Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

Witnesses to Me

To The End of the Earth!

- A Study In Acts -




The author of the book is Luke through the Spirit of God. Luke is a Greek name (‘ Loukas '), with no corresponding Hebrew name.

This is the second of the two letters which he would write. The book is addressed to the same individual as the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:3 Acts 1:1); [Theophilus].

Luke was a traveling companion of Paul. This is established in this second letter, as Luke will write in the first person “we” and “us”, during some of the travels of Paul – 16:10-17; 20:5-15; 21:1-18; 27:1-18; and Luke would be with Paul when he would arrive at Rome at the end of the letter – Acts 28:16.

What we can factually establish concerning Luke is given in the other passages of scripture that he is mentioned:

Colossians 4:14 “Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.”

Philemon 1:24 as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers.”

2 Timothy 4:11 “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.”


In this wonderful pattern of approval that Paul establishes in his writing (as well as a pattern of dis-approval concerning those who have ship-wrecked from the faith – 1 Timothy 1:19-20; 2 Timothy 1:17; 4:14-15), we learn that Luke is a physician, that he is beloved (not just an attitude that Paul alone held, but he says it as a general consensus), he was a fellow laborer with Paul in the Gospel, and a companion of Paul.

We will see his profession come to the surface in his writing of the events of the book of Acts in the detailed description of the death of Judas (1:18), in the description of the lame man that the Lord healed through Peter at the Beautiful Gate to the temple (3:1-10), in the description of the death of Herod (12:23), and in the description of the poisonous snake bite that Paul would receive on Malta (28:3); just to name a few.

Taking nothing away from the Spirit guided wisdom that Luke was undoubtedly blessed with (as demonstrated by the insight given him of the internal discussion of the Sanhedrin court - 5:33-40 – by way of example), Luke was an accurate and able historian as demonstrated in the orderly Gospel he has already recorded. He continues to demonstrate the Hellenistic historian style of recording of the events of this book (naming figures of authority for an historical book mark, times of the year (Pentecost, Passover, etc…) for seasonal reference.

There has been a great deal of speculation concerning the nationality of Luke; however, a couple of things that we can establish from scripture, is that Luke is a proselyte, this is established by his knowledge of the Old Testament scriptures. He not only has an intimate knowledge of Philippi, but a kinship illustrated in the length of time he would stay there, while Paul would journey on (Acts 17:1-20:6). We know that there was a school for medicine in Philippi that he was obviously familiar with.

In all this, it is universally true that the background of Luke is far less important than the work (1 Corinthians 4:1-2).



The letter is written to Theophilus. His is also a purely Greek name (‘ Theophilos '), with no corresponding Hebrew name. Like Luke, there is every indication that he was a proselyte by the amount of Old Testament scripture quoted in the Gospel of Luke written to him and in this letter (55 direct references as quotes from the Old Testament between the two books).

In the Gospel of Luke, there is a distinction made by Luke concerning Theophilus that gives the impression that Theophilus was a ruler or someone of authority (“Most excellent Theophilus” Luke 1:3). Very similar in its usage to the phrase “Most Noble” (Acts 24:3; 26:25), and comes from the Greek word, ‘ Kratistos ', which is rendered mightiest, noblest, or best. We see it used by Lysias, the Roman commander in Jerusalem, in his letter to the governor Felix (Acts 23:26). Uniquely, the title is gone when Luke would address the book of Acts to him.



The book is self-dated by the conclusion of the events that were recorded within its pages, note:

Acts 28:30-31 “Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.”


The Apostle Paul would come to Rome to face the result of his appeal to Caesar, avoiding being returned to the Jews in Jerusalem who had taken oaths to kill him. Luke records that he would stay in Rome two years in his own rented house, waiting to face the appeal. These are the last records of Luke, and date the writing of this book at the end of this stay in Rome.

As the prison epistles would be written while Paul was in Rome (Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and Philippians), being dated at approximately 63 AD. This dates the writing of Acts to be just beyond this approximate date. This tells us that with the understanding that the beginning of the church came on Pentecost, approximately AD 33; that Acts records over 30 years of the history of the church, in 28 chapters.



The simple purpose of the book is given in the unfolding of the great work that the Lord has given His Apostles (one's sent!), note:

Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”


Paul told Titus that, “To the pure all things are pure” (Titus 1:15), and this is true in the purpose given for the book. It was given to purely reveal the unfolding of this great command.

Acts 1-12 Records the preparation, origin, growth, progress, and dispersion of the church – Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Syria.

Acts 13-28 – Records the continued growth, progress, and dispersion of the church – Cyprus, Asia minor, Europe, uttermost parts of the earth (Romans 15:19; Colossians 1:23).


It would be foolish to think that the book only records the acts of the Apostles, as this commission could never have been carried out by just the twelve and Paul; “born out of due season” (1 Corinthians 15:8).

It does describe the fulfillment of the great commission in its detail, which included teaching the disciples created “Whatever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20).


By this, we will see the effective working by which the Gospel of Christ given to create Disciples of Christ, also included doctrine, by which those converted would continue to accomplish the purposes of God in the kingdom of His Son. This effective working would be demonstrated by the likes of Barnabas (4:36-37; 9:27; 13:1-3; 15:35), Stephen (Chap. 6-7), Philip (8:4-40; 21:8-10), Ananias (9:10-19; 22:12-16), Agabus (11:27-28; 21:10-14) James (15:13-21), Judas and Silas (15:32-34; Silas – 15:40-18:22), Timothy (16:1-18:22; 20:4; 27:2-28:16), Aristarchus (19:29; 20:4; 27:2), just to name some who would also be instrumental in the fulfillment of bringing the message of the kingdom to the world.

The book would literally be a demonstration of all the human parts necessary for the establishment, development, and growth of the early church (God chose human agency to bring a universal method for all men to come to God on the same terms), -

1 Corinthians 1:21 “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”


This human agency combined with spiritual gifts, which existed because the church came before the written word (not the word, but only the written word, which to you and me is scripture that guides us to completeness – 2 Timothy 3:16-17), and served until that which was perfect would come; the [written word] (1 Corinthians 13:10).

Since Acts is the history of the earliest churches it is literally the fulfillment of these words of Paul, note:

1 Corinthians 12:28 “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.”


As the written word would begin to be distributed in the churches, it would begin to thin out the necessity for some of these appointments, note:

2 Thessalonians 3:14 “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.”


We will discuss this subject more in context within the book. Suffice it to say that the title of “Praxis Acts”, “Acts of Outstanding Men”, will include the unified work of saints in personal growth and the application of that personal growth towards to cause of Christ, fulfilling the commission of Acts 1:8.


Next: Nuts and Bolts!