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Tag Archives: Book of Acts

The Churches of God Were Multiplied

Luke concludes Acts 9:31 with the words: “…[the churches throughout all Judea, Samaria and Galilee], walking in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit, were multiplied.” Months ago I had shared what I believed to be the manner in which Luke had written Acts. I believe he wrote Acts in 6 submissions, which can be categorized into three themes of two parts each. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Persecution, Temple of God

 

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Building up the Church

Luke uses three phrases to make up Acts 9:31. We spoke of the first phrase: “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria…” in my previous blog, showing how the churches of God had obtained rest from their persecution. I will speak of the second “…and were edified…” in this one, and hope to speak of the third “…and, walking in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit, were multiplied” in my next blog. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Persecution, Temple of God

 

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Paul’s Vision on the Road to Damascus

In recent years textual criticism has placed in doubt in the minds of some what actually took place on the road to Damascus. In a short essay (found HERE) John Dominic Crossan has taken issue with Paul’s vision of Jesus as recorded in Acts – where it took place, how long Paul was away from Jerusalem and who threatened Paul’s life in Damascus that he was saved by the brethren secretly letting him down through a window in the city wall under the cover of night to make his escape to Jerusalem (Acts 9:25). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Textual Criticism

 

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The Samaritan ~ The Great Pretender

Even if a persecution did not follow the death of Stephen, the Gospel would have had to break out of the haven at Jerusalem where it was nurtured by the Spirit of God since Pentecost. The Jewish religious authorities, in killing Stephen, had officially rejected Jesus as the Messiah and the Kingdom of God whereby the believer is the bearer of the Shekinah Presence of God and considered thereby to be the Third Temple of God built by the Messiah. Having rejected this, they set up the abomination that eventually made Jerusalem and its Temple a desolation. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2012 in Kingdom of God

 

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Lame Man Walking!

It wouldn’t be difficult to understand a man’s joy, if he were suddenly able to walk after being crippled for over 40 years. Peter healed such a man sitting at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple when he and John went up to pray (Acts 3:1-2). The man was expecting a small donation for a meal, but ended up being made whole. The text says that he was put at the gate daily, no doubt by someone in his family, but who would have thought when they put his socks on that morning…What a surprise! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2011 in Kingdom of God

 

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Who is the Author of Acts & Luke?

It is apparent from the prologue of Acts that its author is the same as that for what we refer to as the “Gospel according to Luke!” Both were written about the Lordship of Jesus and the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3; cp. Luke 4:43) to someone by the name of Theophilus. Moreover, Acts refers Theophilus to his former treatise or account (logos – G3056) concerning all that Jesus began to both do and teach (Acts 1:1; cp. Luke 1:3). Many modern critics try to tell us that, because neither work is signed that we cannot know the author of either. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Textual Criticism

 

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The Promise of the Father

After Jesus’ crucifixion and death, the Apostles were ready to pack it in. They thought Jesus was the Messiah, but not believed they were wrong, so it was back to the way things were 3 ½ years ago. When Jesus rose from the dead, things weren’t much different, as far as the Apostles’ usefulness to the Gospel was concerned. They knew they had abandoned Jesus and seemed to be utter failures, especially Peter. According to John 21 he wanted to return to his fishing career. He denied Jesus once, and he certainly was not about to face similar circumstances that would put him in the position of doing it again. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2011 in Holy Spirit

 

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Demythologizing the New Testament

If some modern critics could have their way, we would be taught that all prophetic accounts in the Bible should be understood as records written after the events had already transpired. Isn’t this a bit like unbelievers telling believers what to believe? Some scholars begin with an anti-supernatural bias and formulate their conclusions about the Bible to support what they have already concluded before they attempted their study. They call this demythologizing the New Testament. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Textual Criticism

 

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Saul in Damascus

Luke divides Saul’s visit to Damascus into a few days in Acts 9:19 and into “many days” of preaching and debating with those having an opposing point of view concerning Jesus in Acts 9:20-23. Luke doesn’t mention Saul’s time in Arabia, but Saul claims he spent over two years there (Galatians 1:18), before returning to Jerusalem three years after he originally left for Damascus and this two-plus-year period comes between verses 19 and 20 in Acts 9. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Conversion, Paul

 

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Saul the Persecutor of the Way

Did you ever wonder what it was like in Judea just after Stephen was martyred? The persecution was leveled at the liberal branch of the Way—the Hellenist believers, but this doesn’t mean other believers escaped. The Apostles were beaten in Acts 5 for preaching the Gospel and this would have been no different. When the persecution broke out, Saul entered house after house dragging off both men and women to prison and to appear before the council (Acts 8:3). Many scattered throughout Judea and Samaria and along the coast of the Mediterranean (Acts 8:1) Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Gospel, Paul

 

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The Beginning of Messianic Persecution

The persecution of the Jesus Movement began only months after that first Pentecost when Peter preached his sermon accusing the people and their leaders of killing the Elect One—Jesus. Some accuse Luke of great exaggeration in his claims of the thousands of new believers repenting and coming to Jesus after each of Peter’s sermons. In a matter of days the only unbelievers in Jerusalem would have been the ruling class. But, this is a gross misunderstanding of the text. Luke highlights the history of the growth of the body following the Way. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Apostles, New Testament History, Religion

 

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The Persecution Under Agrippa I

Luke tells us in Acts 12:3 that Herod (Agrippa I) executed James, the son of Zebedee, with a sword. The problem is Luke never tells us why. He simply records the event. So, what prompted Herod to lift up his hand against certain disciples? Can we know? I don’t think it is possible to know with certainty, but I do believe we can come close to the truth by interpreting wisely some of what we find in Luke’s record. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Christianity, New Testament History, Religion

 

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A Judas Contradiction?

How did Judas die, and who actually purchased the “field of blood” with the thirty pieces of silver that was paid to Judas for delivering Jesus into the hands of the Jewish authorities at Jerusalem? I have spoken with several people who believe there is a contradiction between Matthew’s account of Judas’ activities and Luke’s account of the same in the book of Acts. Notice how the Scriptures describe the account: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Apostles, New Testament History, Religion

 

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We were Called Christians First in Antioch!

Did you ever wonder how we got our name Christian? I have several nicknames and I know how I received each one. Some of the reasons are quite funny, while others are a bit embarrassing. Some were used for a short period of time, and others I am known by to this day. Nevertheless, all of them are mine, and I know the reason why and by whom I had been called by each name that was used to identify me. So, since we had begun to be known as followers of the Way or Nazarenes, how is it we finally became known as Christian? Who gave us this name and why, and can we know? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2011 in Christianity, New Testament History, Religion

 

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A Chronology of Acts 8 through 12

The eighth chapter of Acts begins with the persecution of the Church immediately following the death of Stephen in the fall of 34 CE. At this point in time, however, it would be wrong to assume the Church is an entity in itself in the same manner that it had become in the 2nd century CE. Rather all Messianic Jews were considered a part of Judaism, a faith made up of all Jews, whether or not one believed in Jesus as the Messiah. It is precisely because Stephen and the group of Messianic believers who settled in Jerusalem from the Diaspora were Jews that the leaders in Jerusalem had the authority to pursue them and bring them to Jerusalem for trial. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Apostles, New Testament History, Religion

 

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