Acts of the Apostles and Afterward


Acts of the Apostles and Afterward

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By Stuart Allen

Book Review by Robert Guenther
This work is an exposition of the book called THE ACTS by early Christian leaders. We need an understanding of the book of Acts for two reasons:

(1) To realize that this book is not necessarily just a continuation of the accounts of the Acts of the Apostles, but it records the acts of the Holy Spirit working primarily through Peter and Paul which, by the way, with all that Jesus began both to do and teach - Acts 1:1.

(2) It helps us to place Paul's epistles in chronological order, which in turn helps us to understand the purpose of God after the resurrection of Christ.

Bear in mind that the revelation of the Mystery was not given unto the apostle Paul until AFTERWARDS.

In his introduction, Mr. Allen explains that the book of Acts is a summing up of some 40 years after the crucifixion of Christ in which Israel failed again in the purpose of God. It shows the response of the Gentiles, and the laying aside of the chosen nation, Israel. The book of Acts is not a historical record of the beginning of the ‘Church’, as in commonly taught by many preachers today, who mainly focus on the introduction of the Holy Spirit and the bestowing of His Gift as ours for today.

Chapters 1-28 of our book is a verse-by-verse exposition. As we walk through Acts we see Pentecost, the stoning of Stephen, the baptism of the eunuch by Philip, the visions of Peter, the reoffering of the kingdom as the hope, special miracles performed by Paul so that when handkerchiefs were sent to him diseases and evil spirits departed (Acts 19:11, 12), until we get to A.D. 70 when the Lord finally judged Israel and set her aside.

The last chapter is entitled AFTERWARDS. Here we can realize what has happened to Israel and the nations by the close of the book of Acts. Israel did not repent and resisted the Holy Spirit. As a result, she was laid aside in Acts 28, and the earthly kingdom was again postponed. We are told afterwards in Paul's prison epistles, mainly Ephesians and Colossians, that God had a secret purpose which was not revealed before. The nation's could now be blessed and even given a special hope that is in Heaven above all heavens, where we are seated with our Head, the Lord Jesus, in the highest glory (Ephesians 2:4-6). 

In conclusion, this is an easy to understand book about Acts. We appreciate Mr. Allen’s style of writing and agree with his logic and reasoning as to why it was necessary for the Acts to have been preserved.