Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lesson - Paul Before Festus

VERSES:  Acts 25:1-12

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 25:11.  "...I appeal unto Caesar."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Review all New Testament books from Matthew to 3 John.

PRAYER:  Thank God for the freedoms we enjoy and sometimes take for granted, May we always appreciate freedom.

SPECIAL SONG:   Read, Read Every Day (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:  Bible map, showing Caesarea and Jerusalem; Large Activity

  • After Felix wasn't in power any longer, there was a new governor who took his place and his name was Festus. We remember that Felix had left Paul in prison because he wanted to make the Jews happy. Felix had said that Paul should stay in prison until Felix heard what Lysias, the chief captain, had to say about Paul. As far as the Bible tells us, Lysias, the chief captain, never appeared before Felix, so Paul was left in prison for two years and Festus became the new governor.
  • Three days after Governor Festus entered into the province, he traveled from Caesarea up to Jerusalem. There, the high priest and the important Jews informed Festus about Paul and how they wanted a favor from Festus. The favor they wanted was to have Festus send Paul to Jerusalem. What they did not tell Festus was they had a plan to wait somewhere along the way to Jerusalem where they would kill Paul.
  • But Festus had his own plan. Festus said that Paul should be left at Caesarea , and since Festus was going there in a short time, that the Jews should go down with him and accuse Paul to see if there was any wickedness in him. 
  • Ten days later, Festus went down to Caesarea and the next day he sat on his judgment seat and commanded that Paul be brought before him. When Paul was standing before Festus, all of the Jews who came down from Jerusalem stood around and told of many terrible things that Paul had done, but none could be proven. This was the same story with the Jews accusing Paul while he stood before the old governor, Felix. The Jew could not prove anything bad about Paul. Paul answered their accusations once again by saying that he had done nothing wrong according to the Jewish Law, against the temple, against Caesar, and had not broken any laws at all.
  • Festus, trying to please the Jews in the room, asked Paul, "Are you willing to go to Jerusalem and be judged there?" Paul, being a Roman citizen, replied to Festus, "I stand at Caesar's judgment seat where I ought to be judged. The Jews know I have done nothing wrong as you know, too. If I have committed any crimes worthy of death, I will die, but none of these things I have been accused of is worthy of death. I appeal unto Caesar." When Festus heard Paul's words, he spoke to the council and then told Paul, "You have appealed unto Caesar, then to Caesar you shall go!"
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Because Paul was a Roman citizen, he had the right to appeal to Caesar. 
  • The Bible tells us that Festus, traveling from Caesarea "ascended up to Jerusalem" (Acts 25:1) and later while returning "went down to Caesarea" (Acts 25:6). The reason was because Caesarea was at 1150 feet elevation and Jerusalem was at 2550 feet, a difference of 1400 feet. The Bible is always true and accurate even concerning geography.
  • We notice that there was a change in governors from Felix to Festus. Today, we also have a change in our political rulers such as presidents, governors, senators, and other elected officials.
ACTIVITY:   What Paul Said To Festus
Materials needed:  9" x 12" brown construction paper, 4" x 7" tan construction paper, four 3" circles of different colored construction paper, glue, markers, crayons, scissors.

  1. Hand out brown paper.
  2. Write "What Paul Said To Festus" and "Acts 25:1-12" at the top of the paper.
  3. Hand out tan paper.
  4. Using most of the paper, draw a picture of Paul talking.
  5. Cut out, if desired.
  6. Glue Paul in left hand corner of paper.
  7. On one circle, write "The Jews know I have done nothing wrong."
  8. On the second circle, write "You know I have done nothing wrong."
  9. On the third circle, write :None of these things that I have been accused of are worthy of death."
  10. On the fourth circle, write "I appeal to Caesar."
  11. Fold all circles in half, so that when they open up, they can be read easily.
  12. Do not unfold circles.
  13. Glue the bottoms of the circles.
  14. Scatter around on the open space on the brown paper.
  15. Towards the bottom of the brown paper, write "Which words were important to Festus?"
  16. On the flap of the circle that says "I appeal unto Caesar," draw an asterisk, answering the question about what words were important to Festus.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lesson - Paul Before Felix

VERSES:  Acts 24:1-27

MEMORY VERSE:  Acts 24:25  "...Felix trembled, and answered, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   3 John.  Write "3 John" on small slips of paper, so the students may memorize one more New Testament book.

PRAYER:  Pray that we are never ashamed of the Gospel of Christ and that we will have confidence and boldness to talk about Jesus with our friends.

SPECIAL SONG:   Acts 8:4 (see June 2015 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #7 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Bible map, showing Jerusalem and Caesarea; large Activity (see below) by making a grid like the Activity below, but leaving the boxes blank until mentioned in the lesson. By writing as you tell the lesson, the writing will be finished by the time the students must write on their paper. All words will be spelled already on the board--the Bible teacher simply refers to the board for correct spelling.

  • Last time we learned how Paul was escorted by 70 horsemen to the city of Caesarea to see the governor named Felix. Paul had done nothing wrong, yet he was imprisoned for simply preaching and teaching about Jesus. The Jews did not want Paul to preach about Jesus and it made them so angry that they wanted to kill Paul. The chief captain had sent Paul to safety in Caesarea and Paul was waiting for his accusers or the men who wanted him killed to arrive in Caesarea.
  • After five days, very important Jewish leaders came to tell Governor Felix the terrible things that Paul had done which was preaching about Jesus. Even the high priest and the Jewish elders came before the governor. Among the Jewish leaders, there was a man named Tertullus who could speak very well. Tertullus was a Jew who spoke to the governor on behalf of all the Jews in Felix's courtroom. 
  • When Paul was called before Felix, Tertullus spoke up against Paul and said that Paul was a pest and was one who stirred up trouble among the Jews all over the world. He also mocked Paul by saying that he was the ringleader of the Nazarenes and that he had said bad things about the temple. Tertullus went on to say that Lysias, the chief captain, had taken Paul away from the Jews by force and commanded that his accusers come before the governor. The council of Jews told the governor that all of these things were true.
  • Then, Governor Felix wanted to hear what Paul had to say. He motioned to Paul with his hand to come and speak. Like Tertullus, Paul could speak very well. Paul had been educated at the feet of Gamaliel, a famous lawyer (Acts 22:3), and had been taught the Law, so he was very smart. Paul said that he knew that Felix had been a judge for many years, so he cheerfully would speak for himself. Paul carefully defended himself, saying that the Jews could not prove anything that they had accused Paul of doing and went on to say that it had been twelve days since he had gone to Jerusalem to worship and the Jews had not found Paul arguing with anyone, or stirring up the people in synagogues or in cities.  
  • Paul said he did confess that he worshiped the God of his fathers, believed all things written in the law and prophets, and had hope in God that there would be a resurrection of the the dead, both of the just and the unjust. He said that he had a good conscience towards God. For many years, Paul said that he gave money to the poor people and sacrificed. Paul said that there were certain Jews from Asia who found him in the temple purified and clean and without a crowd or noisy mob. He said that if those Jews had something against Paul, then they were the Jews who should have been there standing before the governor with accusations. The only reason that Paul said he was being questioned was because he had shouted in the Jews' hearing about the resurrection for the dead and it was for that reason that he was on trial that day.
  • When Felix heard what was said, he announced that he would hear what Lysias, the chief captain, would have to say about Paul's situation. He commanded that a centurion be in charge of Paul, but that he should let his friends come and take care of him and visit him until the chief captain came.
  • After a few days, Paul had another opportunity to speak to Felix. Felix came with his wife, Drusilla, who was a Jewess, and Felix sent for Paul to come and talk to them. Felix and Drusilla heard Paul talk about the faith in Christ. As Paul spoke of doing right, of self-control, and the judgment which was coming, Felix trembled and told Paul to go his way. He said when he had a convenient time, he would call for Paul. Actually, Felix hoped that money or a bribe would be given to him, so he could let Paul go. The bribe never came, but Felix would often send for Paul and talk to him. 
  • Two years later, Paul was still in prison and Felix was not the governor anymore. There was a new governor named Festus, and, as Felix was leaving office, he left Paul in prison because he wanted to do the Jews a favor.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • We have been studying about the chief captain for a few lessons and only now do we find out that his name was Lysias. The more we read, the more we learn! 
  • It is interesting to notice that we can preach or teach about Jesus anywhere. It doesn't matter if we are visiting in someone's house or playing in a park, or even in prison like Paul. We can always tell others about Jesus.
  • There must have been many faithful Christians in Caesarea by this time because we know this was where Cornelius, who was the first Gentile to hear the Gospel, and his household were baptized (Acts 10).  Philip, the evangelist was from Caesarea, too (Acts 21:8).
  • Read Acts 24:25. Define the word 'convenient.' People want to do things at a time that is convenient for them. Some may want a convenient time to hear about Jesus; it can not be too hot or too cold, not at a busy time or one that is too slow, and so on. When a person hears the Gospel preached and is convinced what they are hearing is Truth, then action must be taken at that time. To delay is dangerous.. Read 2 Corinthians 6:2 - "...behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."  This is why Felix trembled. It is not written if a convenient time ever came for Felix.
ACTIVITY:  "Who was...?"
Materials needed:  9" x 12" light blue construction paper, crayons, scissors, markers.

  1. Hand out light blue paper.
  2. Fold paper in half, width-wise.
  3. Do not unfold paper.
  4. Fold paper in half, length-wise.
  5. Do not unfold paper.
  6. Fold paper in thirds.
  7. Completely unfold paper and place 'landscape' style on table..
  8. Trace on all on all lines except the small line in the top box.
  9. In top box, write "WHO WAS..?" and "Acts 24."
  10. In second box:  Write "PAUL" on the left side and "A Christian in prison for preaching about Jesus" on the right side, across from "PAUL."
  11. In third box,: Write "TERTULLUS" on the left side and "A Jew who represented Jewish leaders and spoke against Paul" on the right side, across from "TERTULLUS."
  12. In fourth box: Write "FELIX" on the left side and "The governor in charge of Paul's trial" on the right side, across from "FELIX."
  13. In the fifth box: Write "LYSIAS" on the left side and "The chief captain who kept Paul safe" on the right side, across from "LYSIAS."
  14. In the sixth box: Write "DRUSILLA" on the left side and "Felix's wife who also listened to Paul" on the right side, across from "DRUSILLA."
  15. Cut all lines on the right side of the paper, making sure to stop on the middle line.
  16. Fold the descriptions of the characters to the back of the paper, so they are out of sight.
  17. The Way This Project Works:  The student reads "WHO WAS?" and the first line which is "PAUL." Then the student answers the question. Flip the answer to "PAUL" to the front to see if they answered correctly. Continue reading the questions and answering until all answers have been flipped to the front. How did they do? Try again over and over until they answer all questions correctly. THEN...send them out into the world to try it on Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Sister, Brother--anyone who will listen. Repetition is key. The more they hear the answers, the longer they will remember the lesson!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lesson - Paul's Nephew Saves Paul's Life

VERSES:  Acts 23:12-35

MEMORY VERSE:  Acts 23:16  "And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  2 John.  Write "2 John" on small slips of paper, so the students may take them home to memorize another book.

PRAYER:  Pray for courage that we may be able to help others in any way we can.

SPECIAL SONG:   Be Patient And Kind (see April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Bible map showing Caesarea, Antipatris, Jerusalem, and Rome; large Activity (see below) or whiteboard or chalkboard drawing.

  • Paul had nearly been torn apart by the angry mob of Jews, but the chief captain of the soldiers saved him by taking him to the castle where the soldiers were staying. Paul must have been very discouraged, but then, he heard someone who encouraged him and comforted him. It was the Lord who stood by him and said to him, "Paul, be happy! Just like you preached and testified of me in Jerusalem, you will also do in Rome." Just those few words must have given Paul hope, knowing that somehow he would get out of the trouble he was in and, at least, live a few more days!
  • Meanwhile, there were forty Jewish men who had made an agreement between themselves. They promised that they would not eat anything or drink anything until they had killed Paul. What a terrible thing to promise! The men must have been very angry with Paul! The forty men went to the chief priests and elders who were important leaders of the Jews and told them what they had promised. Then they conspired or made secret plans with the important Jews to call the chief captain to have Paul brought down the next day and pretend that they were going to ask Paul a question, then, when Paul got close to the forty men, they would kill him!
  • Their plan might have worked, but someone was listening! Paul's sister had a son and he heard all about the plan and went to the castle to tell Paul. When Paul heard the plot, he told the centurion to take his nephew to the chief captain because he had something to tell him.The centurion did as Paul asked and when the chief captain saw the young boy, he showed kindness to him. He took him by the hand and asked him, "What did you want to tell me?" So the young boy told the chief captain of the forty men's plan to kill Paul the next day. The chief captain let the young boy leave, but he told him not to tell anyone what he had told him.
  • Then the chief captain instructed two centurions to get 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen, and 200 spearmen ready to go to Caesarea at night. They got a horse ready for Paul and they headed out to Caesarea to take him to the governor named Felix where he would be safe. The chief captain even wrote a letter for Paul stating all that had happened, how he could not find any fault with Paul, yet, since Paul was a Roman citizen, he was trying to keep him safe by sending him to the governor. The soldiers went as far as to the city of Antipatris, then they left Paul with the 70 horsemen while they returned to the castle. When they arrived in Caesarea, the horsemen gave the letter and Paul to the governor. 
  • The governor asked Paul what province or area he was from. Paul answered, "Cilicia."  Governor Felix said that he would hear what Paul had to say when his accusers or the ones who were going to kill Paul arrived in Caesarea. Paul was taken to Herod's judgment hall until the men came to the city.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • We remember that a centurion was in charge of 100 soldiers while a chief captain was in charge of 1,000 soldiers.
  • From this story, we learn that, not only did Paul have a sister, but he had a nephew as well.
  • 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen, and 200 spearmen was a huge amount of protection for Paul. Yet, Paul had all the protection he needed because God was with him.
  • Antipatris is about halfway between Jerusalem and Caesarea.
  • Even though Paul's nephew was young, he did the right thing. He was not afraid to tell Paul of the Jew's terrible plan and, by telling, God used him to save Paul's life. 
ACTIVITY:   Paul Is Protected On The Way To See Governor Felix
Materials needed:  12" x 18" light blue construction paper, crayons, markers.

  1. Hand out blue paper. (I chose to use the extra-large paper because students need a lot of room to draw horses!)
  2. Holding paper length-wise, fold top two corners to the middle of the paper. (See top picture.)
  3. Crease folds.
  4. Draw a line just under the folds all across the paper.
  5. Under the line, write "PAUL Is Protected On The Way To See Governor Felix" and "Acts 23:12-35."
  6. On the top triangles, write "200 Soldiers," "70 horsemen," "200 Spearmen," "and God."
  7. Open up paper.
  8. Draw a scene with Paul and the soldiers riding to Caesarea. (see picture for example). Make sure there is a sign that says "Caesarea."

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lesson - Paul Before The Sanhedrin

VERSES:  Acts 23:1-11

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 23:11  "...Be of good cheer, Paul: for as you hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness in Rome."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  1 John.  Write "1 John" on small slips of paper and encourage the students to take it home and memorize another New Testament book.

PRAYER:   Pray that we will have the courage and confidence to speak up for Jesus and defend God's Word.

SPECIAL SONG:   Read, Read Every Day (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Visual Aids #1 - TV Box (see February 2014 on this blog for instructions). 

  • After being rescued by a Roman chief captain from a crowd of angry Jews who had beaten him and had focused on killing him, and after escaping a serious scourging or whipping by the Roman soldiers, Paul informed the soldiers that he was a Roman citizen. Because of his citizenship, Paul's bands were loosed and he was permitted to speak to the important Jewish council called the Sanhedrin Council in order to defend himself.
  • Almost from the beginning, things did not go well for Paul. As he stood before the huge council, he told them that he had lived with a good conscience before God until that very day. Ananias, the high priest, commanded the ones who stood by to hit Paul on the mouth. Not knowing that Ananias was the high priest and a very important person on the council, Paul told Ananias that God would hit him for sitting and judging him after the law and commanding Paul to be hit which was against the law. People who were standing by were shocked! They said, "Do you scold the high priest?" Immediately, Paul said that he did not know that he was the high priest and quoted a scripture.
  • As Paul stood in front of the council, he realized that the council was made up of two groups of important people--the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The main difference in the two groups was the Sadducees did NOT believe in the resurrection or angels or spirits and the Pharisees DID believe. Paul addressed the council and said, "I am a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee. I am here because of the hope and resurrection." When Paul said these words, he caused a dissension or a fuss between the Sadducees and the Pharisees. There was a lot of shouting in the room until some of the Pharisee scribes stood up and announced, "This man has done nothing wrong. If a spirit or an angel has spoken to him, we do not want to fight against God." 
  • The arguing over Paul got so loud that the chief captain thought that Paul might be hurt, so he commanded soldiers to go and take Paul from the council by force and they took him to the castle. That night, the Lord stood by Paul and said, "Be happy, Paul. Just as you have testified and talked about me in Jerusalem, you must do the same in Rome." Paul knew he would live through all of that trouble because the Lord had said Paul would be going to Rome!
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Even though the high priest was named Ananias, this was not the same 'Ananias' who had baptized Paul. They only shared the same name.
  • Just as the Lord knew Paul's name, He knows all of our names, too. He will not talk to us like He talked to Paul, though, because God only talks to us today through the Bible. (Hebrews 1:1, 2). 
ACTIVITY:   The Difference in the Pharisees and the Sadducees
Materials needed:  9" x 12" blue construction paper, 4" x 4" green construction paper, 4" x 4" red construction paper, 2" x 7" yellow construction paper, marker or crayons, glue.

  1. Hand out blue paper.  This is the foundation.
  2. Hand out red, green, and yellow papers.
  3. On each small paper, fold down 1/2".
  4. Glue on folds only.
  5. With fold at top, place green paper on the left middle of the blue paper.
  6. With fold at top, place red paper on the right middle of the blue paper.
  7. With fold at top, place yellow paper on the bottom middle of the blue paper.
  8. Press all folds to blue paper to secure.
  9. At the top of the blue paper, write, "The DIFFERENCE in..."
  10. On the front of the green paper, write, "The Pharisees."
  11. On the front of the red paper, write, "The Sadducees."
  12. On the front of the yellow paper, write, "What was Paul?"
  13. Between red and green papers, write "and."
  14. On bottom lest of blue paper, write, "Acts 23:1-22."
  15. Lift green paper up.
  16. Under green paper, write, "Believed in angels, spirits, and resurrection." Make sure the words are 'hiding' under the green paper!
  17. Under red paper, write, "DID NOT believe in angels, spirits, and resurrection." Make sure the words are 'hiding' under the red paper!
  18. Under yellow paper, write, "A Pharisee" and "verse 6." Make sure the words are 'hiding' under the yellow paper!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Lesson - Paul Escapes Scourging

VERSES:  Acts 21:15 - Acts 22:30

MEMORY VERSE:  Acts 22:16  "...arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Review all the New Testament books up to Second Peter.

PRAYER:   Pray that we will always stand up for Jesus and never be ashamed of the Gospel.

SPECIAL SONG:  No, Not One (see June 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #6 on this blog.  Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Activity (see below)

  • When Paul, his companions, and some of the disciples from Caesarea arrived in Jerusalem, the city where Paul was determined to go, the church met them with great joy!  Paul reported to them all that had happened since he last seen them. When the church heard all that Paul had to say, they glorified God and talked about how the church was growing, but how there were still a few problems.
  • Over the next few days, there was trouble for Paul as he went to the temple. When the Jews saw Paul in the temple, they stirred the people up and took hold of him. The Jews cried out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches against the law and the temple!" Then the Jews went on to accuse Paul of bringing a person into the temple that should have not been there which was not true. When the people heard those sayings and believed the lies, they all ran together and took Paul outside the temple and closed the doors. 
  • The people intended to kill Paul right then, but the chief captain of the soldiers heard about a disturbance and that Jerusalem was in an uproar. The chief captain immediately took soldiers with him and ran to where Paul was being beaten and hurt. As the chief captain and his soldiers got closer, the people stopped hurting Paul. The chief captain ordered his soldiers to bind Paul with two chains and demanded to know who he was and what he had done. Some people shouted that Paul had done one thing and another person shouted out something else. When the chief captain could not make any sense of what had happened and why there was such an disturbance, he commanded that Paul be taken to the castle where the soldiers were staying.
  • When Paul was about to be taken away, he asked the chief captain, "May I speak to you?" The chief captain was surprised that Paul spoke in Greek since everyone had said that Paul was an Egyptian who had caused an uproar at a different time in Jerusalem. But Paul explained that his name was Paul and that he was a Jew from Tarsus and a Roman citizen. Then he asked to speak to the people. When the chief captain had given him permission to speak to the crowd, Paul stood on the stairs and quieted the people with his hand and then he Hebrew! All of the people were surprised because they spoke Hebrew, too, so they got very, very quiet, so they could hear what Paul had to say.
  • Paul told about his life's story, growing up in Jerusalem at the feet of Gamaliel, learning the law. He talked about how he had persecuted Christians himself until he had met Jesus on the road to Damascus, and then was baptized by Ananias. He spoke about how he had agreed to kill many Christians before he met Jesus on that road, but Jesus had told him that He would send him to preach to the Gentiles.  
  • Now, Jews did not think much of the Gentiles, and when they heard what Paul had said, they raised their voices and shouted for the soldiers to take him away because he was not fit to live. As the people shouted, they took off their coats and threw dust into the air.
  • The chief captain took Paul to the castle and ordered soldiers to scourge or whip Paul. As the soldiers were binding Paul and getting him ready to be scourged, Paul asked the centurion who was standing by if it was lawful to scourge a Roman citizen. The centurion was upset and went and told the chief captain to be careful with Paul because Paul was a Roman citizen. The chief captain then went and asked Paul himself if he truly was a Roman and Paul answered that he had been a free born Roman. The chief captain, like the centurion, was afraid when he heard that Paul was a Roman because he was responsible for binding Paul. So, the next day, Paul was loosed from his bands, and the chief priests and council were commanded to appear to hear what Paul had to say. Next time, we will learn what Paul tells the Jewish council and many important people and what happens to Paul.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Sometimes we may wonder why Christians call each other "Brother" and "Sister".  When we turn and read Acts 21:20, we find that the church in Jerusalem called Paul 'brother." The church is the family of God. (Galatians 2:18, 19.) God is our Father and Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ. We should always have book, chapter, and verse for every thing we do.
  • A chief captain was in charge of 1,000 Roman soldiers. A centurion ruled over 100 soldiers.
  • Paul suffered much as a Christian. Peter also talks about suffering as a Christian in 1 Peter 4:16. Should we be ashamed if we suffer for being a Christian? Discuss.
  • Did Agabus' prophecy become truth? (Acts 21:10, 11)
ACTIVITY:  PAUL: What he said to the crowd on the stairs
Materials needed:  9" x 12" tan construction paper, 1" x 6"  scrap of colored paper, tiny bits of scrap paper, including tan, markers, crayons, scissors, tape, glue.

  1. Hand out large tan paper.
  2. Fold paper in half.
  3. Fold paper in half again.
  4. With folded edge at top, fold twice in and out like an accordion. (Bible teacher might want to practice once or twice before class. As long as the paper looks like stairs, it is fine.) These are the stairs.

  5. Place ends of paper together and tape. Stairs should stand up. If not, fold stairs again in and out, in and out.
  6. Set stairs aside for a minute.
  7. Fold small 1" x 6" scrap of paper in half and in half again.
  8. Fold in to a triangle and tape to secure. This is Paul's body.
  9. Cut two small rectangles. These are Paul's arms.
  10. Cut out of tan scrap, one small circle and two hands.
  11. Draw face on circle. make sure mouth is open!
  12. Glue head to the body.
  13. Glue hands on arms.
  14. Fold a small part of the end of the arm.
  15. Add a little glue at the end of each arm and glue to the inside of Paul's body, making sure one arm is in the air, quieting the crowd.
  16. On top of the stairs, write "PAUL: What he said to the crowd"
  17. On second step, write, "on the stairs." and "Acts 21, 22."
  18. On third step, write, "His life story" and "Grew up learning law."
  19. On fourth step, write, "He persecuted Christians."
  20. On fifth step, write, "He met Jesus on the road to Damascus."
  21. On sixth step, write, "Baptized by Ananias" and "Preached to Gentiles" and "Spoke in Hebrew."
  22. If stairs do not stand up, re-crease folds.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lesson - "Paul, Don't Go To Jerusalem!"

VERSES:   Acts 21:1-14

MEMORY VERSE:  Acts 21:14   "...the will of the Lord be done."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  2 Peter.  Write "2 Peter" on small slips of paper for the students to take home and memorize.

PRAYER:  Let us always remember to pray to the Lord, asking Him for his protection and deliverance from difficult situations.

SPECIAL SONG:   This Little Light Of Mine (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Bible map; Activity (see below)

  • Because of the jealousy of the Jews, there was always danger lurking about as Paul went from city to city, preaching and teaching about Jesus. The Jews might listen and tolerate Paul's words for a little while, but eventually, they would get angry and jealous and then want to hurt the apostle Paul. Paul, on the other hand, never let danger stop his preaching. He was a very brave man, a firm believer in Christ, and a great Gospel preacher.
  • After Paul had left Ephesus, he still had it in his mind that he wanted to go back to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was not very friendly towards Paul, and as Paul traveled to the city of Tyre, the disciples who were in Tyre tried to persuade him not to go to Jerusalem because of the danger. At the end of their stay in Tyre, all of the disciples traveled with Paul and his company down to the ship. They knelt down on the shore and prayed together. 
  • From Tyre, Paul and his companions sailed to Ptolemais for a day, where they greeted the disciples who lived there, and then they sailed on Caesarea where they stayed with Philip, the evangelist or preacher in that city.
  • After Paul and the disciples had stayed at Philip's house for many days, there was a prophet named Agabus who came down from Judea and met with Paul. When Agabus met Paul, he did something very strange! He took Paul's belt and tied up with his own hands and feet, saying whoever owned that belt would be tied up by the Jews in Jerusalem. Agabus was using the belt as a visual aid for telling what was going to happen in Paul's future! He was saying that Paul would be persecuted in Jerusalem. When the disciples heard what Agabus had to say, they strongly tried to convince Paul not to go to Jerusalem, but Paul would not be persuaded. Paul said that, not only was he ready to to suffer being bound and tied up, he was even ready to die in Jerusalem for the cause of Christ. Finally, when the disciples saw how determined Paul was to go, they said, "The will of the Lord be done," and they all headed for Jerusalem.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Paul knew that danger was always waiting for him in whatever city he traveled to. Paul demonstrated his faith through his works (James 2:14-20) How faithful would we be today if we knew that danger and, possibly death, would be waiting for us if we would preach and teach about Jesus? How faithful would we be? Discuss.
  • Find Ephesus, Jerusalem, Tyre, Ptolemais, and Caesarea on the Bible map. Estimate the distance Paul and his company traveled.
ACTIVITY:   Don't Go!
Materials needed:  9" x 12" light green construction paper, crayons, marker.

  1. Hand out green paper.
  2. Fold paper in half.
  3. Without unfolding the paper, fold paper in thirds.
  4. Unfold paper.
  5. Fold paper again in thirds.
  6. Unfold paper.

  7. Trace on all lines, except in the top box. At the top of the paper, there should be one long empty 'box,' so the question can be written.
  8. In the one long empty 'box,' write "When Paul wanted to go to Jerusalem, what did the disciples say?"
  9. In the first column, write "Disciples In Tyre," "Disciples Traveling With Paul," "Disciples In Caesarea," "WHY?" and "Did Paul go to Jerusalem?" Write in different dark colors.
  10. In the second column, write "DON'T GO!" "DON'T GO!" "DON'T GO!" "DANGER!" and "YES!" all in red crayon.
  11. In the third column, write "Acts 21:4," "Acts 21:12," "Acts 21:12," "Acts 21:11," and "Acts 21:17" in corresponding colors with the first column. (See picture at top.)
  12. Reading across the page, ask questions, "Did everyone want Paul to go to Jerusalem?" (No)  What did the disciples in Tyre say to Paul? (Don't go!) What did the disciples traveling with Paul say to him? say to Paul? (Don't go!)  What did the disciples in Caesarea say to Paul? (Don't go!)  Why didn't any of the disciples want Paul to go to Jerusalem? (Danger) Did Paul go to Jerusalem? (Yes)  Questions may be folded to the back until answered.
  13. Note: By writing the verse that answers the questions in the third column, this reinforces the importance of "Book, Chapter, and Verse" proof that ALL Bible questions should require. This method can be used with all Bible lessons.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Lesson - Paul's Tearful Goodbye

VERSES:   Acts 20:13-38

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 20:35   "...remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   1 Peter.   Write "1 Peter" on small slips of paper, so the students may memorize another book of the New Testament at home.

PRAYER:   Pray that we are ones who will encourage others with our words and deeds.

SPECIAL SONG:   This Little Light Of Mine (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Bible Map, Large Activity (see below)

  • Note:  There is much information about Paul and his time in Ephesus in today's lesson. If all the information is used, this could be a longer lesson. Might begin the lesson on time in order to finish on time.
  • Paul has been on his third missionary journey for quite a while. He began his journey with visits to Galatia and Phrygia (Acts 18:23), then to Ephesus where he stayed for a year and a half (Acts 19). He traveled to Macedonia and Greece (Acts 20:1, 2) preached in Troas (Acts 20:6-12), and in this lesson he said good-bye to the elders who lived in Ephesus for the last time. Paul still planned on going on to Jerusalem. Remember that Paul did not have the luxury of traveling in an air-conditioned car where he could travel comfortably and in ease. No, Paul traveled either on foot or in a ship where it was neither luxurious nor very comfortable. Still, the apostle Paul traveled on, meeting with disciples to encourage them or to convert the many lost souls along the way. Paul was determined, brave, and was a great help to Christ. 
  • We remember Paul was in Ephesus before.
    • He had met twelve men who had never heard of the baptism of Jesus, but only the baptism of John. When Paul preached to them, they were baptized into Christ (Acts 19:1-7). 
    • Paul stayed in Ephesus that time about three months, preaching and teaching in the synagogue (Acts 19:8). 
    • Times got tougher and, when the Jews spoke evil things of the church, Paul left the synagogue and preached daily in the school of Tyrannus for two years (Acts 19:9, 10). 
    • Everyone--Jews and Greeks--who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus (Acts 19:10). 
    • During that time, many brought their curious art and evil books and burned them, even though they were worth 50,000 pieces of silver! (Acts 19:19). 
    • Then, Demetrius and the Ephesian silversmiths who made idols with their hands created trouble for Paul (Acts 19:23-41).
    • Finally, Paul had to leave Ephesus and go to Macedonia (Acts 20:1).
  • After Paul left Troas, he was determined to sail close to Ephesus--which could have been a very dangerous thing to do-but Paul stopped in a town nearby called Miletus. Paul sent word to the elders or the men who took care of the church in Ephesus that he was in Miletus and wanted them to come to him. When the elders came to see Paul, Paul talked with them.
  • Paul said that he had done his best serving the Lord with humility, and had served the Lord with tears and temptations which happened to him while the Jews were laying in wait for him. He told the Ephesian elders that he had told them everything that was good for them. He had taught them publicly and had gone from one house to another, teaching and preaching to the Jews and the Greeks. But, Paul said, now he was going to Jerusalem and he did not know what would happen to him, but they would never see his face again. He told them to take care of the congregation of the Lord's church in Ephesus, to teach and preach to the members because the Holy Spirit had made them overseers to watch over the church. He explained to them to be careful because there would be vicious people who would come into the church, pretending to be disciples of Jesus, but would divide the church. Paul said that he had showed them everything to do, to support the weak members, and to remember what Jesus said about how it was more blessed to give than to receive.
  • After this speech, Paul knelt down and prayed with them all. Everyone cried and hugged Paul and was sad that they would never see him again. Then they all went down to the ship to see Paul off.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • The term 'elder' found in Acts 20:17 refers to a God-designed office in the church. Elders are men whom a local congregation appointed to guide, direct, and oversee the work of that independent body of believers. They must meet specific qualifications which are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Elders are also called bishops (1 Timothy 3:1, 2), overseers (Acts 21:28), presbyters (1 Timothy 4:14), shepherds (1 Peter 5:1, 2), and pastors (Ephesians 4:11). 
  • We also learn from Acts 20:28 that the church is very precious indeed. The church was purchased with the blood of God's only begotten Son.
ACTIVITY:    Paul Says Good-bye
Materials needed:   9" x 12" light blue construction paper, 4" x 12" dark blue construction paper, 2" x 12" tan construction paper, 4"x 11" white paper, 3" x 6" brown construction paper, scraps of different colored paper including tan and brown, glue, scissors, marker, crayons.

  1. Hand out light blue paper. This is the background.
  2. Hand out dark blue paper. 
  3. Glue dark blue paper to the bottom edge of the light blue paper. This is the water.
  4. Hand out tan paper.
  5. Tear top edge of tan paper, gently.
  6. Glue tan paper to bottom edge of blue paper. This is the shore.
  7. Hand out brown paper.
  8. Cut a large boat out of brown paper. (A half of a circle works fine.)
  9. Glue boat to one side of dark blue paper, tucking boat under the shore.
  10. From brown scraps, cut a very thin piece of brown paper. This is the mast.
  11. Glue mast in the middle of the of the boat, sticking straight up into the light blue sky.
  12. Hand out white paper.
  13. Cut four large triangles out of white paper.
  14. Glue white triangles to mast to resemble sails.
  15. Out of scraps, cut six or seven tiny triangles. These are the people's clothes.
  16. Scatter clothes on shore, saving one to glue in the boat.
  17. Cut out tiny tan circles. These are the people's heads.
  18. Glue heads to tops of clothes. 
  19. Cut out a small rectangle out of brown scrap paper. This is the sign post.
  20. Cut out a small rectangle. This is the sign.
  21. Glue post and sign in the bottom corner of the shore.
  22. Write "Leaving Miletus" on sign.
  23. Write "Paul's Tearful Goodbye" and "Acts 20:13-38" at the top of the light blue paper.
  24. Draw faces on people and lines on the boat to resemble wood.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Lesson - Upon The First Day Of The Week

VERSES:   Acts 20:1-16

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 20:7  "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples gathered together to break break, Paul preached unto them..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  James.  Write "James" on small slips of paper, so the students may take them home and memorize another New Testament book. Review all New Testament books so far.

PRAYER:   Remember to pray for others who are not in good health.

SPECIAL SONG:   How Do Christians Worship God? (see May 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #5 on this blog.  Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Bible map; Large Activity (see below)

  • When the uproar in Ephesus over Diana, an idol in that city. was finally over, Paul said good-bye to his good friends in the church and sailed on to Macedonia where Paul encouraged the disciples in that large area. When he arrived in Greece, Paul stayed three months until the Jews laid in wait for him which meant that they were waiting for him, so they could hurt him. So, Paul traveled back again through Macedonia instead of another way he had intended to go. 
  • Sometimes we may think that Paul was traveling alone, but he had many companions who went along with him on his journeys. Other disciples traveled with Paul including Luke, author of the book of Acts. Men such as Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Timothy, Tychicus traveled from Philippi to the city of Troas and waited for Paul and Luke in Troas where they then stayed a week.
  • On the first day of the week, which is Sunday, the disciples came together to break bread or to observe the Lord's Supper which they did every first day of the week (Acts 2:42). On this particular Sunday, Paul preached a long time, even until midnight! Paul was getting ready to leave the next day and had many things to say to the disciples, so he kept on preaching. 
  • There were many lights on in the room upstairs where they were meeting and there was a young man name Eutychus who sat in a window. As Paul was preaching a long time, Eutychus went to sleep and fell out of the window from the third floor! Everyone thought Eutychus was dead, but Paul went downstairs, embraced him, and called back to all those concerned, "Do not worry! Eutychus is alive!"
  • Then they went back upstairs, broke bread, ate, and talked for a long while--even until the sun came up! Then Paul left. All those who had met that night were greatly relieved that Eutychus was alive, but were sad that Paul was leaving!
"Older Student" Tips:
  • In Acts 20:7,  the reason the disciples came together on the first day of the week was to break bread, meaning to partake of the Lord's Supper and remember Christ's death on the cross (1 Corinthians 11:26). Christians still do this same act of worship on the first day of the week. The unleavened bread represents Jesus' broken body of the cross and the fruit of the vine symbolizes Jesus' blood that was shed on the cross (Matthew 26:26-28; 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25).  Christians are to think back on the death of Christ as they partake in the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-29).
  • Anther act of worship that Christians must participate in on the first day of the week, in addition to partaking of the Lord's Supper (Acts 20:7), is laying by in store or giving of our means (1 Corinthians 16:1, 2). Christians may sing, pray, and study God's Word on the first day of the week or any other day of the week. But observing the Lord's Supper and laying by in store MUST be done on the Lord's Day which is the first day of the week.
  • Acts 20:7 also gives us book, chapter and verse for meeting together on the first day of the week to worship God.
  • Trace Paul's travels on the Bible map.
ACTIVITY:  Upon the first day of the week
Materials needed:   9" x 12" black construction paper, 4" x 8" brown construction paper, 2" x 6" yellow construction paper, 1" x 12" tan construction paper strip, scraps of tan, blue, red, light brown, and white paper, glue, white crayon, black marker, crayons, scissors.

  1. Hand out black paper.
  2. Hand out brown paper.
  3. Glue brown paper to the right corner of the black paper.
  4. Glue tan strip to the bottom of the black paper. This is the dirt.
  5. Cut yellow paper into thirds.These are the windows.
  6. Glue windows on house, making certain their are three stories.
  7. Glue scrap of light brown on house for a door.
  8. Out of scraps of tan, cut out four small circles. These are faces.
  9. Glue two circles in top window.
  10. Glue red rectangle on dirt road.
  11. Glue blue rectangle standing up on road.
  12. Glue one circle to the top of each small rectangle. This is Paul and Eutychus.
  13. Draw faces on all four circles, and arms and feet on Paul and Eutychus.
  14. Write "Don not worry! Eutychus is alive!" on white paper.
  15. Cut a speech bubble around Paul's words.
  16. Glue white speech bubble in the middle of the black paper by Paul.
  17. On black paper, write "Eutychus fell out of a window, listening to Paul's preaching" and "Acts 20:1-12." White crayon is best.
  18. Draw a small moon (because it happened at night).
  19. Write "Paul" and "Eutychus" on their clothes.