September 2010 - March 2014
This study covers the book of Acts. The title, "Acts of the Apostles," distorts the thrust of the book. Only two apostles are the focus of the book, Peter, then Paul. John is mentioned as is James, but the others are not. The more appropriate name should be "Acts of the Holy Spirit". Because the Holy Spirit is the one performing the Acts, by empowering the early church, specifically, through Peter, then Paul, to take the message of the risen Messiah from the Upper Room in Acts 1, to Paul's private house prison room, in Acts 28.
To the uttermost parts of the earth ...
Video DVDs of these lessons can be ordered here and here.
To view all video Bible studies in the Acts series, click here (Vimeo) or here (YouTube).
Tue, Sep 11, 2012
Passage: Acts 9:1
Duration: 1 hr 4 mins 26 secs
Before we study Acts 9, a biographical sketch of Paul is essential. His road to Damascus experience is so important that the Holy Spirit has chosen to refer to it several times in Scripture. Here we see the miraculous nature of Saul’s conversion and the power of God in transforming a life. Get to know Saul through events surrounding him as he was growing up, his family, his education, his extreme persecution of Christians, his Jewishness and his leadership involvement as he spread the Christian message to the Gentiles. God’s role through intervention in history and His determination of ultimate reality are so counter to our cultural beliefs that reaction to these events has been extreme and dismissive. Learn about political correctness and its function in the suicide of Western Civilization.
Tue, Sep 18, 2012
Passage: Acts 9:1
Duration: 1 hr 5 mins 42 secs
The study of Saul’s conversion is more than academic. It becomes a study of our own times and how the Holy Spirit works today to totally redirect lives we have considered a lost cause. This revelation to Saul is repeated in scripture as an objective account of a historical event which was witnessed, and not just an imagined happening within Saul’s head. Saul uses his background as the catalyst in a severe acting out of passion directed against the gospel which may also mask an over-zealous but positive inclination toward God. Learn the significance of the bright light, Jesus’ introduction in terms of His humanity, Paul’s blindness, why Paul and Jesus spoke Hebrew instead of Aramaic, Paul’s conversation with Agrippa and Paul’s commission from God as apostle to the Gentiles.
Tue, Sep 25, 2012
Passage: Acts 9:1-21
Duration: 1 hr 14 mins 23 secs
This class is taught on the eve of Yom Kippur. In recognition of that, Dr. Dean began class with a short video of Aveinu Shebashabaim, a Hebrew prayer for the State of Israel
, sung by the Chief Cantor of the Israeli Defense Forces.
As Christians we recognize the importance of supporting Israel and the Jewish people in light of Genesis 12:1-3 and we appreciate how God’s love for Israel lives forever in His covenants and promises. Understand the real threats Israel and the Christian world face today and the Christian’s role in support of Israel.
The conversion of Saul of Tarsus is an example of another witness for the faith shown throughout Acts. Was Saul, in his thorough knowledge of the scriptures, an Old Testament believer or was he covered in layers that suppressed the Truth in unrighteousness? How long after the crucifixion did this event take place? Did Saul’s commission include more than just the Gentiles? Get the sequence and significance of events that began on the road to Damascus and led to Paul’s baptism and the beginning of his ministry.
Tue, Oct 02, 2012
Passage: Acts 9:19-22
Duration: 1 hr 7 mins 32 secs
The conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus is the historical account of an event that had enormous consequences for the Church. Paul’s entourage witnessed this event on their way to round up and persecute believing Jews. Saul was blinded, emotionally stunned, and intellectually challenged. Intense prayer and fasting were the result of Saul’s narrowed focus on the ramifications of this event. After strengthening with food, Saul immediately preached Christ in the synagogues. What does it mean to “preach Christ?” What is the difference between preaching and teaching? What was the response? What are the parallels in Paul’s message and the first message of Jesus when He taught in Nazareth? What is the importance of our physical and spiritual strengthening to the message the Church carries to the world?
Tue, Oct 09, 2012
Passage: Acts 9:32-43
Duration: 1 hr 3 mins 46 secs
This section of Acts shifts focus to Peter and his preparation to present salvation to the Gentiles. See how and where God leads Peter into Gentile territory armed with his apostolic credentials. In whose name does Peter use these credentials? Look at parallel passages where Jesus heals and why the Jews should have understood these miracles as signs revealing Jesus as Messiah. How does healing in the Old Testament become another link connecting the signs the Jews refused to see? How does Peter’s vision in chapter 10 reveal a new direction from Law to grace in an entirely new focus that reaches out to Gentiles who want to know God?
Tue, Oct 16, 2012
Passage: Acts 9:32-10:8
Duration: 1 hr 4 mins 5 secs
Follow the geographical route taken to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham that through him all nations will be blessed. In these cities Peter makes it clear he is healing in the power of Jesus Christ. Peter is establishing his credentials with the same sorts of commands Jesus used to heal. The result was, “Many believed in the Lord.” Must you also ask Jesus into your heart? Does the fact that Peter is staying with Simon the Tanner reveal anything about Peter that shows he is accepting changes that are moving away from Jewish ritual? Meet Cornelius: his occupation, his home, his spiritual status, and his response to the angel he encounters.
Tue, Oct 23, 2012
Passage: Acts 10:9-43
Duration: 1 hr 5 mins 25 secs
Jewish religious practice at this time observed strict separation from Gentile culture, even though the Jews did have a level of missionary activity. To disrupt centuries of tradition was truly revolutionary. Peter’s encounter with Cornelius, carefully orchestrated and revealed by God, signals a complete change of direction from strict observance of the law exclusive to the Jew, to universal inclusion of the Gentile in Grace. Peter had to contemplate the enormity of this change, but lost no time in obeying God and going to Cornelius in Caesarea. Cornelius and his family responded to Peter’s revelation of Truth. See how Cornelius and his family acted to fulfill God’s sign to the Jew of a judgment to come for national rejection of their Messiah.
Tue, Oct 30, 2012
Passage: Acts 11:19-30
Duration: 1 hr 4 mins 29 secs
Our passage backtracks in time to the scattering of believers after the persecution of Stephen. It is God who expands His Church. Compare God’s progress report on the expansion of His early Church to today’s Church Growth Movement and the compromises necessary to post growing numbers as an indication of success. Is it human methodology or transforming Truth that grows God’s Church? Learn the history of Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch where the Jewish believers fled and evangelized to the Jews. Follow Barnabas, the encourager, sent from Jerusalem to Antioch where he summons Paul for help and where the followers of Christ were first called Christians. See how the Church supports its own when Jerusalem suffers famine. Understand the focus of real growth in God’s plan for His Church.
Hear an answer to claims of those who have “been to heaven and back” and write a book about it.
Tue, Nov 06, 2012
Passage: Acts 12:1-23
Duration: 1 hr 2 mins 45 secs
It is Christ who builds the church through the Holy Spirit. If the pastor and congregation are obedient, the Church is protected. This doesn’t mean horrific things won’t happen. Our role in God’s plan is crucial and our focus may not always be clear, though His is. Our walk is one of faith. Our God will take care to preserve and protect us in spite of men’s accomplishments, personalities, methods and false success. As opposition to the Church in Jerusalem moves into the arena of government, look into the genealogy of the Herods, and how, in spite of their despicable rule and degenerate character, God grows His Church. The Church didn’t escape suffering, but in that suffering God performed miracles that gave no doubt who was in charge and who would persevere in Truth.
Tue, Nov 13, 2012
Passage: Acts 10-11
Duration: 1 hr 12 mins 1 sec
A commentary on the election presents the sad state of our republic and its worldview shift away from the purposes of our founding fathers. The realization is we have come full circle into the final cycle of civilization. The solution is not a shift of circumstantial issues but a crisis-driven hope in the truth of God’s Word to shine as a light in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation.
The apostles lived in a degenerate, hostile environment, and except for John, lost it all, were tortured, and died as martyrs. Peter was a commercial fisherman, living on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. He met Jesus through his brother Andrew. Peter’s home was the base of operation for Jesus in the area and many miracles took place there. Peter is representative of many men, impulsive, assertive, loyal and prone to get his eyes on circumstance. But Peter spoke profound truths and Jesus set him apart as a leader. Learn about Peter as the small rock and Jesus as the chief cornerstone, and about Peter’s travels to Babylon and possibly to Britain. Witness his eventual torture and death in a barbaric dungeon in Rome.