20. In Acts 19:3 to 7, we find the last record of any person baptized with water. In the same chapter we learn that those who were baptized received the Holy Spirit after the imposition of hands; and that then they spoke with tongues and prophesied. In the same chapter we have the record of Paul’s casting out demons and miraculously healing with the use of handkerchiefs and aprons. We find that the circumcision of believing Jews was endorsed after this last record of water baptism, Acts 21:18 to 21. Sign healings are also recorded after this last record of water baptism. Acts 28:8. After Acts 28:28 there are no evidences of the continuation of signs or water baptism. Read I Timothy 5:23 and Ephesians 4:5. It would seem consistent to continue the imposition of hands and expect tongues, prophesying, healing, miracles and other signs, if we continue the practice of water baptism.
21. In the Book of Acts the following eight Jewish words are found 264 times, whereas the same eight words are found only 241 times in the synoptic. Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke, which are 98 per cent Jewish: “Jew”, “Israel”, “synagogue”, “law”, “Moses”, “temple” “Jerusalem” and “father”. The Book of Acts opens with a little company of Jews in Jerusalem. In the second chapter, the Book deals with devout Jews from every nation under heaven, including some Jews from Rome. Acts 2:10. In the last chapter of Acts, 30 years later, Paul is addressing a company of Jews in Rome concerning Moses and the prophets. Acts 28:19 to 28. Israel’s “fathers”, are mentioned from Acts 3:13 to Acts 28:25 twenty-eight times. As long as Israel was addressed as “brethren” they were protected nationally before God. The Book of Acts is 85 per cent Jewish. Israel, as a nation, was not set aside by God until after the close. of Acts.
22. In the Book of Acts we find no beginning of the fulfillment of Luke 21:24: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
There is not the slightest hint in the “Acts” period that the judgment pronounced in Luke 21:20 would fall upon Israel, except the words of Paul in Acts 13:40, Romans 11:11 to 25, I Thessalonians 2:14 to 16. Israel enjoyed the favor of Rome during the “Acts” period. Politically the “times of the Gentiles” began about 600 B.C. II Kings 25:1 to 30; Jeremiah 52:1 to 34. Spiritually, or religiously, “the times of the Gentiles” began after Acts 28:28. Paul, the Israelite, was the Apostle to the Gentiles. He instructed Timothy what to teach others. II Timothy 2:2. Timothy was half Jew and half Gentile. Acts 16:1 to 5. Timothy was the connecting link in the transfer of spiritual authority from Israel to Gentiles and the handing down of Paul’s deposit. II Timothy 1:12 to 15: II Timothy 2:2. (R.V.) Politically and spiritually the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled when the Son of man comes to redeem Israel, after the fulfillment of II Thessalonians 2:2 to 9.
23. From the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry, until God granted unto Cornelius repentance, unto life, about seven or eight years after: Pentecost, God’s order was, “to the Jews only”. Beginning with Paul’s ministry out of Antioch, until Acts 28:25 to 28, God’s order was, “to the Jews first, also to the Gentiles.” After Paul’s statement, in Act 28:28, “the salvation of God is sent to Gentiles;” God’s order was “to the Gentiles, also to the Jews.” Ephesians 2:17. After Acts 28:25 to 28, credential signs, signs-gifts and tongues ceased, (I Corinthians 13:8); for God’s order was no longer “to the Jew first.” Philippians 2:27. II Timothy 4:20. I Timothy 5:23 After Acts 28:28 there was one baptism, a Divine baptism not made with hands Colossians 2:12. Ephesians 4:5. After Acts 28:28, Paul wrote his prison epistles and in them mentioned “the mystery” twelve times. Read Ephesians 3:9 and obey it.
24. During the years covered by the Book of Acts, God’s order was “to the Jew first”. Believing Jews remained under the law, (Acts 10:28, Acts 21:18 to 25, Acts 20:16) keeping Pentecost twenty years after Christ’s resurrection. “The Jews require a sign.” I Corinthians 1:22. Water baptism was, that Christ might be manifest to Israel.” John 1:31. During the “Acts” period Paul wrote I and II Thessalonians, I and II Corinthians, Galatians and Romans. During that period sign and water baptism continued and sign-gifts. I Corinthians 12:8 to 11, During that period Paul became as one under the law to those who were under the law, in accordance with I Corinthians 9:20 to 22. Read Acts 16:3; Acts 18:18; Acts 21:18 to 28; Acts 20:16; Acts 23:5 and 23:6. There was one order for the Jews that believed and another order for the Gentiles which believed, Acts 21:25.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.