• Bishop Keith Butler

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. (Acts 13:1)

Acts 13:1 takes place in Antioch of Syria. It was the world's third-biggest city, following Rome and Alexandria. It was known for its immorality and worship of a goddess whose priestesses were prostitutes. Amid such depravity, a strong Christian community thrived. It was here that the disciples were first called Christians. It's interesting to note that Antioch in Syria sent forth missionaries who would preach the Gospel in another city with the same name – Antioch of Pisidia.

When you see the word certain used to describe a situation in the Bible, it indicates a real, not fictitious person. Jesus used the word certain to suggest that He was recounting something that actually happened, not a parable. Luke used the word certain to describe ministry gifts in the church at Antioch; they either stood in the office of prophet or teacher, or they could have stood in both offices.

Most Christians still acknowledge the office of teacher, but many think that the office of prophet passed away with the apostles; however, that is not the case. My spiritual father, Kenneth E. Hagin, Sr. was a prophet and a teacher. The ministers in Acts 13:1 could have been pastors and teachers or prophets and teachers. Many ministers function in more than one ministry gift; Paul did, my spiritual father did, and so do I. Paul was an apostle, teacher, and prophet.

The church of the Lord Jesus Christ was founded upon apostles and prophets' ministry. The evangelists, pastors, and teachers backed them up and helped stabilize and develop believers in local churches.

Practical Application – Every ministry gift is vital to building up the body of Christ. Receive from them all.

Ephesians 2:20; Ephesians 3:5

  • Bishop Keith Butler

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all). (Acts 10:34-36)

Peter perceived in a room full of Gentiles, hungry to hear the truth of God's Word, that God wanted His message to go to people of every nationality who would respect and honor God.

The Word that these Gentiles received from God was the Word of peace that comes from a relationship with Jesus alone. The peace Jesus gives to us isn’t the peace that the world looks for, but a power that comes with inner tranquility.

Jesus brings us peace with God first. When we accept Christ, we are no longer enemies of God and God’s way. We are now friends of God and adopted into the royal family of heaven.

Jesus also brings us the peace of God. It is an inner tranquility during outer turbulence. When the world is shaken, we can stand sure because it is the peace of God that rules our minds, our hearts, and our decisions. The peace inside of Jesus manifested as He spoke to the storm on the sea. When throngs of men tried to push Him off a cliff, Jesus’ peace allowed Him to walk through the crowd in safety.

The peace of God is supernatural power with an inner tranquility, and it is available to anyone who will accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Practical Application – When your heart starts to tighten, and you begin to feel stressed, say out loud, “I have peace with God, and I have the peace of God.” Demand that peace surround your heart and your mind and walk in it.

Romans 15:33; 2 Corinthians 13:11

  • Bishop Keith Butler

Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the seaside: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. (Acts 10:32-33)

In response to Peter’s questions about why God sent him to minister to Cornelius, the Gentile told Peter that God directed him to find the apostle and hear what he had to say. When God spoke to Cornelius, he acted immediately. He wasn’t even saved yet, but he didn’t wait until everything looked right or when it was convenient; he followed God and obeyed God’s directions instantly.

Many Christians want to hear God’s voice, but they aren’t willing to obey the moment that God tells them to do something. That's not wanting to hear God; that's wanting to have a pleasant spiritual experience that doesn't change anything in your life.

Cornelius continued, saying, “We are all here to hear what God is saying through you.”

They were hungry to hear and wanted to be quick to obey whatever God would say through His anointed vessel. Peter had a captive audience, intent on hearing everything God had to say.

Do we act like that when we come to church? Are we hungry to hear and quick to obey what God will say through His anointed vessel?

Being ready to hear and receptive to God’s Word is imperative to following God’s will for your life.

Practical Application – When you go to church this week, take a moment to say, “God, I’m here to hear and ready to receive.” When you have an attitude of readiness to receive, you will get more out of the message.

Matthew 11:15; Mark 7:16





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