GOD’S PROVIDENTIAL OVERRULINGS AND PATTERNS IN THE BOOK OF ACTS

God’s providential overrulings are many but here are a few of them:

1) Acts 5:18,19–an angel of the Lord let them out the prison–it shows that the preaching work will not be stopped and an angel will be used to spread the Gospel.

2) Acts 5:34-39 that the Lord used Gamaliel to prevent the Pharisees from stopping the spread of the Gospel

3) Stephen (Act 7:57-60) was not spared as the others as his faithfulness to death would be used to bring Paul into Christ.

3) There is a pattern of Christian growth of the church at the beginning and unhindered and then at Stephen’s death it brought persecution and further spread the gospel into Samaria and toward Gaza.  There would be peace after Paul left for Tarsus(Acts 9:31) 

4)  Jesus chose the right place and moment and circumstance to reveal himself to Paul that would change his life–it was perfectly timed. Damascus was away from Jerusalem and these activities were away from Jerusalem and the apostles.

5) The Lord prepared the heart of Ananias and prepared him for the news of Saul’s conversion and knew he would be obedient after his concerns were addressed about Paul. 

6) A thought from Br. Shallieu:  the Lord overruled that one of brethren lived near the wall in Damascus when he was lowered down from the wall (he gives the example of Rahab living near the wall to be let down and they would go to Rahab’s house for refuge.(Acts 9:25)

6) The Lord provided peace in Judea and throughout all Israel(Acts 9:31).so Peter could heal and resurrect and help in the conversion of the Cornelius.   Peter traveled throughout the country and went in the direction of Mediterranean Sea.  The Lord clearly overruled that he decision to go in that direction as the Lord overruled that he goes in this direction as he would demonstrate God’s power through the healing of Aeneas from his palsy, raising Dorcas from the dead.  Because he was at Lydda,  he was not far from Joppa to awaken Dorcas and he was not far (2 days journey) from Caesarea). He was not far so he could be there to open up the key to the Gentiles.

7) Acts 9:43—Simon the tanner—tanning was considered unclean so the Lord was preparing Peter by staying with a brother who was done unclean work.

8) Acts 10: 1-4 Cornelius was praying and giving alms so his contact with Jews must have caused him to compare the Roman gods to the God of Israel and he saw how they worshiped Him and tried to do the same. He probably knew about angels as he was recognized it was an angel immediately (Acts 10: 3,4)  Cornelius was realizing that God was rewarding him providentially, but prayer were to know the way  and the truth.

9) Acts 10:4-6 alms and prayers as a memorial is the same word as meal offering(Lev. 2.1,2)

10) Acts. 10:5—angel told him to send his servants and a devoted soldier to Joppa so he could tell his family and friends to come to his house when Peter arrives and will receive the Holy Spirit. He had great influence on his family

11) Acts. 10:6–double witness and confirmation—two Simons—Simon Peter and Simon the tanner

12) Acts 10:7,8—Cornelius sent his servant and a devout soldier—shows how strong his influences was on his family. He conveyed to them the importance of the mission explained it with conviction and zeal to Peter to come back and to come speedily , came to Peter with great zeal, knew he should be respected 

13) Acts 10:9—When they were approaching the city, Peter was on the housetop praying and it says he was hungry   and saw a vision of clean and unclean animals

14) Acts 10:15,16–Peter puzzled why God said Rise and eat.  The sheet of animals was repeated three times, three witnesses.  All creature are provided by God—all creatures are good (I Tim. 4.4) The sheet is called the vessel—Noah’s ark is called a vessel. Bothe contain clean and unclean animals. In both, animals represent human beings clean and unclean.

15)  Acts 10:17-18—Peter is in doubt about the vision, when the men arrived.

16)  Acts 10:19-20—spirit tells Peter to go down and go with the men as He had sent them

17) Acts. 10:21-22 Men lodged and they with 6 Jewish brethren (Acts 11:12) went with him to Caesarea—important to have Jewish witnesses.

18) Acts. 10:24—morning after (Day 4 of their journey) they entered Caesarea (40  miles one way) He gathered his family and friends and showed his faith.  He fasted.

19) Acts. 10:28-29—Peter showed his obedience and submission by going quickly and without verbal rebellion or questioning even though he was perplexed

20) Acts 10:30—wanted to know why Cornelius asked for him (repeated for a 2nd or 3rd witness (man in bright clothing—angel)).

21) Acts 10:36—God is no respecter of persons, has 1) reverence for God, 2) worked righteousness—right heart condition.

22)  Acts 11: 22-26—when the Gentiles were coming in Antioch in the gospel, the Lord overruled that Barnabas be selected and he teamed up with Paul in the work.

23) Acts 11:27-30 Agabus prophesying was overruled so the disciples could help provide for the brethren in Jerusalem before the famine struck possibly wiping out the church in Jerusalem.

24) Acts 12: 7-11   Miraculous Escape from Prison by an Angel—Peter escaped and left the city Peter needed more experiences.

25) Acts 12:20-23 Herod’s Death and increasing and spreading the word

26) Act.13:2—while fasting and praying the Holy Spirit indicated that Barnabas and Saul be use for further service to the Gentiles and other lands.  

27) Acts 13: 6-12—the Jewish sorcerer tried to stop the work but Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit and causes him to be blind for a time which was a great witness to Sergius Paulus, the proconsul.  The Adversary was trying to stop the work but the Lord wanted it to go on.

28) Acts 13:15   Paul’s sermon was similar to Stephen’s sermon.

29)  Acts 13: 48 Gentiles received it and Barnabas and Paul left as they did not put the believers in more difficulty

30) Acts14:1,5—In Iconium  Jews and Gentiles believed and left when they were going to stone them and so again not cause difficulty for the new believers.  It also causes them to witness to the surrounding areas and Lystra and Derbe

31) Acts 14:6—10 In Lystra the lame man had faith to believe that he will be healed and this is a great witness to all and many believed.

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