When the Storm Is Allowed to Continue & the Ship Be Destroyed

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament book of Acts—the account of the spiritual body of Christ—as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage is found in verses twenty-seven through forty-four of the twenty-seventh chapter. “And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, wer launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; and Aristarchus, and Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us. And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul,a nd gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein. And when he had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; and, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea. Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, and said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with rut and much damage, not only of the landing and ship, but also of our lives. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those thigns which were spoken by Paul. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if bay any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south, west, and north west. And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind we let her drive. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; and the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss” (Acts 27:1-21).

 

But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; and sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had done a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing least we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern and wished for the day. And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under the colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the fore ship, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off. And while the3 day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: fore there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea. And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and noised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the fore part stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: and the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land” (Acts 27:27-44).

 

            When you come to the twenty-seventh chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will encounter the incredible truth surrounding the final journey the apostle Paul would talk. Beginning with the thirteenth chapter of this New Testament book you will find the apostle Paul embarking on different missionary journeys with which he would take the word, the name and the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ unto different parts of the earth. If you read the words which the Lord spoke unto both Ananias as well as the apostle Paul himself when he was first converted you will find the Lord was calling and sending him unto the Gentiles. From the words which the Lord spoke and delivered unto Ananias prior to his coming to the house of Judas when he laid hands on Paul that he might receive his sight and the Holy Spirit, to the words which the Lord would speak unto Saul while on the road to Damascus to the words which the Lord had spoken unto the apostle Paul while in Jerusalem you will find the apostle Paul would indeed fulfill the words which the Lord Jesus spoke concerning His disciples and followers receiving power after that the Holy Ghost was come upon them and they would be witnesses unto Him in Jerusalem, in all Judaea, in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Oh this is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of—particularly and especially when considering the words which are found in these chapters—for the apostle Paul would indeed be an apostle unto the Gentiles as he would be sent far away unto the Gentiles to carry the word and name of the Lord Jesus unto them. Oh it is indeed true that the apostle Peter was the first one to preach the gospel unto Gentiles in the house of Cornelius in Caesarea it was also true the apostle Paul would indeed be the apostle which preached the gospel and name of the Lord Jesus unto the Gentiles as was ordained and appointed of him by the Lord.

 

            I am convinced that in order to truly understand the apostolic and missionary journeys which the apostle Paul took during his walk with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ there is a great need for us to consider the different accounts of the Lord speaking unto him. There is a great need to recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in the ninth, twenty-second and twenty-sixth chapters of this New Testament book as they call and draw our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the apostle Paul who was at that time called Saul of Tarsus being called and ordained an apostle unto the Gentiles. If you want to truly understand the journeys which the apostle Paul would indeed take launching out from Antioch there is a great need to recognize the tremendous reality surrounding the words which the Lord had indeed spoken concerning his persecution of Him while stretching forth his hand to touch the spiritual body of Christ as well as the words which the Lord had spoken unto Ananias. These different accounts can and will help us to truly understand the foundation and structure of the different apostolic and missionary journeys which the apostle Paul would take for it would be in the thirteenth chapter of this New Testament book we find the Holy Ghost speaking unto the brethren which were present in Antioch calling for the separation of Paul and Barnabas from among them unto the work whereunto He had called them. There in Antioch the Holy Ghost would indeed call for the separation of Paul and Barnabas from the brethren—first and foremost unto Himself and secondly unto the work whereunto they had been called. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found—first and foremost in the first chapter of the New Testament book of Acts as well as the ninth, twenty-second and twenty-sixth chapters of the same book:

 

            “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:1-11).

 

            It is in the first and opening chapter we read of Jesus describing and declaring unto the disciples and His followers that they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days thence. Within this opening passage of this New Testament book we also find Jesus declaring unto them that they would receive power after that the Holy Ghost was come upon them. As a direct result of this they would be witnesses unto Him both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Within this context and framework I now invite you to consider the following words which are found in the ninth, twenty-second and twenty-sixth chapters of the New Testament book of Acts. I would also call your attention to the words which are found in the twenty-third chapter as well as perhaps the words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of this book:

 

            “And Saul, ye breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogue, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink” (Acts 9:1-9).

 

            “And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, and hath seen a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. And Ananias went his went, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him, said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ” (Acts 9:10-22).

 

            “Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defense which I make now unto you. (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,) I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished. And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And he Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. And he said, Thou God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou d shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now thy tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; and saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: and when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the remnant of them that slew him. And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles” (Acts 22:1-21).

 

            “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto the fathers: unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, at midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with. Me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I hear da voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesu whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things that those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:1-23).

 

            “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. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucid; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus” (Acts 13:1-4).

 

            “And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome” (Acts 23:11).

 

            Within these passages of Scripture—not only do we encounter the words which the Lord Jesus spoke unto the apostle Paul when he was Saul of Tarsus traveling on the road to Damascus but we also find the words which the Lord would speak to him during those three days while he was praying and fasting without sight after that encounter. Moreover we also find the words the Lord Jesus would speak unto Ananias which he would indeed deliver unto the apostle Paul when he faithfully obeyed the voice of the Lord and came and laid hands on the apostle Paul that he might receive his sight, might be baptized and might receive the Holy Spirit. What’s more is that within these passages of Scripture you will also find the Lord Jesus speaking unto the apostle Paul the first time he returned to Jerusalem after his conversion experience warning and instructing him to depart from Jerusalem for they would not receive his testimony. In addition to this the Lord would also declare unto Saul that He would send him far away unto the Gentiles—something which would indeed come to pass in the days which were ahead. As if all this weren’t enough the Lord Jesus would also declare unto the apostle Paul while he was in the city of Jerusalem that just as he testified of Him in the midst of the city of Jerusalem so also would he bear witness at Rome also. It is this particular concept of the apostle Paul bearing witness in Rome which is at the very heart of the words presented in the twenty-seventh chapter for it’s in the twenty-seventh chapter we find the apostle Paul, Luke and other prisoners being sent forth from Caesarea on a journey that would bring them unto the shores of Italy and unto the very heart of the Roman Empire.

 

            If you read the New Testament book of Acts you can and will encounter the tremendous truth and reality surrounding the apostle Paul being told of the Lord that just as gave testimony of Him in Jerusalem so also would he bear witness at Rome as well. What’s more is that if you read the words describing the “trial” which the apostle Paul would endure before the Jews in Jerusalem, before the chief priests, the elders of the people and the religious and political leaders in Caesarea, before Felix the governor in Caesarea and before Festus and Agrippa king of Judaea you will find the apostle preparing himself to depart from the land of Judaea and ultimately coming unto Rome itself. Little did the apostle Paul know when he departed from Miletus and spoke unto the elders of the Ephesian church that he would ultimately be called of the Lord to bear witness in the midst of Rome itself. That which we find in the twenty-seventh chapter of this New Testament book of Acts is incredibly unique and interesting when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful reality of the apostle Paul departing from Caesarea in a ship being bound and headed for the city of Rome. What we find within this passage of Scripture, however, are different times when the wind upon the sea was dangerous and treacherous as they sailed upon the seas—perhaps as a warning unto the apostle Paul concerning the journey they were preparing to make. It is when you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you can and will encounter and come face to face with the reality of the apostle Paul aboard different ships with and for the singular purpose of bringing both he and the other prisoners unto Rome where they would stand trial and where they would perhaps be imprisoned rather than in the land of Judaea.

 

            Beginning with the first verse of the twenty-seventh chapter you will find that after it was determined that they should sail into Italy the apostle Paul and certain other prisoners were delivered unto one named Julius who was a centurion of Augustus’ band. It would be after this they would enter into a ship of Adramyttium and launched attempting to sail by the coasts of Asia. Luke uses and references the word “us” in this passage of Scripture thus signaling and suggesting that he too was a prisoner aboard this ship together with the apostle Paul. Luke doesn’t recount whether or not he was a prisoner aboard this ship bound for Rome or not, however, we do know that Luke was indeed present upon the ship(s) which would bring the apostle Paul and the other prisoners unto Rome which was the capital city of the Roman Empire and found in Italy itself. What we must needs recognize and understand, however, is that within the first nine verses of this chapter we find three different “warnings” upon the sea that seemed to indicate the journey would indeed be treacherous and perilous. Although the apostle Paul together with the other prisoners would be aboard this ship bound unto Italy that they might come unto the city of Rome that journey would not be without much peril, distress, danger and the like. It is within the first nine verses of this passage we find wonderful and powerful descriptions of those warnings which were found upon the sea—warnings which were present in nature itself as the wind would indeed present a great and terrible trouble for those who would be aboard the ship sailing unto Rome which was in Italy. I am absolutely convinced that if you want to understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you must first look at and examine the warnings and cautions which were present upon the sea. What’s more is that not only must you look at the warnings and cautions which were present upon the sea itself but you must also look at the warning which the apostle Paul himself would give unto them. The apostle Paul seemed to be the only one who discerned and perceived there would be danger that would come upon and befall them if they journeyed at that time unto the city of Rome and unto the shores of Italy. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture in the first thirteen verses:

 

            “And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band. And entering into a ship of Adramyittium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us. And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courtestlouy entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. And when we hand launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein. And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; and, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea. Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, and said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much danger, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. Neverhtless the centurion believed the master and owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west. And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive” (Acts 27:1-15).

 

            Within the first fifteen verses of this passage of Scripture we encounter the warnings upon the sea as well as the warnings which were upon the land. Before I go and move any further I feel it is absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the truth that I do not believe these warnings were an indication that they would, could or should not come unto the shores of Italy nor unto Rome. With this being said I firmly believe the warnings which were upon the sea served to demonstrate the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the dangers and perils which would indeed come upon them as they journeyed unto the shores of Italy seeking to come unto Rome itself. Although they would indeed come unto Italy and ultimately come unto Rome itself their journey would not be without struggle nor without dangers—both to the ship itself as well as unto their lives. Within the first nine verses of this passage of Scripture we not only read of “the winds were contrary,” we not only read of “the wind not suffering us” but we also read  of “sailing was now dangerous.” What’s more is that within this passage of Scripture Luke also writes and records of how they sailed slowly many days and were scarce  come unto that place whereunto they were destined and bound because the wind did not suffer them. This is something which we must needs recognize and understand as it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the tremendous conflict and struggle that would surround this journey from Caesarea unto the shores of Italy and ultimately unto the capital city of Rome itself. The apostle Paul together with the other prisoners were indeed bound for Rome itself and the apostle Paul had already heard and received of the Lord that just as he gave testimony in the midst of the city of Jerusalem so also would he bear witness in Rome as well.

 

           

The apostle Paul knew that just as he gave testimony concerning the Lord Jesus in the midst of the city of Jerusalem so also would he bear witness in the city of Rome itself. With this being said I would dare say that the different warnings which were present upon the sea—the wind being contrary to them, the winds not suffering them and even sailing being dangerous upon the sea—were powerful demonstrations and declarations that the enemy and adversary sought to destroy the apostle Paul and perhaps the other prisoners who were also believers together with him. There is not a doubt in my mind the enemy and adversary sought to do anything and everything he could to keep the apostle Paul from coming to the shores of Italy and ultimately unto Rome itself for Rome was the very heart and capital city of the Roman Empire itself. Undoubtedly the enemy and adversary deliberately and intentionally sought to do anything and everything he could to keep and prevent the apostle Paul from coming unto Rome for what would indeed begin in the city of Jerusalem would indeed come unto and come upon the shores of Italy and ultimately unto Rome itself. There is not a doubt in my mind the enemy and adversary deliberately and intentionally sought to destroy the apostle Paul and to drown him in the midst of the sea. I firmly believe that when we read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture we are brought face to face with the enemy and adversary seeking to destroy and put the apostle Paul to death. Time and time again it was the Jews and his own countrymen who would seek to put him to death and would raise themselves up against him, however, this time it would be nature itself that would indeed be used against the apostle Paul. With this being said I would dare say that the enemy sought to use the wind, the waves, the thunder, the lightning and the rain to utterly destroy the apostle Paul just as the enemy and adversary sought to destroy the Lord Jesus and His disciples in the midst of the sea.

 

I am absolutely convinced that if we want to truly understand the words which are found in the twenty-seventh chapter of the New Testament book of Acts we need to look at the four gospel narratives and see how Jesus Himself was in the midst of a storm which the disciples believed threatened to destroy and drown them in the midst of the sea. What’s more is that in the four gospels there wasn’t merely one storm spoken of and referenced but there were two different and distinct storms. In the first storm we find Jesus and His disciples being present in the midst of the ship upon the sea which would be caught in the midst of a storm that would threaten to destroy and upend them in the midst of the sea. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the reality of the storms which Jesus Himself was in during those three years He walked among us as the Word which was made flesh and dwelt among us. You cannot read the four New Testament gospels without coming face to face with that storm which the Lord Jesus would be present in the midst of the ship sound asleep in the midst of the storm. It would be in one of these storms the Lord Jesus would be asleep in the hinder part of the ship while the wind and the waves crashed all around them—a storm which threatened to drown them in the midst of the sea. The second storm, however, would be entirely different for it’s one thing to sleep in the midst of the storm, it’s one thing to stand up in the midst of the storm, it’s one thing to speak to the storm, however, it’s something else entirely to come walking upon the waters in the midst of the storm. In the first storm we find Jesus sleeping in the storm, standing up in the midst of the storm and speaking to the storm while in the second storm we find Jesus walking unto the disciples upon the waves and waters of the sea with the wind and rain being present all around Him as He walked. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the four gospel narratives concerning the storms which Jesus and the disciples found themselves in:

 

Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The fosses have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me: and let the dead bury their dead. And when he was entered into a. Ship, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great temptest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 8:18-27).

 

And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, camest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:35-41).

 

Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! For he commandeth even the winds and the water, and they obey him” (Luke 8:22-25).

 

And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the nigh Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (Matthew 14:22-33).

 

And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened” (Mark 6:45-52).

 

When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, and entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went” (John 6:15-21).

 

There is a great need for us to recognize and understand the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for I would dare suggest that they both present us with the tremendous authority Jesus has over and in the midst of the storms. In the case of the first storm we don’t read of Jesus’ authority over and in the midst of the storm but rather we read of Jesus’ peace and rest in the midst of the storm. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand concerning this particular passage is that there are times within our lives when it is not necessarily the winds and the waves dying down and the storms ceasing that is the greatest testimony. There are times within our lives when the greatest testimony in the midst of the storm is the peace and the rest which we have within our hearts and souls—even as the wind and the waves rage all around us. With this being said I am reminded of a song which was released years ago by contemporary Christian artist Scott Krippayne entitled “Sometimes He Calms the Storm.” Within the song the main chorus and premise of the message is that sometimes the living God calms the storms which we face and encounter within our lives while there are other times when He calms His child. This is something we must recognize and understand for there are times within our lives when the living and eternal God can and will calm the storm(s) which arise within our lives while there are other times when He doesn’t calm the storm(s) and continues to allow it to rage against and all around us while calming us in the midst of the storm. If there is one thing we must needs recognize within the first storm is that Jesus Himself demonstrated the peace, the rest, the quietness, the faith, the trust and the confidence that not only was needed in the midst of the storm but also could indeed be afforded in the midst thereof. Jesus was able to sleep soundly and peacefully in the midst of the storm because He fully trusted in the Father and was able to rest in the love which the Father had for Him.

 

I have to admit that the narratives and accounts of these two storms in the four gospels must needs be recognized and understood within our hearts and minds when we read the words which are found in the New Testament book of Acts. It is when we come to the New Testament book of Acts we find the apostle Paul warning the centurion as well as the owner and master of the ship of the danger and peril of sailing at that particular time. The apostle Paul undoubtedly discerned something that neither the centurion, nor the owner and master of the ship, nor those who would work abroad and upon the ship did not. The apostle Paul sought to warning them of the danger and treachery of the voyage they were preparing to make and his warning was ignored by the centurion and the master and owner of the ship. As a direct result of the warning of the apostle Paul being ignored they would find themselves being caught in the midst of a tremendous storm in the midst of the sea. What’s more is this storm was so strong that they would cast supplies overboard into the sea seeking to lighten the load of the ship that it might weather the storm that raged all around them. What’s more is that eventually they would even cut the cords which held the lifeboats seeking to lighten the load of the ship and even enter into those ships thinking and believing that by doing so they would somehow save themselves. The apostle Paul indeed give another warning unto those who were present that their only safety was to abide and remain aboard the ship. It would be aboard and in the midst of the ship they would find their safety and would be able to survive the storm that raged against and all around them.

 

The more you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more you can’t help but be reminded of the storms which Jesus Himself was present within. If you read the four gospel narratives you will find that in the first storm Jesus was in the storm together with the disciples. Even though He was sound asleep on a pillow in the hinder part of the ship He was still in the midst of the ship together with them. In the case of the second storm, however, Jesus was not present with the disciples but would rather enter into the storm. SLEEPING IN THE STORM! ENTERING INTO THE STORM! In the case of the first storm Jesus Himself would be present in the midst of the ship which was caught in the storm tossed to and fro by the waves. Moreover Jesus would be present together with the disciples as the wind and the waves raged against and all around them and even filled the boat. Undoubtedly the disciples feared for their lives and came to Jesus and awakened Him out of His slumber there in the midst of the ship. It would be after waking up from His slumber Jesus would stand up in the midst of the storm and would speak directly unto the storm itself. Scripture reveals how Jesus stood up in the midst of the storm and spoke to it—and not only spoke to it but also commanded the wind and the waves to be still and come to peace. Immediately the winds and the waves because completely and utterly calm and the storm subsided. What’s more is that after Jesus had spoken unto the physical storm that was upon the sea he would turn His attention to the disciples and would speak to the storm that was present within their hearts and souls. Having spoken unto the physical and natural storm which was present within and upon the sea Jesus would then speak unto the storm that was present within their heart and soul as He would ask them why they were so fearful and why they were of so little faith.

 

I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in these passages and I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding Jesus’ authority over and in the midst of the storm. What’s more is that within these passages we not only find the authority of the Lord Jesus in the midst of the storm as He stood up in the midst of the storm and spoke to it but we also read of His authority over the storm to walk in the midst of it upon the wind and the waves. IN the narrative and account of the first storm Jesus was present with the disciples in the midst of the ship and the storm—even though He was initially sleeping. I continue to believe it is one thing to stand in the midst of the storm and it is one thing to speak to the storm, however, it is another thing to sleep in the midst of the storm. It is standing in the midst of the storm and speaking to the storm which demonstrates the authority Jesus has in the midst of and over the storm while it is sleeping in the midst of the storm that demonstrates His rest, His trust, His confidence and His assurance in the love of the Father. It is Jesus’ walking upon the waters in the midst of the wind and the waves that shows us His entrance into our storms walking upon that which we think and perceive threatens and endangers us. The disciples were in the midst of the storm and thought they would be drowned and destroyed in the midst of the sea and yet the Lord Jesus would come walking unto them upon the very waters which threatened their lives there upon the waters. OH this is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for what we find in the twenty-seventh chapter of the New Testament book of Acts we find the apostle Paul together with the other prisoners and those aboard the ship being caught in the midst of the storm. So severe was the storm that neither sun, nor moon nor stars appeared for a number of days. What’s more is that when you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find all those who were aboard the ship—all those save the apostle Paul—who were fearful in the midst of the storm.

 

 

THERE’S ALWAYS ONE! THERE’S ALWAYS AT LEAST ONE WHO IS NOT FEARFUL IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! THERE’S ALWAYS ONE WHO DEMONSTRATES FAITH IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! Oh as I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth that although all those who were aboard the ship in the midst of the storm were fearful because of the wind and the waves which raged all around them there was one among them who not only had a word from the Lord but also one who was not fearful nor was he anxious. In fact when you read the words present within this passage you will find that after the apostle Paul had been by himself in the midst of the ship he would emerge having seen a vision from the angel of God who not only assured him of his own survival but also declared unto him that he had given into his hands all those who were aboard the ship. There in the midst of the storm upon the sea the angel of God would not only encourage and strengthen the faith and trust within the heart and soul of the apostle Paul but the angel of God would also provide the assurance that was needed to stand in the midst of the storm and preach and proclaim hope. When it seemed all hope was lost there was indeed one who would stand in the midst of the storm and would emphatically proclaim and declare that although it looked like all hope was lost there would be absolutely none of them who would perish. The apostle Paul would indeed be taken from being captive aboard and upon the ship and transformed into captain—a captain of salvation and hope among all those who were fearful, anxious and those who doubted being brought to the point where they no longer had any hope whatsoever. When all hope was depleted and gone the apostle Paul would stand before them having a word from the Lord concerning their safety and security knowing that the Lord had given them into his hands and knowing that he must needs come unto Rome itself and bear witness. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning to read with the thirteenth verse:

 

And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let drive. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; and the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and a, lo, God hath given thee all them that still with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island” (Acts 27:13-26).

 

But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; and sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing lest we should fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the fore ship, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off. And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea. And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible to thrust in the ship. And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and noised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the fore part stuck fast, and remained unmovable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. ND the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: and the rest, some on board, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land” (Acts 27:27-44).

 

There is a great need for us to recognize and understand the words present within this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the incredible reality of this storm which the apostle Paul, the other prisoners, the centurion and those who labored aboard the ship found themselves in. Luke writes how they dismissed and ignored the warning and word of caution from the apostle Paul they found themselves in the midst of a storm which threatened all of their lives and their very own survival. What makes this truly astonishing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider that in the midst of the storm—even though the apostle Paul had remained separated from those aboard the ship—he would stand forth in the midst of them and declare the word which he had received from the Lord. I write these words and I am completely and utterly captivated with the reality of the apostle Paul hearing from and receiving a word from the Lord and being able to stand forth in the midst of the storms and deliver it. What’s more is that as you read the words found in this passage—not only did the apostle Paul initially stand forth in the midst of them and declare the word of the Lord but he would also stand forth in the midst of them and proclaim a message of hope and encouragement when I am sure they all thought hope was lost. The apostle Paul would initially stand forth in the midst of them and declare how they should have listened to him when he urged them to remain in The fair heavens. Despite the fact they dismissed and ignored his warning the apostle Paul would exhort them to be of good cheer for there would be no loss of any man’s life among them–only of the ship. Furthermore the apostle Paul would stand forth in the midst of them and proclaim how an angel of God of whose he was and whom he served stood beside him admonishing him to fear not for he must needs be brought before Caesar. Not only this but the angel of God would also declare unto the apostle Paul that the living and eternal God had given unto him into his hands and into his care all those which sailed with him. The apostle lPaul would then encourage and exhort them to be of good cheer for He believed God that it would indeed be even as it was told unto him.

 

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely captivating that in the midst of the storm the Lord would not only have a witness but would also save and spare the lives of all those who were aboard the ship. If you read the words found within this passage of Scripture you will find the apostle Paul hearing from the living God that not one of the lives and souls aboard that ship would be lost and that only the ship itself would be lost. With this being said, however, I am convinced there is a powerful prophetic word that is present for us within this generation. When you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find that the Lord never calmed the storm, never caused the wind and the waves to subside and never caused the rain to cease. If you read the words presented in this passage of Scripture you will find that the storm not only continued but continued for at least fourteen days. Moreover there would be an extended period of time when neither sun, nor moon nor even the stars in heaven appeared and it seemed that all hope was lost. With this being said, however, the living and eternal God would spare the lives of all those who were aboard the ship. Even though the storm itself would not subside and even though the wind and the waves would continue to beat upon the ship the lives of all those aboard the ship would indeed be spared by the living God.

 

The more you read the words within this passage of Scripture the more you will encounter the truth surrounding the storm itself continuing to rage in the midst of the sea without the wind nor the waves ceasing. The Lord would not cause the storm to cease nor would He calm the wind and the waves but would guard and protect each of those who were aboard the ship to keep their lives according to the word which was delivered unto the apostle Paul. With this being said it’s worth noting that not only did all those who were aboard the ship have to weather the storm but they would also suffer the breaking apart of the ship. What we must needs realize is that there are times when the living and eternal God can and will call and cause us to weather the storm(s) we face within this life and can and will even call us to something specific. There were those who would have to cast themselves into the sea and swim to the land while there were others who would grab on to broken pieces of the ship that they might be able to use that which was broken to arrive safely to the shore. I am absolutely convinced there are times when we not only must needs weather the storm(s) which we face within our lives but we must also suffer the breaking apart of the ship in which we found ourselves in. What’s more is that it is in the breaking apart of the ship that the necessary materials are provided to help us come through the storm safely to the other side. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it is for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that there are times within our lives when we can and will find ourselves caught in the midst of the storm and the living and eternal God does not call us to experience the calming of the storm. I am absolutely convinced that we are presently experiencing the winds being contrary to us, we are experiencing the winds not suffering us within our lives and it even being dangerous to move forward in certain parts of our lives. With this being said I am absolutely convinced that we are indeed preparing for a storm that can and will come upon us in the midst of this generation and rather than the storm itself being calmed the living and eternal God seeks to bring us to a calm—to bring our hearts, our souls and our minds to a complete calm and rest within us.

 

We must needs recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for I am convinced it is a powerful picture of the storm(s) which we are about to face us within this generation. There is not a doubt in my mind that we are living during days of tremendous storms which are swirling all around us—storms which threaten our culture, our society, our nation, our families, our homes, our children and everything we hold dear. What’s more is that we may even experience the breaking apart of our ships, however, there is hope in the breaking because it’s in the breaking apart that we find what we need to come through the storm on the other side. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding that which we are in fact called to do within our lives in this generation. We may very well experience the breaking apart of the ships we have and find ourselves in and yet it is in the breaking apart of our ships that we find that which is necessary to survive the storm and come through on the other side. I am absolutely convinced that we as the disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs recognize and understand that we have in fact been called to endurance, stamina and fortitude in the days which are ahead. I firmly believe that we are on the cusp of a storm the likes of which this nation—perhaps even this world—has never seen before. I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize this and prepare ourselves—mentally, emotionally, financially, physically and spiritually for the days in which are about to face. I am convinced that we are about to see the days which our Lord Jesus spoke of in the Olivet Discourse come to pass during our lifetime and might even find ourselves experiencing a portion of the tribulation which was spoken of in the Scripture. The question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we can and will be those who will not only be watching and ready but also praying and fasting that we might be ready and be able to stand in the midst of the storm(s) about to come upon us.

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