Publication Date: 1976-1977
Walter J. Cummins graduated from the Power for Abundant Class in 1962.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio State University in 1968 and his Master of Education degree in Secondary School Administration in 1978 from Wright State University.
He was ordained to the Christian by The Way International in 1968. He has studied at The Way International under Victor Paul Wierwille and K.C.Pillai. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was director of the Research department of the Way International and served as assistant to the president.
Paul’s Third Itinerary
Before we start on Paul’s third itinerary, I want to review a little bit.
In Paul’s early ministry, before his first itinerary, he was on the road to Damascus when he was converted. From Damascus he went out into Arabia and then back to Damascus. After 3 years he went down to Jerusalem. From there after 15 days he went up to Tarsus which is in Cilicia. From Tarsus he went with Barnabas over to Antioch. From Antioch he made a trip down to Jerusalem in the time of famine and then back up to Antioch.
His first itinerary starts from Antioch and went over to Salamis on the island of Cyprus. From there he went over to Paphos on the other side of Cyprus and then sailed up to Perga in Pamphylia. From there he goes up into Antioch. From there he goes over into Iconium, then down to Lystra and over to Derbe. Then he starts back the route down to Perga and over to Attalia which is in Pamphylia. From there he sails back to Antioch.
Between his first and second itinerary he goes down to Jerusalem for the church council.
On his second itinerary he went through the Galatia area and established the churches then went up to Troas. He was forbidden to speak the Word in Asia. He was forbidden to speak it in Bithynia so he just kept going and when he got to Troas is when he saw the Macedonian vision. A man from Macedonia said, “Come on over.” So he went over to Neapolis stopping in Samothracia on the way. Then he went to Philippi where he ministered. From Philippi he went through Apollonia and Amphipolis down to Thessalonica. From Thessalonica he went to Berea. From Berea he went down to Athens by boat. From Athens he went over to Corinth where he spent a year and a half. From Corinth he went to Cenchrea which is right beside Corinth on the coast and from Cenchrea he sailed over to Ephesus where he just stopped briefly and said hello. He said he couldn’t stay. He was on his way to Jerusalem. But he did say, “I go and I come; I’m coming again.” He sailed from Ephesus down to Caesarea. From there he went down to Jerusalem and back up to Antioch. That’s where we closed with his second itinerary.
On this second itinerary while he was at Corinth for that year and a half, what did he do? He wrote I & II Thessalonians. That’s the probable time for the writing of those books. He wrote back to the Thessalonians saying, “No matter what the persecutors do, you just stay faithful to the Word because we’ve got a hope in Christ’s return.
Acts 18:22 is the end of his second itinerary.
Acts 18:22: And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.
“saluted the church” – where did he salute the church? Jerusalem. He landed at Caesarea because that’s the coast town. Then he went up to Jerusalem. It’s going down in our terminology but they always spoke of it as going up. He saluted the church and he went down to Antioch. We would say he went up to Antioch.
Acts 18:23: And after he had spent some time there [in Antioch], he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.
He went back through Galatia and Phrygia. He went back to the areas he had been in before twice. This is his third trip through Galatia.
“strengthening” – epistērizō – remember stērizō and stereoō? These are related words we’ve had. It means to establish or confirm. Some of the texts here read stērizō. They drop the epi from the front of that but it’s the same basic word. This was the word used in Acts 14:22. This is where Paul was on his first itinerary and after he had gone through all these cities, he returned again to Lystra and to Iconium and Antioch.
Acts 14:22: Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
“Confirming” – epistērizō – establishing; making them stereo; putting them in harmony
In chapter 18 this is his third trip through Galatia.
Galatians 4:13: Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
If he was there the first time, what does that imply? A second time, so that may imply that he was there not only once but he had been there twice. Galatians had to have been written after what happened in this verse. Then he was there in Galatia at least twice. This would be his, at least, third time there. In chapter 2 of Galatians in verse 11 you have that record where Peter came to Antioch and Paul withstood him to the face because he was to be blamed.
Galatians 2:11: But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
Peter came to either Antioch in Syria or Antioch of Pisidia which is in Galatia. It’s very possible that he’s talking here about the Antioch in Pisidia of Galatia rather than Antioch of Syria. On the other hand Antioch of Syria was home base and a very important Roman colony and therefore he could have referred to it just as Antioch nevertheless Peter came to Antioch sometime. If he came to Antioch of Pisidia, then in chapter 18 of Acts in verse 23 would be the most probable time that peter came to Antioch in Galatia.
The first time in Galatia was when Paul and Barnabas went there and that was their first trip there. The second time that he went to Galatia was right after the Jerusalem counsel which would be sort of an improbable time for Peter to go here. This is his third time through and it’s possible that Peter went up there. There are no details. However on the other hand he may have gone to Antioch in Syria which is where most people place it.
I Peter 1:1: Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the [elect] strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
Peter was writing to all those major areas which at least indicates that Peter was acquainted with that area in some form or another. I don’t think it would be unlikely that he would go to tat area. Where Peter visited that Antioch could fit with verse 23 of Acts 18. On the other hand it could fit with some other places. If it was Antioch in Syria that Galatians 2:11 refers, the most probable place would be Acts 15:1-2.
Acts 15:1-2: And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
The only other place I see it could be; would be Acts 15:35 before Paul and Barnabas left to go on the itinerary. But it would be more unlikely there because it’s just after the big decision about the Gentiles at the Jerusalem counsel.
Acts 15:35: Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
All these things you’ll need to keep in your minds I don’t know if you can remember them but try. At least keep some of these together because a little bit later we’re going to be talking about when Galatians was written. It’s very difficult to set it exactly. The
other Epistles you can pretty well mark but Galatians is a little more difficult. It could have been as early as Acts 16, I suppose but I don’t think that will fit. I think a more logical time, as you work it, is much later.
In chapter 18 he goes through Galatia and Phrygia. He started in Antioch, came up through Galatia and Phrygia and he’s heading over toward Ephesus. Remember he said, “I got to go down to Jerusalem but I’m coming down there again to visit you sometime.”
Acts 18:21: But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.
Paul is on his way. He’s coming through Galatia and Phrygia and he takes a little time along the way, teaching the people.
Acts 18:24: And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
Was Apollos there in Ephesus all the time? No, he came to Ephesus. Alexandria is down in Egypt and he came all the way from Alexandria up to Ephesus. While Paul was going one direction, Apollos lands at Ephesus. Alexandria was the home of some of the major Gnostic schools. There’s some mention of Gnosticism in the book Jesus Christ is not God. It gives you a little bit of the background and you can see how this would have crept into Christianity in the early centuries.
When they gave in on the principles of the Word; didn’t stand for the integrity of the Word any more, then all this other junk starts eating away. It’s the same way today. If you ever give in on the Word, you’ll go down the drain spiritually and in a lot of ways in the senses world. There won’t be as much persecution because there’s not much to fight against. But you won’t have that more abundant life. You won’t have the joy any more. That’s one thing you can never give in on; the integrity of the Word. Don’t give into Gnosticism, or baptism, or “you-name-it-ism.”
Apollos came from Alexandria. That was a Gnostic center and I’m sure he had heard a little philosophy. Something else he had learned in Egypt was the baptism of John. Was John A Christian? No, he was a Judean. What he taught was strictly Judaic law. He was God’s forerunner. He was not the Messiah. He was the one who said, “There’s someone coming after me whose shoes I’m not worthy to untie.” Apparently a lot of this teaching of John’s and some of his disciples had reached into Egypt. Apollos, along with others, had picked up on it. Now he’s hot-footing it up to Ephesus on a special missionary journey because he’s got something a little bit better than the average Judean has. If you studied under John you’d have a little more truth than you would studying under the Pharisees or the Sadducees.
“mighty in the scriptures” - It says he was mighty in the scriptures. What scriptures? Did he know the Old Testament scriptures? Yes, not quite as good as Paul but he knew them and he was mighty in those scriptures.
Acts 18:25: This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
“instructed in the way of the Lord" - He wasn’t just a sectarian. He wasn’t just a Pharisee or a Sadducee or an Essence or a Herodian. He wasn’t somebody with just a churchy background. He knew the scriptures and he was instructed in the way of the Lord.
He was really hot for the Lord. He was full of zeal and had a tremendous knowledge of the Word up to a certain point. He didn’t know of this administration. He knew about John and his baptism but that was it. He spoke and stood for what he believed in, knowing only the baptism of John. If he only knew the baptism of John then he did not know all the Word to the end that Paul did. Paul didn’t know it all either but he knew more than what Apollos did. Apollos only knew past administrations. Paul, Peter and the others knew that we’re no longer justified by the law. We no longer keep the law, whether it’s water, circumcision or whatever. We’re justified by God’s grace.
I Corinthians 3:21-23: Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
A big discussion in here is whether we’re of Paul, Apollos or Cephas. Paul was strong on grace. Apollos was strong on baptism. Cephas (Peter) came out of a group where they were strong on circumcision.
I Corinthians 1:10-12: Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing [not different], and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. [divisions; that they were not speaking the same thing]
Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
“I’m a Baptist. I’m a Circumc-ist. I’m a Paul-ist; the Grace Church. I’m a Four Square Gospel-ist.”
I Corinthians 1:13-16: Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
Apollos, later on, was still pulling that water stuff. He was still doing it once in a while. Some were at least approaching Apollos to do it. Some were saying, “Well, we’re of Apollos. We have Water.” Others said, “Well, we’re of Paul. We have grace.” Others said, “Well we’re of Peter. We cut.” Others said, “Well, we’re of Christ.” Baptism must have been a thing there because he makes a point of saying, “I didn’t baptize any of you except three different families there. That’s only because they wanted it. Because we’re not justified by baptism. We’re justified by believing, by grace, not the law. Other areas he went into; “Well, we’re of Peter. We circumcise.” “Well, you’re not baptized by circumcision. I didn’t circumcise any of you except Timothy. We didn’t even circumcise Titus.”
Divisions; denominations formed here in Acts around the time of Acts 19 and 20. That’s generally the way the adversary moves. He’ll try to get you into a certain aspect of legalism rather than to accept God’s grace. If he can get you to do baptism or circumcision, it like we teach in Dealing with the Adversary; where he gets you to move over just a little bit at a time. He doesn’t get you to choose between truth and error. It’s always between what’s good and error. Is good the best? No, so he’ll say, “Well, yes it’s grace but it’s nice to confirm it in the flesh by getting baptised or circumcised or something like that.” Then, after he’s got you there and you give in on that, he gets you to move over another notch. “Everybody really ought to do it even though it’s still salvation by grace.” Then, when he’s got you there, he says, “Yea, you’ve got to be baptised if you really want to be saved.” Then some more of the law and then all the law and you’re back under legalism. That’s the way it works.
Apollos only knew the baptism of John.
Acts 18:26: And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and
Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
He went into the synagogues also and spoke boldly. He spoke John’s baptism. Did he know the scriptures? He knew a lot of it but only to the point of John’s baptism.
Remember Aquila and Pricilla were the one who had come from Rome because Claudius had said, “Get out.” They had come and stayed at Corinth and that’s where Paul stayed with them because they both made saddles. Paul brought them along when he went to Ephesus when he went back to Jerusalem. That’s how Aquila and Pricilla had got to Ephesus. Paul went down to Jerusalem and left them at Ephesus and Paul said he couldn’t stay long but that he’d be back if God will.
Aquila and Pricilla were still at Ephesus waiting for Paul to get back. When they heard Apollos teaching the Word, they took him unto them and expounded the way of God more perfectly.
Acts 18:27-28: And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia [Greece], the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:
For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
Before this all he knew was John. Aquila and Pricilla, two lay people, take him aside and expound to him the scriptures more accurately. That’s tremendous; to think that a great orator like Apollos, somebody who stands up and boldly teaches the scriptures, would listen to lay people like Aquila and Pricilla. He did and he accepted it. The brethren wrote a letter and sent it with him and said, “Now when you get there, you hand them this and they’ll know you’re with us.” So, he goes over to Corinth and he teaches them the Word there.
They had believed through grace and now he’s over there mightily convincing the Jews saying, “Why, look right here, in Isaiah it says... and in Malachi it says... and in Genesis it says...” He showed them by the scriptures and he showed them mightily. Do you know where he went in Greece? Corinth, the next verse tells you.
Acts 19:1: And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
In I Corinthians which was written about 2 years later or so they had this division that we just read about; some say they’re of Paul, others of Apollos, some even of Peter and a few of Christ.
I Corinthians 3:1-9: And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry [tilled field], ye are God's building.
“I have planted, Apollos watered” – It’s a figure where you’ve got that double meaning that’s humorous. It’s like when Paul said, “I wish they were even cut off.” [Galatians 5:12] He said, “I’ve planted, Apollos watered.” The real significance behind it is; “I first gave you the Word. Then I went back to Jerusalem and Apollos came from Ephesus over to Corinth and then he watered. He continued to nurture the field with the Word. And God gave the increase. I came to Corinth, spent a year and a half there and planted a lot of things. Apollos came along a little later and he put a little water on it. God still had to give the increase. We’re just one. We’re just part of the labourers of the field. But it’s God’s tilled field, God’s building.
Apollos went to Corinth and he did a lot of watering there, perhaps in both ways. I don’t know. But that was really a concern. Remember in chapter 1 Paul says, “I never baptized anybody except 3 households, maybe.”
I Corinthians 16:12: As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.
Remember, Apollos had only been into this for maybe a couple of years when this was written. He had to grow a little more.
This, what Paul says to Titus, is quite a bit later:
Titus 3:13: Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.
Apollos was still with them standing even back here. And this is much later. Those are the only places, I believe, where Apollos is mentioned.
Acts 19:1: And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
Apollos went from Ephesus to Corinth and while he did that Paul had been coming through the Galatia area and then he went through the coasts and came up to Ephesus. This is Paul’s second time to Ephesus.
“certain disciples” – disciples of whom? Apollos.
Acts 19:2: He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
“Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” – The question is sort of neat because he said, “Have you lambanō-ed? Have you received into manifestation?” He didn’t say, “Have you dechomai-ed?” They had already believed. Paul had been there before Apollos had been there. Aquila and Pricilla had been there. They were disciples. They knew the Word. He doesn’t ask them, “Have you been born again?” Because if you can speak in tongues I know you’re born again. So he asks them, “Have you lambanō-ed? Have you seen the proof in the senses world of the internal reality and presence of the holy spirit within?”
This is a great key. If you’re going to ask a question, get specific. Get specific. Don’t start with, “Are you born again? Are you absolutely sure?” No, “Have you spoken in tongues? Have you
received holy spirit into manifestation since you believed?” If they haven’t, they’re going to say, “No.” But if they haven’t even heard about it, they’re going to tell you that too. So, make your questions specific. Don’t write a letter 10 pages long and have 1 question buried in the middle of it.
Acts 19:3-5: And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
When were they baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus? When they were born again; when Apollos had taught them. The word “this,” should be deleted.
Acts 19:6: And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
They received. They lambanō-ed into manifestation. Why did Paul lay his hands on them? Revelation. When they heard they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus and Paul ministered to them, it says they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
You’ve got to watch over your people. If somebody’s not lambanō-ing, if somebody’s not manifesting, then what do you do? You minister to the need. You help that person. Find out what the score is. Why aren’t they lambanō-ing? Remember when Peter and John went down to Samaria and they hadn’t lambanō-ed?
They wanted to know why, because every time somebody got born again before that, they spoke in tongues. They asked, “Why not here?” So, they went down there and ministered to them. Then they spoke in tongues.
All they had heard about was John’s baptism, water. Now Paul comes and teaches them about being baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus when they’d believed. When they heard that and Paul ministered to them they manifested. They spoke with tongues and prophesied.
Acts 19:7: And all the men were about twelve.
You mean there weren’t even twelve. About twelve and “about” means “about.” Maybe eleven, maybe ten but not twelve.
Acts 19:8: And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
“disputing” – He didn’t dispute. He reasoned with them. He didn’t go in there to argue with them. He reasoned with them in the Word and then he persuaded them with the Word. He didn’t brain-wash them. He let the Word be so beautiful. He opened and laid it before them. “You want to eat steak?” That kind of thing; he didn’t force them to eat it.
Acts 19:9: But when divers [many] were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
To every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. So, when you hit with the Word, if somebody doesn’t want to believe the Word, he just gets harder and harder and harder. If you kept hitting your hand, you’d get calluses after a while. The more you walk on your feet, the more calluses you get. They get hardened. That’s what it means. They were hardened. Their hearts were hardened. They just didn’t want to believe.
“one” – delete
Acts 19:10: And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
In two years and three months all of Asia heard the Word of the Lord Jesus and not just the Jews but the Greeks also. They had already heard it over in the Galatia area. They’d already heard it in Cilicia and Syria. They’d already heard throughout Macedonia and Achaia. Now it’s covered that main part of the world where they were stemming out from.