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The Book of: Acts

I'm glad to see you're still with us. We hope you spent some time meditating and thinking about the things you've read in our studies so far. As you know if you have been with us from the start, we began with the gospel and epistles of John which told us of the love of God and the provision he's made for our forgiveness and fellowship with him. In Genesis and Exodus we learned a good bit about the rebellious nature of man and the need for reconciliation between man and God. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke we saw the works of Jesus Christ on this earth and his provision by his death on the cross for our salvation.

This book is written by Luke and is a continuation of his letters to Theophilus recording the history of Jesus on this earth in the gospel of Luke, and then the history in this book of the early church.

The title of this book is given in most our Bibles is not entirely accurate. It might be more appropriately titled "the acts of the holy spirit through some of the apostles and disciples". It might also be called "the acts of the holy spirit in the history of the early church".

In this opening chapter we have our last glimpse of Jesus on this earth until he returns again.

(chpt:  1 Vs: 001)  The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 002)  Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 

Verse 3 tells us that he spent 40 days teaching the 11 remaining apostles the things of God. I would think that this would be a very intense experience on the part of these men. Try to imagine if you can what it would be like to spend 40 days with the newly resurrected Jesus Christ.

(chpt:  1 Vs: 003)  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: 

Verses 4 through 8 records Jesus�s last instructions to the apostles. They are instructed not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the baptism of the holy spirit. They are told that after this baptism they are to be witnesses starting in Jerusalem, then Judea and Samaria, and after that the far reaches of the earth

(chpt:  1 Vs: 004)  And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 005)  For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 006)  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 007)  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. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 008)  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 

Verses 9 through 11 record Jesus ascension into heaven. Verse 9 describes his disappearance into a cloud. Clouds in certain contexts represent large groups of people.

In verse 11 the angel tells the apostles that Jesus will return in the same manner as the left (in a cloud) I suggest and that we remember this typology when we get into Scriptures dealing with the second coming of Christ.

(chpt:  1 Vs: 009)  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 010)  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 011)  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. 

The rest of this chapter deals with the return of the apostles to Jerusalem. After a time of prayer with other Christian believers Peter acts like Peter of old and suggests that the apostles take it upon themselves to elect someone to replace Judas. The rest of the apostles seem to agree with this and they elected Matthias. However well-intentioned this might have been it was a major error. In fact , at least three errors. First Peter wasn't appointed by God to a position of leadership at this time. Second, they were running ahead of God who had not commanded this act. Third, they had not waited as Jesus commanded for the baptism of the holy spirit. As we see later God had already chosen and preordained Paul for this position. The lesson here for people like you and I is that we need to acquire the virtue of patience and be willing to wait for this definite leading of the holy spirit.

(chpt:  1 Vs: 012)  Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 013)  And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 014)  These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 015)  And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 016)  Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 017)  For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 018)  Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 019)  And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 020)  For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 021)  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 022)  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 023)  And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 024)  And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 025)  That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. 

(chpt:  1 Vs: 026)  And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. 

The first part of this chapter deals with the events of Pentecost. We need to read about these events very carefully with an open mind and understanding of the words as they are used. This is an unusual onetime event. This is the actual birth of the church, and God and is empowering a small group of people who are to begin the work of the Holy Spirit on this earth. Prior this event certain Prophets were empowered on temporary basis to proclaim the will and word of God. From this time on every Christian at the time of conversion receives the indwelling Spirit of Christ. With the Spirit of God indwelling and teaching us and our submission, God is able to use us in many ways that we would not expect.

(chpt:  2 Vs: 001)  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 

Verses 2 and 3 should be read very carefully. In verse 2 we have the sound of a mighty rushing wind. There was no actual wind. I don't think a candle flame or lamp flame flickered in the least. In verse 3 there is only the appearance of cloven tongues that were fire like.

(chpt:  2 Vs: 002)  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 003)  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 

Verses 4 through 13 tells us these apostles begin to speak with other tongues (not strange or unknown tongues). The context definitely indicates that they were speaking in foreign tongues that they had not previously known but people who were gathered there understood.

(chpt:  2 Vs: 004)  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 005)  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 006)  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 007)  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 008)  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 009)  Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 010)  Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 011)  Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 012)  And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 013)  Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 

Beginning with verse 14 through verse 40 we have Peter's first holy spirit inspired sermon. And if I may say so it was a doozy.

(chpt:  2 Vs: 014)  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 015)  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 016)  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 017)  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: 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 018)  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 019)  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 020)  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: 

In verse 21 Peter makes a statement that will be one of the major themes throughout the rest of the New Testament, mainly " whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved".  What's new here?  From now on anyone who trusts the leading of the spirit of God and asks God for salvation will receive it.

(chpt:  2 Vs: 021)  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 022)  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; 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: 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 023)  Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 

(chpt:  2 Vs: 024)  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 


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