Book of Acts

Notes by Peter Philippi

Below is the set of notes from this series. Its purpose is simply to enhance the teaching sessions that were presented in person and recorded onto the audio tapes. Please call (847) 894-2893 for information on how you can obtain a set of the audio tapes or CDs produced.

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Introduction to Acts Acts 1:12-26
Acts 2:1-41 Acts 2:42 - 3:26
Lessons from Acts 4 Acts 4:31-5:14


1. Author: Luke

2. Chapters 1-8, 10 Predominantly Peter
          1-8 Peter preaching to Israel about their condition
          10 Peter and Cornelius
          15 Peter defending Paul’s ministry

3.  After Chapter 15 no more Peter, but Paul

4. Acts: Book of Transition
    From Israel’s Program to Gentile Program:
    Matthew: Christ is King and His Kingdom
    Mark: Christ is Servant
    Luke: Christ is Man
    John: Christ is God
    7 witnesses:
    John the Baptizer
    Simon Peter

    8 "I AM" statements:
    The Bread of Life
    The Light of the World
    I AM
    The door of the sheep
    The Good Shepherd
    The Resurrection and the Life
    The Way, the Truth and the Life
    The True Vine

    8 Signs:
    Turning of water into wine
    Nobleman’s son healed
    Impotent man healed
    Feeding of the 5,000
    Walking on the water
    Blind man healed
    Raising Lazarus from the dead
    Resurrection of Jesus Christ

    Acts: Book of Transition
    From Israel’s program to Gentile program
    Diminishing of Israel

    To the Jew ONLY (Matthew 10:5-8)
    To the Jew FIRST (Luke. 24:45-48; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:16)
    To ALL without distinction (After Acts 28)

5. In Acts we do not find the doctrine and practice for the Body of Christ
    What message should we preach?
    Acts 2:38, 3:19-20
    Acts 20:24 (I Corinthians 15:1-4)

    Problems with the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20
    The Great Commission – Matthew 28:19-20
    To whom is Christ giving this command? Matthew 28:16-18
    When is Christ giving the command? Before the creation of the Body of Christ
    Did the eleven keep the command? Galatians 2:6-9
    Should we teach believers to observe all things whatsoever Christ taught the eleven?
    Gospel of the Kingdom? 
    Conditional Blessing? Law-keeping?
    Are we, as they, commanded to go and baptize all nations?
    I Cor. 1:17; Ephesians 4:1-6; Romans 6

    - What message should we preach?
    - Where and to whom shall we preach?
    - What is our pattern for giving?
    - What is God’s healing program?
    - What is God’s deliverance program?
    - Should we expect the consequences Ananias and Saphira suffered?

6. Luke’s Introduction to Acts

1.   The theme of Luke’s first book: all that Jesus began both to do and teach 1:1
      What He began to do:
      What He began to teach
      Kingdom message
      His Messiahship
      Words that proclaimed His deity

2.   The transition to Acts: the Ascension

3.   The transition to Acts: Christ’s post-resurrection appearances – “Many Infallible    Proofs”
      1. The testimony of Jesus Christ
      2. The testimony of those who heard Him
      3. The testimony of a man who doubted
      4. The testimony of a man who was transformed
      5. The testimony of those who saw Him
          - Mary Magdalene
          - Women returning from the tomb
          - Peter later in the day
          - Emmaus disciples
          - Apostles without Thomas
          - Apostles with Thomas
          - Seven by the Lake Tiberias
          - To over 500
          - To James
          - At the Ascension
          - To Paul on the road to Damascus
          - To Stephen
          - To Paul in the Temple
          - To John on Patmos
      6.   The testimony of people who have sought to disprove the resurrection
      7.   The testimony of lawyers and scholars

4.   The transition to Acts: final commandments to the apostles
5.   The transition to Acts: Christ’s post-resurrection theme
6.   The transition to Acts: Christ’s post-resurrection command to wait for the baptism with the Holy Spirit
7.   The transition to Acts: the apostles inquiry regarding the restoration of the kingdom
8.   The transition to Acts: Christ’s commission for the apostles
9.   The promise of Christ’s second coming

7. Acts Time Line

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ACTS 1:12-26

   I     The apostles’ joyful return to Jerusalem

  II     The apostles’ worship and prayer

  III    The truth about Mary the mother of Jesus

  IV    The selection of Judas’ replacement
          1. Peter acting on the basis of an understanding of Scripture
          2. Peter acting on the basis of having been given the Holy Spirit
          3. It was necessary to have 12
          4. It was necessary to have 12 prior to the day of Pentecost
          5. It was necessary to replace Judas
          6. The qualification of Judas’ replacement
          7. Paul could not have been the right choice because he did not meet the qualifications set forth by Christ and confirmed in Acts 1
          8. Paul distinguished himself from the 12
          9. The decision was bathed in prayer
        10. They wanted to know whom God had chosen
        11. The method of selection was consistent with scripture
        12. From that point Matthias was numbered with the eleven
        13. There is no hint in scripture that the choice was wrong
        14. Once the choice was made they were all filled with the Holy Spirit

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ACTS 2:1-41

1.   There is no mention of the Body of Christ until Paul’s epistles

2.   Pentecost is a Jewish feast day that has no relation to the Body of Christ

3.   To assume that because the Holy Spirit filled all of them signifies the beginning of the Body of Christ is completely erroneous

4. This is all Jewish-centered

5.   This is prophecy, not Mystery

6.   The Jew, like the Gentile, had to be alienated from God before both Jew and Gentile could be reconciled to God

7.   The Kingdom was not offered to Israel until Acts 3 – how could the Body of Christ have begun in Acts 2?

8.   Israel was represented by two loaves, the Body of Christ is represented by one loaf

9.   Wind is symbolic of the Holy Spirit

10.  The fire of Acts 2 is not to be confused with the fire of Matthew 3:11

11.  Fire and tongue(s) also appear together in James 2:1-10

12.  The tongues of Acts 2 were discernible, existent languages

       1- Tongues were part of God’s plan for Israel
       2- In Genesis 11, God gave them tongues so they could not understand each other; in Acts 2 God gave them tongues so they could understand each other
       3- Tongues were given by the Spirit, at a point in time
       4- Tongues were given for a specific purpose
       5- In Acts 10, the gift of tongues was given to Gentiles to tie them to Acts 2
       6- Spiritual gifts were given to the Body of Christ in its infancy before the Word of God was completed
       7- When tongues were given to the Body of Christ, only a few had the gift
       8- There is something far superior than any spiritual gift: love
       9- Love empowers you to have exceptional and unique relationships
       10- Paul taught that tongues would cease
       11- Tongues were given as a sign to unbelievers
       12- Tongues were not given so that many in the church would speak at one time
       13- Tongues were only to be used in the church by a maximum of 2-3 individuals, only one at a time, and only if someone could accurately interpret what was being communicated
       14- The Jewish multitude didn’t understand what was going on
       15- Peter and the eleven, in their proper role, address the multitude
       16- Notice Peter is prominent among the 12 in early Acts
       17- Peter’s message: the fulfillment of Joel 2 has begun
       18- These were the “last days” of prophecy
       19- Peter refers to those days as the “last days” (of prophecy) and not the “first days” (of the Body of Christ)
       20- Peter’s proclamation, based on prophecy, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved 
       21- Paul’s proclamation, based on God’s new program, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved
       22- Peter’s proclamation of the death and resurrection of Christ was positioned as “bad news” to Israel
       23- Peter’s proclamation of the death and resurrection of Christ was not followed by an appeal to trust this work for salvation
       24- Peter proclaims the Jews’ part in the death of Christ
       25- Peter proclaims the inevitable resurrection of Christ
       26- David prophesied regarding the resurrection of Christ
       27- God raised Christ from the dead
       28- The Apostles are witnesses of the resurrection
       29- Peter’s proclamation that Christ was now active in their midst
       30- Peter’s proclamation of the death and resurrection of Christ was positioned as “bad news” to Israel
       31- Peter’s proclamation of the death and resurrection of Christ was not followed by an appeal to trust this work for salvation
       32- Peter’s proclamation of the Kingdom rights of our Lord Jesus Christ
       33- Peter’s proclamation of the promise to Israel
       34- There’s good news and bad news about the Jews’ response to Peter’s message - Good News: 3000 saved / Bad News: only 3000 were saved when the whole nation should have responded!!!

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ACTS 2:42-3:26

1. The new believers’ way of life
a) They focused on doctrine
b) They delighted in fellowship 
c) They enjoyed eating together
d) They prayed together 

2. Full throttle to the Kingdom program!

3. A real taste of the Kingdom program

4. The tragic case of mistaken identity

5. Everything is pointing to the culmination of prophecy!

6. The healing of the lame man is a demonstration of the special power given to the apostles under their commission

7. The lame man is a picture of Israel outside the Temple

8. The lame man is a picture of Israel “not able to walk”

9. The lame man is a picture of Israel seeking for temporal blessings

10. The interaction between Peter, John and the lame man is representative of the role the message and ministry of the Little Flock will have with Israel

11. The power the apostles used was “the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth”

12. The lame man is a picture of Israel experiencing Kingdom blessings

13. Peter draws attention away from themselves and puts it on what God is doing for Christ’s sake

14. The healing of the lame man is a key event in Israel’s program starting a whole series of events

15. The contrast between what God is doing with His Son and what Israel has done to His Son
a) God glorified His Son
b) Israel delivered Him up
c) Israel denied Him
d) Israel chose a murderer over the Holy and Just One
e) Israel killed the Prince of Life
f) God raised Him from the dead
g) Peter and John are witnesses of the resurrection

16. Peter pronounces their guilt in the death of Christ and their need to repent of that guilt; Paul’s message of grace is that God is not laying this guilt on us and offers reconciliation and righteousness on the basis of faith alone

17. The faith the lame man exercised was the faith all the nation should have exercised

18. The plaintiff comes to the defendants’ aide

19. The purpose of God has been fulfilled in the death of Christ

20. The Victim offers forgiveness to His killers

21. The Victim offers measureless blessings to His killers

22. A very significant distinction: the message of the Kingdom has been proclaimed by all the prophets since the world began; the message we proclaim today, the “mystery”, has been hid since the world began

23. Moses warned Israel of rejection of Messiah

24. All the prophets foretold of “these days”

25. The promises and covenants belong to Israel!

26. The prophetic order of blessings prophesied is once again established

27. The true blessing God offered Israel: “turn away every one of you from his iniquities”

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Lessons from Acts 4

1. When man is faced with the truth man is faced with a choice 

2. Acts 4 has representatives from three distinct groups: the little flock, the nation, the builders

- The priests
- The captain of the Temple
- The Sadducees
- The rulers
- The elders
- The scribes
- Annas the high priest 
- Caiaphas
- John
- Alexander
- The kindred of the high priest

3. Man’s rejection of the truth causes him to attack both the truth and the messenger
4. No matter how severe the attacks against the truth, no one can keep people from responding positively to the truth

5. Miracles don’t produce faith, the Word of God does 

6. When man rejects the truth he is blinded to the evidence 

7. Man cannot frustrate the sovereign plan of God


Man’s Doing

God’s Doing 

10 Ye crucified Him God raised Him;
By Him the lame man is made whole
11-12 Despised the stone Head of the corner;
Salvation only through Him
18,21 Don’t speak
Don’t teach
23-24   God is sovereign creator
25 Heathen rage
People imagine vain things
26 Kings stood up against the Lord and His Christ  
27 Herod, Pontius Pilate, Gentiles & people of Israel gathered against God’s Holy child  
    God anointed Him
28   What was done was predetermined by the hand and counsel of God
29-31   Filled them with the Holy Spirit
Gave them boldness

8. There is only one provision for salvation 

9. Belief and commitment to the truth and to Christ, plus being controlled by the Spirit, gives uncommon boldness

10. Education and worldly wisdom have nothing to do with doing God’s work effectively, and are frequently a hindrance 

11. Facts may be undeniable and confessed, but faith is in a different dimension

12. When man rejects the truth he will frequently attempt to silence it, and even become violent against it (hardened hearts)

13. God’s ambassadors will invariably be faced with the choice of being intimidated by man or boldly proclaiming the truth regardless of man’s threats and attacks

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Acts 4:31-5:14
The Way Things Will Be In The Kingdom

1. Blessings of the Kingdom









2. Judgment in the Kingdom










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