Verse 18 Translation: "Now this man purchased a plot with the wages of iniquity..."
Verse 20 "Bishoprick" should be leadership, "...let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell
therein..." is an Oriental saying. It is a form of curse. They say it in houses or shops.
Verses 24-26 The election of priesthood, long before the Jewish religion, was from a certain family.
One tribe of them doesn't do any other work except the ministry. Families are brought to the town and
supported by the town. After a priest dies the whole town fasts. Then they cast lots. Casting lots is like
voting. They put several names down and then choose. The casting of lots is not gambling with dice.
They have maybe two names on the ballot and then pass it around among the people and whoever gets the
most votes wins. Verse 26 should read, "And they gave forth their ballots;..." "...and the majority vote
fell upon..."
Verse 1 "When the day of Pentecost came, all of them, with one concern, in one place, came gathered
Verse 2 "Then a great wind came upon them from heaven and covered them in the house where they
were seated."
Verse 3 "And cloven tongues as of fire, came upon them, and everyone that sat."
Verse 13 "Drinking new wine" means they are praising God and rejoicing as a result of the new wine
from the press.
In the temple they go sit down first, and they hum. Also some of them hum while they are walking
and thinking deeply. The new wine season is in March or April. It runs from the last of March to the
middle of May. The day of Pentecost is June 6.
Verse 15 They only drink wine at certain times of the day—before eating or while eating, they drink.
The third hour was not the time to drink. Nobody drinks wine, except just outside of meal time.
Verse 17 Everybody, inside and outside, prays, even in the streets, in this mumbling fashion. They are
talking with God.
Verse 43 Translation: "And awe fell upon every..."
Verse 46 "With one accord in the temple every day staying every house, from house to house, break
bread with gladness and without any divided loyalty." "With gladness and with undivided loyalty they
went from house to house, breaking bread." There is no meat. "Meat" should be bread. "With singleness
of heart" means they were centered in eating only. When they eat, they are taught they must keep away
all the problems that are in your mind and be centered only in eating. That is what this means. If you are
eating don't talk about church affairs, talk about food only. You are glad and you are centered in what
you are eating. "With singleness of heart" means with gratitude, or undivided loyalty.
Verse 47 "...And the Lord added to the Church daily those that were being saved."
Verses 1-9 See Mark 10:46-52
Verse 2 (Psalm 84:10) "Be a doorkeeper." In the East, to be a doorkeeper is a position of honor and
respect. Beggars looking for healing will sit at the temple gates. Psalm 84:10 accurately reads: "I would
rather sit at the threshold in the house of my God." To sit in the gate of the temple is a humbling thing.
(Beggar) ask alms. Most beggars in the East are not there to ask money. They are in three places:
(1.) temple gate, (2.) highway sides, (3.) pools or rivers, riverbanks of holy rivers, because they believe
that if an angel comes at a certain time and troubles the water and whoever gets into that spot shall be
healed from their disease. Example: Blind Bartamaeus sitting on the highway side. These people are
imitation beggars. They carry these people to one of these three places in the morning, put a begging
bowl in their hand and they hope that somebody will come and cure them. 75% of the beggars are people
with incurable diseases. Thousands of people go to these three places every day. One might be a holy
man and heal them. Their Hindu religion teaches since the doctors have given up hope there is no cure at
all—only God is your hope. To obtain mercy from God you must knock out all your pride and come
down as a beggar. If you humble yourself, God will have mercy on you sometime and you will be healed.
The real beggars in India will come to stop cars, back doors, stand in the shops (bazaars)—these are a
minority of the beggars. Peter and John could tell by looking at his clothes and face that he wanted
healing, not money. Example: Pool of Bethsma; blind Bartamaeus.
The gate is called Beautiful. The man was healed at the gate of the temple. Not "held." It means he
was by their side or he accompanied them.
Verses 3-6 "Silver and gold have I none." Peter and John understood that if he were a real beggar he
would have been in the backyard where he could get something to eat. This man was not there for a
dime, he was there for a pair of legs.
Verse 6 (Not taught or stated)
Verse 11 "Solomon's porch" means porticle. It is a public square not far from the temple where
everybody stays—the beggars, etc. Solomon's porch is at the East corner.
Verse 19 "Blotted out" means absolutely clean. Nothing can be seen, "...that your sins may be washed away..."
Verse 3 Translation: "And they arrested them and put them in prison."
Verse 12 "Under heaven" means under the world. He was talking about salvation through Christ only
because he knew that in his time, as in our time, there are so many saviors by whose name you are
supposed to be saved. In the East, they know hundreds of names you could call upon to be saved. That is
what Peter meant.
Verse 16 The Eastern countries are the countries of miracles. Peter knew there were miracles going on
like walking on fire, getting loose from a rope, eating fire, etc. But none of these come under notable
miracles. Notable miracles would be when Jesus gave a blind man sight, a lame man a good leg, etc.
Jesus' miracles are not the ordinary miracles, but the notable miracles.
Verse 22 "Shewed" could be manifested. His age was given to prove he was not a young fellow, to
make his witness without a doubt. In the East, with the exception of Christians, princes and rajahs, all the
other people never keep a date of birth. The date of birth was introduced in India after Britain came.
When a child is born they are supposed to register them. But even now they refuse to because they think
only God must know it and the world must not know about the date of birth of the children. If you ask a
man how old he is he may say he might be 30 or he might be 40, they don't know how old they are. In the
courts when the people appear, the judge was to judge his age.
Verse 34 Years ago if a man had two pairs of oxen, he gave one pair to his brother. If he had a hundred
acres of land, he gave some of it to his brother. The Hindus set up the example. A man just recently in
India went about collecting land from every house and gave it to the poor. The people would not take any
money for it. They are still carrying on this practice today.
Verses 1-5 The point of issue is not that they kept back part of the money.
Verses 1,2 Giving; laid at apostles' feet. If minister comes to home in the East, he is treated with much
honor. As he leaves, a tray of fruits and flowers is placed in his hand. If money is given it is placed in an
envelope and laid at his feet as he rises to go. Fruits and flowers are God-given, money is only filthy
lucre worthy to be laid at the feet. Money is a servant used only in exchange.
Laid money at the apostles' feet. This was their custom. If you as a minister would go to anybody's
house, as you leave they put the money on your feet. They give fruit and flowers in your hand. They
believe money—filthy lucre—is man's creation. Fruit and flowers are God's gift. You must give to a
man of God fruit and flowers in his hand and money (man's exchange of goods) placed at the feet. This is
to prove that you are at his command.
Verse 3 "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost in regard to
the price of the land." (Translation) Men of God in the East are believed by the people to be able to curse
as well as bless. Even the criminals who dodge the police fear the holy men and will tell the whole truth
to them. Peter was not angry because Ananias gave Sapphira the money, but for not telling the truth.
Suppose a man robbed $100 from somebody. In order to get him to tell the truth, you bring him before a
holy man. He is then told that he is in the presence of God. He confesses the truth because he fears God.
A king is also a minister, priest unto God. The Orientals always choose men who are ministers of religion
as King, because they fear God. Therefore, when a criminal is brought before the King, he is facing a
man of God and a man chosen by the people.
Verse 9 "The feet of them which have buried thy husband" means her husband died not very long ago
and they are in readiness to bury her.
Verse 12 "Porch" is a purticy (portical). It is an arcade. It is built by the kings of the East for the
strangers and poor people who have no homes to stay there. The apostles did their work in public places
where all the poor and strangers are gathered together, so the truth was scattered more because these
people were not staying there all the time. They did miracles that all may see what the Lord Jesus Christ
was doing through them.
Solomon's porch. The people did not go to the apostles; the apostles went to the people. Solomon's
porch is a public place like a garden. All may sit there—poor, blind, wayfarer, rich, etc. "Porch should
be "portico" which means "arcade." It is where people by hundreds gather together. That is where the
apostles went to testify the Word by signs and wonders. They did not say, "You come to church and we
will teach you." They went out. People must see the benefits of the Word by our walk and work. It
cannot be just words.
Verse 15 "Beds" are made of sheets and a quilt. They put a stretcher under it so they can carry it.
Couches are a little more respectable. They put them in the streets.
Verse 34 "Doctor of the law" means of the religious law.
Verse 37 Refer to Luke 13:1. Galileans are not true Jews, but they came anyway and mingled with the
sacrifices. They came, offered their sacrifices and Pilate took them and shed their blood. Should be
translated: "There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had
shed at the time they were making their sacrifices." They killed a political prisoner. This was done in
order that it might be a lesson to those who came for the festival. Their bodies were left for three days in
the public so everybody could see them and it would be a warning to them.
Verse 40 "Beaten them" is always done. They want to frighten them. They can beat someone to make
him guilty.
Verse 1 In his translation it says the widows were not properly cared for.
Verse 2 In the Bishop's translation it has it is not proper instead of "reason." "Tables" should be food.
To look after the cooking and serving of food.
Verse 11 In the Bishop's translation it says "And they appointed men to say..."
Verse 14 "Customs" should be "laws."
Verse 33 Holy ground, shoes. Put off thy shoes, should read sandals. Shoes have been since the
beginning symbolic of land—the ground. Shoes also means transfer of the land, too. When property was
sold you would give shoes to the man who bought it as a symbol of exchange. Example: The prodigal
son was given shoes—means he was given more land. When God says take off your shoes for the ground
you stand on is holy ground, that's not your land. That belongs to God. You can't stand there with your
shoes on because you'll be appropriating it. This is symbolic of appropriating the land. This land is God's
property. When you pray you should take off your shoes because you're on God's property. We know
God looks on our heart—not our feet.
Verse 38 "Church" should be congregation.
Verses 54-60 Laid clothes at feet, vow. This record is of Stephen speaking before the council of Jews.
"Gnashed on him with their teeth"—they were violently angry (v. 54). "Stopped their ears" (v. 54) —they
refused to hear any plea for mercy. They put their fingers in their ears.
"Laid down their clothes at a young man's feet" (v. 58). This was done by the witnesses of the
stoning, not by the stoners. This action means that the witnesses vow themselves to be true and faithful
witnesses to the scene, that they will tell the whole truth. Another symbol of one's faithfulness to a vow is
the putting of the hand under the thigh of a person (Abraham called his servant and made him put his
hand under Abraham's thigh and swear to God what he was going to do). These actions are used in
making vows before God.
Verse 59, they stoned Stephen again (see also, v. 58). Why did they stone Stephen rather than some
other action? If just to kill him, they could have cut his throat. Stoning is symbolic of the law killing a
person. The law was written originally on stones. Stoning was only done to those who committed sin
against God. It was against the law to throw a stone at a piece of fruit to bring it down. By stoning, the
stoners could say, "It is the law doing it, not us."
Verse 54 "Gnashing teeth" shows anger.
Verse 59 This is the Bishop's translation: "While Stephen was worshipping God, saying Lord Jesus,
receive my spirit, they stoned him."
Verse 39 Caught away. Many Hindus are caught away like this. They transfer themselves, by
exercising their minds. A man will do what he believes for. You have to believe to get results—
believing is action. How do you know what you believe? Because you act on what you believe. If you
don't act on what you believe, you don't believe at all. If God says so—act so!
Verse 2 "And desired of him...he found any of the way..."
Verse 5 Pricks. Pricks—goad, a stick 3-4 feet long. A nail is in one end. The plowman has one hand
on plow and one carries goad. If ox is slow the man pricks his thigh. He does not take the goad away
because he knows the ox will kick after being pricked. As he kicks, he meets with the same goad again.
The more kick back, the more hurt. Our goad is the Word which is never removed. If we kick against it,
we get hurt.
Verse 5 It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. Acts 9:5, 26:14—prick is goad (is God's Word).
When God convicts us with the Word, we kick back. The more we kick back, the worse the prick hurts.
If you go forward thanking Him for the yoke, you'll have no pricks and only go forward.
Kick against the pricks. This concerns agriculture in the East. The man will have one hand on the
plough and uses the other hand for the goad. The goad is also called prick. The goad is a stick 2'-3' long
at the end of which is a sharp nail. In the East when they plough, they only use one hand to plough. This
is because the plough only ploughs about 2" deep—not like our ploughs in U.S. which dig deep. That's
why it says in the Word, "If a man puts his hand on the plough and looks back, he's not fit for the
kingdom of God." A man ploughing with horses may look back, because you've got 2 horses and the
plough is wide, cuts deep. If the Eastern man looks back, the small, narrow plough will jump from side to
side—crooked rows. Both oxen must go straight. The farmer uses the prick to keep the oxen on course.
The oxen doesn't like it, so he kicks back. When he kicks back he kicks the prick—he will get hurt until
he learns not to kick back. If you kick against the pricks, you are hurt all the more. The Word is a
double-edged sword. The conviction of the Word is the prick. Most people are afraid to read the Word
for their fear of being convicted by it. Paul called him "Lord" as a term of respect, not because he knew it
was the lord.
(Acts 9:5, Luke 9:62, Acts 26:14) Cultivation. In the East, cultivation is done by small plows. They
have a pair of bullocks. The wooden plow won't do more than 2" ground at a time. The man holds a
goad—stick—(2' long, needle at its end) in one hand; he holds the plow in the other. If the man doesn't
goad the oxen, they won't go straight. If they won't go straight, the furrows go all wrong. We must look
forward with our eyes ahead, on Him. If we refuse to follow God, looking back, there is no plowing. Our
victory is in our walk, with a forward outlook and this is where our prosperity and success is. Why worry?
Luke 9:62. The goad is needed in the East because oxen go around.
Acts 9:5;26:14. An ox is paired with another under the yoke. One ox wants to be a little naughty,
does not want to go straight, and ox kicks back. Why? Because he kicks back to the prick again, because
the man leaves the prick down there. Paul, it's hard to kick against the pricks - you cannot fight God and
His truth. The more you fight it, the more you kick against the prick.
Verses 17,18 (Already in teaching.) Thorn in flesh, renewed mind. Some people say that Paul's thorn
in the flesh was eye trouble because he never fully recovered from being blinded on the road to
Damascus. This idea is wrong because God healed him and God always does a complete job. When
most people make a wrong statement, they like to make other statements to support the first one. One
mistake is held up by another mistake. The people who say that Paul had trouble with his eyes support
that opinion with Galatians 6:11 about Paul writing a large letter. Paul's thorn in the flesh was not poor
eyesight. "Thorn in the flesh" is an Eastern idiom meaning people who bother someone by way of mouth.
God never sends sickness or anything bad. Those things are from the Devil. None of the children of
Israel, when traveling to the promised land, died of any disease. They died of unbelief and disobedience.
God made us to live—not to die. The "three score and ten" lifespan mentioned in the Word is only for
those who do not live well and take care of themselves. As the mind is renewed on the Word, the flesh is
renewed also because the Word is life and it heals and delivers. We could live on and on forever. There
are natural men in the world who live longer than Christians do. (The Masters of the Far East is a book
about some of the men in the Tibetan Mountain who do this as well as other feats like transporting, etc.)
It's partly because we blame everything that we do wrong on the Devil, but we should not just blame them
on him and then continue in the negatives as if we had no control. God is above the Devil and our
sufficiency is in God. Must continue to look to Him and depend on Him. If anyone sets his mind on a
certain objective he will achieve it (whether he likes it or not). How much more should we accomplish
who have the hope of Christ's return? We who have the power of God in Christ in us can excel beyond
anyone in the world. There is great power in the mind, in what one wills to do. If we do not receive, it is
because we do not expect.
Verse 19 "Received" should be eaten.
Verse 24 "But Saul knew about their plot. And they watched..."
Verse 25 This is the city wall. That is the fashion of letting the people down even today. They don't get
hurt easily.
Verses 36-43 Renewed mind. At the funerals in the East, the things that the dead person made in this
life are shown to everyone present. Peter had the courage and believing to raise a dead woman to life.
Before healing her, Peter put out all the unbelieving people so that their unbelief would not affect him.
Verse 37 "Washed" should be bathed the body. The upper chamber is the rooms upstairs.
Verse 39 The Bishop thinks this woman was a widow because there were all widows in the room with
the body. Usually widows gather around widows. When they are crying about a person, they have a few
things that he or she made or something to show in their hands.
Verse 40 He put them forth because in the presence of widows no religious ceremonies, prayers, or
anything are done. It is not a crime for them to be there, but it is a tradition that wherever they are, they
withdraw themselves when there is anything concerning God or any prayer, because they believe God has
not showed mercy to them. Peter was keeping with the tradition of the people. He may also have put
them out because of the noise. And the third reason is that if they were all there they might not have
believed that he was going to raise her. In order to create faith for himself perhaps, he put them out. He
thinks the first reason is the right one but the others may go with it. It is a custom to kneel down and
pray. They kneel different than we do. They sit on their legs. Usually the Hindus sit cross legged or they
stretch them out.
Verse 43 A tanner is a person who smoothes the skins. That is his main work. It is a despised business.
A tanner is worse than an untouchable to them. One of the branches of the untouchables is a tanner. He
is the lowest of the untouchables. His skins are all outside his house. Staying with them is a miracle of
miracles for Peter.
In all the casts of India, the man who deals with leather is the lowest. Even the untouchables will
have nothing to do with men who make shoes or tans the leather. These men are supposed to be as
murderers who killed the ox to get the skin or even if he handles the skin, he's looked upon as a murderer
by the Hindu's and Jews. The people don't even want the tanners to touch them. If the tanner has to, he
can do work on you provided you wash your feet when you get home. They get some water and say a
prayer then pour it on their head and body and they are sanctified. The Word calls this the waters of
separation (sanctification).
Verse 43. Easterners despised tanners. One who deals in skins is the lowest of the low in class.
Even the untouchables would not touch him. To Peter as a Jew, it would have been unthinkable for him
to stay with a tanner. But to Peter as a Christian, that prejudice no longer existed. He was a new creation
and was transformed by the renewing of his mind. We must deal with every weak point of our life and
renew that area with the strength of God's Word. We have received the grace of God to make us
acceptable to God who overlooks our bad points. Therefore, who are we to think that grace should be
withheld from anyone else for anything that they might do or be? If God does not pass judgment on a
person, who are we to do so?
Verse 9 Housetop. Sixth hour—noon; day begins at 6:00 a.m. Easterners pray on housetop at noon.
Roofs are flat, cement floor. People pray with shoes off so feet burn and unshaded heads burn. They
believed it was the most sincere way to pray. It was a tradition which Peter was adhering to here even
though he was now a Christian. At night all families sleep on housetops until about 2:00 a.m. because of
heat. Put mosquito nets around beds. It is a beautiful sight to look over the town and see hundreds of
white beds in the moonlight. Chat until fall asleep. It is their cultural rule that if anything good is heard
about God, it must be told. (Matthew 10:27.) Speak the truth and shame the Devil. The houses are very
close together. One can walk clear out of town from housetop to housetop. That is what Jesus was telling
them to do in Matthew 24:16-18. He did not want them to get involved with the things on the ground, but
rather to flee out of town. Can reach the housetop by outside stairs. Anyone has privilege to go up on
anyone else's housetop. The man who was sick of the palsy was let down through the roof to Jesus. This
was easily done by lifting some of the tiles.
Verse 9 (Not stated but taught) There is a little house on rooftop called prophets chamber with a bed
and small writing table, it is a place for preacher when he comes.
Housetops. He went up at noontime to pray. Peter went up to keep his culture.
Verse 14 "Common" should be defiled.
Verses 25,26 Falling at the feet is bad enough, but worshiping them is worse. Usually any Orientals
will be scared to death if anyone falls at their feet and especially worships them. They don't want to be
equal with God. They are afraid God will punish them for taking worship from other people.
Verse 32 A tanner's house is usually by the other untouchables houses. This doesn't mean all tanners
live by the sea side, they live outside the city.
Verse 4 "Four quaternions" means four men headed by a sergeant, four groups. That means there were
sixteen soldiers and four sergeants. Each time they work, one man will be in charge of four soldiers.
"Quaternions" means four. The whole household includes the wife and children.
Verse 21 The Bishop's version says he preached to them. "Oration" is speaking on things which are
material. When you talk on religion, you preach.
Verse 18 Translation: "And about the time of forty years he sustained them in the wilderness."
Verses 49-52 "Shake the dust off your feet." "Dust" is symbolic of anger, malice, spite, ill will, grudge,
resentment—any wrong attitude. "Shake off dust" means to leave it behind. Refute it, forget it. Getting
rid of the dust brings victory, peace, health. Don't be so foolish as to hate or hit back when someone does
wrong against you. Once you become bitter, you have lost the case. It is easy to forgive a man when you
know that he does wrong only because his senses deceive him. He does not mean to be deceived or tricked.
Verse 50 "Shook off the dust of their feet"—dust is symbolic of hatred, resentment, bitterness, spite,
grudge, anger. "And they were filled with joy." How could they be filled with joy after being kicked
out?... Because they shook the dust off their feet. We are to leave all these things behind and be left with
only love for our enemies. Don't entertain bad attitudes, leave the dust behind! Anger is a poison in our
bloodstream. Transform your mind by renewing it. Fill mind with Word. Tell your mind that you're the
boss. If you really forgive, then you will forget. Then you can trust, believe, pray, live effectually.
Verses 50-52 Shook dust off feet, renewed mind. Persecution comes only when you are doing
something better than anyone else. Not persecuted if not doing anything. If you attract a following when
others are not able to, persecution is certain. Devil works through chief people because others believe
them. How could the disciples be filled with joy after being persecuted and expelled from where they
were? It was because they "shook off the dust of their feet." Dust is symbolic of hatred, anger, bitterness,
resentment, animosity. These things cloud joy and when they are shaken off, the joy is manifested. Mind
is the cause of our troubles. It affects the body and causes sickness. Renew the mind on the Word and
the body will be relieved.
The church is not progressive with the believer because he has already made up his mind that the
teaching will not work. When the doctor comes, they'll try a pill, but they won't try God. Don't
remember evil about a person. Shake the dust off your feet. Let the mind be calm when a decision is
made. Don't be hasty and make a decision in anger. The truth sets people free. When thinking and
attitude change, circumstances change.
Shook off the dust of their feet. Dust is symbolic of hatred, grudge, spite, resentment, bitterness. All
the negative things. Shake off the dust of their feet means, carry none of those with you—carry no
resentment or animosity with you. Christ taught them this. Carry no malice, bitterness. Let them stew in
their malice—won't effect you—hurts them. When you don't carry these you go free, in love. Don't even
remember the evil done you. Get this ground into your system. Verse 52 (joy) came because they left the
resentment and animosity behind. Example of the prodigal son—father forgave. "I'm back in my father's
home." This is a saying frequently used in India.
Verse 51 Dust means leave the animosity there, the hatred, the badness. Leave that with them. I
Corinthians 14:38. Carrying an animosity. Can't have joy, if you carry animosity.
Verse 8 "Feet" should be legs.
Verse 13 Usually they bring sheep and garlands, but they brought oxen. The Jewish and
Mohammedans eat beef, but the Hindus don't. "Sheep" are symbolic of peace.
Verse 14 Clothes should be mantles. A mantle is never worn without folding. It is folded up, but when
it is spread out you can call it a shawl. A mantle is a part of their garment which is hanging around their
neck folded up. When it is opened up the people use it as a cover at night. It is also called a sheet. It is
safest to call it a mantle.
Verses 16-18 After these things my manner of life will be to build again the tent of David which is
fallen down, and I will build again the things overturned thereof and make it upright, that the remnant of
man (the bloodline of David) might earnestly seek the Lord and all the Gentiles (nations seek the Lord,
not bloodlines) on whom my name is called saith the Lord who maketh all these things known from the
beginning of the world.
Verse 29 Nobody takes the blood of animals when it is offered. They give the blood to the
untouchables and they take the meat.
Verse 32 Judas and Silas (prophets exalted)—confirmed the Word by manifestation.
Verse 15 The household includes all the members that live in the house. If there are 16 servants they
are all included.
Lydia constraining Paul. She besought the apostles by giving a reason—"faithful to the Lord" for
them to come in. Easterners want to keep the dirt out of their houses so they will take their shoes off and
walk barefoot on the rug.
See Luke 10:29
Verse 16 "Soothsaying" has always been a big business in the East. It is generally an older woman.
Soothsaying, astrology, mediums all are of the spirit of divination. They tell people of the misfortune
they are going to have, how they are going to loose money. Nobody criticizes these women, because they
put everything on the stars. It is improper for a man to enter the presence of a woman medium. Saul
changed his garments before he went to the witch of Endor. Saul was dressed like a woman. As far as I
know Oriental custom, no man goes to a soothsayer, someone else has to tell him. So Saul disguised
himself. (After this discussion, Dr. Wierwille and Gordon point out to the Bishop that Saul had men with
him and therefore he did not necessarily have to be dressed as a woman, but just disrobed himself of his
kingly garments and put ordinary men's clothing on.)
Verse 22 Punishment (stripes). Clothes—mantle. Rending of mantle has significance. Rending of
clothes has no significance. The tearing of the mantle is an outward sign of inward anger or grief.
Beating (striping—giving stripes) is part of capital punishment. Can give no more than 40 stripes by law.
Magistrate and doctor must be present. The usual procedure was to give "forty stripes save one" (39) so
as to be sure not to break the law.
Rent off their clothes. Rent off their clothes should read rent their mantles. They wear around their
necks and they fall to their knees. It's like a stole is in the United States. It symbolizes the calling of a
man to the ministry. To throw the mantle (as in Elijah). Also means a sign of protection. Also, an
outward sign of inward anger and/or sorrow is to rent a mantle. Rent means tore in two pieces. The
"hillbillies" in India have their own law—separate from the others. To beat a man is a confirmation of the
sentence. They beat you before everybody to show of your sentence.
Verse 23 They put the stripes on the people after they are found guilty.
Verse 24 The inner prison is one of the rooms inside the jail, something like a cell.
Verse 29 "Sprang" in means ran in.
Verse 30 Translation: "And the times of this ignorance God acted as if he did not know about it..." He
pretended he didn't know anything about it. He didn't take any action.
Verses 1-6 Shook his garment. Tentmakers should be saddle makers. Tents were made by women.
Saddle making is an art. "Shook his raiment" as if to bind a person to an oath (reminding him that God
will thus shake you if you do not keep it). A vow in the East is not broken.
Verse 6 Shook his raiment (garment) i.e., as far as I'm concerned you can do so and so an eastern
oath—shook his mantle, affirmation of his oath to them.
Shook his raiment. "Shook his raiment"—shook whatever clothing he had on. It is the sign of either
an oath or an affirmation.
"Shook his raiment" is same thing as Nehemiah 5:13.
Shook his raiment means "nothing that belongs to you will cling to me." I shook off—it's like
washing your hands off. "No dust of your iniquity can be upon me. I shook it off."
"Shaking the lap," means a fold in the clothes where they keep their money, tobacco, etc.
Shaking his garment, raiment—is shaking his upper garment.
Verse 18 Shave head, vow. A child's head is shaven and his ears are bored when he is dedicated to
God. The child's head is shaven in a ceremonial way in the temple as a sign of the parents' vow. It
usually occurs when the child is about five years old. At age 12 a Hindu boy is permitted to know all
about religion. At that time he is initiated to teach and his head is shaved again. The priest puts his
mantle over the boy's head and gets under it and whispers a prayer in the boy's ear. (God spoke in the ear
of Samuel—a sign of initiation). After the boy is initiated, he receives a sacred thread around his neck,
falling on the left side. The Jewish children are dedicated to God when eight days old. Much of Hindu
culture was adopted by Jews. Hindus were descended from Persian and Mede empire which was second
world empire (Babylonia was first). The Jews came under the political influence of the Persians and
Medes who later became Hindus after they settled in India. The Hindus had a great spiritual and cultural
impact on the Jews. Hindus were meeker and milder than Jews. When Jesus started teaching certain
principles that were already incorporated in Hindu philosophy ("bless them which persecute you") the
Jews did not like him because that doctrine was foreign to them. Some say that Jesus spent 16 years in
Indian because of the principles that he taught. (Read Unknown Life of Jesus Christ. Supposedly covers
his life from age 13 to 30.)
Vow. "I don't understand that at all," Bishop says. Paul was a tentmaker. Only a woman's job in the
East. Saddle making is an art. Priscilla and Aquila were saddle-makers. Paul therefore was a saddle
maker—not a tentmaker. At 5 years of age, Bishop shaved his head for dedication. At 12 years old in
yoga practice when he was "born again." (From 5-12 you are taught all about your religion.) The child
and priest go under a mantle and the priest whispers some prayers in your ears. When you believe it you
are born again—dwija. (Dwi means two; ja means birth—Sanscript word.) If you look at Hindu, check
his ears to see if he has two holes in them—a sign that he's a high class Hindu. Only three classes of
Hindu's are "Twice born": (1.) Brahman, (2.) Shatriar, (3.) Vishnu. High class are the majority in India.
At 12 years of age when you're twice born you are shaven. This is a vow that the parents make. To shave
one's head is a sign of full surrender—complete. Question comes up about it being a disgrace to have
long hair. (1.) Shave head—total surrender to their god. (2.) shave a little hair in the middle of the head
means you are consecrated to the service of God. Separated to your God. You are marked out to serve
God—token out of the world. (Don't ask his cast; ask if he is twice born.)
Verse 12 Quoted but not taught or stated.
Verses 13-16 Exorcists, reincarnation. Exorcists (still an ordination in Catholic church—one who has
authority to cast out devil spirits) actually operates devil spirits. A devil-possessed man still has own
sense of self-recognition and recognition of others. Easterners believe in reincarnation, but that humans
can come back only as humans because "made in image and likeness of God". Can come back as lower
or higher man according to deeds in previous life, but never come back as cow or pig or other animal
(that's why they don't believe in killing animals). Bishop doesn't say this—he says the Jews were
pretending imposters they "took it upon themselves to be exorcists" and the possessed man recognized this.
Verses 18,19 Showed their deeds, confess. "Showed their deeds"—demonstrated salvation by deeds
rather than by words only. If a man had been alcoholic, he would publicly destroy and burn up bottles.
Show renewed mind by deeds, i.e., v. 19.
"Confessed"—confessed salvation.
"Curious arts"—soothsaying, palmistry, etc. When light enters, darkness must flee. Light and
darkness cannot dwell together.
Verse 23 About the way. The way means Christ. Before we were called Christians in Antioch we were
called people of the way because Christ was the way. "Salute no man by the way." (Luke 10:4.) Two
salutes: (1.) hello, good morning; (2.) soliciting—same word for both meanings. People by the way are
of the world. People of the way belong to Christ. There was no small stir about Christianity is the subject here.
Verse 9 When a man becomes unconscious, we Eastern people say he is dead. That is what dead means
in this case. If a man is dead we say, he went on home. We do not use the term, "passed out."
Verse 33 "Coveted no man's silver or gold, or apparel." The Eastern apparel is costly and they make an
idol of their clothing (Job 27:16).
Verse 15 "Carriages" should be baggage. It is the same in Judges 18:21.
"Scourging." It is a beating or whipping. They do this to a person to get a quick confession from a
person and quiet the complainant. This is done before the trial. They carried this same idea out with Christ.
Verse 3 "Whited wall" is what they call a hypocrite. "Whited sepulchre" is the same thing. The
Orientals have their walls white and upper half is different color. Paul was saying they may appear
perfect, but inside the wall is soft stones and corruption and the outside of the wall is white and pretty.
Verse 14 (Hosea 4:16; II Corinthians 6:14) A heifer is a young cow which has not been calved. Very
seldom is it put to the yoke for plowing. It is illegal to put it by the side of a bull for plowing. But if a
man is poor and only has one bull and he can't plow with just one, he will use a heifer even though it's illegal.
II Corinthians 6:14, one pulls one way and one another. A Christian who is born again, lost his old
feathers and is walking, must marry a woman like that. The heifer refuses to bear the yoke and thinks,
"My neck will be broken; if I give in they'll have me for life; I better dodge it now." The farmer hooks
her up and ties a rope to her horn and stands behind her with a goad. She kicks at it and gets pricked
more. [Acts 26:14] Then the heifer begins foaming and breathing heavy. It's afraid to go forward. It
gets beaten and falls down. Christians are afraid to walk with Jesus and look horrible from the beating.
Jesus Christ said my yoke is light. Israel was afraid, like they were afraid to go into the promised land.
Pagans must do horrible things—hurt their bodies, etc., in their worship. The yoke of Jesus Christ is easy.
Hos. 4:16b. The lambs of the first year are fed near home. After that they go out in the wilderness
and wander here and there finding grass. There are lots of dangers, etc.
"Kick against the pricks." When the oxen goes out of a straight path the man pokes it with the sharp
point on the edge of the goad. .When the ox is young it will kick against the pricks but it learns not to do
this as it grows older.
See Luke 9:62.
(Acts 9:5). It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. Prick is goad (is God's Word). When God
convicts us with the Word, we kick back. The more we kick back, the worse the pricks hurt. If you go
forward thanking him for the yoke, you'll have no pricks and only go forward.
Cultivation. In the East is done by small plows. They have a pair of bullocks. The wooden plow
won't do more than 2" of ground at a time. The man holds a goad—stick—(2' long, needle at its end) in
one hand; he holds the plow in the other. If the man doesn't goad the oxen, they won't go straight. If they
won't go straight, the furrows go all wrong. We must look forward with our eyes ahead, on Him. If we
refuse to follow God, looking back, there is no plowing. Our victory is in our walk, with a forward
outlook and this is where our prosperity and success. Why worry?
Luke 9:62 The goad is needed in the East because oxen go around.
Acts 9:5; 26:14. An ox is paired with another under the yoke. One ox wants to be a little naughty,
does not want to go straight, so as he tries to turn, then only the man pricks, when you prick, the ox kicks
back. Why? Because he kicks back to the prick again, cause the man leaves the prick down there. Paul,
it's hard to kick against the pricks—you cannot fight God and His truth. The more you fight it, the more
you kick against the pricks.
Verse 1 Kindled a fire, viper. No one could warm up at the public fire in the East without contributing
sticks to the fire. This way others could come and be warmed. We make an abundant contribution to The
Way and Dr. Wierwille because he has fed us and kept us warm, edified and uplifted us! When gathering
sticks in the dark, one could be bitten by a viper. They are 6" long with sharp teeth. (There is no one who
was bitten by a viper and lived.) This viper is sent usually after a killer. But no harm came near Paul.
Although it was very difficult to remove the vipers, Paul just "shook off the viper."
(Bishop comments that the early church did many great things. They sold their property and brought
money and laid it at the apostles' feet. We only SIT and interpret, and prophesy. We don't do this stuff.
We have a good sign we are saved. But this is not all there is. We should live and demonstrate so much
power that Christ might be magnified. People then would see us as more than conquerors, that we have
all the power we need to do anything, that nothing is impossible to us.)
Shake off the venom of the viper (selfishness).
Verses 1-6 Barbarous people. Melita = Malta. Foreigners, heathen around you means the nations round
about you. Barbarous means they speak a different language.
Kindled a fire. Made a big bon fire in the street. Everybody warms themselves by it. People come
by there on the way to their work. They'll chit-chat, warm themselves and move on. It's etiquette to put a
bundle of sticks on the fire unless you contribute something. Paul was a guest there. He gathered the
bunch of sticks out of etiquette.
Viper—the viper puts his head inside the skin. He cannot pull his head back. By the time the viper
lets his poison out, he's dead. You can't pull the viper off, even after he's dead. You must cut it off. Then
they thought he was a god—only a god could shake off a viper—humanly impossible—you cannot escape
the law. What we say is a miracle is very ordinary to God. We should think the same thing. We need to
be doers of the Word and not hearers only. People are suffering from spiritual indigestion—not releasing
enough. If you say you believe— act on it.
Viper, renewed mind. Melita—Malta today. Barbarous—foreign, those who speak another language.
(Heathen—other nations, not ungodly or uncivilized necessarily; pagan—those who worship other
than true God). Barbarous people could be highly cultured but just speak another language. Easterners
are very hospitable. If you walk into a village at midnight, just knock on a door and you will be well
taken care off—no questions asked. Strangers are welcome and respected. Needs are met. Humanitarian
treatment of others is wonderful, but Christian treatment should be even much more.
Verses 2-6 Heathen, barbarian, foreigners, pagan.
Heathen: Nations round about you. Canada is heathen to the United States.
Pagan: People who don't worship God—worship their own stomach only—most are in western
world. No concept of God at all.
Barbarian: People who speak other languages than mine—Paul in Melita. Paul put his bundle of
sticks on the fire. Viper bit him and fastened onto his hand. The people thought this man must have
escaped punishment. They believe if a man murders and runs away, escapes the law—God will send a
viper to hunt him out. (Verse 4.)
Verse 3 Paul gathered a bundle of sticks for fire. It was Eastern custom. Must contribute to fire to
warm self at public fire. Cannot warm self at spiritual fire without contributing. A viper could sink his
fangs an inch deep into the arm and release poison. After it does so, it dies. Almost impossible to pull
the viper out even after it is dead. Must cut it up in bits and pull it out. No cure for bite. Easterners
believe God sends viper to punish murderers if they have escaped the law. Vipers do not just bite anyone
as other snakes do. Vipers search out murderers. When Paul shook the beast off and did not die, the
people thought he must be a god. Are we under our circumstances or on top of them? Can we shake off
venomous vipers of negatives and remain unaffected by them? We have the ability to shake off bad
feelings and wrong attitudes by renewing of the mind. We can shake off anything that upsets us. Must
believe it to act on it though. People are looking at us like they were at Paul.
Verse 5 When viper bites you, it puts its teeth deep inside the skin and lets the poison go. It is
impossible to shake off the viper after it has put its mouth into the skin. It drinks the blood, lets the
poison go and lies right there on the body. It's humanly impossible to shake it off. The man will die
within 20 minutes. There is no cure. You are to cut the viper in pieces because he is round and round the
body of the man, to bury the man.
When he shook it off, therefore, they thought he was God. Only God could shake off the viper. No
man could.
(500 back to customs)
After everybody warms themselves they go to work. Coolies, laboring class go barefooted and don't
wear gloves when they work in the fields. They drag their oxen, carry plowing equipment on their
shoulders—it's still dark.
They're on the way to the farm through a narrow passage, through thorny bushes and it may be half a
mile between thorny bushes, snakes and scorpions in the path.
The men have no light, no shoes, so they get a rope of coconut material and burn it on one side.
They hold it in their hand and blow on it, causes sparks to fall in the pathway. They walk in their sparks.
God spoke through the prophets but they were all oriental. Therefore, they used the figurative
language that they understood even until today.
These people walked in their own sparks; their own light. And, not the light that God gave in His
Word. We, the people of God, should walk in the Word. The Word is a lamp unto our feet, light to our
paths. When we walk in God's light, we'll never stumble because the light of God never runs out. When
you walk in God's truth, you'll not lie down in sorrow.
If you choose to walk in your own wisdom, which doesn't give you enough light, then you are
defeated, frustrated. God said light came into the world and men loved the darkness rather than light.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world.
We must not walk by our senses but by what the Word says—never be afraid to walk in the light of
God's truth.
See also Isaiah 50:11.
Verses 3, 4 "Barbarous person" is anyone who speaks a different language than you do. Paul gathered a
bundle of sticks because that is the custom. If anyone warms his hands around the fire he must put a
bundle of sticks as his contribution, to the fire. No man will warm himself and walk out. A viper is a
species of serpents. It is 6"-8" long and has a very pointed mouth and head and it sticks its mouth into the
skin of the person and gets into the skin and lets his poison in. He also sucks some blood out of the
person. As he is doing it, they both drop dead. He will still be holding on to the person. There is no cure
for it. When the man is dead, they cut the viper into pieces and cut it out and then bury the man. It is
humanly impossible to shake off the viper once it sticks to the skin. These people thought when the viper
stuck to Paul that he must have been a murderer because they believed the viper is sent by God to kill a
murderer only, one who has escaped the law. Although a man has escaped the law, God will fulfill the