The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
We have noted in other studies that the framework of the Book of Acts begins with the risen and glorifies Savior teaching his enlightened apostles [Lk 24:45] about "the kingdom of God." We've noted that "the gospel of the Kingdom" was restricted to Israel alone [Matt 10:5-7]. We've noted that "the end of the earth" from Acts 1:8 could easily be translated "the end of the land."
This last point does not bother us either way as this commission understood either way does not expand the command of the Lord beyond Israel. In Acts 11, after the Gentile Cornelius receives the "same gifts" of the Spirit that the Jews had received, the Apostles to the Circumcision [Gal 2:6-9] go "to Jews only" in Acts 11:19 after Peter testifies of Cornelius' gifts.
So, we have the Lord opening the Book of Acts (Luke's follow-up to his gospel account), by teaching for 40 days on the kingdom of God leaving the Apostles with but one question, "wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? [Acts 1:6].
All of these are enough to show that the context of the Book of Acts is the preaching of the earthly hope of Israel for which Paul was bound [Acts 28:20] and to which he testified [Acts 26:22; Acts 28:23] and this promise which the Lord came to confirm [Romans 15:8]. But we do not want to overlook another key phrase from Acts 1.
The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach
The word "began" comes from Greek "árchomai" which means "to begin, make a beginning" [Thayer's]. It is used 84 times in the Greek text and is translated as "beginning; began; begin; beginning; begun" 81 times.
In his flesh, the Lord began to teach of the Kingdom of God, in resurrection glory he continued to teach of the Kingdom of God throughout the Book of Acts. for 40 days, he taught the Kingdom of God to those who will one day "sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel" [Matt 19:28; Luke 22:30].
The Lord asked for forgiveness for Israel while on the cross, but the Apostles remind them that this was only to offer them a second chance.
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Peter offers the "restoration of all things" to "Ye men of Israel" in his sermon in Acts 3 (after Pentecost). This is not to some "spiritual Israel." This is not some empty promise. This not the restoration of a church which supposedly just came into being. This was a promise that if Israel (as a nation) would repent, the Kingdom promises in Moses and the Prophets would be fulfilled. The promise of a "kingdom of priests" from Exodus 19 would come to pass.
This is the consistent message and background of the entire Acts Age. That age ended when Paul revealed the Mystery of the "one new man" of Ephesians made up of both Jew and Gentile. The middle wall of partition came down. In this age, we do NOT look for any earthly kingdom, a restored land promise, or to Moses and the Prophets. We look for unsearchable riches in the far above the heavens.
Unto me [Paul], who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. 13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. [Ephesians 3]
We also note that these promises were made and secured from BEFORE the foundation of the ages as opposed to Israel's promises made SINCE or FROM the foundation of the Ages. Surely, Israel will receive her promises some coming age. Israel will be that kingdom of priests, that holy nation on the earth as promised by the Lord. She will be cleansed of her sin. She will be the Bride. But that Age is yet future.
So, as with all the other markers in the Book of Acts in the Acts Age epistles, we do not stand on the single word "began" alone, we stand on the evidence of all these things as we seek to "compare the things that differ" and "rightly divide the Word of Truth."