12. On With the Message
Philip's task with the man from Africa was completed. Therefore the Spirit of the Lord took him away. However, there was other work for him to go and do.
LISTEN TO ACTS 8:40
(NKJ) But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
Many Other Seekers
Philip, the messenger, was noticed in Ashdod (Azotus). This was a coastal town close to the Mediterranean Sea. Exactly how he got there is not reported. It is also not important.
What is really important is that Philip went ahead with the proclamation ot the gospel. The message which brought to the Ethiopian a new life and great joy, had to be carried further afield.
There is no rest for Philip. He was not able to relax and think over all that had
happened in Samaria and later on the Gaza road. There were still too many searchers for the message. He, the messenger, could not loiter.
God could use him to this point because he was obedient. Now he had to obey the next command of his Master. From Ashdod he travelled through various towns along the coast to Caesarea, about 90 kilometres away. And in every town he proclaimed the good news.
With New Power
From where would Philip get his power? How could he
continue for weeks on end with this exhausting work?
ISAIAH 40:30-31 GIVES US THE ANSWER
Look up this part of Scripture and then fill in the missing words below:
(NKJ) "Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who _________ on the LORD Shall renew their _____________; They shall mount up with wings like ________, They shall run and not be _________, They shall walk and not __________.".
This was the secret
of this witness whom God used so much. He waited on the Lord. He got his strength from God Himself. Because he was obedient to God, God gave him the necessary support.
Therefore he pressed on. He walked. Sometimes he had to run. But he went on, inexhaustible, carrying the message, since he received daily strength from the Lord!
He learned to know God better and better. He now knew that it is God who makes people search. And every day he found happiness in bringing these
seekers into contact with Jesus Christ, who had come to seek and to save those who were lost (Luke 19:10).
Weapons Supplied by God
The Lord Himself gives strength to his messengers. And more: He also gives them the weapons they need.
GET TO KNOW YOUR WEAPONS
Turn to Ephesians 6:13-18 and write down the various parts of the armour of the Lord:
1. The waist belt is called ____________.
2. ------ is the breastplate.
3. The shoes are the _____________ to announce the __________ of __________.
4. At all times carry ____________ as shield.
5. Accept ______________ as helmet.
6. The sword is the ________ of __________.
7. In addition we have the weapon of ________________.
Which of these weapons did Philip need in his witness to the official from Ethiopia? How did he use each of them?
A Life of Service
Philip was greatly strengthened by the conversion of the
official. Once again he saw how powerful the message of the Bible is. He also saw afresh how powerfully the Holy Spirit can act. Philip could tackle the road ahead with new power. Since fleeing from Jerusalem, he had travelled a long road. Yet his shoes were not worn out! They were shoes worthy of announcing the good news of peace.
In Caesarea Philip went on with his good work. Against all expectations he settled there and went on for many years with the Lord's work. About
twenty years later Paul and his travelling companions called at Caesarea. Luke wrote as follows in Acts 21:8-9:"On the next day we who were Paul's companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him.Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied."
What a wonderful thought: a simple man, called by God, spent all his time in the service of his Master, and with him was his whole family.
They acted as messengers to carry the joy of Jesus Christ into the lives of those who searched.
Questions to Answer
1. Did Philip take a rest after completing his task? Give a reason for your answer.
2. From where did Philip get the strength to keep on in this way with the Lord's work?
3. How do we know that Philip continued for many years as a witness for Jesus?
4. How can we use each part of God's armour as witnesses in His service today?
Three Important Questions This course has dealt with three important matters:
1. The message that can bring happiness to a person.
2. Where to look for and find happiness.
3. How a messenger of the Lord must pass this news on.
In concluding these three matters, we would now like to put three very important questions to you.
1. Do You Know The Message Of Jesus Christ?
This course has passed on to you the chief message of the Bible. You have heard that Jesus died on the cross at Calvary for you. You have heard that you can be made free from your sins if you accept Him as your Saviour.
You have also heard that your whole life can be renewed and that your heart can then be filled with happiness, just like the man from Ethiopia.
Do you understand this message?
Have you looked for and found this happiness?
2. Have You Looked For And Found This Happiness Yet?
If you understand this message, you have made considerable progress. But understanding is not enough. You must believe and accept this message. The Lord would like you to have real happiness. Because of this He sent his Holy Spirit to make the message of the Bible clear to you. Kneel down, open your heart to the Lord, ask Him to make you a child of the Lord and then
accept that He will make his promises come true.
If you search in this way, you will certainly find happiness. Remember: the Lord looks for you - and He will find you!
3. Are You Already A Messenger Of The Lord?
Perhaps you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Perhaps there is happiness in your heart. The Lord then asks you not to keep this happiness to yourself. You must also pass it on to others. You must pass on the message of salvation to other people.
Philip was an ordinary person just like you. The Lord gave him strength and used him to lead many people to Jesus. He wants to use you as well. If only you are willing, He will bring about the opportunities and give you the power!
NKJ John 3:16-18, 36: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that
the world through Him might be saved. 18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."