“The Day of Pentecost Fully Come”
Acts 2:1- 4
- In Chapter 1, we have already witnessed the writings of Luke here in the book of Acts where Christ had come to the disciples and told them to wait for the “Promise of the Father.”
- In Chapter 2, this promise is kept and a gift is given.
- Also in chapter 1 we saw Jesus ascend back into heaven in the same manner, from the same place, through the clouds as He will return to claim His bride.
- And we closed out the chapter when we read about the prayer meeting of the apostles in the upper room where Matthias one of two chosen replaces Judas Iscariot.
- Now we come to the moment that all of Christendom then awaited and now looks back to in thanksgiving to the grace of God upon His adopted.
I. The Coming Of The Holy Spirit
A) Day of Pentecost
- The word “Pentecost” means 50th and refers to the “Feast of Weeks” mentioned in Exodus 34:22…And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end. 23) Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.
- This is also known as the “Feast of Harvest” in 23:16.
- This feast is always and still is by many Jews celebrated 50 days after Passover in May/June (Lev. 23:15-22).
- This feast is one of three feasts that are celebrated every year.
- The Jews had to travel from wherever they lived to Jerusalem for these 3 feasts. This is noted in as we begin our study in Acts 2, and in verse 1… And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
B) First fruits offering was made
- A first fruits offering was made on the Day of Pentecost as they usually did for the “Feast of Weeks” except this time it had even a greater purpose as the Holy Spirit came on this day as the first fruits of the believers inheritance.
- Note II Corinthians 5:5… Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing (for this purpose) is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
The Greek word for “earnest” is arrabōn meaning… a pledge, or part of the purchase money or property given in advance as security for the remainder.
EXAMPLE; Let’s say you are driving along the highway and notice a vehicle you would really like to have. So you ask the owner if you can give him $50.00 now until you get home and come back for the rest. That $50.00 is “earnest” money.
- God is giving the Holy Spirit to His children as earnest money to hold them until Jesus comes to claim them.
- Note another passage of scripture Paul wrote in II Corinthians 1:21…Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22) Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. You see my dear deaf friends… God has sealed us, made a down payment on our souls, paid the security deposit so that no one can claim us, steal us away from, or try to purchase us for their own. PRAISE THE LORD!!!
- Ephesians 1:11… In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
- But note verse 13… In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
- All of this is proof that the Holy Spirit was given by God Himself as a down payment on every believer’s eternal inheritance.
- You now I get to thinking about this time of year when people are thinking about Christmas coming up and putting things on Lay-away and usually they ask for 10% of the purchase to be put down in earnest.
- Can you imagine the cost of our down payment for an eternal home in heaven with all that God has for us there. WOW.
- Also note in Acts 2:1… And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. This means that they were all there with the same heart, soul and mind waiting to receive the promise of the Father. May I also say that this is the what God was talking about being of “one body” in Christ. Everyone comes to meet for the same purpose, in the same good spirit of worship, the same humility, and the same hope. This is being in one accord, in one body, with one LORD.
- “one place” refers to the upper room mentioned in Acts 1:13.
- Now let us look at the exciting verse 2… And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
- “…as of a rushing mighty wind” Luke’s description here of the Holy Spirit coming like a quick burst of wind is like several passages of scripture which use the wind to picture the Spirit of God… Ezekiel 37:9…Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10) So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
- Another is found in John 3:8… The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
- I believe that the Holy Spirit came into the room quickly, and by surprise. They were expecting it, but didn’t know “how” or the exact moment…like a rushing mighty wind.
- Have you ever been sitting in a chair reading a book (or in my case taking a nap) when all of a sudden the wind blows through the window?
- Now look at verse 3… And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
- Just as the wind was symbolic to the Holy Spirit, so is the fire to tongues.
- These were not literal flames of fire but rather an indicator to the people that the Holy Spirit was sent from the Father to every believer.
- In the Bible, you should note that fire often denotes the presence of God. I am sure we can always remember in Exodus 3:2…And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3) And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4) And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am 5) And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6) Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
- I further remind you of how the Holy Spirit came in Matthew 3:16…And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
- All through the Bible you should note how many characteristics, how many faces, how many names, how many entrances and exits, and etc. there are of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
- Now look at Acts 2, and verse 4…And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
- If you will allow me to share with you what my brother David had wrote in his message to Potter’s Hands Baptist Church…“I am sure most of us here have heard about the practice and belief of speaking in tongues. I am sure that this teaching is different from church to church. I would have to say there is much confusion about this topic and it is my job as your pastor to try to get to the truth. (This is my heart as well, as it should be the heart of every pastor)
- The tongues of fire and the speaking of tongues was proof that the Holy Spirit had arrived to do His work during this church age. These things do not prove that a person is saved. We will discuss this in a moment. Today’s message is meant to be informative and not life applicable. I feel too many people through the years have tried to make the Bible fit with their dogma (beliefs). I want to make sure we do not do this. There is something I want us to keep in mind that with every gift of God and with every act of God Satan has something that will look like it. This gift is no different. Today I want us to look at three points of interest 1: It is a known language, 2: The Gift is Not Finished, 3: The Purpose of the Gift.”
- I wish we had the time to preach his message and mine both prepared by the Holy Spirit I might add.
- Note first of all in Acts 2, and verse 4…”…and they were all filled.” The word “all” meaning the apostles and the other 120 people in the room.
- BAPTISM – with the spirit is a one-time act which God places believers into the body of Christ. I Corinthians 12:13…For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
- FILLING OF THE SPIRIT – a repeated reality of spirit controlled behavior that God commands believers to maintain. Look at Ephesians 5:19-33. All of this is evidence of the filling of the Spirit of God… singing to yourself, being thankful, submission to others, loving your spouse and the church so much as to forsake family should they interfere with your worship in accord.
- Might I also add that Peter (with many others) in Acts 2 were filled with the Spirit again (Acts 4:8, 31, and Acts 6:5, Acts 7:55) and spoke boldly the Word of God.
- The fullness of the Spirit of God affects all areas of life not just the ability of speech.
- Again look at Acts 2, and verse 4…And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
- Tongues here is not a physical tongue cut out and given to another.
- Nor is it a speaking in gibberish as the Pentecostals do where no one can understand what is being said. For me, I believe that when you speak gibberish that it causes confusion and God said that He is not the author of confusion.
- Speaking in tongues here is a gift given to these people to speak and understand different languages.
- This “other tongues” also gave to the people the fact that God’s Holy Spirit was going to be available to “All Nations” not just the Nation of Israel.
- When you see the last part of verse 4… “as the Spirit gave them utterance” I believe that it is also to point out the fact that it is the Holy Spirit who gives us the gift of speaking in languages “not of ourselves.” It is the Spirit that gives us wisdom and knowledge to understand the things of God and the skill to do the work of God.
“The Day of Pentecost Fully Come”
I. The Response Of God’s People
A) Devout Men
- Look at Acts 2:5…And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
- Note the term “…dwelling at Jerusalem.” The word “dwelling” translated in the Greek is katoikeō. It means to take up residence, to live. This tells me that Luke was describing two separate kinds of men being there for the “Feasts of Weeks” and for the Day of Pentecost. This particular note is explaining the men that lived there were “…out of every nation under heaven.”
- Now the term “…devout men,” are the men who had traveled to Jerusalem that comes from “…every nation under heaven.” These were the Hebrew males who had made the journey and expected to participate in the celebration of Pentecost.
B) The sound
- Look at verse 6… Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
- Now when this was noised abroad,” This “noise” by definition of some believe that it is talking of the “rushing mighty wind” sound mentioned back up in verse 2.
- Interestingly enough the word “noised” in our English language is translated “phōnē” in the Greek.
- The word “abroad” meaning all over the city and quite possibly some of the countryside.
- I don’t believe that the noise was the noise of the speaking in tongues because of the descriptive words of Luke being more visible as “…like tongues of fire.”
- Another definition of the term “noised abroad” is given by Barnes Notes saying… When the rumour of this remarkable transaction was spread, as it naturally would be without delay.
- I believe the later because like a telephone is used to send a message to many quickly so as the rumor of something happening.
- “…the multitude came together,” The “multitude” is in addition to those 132 in the upper room.
- “… and were confounded,” The word “confounded” in our English is translated “syncheō” in the Greek. Again this word means as Barnes Notes said… they were violently moved and agitated; were amazed, and astonished at the remarkable occurrence.
- The Holy Spirit did not cause people to be confused as we already have discussed that God is not the author of confusion. They were shocked.
- Luke is merely stating a fact that no one (in this multitude) understood what was going on. It happened quickly and they had no time to think or respond correctly. Like they were shocked. When you become shocked you sort of freeze. They body or mind is in awe and you don’t know what to do.
- “… because that every man heard them speak in his own language.” There were many people there from different dialects (languages) and each person heard the disciples speak in their own language.
- The disciples didn’t know any other languages other than their own (Galilean).
- This is the work of the Spirit of God. It gives us wisdom, it gives us utterance (Speech), it gives us insight to discern evil from good, and it gives us the knowledge and understanding of the Word of God.
C) The Galileans
- Look at verse 7…And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
- FIRST, note that everyone in the group upstairs (120) and downstairs and outside…were “amazed and marveled.”
- The word “amazed” in the English is translated “existēmi” in the Greek and really has the meaning of being astounded in wonderment, “like Wow.”
- The word “marveled” in the Greek is “thaumazō” meaning to admire or hold in admiration. This is a “pleasing” effect.
- SECONDLY, “…saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?” Here is what all the people were amazed (shocked) and marveled (admired) at these Galileans for…
- Galileans were from Galilee.
- Galileans were from a rural area in the Northern part of Israel around the sea of Galilee.
- Galilean Jews spoke with a distinct (special) regional accent.
- Galilean Jews also were considered to be unsophisticated and uneducated (Looked down on like a hobo or bum on the streets.) by the Southern Judean Jews.
- This is WHY the Southern Judean Jews were amazed and marveled at the disciples for their “all of a sudden” intellect and intelligence at this precise moment.
D) The Parthians, Medes, and Elamites
- Let us note verses Acts 2:8…And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9) Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10) Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11) Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
- These verses prove that the Holy Spirit was speaking in different languages and not speaking in some made up jibberish of men who think they possess the Spirit.
- Note all the different languages represented…
- Parthians, These were people that lived in what is modern day Iran.
- “…and Medes,” In Daniel’s time they ruled with the Persians settling in Parthia. Their language was Persian.
- “…and Elamites,” From the S.W. part of the Parthian Empire. These people were the descendants of Noah’s son Shem. Their language was Persian also.
- “…and the dwellers in Mesopotamia,” These people lived between the rivers (Tigris and Euphrates). Many Jews still lived there who were descendants of those who were in captivity and who never returned to the land of Israel. Their language spoken here was a mix between Syriac and Chaldee.
- “… and in Judaea,” All the region once controlled by David and Solomon including Syria. These Jews were from Judea and spoke the native language there of Judean.
- “…and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10) Phrygia, and Pamphylia,” These were all districts in Asia Minor, which is now Turkey. The languages here were Syriac, Greek, Turkish, and Cretian.
- “…in Egypt,” Many Jews lived there especially in Alexandria. This is till the general area of modern day Egypt.
- “… and in the parts of Libya about (adjoining) Cyrene,” These were districts west of Egypt along the Northern coastline of Africa.
- “…and strangers of Rome,” Any Jew who lived in Rome was considered a “stranger.” They did not belong there in the heathen country. There was still a huge amount of Jews who resided there.
- “…Jews and proselytes,” These were typical Jews from Israel and the “proselytes” were the Gentiles who conformed to Judaism.
- In verse 11 we note the last two mentioned as “Cretes and Arabians,” These “Cretes” were the Jews who lived on the island of Crete of the southern coastline of Greece. The “Arabians/Arabs” were Jews who lived South of Damascus among the Nabatean Arabs.
- Now let us examine the rest of the verse 11… we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
- These people of all different languages were hearing each other and understanding each other as they shared their testimonies and experiences of the Old Testament stories from their ancestors of all the marvelous works that God had performed for them.
- These stories were also ones that were shared at the three different feasts every year at Jerusalem during the festivals.
- When we as brethren in Christ can come together in feasting, we should be able to share similar stories of what God has done for us.
- If we are not able to share in testimonies of what God has done for us recently then we need to take notes and ask “WHY is God not giving me blessings?” Why is God not doing something special in my life. Why do I not recognize the good things God has done for me and only focus on the bad things that happen.
- This is exactly what Paul was talking about in Romans 1:21…Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
- This is what happens… People know God, they believe in God, but they do not glorify Him in the events that take place in their lives. They do not recognize the judgment of God when it happens and they just keep plugging along life’s road taking it as it comes and goes and recognize nothing that God is doing for them.
- And then when God does something good for them…they don’t even thank Him for the good things. You know what they say? “What “luck” I have.” Or they say… “I was really lucky that the tree fell on the ground and not on my new car.” LUCK MY FOOT! Christians should not even have that word in their vocabulary. When you are a child of God, you do not get lucky, you get blessed, you do not have luck… you have blessings.
E) The different responses of the crowd
- Look at verse 12… And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13) Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
- We have already come to know that the word “amazed” means to be shocked. In other words here in verse 12 it says they were shocked at all the different languages and stories they heard about the blessings of God in their lives.
- Now notice that satan cannot stay away for even the time of blessings when God’s people come together to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit from God. Look at this… “and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?” any time there is doubt being placed concerning the things of God it is a response of the old sin nature created by satan.
- Satan is the author of confusion, not God.
- Now then rationalization creeps in when these people write off the happiness that God has given them in the Holy Spirit and the gift of the Spirit in speaking in tongues (different languages) to think that everyone is drunk. “13) Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.”
- Have you ever told a non believer about something good that God has done in your life and they excuse it off as something else? They glorify not God.
“The Day of Pentecost Fully Come”
I. Peter’s Spirit Filled Sermon
A) Peter straightens out their thoughts
- Acts 2:14…But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them,
- Notice several things first. Peter stood up with the eleven other apostles. He didn’t go into the crowd , nor did he take sides with maybe one of the popular Pharisees of the Jews, but he stood by his brethren.
- Peter did not joke about it by saying, “Well you know, they may have had a little too much wine to drink earlier so forgive their awkward behavior speaking in tongues and joyous manner.” He didn’t say that.
- He stood by his brethren in Christ and friendship. In fact he raised (lifted up) his voice as to holler at the crowd and get their attention and then he said…
- “…Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
- He addresses those guilty of backbiting and slandering the name of Jesus by attacking the “least of these my brethren.” The Judeans and all the other muckety muck that live in Jerusalem.
- “…be this known unto you,” Basically Peter is saying… “Now you need to know the truth of the matter.” and hearken to my words:” “Listen to what I have to tell you.”
- PETER’S EXPLANATION- Note verse 15) For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
- Peter said this… “There is no way anyone in their right mind (suppose) would say that my brethren are drunk at 9:00 in the morning.”
- The reason he said that to was to let the crowd know that they were being foolish, or that they were jesting which is not right.
- So why was Peter arguing the fact? Why was is not probable that they were drunk?
- Barnes Notes explains this…
- It was the hour of morning worship, or sacrifice. It was highly improbable, that at that early hour they would be intoxicated.
- It was not usual for even drunkards to become drunk in the daytime. (I Thess. 5:7), “They that be drunken are drunken in the night.”
- The charge was, that they had become drunk with wine. Ardent spirits, or alcohol, that curse of our times, was unknown. It was very improbable that so much of the weak wine commonly used in Judea should have been taken at that early hour as to produce intoxication.
- It was a regular practice with the Jews, not to eat or drink anything until after the third hour of the day, especially on the Sabbath, and on all festival occasions. Sometimes this abstinence was maintained until noon. So universal was this custom, that the apostle could appeal to it with confidence, as a full refutation of the charge of drunkenness at that hour. Even the intemperate(Those who lacked self control) were not accustomed to drink before that hour.
- The following testimonies on this subject from Jewish writers, are from Lightfoot. “This was the custom of pious people in ancient times, that each one should offer his morning prayers with additions in the synagogue, and then return home and take refreshment.” (Maimonides, Shabb.chap. 30.) “They remained in the synagogue until the sixth hour and a half, and then each one offered the prayer of the Mincha, before he returned home, and then he ate.” “The fourth is the hour of repast, when all eat.” One of the Jewish writers says, that the difference between thieves and honest men might be known by the fact that the former might be seen in the morning at the fourth hour, eating and sleeping, and holding a cup in his hand. But for those who made pretensions to religion, as the apostles did, such a thing was altogether improbable.
B) Paul backs up his speech with scripture
- Note verse 16) But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17) And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18) And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19) And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
- This is a direct quote of the prophet Joel and his writing in Joel 2:28-32…And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29) And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30) And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD 32) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
- Peter’s sermon starts talking about the prophecy to come mentioned in the book of Joel. He is talking about prophecy that he (Paul) is familiar with. This is scripture he (Paul) had witnessed the priests say. But more importantly we cannot forget the ultimate reason he (Paul) brings this scripture is that fact that the Holy Spirit brought it to his remembrance the very words of the prophet Joel saying “in the last days.”
- Look, deaf folks (and hearing) “…the last days” is talking about all the days from the cross, today and clear up to the rapture of the bride of Christ (the church).
- We are living in “…the last days.”
- Let us examine Peter’s explanation of the events to take place…
- “I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:” this is speaking of the baptism that The New Testament redeemed will experience. Any one accepting the Lord as their personal Savior will now receive the Holy Spirit to teach, lead and convict them.
- The Old Testament Jews were saved by God through the sacrificial lambs offered by the priests and it only covered their sin.
- At the day of Pentecost and now, those who accept Christ as their personal Savior would become automatically filled with the Holy Ghost with Christ being the sacrificial Lamb, He removed the sins of men.
- Also note that Paul and Joel stated the fact that the Holy Spirit will be poured out “…upon all flesh.” This means every single person no matter their race, color, or nationality (Jew or Gentile).
- “…and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:”
- All the “sons and daughters shall prophecy” means several things. To “prophecy” means to 1) predict or foretell future events. 2) To declare things of God as a prophet would. 3) Through the praises of God in music. 4) To teach. 5) To speak under a Devine influence.
- To “see visions” and “dream dreams” is a part of God’s revelation plan to man. God has always revealed Himself or His Devine plan through visions and dreams. God many times communicated to man through visions and dreams in the Old Testament.
- Today we have the Holy Spirit that does that. That being said, I still believe that God does speak to us in dreams and visions.
- More importantly this verse is talking about the visions and dreams given to man by God in the Tribulation period as predicted by Joel 2:28-32.
- Verse 18) And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: The prophecy meaning, God’s word will be spread throughout the world in the millennial kingdom.
- Verse 19) And I will shew wonders in heaven above, The “wonders” is the amazement people experience when witnessing supernatural works (miracles.)
- “signs” point to the power of God behind miracles. We must always point powerful events or evidences in our life to God and give Him the glory.
- Miracles performed by the apostles with the power of the Holy Spirit of God were acts that proved to the people that they were messengers of God. (See Acts 5:12-16)
- “…and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:” These marvelous works are those that surround the second coming of Christ. The rapture of the saints that establishes the earthly kingdom.
- “blood” … Rev. 6:8, Rev. 8:7, 8, Rev. 9:15, Rev. 14:20, and Rev. 16:3.
- “fire” …Rev. 8:5, 7, 8, 10.
- “smoke” … Rev. 9:2, 3, 17, 18, and Rev. 18:9, 18.
- Verse 20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:”
- Paul here is repeating the Lord Jesus Christ’s teachings from Matthew’s gospel chapter 24: 29, 30…
- Matthew 24: 29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
- The “Day of the Lord” will come at the return of Christ. His second advent. The rapture of His saints. (II Thess. 2:2, and 19:11-15)
- Back to Acts 2, and Verse 21) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
- From now up to the hour of judgment (God’s wrath upon the earth) man will be able to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved from the pits of Hell. (See Romans 10:10-13.)
C) The “Meat” of Paul’s sermon
- Look now at what I call the “meat” or the “heart” of Paul’s sermon. Acts 2:22…Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Paul demands and gets their attention.
- We must know by now that the word “hear” means to understand or know this.
- Paul now wants people to know who approved the ministry of Christ Jesus in verse 22b…Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: These “miracles and wonders and signs” were God’s validation (physical proof and approval) on Jesus being the Messiah promised by O.T. prohets.
- Acts 2:23) Him (Jesus), being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Paul is aiming his sermon right at those who crucified the Lord on the cross. Now in reality we know that it wasn’t really by Jewish hands physically that killed Jesus, it was Roman soldiers who crucified him. But the soldiers were just carrying out orders from the king and the king gave the orders due to the pressure by the church leaders (Pharisees, scribes, and Sanhedrin) to get rid of this radical and blasphemer called Jesus.
- The first factor of Jesus’ crucifixion was the fact of Jesus“…being delivered by the determinate counsel.” This counsel in verse 23, were the “Men of Israel” mentioned in verse 22.
- The second factor of Jesus crucifixion was the fact that Paul brought up the point of it being the “foreknowledge of God.” In other words God already laid out a redemptive plan for the believers.
- “…and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:” The wicked hands referring to the ‘lawless hands” of those who passed judgment of the Son of God. This is an indictment (a charge or accusation against someone commissioning a crime) against “the Men of Israel.” The Romans had no knowledge of the Laws of God, nor were their lives governed by it, therefore they were lawless.
- This is also a promise or proof to us that God always punishes those who treat others unjustly or unrighteously.
- Now look into Acts 2:24) Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
- Peter’s message here is that because of His Devine power and God’s promise and purpose, death could not keep Jesus our Lord in the grave. AMEN!
- Peter’s message here was the fact that God raised His son up and so God will also raise us up also because Christ had made death painless to His saints.
- Let us not be confused with the process of death being painful sometimes. It is death itself as a Christian is peaceful in knowing where you are going when you die. Death for the unsaved is a fearful thing.
- Acts 2: 25) For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
- The Lord was speaking prophetically through David of His crucifixion.
- David also said that the Lord was always before his face (always present), on his right hand (nearby to help in time of need), that he should not be moved (by any calamity that would cause him to be uprooted in faith)
- Verse 26) Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover (in addition to this) also my flesh shall rest in hope:
- This combination of his heart, tongue and flesh can be better interpreted to say… “My entire being is satisfied being filled joy and gladness which causes me to be happy always in the Lord.”
- Note verse 27) Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
- We must be careful not to think that David is in hell (Sheol) and afraid that God is going to leave him there.
- The thought here is that God would never forsake us and throw (leave) us in hell.
- Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament said this…The word in the Hebrew which is translated here holy one, properly denotes one who is tenderly and piously devoted to another; and answers to the expression used in the New Testament, “my beloved“
- “thine Holy One” meaning Jesus Christ. God would not allow His Son to be unholy.
- Acts 2:28) Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
- This is Peter (as all the above verses 25-28) are Peter’s recital of David’s Psalm 16 which is the Lord speaking of His resurrection.
- Basically He is saying here that The Lord has showed David the paths to walk on so that he would be happy, and it pleases David to please the Lord, just as it pleased Jesus to please His Father.
- Peter here wants to show reverence to David in his explanation of Psalms 16 and how it is proven to be a speech from the Lord Jesus Christ and not of David… Acts 2:29) Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch (Head or ruler of the family) David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30) Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31) He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
- Peter then reminds the men of what they were eyewitnesses to in verse 32) This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
- Peter gives God the gory for raising His son Jesus and everyone witnessed it.
- God raised Jesus to show His approval for His work on the cross.
- 33) Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
- Peter is explaining here that after Jesus was risen and ascended, God’s promise to send the Holy Spirit was now being fulfilled (which ye now see and hear).
- Now look at this in verse 34) For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35) Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
- Note that he said… “The LORD said unto my Lord” meaning God said to Jesus. God was not talking to David, but rather Jesus.
- Peter here in this verse is quoting Psalms 110:1…The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
- This is the same verse that Jesus too quoted in Matthew 22:41…While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42) Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43) He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44) The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45) If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 45) And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
D) Look at the evidence
- Acts 2: 36) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
- Peter says here… “Look at the evidence that everyone present in this meeting has witnessed and now you know that the man you crucified is Jesus the promised Messiah.”
- Peter could have been a lawyer. Peter laid out the facts, quoted from the Law book, and gave credible accounts of credible witnesses and presented it to the jury. The same jury that crucified our Lord.
IV. The Invitation Given
A) After the message is preached
- The invitation is given by the words of Peter in Acts 2:37…Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
- Now who caused these guilty sinners to become “pricked in their heart (come under conviction)?” The Holy Spirit.
- The Greek word for “pricked” in our KJV is katanyssō meaning to pierce thoroughly, or to cut to the quick as a sudden and unexpected feeling of painful grief.
- These people were just indicted by the sentence sent from God through the preaching of His word that they had killed the Messiah.
- Just like in church when a message or lesson being studied on hits you right in the heart of your self righteous living quarters and then it causes you to respond as the sinners here in Acts… “what shall we do?”
- Peter tells them what they are supposed to do. 38) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
- These verses and other verses just like it throughout the New Testament are in my opinion and belief misunderstood by many churches. I have studied thoroughly God’s word and believe it to mean this…
- Repent … A change of mind and purpose that turns an individual from sin to God. True conversion (repentance) means to fear the consequences of God’s judgment upon you for your sin should you not change. But it is deeper than that. That sin must be forsaken and Christ embraced.
- “…and be baptized”… this baptism is the emersion under water obeying the command of Christ given in Matthew 28:19 and urging people who repented to now embrace the death, burial, and resurrection of their new Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- “…in the name of Jesus Christ” Is the new identity as a “Christian,” to be Christ-like. This was a very bold move for many Judeans as they were going against the church in Jerusalem and all they had ever been taught.
- “…for the remission of sins,” In studying the 1611 KJV and understanding the way it is written it would be best to take this to mean and better translated as … “because of the remission of sins.” Baptism does not produce forgiveness and cleansing of your sin. It is a genuine repentance that brings the forgiveness of God. When a person truly repents and turns towards God, it is recognized and understood by God as genuine and therefore leads Him to forgive your sin. Baptism is the very first act of “obedience” to God. Christ was proof of that. He did not have to be baptized because He is the Son of God. Christ was baptized to give us an example of being obedient to God the Father of ALL creation. We must remember Christ’s very words in Matthew 26:28…For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Jesus did not say that the water of baptism is for the remission of sin, but rather “my (Jesus) blood.”
- Now let us look back at Acts 2, verse 39) For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
- Salvation is from the Lord. Look at Paul’s words in Romans 3:24…Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
- It is Christ (God’s Son) who redeemed us, purchased our souls which are nothing but filthy rags, with His blood on the cross of Calvary. PRAISE HIS NAME!
- Paul goes on to say in Romans 3 and verse 25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (atoning victim, person who took our place) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance (Tolerance) of God;
- Now back in Acts 2, and verse 40) And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
- “with many other words” Meaning he wasn’t finished delivering his sermon. The Holy Spirit was moving through Peter as he testified of the truths that Jesus taught him concerning the Holy Spirit of God that causes us to understand the Word, and convicts us of wrong and teaches us the knowledge of God that was kept secret in the Old Testament.
- Peter said that they need to be saved from this “untoward” (perverse)
- If Peter were here today in our generation what do you think it would be called? I believe that the word “perverse” is a pretty serious and offensive word. To be perverse is to be totally opposite of what God had planned, or what God expects.
- You see, God planned from the start (Adam and Eve) that He (God) is to be worshiped. Man and woman are to live forever in holy matrimony bearing children that are to worship God just as the angels, seraphim, and cherubim, and all those heavenly bodies.
- But man’s sin changed all that because they were perverse. They went against God’s orders, His commands.
- God had to create a way for salvation. For the Old Testament saints it was the sacrifice (bloodshed) of a spotless lamb. For the New Testament saints it was the sacrifice of the spotless (sinless) Lamb of God in Jesus Christ on the Cross.
- After the preaching of God’s word, If a person realizes their condition as lost and in need of a Savior because they are not able to help themselves…they will receive or rather believe what they heard and respond positively as in Verse 41) Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:
- The word “baptized” here means to be submersed in water. No, they did not sprinkle. No, the apostles did not stand on a stage with a Super soaker water gun and baptize everyone.
- How many did they baptize? How many repented and were saved?
- It tells us in verse “41b…and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
- Now if my math is correct and if the 12 apostles were the only ones baptizing that day, that would mean that each one had to baptize 250 people each. What stamina. What strength. What endurance. And what speed. This my friends was all the doings of the Holy Spirit of God. He gives us strength, power, and wisdom to do the works of God.
V. The Apostles Are Empowered By the Holy Spirit of God
A) And they continued steadfastly
- Acts 2:42…And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
- To “continue steadfastly” means to continue without fail, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, never stopping. People today would never make it back then. People today are sissies. People today are wimps, lazy bums compared to the people of that day.
- Today, people don’t come to church because they are going to a birthday party, or going to a Deaf Expo, or going to a class reunion, or a family reunion, or maybe even going to the zoo. Whatever excuse they can find for not attending church services or functions of the brothers and sisters in Christ we do our best to make an excuse.
- I mean God forbid we have too much God in our lives. People may think we are fanatics. That is hogwash!
- Did you catch in verse 42 what they continued to do without fail? Look at it…
- “The apostle’s doctrine” – These were the doctrines of Jesus Christ for which He taught His disciples. The word “doctrines” means what you believe or know to be true. Jesus doctrines came from His Father (God), who then passed it on to Jesus His Son, who then passed it on to the Apostles, who then passed it on to their disciples, and so on and so on. Mainly the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus.
- The apostles “fellowship” – This is a partnership. Fellowship is the spiritual duty of every believer to stimulate (create excitement) one another to righteousness and obedience. (Rom. 12:10, Gal. 5:13, Ephes. 4: 2, 25)
- The apostles “breaking of bread” – This is a mandatory observance of all believers. This is in fact one of the two church ordinances at SBBC. This is a time for each member to come together in observance of the Lord’s table. This is a time to purify our hearts and rekindle the love of brethren.
- The apostles “prayers” – Lastly, they continued to pray “Pray without ceasing.” Every time they come together they honor God with their prayers with thankfulness with what the Lord Jesus Christ has done on the cross for their miserable souls.
- Here is the way I look at folks… I can’t get enough doctrine, I can’t get enough fellowship without wanting more. I can’t get enough breaking of bread for my sinful state. I can’t pray enough to my God through the Savior of my soul… it is never enough. God help us when we fail to continue.
- Here is the proper attitude when God steps into the house of worship. Here is the proper character of the heart when Jesus comes in….43) And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
- Did you get that? “FEAR” came upon every soul. Fear? What were they afraid of?
- The fear I personally believe was the fear of what God was going to do if they failed to be remorseful for their sins. FEAR of what the Almighty God of this world would do should they not follow the doctrines, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers.
- That is the problem in today’s world. In fact, it is written on many teenagers shirts… “NO FEAR.” It is sad. The fear of God’s judgment is of no effect on people today.
- The worst part is that they really mean it. They really fear nothing, not even God. They don’t fear authority of any kind, they don’t fear death doing stupid things that are dangerous, they don’t fear punishment, they don’t fear the ramifications of their sins or evil doings. No fear. You know what I think they ought to wear… “NO SENSE.”
B) All things common
- Now let us look into Acts 2, and Verse 44) And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
- There were about 3000 people and all believed and “had all things common.” This means… Once the Holy Spirit came into their souls, they were no more selfish, no more like the world. They were one in unity, mind, body and soul.
- When you become one body, everything you possess or own belongs to God. Your food, your house, your transportation, and yes, even your money. And that means when your fellow church member or child of God has a need, you will help them to the best of your ability.
- Your tithes and offerings are God’s and supposed to be spent on the works of God’s ministry.
- When you have “all things common” you share everything you have unselfishly. Yes, there are some people who always take and never give. These are people that need to learn from others and be disciplined to do as God directs and the Holy Spirit leads.
C) Giving to those in need
- Acts 2:45…And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
- The term here “…they sold their possessions and goods” means basically that they had a huge garage sale or took their possessions to markets or shops and sold them. This does not mean that they sold everything that they owned.
- This means that they sorted through and looked for things that were unnecessary for living, not really needed and sold it.
- Why did they do this? Acts 2:45b “…and parted them to all men, as every man had need.”
- They took the money and gave it to those who needed to pay a bill that was owed, purchase food for their families, buy sheep or whatever their necessities were they helped them to purchase it with the money from the sale of their personal items.
- They didn’t help them to purchase things that were not necessary for living.
D) Continuing daily with one accord
- Look at verse 46) And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
- I want us to take notice of how often they were together for church and dinner… “daily.” Not weekly, or monthly, but rather every day. They were a family that was of
“one body” who prayed, worshiped and ate together DAILY.
- Do you know why we don’t do that in America? SELFISHNESS and LAZINESS.
- I mean…God forbid we have to see each other daily because that would mean I would have no time for myself, or family, I would have to cook daily for others and I would have to clean house daily, do dishes daily. My soul… can you imagine the cost of food especially when that one couple always comes and never brings any food.
- Let me bring up another point… They went to church “first” then after church they went out to their homes and shared their food with other church members.
- Remember there was 3000 people. Not all 3000 people went from house to house. No one had a home big enough to accommodate 3000 people. So what did they do?
- Use your head…they split up into groups and found out who would go to which house ever Sunday. Yes there were some who would go every Sunday to the same house.
- Do you understand why they had no problems with this kind of gathering DAILY? Look at Acts 2:46c… “did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47) Praising God, and having favour with all the people.
- Did you get that? They did it with “gladness.” Meaning that they did it with a glad heart and unselfish attitude towards their brethren.
- Do you know why we can’t do that with gladness in our heart today? We are lazy! We don’t want to have to wait on one another every single day of our lives.
- You want to know something else? This is what it will be like in heaven. We will be together in heaven every single solitary moment. We won’t have a record of time in heaven, no need of it. There will not be days, months or years. Time is eternity.
- Do you know why they were glad/happy? Because they had the “singleness of heart.”
This means that they were all doing it with the same motives, the same conviction, the same reason, the same love…singleness of heart. (note the singular of heart, not plural).
- What were they doing the whole time they were eating, “Praising God.”
- This was like our “Fall Praise Festival” that we have every year. Only this was daily.
- THE KEY to their gladness, and singleness of heart and their worship and praise of the Lord was simply summed up with everyone “…having favour with all the people.”
- This means that they were not playing favorites. There were no “clicks.” They shared the same feelings and love towards every single solitary member of their church.
E) The results of being in one accord
- I must say to you right now SBBC…this is one of the reasons why I believe that our church has stayed within the 20-30 range for attendance. We are not “one accord.”
- I will say this… we are working towards it, but we are not there yet.
- I also believe that there are many deaf who are still battling deaf culture and have not submitted to God’s culture.
- When we get rid of the selfishness and pride and favoritism… the result will be like that in Acts 2 and verse 47…And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
- There is that word again… “daily.” They were worshiping God, eating together, praising God, and God was giving them the increase. They were reaping what they have sewn. They were living in the overflow.