I’m sure you have probably heard the statement that the book of Acts is a historical book that tells how the church began and carried on its work. Maybe you even feel strongly this is correct. You would feel this way because you have most likely heard many people make this statement or have read it in books written by very smart people. As the title of this blog says, let’s state some very obvious things for you to consider. The book of Acts opens with a church (a called out assembly) already in place and one better that that, it is the assembly chosen and built by Jesus himself. To make up for this problem theologians that don’t take a literal approach to scripture will then use cute stories like the “boat” analogy. This analogy states that the church was built by Jesus and then “launched at Pentecost”. People sit in pews all across America and believe these stories because they sound good. The main problem with this false story is that you are NOT in view in the beginning of the book of Acts. You as a gentile are not view in the book of Acts till AFTER Paul gets knocked off his donkey in chapter 9. In Acts 1:6 the subject is the restoration of the kingdom to Israel. The oft quoted and so misunderstood 2nd chapter is VERY CLEARLY addressed to Israel in verses 5, 10, 14, 16, 22, 30 and if we tried a little harder we could probably find plenty more references to things pertaining to Israel. If Acts 2 is the birth of the church you are a member of why does much of Christianity not believe the signs and wonders are still happening? Why have you not sold all you possessions? Why I must ask you is the Holy Spirit not striking people dead when they fudge on their financial decisions? Why are prison doors not being opened in China, Saudi Aribia and other countries where Christians are being held captive? I understand this makes a good lyric for the gospel music singers, but the doors are STILL LOCKED and the Christians are still there suffering. Why is it that Peter says:
Act 5:29-31 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Why do you still stubbornly hold to church tradition and claim this is your church and these words are for you? Either these words are correct and belong to Israel or you are denying the actual words in scripture to claim something for yourself. There is no other option. When confronted with the ACTUAL WORDS of the Bible, Christianity acts just like the Jews at Stephens defense before his accusers in chapter 7:8 and “always resist the Holy Ghost” Is this not the case? If scripture is clear and also different than the tradition you believe, are you still resisting that which the Holy Ghost wrote?
It is not till chapter 9 that Paul is told he will be sent to you. You can’t take what is given to Paul and force it backward into Israel’s program no matter how bad you want to. This is the cause of all the confusion today. Acts is NOT a history of the birth of the church, it is a history of the FALL OF ISRAEL. Why do the disciples continue to follow the law throughout the book? (Acts 21:20) Why does the church at Jerusalem follow Paul around and tell Paul’s converts they must follow the law? (Acts 15.) Why do the disciples continue to preach only to Jews?
Act 11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
The sad thing is that most of Christianity does not pay any attention to these things. They are content to not worry about the things they don’t understand. These questions are NEVER ASKED much less answered. We would rather worry about the church softball league and the cantata coming up more than the actual words that you are relying on for your future in ETERNITY. You might blindly trust your pastor this much but just remember this:
Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Your pastor will not be standing with you when you are giving account of YOURSELF and your method of PERSONAL Bible study. You will give account of yourself. Church tradition says Acts is the beginning of the church. The words themselves in the book of Acts and your Apostle Paul deny this. You would think this would be enough for Christians to reject tradition and start believing the Bible. Sadly in most cases you would be wrong. It is too much today to ask Christians to believe the words alone in the Bible, when people who claim to know better explain the words away to prop up whatever agenda they are selling. In today’s churches, stating the obvious is set aside to make room for tradition.
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul