IN THE REGIONS OF SYRIA AND CILICIA, AND ANTIOCH
So where did Paul go after his 15 days at Jerusalem (Gal 1:18).
Galations 1:21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
Where did his kind friend Barnabas eventually found him?
Acts 11:25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul.
So Paul was back in his town of birth preaching the gospel in Tarsus.
These stones cry out, the Bible is true!
When we look at the chronology we come to a conclusion that he had a marvelous vision during this time.
Listen what he writes in 2 Corinthians 12:2:
2Ko 12:2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven.
He describes it as an experience he had 14 years before the writing of 2 Corinthians.
That epistle was written about a.d. 57, which would point to about 43 as the date of the vision.
Paul was at Tarsus or the surrounding area from about 38 to 44, which would bring the vision within that period.
Let us read the entire vision:
2 Corinthians 12:2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven.
2Ko 12:3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—
2Ko 12:4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
What an experience. I wish he had related more about what he saw.
Meanwhile, during Paul’s stay in Cilicia, Christianity had been progressing in other areas.
You are looking at a place called Antioch.
A growing interest had developed at Antioch in Syria, and Barnabas had been dispatched from Jerusalem to foster it (Acts 11:19–24).
nd 11:19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.
Hnd 11:20 But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus.
Hnd 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
nd 11:22 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch.
Hnd 11:23 When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.
Hnd 11:24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
Deciding that he needed help, he journeyed to Tarsus, found Paul, and brought him back to Antioch with him (vs 25, 26).
Hnd 11:25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul.
Hnd 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
We need more people like Barnabas.
Paul and Barnabas worked together there for a full year, with noteworthy success.
As they labored in Antioch certain ones having the prophetic gift came from Jerusalem (Acts 11:27).
Acts 11:27 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch.
One of these, by the name of Agabus, was divinely inspired to predict a worldwide famine (v 28).
Acts 11:28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.
As a result of this the believers in Antioch determined to send relief to the Christians of Judea. They chose Paul and Barnabas to take the contribution to Judea (vs 29, 30).
Acts 11:29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.
Hnd 11:30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
Upon the fulfillment of their mission, Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch, taking with them John Mark, a relative of Barnabas (Acts 12:25; cf. Col 4:10).
Acts 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark.
A dream which eventually became a nightmare.