September 25, 1975
Tonight I want to give you some concluding facts about Paul and the book of Acts. I’ve gone over
everything that I’ve worked previously and this is all that I know about it. If you know any more,
keep it to yourself for a while. If there is anything in the Corps library on the life of Paul, read it.
These are the facts in synopsis form that I’ve put together.
One of the great facts is that I believe that Paul must have been out of Rome by 64 A. D. That was
the year when Nero had the big fire. I cannot imagine a prominent leader like Paul not being out of
that city by that time or he would have been burned like the rest of them.
Paul was arrested at Jerusalem and then sent to Caesarea where he was imprisoned by Felix and
detained for two years. Felix was succeeded by Festus who heard Paul’s defense. And Agrippa did
also. Now Felix was the procurator, 52 or 53 A.D. (Eusibius, the historian says he was appointed in
51 A.D.). According to Acts 24:10 Felix had been “many years” procurator when Paul stood before
him. I cannot think of many years as one or two years. The reason of course is that Paul was
mistaken for the false prophet and other things that occurred. Therefore, Paul must have stood before
Felix sometime after 54 A. D. If he was appointed in 51 A.D., then sometime after 54 A.D. Felix was
recalled to Rome no later than 61 A.D. because his brother, Palius, died in A.D. 62 and he interceded
for Felix in Rome; therefore, Felix must have beer in Rome in 61 A.D. Festus was helped by Nero’s
wife. Nero had married her in A.D. 62, so Festus was still in office sometime after A.D. 62.
Another interesting fact was that Paul was delivered to the prefect, Burrhus, who died in 62 A.D.
because two prefects were appointed in February, A.D. 62. Acts tells us that Paul wintered at Malta
and the sea is not opened until February, so Burrhus would have died by the time Paul arrived in 62
A. D. So Paul had to arrive in Rome no later than A.D. 61, but considering the navigation he would
have had to embark toward Rome in A. D. 60 before the sea became unnavigable. Sometime after the
fast that is listed in Leviticus 23:27 and Numbers 29:7 Paul was at Fair haven, Acts 27:8. So he
must have embarked from Caesarea for Rome about August no later than A. D. 60. And since Paul
was held by Felix for two years according to Acts 24:27, he had to be arrested in 58 A.D.
This fits with the information regarding Tertullus’ accusation which concerned the false prophet and
the sikarion who arose during the reign of Nero. Nero reigned from 54 A. D. to 68 A. D. The
compliment paid to Felix by Tertullus about the great quietness and numerous recorded events fully
account for at least three years; therefore, the earliest possible date for ~ arrest would be 57 A. D. and
the latest 58 A. D. in Jerusalem. Paul’s arrival at Rome would have been in 60 or 61 A.D. at the latest
and that would have to be early 61 A.D. He was imprisoned in Rome for two years, so if it was 61 A.
D. he would be out in 63, if 60 A. D. he’d he out in 62.
I know, therefore, that he was freed out of Rome by 64 A.D. when the city of Rome was burned in
July by Nero.
I have a note at the end of II Timothy, that say it was written from Rome when Paul was brought
before Nero the second time. If that is true then I know that it had to be before 68 A. D. because Nero
did not rule beyond that date. These are all the facts that I’ve been able to put together.
“day in which he was taken up” = ascension “through” = dia = “by” or “proceeding from” Here it is
the Giver giving it to Jesus by revelation.
“the Holy Ghost” = pneuma hagion
The commonly accepted teaching through the years is that the holy spirit first came into concretion
or manifestation on the day of Pentecost. If that is true how can he already be in operation in verse 2
of chapter 1?
First of all the word “ghost” I understand, but our times do not understand it in the sense in which the
Word gives it. I’d very much like to get rid of the word “ghost” if we could. That’s why in the Holy
Spirit Book we speak of it as spirit. Mark the holy spirit markings in the book of Acts from the
appendix in Receiving The Holy Spirit Today book. The confusion is that they did not distinguish
between the Giver and the gift.
There is no article “the” in any critical Greek text in verse 2. You must learn to handle the Word of
God without any articles since in the oldest manuscripts there is no article ‘the’ anyplace. Therefore,
it’s not important for us to work the Word from an ‘article’ point of view. It’s important to work it
without. We would not have had the difficulties with pneuma hagion had we not been English
because a proper noun has to be capitalized in English grammar. And it makes a lot of difference if
you capitalize “spirit” or leave it lower case. In all translations they capitalize it when they feel like it
and when they didn’t feel like it they left it in lower case.
“had given commandments”
We have people today who say that there are no commandments for the church to which we belong.
Bologna! We just don’t have the 10 commandments. One of the commandments we have is the law
of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. This is a command to us. Here Jesus Christ gave commandments
unto the apostles. Very few of those are retained for us. John 21:25 - “the world could not contain
the books” * figure of speech meaning voluminous things that Jesus Christ did and said. That’s why
the first verse in Acts the “all that Jesus Christ began to do and teach”, the ‘all’ is all without any
distinction. If it were all without exception you would have had “oodles and oodles” of books;
likewise with the commandments.
“the apostles whom he had chosen” — Luke 6:13 gives a listing of the apostles and one of those is
Judas Iscariot. Judas was from the city of Iscar, which was in Judea. Twelve were present on this
occasion. Therefore, Judas could not have been dead at this time. They have a real problem with this
and the remarkable thing is how they handle it. They just avoid it! Our minds trick us because of
what we have been taught previously. It’s a trick of the Adversary to blind our minds so we can’t see
the light of the gospel. He does this through people, through wrong teaching. Remember that Judas
Iscariot was the only apostle who was not a Galilaean.
As you work the Word remember to watch your pronouns. A pronoun is controlled by its closest
associated noun. It’s possible to have one noun or two nouns between it and yet the pronoun is
controlled by the closest associated noun.
“to whom” = the apostles whom he had chosen
“Also” precedes the word “alive.”
In verse 4 “them” is in italics but it is properly supplied. Watch the pronouns.
‘‘They,” ‘‘them,” ‘‘ye,” = the apostles whom he had chosen
Through verse 10 the pronouns refer to the apostles whom he had chosen. Verse 11 changes nouns
to men of Galilee. Sometime between the time reference in verse 10 and the opening of verse 11
somebody of the apostles whom he had chosen must have left. And that one can only be Judas
Iscariot because the remainders were all men of Galilee.
I wonder how many pronouns we really have in here between verse 2 and verse 11. 17 pronouns —
that’s real significant, isn’t it, using 17 pronouns before changing a noun again.
“passion” = death
“many infallible proofs”
The attestation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ has to be an infallible reality. Can you imagine one
as prominent as the Lord Jesus Christ upon whom they expended so much effort arid time to get him
crucified properly and to take care of him to see that he was really dead, and when word came to the
authorities as to his not being there, they first thought that the apostles had stolen him. But when they
looked twice they saw that the materials in which they wrapped him were still there, but something
on the inside was gone. Boy, that must have been stranger than fiction! Put yourself in the place an
authority. Do you think maybe you would have gone down and taken a look yourself? (You can’t call
a church St. Peter’s or St. anything unless you have one of the bones of the saint under the altar. That
old Pete must have had a lot of bones.)
I love that word “infallible proofs. “ In one of our research books I did a piece of work on the
appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ in his resurrected form and what he did on that Saturday after he
arose and on that Saturday night before he appeared to Mary or others on what we refer to as Sunday,
the first of the week. (Find out what work and read it and put it into your mind here in this section of
Acts. Note: this material was taught and is on the September 1986 Tape of the Month, teaching #2.)
This resurrection is a cataclysmic type of thing and this becomes real significant because when you
get to the new birth, that is the one thing you have to believe in. And it all begins right here in this
“forty days” — I don’t know the reason for the forty days. - I know the numerical work of it but why
forty days I really don’t know. It has to have something to do with that which would make it possible
for Jesus Christ to fulfill everything so that when you finally come to the day of Pentecost it can fully
come. The whole period of time is eight days after this is the day of Pentecost, so 1 don’t know why
he was seen of them forty days. Nor do I know what occurred or why God waited eight days to make
it a new beginning. I know of no record in the Word that gives me much light.
“speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” - why did he not talk to them about the
church to which you and I belong? He did not know it. Had he been God he would have known. But
he could speak about the kingdom. Whenever I think of the kingdom of God, I always think in terms
of a beautiful rainbow. It starts somewhere and I can’t see the beginning or the ending. That’s the
kingdom of God. It’s God’s kingdom and God is overall. He spoke to them about the kingdom. From
the context he talked to them about restoration because later on they say to him, “wilt thou at this
time restore the kingdom again to Israel?” Under that kingdom of God you have the original first two
chapters of Genesis, all of that and then the Patriarchs, the Law, the Church of the Bride — that’s all
under the kingdom - then the Church of the Body, then the Return of Christ. Whenever the Bible
talks about the kingdom of heaven it is only that period of time when the king from heaven, God’s
gift to man, Jesus Christ, was upon earth. When he was here you could have the church of the bride,
because the bridegroom was present. It was a calling out from Israel. This becomes real significant
here because he showed himself alive after his passion. They had crucified the bridegroom. Now
again he is alive. What about the kingdom now? See why that question would come’ up now
logically? “Will you now restore the kingdom to Israel, because the bridegroom is back?” That’s
really beautiful. That must have really been fantastic — he talked to them about the kingdom of God.
The reason it is in the genitive case is to put the emphasis on GOD – GOD’S Kingdom – or as it says
it in King James - Kingdom of GOD. God is the king of the kingdom, even when His son is her upon
earth. There’s a gospel record, a parable, where the fellow sent his servant into the vineyard and they
got rid of him and finally he sent his only son and they executed him, and of course, that refers back
to Christ. With that you put that record in Hebrews 11 - the prophets.
Dom = reign of the king
“assembled together with them” - Some center margins will say “eating together with them.” That’s
a bunch of bologna! Can you imagine for one minute that you’ve just got 15 minutes left upon earth
and now we’re going to make you a steak dinner! It just doesn’t make sense.
“Commanded them” - commanded the 12 apostles. The Word of God is the will of God.
“for” = “until” - You never wait for something, you wait until. We’re not waiting for the return of
Christ we’re waiting until he returns. Because waiting for something never brings anything.
“with” = en = “in”
“baptized in holy spirit” = promise of the Father in verse 4.
“not many days hence” — Why did he not say eight days? He did not know. Had he been God he
would have known.
“ye” = 12 apostles
Had Judas gone back to Jerusalem, waited there and believed, he would have received. Therefore,
Judas could not have been born of the wrong seed. Isn’t it funny how people always want people to
go to hell? Especially those you don’t like. That’s the last place I’d want anybody to go. Jesus Christ
willed that all might be saved. Jesus Christ didn’t come to send people to hell, but rather to keep
them out of it. I think this is absolutely beautiful. God so loved that He gave, Jesus Christ so loved
that he gave, we ought to so love that we give. Sure, Judas betrayed Jesus Christ, but he was with
him from the very time of Jesus Christ’s resurrection appearance. He could have seen him earlier but
I know he saw him then because there were 11 apostles present, and the only one that wasn’t there
was Thomas Didymus, the doubter. Jesus took Judas back, must have been there whenever he taught,
40 days. I call that love. Since Jesus Christ is our brother and our example, what about us?
He specifically told them to go back to Jerusalem. This is even more interesting to me because they
were all Galileans and Galileans were not liked in Jerusalem. They were segregated out to the
Galilean Hill. He sent them right back into Jerusalem.
In verse 12 it says they returned to Jerusalem. When they came to Jerusalem they came to an upper
room, verse 13. There were 11 apostles in verse 13.
John’s baptism was an outward water trip unto the remission of sins. It was not at all what the
baptism ‘in pneuma hagion not many days hence’ was going to be. It was like in the Old Testament
when the high priest would come out of the holy of holies on the Day of Atonement and lay his
hands on the head of a goat and then that goat was driven out in the wilderness and left there to die
carrying the sins of the children of Israel. It was simply that God had said that this was what He
would do for the children of Israel if they were there and believing at the time.
Mark 1:4; Matthew 3:11
When John baptized Jesus Christ he did it for the fulfilling of the law. John’s ministry was very brief,
perhaps six months. He baptized “en” water. There is only one way to rightly be baptized with water
and that is immersion. That’s why it’s “in,” so the Baptists were at least right in going under. So if
you are going to go water, you have to have immersion. John baptized IN water. It’s absolutely
remarkable that one of the last things that Jesus Christ said was that in verse 5 - be baptized in
pneuma hagion, because with the coming of the greater there was no reason for the lesser. The lesser
continued because as Acts 21:20 says, they were all zealous for the law. That continued for some
time in the book of Acts, but finally when the great revelation of what came on the day of Pentecost
was fully taught, then there is no more water baptism in the book of Acts. It is remarkable how we
can have lost all of that and gone back to water baptism through the centuries. Since about 200 A. D.
we’ve been back to it and just as adamant about it today as they were during any centuries. Christians
even kill each other over it.
Verse 5 is just as plain as day for those who have eyes to see.
It’s really remarkable this age. We are dealing with men who lived under two great administrations.
They were believers of Israel saved. Then on the day of Pentecost they were born again and belonged
to both the bride and the body. They were baptized with water and then pneuma hagion. Both
administrations are there. The reason the word “baptized” is used is because it’s a one-time deal. In
the old administration when they were baptized with water, they were just baptized once. When you
receive Christ in you it’s a one-time deal. That’s why it’s eternal life, a one- time deal and why
baptized is used here.
“not many days hence” - It said in verse 4 to wait in Jerusalem He didn’t know how many days.
What he knew he knew by revelation. He gave commandments to the apostles. God gave him the
information by revelation.
Luke 24:49-52 - tarry ye
The ascension occurred at Bethany. In Acts 1:2 the location had to be Bethany.
So when he told them to go back to Jerusalem they had to go from Bethany to Jerusalem because the
ascension occurred at Bethany.
Baptism with water is external and baptism with pneuma hagion is internal. That’s why the first
could be lost and the second can’t because the second is eternal life. That’s why Israel could only
remain saved as long as they believed. You believe once and you stay saved. That’s the difference.
“came” – should be deleted
Literally - “When they therefore were together” - Verse 6 in the King James Version implies that
they came together again, but was when they were together. Tie this together with “kingdom of God”
of verse 3.
“receive” = lambano – manifest
“power” = dunamis – potential power
He told them to wait until the promise of the father in verse 4. Verse 5 said should be baptized in
pneuma hagion. Verse 8 he said “ye shall lambano.” You can’t lambano until baptized (verse 5).
From Luke, the endued with power from on high, “endued” = clothed with – this is the dunamis —
Man of body and soul is naked spiritually. If you are clothed with, you are not naked. That’s why
Christ in you becomes eyes behind your eyes, ears behind your ears, nose behind your nose, etc.
The next step is to lambano. Jesus Christ knew they would lambano, but there is nothing in here
about the new birth, Christ in you, etc. But you could experience it before you could explain it. Jesus
Christ gave commandments to the apostles and among those commandments were what to do at a
certain time, how to act, etc. Go back to Jerusalem, etc. One of the criticisms of our ministry is that if
speaking in tongues is of God you wouldn’t have to teach people, but look, Jesus Christ taught them.
Jesus Christ told them what to look for - cloven tongues like as of fire, in Acts 2.
“ye shall he witnesses” — The witnessing is the lambano power if you work this in context. The
greatest witness I see in the Word is lambano dunamis. That’s the proof. The witness of speaking in
tongues, ye shall be witnesses unto me. Lambano is the key.
Going back to verse 6, they asked him, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to
Israel.” It’s really something. This is as unique here in verse 6 about the restoration of the kingdom
as it is that Peter later on leads the group in the selecting of someone to replace Judas Iscariot. Had
Judas hanged himself 40 days before this, Jesus Christ would have selected his replacement. Why did
Jesus Christ not select someone to replace Judas? Because Judas was still alive. So after the
ascension in those days Peter stood up and they selected someone to replace Judas. See how logical it
becomes in the Word? Judas was not selected as a goat to bear the brunt. He had potential. I believe
he had perhaps more natural leadership ability than the other apostles. That’s why Jesus Christ made
him secretary / treasurer, not to tempt him but rather because he was a capable man. Jesus Christ
would not have put a nincompoop in that position. Jesus Christ would not have put him there to
tempt him. (Temptation comes of man’s own lust.) Jesus Christ always did the will of God; therefore,
he couldn’t have put Judas in there to make the weakness of Judas show up. You don’t have to put a
man in a responsible position to make his weakness show up. Men would like to know the return of
Christ, but we don’t know. It’s not for you to know the times or the seasons. If they are not going to
know the times or the seasons, I doubt very much if you or I are going to squeeze it out of the Word
of God. As you’ll see later on in Acts, the return could have been one or two days after the day of
Pentecost. Only God knows when the body is full. We do know that Jesus Christ is coming back.
He was taken up. Takes us back to verse 2. That taking up was from Bethany, which has to be from
Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.