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The Persecuted Church


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Are we in Acts 29?

Often times we here of phrases that seem to catch on but have significance in a detrimental not a beneficial way.

Acts 29 is a misnomer because the book of Acts is accurately called “the Acts of the Apostles,” not the acts of the church or the saints. It follows the activity of the Holy Spirit first given to the church on Pentecost. Some believe it is appropriate to call it The Acts of the Holy Spirit (The New Unger's Bible Dictionary.)

“The Spirit is mentioned nearly 60 times in the book. In His parting words, Jesus reminds the disciples of the promise of the Father (1:4-8); ten days later the power of the Spirit descends at Pentecost (2:1-4). Persons "from every nation under heaven" (2:5) are enabled by the Holy Spirit to hear "the wonderful works of God" (2:11), and so the Christian church was born. (Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)

The Title is simply "Acts" Praxeis (NT:4183) in 'Aleph (Codex Sinaiticus), Origen, Tertullian, Didymus, Hilary, Eusebius, and Epiphanius. "The Acts of the Apostles " Praxeis (NT:4183) apostoloon (NT:646) is the reading of B, D, 'Aleph (Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament)

It historically follows Peter who is an apostle to Israel, and then focuses on Paul after he converted as a biographical narrative of Pauls missionary journeys to the Gentiles to being brought to Rome in chains.

Some want to make the book of Acts continuing, as good as their intentions may be it was a specific time in history where the apostles, those who were alive with Jesus went and started churches throughout Asia. To give the impression that we are living in the time period of Acts is wrong and does open the door to many exaggerations and heresies (such as new apostles like the original)

The Acts of the Apostles written somewhere between 60-63 ad is a history written by the physician Luke that accompanied Paul. After his the Gospel: "The former account [Gospel of Luke] I made, O Theophilus" (Acts 1:1). He supplements the epistles (His) and gospels on the office of apostle and prophet leading the church in the new revelation given by Christ through the Holy Spirit. It records apostolic miracles as they went out from Jerusalem on their missionary journeys. From the Jews (Acts 2) to the Samaritans (Acts 8) to the Gentiles (Acts 10) and records the first Council convened in Jerusalem, Acts 15:23.

It follows Peter and then Pauls mission work to the Gentiles not mentioning the end of his life as a martyr which does endorse a later date. John is mentioned three times; James, the son of Zebedees execution by Herod is recorded. It details Pauls conversion not found in any other epistle.

It shows the resistance and persecution to the spread of the gospel by the apostles. As some were delivered to councils, (Peter and John), Acts 4:5 and imprisoned, (Peter and John), Acts 4:3. Some were brought before rulers and kings, as Paul before Gallio, Acts 18:12, before Felix, Acts 24, before Festus and Agrippa, Acts 25. Stephen, approved by the apostles gave witness Acts 6:10 and were put to death, (as the first martyr Acts 7:59), and James the brother of John, Acts 12:9. Paul and Silas were beaten, Acts 16:23. Paul gave witness before Felix Acts 24:25. A third of the book is dedicate to Pauls imprisonment.

The “Book of Acts he mentions 95 different persons from 32 countries, 54 cities, and 9 Mediterranean islands. (Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary).

The church is built upon the "foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:20). While it continues to grow upon this foundation to compare our time period to the early gospel history among those who were alive with Jesus is a mistake and can lead to many errors. While we can draw from it and see modern application in the persecution of Christians and the gospel continuing we must keep this written record inspired of the Holy Spirit as unique.

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