A look at Acts 11.19

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Frogman, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    I have posted below some thoughts I have had during my study of Acts 11.19.


    Please read these thoughts. They are serious in so much as they are the direction my study has begun to take me. As each of you on this board, I only desire to be able to claim scripture supports my personal faith and practice, no more, no less. This means that where we find only human tradition we must, to keep with scripture alone, lay that aside which has no scriptural basis.

    If nothing else is gained, you brethren will perhaps at least begin to understand how I think. As always, comments are welcome.

    Some Further Thoughts taken from Acts 11.19

    “they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen”

    There is no explicit statement in scripture that we may know that those disciples (the ‘they which were scattered abroad’ of Acts 11.19) who subsequently preached the gospel as a result of that persecution (Acts 11.19; 6. 1 & 7 “number of the disciples was multiplied”; 8.1 & 4) were ever ordained or ‘sent’ from any church (the Jerusalem church) for that purpose.

    What we can see from scripture is that Christ showed himself to the Apostles (Matt. 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20 & 21; Acts 1; and 1 Corinthians 15.6). By the record of 1 Corinthians 15.6 we can know without doubt by the word of God that Christ did show himself (after his resurrection) to above 500 brethren.

    Note: 1 Corinthians 15.5-6, 7 & 8 & 9: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

    There are other questions I have of these passages, but for now, I am focusing on vs. 6).

    Above means---superior to—it is epano in the Greek. Epano is translated ‘above’ 3x; ‘more than’ 1x; ‘on’ 4x; ‘over’ 6x; and ‘upon’ 3x. (Young’s Concordance/Greek Dictionary p. 68) It is listed in Young’s Concordance under the heading of “Above” at #5 on p. 8 of my book. The word ‘above’ is Strong’s #1883; ‘epano’ meaning ‘over or on’ (Strong’s English Word Index From The Strong’s Guide to Bible Words p. 2). Strong’s Concordance says epano is from 1909 & 507; meaning ‘up above’ i.e. ‘over or on’ (of place, amount, rank, etc.) “Above”, “more than”, (up), -on, over”.

    W.E. Vine further discusses ‘epano’ on page 5 of his Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Epano is ‘epi’---“over”, and “ano”---“above” and is used frequently as a preposition with a noun; adverbially, of number, as at Mark 14.5 (RV) and 1 Corinthians 15.6 (KJV).

    The concurrence of these three writers leads me to believe Christ was not seen after his resurrection by only the 11 Apostles and those in the ‘upper’ room and Paul only, but that at least and very likely more than 500 brethren also witnessed him in his resurrection glory (pre-ascension) (Acts 1.3 states he was ‘seen of them forty days.’).

    Then the relevant question becomes, imho, did these others (whatever their numbers are), having seen the resurrected Christ also receive the same commission and command as the 11 and as Paul? That which we recognize as the ‘great commission’?

    Or, is this really only limited to the 11; and also to Matthias and then to Paul, whom did ‘lot’ by the ‘apostles’, not choose, as was Matthias. But Paul is certainly declared by scripture as an apostle (1 Corinthians 15.9, though he admits he is not worthy of being called an apostle).

    Possible answers as I see it to this question:

    1). If these more than 500 brethren did see the resurrected Christ and did receive the same command of the great commission as the others, then they were operating under the same authority as being at least this portion of the apostolic authority.

    2). If these brethren did not receive the commission, then can we conclude that it is both Scriptural and historical for Baptists to practice ordaining of men into the ministry. However, it is not to limit the ability (either by scripture or historic tradition) of any other so to prevent them from entering into the ministry for the purpose of fulfilling by the same activity as they who were scattered abroad. That is the same portion of the ‘authority’ scripture would obviously extend to these brethren, we, if accepting this as an answer, and seeking to base our practice upon scripture, should also discontinue to fail to recognize any who are not particularly ordained in or by a New Testament Baptist church. Further it would be unbiblical to discontinue the ordination of some men, (there is Biblical example of ordination, see Acts 13.1-4 and others) and at the same time, it would be unbiblical to fail to recognize the same authority extended to any other of the brethren, though not ordained, to freely and purposely engage in the full work of the ‘great commission.’ To refuse to recognize such as a New Testament work, is simply unwarranted by Scripture alone.

    You of course are free to choose for yourself which of the above two you receive as truth.

    God Bless

    Bro. Dallas Eaton
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  2. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Dear Brethren,
    I am studying Acts 11.19-26 and previously I stated the following from my study:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I also note that none of these men who were scattered are
    explicitly identified anywhere I have found in scripture as
    being 'ordained' or 'sent' by the church in Jerusalem.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I still agree with this statement, but look at the following:

    Acts 8.1: And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles .

    This is directly related to Acts 11.19: Now, they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stehpen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch , preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

    Now keeping in mind the above statement I have already made, note the following:

    Acts 6.5-6: And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch : Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them .

    The words in bold are of my doing to point out to you the connections. As I said, above, I am still willing to believe the statement I set aside with only the following correction:

    I also note that none of these men who were scattered are explicitly identified anywhere I have found in scripture as being ordained or sent by the church in Jerusalem for the express purpose of organizing other NT churches.

    I believe the latter statement, under the present notes made, is more close to the truth that can be biblically supported, what do you think?

    Also, let me ask you, Strong's identifies a 'proselyte' as one coming from a foreign region a 'convert'. This means Nicolas was a 'foreigner' in Jerusalem, but does it necessarily mean he was a 'foreigner' a 'convert' to Judaism and then as a Jew received the gospel? Or does it simply mean that he is a foreigner to Jerusalem, but was born a Hebrew and therefore a Jew? Or was he like Timothy? What do you think?

    Also, under the present circumstances related in Chapter 8 of the persecution that arose against the church which was at Jerusalem, isn't it very reasonable to think Nicolas returned to Antioch? And further that returning there he would have been an 'ordained' man?

    Still, the express command is not issued from Jerusalem for Nicolas or any other to 'organize' NT churches anywhere.

    But, I am working and imho, learning much in this study.

    Just wanted to share what I thought to be 'an interesting combination' of the scriptures found at Acts 8.1; 11.19 and 6.5-6 and show how finding this has forced me to change the original statement I made regarding those of the diaspeiro being 'ordained' in the Jerusalem church.

    Note, Chapter 8.1 states all except the apostles
    Chapter 6.5-6 records the laying on of hands of an Antioch native
    Ch. 11.19 says 'they (referring to Ch. 8.1) which were scattered abroad'

    If you were in Jerusalem and this persecution arose this week, where would you try to go to as soon as possible? Wouldn't it be to where you perhaps had friends and family?

    God Bless
    Bro. Dallas Eaton
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Here are some more thoughts from a question I have been asked...


    Do you think the believers at Antioch (Acts 11) were baptized immediately upon having 'turned' to the Lord?


    This is the question I am sincerely trying to answer from this study of scripture. I have begun this in Chapter 11.19-26, it is taking me such a long while because I have been forced to go back to the beginning of Acts of the Apostles and follow the sequence of events as much as possible to Acts 11; and then to follow on after also.

    I rejected and was rejected a call to pastorship of a dear body of believers in Craig Alaska last Easter; nearly 1 year ago now. This episode caused neither party any hurt, but it has caused me by this experience to grow somewhat, I hope.

    I wish to determine to my satisfaction the proper Biblical stand on this pest of a question (mother/daughter vs. self-constitution). Only in this way can I put it aside/behind me.

    If I am proven wrong by scripture I wish for grace enough to lay this aside; if confirmed by scripture, I wish only to be able to teach and express what I believe through the Grace and Love of Christ to our brethren where ever they are gathered.

    As the question is in my understanding:

    Is every example of 'conversion' to the Lord followed by immediate baptism?

    It appears, with a cursory reading this is easily answered in the affirmative. If you will let me present Acts 8 for some thoughts and welcome your comments and that of others as well.

    Acts 8---vs. 1-4: The beginning of the persecution that caused the diaspeiro of those in the church in Jerusalem. (the only scripturally identified local visible church anywhere prior to this persecution).

    Acts 8.5: Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. (Same doctrine proclaimed from the Jerusalem church which would include preaching and teaching all things in his name, right?)

    vs. 6: And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. (What is meant by 'gave heed')?

    vs. 7 & 8: Relation of the works of Philip while in Samaria through the Holy Spirit in his preaching etc. And the great joy resulted from this work.

    vs. 9-11: Introduction of Simon, the sorcerer, to whom for long time had used sorcery and bewitched the people that he was some great one that they also gave heed to him.

    vs. 12: But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, (vs. 5) they were baptized, both men and women. (Definite appearance that these were baptized upon belief, if not immediately at least very soon after, therefore, the administrator is shown by appearance to be Philip, note in this that he is not said to have been 'sent' from Jerusalem.

    vs. 13: Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. (See the comment on vs 12, the same would apply here, whether immediate or after some time, Philip is definitely by all appearances to have been the administrator, but has not been 'sent' by Jerusalem).

    vs. 14: Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: (This is also by appearance in sequence of time only after hearing of believers and of the administration of baptism by Philip).

    vs. 15 & 16: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) [Here we see explicitly they were not baptized in accordance to the command received of the apostles from Jesus at Matt. 28.19 and can see explicitly this hindered the reception of the Holy Ghost].

    Now, look back at 8.1 & 5: vs. 1: 'except the apostles' vs. 5: 'Then Philip went down' (not sent, but went). Scofield identifies in his margins that Philip is the same as the Philip of chapter 6.5; was he the apostle Philip? But then vs. 1 says they were all scattered abroad....except the apostles. But, is this Philip of vs. 5 the same as of vs 5 in chapter 6 or is he an apostle?

    In whatever way, we see that he evidently preached the same doctrine as that of the Jerusalem church, and also, I will add he evidently did administer baptism to those in the city of Samaria who believed. But, still, when Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they still sent unto them Peter and John.

    And these two found that the believers had not received the Holy Ghost, even though being baptized.

    Was Philip's baptism valid? If not there is no scripture statement these ever received a 'scriptural' baptism (But note this is the same as found at Acts 19). Note also, those gathered on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) had received the Holy Ghost; note then too that while Peter yet spoke to the household of Cornelius, the Holy Ghost came upon them (Acts 10.44 and here it is said of all who heard the word and not specifically 'believed'.)

    Please note, there is something hindering the brethren in Samaria from receiving the Holy Ghost, what is this? We have believers, we have baptism, (though in the name of Jesus only) which is according to the command from Christ, an invalid baptism (equal in efficiency to that administered by Apollos in ch. 19). The Holy Ghost was not given nor received by this believers until after Peter and John was first 'sent' from the church in Jerusalem (the only one yet clearly identified as a church in scripture), they prayed that they might receive the Holy Spirit, and they laid hands upon them, only after these things do these baptized believers receive the Holy Spirit.

    Was Philip an apostle? Was Philip the Philip of Acts 6.5? Was Philip's baptism as administered here a valid baptism? If so, what hindered the Holy Ghost? We do see specifically that Philip is not said to have been 'sent' by the church in Jerusalem, but, Peter and John are, and Barnabas in Acts 11 also is said to be sent. Of Philip, it is simply said that [he] 'went'.

    Your thoughts are welcome.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton [​IMG]
     
  4. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Dear Brethren,
    Please note the following, not distinctly noted in my original post:

    note then too that
    while Peter yet spoke to the household of Cornelius, the Holy Ghost
    came upon them (Acts 10.44 and here it is said of all who heard the
    word and not specifically 'believed'.)


    In the reference from Acts 10.44 the believers received the Holy Ghost prior to immersion. In Acts 8 the sequence is they were believers, apparently baptized and were yet to receive the Holy Ghost.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton [​IMG]
     
  5. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Dear Brethren,
    I am in the process here of proving the strict chain/link landmark position, have you no comments, rebuttals, or slurs? :D ;)

    I will be in Cookeville this weekend, I guess you are just waiting for me to be out of town :eek: [​IMG] then... [​IMG]

    May God Richly Bless you each this weekend [​IMG]

    Bro. Dallas Eaton [​IMG]
     

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