Dear and Dear Brothers in Christ, we greet in the Peace of our Lord, who gave to us the Victory on our enemies. This victory he made visible in the Cross, there publicly exhibited like defeated to Satan, and the God's Plan was fulfilled and mas made in conformity with what God in his perfect will he had glided for the Humanity. The redemption of the World and the establishment of a new Agreement for men had signed with blood, the blood more beautiful that will never exist, the only one who could return to us the possibility of being again in the God's Presence. Now well, only in this moment begins the most big work that has been made in the Earth, the props were done of what today we are called a " God's Kingdom ", they were few more than 3 years of hard educations and radical changes for the humanity, but Jesus being able to do Him alone all the work, he has called us to form an Alliance with God, who now would be our Father. This way it begins the expansion of one of the God's marvels, the expansion of the good - new one, the Salvation for the people now is free and easy to acquire and only we have to agree to Jesus and his words, then follow him and work in that he entrusted us from those hills in Betania, in front of 500 ocular witnesses.
"Then Jesus came to them and said, “ All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Acts First part: Formation and Extension of the Church
The Book of the Acts of the Apostles narrates the extencion of Christ's gospel from Jerusalem up to Rome. Inside the apostolic generation, the gospel spread in all directions until reached all nation of the world acquaintance at the time (Colossians 1:23). Nevertheless, the N.T. (New Testament) limits itself to the statement of his expansion across Palestine, for the north up to Antioch, and then to the west across Asia minor and from Greece to Rome, including this way the region that was constituting the marrow of the Roman Empire. The book is titled Acst of the Apostles and most of it shows the acts of Peter and of Paul, Apostles of God, and especially of this last. Paul was the apostle of the gentles, to the not Jewish nations. One of the principal topics of the book, if not the principal one, in his relation to the general plan of the books of the Bible, is the extencion or expansion of the gospel to the gentile.
The O.T. (Old Testament) is the statement of the God's treatments for with the Hebrew nation across the centuries, in order to bless by means of this one to all the nations. The prophets of the O.T. dreamed again and again, and reported in divine language his dreams, from the day in which by means of the Hebrew nation, God would do a big and wonderful work among all the nations.
In this book of facts, finally begins that big and wonderful work between the nations. In this book the God's family passes of being a national matter to being an international, like this turns into world institution.
The author of Acts: To differences of Paul's epistles, he does not identify himself. The use of the first person ("spoke") in his initial words is an evidence of which the first ones in receiving the book knew of where was come. This book and the third gospel have been recognized from the beginning as Luke's indisputable work.
Date : Near the year 63 A.C., Paul after two years of being in jail in Rome (Acts 28:30). It seems to be incredible that the writer was not mentioning the result of Paul's judgment, if already it had been effected. Some of them think that possibly one of the immediate uses for which Luke was destining the book, was his reading like brief in Paul's judgment. Some modern critics assign to the literary paternity of the book a later date, being based principally that was written after Lucas's Gospel; which, they say, it could be written after the fall of Jerusalem in the year 70 A.C., Luke’s words 21:20-24 could not have been written but after the fall of the city. Such reasonings do not have any weight between the Christian believers for two reasons: The first one, is that we do not incline to believe that Luke, 40 years after Jesus' death, said words that he did not say; and the second one, that we do not have any difficulty in believing is that Jesus could predict future events.
About Luke : Little is known of Luke. Three times are mentioned by his name only in the N.T. In col 4:14 they name him " the dear doctor, " and is classifies him as gentile (v. 11). Other two places are Philemon 24 and 2 Tim 4:11. He is the only gentle author of the Bible. Eusebio says that he was native of Antioch.
Ramsey, one of the most big erudite Paulinos, believes that should have been of Philip. He was a man of culture and of scientific education, and domnate Hebrew and the classic Greek . He could have studied in the university of Athens. He joined with Paul in Troas (Acts 16:10 "us"). He stayed in Filipos (Acts 16:40 " went away ") until Paul returned there approximately six or seven years later, when he joined him again (Acts 20:5-6, "us"), and accompanied him up to the end.
Being a doctor he was specially useful for Paul.
Chronology : There are no sufficient reports to form an exact chronology, but sufficient to be able to bring the majority of the dates near the reall. Taking the year 30 A.C. as point of reference, unitedly with the death of herodes, mentioned in the Cap. 12, in 44 A.C., Festo's appointment (24:27) in 60 A.C., and certain phrases of Acts and of Galatians, could be formed a chronology related and brought near for the whole book.
The principal difficulty refers 3 years after Gal 1:18 and 14 years of Gal 2:1; if the 14 include the 3 or if they are to others of them; and if the visit to Jerusalem mentioned in Gal 2:1 refers to that of Acts 11:27-30 or the chapter 15:2.
The following scheme of dates can be considered to be like probably correct inside a limit of one or two years .
- Foundation of the church in Jerusalem 30 A.C.
- Stephen’s Stoning and dispersion of the church, 31 - 33 A.C.
- Saulo's conversion, 32 - 35 A.C.
- The Paul's First visit to Jerusalem after his conversion, 34 - 37 A.C.
- Cornelio's Conversion, 35 - 40 A.C.
- Foundation of the gentle church of Antioch, 42 A.C.
- The Paul's Second visit to Jerusalem, 44 A.C.
- The Paul's First missionary trip: Galacia, 45 - 48 A.C.
- The council of Jerusalem, 50 A.C.
- The Paul's second missionary trip: Greece, 50 - 53 A.C.
- The Paul's Third missionary trip: Ephesus, 54 - 57 A.C.
- Paul comes to Ephesus, 54 A.C.
- Paul goes out of Ephesus, in June (1Cor. 16:8), 57 A.C.
- Paul in Macedonia, in the summer and autumn (1Cor. 16:5-8), 57A.C.
- Paul in Corinth three months (Acts 20:2-3) of the winter, 57 - 58 A.C.
- Paul goes out of Philipos, April (Acts 20:6), 58 A.C.
- Paul comes to Jerusalem, June (Acts 20: 16), 58 A.C.
- Paul in Caesarean, summer of 58 A.C. to the autumn of 60 A.C.
- Paul's Trip to Rome, winter of 60 - 61 A.C.
- Paul in Rome, 61 - 63 A.C.
Acts Second Part
Cáp. 1. Christ's ascent
Theophilus It is to whom goes or one dedicates the book, he was probably a distinguished citizen Romano, possibly of Greece. Nothing is known of by accuracy only that were dedicated two of the books most important of the N.T., " The first agreement " that is Luke's gospel and the " second agreement " would be the book of The Acts this implies that the reported in Acts is also a Jesus' work.
40 days (3) During 40 days passed between his resurrection and his ascension, Jesus had appeared to his disciples individually or in groups, ten or eleven times that one tells us to dispel of his minds any doubt brings over of his existence continued as living person.
" The kingdom returns to Israel " (6) The political independence of His nation, one place emphasized in the world, is for what they were expecting from the Messiah, Jesus tactfully says to them that there are some things that they do not have to know.
Up to the last of the Earth " (8) This one was his last word, before penetrating the clouds. They did not forget it. Says the tradition that most of those who were there they died as martyrs in distant countries.
" This way will come " (11) He began from Betania's hills (Luke 24:50). It will come in visible form for the whole world (Matthew 24:27-28). The hope of his return was and it is the soul of the message of the apostles.
The high room (12-14) Possibly in the same place where Jesus had eaten the last dinner (Luke 22:12) probably Maria's home the mother of Mark (Acts 12:12) here they remained in prayer for ten days until the promise was done by the main wine from the sky like a stout wind was the Holy Spirit what they received on that so awaited and "glorious" day (8), (Cap. 2:2).
The women (14) This one is Maria's last mention the mother of Jesus. The apostles did not seem to feel the need of the mediation of she between them and Christ since later the churches were doing it apostates and since today different sects do it, as the Catholic Roman Church and sects marianist, between others.
The election of the successor of Judas (15-25) Of course that Jesus, when he put the foundations of the church, wanted that the apostolate was complemented until number of “twelve”, must have in the number some meaning that harmonizes with the set of the Biblical symbolism.
Jude “acquired a field” (18) In Matthew 27:7 says that the priests bought a field for Jude with the money of him. There is no contradiction; Judas acquired the field by the intervention of the priests. “Hanging itself one burst in his fall”.
Matthew 27:5 says that was hung Again, there is no contradiction, he was hung until the body in decomposition shut up and burst. Matías was elect to fulfill the prophecy (20), and to complete the symbolism (Apoc. 21:12 - 14). Nothing else it is known of Matías.
Cáp.2 Foundation of the Church of Jerusalem
Pentecost, 30 D.C. Fifty days after the crucifixión of Jesus, and ten days after its ascent. It thinks that in this year it was in the first day of the week. The celebration of Pentecost also was called the celebration of the fruits, or Crops, so that in this day the first fruits appeared to God of it harvests. Also the promulgation of the law was commemorated on the Sinai mount. How appropriate, then, that it was also the day of the promulgation of the gospel and to take shelter the first fruits of the world-wide harvest of this same!
“Languages, like of fire” (3) A miraculous visible manifestation of the presence of the Holy Spirit. The "languages" were not " static jargons ", but the languages of the peoples there presented (8), and understood as such for his natives who in this moment were meditating amazedly as normal men they were speaking his languages.
Joel's prophecy (16-21; Joel 2:28-32) What happened that day must not consider to be a total fulfillment of this prophecy, but only the beginning of a big and notable age.
Some of these prophecies refer to his conclusion, But we can announce that this event recognized in the history, for that early rain and for consequence, today Christ's church waits for the fulfillment of the rest of this prophecy, which is to spill of the late rain on Christ's real church.
The resurrection of Jesus (24-36) This one did the central point and invariable topic of the preaching of the apostles (4:2). Axis, engine and inducement in the life of these men of God.
Acts Fourth Part
Cáp. 3 Heals the Crippled Beggar
The miracles of the book of the Acts The place that gives to the miracles in this book is amazing.
Begins with a miraculous visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit in languages of fire (2:3). Immediately then wonder and signs were becoming by the apostles (2:43). Then the recover of a crippled man (3:7-11), that impress greatly the people (4:16-17). God answer the prayer of the apostles by means of an earthquake (4:31).
Ananías and Safira died miraculously, hurt by the Lord (5:5-10). They were continuing the miracles and prodigies of the apostles (5:12-16); very much people from the neighboring cities were cured by means of the shade of Peter, and many believed. The doors of the jail were opened by an angel (5:19). Stephen was doing prodigies and big miracles (6:8).
The samaritans believed because of the miracles done by Philip (8:5-7,13). Saulo was turned by means of a obice from the sky (9:3-9). By means of Ananías, fell the scales of Paul's eyes (9:18). Lida's region turned to Christ by means of Eneas's recover for Peter (9:32-35). Many people believed when Dorcas of the dead men revived (9:42). Cornelio was taken to the gospel across an angel and then by the word was done his convertion (10:3-4,44-46). Peter was guided to receiving the gentles by means of the vision and the God's voice (10:9-22). It was the miraculous manifestation of the Holy Spirit what convinced the Jews that Peter have reason (11:18). The door of the jail was opened by the power of an angel (12:10). The proconsul of Cyprus believed because of the blindness of the wizard (13:11-12). Paul made signs and miracles in Iconio (14:2), where believed great multitude. In Listra the recover of a lame person made believe to the multitude that Paul was a god (14:8-13). In the council of Jerusalem was says of the signs and marvels that God had done by means of Bernabe and Paul, to convince the others that to Paul's done things belonged to God (15:12). In Philipos Paul recovered the fortune-teller, and the earthquake collaborated for the conversion of the jailer (16:16-34).
Into Efeso the twelve were turned by means of the miraculous manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and the special miracles done by Paul's hand did that the word of the Lord was growing and prevailing (19:1-6,11-20). In Troas Paul raised from the dead men to a young man (20:8-12). In the island of Malta, Paul's impermeability to the bite of a mortal serpent, and the recover of many patients of the island by means of Paul, they impressed greatly the islanders (28:1- 10). If we remove of the Acts the miracles, too much little would leave us. However many critics despise the value evidencial of the miracles, remains the fact that God did abundant use of them in the initiation of the christianity in the world, the expansion of the God's Kingdom in the land.
Act Fifth Part
Cáp. 4 Imprisonment of Peter and of John
Jesus' resurrection (2) It was the proclamation of Jesus' resurrection between the dead men, which attracted on the apostles the ire of those who had crucified him. Notice the incessant emphasis on the resurrection, across all this book. It was the essential point of the speech of Peter in the day of Pentecost, and the proof more convincing of that Jesus was the Messiah. It was also the principal topic of the second speech of Peter and of his defense before the council. The preaching of the apostles was called to give testimony of the resurrection of the Jesus Lord (4:32) It was the resurrection the defense of Peter in his second accusation (5:30). A vision of revived Christ converted Paul (9: 3-6). Peter preach the resurrection to Cornelio (10: 40). Paul preach it in Antioch (13: 30-31). He preach it in Tesalonic (17: 3) and in Athens (17: 18, 31.32). In his defense in Jerusalem, Paul spoke of its vision of the Christ revived like cause of its conversion (22: 6-11). He explain to Festo that the hope of the resurrection was based in his conduct, and was this same what made shake to Felix (24: 15,25). The defense was the resurrection of Paul before Agripa (26: 8,23).
The resurrection is without a doubt the central subject of this book, as it is it for the Christian faith, bases and foundation of our hope, the Jesus resurrection is the axis and motor of our spiritual lives.
The fast growth of the church 3.000 first day (2: 41). Soon 5,000 men (4: 4). Soon multitudes of men like of women (5: 14) later “much multiply” including a great multitude of priests (6: 7) It was a powerful and wonderfull movement that advanced of irresistible way. It is possible to notice that this powerful that move was because of the unction in the apostles invested in them because of the sanctity, and not like today, product to adopt systems like cellular vision or religious marketing, that does not cause but that multitudes filling the churches, but without having in them some regeneration, just it is so much noise and entertainment, as today lamentably it is the church, a place of relaxation without spiritual life.
Joseph or Barnabas (son of Encouragement). This is the first time that is mentioned (4: 35-36). Cyprus Era, uncle of Marks (Col 4:14). He was good man and full of the Holy Spirit (11: 24). He was who persuaded to the church from Jerusalem to received Paul (9: 27); who later was envoy to receive the gentile church of Antioch (11: 19-24); and who went to Tarso to find Paul to begin in work (11: 25-26). Accompany to Paul in his first missionary trip and later he and Paul agreed upon to work separated, Paul with Silas and he with Mark.
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The Acts of the Apostles II