30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked,
“Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?”
And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
Philip is one of the original seven Hellenist followers of Jesus that were selected by the Apostle to help take care of the daily distributions of food among the poor in the new Christian community.
He is one of the first believers of Christ that Luke records as a preacher who was empowered by the Holy Spirit to share the good news to people outside of the Jewish communities like those in Samaria and travels down from Samaria to a desert place in Gaza where he prompted the Holy Spirit to approach an African official in the treasury of the Queen mother Candace of the Ethiopians. (African Kingdom of Kush) – A follower of the Jewish traditions who had come from Jerusalem to worship.
Philip hears him reading from the Old Testament prophet of Isaiah about the prophecy that the Messiah would be led to the slaughter and that he would not open his mouth when his justice was denied. (see Jesus before Herod he did not answer his questions – Luke 23:9)
We need to further note that the Book of Acts of the Apostles was written by Luke, the only gentile writer in the entire Bible. Why is this so important with this particular passage is that it is one of the earliest examples of the movement of the Holy Spirit going beyond the middle east to another continent – in this case, into Africa.
Here at Tome, I believe that the Lord has illuminated this particular Bible story for us to begin this new startup around. There are three parts that I would like to highlight for your consideration.
First, we need to back up a few verses and the beginning of this story. In the eighth chapter of the book of Acts of the Apostles through the Holy Spirit – verse 26 reads, “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place.”
God sends his heavenly messengers called Angels throughout the Bible to speak directives and encouragements. Since the word Angel also can be translated as the messenger, I know personally that the Lord has used his “earthly” messengers to speak into my life with directives and encouragement. One such messenger is Chris Heaslip. At the very moment that I needed clear direction on why I moved to Texas, I met Chris. He was “my angel” as he shared with me a vision for creating the mobile video Bible app that we now know as Tome. He was like the Evangelist Philip, who shared a vision from the Lord about the possibility of mobile technology to enable people across the globe to engage with the Bible through daily video content. He felt Philip’s passion for the African official to understand the Bible that he was reading? Chris Heaslip started Tome out of this passion: the world’s first video devotional app!
The second element in this story is the often overlooked action of Philip running alongside the African officer’s chariot so that he could listen to him read from a scroll from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. I believe this is so important to underline to show the lengths the Holy Spirit has empowered the epic Tome team to run alongside the culture of mobile communication and listen and learn how guides are needed to help people understand what they are reading in the Bible. The creation of the Tome App has made available daily guides to illuminate the truth found in the Bible to everyone around the world.
The final part of this story that I love so much is an invitation to Philip to “Come up and sit with him.” A man of authority and high status invites Philip to come up and join him. The story demonstrates that he was a learned man with access to the scriptures – but still needed a guide and brought Philip to sit alongside him and explain who this Old Testament book was talking about.
We have chosen to name this company Tome that a dictionary defines as a book, especially a large, heavy, scholarly one.: “a weighty tome”. For those who are new to the Bible, their first reaction to it might be similar to the definition of Tome, something weighty and challenging to understand. In selecting our company’s name, we looked up every time the words “to me” are mentioned in the Bible and found the heart of the Lord to bring his love “to me”. What is unique about our daily Tome video drops is how each of our guides shares how the Bible has spoken directly to “TOxME” through their own personal experiences. Each Tome has a moment where the viewer can see themselves in the Bible and say the Lord is speaking to “TOxME”.