What is the importance of studying the Book of Acts?
Session 1 Supplemental (Dispensationalism)

1. Acts Introduces the beginning of the *Church Age.
The church age is also known as the age of Grace.

2. Acts introduces a new dispensation. It is entirely unlike the prior dispensation of the law.
What were the previous dispensations? How did God deal with humanity in other dispensations?

3. Acts fulfills the command to wait for the promise of the Father, The Holy Spirit.
What does this kind of empowerment allow that was different from previous time?
Acts may be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit. Supernatural acts were done through men.

4. The "great commission" extends a new kind of ministry beyond Judea to the world.
Acts begins to take the promise of redemption outside of the covenant of Israel.
What was once a covenant to a single nation was offered to all nations. (the Gentiles)

5. The "Kingdom of God" will now function in a completely different manner. It is different from what the disciples had previously understood and anticipated. Jews in their tradition, looked for the Kingdom of God through the Messiah who would rule and reign upon the throne of David. JVHV, the God of Israel was not thought to offer redemption outside of the practices of Judaism.

6. Pentecost is the fourth of the seven feasts of Israel described in Leviticus 23: One by one these feasts of remembrance are being fulfilled through the Messiah Jesus. The fourth festival is Pentecost. SHA-VU-OTH It is called the Feast of Weeks. The Jewish feasts (MOEDIM) can be interpreted as "dress rehearsals" Each portrays an event that will come to pass in an particular future fulfillment.

7. The "Church age" is a dispensation. It had a beginning and it will have an end. When the time of the Gentiles is completed, the church will be taken out of the world. We anticipate that this will happen as the fulfillment of another Jewish feast Rosh HaShanah. Rosh HaShanah is called by several interesting names: The unknown day; The feast of trumpets; The beginning of the spiritual year; Teshuvah (repentance); Rosh HaShanah (Head of the Year; Birthday of the World; Yom Teruah (the Day of the Awakening Blast; Feast of Trumpets) Yom HaDin, the Day of Judgment; HaMelech, the Coronation of the Messiah; Yom HaZikkaron, the Day of Remembrance or memorial; The time of Jacob's (Ya'akov) trouble; The birthpangs of the Messiah, Chevlai shel Mashiach; The opening of the gates Kiddushin/Nesu'in the wedding ceremony; The resurrection of the dead, rapture, natza1; The last trump, Return of Mesiah; the day of the shofar's awakening blast; Yom Hakeseh, the hidden day.
(courtesy of http://www.seekingthetruth.com/articles/trumpets.htm)

8. The Church age introduces us to a brand new, supernatural 'mystery' phenomena or event. Paul tells us that this event had never existed in an earlier time. In it a human being who fully believes in the Messiah Jesus becomes imbued with the 'living presence' of God the creator. The power of "regeneration" is a down payment on the full redemption of the believer. This experience is also referred to as being born again through the power of the Holy Spirit. With this transformation we acquire a new status as human beings, the "new creation." (See Romans 10:10) A person has so conceived, has the potential of knowing the ways of God and overcoming the powers that rule and deceive this present world. In regeneration humanity can again have fellowship with the Kingdom of heaven, becoming reconciled to God through Christ Jesus. In Paul's writing this is a consequence of the Power of God. (2Cor.5:16) It is being born of the Spirit (John 3:3)

9. The Book of Acts portrays the church (the ekklesia) in its potent, apostolic, original form before it became institutionalized and diluted of its power. The church of acts had few of the attributes which we have come to recognize today. It was Holy Spirit directed and empowered. All the gifts of the spirit (1Cor.12) were in operation. The gifts of the Spirit were shared among the fellowship. There was not a clergy laity distinction as seen in the typical church today. A believer was always denoted as a disciple who was given to partake freely as the ekklesia gathered. (See: 1Corinthians 14: all but especially 14:26; also see 1Peter 4:7-10)

* The ekklesia: The word from which "Church" is translated from the Greek.
(The term usually translated as church general does not refer to a building or temple but rather people; people who are the "called out" by God.) Ekklesia = the called out ones.

Session 2