Acts 7-8

Chapter 7

You have to go back and read the end of Chapter 6 to really get this amazing retell of the entire OT and WHY Stephen did it.  He was accused of:

  • blasphemy against God
  • blasphemy against Moses
  • blasphemy against the Temple

Stephen defends this accusation with the longest Sermon in the book of Acts.

  • He defends how God was rejected by the Hebrews.  Read between the lines as you read it.  Look how Jesus was portrayed through people like Joseph.  Underline the words for God and see how He provided for them and yet God was rejected by rejecting Joseph.  (But notice in verse 13-ON THE SECOND VISIT he was recognized!  Oh on Jesus’ 2nd coming He will not be mistaken either!)
  • Then Stephen defends Moses starting in verse 20.  Again, you will see how Moses too was rejected.  Tons of foreshadowing in this text…you don’t need me…you will spot them.
  • Last, Stephen defended the Temple and sacrifices that were also discarded by the Hebrews.

This message was told at a Synagogue that was led by a young man named Saul!  Stephen began the sermon with:

“Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory… (Verse 2)

and ended with: 

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. (verse 55)

The First Martyr for the Gospel: Stephen

57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him,58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

The Stoning of Stephen" Acts 7:54-60 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed th… | Bible pictures, Biblical art, Holy spirit

This is a wonderful place in the Bible to explain to people why do bad things happen to good people.  Stephens’s death is the beginning of something God is about to do…Paul!

Chapter 8 

And Saul approved of their killing him. (If you don’t know I want to let you know this is Saul who will become Paul)

Let’s go back to Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

This will happen through ministry OR persecution:

Acts 8:1 On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.

Saul of Tarsis:

  • began to destroy the Church
  • going from house to house dragging off men and women and putting them in prison

BUT people were scattered…the seeds of the Gospel are being scattered. ❤️

Simon the Sorcerer.  This is actually a very famous person written about it in many historical texts.  He was considered “a god” and people actually erected statues of him. The apostles coming into town were the “new” ones to follow and Simon was not the ‘god’ any longer.  It says that “Simon believed and was baptized”.  But did he?? Or did he just want to be the Sorcerer people followed again??

Let’s see…

18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”

Philip and the Ethiopian

The Lord prompted Simon for a divine appointment.  (I love when that happens to me).  He met up with an Ethiopian Eunuch (castrated man) so he can safely work in the Palace around the Pharaoh’s woman if you know what I mean.  He was wealthy and had his own copy of the Scriptures (this is VERY rare, but speaks to how much $$ he had).  What is he reading??  ISAIAH 53!!  I kid you not!! 

Listen…Be a Philip!  You have been reading for 323 days.  Be a Philip!  Listen to God prompting you to have these conversations!  Look for some Eunuchs! 😁

The Doxology Desk: Acts 8:26-40, "Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch"


Acts 4-6

You need to know the Sadducee theology for this read:

  • The first five books of Moses (the Torah) only
  • Sadducees flatly rejected the Pharisee teaching that oral tradition was equal to Scripture in authority.
  • They believed in unrestrained free will—meaning God had no role in the personal lives of humans. Everyone was a master of his or her own destiny.
  • Sadducees rejected the supernatural, refuting belief in angels, demons, heaven, hell, and resurrection. To their way of thinking “souls die with the bodies.” The End.

Chapter 4 begins with the Sadducees ticked off about the “message”.  Well knowing what the Sadducees believe makes total sense.  So they bring Peter and John to Annas and Caiphas.  Deja Vu!  The same first trial that Jesus went to. Do you remember who Annas was?  The High Priest position is supposed to be for life, but the Romans gave it to Caiphas as a figurehead (Annas’s son on Law).  But Annas still had ALL the power (he was in the good ole’ boys club with the politicians “the Sadducees”).

Peter, was the one who denied knowing Christ.  BUT this Peter has the Holy Spirit!!  Fearless!  In Matthew 10 Jesus said to the disciples:

16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.


Peter then quotes a messianic psalm: Psalm 118

11 Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected,
    which has become the cornerstone.’

and continues to share the message of the Gospel!  Will they believe the words?  Well of course, they just saw a lame man walk!

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Now we come to a compare and contrast.  As the church comes together it is BEAUTIFUL!

  • All the believers were one in heart and mind.
  • No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.
  • there were no needy persons among them.
  • From time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales, and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
    • Even a Levite names Joseph (name changed to Barnabas) sold his field and donated it

Chapter 5 is the contrast: Annanias and Sappharias.  They broke the unity of the church.  Peter tells them it was not about holding money back…it was about lying to God about it.

Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

Is this really any different than what Adam and Eve did?  They LIED to God.

This story shows the judgment of God is the same in the Old Testament and the New Testament.  BUT so is His love and healing power.  God contrasts the death of Ananias and Sappharias with the healing of many.

Gamaliel (Supposedly the President of the Sanhedrin). I like this guy so far!  He talks about 2 revolutionaries that formed revolts that both failed.  Gamaliel advice is-“Better safe than sorry”

38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”  

Well, I think that was proven already, don’t you?  ANGELS let them out of Prison!  Did that happen for Thudeas or Judas the Galilean when they protested?  No.  Their activity was of human origin.  The Angels prove Peter and John are coming on behalf of God.

Chapter 6

Let’s start with What is a Hebrew Jew verse a Hellenistic Jew?

Hebrew Jew– Aramaic speaking, local-born and raised in the area, read the Hebrew scriptures (spoke Hebrew in the Synagogue)

Hellenistic Jew- if you remember when we talked about Alexander the Great, he “Hellenized” the regions by making everything Greek (It’s all Greek to me!!😂). During the Hellenization period, the scriptures were translated into Greek and they are referred to as the Septuagint. (Sept=70). Seventy scholars translated the Scriptures.  Hellenistic Jews were the descendants of those from the captivity that were scattered.  They lived among the Gentiles and used the Septuagint for their scriptures instead of the Hebrew version.  (Hmmm, sounds like people who get frustrated when other people read from a different version translation).

the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.

Wait? What?  I thought in Chapter 4 they were all in unity?  See the word ‘complained’.  It is the same word used in the Old Testament for ‘Grumbling’ in the desert after the Exodus…Noooo!  This breaks my heart.

(I am not pointing the finger at who was right or wrong.  The Hebrews really thought they were ‘above’ the Greeks so they probably did short-change them.  The Greeks made it worse by ‘Grumbling/complaining’. )

The yappoint 7 men (notice they are Greek to diffuse the situation) and a summary statement is made:

So the word of God spread. (this will be repeated in Chapter 12 and 19 in summary too)


Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen.

The Freedmen were Jews that were ex-slaves that were free that actually, a guy by the name of Saul headed up (just setting you up for Saul/Paul coming up).

They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”

Sound familiar? Same accusations were read before the Cross

  • accused of blasphemy against God
  • accused of blasphemy Moses
  • accused of blasphemy the temple

To be continued…

Acts 1-3

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.

So the book of Luke could have ended with a “to be continued…” at the end of it. Go back and see where it left off and it will make total sense.  The intro reads like a checklist.

  • ✅3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.
  • ✅He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
  • ✅4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

And then the Bomb is dropped…

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

They still are thinking about the Triumphal Entry.  BUT you cannot blame them.  They do not have the discerning Spirit yet to help them understand.   And then…Jesus ascends to be with His Father. ❤️

We are in need of a 12th man to replace Judas Iscariot.  Evidently, the branch he hung himself did not hold his weight (Verse 18 🤢). I guess he should have chosen “The Branch” (now that right there is good!!)

Peter as the leader of the pack, after quoting from 2 Psalms, says the new man that is chosen must have been with us the WHOLE time.  He is going to be given ‘apostolic gifts’, so he must have been with us all the way back to John’s Baptism to the Reseruction.  Two men fell into that category.  But how to choose?? Quiz Bowl? Rock, Paper, Scissors?    The Lord chooses- Matthias.

Chapter 2-The Holy Spirit Comes

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.


The Holy Spirit came down on them feeling like a strong wind from Heaven and suddenly they spoke in tongues.  I LOVE  that we are reading this!  So many people are confused about this concept.  If it comes across your path and you need to explain it to someone: just read chapter 2 to them.

 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?

Remember, this is 50 days after the Passover Festival.  The Feast of Weeks is being celebrated.  Just like the Passover, people from ALL over have descended on the city.  All the different cultures and languages.  After Passover, 2.5 million people scattered back to their homes spreading what they had witnessed 50 days before.  NOW, God chooses the Feast of Weeks (Harvest Festival) to spread the news of the Holy Spirit.  When the Spirit came upon them, they were able to speak EVERY LANGUAGE-EVERY TONGUE so that the Gospel was open to ALL. They all were able to understand.

Oh, how I love the detail Luke puts in his writing:

13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”


Acts 14-41 I think is my new Favorite!  Peter finds his voice (well, of course, the Holy Spirit).  He gives the 1st public sermon and catches a lot of fish!  He is now a fisher of men!!!  3,000 on his first net!

“Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.

He quotes directly from the book of Joel to explain what they are witnessing and then he turns his attention to the Israelites and shares the Gospel:

22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

Knowing they hold the Covenant of David he restates even what David had proclaimed:

“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

Jesus is King and Messiah!

So now what?? The Israelites have heard it, their hearts felt it, so now what??  I can see Peter’s eyes looking over the crowd looking and pointing to BOTH the Jew and the Gentile equally…

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

So the Church was established!!

  • 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
  • 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
  • 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.
  • 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
  • 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
  • 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. 
  • And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Chapter 3.   The gate called Beautiful was the main gate into the Temple (not the city)

RHM Bible Study, Acts, Chapter Three

The healing of the lame man made me think of something I never thought about before.  The “healing power” of the apostles.  This miracle was done at the colonnade, the very place Jesus healed.  Many of the Jewish Leaders witnessed it when Jesus performed them.  Now the apostles performed them.  You can kill Jesus, you cannot kill the Word.

“All people are like grass,
    and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.”


With a crowd at attention, Peter is unglued!  He is preaching!  He talks about all the scriptures that led to this point in history. Peter hits the big ones: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Samuel.  Then the Drop Mic moment…The Promise of Abraham from Genesis.  Peter says:

He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’

Genesis 12“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”

Acts Overview for tomorrow

Acts Series — Sermons — Parkview Christian Church

The New Testament is divided just like the Old Testament was.  The NT consists of:

  • The Gospels
  • Acts
  • Letters
  • Prophecy

Why is it called Acts?  Well, some have said it is the Acts of the Apostles, others have said it is the Acts of Peter and Paul, well both are wrong.  It is the Acts of the Holy Spirit.  The Apostles have had 3 years of one-on-one Discipleship with Jesus himself, and He still says to them “Stay right where you are until you get the Holy Spirit”.  Without Him, in us, we truly are without purpose.

Acts is the book of Purpose with the Holy Spirit.  Forwarding the Gospel to the ends of the earth is not a “calling” it is the purpose of the Church.  Stop thinking of the Church as the building which we sit in, or that the Church is for believers.  The Church is the Body of Believers for the Non-Believers.   So stop pointing the finger and start looking in the mirror.

The book of Acts was most likely an extension of the book of Luke.  Acts is written by Luke giving him the most written Word in the NT (not Paul).  This book is the LINK between The Gospel and the Letters.  In other words, Christ’s life and the Church.

Acts will be divided into two distinct categories.

  • The first 12 chapters will be Peter (yes the man who denied Jesus  3 times) witnessing to the Jewish nation.  Why?  They need to CHANGE their way of thinking of the Messiah.  THEREFORE, you will hear Peter say REPENT (change direction) directly to the Jews.
  • Chapters 13-28 will be Paul preaching to the Gentiles with a word of “Believe”.  Why not Repent?  We didn’t need a change in direction, we need THE direction.  We needed to BELIEVE to begin with.  We were not taught the Scriptures till now.

This book has the most archeological proof and confirmed findings.  However, I will not blog about any of that.  I hold to Hebrew 11:1

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  Heb 11:1