Acts 2:38 Question

The Acts 2:38 Question


After hearing the Apostle Peter preach a scathing and condemning murder indictment against them, the people who had heard Peter asked a question. Peter’s answer to that question is in Acts 2:38. A huge segment of the religious system today hangs a major part of their doctrine on Acts chapter two. Dispensationalists around the world point to Acts chapter two as the “birthday of the church.” (The church being a reference to the church, the body of Christ.)  Charismatics, or Pentecostals, as they are sometimes called, point to Acts chapter two as establishing a pattern of something. By and large, they believe that when a group of Pentecostals get together and “seek the will of the Lord,” that there is a fresh anointing of the Holy Ghost poured out. This “anointing,” as they say, is usually accompanied with all sorts of bizarre behavior. Sobbing, laughing, running and jumping, falling in the floor, and muttering gibberish which they refer to as an “unknown tongue” or their “prayer language.”

The statement made by the Apostle Peter in the book of Acts is a very well-known passage of scripture. Acts 2:38 can be found on buildings, billboards and bumper stickers across the country. Entire religious systems have been built, basically, on this one verse. That verse, coupled with the truth of Acts 2:4, is the source of huge blunders on the part of religious men (and women) around the world today.

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

What we would like to do right now, is to take a close look at who are the ALL in Acts 2:4 and WHAT was the question that Peter answered in Acts 2:38. In order to do that it might be necessary for us, just for right now, to put aside our religious training or our denominational thinking and just simply read all of the verses in their context, believing that the bible means just what it says, as it says it, where it says it. Acts 2:37 contains the question which was asked. In the light of what Peter had said, the people had asked, “Men and brethren, what must we do?” This is what the verse says:

Acts 2:38 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.

It says that Peter said “unto them.” We want to find out who the “them” is and what “their” question was about that prompted Peter to say what he said in Acts 2:38. In order to do that, let’s first consider a little background information. Acts chapter two is describing events which occurred on the Day of Pentecost, which is a Jewish Holy Day. The Day of Pentecost is not a “church festival” and it has nothing to do with the body of Christ, but rather, it has everything to do with the Law of Moses.

Some claim that the Law of Moses was abolished at the cross, but the very fact that the Jews were in Jerusalem on that particular day, the Day of Pentecost, shows that they were very much keeping the Law of Moses and were zealous of the Law of Moses. The Jewish feast day, the Day of Pentecost, is very much a part of the Law of Moses. The fact that they received the Holy Ghost on that day also shows that they were not out of the will of God by the fact that they were keeping the feast of Pentecost. The Law of Moses was given to the nation of Israel in the book of Exodus. Moses had led the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt and he had led them to Mount Sinai in the wilderness. That’s why the bible refers to the Israelites as being the “church in the wilderness:”

Acts 7:37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

So Moses was the leader of a church. Stephen, in Acts chapter seven, calls it “the church in the wilderness.” Let’s just state, at the outset, that you can find more than one church in your bible. Now in Matthew chapter sixteen, the Lord Jesus Christ says, “I WILL BUILD my church.” The Lord had asked “who do men say that I am.” They had answered, in effect, that “some say one thing and some say another.” Then he asked the disciples, “who do YOU say that I am?” And Peter had replied, “thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.” Now, in response to Peter’s confession, here is what the Lord said to Peter:

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The rock, in the passage, has to do with Peter’s confession that “thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.” But the point I wanted you to see is that the Lord said, I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH. So I know that that church which was led by Moses, called the “church in the wilderness” can’t be the same church as the church the Lord referred to in Matthew chapter sixteen when he said I WILL BUILD my church. If the Lord says that he WILL BUILD a church, then I know that it had not already been built and therefore it can’t be the church referred to by Stephen in Acts chapter seven as the “church in the wilderness.” So, as it turns out, the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ was for the purpose of building a church. He called it MY CHURCH and he said he WILL BUILD IT. The 12 apostles who are named in Matthew chapter 10 are the “founding fathers,” so to speak, of that church. As a matter of fact, you can see them in prophecy. Isaiah, who was a prophet of the nation of Israel said:

Isaiah 8:13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Isaiah 8:15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

Isaiah 8:16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

Isaiah 8:17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.

Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

Notice what Isaiah is talking about. He says that the Lord of hosts himself shall be for a sanctuary, but that he will also be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, for who? For BOTH the houses of Israel and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. So we should see by this that what is going on in Peter’s ministry on the Day of Pentecost has to do with Israel, not with the church, the body of Christ.

The nation of Israel, in the old testament, became split into two kingdoms, the northern and the southern kingdoms. The southern Kingdom was called Judah and the northern kingdom was referred to as Israel. Israel and Judah, and they are referred to as “the house of Jacob.” Jacob had 12 sons and they became the 12 tribes of Israel. Those 12 tribes of Israel had gone down into Egypt and were in bondage to Pharaoh until the time Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt into the promised land, the land which had been promised to Abraham in the book of Genesis.

So in the book of Isaiah we see a prophecy of the disciples. We see the prophecy of the “children whom the LORD hath given me,” a reference to Jesus Christ, and a reference to the 12 apostles to Israel. In John, chapter seventeen, the Lord is speaking, he is praying to God the Father, and he says:

John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

John 17:7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

John 17:8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

So just before his death on the cross, Jesus Christ is praying for these men, the 12 apostles. Now the passage in Isaiah says that they were for “signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts.” Now let’s go to Acts chapter two and read, in the context:

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

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

Acts 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

Notice that it says there was a SOUND. The sound was AS OF a rushing mighty wind. It doesn’t say that a “rushing mighty wind filled the house.” It says that the SOUND filled the house. It also says that they saw cloven tongues LIKE AS OF FIRE. It doesn’t say that there was fire in the room, it says LIKE AS OF FIRE. So we have SOUND filling the room and they saw something that resembled fire, something LIKE AS OF FIRE, and it, those cloven tongues, sat on each one of them. In other words on each of THE 12 MEN. Many in religion want to take what happened in Acts chapter two and apply it to Acts chapter one, so that what has happened in Acts chapter two is that there were 120 men, women, and evidently children too, running around in a confused babble, speaking in tongues. But that is just not the case. What had happened in Acts chapter one are things that occurred over AT LEAST a seven day period of time. During THOSE DAYS, Peter had stood up among the 120 disciples, and told them that someone needed to be chosen to replace Judas, who had betrayed the Lord.

Acts 1:15 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,)

Acts 1:16 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.

So he goes on to tell them that according to prophecy in the scriptures, that a replacement must be named for Judas, who had betrayed the Lord. That was done, and a man named Matthias was NUMBERED WITH the eleven. Eleven plus one makes twelve, the number of the 12 tribes of Israel. Israel has 12 tribes, and twelve apostles. The Lord had said that those 12 men would sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, “in the regeneration,” in other words, at the second coming of Christ.

Now the reason we know that at least seven days had gone by is the fact that the Lord was crucified on the Passover. The Day of Pentecost, according to the Law of Moses, comes FIFTY DAYS after the Passover. Remember that the Lord was crucified on the Passover and for three days and three nights he was in the heart of the earth, while his body was in Joseph’s tomb. Then after his resurrection he appeared to the disciples for a period of forty days. Forty days plus three days leaves seven days. Notice above in Acts 1:15 it says “in those days.” The days are the remainder of the seven day period of time between the Passover and the Day of Pentecost.

According to the Law of Moses, the Passover, which is the day in which Christ was crucified, is the 14th day of the first month. That day is a SABBATH day according to the law. On the morrow after the Sabbath, the Jewish High Priest would take a sheaf of grain and wave it before the veil in the temple:

Leviticus 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

Now here are the instructions for what is known as the “feast of weeks,” the end of which would be the Day of Pentecost:

Leviticus 23:15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:

Leviticus 23:16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.

Acts 2:5 had said there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven. They had come for the Day of Pentecost which was according to the Law of Moses. According to the Law, those men were required to be there and a devout Jew most certainly would have:

Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:

Deuteronomy 16:17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.

The feast of weeks is the feast we are talking about here. Seven Sabbaths and then the morrow after the Sabbath would be the fiftieth day, the Day of Pentecost. Now Christ was crucified, and was buried, and was dead for three days and three nights and then rose from the dead. After he arose, he appeared to the disciples for a period of FORTY DAYS, and then, in Acts chapter one he ascended into Heaven. His ascension was 43 days after the Passover, but before the Day of Pentecost.  As they watched him go, two men in white stood by and told them:

Acts 1:11 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.

Notice that the two angels address MEN OF GALILEE. They don’t say “ladies and gentlemen,” or men, women, boys and girls. They are talking to 12 Jewish men, Matthias being among them.

Now in Acts chapter one, during the period of time of “those days,” two men are picked who meet the qualifications to be a witness. Here are the qualifications, as Peter gave them to the group:

Acts 1:21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

Acts 1:22 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.

So two men are selected who meet the qualifications, and those qualifications had to do with being a witness to the entire earthly ministry of Jesus and also of his resurrection. In other words the ministry of these men was to establish the fact that this man, Jesus, is the promised Messiah to Israel. That is the very reason for the writing of the book of John. To establish the NAME of Jesus:

John 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

So two men were selected as candidates to replace Judas, who, by transgression, had fell. They cast their lots and the lot fell to Matthias:

Acts 1:24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,

Acts 1:25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

Acts 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

So in the last verse of Acts chapter one, verse 26 above, we see twelve Jewish men and the context continues into Acts chapter two:

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

The THEY in verse one is a continuing reference to the 12 MEN in the preceding verse. THEY, the 12 men, were all with one accord in one place. The same was true a week earlier. The COINCIDENCE is that there were also 120 others who were there. In Acts chapter one, they, THE 12 MEN, had returned to Jerusalem:

Acts 1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.

Acts 1:13 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.

So we see eleven names of eleven men. What happens during the next seven days happens in association with 120 disciples but what happens is that Matthias is NUMBERED WITH the eleven.

Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

Acts 1:15 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,)

Now evidently, these 120 people who were there were not all of the Lord’s disciples, because in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul refers to the Lord appearing to “over five hundred people at once.” When the Lord appeared to someone then they would have been a “witness” to the resurrection of Christ, and these 120 people certainly would have been, but the focus is on 12 MEN, not on a large group of men, women and children. The point here is that the initial baptism WITH the Holy Ghost included those 12 men, not 120 men, women and children. The twelve were anointed for their ministry and you see them beginning that in Acts 2:4. Afterwards, after Peter had delivered his message others received the baptism. However, please note HOW they received it. The only way a person received the baptism WITH the Holy Ghost was by the laying on of hands of one of those Apostles. ONLY THEY had the power to lay hands on someone. An example of that would be the conversion of the Samaritans in Acts chapter eight. Philip had gone down and preached in Samaria and the bible says that they were baptized, both men and women, when they believed Philip;s preaching. Obviously they were baptized with water.

Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

Acts 8:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

Acts 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Acts 8:17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

By the way, there is no such term in your bible as “the baptism OF the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues.” There is NO such thing as the “baptism OF the Holy Ghost.” What you see in Acts chapter two is the “baptism WITH the Holy Ghost,” and it is called “the promise of the Father.”

The term, “baptism OF the Holy Ghost,” is the invention of a man. The most likely candidate for the honor is a man named Charles Parham of Topeka, Kansas. In the year 1900, Charles F. Parham established the Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas. He taught his students that speaking in tongues was the evidence of “the baptism OF the Holy Ghost.” On January 1, 1901, Agnes Ozman, a student at Parham’s “College,” claimed that she could speak in tongues.

The thing spread into a few assemblies, and in 1906, W. J. Seymour, who had been one of Parham’s students, began to hold meetings at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California. Bizarre meetings went on for about three years and it was from there that the so-called “Pentecostal-Charismatic” movement had it’s beginning. So from that time forth, Pentecostal groups have taught that speaking in tongues is the “evidence of the Baptism OF the Holy Ghost.” Once again, there is no such term in the bible as the “baptism OF the Holy Ghost,” and there was no such thing as “Pentecostalism” prior to the early nineteen hundreds.

On the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two, twelve Jewish men were baptized WITH the Holy Ghost. They were not baptized BY the Holy Ghost, but they were baptized WITH the Holy Ghost. There were NOT 120 men, women and children speaking in tongues on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two. 12 Jewish men spoke in tongues and they were not muttering and chirping or speaking jibberish. They were speaking languages that were known and understood by those who heard them speak. That is clear from the bible:

Acts 2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

Acts 2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

Acts 2:8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

Now I don’t know if all of the 120 people who had been in that upper room in Acts chapter one were Galileans or not. They very well could have been. But whether they were or not, I know that all of the Apostles were Galileans because that’s where the Lord had found them and chose them:

Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

In Matthew chapter 10, the Lord called his disciples together and he chose 12 men which he named Apostles.  He had sent them forth with a message, the gospel of the kingdom, to preach to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” There is a great deal of confusion in religion today.  There is a great deal of emphasis today on the “red letters” of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In other words, on the spoken words of the Lord Jesus Christ during his earthly ministry among the people of Israel. People claim that they are “following Jesus,” but sadly what you find them doing is picking and choosing verses to “follow,” and ignoring the obvious. But to a bible believer, it is unmistakable. The instructions of the Lord to his disciples are so specific that you couldn’t miss the fact that in the Lord’s earthly ministry of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the message was simply not to Gentiles.

Matthew 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

He specifically tells them, “do not go to the Gentiles.” He also says, “do not go to the Samaritans. So I know that the ministry of these twelve men was not to, nor about, people like you and me. As a matter of fact, the bible says in John:

John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

People try to read themselves into the passage, but it simply won’t work. Look at what the Lord, himself, said later on:

Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

So the Lord says that he is SENT to Israel, not to Gentiles. And he told the twelve do not go to the Gentiles. Instead he told them exactly where to go, and even told them what to say when they got there:

Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Now whatever the “kingdom of heaven” is, I know that AT THAT TIME Gentiles simply had no part in the message. The message in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is simply not about the body of Christ. It is about Israel. It is unto Israel, not the Church, the body of Christ. Much later, Paul the Apostle, who was NOT a member of the 12, wrote this in the book of Romans:

Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

So I know that the “gospel of the kingdom,” being preached in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John had to do with “the promises made unto the fathers,” as in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob being the “father’s” of the nation of Israel. That’s what John meant when he wrote:

John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

God, in the Hebrew scriptures of the “old testament” had promised Israel a Messiah. The prophets had said that he would be of the “seed of David,” and that he would inherit the throne of “his father David.” But instead of Israel receiving their King, and the Kingdom being established, the people had said away with this man, we will not have this man to rule over us, we have no king but Caesar. Crucify him.  So the Lord had died on the cross, was buried, and three days and three nights later he rose from the dead. And as it turns out, there is a “little flock” amongst the “lost sheep of the house of Israel,” who DID believe, as Peter did, that “thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.” To those people, the Lord had said:

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Luke 12:33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Luke 12:35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;

Luke 12:36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

Now THAT is exactly what Peter and the others had in mind on the Mount of Olives in Acts chapter one, on the day the Lord ascended into Heaven, FORTY DAYS after he had been raised from the dead:

Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Now the Lord didn’t say WHEN the Kingdom would come. He didn’t say that he was RESTORING the Kingdom “at this time.” Instead here is what he did say:

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.

Acts 1:8 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.

But what were they to witness? Were they to witness the fact that Christ had died for the sins of all men and that now God was forming a joint body of believers, Jew and Gentile, into one body? Were they to witness to people that they should believe that Christ died for their sins, was raised for their justification and that all believers would go to heaven someday? Absolutely not. They knew nothing at all about something called the church, the body of Christ. They knew what they had been taught by the Lord for three years in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They knew what the Lord had taught them, and had given them instructions about, during the forty days after he rose from the dead. In other words, the preaching and teaching of Peter and the twelve in the book of Acts, is the RESULT OF the preaching and teaching in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and it is the gospel of the KINGDOM….it is not the “gospel of your salvation” you later read about in Paul’s ministry. Peter preached a murder indictment against Israel. He charged them with the murder of their Messiah and he preached repentance. In other words he said to the men of Israel, change your minds, think differently about this man you have crucified. God has raised him from the dead. He is your King. Peter’s whole message is in Acts chapter three:

Acts 3:17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.

Acts 3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

 

The entire account in Acts chapter three takes place at the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Peter and John had gone up to the temple to pray, they had encountered a crippled man, and had healed him. Peter’s preaching is the result of the people seeing the lame man healed and running together to “Solomon’s Porch” in the temple and hearing Peter’s words:

Acts 3:11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.

Acts 3:12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?

Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.

Acts 3:14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;

Acts 3:15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

So Peter’s message is to the men of Israel. It’s the same in Acts chapter three as in Acts chapter two. Peter preaches the cross of Christ, but Peter is NOT glorying in the cross of Christ. He preaches it as a shame and as a murder indictment against Israel. He says you killed the Prince of life BUT GOD has raised him from the dead. Now what reason has Peter given FOR the resurrection of Jesus Christ? He says “the restitution of all things.”

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Acts 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

That is in ONE ACCORD with the question they had asked on the Mount of Olives, the day the Lord ascended into heaven:

Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

The restoring of the kingdom to Israel is the VERY BASIS of Peter’s message. Look at Acts chapter two:

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:

Acts 2:26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Acts 2:28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

Acts 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

Acts 2:30 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;

The THRONE OF DAVID is what is in view in Peter’s preaching on the Day of Pentecost and in all his preaching in the book of Acts. It is about the restoring of the kingdom to Israel and the second coming of Christ to rule and reign on the throne of his father David in a literal and visible earthly Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven upon the earth. Peter preaches a murder indictment and the message is directed to the MEN OF ISRAEL:

Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

Acts 2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

Acts 2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

Notice that those doing the speaking are all Galileans. Now there is no indication in the bible that all of the disciples of the Lord were all Galileans, but even if they were, it is certainly no indication that 120 men, women and children were speaking in tongues on the Day of Pentecost, which you will clearly see in the context:

Acts 2:8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

Acts 2:9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

Acts 2:10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

Acts 2:11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

Acts 2:12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

Acts 2:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

Notice the verse says THESE MEN, not these people, and not all these men and women, not this crowd of 120 men, women and children. It says THESE MEN. Then you know, from your bible, that it was 12 men speaking and not 120 men, women and children. No woman spoke in tongues on the Day of Pentecost. Look again:

Acts 2:12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

Acts 2:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

It doesn’t say these KIDS have been drinking their parent’s wine. It doesn’t say these ladies and these men must be drunk. It says THESE MEN are full of new wine.

Now our study is about the question which was asked in Acts chapter two. What I want to show here is, 1. Who Peter is addressing; 2. What Peter has said; 3. The response, or the question, as a result of what Peter said. First of all, who is Peter talking to:

Acts 2:14 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:

Acts 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

So THIS which is happening on the Day of Pentecost is not something new and unheard of. Peter says it was spoken by the prophet Joel. Now come on down:

Acts 2:22 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:

Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

So Peter has charged the men of Israel with murder, the murder of their Messiah. He says they have taken him, they have crucified him and slain him. But, he says, God has raised him from the dead. Now come on down:

Acts 2:33 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.

Who has shed forth this which you now see and hear? HE HAS. Jesus Christ has. Jesus Christ, then, is the baptizer in Acts chapter two and the baptism is WITH the Holy Ghost. You can see that it is not the “baptism OF the Holy Ghost,” but WITH the Holy Ghost, and that Jesus Christ is the one doing the baptizing. This is in one accord with what the Lord had said:

Acts 1:4 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.

He refers to “the promise of the Father.” The promise is what the Lord had taught them about in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John when he said “The Comforter” will come, and he reminds them of it here.

Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Notice that in the baptism of John, that John was the baptizer, and that he baptized WITH something. He baptized WITH water. Notice that the Lord had told these 12 men that they would be baptized WITH something. They were baptized WITH the Holy Ghost. As John was the baptizer who performed the “baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,” so Jesus Christ is the baptizer in Acts chapter two, and has baptized these 12 men WITH the Holy Ghost, just as he had said that he would do. So Peter, and the others, FULL of the Holy Ghost, the words being spoken being the words of the Holy Ghost, have testified the wonderful works of God. That God has raised his Son, Jesus Christ, from the dead, and Peter says it was to “sit on David’s throne.” But he is charging the men of Israel with murder:

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Once again, there is no such term in the bible as “the baptism OF the Holy Ghost.” These 12 men are baptized WITH the Holy Ghost and the baptizer is the Lord Jesus Christ. And Peter has charged his listeners with murder:

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?

So there is the question they asked. “What shall we do?” They were pricked in their hearts, and you and I would have been to. Especially if we had killed a man and then forty or so days later 12 upright, devout men, full of the Holy Ghost, are testifying that the man who was killed is alive and that they are witnesses to the fact. So the question is, what must we do? They don’t say “what must we do to be saved?” The question they asked is quite different than the question asked of Paul by the Phillipian jailor in Acts 16:30-31. The idea is that they realize their guilt in demanding the death of Christ. Is there anything we can do to clear ourselves of this? Or to save ourselves from what is obviously going to be the wrath of God because of this. As a matter of fact, that is what Peter says, he tells them to “save themselves:”

Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

So both the question and the answer Peter gave to their question, is about the wrath of God that obviously is going to come on “this untoward generation.” How could they avoid that?”

 Acts 2:38 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.

In other words, Peter says, repent. That is, to turn around, to think differently about this man that you insisted that he be crucified. Turn around, think differently. Turn back to the covenant. Turn back to the “promises made to the fathers.” Be identified with your Messiah by water baptism, the Jewish water ritual that began in the book of Exodus for the CLEANSING of the priesthood. If they would do that they would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power to endure to the end that Peter goes on to talk about in Chapter three. It was the power to endure the tribulation that was coming in order that they could become the SONS OF GOD in the coming Kingdom when Christ comes again. That is the meaning of what John said:

John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

So if they would repent, change their minds, turn around, and be identified with their Messiah through Jewish water baptism, they would receive the gift. That gift, the gift of the Holy Ghost was an unction, an anointing. It gave them power. They had the power to suffer, to endure unto the end, of their lives or of the tribulation, whichever was coming first. The baptism is NOT salvation. Neither is it the EVIDENCE of salvation for a believer. The fact is, NONE of those people were saved yet, and would not be saved until the second coming of Christ. That’s what the endure to the end was all about. Today, when people emphasize their “ability” to speak in an unknown tongue they claim it is the evidence of their salvation. NONE of the people in Peter’s ministry were saved but were enduring to be saved, at the end.

Acts 2:39 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.

Remember that Peter is talking to a town full of Jews. They are in Jerusalem for the Day of Pentecost, “out of every nation under Heaven,” as we saw in verse five. Now the ones that are “afar off” would be other Jews, scattered among the nations. It has nothing to do with Gentiles. Everything in Acts chapter two is in a tribulation context and has to do with the Seventieth Week of Daniel. In Daniel’s prayer in Daniel chapter nine he saw the vision of the seventy weeks/ The “seventy weeks of Daniel” have to do with the whole of God’s prophetic plans for planet earth which are to be accomplished through the nation of Israel.  Look at his prayer:

Daniel 9:7 O LORD, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.

Now Peter preaches the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. But he is not glorying in the cross. Instead he is preaching a murder charge against Israel. He tells them to “save your selves from this untoward generation.” He says, “repent and be baptized every one of you…” But Israel did not repent, instead Israel fell. The blood, fire and vapor of smoke, the wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath, the sun in darkness and the moon turned into blood, did not happen. Instead, Israel fell from it’s exalted position above all nations, and through the FALL of Israel, something else happened, as Paul writes:

Romans 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Romans 11:12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

So the ascended and glorified Lord Jesus Christ gave to Paul a totally different message than the one preached to the Jews by Peter:

Galatians 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Rather than turning to the red letters of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John or to Peter’s preaching to the Jews to find the GOSPEL OF YOUR SALVATION, we find the GOSPEL committed to Paul here:

1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

1 Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Peter never said that Christ had died for their sins. He preached the cross as a shame. He called for the repentance of the men of Israel, looking forward to a future day of atonement at Christ’s second coming. That is not the case in the doctrine committed to Paul for the church today. To Paul was revealed the WHY of the cross, the fact that Christ had died for our sins, all of our sins. Nowhere in your bible does Paul ever tell anyone to “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.” In Ephesians chapter four he says there is ONE baptism for today. Not water, but the baptism BY the Spirit. Not WITH but BY the Spirit, into the body of Christ. So the message for today is not a message of repentance and water baptism for the remission of sins. It is simply, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”

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