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Acts 29: "Lo-ammi" de facto in 28 or later?

Introduction

How will we determine what happened in Acts 28 regarding the judgment on Israel?

The beginning of the book of acts reminds the reader of what Jesus did immediately after his resurrection:

KJV Acts 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

TBT Acts 1:3 οἷς καὶ παρέστησεν ἑαυτὸν ζῶντα μετὰ τὸ παθεῖν αὐτὸν ἐν πολλοῖς τεκμηρίοις, δι᾽ ἡμερῶν τεσσαράκοντα ὀπτανόμενος αὐτοῖς, καὶ λέγων τὰ περὶ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ.

The subject of this kingdom message and its context continues to the very last verse of the book of Acts -- "the Kingdom of God" being found 7 times in Acts -- the next time after Acts it is found in Col. 4:11 in a different context.

Here is a concordance of "the kingdom of God" in Acts

KJV Acts 1:3  To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
KJV Acts 8:12  But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
KJV Acts 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
KJV Acts 19:8  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.
KJV Acts 20:25  And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
KJV Acts 28:23  And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
KJV 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.

There is a question given to the Lord by the apostles (1:2) about restoration of the kingdom to Israel in Acts 1:6  --( this is NOT the phrase "the kingdom of God" ). It reveals their correct and  appropriate understanding of the scriptures - the Lord's reply confirming this:

KJV Acts 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

TBT Acts 1:7 εἶπε δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς, Οὐχ ὑμῶν ἐστι γνῶναι χρόνους ἢ καιροὺς οὓς ὁ πατὴρ ἔθετο ἐν τῇ ἰδίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ.

The "times and seasons" they were not to know but the basis of their question was on target with no objection from Christ. This is no surprize since the Lord had previously opened the scriptures to them (see below). 

Luke 24

To understand the state and quality of their understanding we need to go back to Luke 24 where more information is given about the instruction that the Lord gave them after his resurrection. The passage begins with the women (Lk 23:55) who had prepared spices the night before, visiting the sepulchre in the morning the next day and finding the stone rolled away. The body of the Lord was gone and they received instruction from two men in shining garments who reminded them of the Lord's words that indeed He would rise the third day- Vs 8 and they remembered!! They were originally perplexed then they remebered. This starts a sequence of events where the disciples begin with unbelief (see Vs 12 Peter looking at the linen clothes departed wondering at that which had come to pass.) and then come to strong belief. Indeed they would eventually hazard their lives for their newly acquired faith.

In verse 13 two of the followers walked to Emmaus and Jesus drew near unto them in such a way that their eyes were holden that they could not recognize him. Their statement to the Lord in vs 21 reveals their unbelief:

KJV Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

TBT Luke 24:21 ἡμεῖς δὲ ἠλπίζομεν ὅτι αὐτός ἐστιν ὁ μέλλων λυτροῦσθαι τὸν Ἰσραήλ. ἀλλά γε σὺν πᾶσι τούτοις τρίτην ταύτην ἡμέραν ἄγει σήμερον ἀφ᾽ οὗ ταῦτα ἐγένετο.

The record is clear:

 25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
 28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
 (Lk. 24:25-31 KJV)

The story is unbelief to belief, eyes shut to eyes open indeed the chapter continues with evidence supplied and further opening not only of their eyes but their understanding also.

44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Lk. 24:44-47 KJV)

C H Welch

In addition Welch (Pentecost To Prison, page 180) makes the following observations concerning Luke 24 and Acts 28:

  1. The theme is 'concerning Jesus'
  2. This theme relates to 'hope'
  3. The basis of teaching and hope was the old testament scriptures
  4. The method was that of exposition
  5. The object was persuasion with the view to belief and understanding

He also gives some more incidental parallels that bear on the case such as the 'lodging' and 'hired house', 'slow' in  'slow of heart to believe' and 'dull' in 'dull of hearing' both derive from the same word 'baros' a weight. 'eyes opened' and 'eyes have they closed'. In both passages there is 'the evening', 'the third day' or 'after three days' - the spelling of Moses is the same in both passages whereas the NT has a number of different spellings.

In Luke 24 the lord expounds the scriptures to the disciples and in Acts 28 Paul expounds the scriptures to the chief of the jews in the all day conference.

Enough has been presented to see a parallel in these two passages. Welch concludes that various features of language change before and after Acts 28:28 support the notion that Acts 28 is where a new message was introduced (including the use of 'Jesus' alone with 'the Kingdom of God'  before 28:28 and 'the Lord Jesus Christ' and the retention of 'the Kingdom of God' after 28:28). More is said there - much of which is useful. 

Failing Israel and increasing unbelief

But note what has happenned -- Luke 24:53 to Acts 28:28 is generally a degrading in Israel's belief -- but to what extent? The context of Acts 28 shows that it was not a complete degradation:

KJV Acts 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

TBT Acts 28:24 καὶ οἱ μὲν ἐπείθοντο τοῖς λεγομένοις, οἱ δὲ ἠπίστουν.

KJV Acts 28:29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.

TBT Acts 28:29 καὶ ταῦτα αὐτοῦ εἰπόντος, ἀπῆλθον οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι, πολλὴν ἔχοντες ἐν ἑαυτοῖς συζήτησιν.

The Jews were divided on the one hand (pushing the men-de construction) some were persuaded and on the other hand others were faithless. The believing and unbelieving were real for they departed with great 'debate' or 'heated reasoning'

συζήτησις, εως, ἡ as forceful expressions of differences of opinion heated discussion, debate, dispute (AC 28.29) 

This contention was real and Paul's all day exposition had not fallen on only deaf ears. This is evidence of partial factual blindness and not complete blindness or at least not enough to warrant the conclusion that Israel would necessarily be in a state of "Lo-ammi".

Preaching the Kingdom of God

Indeed we could argue quite the reverse of Welch's conclusion by stating that the very last verse is resumptive:

In verse 31 we read:

KJV 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.

TBT Acts 28:31 κηρύσσων τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ διδάσκων τὰ περὶ τοῦ Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, μετὰ πάσης παρρησίας, ἀκωλύτως.

Notice Paul resumes the subject of the Kingdom of God -- but now with a different verb -- "to preach" not expounding but preaching -- is this a difference indicating a different message? Look at Acts 20:25

KJV Acts 20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

TBT Acts 20:25 καὶ νῦν ἰδού, ἐγὼ οἶδα ὅτι οὐκέτι ὄψεσθε τὸ πρόσωπόν μου ὑμεῖς πάντες, ἐν οἷς διῆλθον κηρύσσων τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ.

Again the conclusion is that Paul resumes what he was doing previously -- the content of the message had not changed.

Conclusion

There is no real proof in this parallel (Luke 24 Acts 28) that Paul was revealed the mystery or that Israel was set aside as Lo ammi in Acts 28. In fact a careful reading of the context supports the opposite.

For a possible schema for what actually happenned see: https://rightdivision.com/blog/acts-29-applying-microscope-acts-28