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Acts 28

Part II

The Book of Acts covers approximately thirty-six years of God’s view of the spiritual history following the resurrection of His son. Within the pages of Acts God shows us the rejection of His son by Israel and the acceptance of His son by the Gentiles. Because of these things one administration is held in abeyance and another administration, one held secret since before the Ages, is revealed.

Ultimately, what these teachings from the Book of Acts brought forth is for you to say, within your own heart and life. Auxano growth is growth from within, from the inside out. It is growth without compulsion. Not even the Creator of the heavens and the earth will force or compel you to grow. God will work with you wherever you are at. He is patient. Auxano is a growth that will occur from within an individual because the right conditions have been provided. Whereby spiritual growth can freely flow from stage, to stage, to stage as we grow up into Christ in all things.

I pray you enjoyed our time together in God’s Word.

Paul will end his almost five-year imprisonment as we close Acts chapter twenty-eight. There has been speculation as to how this imprisonment has affected his ministry, mostly positive and some negative. 

On the positive side it is stated we would never have received Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon if Paul was not in prison. On the negative side it is said Paul lost his ministry and failed to move God’s Word again.

God’s Word is not bound by the circumstances the Adversary can orchestrate. What do I mean? Paul would have accomplished what God wanted written with or without time in prison. Neither is a man’s ministry erased as long as he keeps operating his ministry (Romans 11:29).

Acts 20:24
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

This is what Paul said to the leadership of Ephesus when he met with them at Miletus. I think Paul had joy during his five years because he had the opportunity to testify of the Gospel of the Grace of God, and that was Paul’s heartbeat, his pulse.

Paul’s freedom was from the inside out, just like his joy. He walked and talked with his heavenly Father, the Creator of the heavens and earth. He had the privilege of fellowship with his Lord and savior by visions and revelations.

His words freed other men and women from the spiritual bondage of the Adversary.

Acts 26:18
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Consider these words. Allow the depth and power of these words to become rooted in your heart. See the face of another person as their unclouded view of God comes into focus for the very first time. Consider the faces of the people we will encounter as this teaching progresses.

What a privilege and honor Paul lived as he declared to others the authentic and genuine nature of his loving Father. Paul set his heart to represent his spiritual family and follow in the footsteps of his big brother. It was not easy for Paul, there were obstacles to overcome and there were storms to weather. But Paul’s heart was the rudder that set his course in life. He did not need the sun and the stars for he held the riches of the mystery, Christ in him, that was his true compass.

This is my speculation on how the imprisonment affected the ministry of the Apostle Paul.

Acts 28:25
And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,

There is one more word we should consider from this verse that we have not yet looked at, and that is the Greek word apolyo (apoluo). It is translated with the English word “departed.”

Helps Word-studiesapolýō (from apó, "away from" and lýō, "to loose, release") properly, to let go; release (discharge), dismiss. This term implies the release (annulment) of an existing bond. apolýō ("to release") is specifically used of divorcing a marital partner.

Blue Letter Bible defines apolyo in this manner: to set free, to let go, to dismiss, used in divorce.

In this context apolyo should be understood as the Jewish leadership divorcing Paul and his doctrine. A final rejection of the doctrine of God’s grace. 

Acts 13:5a
And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews…

Acts 13:14
But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.

Acts 14:1a
And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews…

Acts 17:1
Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:

Acts 17:10
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

Acts 17:16-17
Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore, disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

Acts 18:1,4
After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth… And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

Acts 18:19
And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.

Acts 19:1,8
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples… And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.

Acts 13:46
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

My point? Into every city Paul entered for the first time, if one was available, Paul went to their synagogue to hold forth the Word of God. During this time of transition God gave Israel the opportunity to hear the Gospel of God’s Grace first. With this divorce Paul does not return to Jerusalem or enter a synagogue again. The Gentiles are now the first audience.

You say, “Big deal! What is left of the Book of Acts, a couple verses.”

We have only reviewed four of the five trips Paul has made. The fifth trip is after the Book of Acts. We will view it in the final teaching of this series. After this rejection of the doctrine of the Administration of Grace Paul quotes from Isaiah chapter six, closing with this statement.

Acts 28:28
Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

“They will hear” is the Greek word akouo, which means to hear or to listen. It is also in the middle voice. Meaning the subject of the verb, the Gentiles, both perform and receive the action of the verb. So, God is telling Israel that the Gentiles will hear, they will listen, and they will also receive what they are hearing from Paul.

A.T. Robertson of Word Pictures of the New Testament comments, “vivid and antithetical.” Where Israel has rejected the Messiah, the doctrine of the Revealing Administration, and the doctrine of the Administration of Grace, Paul has just told these Jewish leaders that the Gentiles will not reject God’s Word.

When we have completed our journey in Acts, we will have to take a closer look at some of the things the Gentiles will hear from Paul and receive from God. That means we will take a walk in God's house of reconciliation and victory, otherwise known as the epistle to the Romans.

Acts 28:29 is not in the critical Greek text.

Acts 28:30
And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,

Two years in Caesarea, almost a year in travel, and two years under house arrest in Rome. Almost five years of Paul’s life under arrest. His feet were bound, but his mind, heart, pen, and mouth were certainly not.

At some point during these two years in Rome Paul will be inspired of God to write the epistles to the Ephesians, the Philippians, and the Colossians. Paul will also send a letter to his friend Philemon.

Philippians 1:12-13
But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places.

I want you to know that me being arrested has resulted in the further movement of God’s Gospel of Grace. Of all the believers, the Philippians would understand this as they recalled the arrests of Paul and Silas.

“My bonds in Christ” is the figure of speech metonymy, whereby one noun is exchanged for another. Normally a person is in bonds because of a crime, Paul is in bonds because of Christ. There is a second figure of speech for this phrase, the figure of speech amphibologia 1 and means two interpretations. It is speaking of Paul’s freewill commitment to Christ as a doulos and Paul’s bonds physically as a prisoner of Rome. 

The Greek word translated “palace” is praitorion and refers not to the palace but to the Praetorian Guards, (consider the Philippian jailer). These were responsible for guarding Caesar and thus the palace.

Philippians 4:22
All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household. 

The Word of God was moving so well from Paul’s hired house, that it has even reached and was received in the household of Emperor Nero. The word “saints,” hagios in the text, means sanctified, or holy, or separated. If you are defined by any one of these categories, you have believed.

At this time in Rome the Praetorian Guard also had the charge of guarding Paul. Why I do not know. The Praetorium Guard were considered the best soldiers of Rome. That is why they had good housing, the best equipment, and double the pay of the average Roman soldier. In the 60’s A.D. the Praetorian Guard numbered around 7,200 soldiers. 

One guard at a time would be chained to Paul. The guards would be on a rotating shift, rotating a few times a day, every day, for the two years he was under house arrest. By the time Philippians is written Paul’s stand for Christ and his bonds in Christ were known by all the Praetorian guards. Does that mean every guard had been chained to Paul at one time or another? 

No. This is a figure of speech.

The figure of speech used here is Synecdoche of the whole, meaning the whole is put for all its parts. Specifically, the Praetorian Guard, as a whole, is put forth to represent all its parts, the individual soldiers. All 7,200 guards knew of Paul’s stand in Christ and his bonds in Christ. 

Then, through the Praetorian guard, “in all other places” referring to all other parts of Rome had been made aware of the same. Does that mean they were reached with the Gospel of Grace? No. It means they were reached with the knowledge of Paul’s stand upon God’s Word as a prisoner for Christ.

Philippians 1:12-13
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 
New International Version

The Romans did not stop anyone from coming to see Paul in his house in Rome. Paul received all that came unto him over these two years. All this is to say the Praetorian guards got to hear a lot of God’s Word.

Acts 28:28
Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

The Gentiles did hear, even in Nero’s household, and the Gentiles are still listening today.

Paul also wrote a letter to his friend Philemon, mentioning Paul’s new brother in Christ and Philemon’s run away doulos, Onesimus. Onesimus believed the Word of God spoken by Paul when both were in Rome. This letter to Philemon is included in God’s Word as a leadership letter. It teaches leaders two things. First, the importance of forgiveness, and second, how to effectively coordinate a fellowship in your home.

Paul used the term teknon, beloved son, for three men, Timothy, Titus, and Onesimus.

Philemon 1:10
I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

We do not know a full account of Onesimus, but we can say he not only heard Paul preach and believed, but he spent some time with Paul.

Colossians 4:7-9
All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother…” faithfulness takes some time. You are not identified as a faithful person because you have been around for a few days.

Slaves were marked in the Roman world with a brand of some sort. Going to and spending time with the Apostle Paul, which Onesimus would have had to do, meant he was risking his life. Had any of the guards identified Onesimus as a runaway slave, he could have been arrested and perhaps resold, or even put to death. But Onesimus chose to stay faithful to God’s Word and to Paul.

Acts 28:31
Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

Why is Paul teaching the Kingdom of God? 
Why is he not teaching the Administration of Grace?

Since there is a difference between the Gospel of Grace and the Gospel of the Kingdom, then why is the Apostle Paul testifying and preaching the Kingdom of God in Acts 28?

The Gospel of the Kingdom pertains to the Kingdom of Heaven. Paul is not speaking of the Kingdom of Heaven; he is speaking of the Kingdom of God. 

Acts 28:30-31
And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

Many theologians teach the Kingdom of Heaven, and the Kingdom of God are one and the same, but this corrupts the revelation concerning God's great plan of redemption as first set forth in Genesis chapter three. On another day we can sit and read God’s Word together to distinguish these two awesome and amazing Kingdoms in God’s Word.

When you study the word "kingdom" in God's Word there are three truths that every true kingdom must possess to rightfully be called a kingdom. First, a kingdom must have a king who is present. Second, a king must have authority and power that he exercises within his kingdom. Thirdly, a kingdom must have a sphere of influence, a realm in which the king's authority is exercised.

Psalm 145:13
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.

Psalm 90:2
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. 

Isaiah 43:10
Ye (Israel) are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 

In the Garden in Eden man was formed, made, and created in the Kingdom of God. As a child of God, the kingdom of God was his only rightful citizenship. God's plan, since man's fall in the Garden, has been to return mankind to his rightful place in the Kingdom of God. Man, as a child of God, as God’s family, belong with their Father.

The Kingdom of God covers all three tenses: past, present, and future. The Kingdom of God has no beginning nor end for God has no beginning nor end. There is nothing greater than the Kingdom of God for there is nothing greater than God. The Kingdom of God covers every verse in God's Word for His Kingdom is before Genesis 1:1 and beyond Revelation 22:21.

Psalm 90:2
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. 

God is the eternal King of His eternal Kingdom, there is no other. God is Sovereign and Eternal. 

God is the King of His Kingdom, there is none beside Him or above him. He is ever present throughout His Kingdom for time and space have no hold upon He who abides in eternity. His realm is comprised of all that there is, ever has been or ever will be, both in the spiritual and physical worlds or the worlds that are both seen and unseen. (See Chart)

Psalm 139:7-8
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell (the grave), behold, thou art there.

We have seen that God has all three qualities of a Kingdom; He is the Sovereign King, His authority is being exercised, and His realm precedes Genesis 1:1 and extends beyond Revelation 22:21.

The doctrine of the Administration of Grace, when believed, brings man once again back to the Kingdom of God. No other person, in the lineage of Adam, could legally enter the Kingdom of God. Adam’s sin barred mankind from the Kingdom of God.

Why? How?

Genesis 5:3
And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:

Adam’s sin of rebellion is passed on in the blood, from father to son, from father to daughter, from generation to generation. Then each generation adds their own rebellion, their own sins.

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

We walked in our father Adam’s footsteps and as Adam was expelled from the Garden, we were legally blocked from the Kingdom of God.

Ephesians 2:4-6
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

We are seated in the heavenlies, our legal and rightful home.

Philippians 3:20
For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

As Paul preaches the doctrine of the Administration of Grace, those who believe are legally received into the Kingdom of God.

E.W. Kenyon wrote, in The Father and His Family
"If the Earth is the reason for the heavens, and Man is the reason for the Earth, what is the reason for Man? There is only one answer, and it is very simple: the lonely heart of the great Father God.

Paul tells us in Ephesians that 'all Fatherhood heads up in God, whether families on earth or the families in heaven.'

God's heart yearned for children, craved sons, and daughters.

He had angels to minister to Him as servants, but He wanted children…If this be true, and true it is; then Man is a most wonderful being.…what a place that Man must hold in His heart, in His dreams, in His eternity."

The transition is over. The Administration of Grace has begun. The Gentiles are listening.

Romans 1:11
For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;

Paul wanted to impart, to share, a spiritual gift (charisma), his gift ministry as an apostle, with the Romans. This was the yearning, the longing of his mind. To  show the Romans the Gospel of God's Grace, so that, they would be established, strengthened in there legal rights in the Kingdom of God. 


​1. Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, Amphibologia, page 804

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A Journey through the Book of Acts