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Old 05-29-2009, 03:46 PM
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George George is offline
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Default "Rightly Dividing" The Book of Acts

Aloha all,

I am starting a new Thread in regards to "rightly dividing" the Book of Acts because I believe the subject to be extremely import in understanding how to rightly divide the word of truth, and the Posts that were made in regards to this subject were "buried" in the Thread on "Water Baptism".

When studying the Scriptures it is always necessary for us to rightly divide “the word of truth”. That means that we must always keep in mind the distinction that the Scriptures make between the JEW; the GENTILE; and the CHURCH {where there is neither Jew nor Greek (i.e. Gentile) –
Galatians 3:28& Colossians 3:11}.

In addition we must always keep in mind that the Bible is not only a Book about “Doctrine” and about “Spiritual” matters, it is also a Book about “History”; and in order to arrive at the “Truth” of Scripture we must always take the “historical context” into consideration when “rightly dividing the word of truth”.

That simply means that we cannot “project” what we “knowNOW (as Christians) back into the “historical setting”. We must accept the written record WHERE, WHEN and HOW we find it, and not make it “say” or “mean” something other than what it says in the “historical context”.

As you read - Ask yourself: WHO is speaking? And to WHOM is he speaking to?
Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: {Only Jews}
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: {Only Jews}
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. {Only Jews}
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. {Only Jews}
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou
at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? {Only Jews}
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. {Only Jews}
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. {Only Jews}
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. {Only Jews}
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; {Only Jews}
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. {Only Jews}
12 Then returned they unto
Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. {Only Jews}
13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. {Only Jews}
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. {Only Jews}
15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) {Only Jews}
16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. {Only Jews}
17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. {Only Jews}
18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. {Only Jews}
19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. {Only Jews}
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. {Only Jews}
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, {Only Jews}

22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. {Only Jews}
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. {Only Jews}
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, {Only Jews}
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. {Only Jews}
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. {Only Jews}
In order to “set the stage” (so to speak), we have to be aware that what follows in Acts Chapters 2 through 7 is predicated upon the fact that, at the very beginning of the “preaching” of and about Jesus Christ, AFTER His Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven, all those who were doing the “preaching” were Jews (ONLY), and, to begin with, ALL those to whom the “preaching” was directed were also Jews (ONLY) as I shall demonstrate as we go along.

As you read - Ask yourself: WHO is speaking? And to WHOM is he speaking to?

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. {Only Jews}
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
{Only Jews}
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
{Only Jews}
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
{Only Jews}
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
{Only Jews}
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
{Only Jews}
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
{Only Jews}
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
{Only Jews}
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
{Only Jews}
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
{Only Jews}
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
{Only Jews}
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
{Only Jews}
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
{Only Jews}
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them,
Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: {Only Jews}
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
{Only Jews}
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
{A Hebrew Prophet}
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
{Only Jews}
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
{Only Jews}
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: {The “Day of the Lord” - Connected to "the time of Jacob's troubles}
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
{The “Day of the Lord” - Connected to "the time of Jacob's troubles}
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. {The “Day of the Lord” - Connected to "the time of Jacob's troubles}
WHAT HAPPENED? Verses 16 through 18 obviously were “fulfilled” right then (on the day of Pentecost) – BUT WHAT HAPPENED to verses 19 & 20? There is NO Scriptural record of verses 19 & 20 ever having been fulfilled. Was the Prophet Joel MISTAKEN? Was the Apostle Peter MISTAKEN when he quoted ALL of Joel’s prophesy? Did the Holy Spirit lead Peter to say something that wasn’t true; or only “partially” true? {I’m speaking “facetiously” – of course!}

I shall “expound” on WHY verses 19 & 20 were NOT fulfilled; and WHY they WILL be FULFILLED in the FUTURE {later on}
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: {Only Jews}
This “message” is DIRECTED to WHOM? WHY to - “Ye men of Israel”! If there were any Gentiles around that might of heard the “message”, they would have understood that the Apostle Peter was NOT speaking to them, but to the “men of IsraelONLY!

Don’t forget – The Bible is not only a Book about “doctrine”, and “spiritual things”; it is also a Book on and about “history”. We must keep the “historical setting” in mind, if we are to “rightly divide” God’s words.
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: {Only Jews}
Here is a clear “accusation” (by the Apostle Peter) that the “men of Israel” were responsible for the killing of “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God” {Does this sound like Paul’s “Gospel” – yet?}
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
{A Hebrew King & Prophet}
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
{A Hebrew King & Prophet}
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
{A Hebrew King & Prophet}
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
{A Hebrew King & Prophet}
29 Men and
brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. {“Men and brethren” = Only Jews}
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
{A Hebrew King & Prophet}
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
{A Hebrew King & Prophet}
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
{Only Jews}
Is the Apostle Peter “preaching” Christ died for your sins according to the Scriptures; and was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures? Or is he saying that the “men of Israelkilled “Jesus of Nazareth”, and God has raised Him up?
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. {Only Jews}
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
{A Hebrew King & Prophet - Prophesying}
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
{A Hebrew King & Prophet - Prophesying }
36 Therefore let
all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. {Only Jews}
Are we (Christians) “the house of Israel”? Peter is notifying “all the house of Israel” that the “same Jesus” that they CRUCIFIED - is both “LORD” and “CHRIST”! How can this “message” be the “same” as Paul’s “Gospel”? Peter is NOT talking about “Christ dying for our sins”; he is plainly saying that the “man” known as “Jesus of Nazareth”; whom the “men of Israelslew, is “BOTH LORD & CHRIST”! This “message” is meant to convince the nation of Israel that Jesus Christ is the Lord from Heaven and their Messiah.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? {Men and brethren = Only Jews}
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. {Only Jews}
WHAT HAPPENED to Matthew 28:18-20?
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Let me ask you: If you have been baptized (in water) – were you baptized “in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins”? And did you receive the Holy Ghost AFTER you were baptized in water? This is what the “Cambellites” (“Church of Christ”) teach; is this “sound doctrine” for a Bible believing Christian?

When I believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and received Him as my personal Saviour in October, 1958 I instantly received “the remission of (my) sins” – WITHOUT getting a toe wet! And I instantly received the “gift” of the Holy Spirit - WITHOUT water Baptism - just exactly like ALL Gentile believers have since the Apostle Peter “opened the door” to the Gentiles long ago [Acts 10:34-48]. It should be clear to most people reading these verses that “something else” is going on here; and that clearly the water “Baptism” practiced here is NOT the “SAME” as the water “Baptism” practiced by the Apostle Paul; and the “message” (“gospel”) that the Apostle Peter is preaching here is NOT the “SAME Gospel” that the Apostle Paul preached.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. {Only Jews}
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
{Only Jews}
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
{All Jews or Jewish Proselytes}
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
{All Jews or Jewish Proselytes}
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
{All Jews or Jewish Proselytes}
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
{All Jews or Jewish Proselytes}
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
{All Jews or Jewish Proselytes}
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord
in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, {All Jews or Jewish Proselytes}
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
{All Jews or Jewish Proselytes}
Now, just exactly WHAT were these people (Jews & Proselytes) required to believe and do (at this point in time)?

Were they told the Apostle Paul’s “Gospel”?

Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Or were they told Peter’s “gospel”?
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Since the words spoken by the two Apostles are NOT the SAME, it is obvious that the two “Gospels” clearly are NOT the “SAME”. In order for anyone to get “saved” today they MUST BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ and RECEIVE Him as their Saviour. In order for those Jews & Proselytes to get “saved” at Pentecost, they had to BELIEVE that “Jesus of Nazareth” was both their Lord & Messiah; and "REPENT" (for refusing to believe Christ (His words); for refusing to receive Christ as Lord and King; for delivering Him up; for denying Him; and for killing Him), and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. And if they OBEYED Peter’s command they received “the gift of the Holy Ghost”.

A man’s Salvation (under any “covenant”) has always been dependent upon BELIEVING what God has said (at that time), and OBEYING (DOING) what he said.

If we will just believe what is written and where it is written, and keep in mind - WHO is speaking, and to WHOM he is speaking, much of Scripture becomes understandable.

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