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Old 06-09-2009, 10:52 AM
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George George is offline
 
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Default Re: "Rightly Dividing The Book of Acts"

Aloha all,

These Posts are not meant as teaching commentaries (i.e. a verse by verse exposition); if they were they would be much longer and far more detailed. The purpose of these Posts is to point out WHERE, in the early Chapters of the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit was dealing exclusively with the nation of Israel (Jews and Proselyte Jews) and WHY He hadn’t turned to the Gentiles - yet.

As I have pointed out (over and over) in Acts Chapters 2 through 5, Peter and the rest of the Apostles have continually confined their preaching and teaching to the nation of Israel, and they continue to do so in Acts Chapter 6. They have yet to address the Gentiles – separately; because God has NOT led them to do so - yet. And WHY is that so? Because of the explicit instructions the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to His disciples AFTER His resurrection:
Quote:
John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Did you get that? Do you remember back in Matthew 15:24 when the woman of Canaan (“The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nationMark 7:26) came to the Lord begging Him to heal her daughter? WHAT was it that the Lord Jesus Christ “answered” her? “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Now, she (being a “Greek” – a Gentile) understood exactly WHAT He was saying - even if Christians today don’t! She understood that the Lord meant WHAT he said, WHEN He said it: “I am NOT SENT but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” However, because of her “great faith” [Matthew 15:28] the Lord made an EXCEPTION and granted her request (without “going” to her house – remember, He wasn’t “sent” to her).

According to the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ: He was “NOT SENT but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” And AFTER His resurrection and upon giving His disciples specific instructions about HOW (and to WHOM) He was “sending” them out, He said: “as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” To WHOM was the Lord Jesus Christ SENT? - To NO ONE, “but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” To WHOM were the Lord Jesus Christ’s disciples SENT? - According to the Lord’s own words: “as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” The disciples were sent to NO ONE (to begin with) “but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” This is WHY they (the Apostles and Disciples) CONFINED their preaching to the Jews and Proselyte Jews ONLY in Acts Chapters 2 through 6.

Do you see that little word “AS”? It means in the “same manner” or “similar”. In the Bible, the words “AS” & “LIKE” can clear up a whole lot of man made “confusion” – IF people would only pay attention as to WHERE they are used.

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?
Quote:
Acts 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. {Jews & Proselyte Jews}
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. . {Jews & Proselyte Jews}
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. . {Jews & Proselyte Jews}
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. . {Only Jews}
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas
a proselyte of Antioch: {Jews & Proselyte Jews}

WHY mention the fact that “Nicolas” was a PROSELYTE, unless this was something out of the ordinary? That is – the multitude (Jews & Proselyte Jews) picked out a "proselyte Jew" to look after the "Grecians" (Gentile "Proselyte" Jews) welfare.

6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. {Jews & Proselyte Jews}
7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in
Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. {Jews & Proselyte Jews}
8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. {Jews & Proselyte Jews}
9 Then there arose certain of
the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. {Jews & Proselyte Jews}
10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. {Jews & Proselyte Jews}
11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. {Jews & Proselyte Jews}
12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, {Only Jews}
13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: {Only Jews – talking about the JEWISH Temple & the JEWISH Law}
14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. {Only Jews – talking about the JEWISH
Temple & the JEWISH Law}
15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. {Only Jews}
I have posted the first six (6) Chapters of the Book of Acts to demonstrate (from the Scriptures themselves) that Peter and the rest of the Apostles and Disciples had CONFINED their preaching and teaching to Jews and Proselyte Jews ONLY. The word “Gentile” (“Gentiles”) shows up only 2 times from Acts 1:1 through Acts 7:60 (and neither time was it an “address” directly TO Gentiles), while there are over 100 references exclusively to the nation of Israel!
{“apostles” = 17 times; “fathers” = 17 times; “brethren” = 13 times; “prophet” = 12 times; “priests” = 11 times; “council” = 7 times; “Abraham” = 7 times; David = 6 times; “sons” = 4 times; “disciples” = 4 times; “men of Israel” = 3 times; “house of Israel” = 2 times; “Jews” = 2 times; “Hebrews” = 1 time; and “daughters” = 1 time; for a total of 107 references.}

In Acts Chapters 1 through 7 – There are at least 107 references made exclusively TO the people of the nation of Israel and NONE made directly TO the Gentiles! WHAT MORE does someone “need” in order to understand that in the first 7 Chapters of the Book of Acts, the Lord God (through the guiding of the Holy Spirit) led the Apostles and Disciples to preach ONLY to Jews and Proselyte Jews, and DID NOT “extend” that preaching to the Gentiles until AFTER the stoning of Stephen (the rejection of the Holy Spirit by the nation of Israel - which is the turning point of the Book Of Acts!), whereupon the Lord began to turn unto the “Gentiles” – who are referenced 28 times from Acts 8 through Acts 28!

In the next Post (Stephen's address to the nation of Israel - "he, being full of the Holy Ghost" [Acts 7:55]) it will be abundantly clear that the entire "address" is meant exclusively for the Nation of Israel, and them ALONE!
 

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