the elders of the Fellowship in Ephesus to come to him. 18When they came, Paul said to them, “You know about my life from the first day I came to Asia. You know the way I lived all the time I was with you. 19The Jews planned things against me, and this gave me much trouble. But you know that I always served
YAHUSHA, sometimes with tears. I never thought about myself first. 20I always did what was best for you. I told you the Good News about YAHUSHA in public before the people and also taught in your homes. 21I told everyone—Jewish and non-Jewish people—to repent and turn to YAHUSHA. I told them all to believe in our Master YAHUSHA. 22But now I must obey the Spirit and go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what will happen to me there. 23I know only that in every city YAHUSHA’S Set-Apart Spirit tells me that troubles and even jail wait for me. 24I don’t care about my own life. The most important thing is that I finish my work. I want to finish the work that the Master YAHUSHA gave me to do—to offer people the Good News about YAHUSHA’s favour.
25And now listen to me. I know that none of you will ever see me again. All the time I was with you, I told you the Good News about YAHUSHA’s Kingdom. 26So today I can tell you one thing that I am sure of: YAHUSHA will not blame me if some of you are not delivered. 27I can say this because I know that I told you everything that YAHUSHA wants you to know.
28Be careful for yourselves and for all the people YAHUSHA has given you. YAHUSHA’S Spirit gave you the work of caring for this flock. You must be shepherds to the Bridal Fellowship of YAHUSHA, the people He bought with His own blood. 29I know that after I leave, some men will come into your group. They will be like wild savage wolves and will try to destroy the flock. 30Also, men from your own group will begin to teach things that are wrong. They will lead some of YAHUSHA’S followers away from the truth to follow them.
31So be careful! And always remember what I did during the three years I was with you. I never stopped reminding each one of you how you should live, warning you day and night with tears. 32Now I am putting you in YAHUSHA’s care. I am depending on the Word of His favour to make you strong. For that message is able to give you the blessings that YAHUSHA gives to all his chosen people. 33When I was with you, I never wanted anyone’s money or fine clothes. 34You know that I always worked to take care of my own needs and the needs of the people who were with me. 35I always showed you that you should work just as I did and help people who are weak. I taught you to remember the words of the Master YAHUSHA: ‘You will have a greater blessing when you give than when you receive.’”
36When Paul finished speaking, he knelt down, and they all prayed together. 37-38They cried and cried. They were especially sad because Paul had said they would never see him again. They hugged him and kissed him. Then they went with him to the ship to say goodbye.