The Acts of the Apostles

Isaiah 46:13 - ...and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

Lesson 96: Christ, the Rock of Israel (Pt. 16)
"Acts 1-7 According to Jesus (Pt. 1)"

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Mar. 15, 2023  |  Acts 1:1-11; Matt. 3:11-12; 12:31-32; Luke 24:13-27  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we begin our transition out of the Gospel period and into the extension of mercy to Israel following the passion of the Lord.  This opening message focuses upon the early verses of Acts and what the Lord's words to his apostles shows us about how to understand the coming chapters.  Without a doubt, the Lord points us back to the Gospels as the foundation for understanding what is about to take place next.  Far from the cross being the end of prophecy and the kingdom program to Israel, it is shown to be the necessary prophetic event that allows for the continuation of the prophetic timeline.  This is in stark contrast to the modern day view of Christendom, but this distinction is very important to the proper understanding of God's word.  We only scratch the surface of this subject in this message, but cover enough to understand that the cross was not the end for Israel.

Lesson 97: Christ, the Rock of Israel (Pt. 17)
"Acts 1-7 According to Jesus (Pt. 2)"

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Mar. 22, 2023  |  Matthew 12:31-41  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we continue with the doctrine of the Lord concerning what will take place in the prophetic program following His death and resurrection.  The focus of this study is on "the sign of the prophet Jonas" and the significance it bears upon what takes place in Acts 1-7.  The confirmation of the identity and authority of Jesus of Nazareth as "the Son of man" will be given as one final sign to the evil and adulterous generation with opportunity to repent.  The One who they have taken and by wicked hands crucified and slain is raised up the third day and following those events there will be an opportunity to respond with a change of mind concerning the truth that He is both Lord and Christ.

Lesson 98: Christ, the Rock of Israel (Pt. 18)
"Acts 1-7 According to Jesus (Pt. 3)"

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Mar. 29, 2023  |  Luke 12:49-59; 13:1-9  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we continue our preparation for Acts 1-7 by looking at the parable of the barren fig tree and the events leading up to it.  As we have seen in past lessons, the negative response to the Lord's ministry had been met with ominous warnings from the Lord.  While forgiveness and repentance would not be taken off the table in response to Israel's blasphemy of Him and the Father, there would only be one more opportunity for the nation to change her mind.  The division had been present and would be coming with greater fire than it had been experienced to that point, and the Lord warns that division and not peace would be the character of the program going forward until fulfillment.  In this context, Jesus warns that except they repent, they would all perish.  The parable of the fig tree conveys how this will be administered.  One final & merciful opportunity will be extended to Israel before the fig tree is cut down.  The relationship of this to the early Acts period is the subject of these teaching.

Lesson 99: Christ, the Rock of Israel (Pt. 19)
"Acts 1-7 According to Jesus (Pt. 4)"

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Apr. 5, 2023  |  John 14:11-31; 15:18-27  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we continue looking at the preparations for the additional year of repentance to Israel that will be given in Acts 1-7.  While the emphasis of the last few messages has been upon the nation as a whole, this message shifts to look at what the next phase of the program will mean for the believing remnant of the nation.  In the final hours of the Lord's pre-crucifixion ministry, He will begin instructing His apostles about the Comforter that will be sent to them, even the Spirit of truth.  The ministry and witness of the Spirit will be the apostles' resource as they embark upon a ministry in the absence of the Lord.  The preliminary details of that instruction is the subject in this study.

Lesson 100: Christ, the Rock of Israel (Pt. 20)
"Acts 1-7 According to Jesus (Pt. 5)"

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Apr. 12, 2023  |  John 16:1-15; Matt. 10:16-42; Luke 12:8-12; Mark 13:5-13  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we continue looking at the Lord's instructions to the apostles before He heads to the cross.  The words of the Lord ring true with respect to the ministry that the coming Comforter will have with them as they offer repentance to Israel in the early Acts period.  The Lord shows the expediency of His departure and the Spirit's coming in view of what the program holds moving forward.  Rather than a reason for sorrow, it was a reason for joy if only the apostles understood it for what it was.  They did not understand it at the moment, but it would be taught them and they would rejoice with full joy in time to come.  The details of John 16 are married to several other passages from each gospel record and we conclude our prep work for Acts 1-7 in this study.

Lesson 101: Christ, the Rock of Israel (Pt. 21)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Apr. 19, 2023  |  Acts 1:1-11  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we revisit the prophet thread of doctrine concerning Christ the Rock of Israel and reorient ourselves to where we stand in relation to the development of the doctrine of the stone on the timeline.  At the end of the gospels, Christ had been made the rejected and precious stone.  Israel's religious leadership had blasphemed Him and His blood had been shed to provide for the New Testament blessing of the little flock.  The next phase of the program would involve that rejected and precious stone being laid in Zion as the Chief Cornerstone.  This is the prophet theme of Acts 1-7 that we begin to trace as we work through these chapters.  For this study, the subject is the forty days of post-resurrection ministry that the Lord conducts with His apostles before ascending to the Father.  The continuation of prophecy is made clear and we get even further witness that Israel's kingdom program is progression right on schedule.

Lesson 102: Christ, the Rock of Israel (Pt. 22)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Apr. 26, 2023  |  Acts 1:12-26  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we explore the remainder of Acts 1 and the actions that the apostles take in the appointment of Matthias.  Were the apostles too hasty in their actions?  Did they make a grave mistake in replacing Judas with this man?  Were they acting out of line with the will of the Lord?  Or were they doing exactly what must have been done at the time?  These questions and a summary of the background material that helps with the answers is the subject of this lesson.  We look at the authority of the apostles that the Lord Jesus spoke of prior to His return to the Father and the timing for the building of the kingdom church that the Lord prophesied would take place and the timing for which Peter would be given the keys of the kingdom of heaven in connection with it.  These are important concepts to understand as we rightly divide the word of truth and come to the appreciation for what God was doing in the early Acts period of time.

Lesson 103: Christ, the Rock of Israel (Pt. 23)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  May 3, 2023  |  Acts 2:1-21  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we look at the commencement of the middle or second phase of the climactic stage of Israel's kingdom program.  The key descriptors used by the Holy Ghost through Luke's pen are used to direct our understanding about exactly what is taking place in Acts 2.  There are parallels to the events that began the first phase at the beginning of the Gospels and the arrival of John Baptist that we take note of and compare to Luke's account of the day of Pentecost.  The details recorded are unmistakable.  The Lord has prepared us for how to understand the passage and Peter does not mince words in his explanation that this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel!

Lesson 104: Christ, the Rock of Israel (Pt. 24)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  May 10, 2023  |  Acts 2:14-41  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we examine Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost.  Starting from the explanation for the outpouring of the Spirit in accordance with the prophecy of Joel 2, Peter goes on to confront the nation with the identify of Jesus of Nazareth.  The man who had labored among them as a minister with the clear approval of God the Father by the good works that He did, they had rejected, crucified and slain.  However, what they had purposed for evil had been foreknown to God, and He had determined to incorporate their rejection of the Christ into His grand plan.  This is no better demonstrated than by the prophecies of David in the book of Psalms in which he foretold of Christ's death, burial and resurrection and His exaltation to the Father's right hand before the great a notable day of the LORD.  Upon these proofs that match what had occurred with Jesus of Nazareth, Peter asserts that God hath made the same Jesus that Israel had crucified both Lord and Christ!  He is Savior and Judge and the critical time in Israel with the arrival of the last days demanded that the nation repent and be baptized in identification with their rejected Messiah and his servants, the called out remnant of Jacob lest they be destroyed from among the people!

Lesson 105: Christ, the Rock of Israel (Pt. 25)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  May 17, 2023  |  Acts 2:42-47; 3:1-26  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we move beyond Pentecost and see the first in line of notable miracles wrought by the apostles.  The significance of the healing of the lame man in Acts 3 possesses prophetic significance and is both typical and instructive for the nation Israel in view of the arrival of the last days.  The great event outside the Beautiful gate of the temple leads to the preaching of Peter's second sermon in Solomon's porch.  Therein Peter again indicts the nation for the murder of Messiah and exhort the nation to repent and be converted as he offers the kingdom to them with all things now made ready.  The exciting details of Luke's account of these happenings are sure to fill the heart with gladness in the understanding of the prophetic program.

Lesson 106: Christ, the Rock of Israel (Pt. 26)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  May 24, 2023  |  Acts 4:1-22; 5:12-42; 6:8-15  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we take a look at the three honest opportunities to repent that were given to Israel's leadership in the early Acts period.  With an ever increasing sign ministry at work among the apostles and the growing of the multitude that was added to the Lord, Satan's men in apostate Israel had to take note and move to stop the advancement growth of the little flock.  This manifested itself in the apprehension of the apostles and several run-ins in which they sought to accuse them.  Conversely, however, the Spirit by which they spake put Israel's leaders on the defensive, charging them with the murder of Messiah and showing them repeatedly how that they were fighting against God and positioning themselves as His foes for the coming day of the Lord.  This study is concerned with highlighting these three opportunities and understanding them in view of the outworking of Phase 2 of these end times in Israel.

Lesson 107: Christ, the Rock of Israel (Pt. 27)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  May 31, 2023  |  Acts 6:8-15; 7:1-60  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we study the address of Stephen before the Sanhedrin.  The review of Israel's history of rebelliousness and contrariness is put on full display as Stephen masterfully shows the persistent rejection of God that Israel has exemplified from the time of the patriarchs forward.  From the days of Abraham, God's word had looked impractical and improbable, yet God had been faithful to do what He said.  Contrarily, Israel had fought against God and his intended blessings for them, repeated refusing and rejecting the salvation of God.  This is demonstrated with both Joseph and Moses and the hypocrisy of Israel's leadership is put on full display.  All of this draws the leadership to a final point of decision.  Will they a repent?  Or will they harden themselves as the Lord's determined foes as they approach that great a notable day of the Lord?  This message seeks to show these details and answer these questions.

Lesson 108: Christ, the Rock of Israel (Pt. 28)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Jun 7, 2023  |  Acts 7:54-60; 4:23-32; Ps. 2:1-12; 7:6; 9:19-20; 68:1-2; 110:1-7; Mt. 22:1-7  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we examine the reasons for the vision of Stephen at the end of Acts 7 in which he is given to see the Lord Jesus Christ standing at the right hand of God.  Why was Jesus standing?  Was it simply to receive His faithful martyr home to heaven or is there another more significant meaning?  After all, Christ had sat down at the Father's right hand earlier in the book of Acts.  What has now taken place that has caused Him to change positions?  Why Does Stephen see this at this time?  These questions and more are dealt with as we seek answers from the scriptures.  God does not leave us to guess, but teaching us exactly what this means in connection with prophecy and His program with and for the nation Israel.

Lesson 109: Mad Havock & Glad Samaritans

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  Acts 8:1-8; 26-40  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we venture into Acts 8 and start to witness the progression of prophecy begin to fall off.  With the rise of Saul as the leader of Israel's rebellion against Jesus Christ, we see the little flock in Jerusalem scattered and the word begins to be preached in Judea and Samaria.  Is this the advancment of the commission from Acts 1:8?  Or is something else at work?  Through the understanding of the prophetic progression outlined by the Lord and the prophets we see that something is actually amiss.  Jerusalem is in rebellion and the kingdom blessing cannot flow out to these areas through her as prophecy mandated.  The kingdom program is beginning to transition toward something else.  But what is it?  This message serves as the preparation for that understand and leads into the epoch-making event recorded in Acts 9.

Lesson 110: Saul, Saul

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Jun 21, 2023  |  Acts 9:1-16; 26:14-18  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we take a look at the conversion of the chief of sinners.  This epoch-making and totally unexpected event drops an atomic bomb on the continuation of prophecy and something never before spoken is introduced by the personal appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ to Saul of Tarsus.  As the Lord stood at the right hand of God, wrath and war was the prophetic expectation.  However, in unprophesied mercy and with exceeding abundant grace with faith and love, the Lord of glory returned to unveil the riches of his grace to his bitterest foe.  Not only was the Lord's chief adversary converted to Christ, but he was commissioned with a revelation and apostleship that would change the course of human history and the dealings of God with men of a wrath worthy world.  With a Bible in hand, study with us this all crucial event that takes place in Acts 9.

Lesson 111: From Prophecy to Mystery

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Jun 28, 2023  |  Acts 26:14-18; Rom. 9:1-5, 22-24; 11:1-6, 11-12, 25-36  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we deal with a summary of the transition that takes place following Saul's conversion in Acts 9.  The details of the revealed mystery are dealt out progressively, and the transitioning nature of the programs of God in Acts must be respected for what it is.  The full explanation of Paul's apostleship and the impact of the Lord's appearing to him is laid out in the book of Acts, however, in his epistles Paul expounds upon the impacts of the dispensation of grace upon Israel's prophetic timeline.  These are the matters we consider in this study from the books of Acts and Romans.