Hell: Covenant: Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Part 6

THE UNVEILING CONTINUES

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the founding of Christianity.

NOTE: It is obvious there were conversations in various Biblical situations that are not recorded because they would be considered frivolous to the situation. Had they been recorded they would have diluted the content of the point being made and quite possibly the Bible could have been a mile thick and nobody would read it. Sometimes we simply have to flesh out the situation. They were people just like us and they had conversations concerning their time and situation. END OF NOTE.

At the ending of Part 5 after His resurrection we read that Jesus said (Luke 24:44) “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

(Luke 24:45) “Then he (Jesus) opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures (the holy writ).” One of them whispered; “The thorns, the nails and the spear passed between Jesus’ flesh by cutting. Is it possible…..?  

After that statement it was dead silent for a few heartbeats then it started;

Someone chimed in; “(Ex.12:13) “The blood of the lambs in Egypt? (Ex.12:14 & 24-27) The Passover?” Jesus smiled and gave a slight nod. Still a third one said; Concealed, to veil, meant a new covenant, didn’t it? A covenant is not in effect until there is a shedding of blood (Heb. 9:16-22) and the death of the testator!”

A fourth burst out; (Luke 22:19) “You broke the bread and gave it to us and told us it was your body which is given for us. (John 6:30-35) I remember when you said you are the bread of life, (Ex. 16:4) in reality manna was an objective prophesy that you are the bread of life from God!” Jesus’ eyes are warm with approval.

The first spoke quickly; (Matt. 26:27-28) “You gave us the wine and told us to drink it then you said; “For this is my blood of the new testament (covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” “When you gave us the wine and said it was your blood of the New Testament (Ex. 12:21-33) that was a fulfillment of the prophecy of the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and lintel in Egypt wasn’t it?”

And the first continued; (Luke 24:44) “All of it, our Torah, the law of Moses, the tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, the prophets, the Psalms, everything (the complete Old Testament), it is all fulfilled in thee Lord.”  

The other spoke in an awed voice “I remember when John was baptizing and when he saw you coming (John 1:19-29 esp. V.29) John said; “Behold (see) the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” You are the Passover Lamb, you shed your blood on the cross and the new covenant has been put into effect by your blood!”

(Luke 24:46-49) Jesus tells them His suffering and death and His resurrection AND that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem, they are witnesses and they are to wait in Jerusalem until they are endued (to put on speedily) with power from on high.

(Luke 24:50-53) Jesus walks with them to Bethany which is symbolically prophetic He will spiritually walk with them after his ascension on this, the fortieth day. Remember? (Luke 2:21-24) Forty days! The fortieth day; the day of showing and presentation. (Luke 24:51) Jesus blesses them and ascends into heaven for his showing and presentation where (Heb. 9:11-13) He will present His blood in the holy place and (Matt. 26:64) He will take His throne at the right hand of his Father.

There was absolute silence and they were still looking upward toward where Jesus disappeared when one of them whispered; “Jesus conquered death, we saw him die but he came back and now he has gone up into heaven and is sitting on the right hand of God. (John 14:1-3) He is preparing a special place for us.” Still awe struck by what they had seen another whispered; “Remember when Jesus said;

(John 14:6-7) I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” Now we absolutely know Jesus is the way. After what we have seen here surely everything Jesus told us is the truth so Jesus is truth itself.  Jesus conquered death so Jesus is life itself, Jesus is I AM (Ex. 3:14) just like God the Father!” They were astonished into silence.

After a while: Filled with new certainty, new determination and new purpose the eleven turn away into their tomorrows. The fortieth Day: (Luke 24:49) They walk silently toward Jerusalem, each with his own thoughts; "until ye be endued with power from high?" They didn’t know exactly what that was but they knew it would happen because Jesus had said it. Their sandals kick up small clouds of dust. They know some momentous thing is going to happen. Jesus said it will, so, it will.

THEY WILL NEVER DOUBT JESUS AGAIN, too much had happened for them to ever doubt; (John 16:2 & Matt. 28:19-20) even if they must die because of their preaching and teaching they will never doubt Jesus again! Ten tomorrows until the fiftieth day: (Acts 1:3 thru 2:41) They don’t know it yet but it will be a day like no other day before this, this coming fiftieth day, the Day of Pentecost, (Acts 1:1 esp. V.13 thru 2:41) there in the upper room.

REVIEW OF LIFE OR DEATH

(Gen. 2:16-17) God gave Adam and Eve the choice between life OR death in Eden and they chose death! (Gen. 4:1-8) On Earth God again gave mankind the choice between life (Able’s sacrifice of blood= life) OR death (Cain’s sacrifice from the cursed ground= death). God gave mankind 1,656 years to sort themselves out and, except for Noah and his predecessors, (Gen. 6:6-8) once more mankind chose death. (Gen. 7:21-24) So, except for Noah’s family, God destroyed mankind with the flood.

(Gen. 9:18 thru 11:32) Mankind rebuilt itself through Noah’s family. (Gen. 15:1-21, 17:1-22 esp. V.7 keyword: everlasting, and 21:12 keyword: Isaac, then 22:15-18 esp. V.16 keywords: by myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, also 26:1-6 esp. V.1 keyword: Isaac & V.3 keywords: and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries)

THEN: God made an everlasting covenant between Himself and Abraham that was a lineage “land grant” (land of Canaan) covenant which was handed down to Isaac, (Gen. 28:13) on down to Jacob (Gen. 32:24-32) whom God renamed Israel (defined-he will rule as God & God’s name for Jacob and his posterity- Israel) (Josh. 1:1-8) and finally on down to the nation named Israel.

(Gen. 15:13-16 & Ex. 11:1 thru 14:31) After God set the nation of Israel free from their bondage in Egypt (Ex. 24:1 thru Deut. 32:26) God gave Moses and Israel the Law, the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant and their vessels of service, their method of worship, their dress, the holy feast days, their prophesies and the way to dedicate their worship, their service and individual lives to God. God was preparing the nation of Israel for life.

(Matt. 15:7-9, 21:12-13, 23:1 thru 24:22 and John 8:41-51) The nation of Israel violated the Law of Moses, changed its meaning and for effect they worshipped the Law instead of God. They were choosing death! BECAUSE: (Isa. 53:1-12) By their actions (Luke 24:44 keywords: law of Moses, prophets and psalms) the nation of Israel was rejecting the notion of a prophesied Jewish Saviour who would die for the sins of the whole world.

(John 3:16 & 1John 4:8 & 16) They were rejecting Living Love (Gal. 3:19-29 esp. V.21 keyword: life) and clinging to a lifeless Law. (Zech. 12:10) They were rejecting grace (Jer. 14:20 esp. V.21 keyword: disgrace thru 15:6) and clinging to disgrace. THEN: (John 19:30) They killed Jesus their (Dan. 9:25-26 & John 4:25-26) prophesied Messiah (anointed king and priest) (Isa. 43:3 & John 4:42) and the Saviour of the world. (Micah 3:12 & Mark 13:1-2) Israel had chosen death! BUT:

(Gen. 17:7 keywords: everlasting covenant) It was an everlasting covenant. “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed in their generations for an everlasting (defined as: #1 eternal, always, perpetual and #2 concealed, to veil) covenant (covenant is defined as a compact made by passing between pieces of flesh by cutting, a confederacy), to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee.END OF REVIEW.

PENTECOST

NOTE #1: (Acts 2:1 keyword: Pentecost) Pentecost (Shavuot in Hebrew) is the anglicized Greek name for the fiftieth (converted into English letters: pentekoste pronounced: pen-tay-kos-tay) day after Passover. (Lev. 23:1- 44) This scripture lists the seven (V.4) Jewish feasts of the Lord ordained by the Lord, (V.5-14) lists the first three feasts and (V.15-22) lists the fourth feast which is Pentecost.

(V.16) The countdown of fifty days after Passover begins the next day after the Jewish Passover Sabbath (which is the first day of the Jewish week and the Gregorian seventh day, the Sabbath- Sunday).

(V.16 also Ex. 34:22) Pentecost is also known as the feast of weeks because it is held on the seventh Jewish Sabbath (making seven full Jewish weeks) after Pentecost (V.17 keyword: first-fruits) and Pentecost is also known as the feast of first fruits. BUT! There was an earlier feast of firstfruits.

(Lev. 23:10 keyword: firstfruits) Counting Passover the third feast is at the time of the spring harvest. The Jews were instructed to bring a single sheaf called the firstfruits of their harvest. Of course the sheaf had been freshly cut off from the living plant (Isa. 53:8) just like Jesus had been cut off from the living and the sheaf was a fresh pure (firstfruit) offering because it had not been altered by any foreign substance (representing sin) (2Cor. 5:21) just like Jesus.

(John 10:18 & Luke 24:1-43) But Jesus came back from the dead. SO: (1Cor. 15:23) Jesus is the firstfruit of the resurrection. (1Cor. 15:20-23 esp. V.23 keywords: they that are Christ’s at his coming) Jesus’ resurrection was God’s guarantee there would be another resurrection which is explained in (1Cor. 15:51-54 & 1Thess. 4:13 thru 5:10).

(Lev. 23:15-22 esp. V.16-17) Two things are hidden (veiled) in this original fiftieth day (Pentecost) feast. (V.16 keywords: new meat) As stated above this coincides with (Luke 21:34-36, 1Cor. 15:51-54 esp. V.54 keywords: mortal shall put on immortality- “new meatand 1Thess. 4:13-18) The words “new meat” is a veiled prophesy of describing the resurrection of the dead (Job 19:25-27) just as Job prophesied. ALSO:

This coming Pentecost feast (Lev. 23:15-17) would reveal a different meaning in that (V.16 keywords: new meat & John 3:3-5 keywords: born again) the disciples would be the firstfruits of those who would be born again, new men, (Rom. 8:9-17 esp. V.10 keywords: Christ be in you) by the entry of the Holy Spirit into their souls (John 14:15-26 esp. V.18, keywords: I will come to you V. 23 & 26) just as Jesus had promised.

(V.17 keyword: firstfruits) They were the spiritual firstfruits of a new spiritual covenant (#2 concealed, to veil). (Acts 2:14-41 esp. V.38 keywords: gift of the Holy Ghost) They would bring God’s offer of that new spiritual covenant of individual salvation to individual Jews (Acts 9:15-31 esp. esp. V.15 keyword: Gentiles and V.31 keywords: comfort of the Holy Ghost) and to individual Gentiles.

(Rom. 8:5-9 esp. V.9 keywords: if any man have not the Spirit of Christ: defined: Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost: he is none of his & Eph. 1:12-14 esp. V.13 keyword: sealed) Every person who accepted salvation would be a recipient of the Holy Spirit when they accepted Jesus as their Saviour (John 10:16 the concept: two types of sheep- Jews and Gentiles) just as Jesus had promised. END OF NOTE #1.

(Acts 1:12-22) (V.12-15) The eleven returned to Jerusalem and went to an upper room as Jesus had instructed. They were joined by about 110 other believers including Jesus’ mother Mary and his brothers James, Joses, Simon and Judas where they all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.

NOTE #2: (Gen. 17:12-13, Ex. 12:19 & 48-49, Deut. 16:11 & 14 keyword in all: stranger) Stranger is defined as a foreigner, an alien which is a person not of the Jewish bloodline, they were Gentiles. In all three of the original feasts the Gentiles who had successfully passed the Jewish Rabbinical requirements of study and testing to become (Acts 2:10) proselyte (a convert to Judaism) Jews were included in God’s command to celebrate the feasts.

(Gen. 17:12-13 keywords: stranger, which is not of thy seed) Gentiles (strangers) had been included in God’s covenant with Abraham. (Ex. 12:19 & 47-51) Obviously more Gentiles (strangers> proselytes) had thrown their lot in with (Gen. 47:1 thru Ex. 1:14) Jacob’s descendants while God was building Israel into a nation without a homeland in their four hundred years of hard bondage in Egypt thus Gentiles were included in Israel’s exodus to the promised land. END OF NOTE #2.

NOTE #3: We have seen that the ten northern tribes of Israel calling themselves Israel were overrun by the Assyrians and deported throughout part of the Assyrian Empire almost eight hundred years before Jesus was born. According to Jewish history the Jews were commonly used as slaves. As time passed some of them gained their freedom one way or another, they started their own businesses and over time they bought the freedom of other Jews. Other Jews were also obtaining their freedom their own way. Lots of societal changes can be made in eight hundred years!

In this process Jewish communities were formed, synagogues were built and slave and freemen alike clung stubbornly and desperately to their Jewish religion. They were also assimilated into whatever society they were in even to the point of speaking the language of their country of habitation. Rabbis and scribes translated their Jewish scrolls into whatever language they spoke. But they were Jews through and through and they worshipped God Jehovah in their Jewish faith even if they no longer spoke Hebrew.

(Deut. 16:16) It was the greatest desire of the Jews scattered in the diaspora to keep God’s commandment and make the trip to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles at least one time in their lives. As said before (Acts 2:8) many groups of the Jews in the diaspora had lost their native language of Hebrew and spoke the native language of the country their generations had been living in for the nearly 800 years they had lived in their various countries. They’d had to in order to survive physically, culturally and financially. END OF NOTE #3. 

Peter remembered (Luke 6:12-16) Jesus had prayed all night and then appointed his 12 disciples. Now they only had eleven SO (Acts. 1:15-26) without any fanfare Peter stood up, gave a summary about the traitor Judas and his empty (V.20) bishoprick (V.21-26) and took it upon himself to call for an election to fill Judas’ position, they cast lots and elected Matthias apparently without any leading or instruction from God. (Luke 24:47-49 esp. V. 49 keywords: endued with power from on high) THEN IT HAPPENED!

(Acts 2:1-4) BUT: We must determine exactly what did happen at Pentecost by exploring the definitions of the words describing the event.

(Acts 2:1-4) “And when the day of Pentecost (fiftieth) was fully (completely) come, they were all with one accord (together with passion) in one place. And suddenly (unexpectedly) there came a sound (loud noise) from heaven (the abode of God) as of a rushing (bringing forth) mighty (vital activity) wind, (breathe hard) and it filled all the house (dwelling) where they were sitting.”

“And there appeared (to gaze at something remarkable with wide open eyes) unto them cloven (divided) tongues (supernaturally acquired language) like as of fire, (figuratively lightening) and it sat (settle) upon each of them. And they were all filled (imbue, supply, accomplish) with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, (language not learned) as the Spirit gave then utterance (to enunciate plainly).”

God is ultimately practical. Everything He does is for a purpose. Many people turn (Acts 2:1-4) this scripture into a mystical event with thunders, lightenings, a cloud and a trumpet (Ex.19:16) like God did on Mount Sinai. The gift of the Holy Spirit was and is a practical, spiritual (divinely supernatural) happening. No changing or juggling of the scripture is intended but to aid in understanding this scripture, (Acts 1:1-4), will be written again with the definitions written in underlined italics replacing the key scriptural words.

(Acts 2:1-4) “And when the fiftieth day after Passover was completely come, they were all together with passion in one place. And unexpectedly there came a loud noise from the abode of God as of bringing forth a vital activity of breathing hard and it filled the dwelling where they were sitting.

And they gazed at something remarkable with wide open eyes which appeared unto them divided supernaturally acquired languages like as lightening and it settled upon each of them. And they were imbued with a supply to accomplish with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other languages they had not learned as the Spirit gave them to enunciate plainly.”

The disciples were shocked! Now they knew! Now they understood! (John 3:5-7) They had been born of the Spirit. (John 14:16-26) The Comforter, the Spirit of truth, was in them! Jesus had said He would be within them but they had never felt anything like this! (Rom. 8:9-17) Though it had not yet been written they knew God was living within them through the Holy Spirit, they were the children of God (Heb. 13:5-6) and nothing could ever permanently hurt them!

(1John 4:8 & 16) They had never felt so loved (Luke 24:49 keyword: power) and empowered in their entire lives! (2Cor. 3:17 keyword: liberty; defined as unrestrained) They had never felt so liberated in their lives. They had not yet realized they had been freed from the Law of Moses (Eph. 2:2-9 esp. V.8-9 also see: Rom. 6:14 & 2Cor. 12:9) and had entered INTO the formerly veiled GRACE covenant. (Mark 14:32) They had been Jesus’ disciples (learners, pupils), (Acts 2:37) now they were Jesus’ Apostles (the sent ones).

(John 14:6-9 esp. V.6 keywords: I am the life) They understood what Jesus had meant even though the Letter to the Romans had not yet been written! (Rom. 1:20 keywords: being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead)

They looked at each other and they understood even before it was written in the N. T. because God had said it in their Torah (Gen. 1:26 keywords: Let us make man in our image and Gen. 2:17 key: Adam’s body-> in which Adam lived, Adam’s spirit-> Adam’s essence of life from God and Adam’s soul-> Adam the person) they knew;

(1Thess. 5:23) “We are made in God’s image. We are spirit (essence of life) and soul (the person, self, me) and body (the physical house in which the soul lives) just like Jesus and He lives within us (John 6:40) and we will have eternal life with Him.”

(John 14:6-9 esp. V.6 keywords: I am the life) Then they understood the Godhead (Supreme Divinity) is one who is composed of three who are totally and completely one in power, purpose and will. God’s presentation of Himself to man is (Gen. 1:1-3) God-spirit of life- the essence of life that has nothing to do with breathing- Creator, (John 14:7-9) Jesus-physical body-Saviour (John 14:16-18 & 23) and Holy Spirit-God's soul-Comforter. And all people are made in God's image.

(Gen 1:26-27 keywords: male and female created he them & 1Thess. 5:23) They also understood that even though they were all different individuals, as men were over the whole earth, each individual person was created in God's image, SPIRIT- ETERNAL LIFE- nothing to do with breathing, SOUL- PERSONALITY, CHARACTER, SELF, AND BODY- THE FLESH THEY LIVED IN. They were beginning to understand their mission. (Luke 16:19-31) They remembered what Jesus had so graphically illustrated. All men would be alive somewhere forever with their physical sensations, their emotions and their intellect intact.

(Col. 2:6-9) Before it was ever written they understood; “For in Jesus dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” (John 20:26-28) They turned their eyes toward Thomas in wonder. (V.26 & 28) After all, on the eighth day, the day of naming, he had called Jesus “my Lord and my God!” AND: They were sure; (2Cor. 3:14-17 esp. V.14 keywords: which veil is done away in Christ) (V.17) “Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (unrestrained).”

Their teaching from the Torah, their Jewish history, the Psalms and the prophets finally coalesced and they began to understand God used process because it had been a process God used from the casting out of Adam and Eve to now to bring fallen, outcast mankind back to Him. Unrestrained- free from the Law of Judaism. They were beginning to understand the mission of the church.

NOTE: If you have a problem believing God’s process to give all people from every age an opportunity to accept salvation please read the scriptural commentary on this website Is God Fair. You will be amazed by how He does it. END OF NOTE.

(Joel 2:28-32) Now they understood how Joel’s prophesy meant more than what the Rabbis’ had taught them! (Matt. 27:51) They understood the renting of the veil in twain in the temple was a physical prophesy (Heb. 10:19-20) that through the veil of Jesus’ flesh (Heb. 9:6 thru10:28 esp. V.24 keyword: Christ) Jesus had established the concealed covenant hidden in Abraham’s everlasting covenant.

(Acts 4:8-12 esp. V.12) Peter understood God had finally culminated His process in Jesus because true salvation is possible only through Jesus. (Acts 4:1-21 esp. V.8-12) Peter did not know Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, had just prepared him to preach before the Sanhedrin Court of the high priest.

(John 14:26 keywords: teach, bring) They all also knew there was still much to be revealed to them and much for them to learn through the Holy Spirit. BECAUSE: There is always an expectancy of revelation through God’s word when the Holy Spirit is leading a Christian (John 15:1-8, 2Tim. 2:15 & Titus 3:14 then John 15:14) into a closer relationship with Jesus.

EXAMPLE: In the four Gospels Jesus directly taught about the kingdom of God one hundred and three times. (Acts 1:3) Jesus spent the forty days after His resurrection teaching the disciples about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:4-5) He told them to stay at Jerusalem and wait for God’s promise that they would be baptized (make overwhelmed) with the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit, Comforter, Spirit of Christ, Spirit of God). BUT: (Acts 1:6) After that the first thing the disciples asked Jesus was “at that time are you going to restore again the kingdom to Israel.”

After all they had seen Jesus do, after all Jesus had taught them, (John 18:36) in spite of the plainness of Jesus’ words to Pilate at Jesus trial, just like the rest of the Jews the disciples were still hung up on the idea that Jesus, the Messiah, would lead Israel to a physical world kingdom. Truly they had a lot to learn!

IT BEGINS

(Deut. 16:16) God commanded the Jewish males to appear before the Lord thy God three times in a year. One for the feast of unleavened bread (Passover- Pesach), one for the feast of weeks (Pentecost- Shavuot) and one for the feast of Tabernacles (booths- Sukkot).

(Acts 2:5) Even though they didn’t speak Hebrew they were still devout Jews and worshipped the God of Judaism, of Eden and of Israel in whatever language they spoke. Of course their Torah, psalms and prophets had been translated into their acquired language in whatever nation they dwelt. (Acts 2:9-11 esp. V.11) There were Jews from at least fifteen nations (V.10) and the proselytes (Gentiles) gathered in Jerusalem (V.11) but they heard the apostles “speak in their tongues (languages) the wonderful works of God”.

Obviously, there was a passage of time. All this multitude could not have fit in the upper room so they went someplace else and gathered there, quite possibly the temple, but the Bible does not say where. Obviously, these Jews from other nations lived in temporary housing just like Joseph, Mary and other taxpayers did when Jesus was born. Obviously, Jesus, for or against, (Luke 24:18) was a burning topic of conversation so the apostles (disciples) were known men, (Acts 2:7) recognized as Galilaeans (Galileans), and it was known they spoke only one language.

There is an ongoing argument among Bible scholars that one Apostle spoke OR they all spoke at one time and the visitors heard in their native tongues SO: (1Cor. 14:29-33 esp. V.29 keyword: prophets- defined as inspired speaker and V.33 keyword: confusion- defined as instability, disorder, tumult, commotion) (V.31) “For ye may all prophesy one by one”. God is ultimately practical. You can’t comprehensively listen to a statement in two languages at the same time, nor five, nor eleven and surely not fifteen. (Acts 2:11 keywords: we do hear them speak in our tongues). TRUST THE SCRIPTURE!

(Acts 2:4-8) (V.6) Now when this (speaking in other languages) was noised abroad (to talk throughout), the multitude came together, and were confounded (perplexed), because that every man heard them speak in his own language.” There had to be some type of order. Obviously, the people were divided into groups or one person spoke at a time as Peter did and the others translated to their group.

Some argue this means Peter spoke one language and God anointed the hearers to understand but the Bible does not say that happened. SO: (Acts 2:4 keyword: all) Why would have God given them all the ability to speak in other tongues (unlearned languages) if only one was needed? Obviously because this way was a much greater miracle and they could later speak the common language wherever they went.  

(Acts 2:14-41) (V.14-18) Peter spoke to the Judaeans (native Jews of Judaea) and those who dwell (temporary housing) at Jerusalem that a time had come that had been prophesied by the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28) that their sons and daughters would prophesy (foretell events or speak under inspiration). (V.19-21) Then Peter prophesied of the end times.

(V.22-36) Peter explained who Jesus was and that the wonders, miracles and signs He had done proved Jesus was approved of God and they had crucified and killed him (V.23) (Mark 12:6-11) just like Jesus had said they would. (V.24) But Jesus had risen from the dead (Matt 16:21 & John 10:17-18) just like Jesus said He would. (V.25-27 & 31) Then Peter told them (Psa. 16:8-11 written 970 years in the past) David had prophesied of Jesus’ resurrection.

Peter told them; (V.31-35) We witnessed Jesus’ resurrection and a lot of you did too or you heard about it from witnesses. (V.36) (Mark 15:12-14) You crucified Jesus when you screamed at Pilate to crucify Him!” (John 16:8-9) The Holy Spirit, (John 3:5-8) unseen and unrecognized, was surely reproving them (V.37) because they were pricked (vexed- a supernatural event) in their heart (soul) and they cried out “what shall we do?” It’s the same pattern as today. If we had not sinned Jesus would not have had to die.

(V.38) Peter told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins and they would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Spirit). (V.39 keywords: shall call) Peter remembered Jesus had said no man could come to Him (John 6:44 & 12:32) unless God would draw him and he explained God’s calling out is part of God’s drawing and the vexation in their heart was the Holy Spirit reproving them of their sin. It’s the same pattern as today.

(V.40) He also told them a lot of other things that is not revealed. Then he indicted what the Jewish religion had become; “Save yourselves from this untoward (warped, crooked) generation. (V.41) And they that gladly received Peter’s word, about 3,000 people, were baptized and were added to the apostle's number. (V.43) God had given power to the apostles because they performed many unnamed wonders and signs. But they would be identified later.

(V.42-47) Their changed lives is proof (V.38) they possessed the gift of the Holy Spirit within them. Their activities together show their love for God and their love for each other (V.47) and other people saw the change, came to God and were saved. (John 14:23-26 & Eph.1:13-14 keyword: sealed) THIS WAS SOMETHING NEW! It was a living, personal relationship with God instead of 613 cold, dead do’s and do not’s the Priests, Pharisees, Rabbis and Sadducees forced upon them! (V.42) “And they continued in the apostle’s doctrine (teaching) and fellowship (communion, participation, partnership, sharing).

(V.38) Changed lives through the Holy Ghost (Spirit) is the same result pattern as today. (V.47) And the Lord added to the church (a calling out, Christian community of members on earth) daily such as should be saved. They were called a church (they were: the called out ones).  (1Cor. 12:18) Only God can set people in the church after they fulfill His salvation requirements.

NOTE: It was a time of great victory but the apostles didn’t yet realize they had 3 great problems.

#1) The apostles did not yet understand all there was to know (Heb. 8:4-7) about how the veiled covenant was the new grace covenant and they had to sort out exactly what Christianity consisted of so people could understand how this was something different.

#2) (John 8:3-44 & 19:6-18) Satan would use the Jewish hierarchy to try to destroy Christianity and to draw the converts back into the old physical covenant of physical circumcision, Mosaic Law and animal sacrifice the Jews had made into (Rom. 7:6 keyword: serve) an impersonal relationship of forced bondage; “If I do this God owes me something and if I don’t do this God will punish me.”

The hierarchy refused and/or failed to grasp the fact their Mosaic Law of blood sacrifice and circumcision were only physical representations to prepare them (Jer. 31:32-33 key: two covenants are discussed) for the concealed (hidden) spiritual covenant that was starting to come into effect. The revealing of the entire spiritual grace covenant resulting in the Christian church lasted from (Matt. 1:1) to (Rev. 3:22) which was written by the Apostle John in approximately 95AD (Rev. 1:9) when he was on the "isle that is called Patmos". See the internet for the complete historical story of his exile there.

#3) (John 8:37-47, Acts 5:33 & 7:52-60) Satan would use the Jews was to persecute the new converts, especially the apostles, before they could establish this new “Jesus centered religious movement” that threatened their position and everything they believed in and were committed to. AND:

(Matt. 23:15 & Acts 14:1-6) Disregarding their own history of Gentile acceptance by God the orthodox Jewish leaders (Pharisees, scribes, priests and rabbis) would also refuse to accept the Gentiles except by the proselyte method used by the rabbis through the Mosaic Law. END OF NOTE.

(Acts 3:1 thru 4:4) (V.1-11) Through Peter and John God healed a well-known beggar when they went to the Temple to pray. He had been born a cripple and had to be carried to the gate of the Temple where he begged. The man walked and leaped and praised God when he went on into the temple with them. (V.10-26 esp. V.19) Everyone knew the man and they knew a notable miracle had happened. (V.11) A great crowd gathered on Solomon’s porch located on the eastern side of the Temple’s Outer Court.

(3:12 thru 4:4) And there Peter preached his second sermon. Peter told them they had denied the Holy One and the Just (Jesus) and desired a murderer (Barabbas) be granted to them and they killed the Prince of life (Jesus) but God raised Jesus from the dead and faith in Jesus’ name had made the beggar whole. Two new things are clarified in this sermon.

(V.19 keyword: converted- defined: to change direction) The Holy Spirit had revealed what Jesus had meant (Luke 5:37-38) when He had said new wine (Spiritual salvation- born again) must be put into new bottles (person). He understood that Jesus was teaching about change of soul. (Luke 22:32) Peter understood what Jesus had meant when He said Peter would be converted (Acts 2:2) because Peter had been changed (Acts 2:41-47) and with his own eyes Peter had seen the change (converted) in about three thousand people when the Holy Spirit entered them.

(V.19 keywords: times of refreshing- defined: revival, recovery of breath) So Peter used the word converted in his second sermon. AND: (John 5:2-9 keyword: Bethesda- defined: House of mercy) The Holy Spirit had revealed to Peter that the stirring of the water at the pool of Bethesda meant a time of refreshing (recovery of breath) came from God and the recipients of salvation received the Holy Spirit of eternal life Adam and Eve had lost in the Garden of Eden.

(John 6:44) And Jesus had said; “No man can come to me except the Father who sent me draw him:” Peter now understood the pool at Bethesda was a physical prophesy of God’s drawing and that drawing was a time of conversion and refreshing (recovery of breath- meaning: new life) from God. SO:

(V.19) Peter said; Repent (to feel compunction- defined: a feeling or sense of guilt) ye therefore, and be converted (changed), that your sins may be blotted (to obliterate, to erase) out, when the times of refreshing (drawing) shall come from the presence of the Lord;” The Holy Spirit was busy, Peter was learning fast and the Jews knew the definitions. (V.20-26) Then Peter told them their Torah, prophets and Psalms had foretold (prophesied) of these days. Obviously, they understood.

(4:1-4) Then the priests, the temple guard and the Sadducees came, arrested them and put them in hold (prison) but they were too late because about five thousand of the listeners believed.  The Jewish persecution of Christ believers had started!

(Acts 4:5-37) (V.6) Obviously there were two men named John when Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin Council. One was a relative of the high priest, obviously educated and a member of the Council. (V.13) The other, the apostle John, was an unlearned and ignorant man. (V.7) The Council wanted to know by what power or by what name Peter and John had worked the notable miracle.

(V.8-12) Filled with the Holy Ghost (Spirit) Peter preached the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus to the Sanhedrin Council and, under the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter concluded (V.10-12) that Jesus is the only name under heaven, given among men, whereby (through, in accordance with) we must be saved.

It was a message straight from God that Jesus is the only name under which men can be saved and it was deeply offensive to the Sanhedrin Council because the majority of its members were (Acts 5:17) of the sect of the Sadducees (Acts 23:8) who refused to believe there is a resurrection from the dead and they did not believe in angels nor spirits. BUT: (V.13-16) There was the lame man who had laughed, jumped, run and praised God right before them and the multitude (V.16) and there wasn’t a word they could say!

Astonishing! The proof of the reality of Jesus’ power was right there before them yet they clung stubbornly to their useless beliefs and corrupt power. (2Cor. 4:3-7) Satan had won the spiritual war for the Sadducees’ souls! (V.17-18) The Council threatened (menaced) them and commanded the apostles Peter and John to not speak at all nor to teach in the name of Jesus.

(V.19-32) Peter and John told the Council they would not be silent, they went back to their own company (the church), they told what had occurred, the church rejoiced and magnified God, God filled them with the Holy Spirit, the whole church was of one heart and one soul and they had all physical possessions in common (sold and shared) so none of them lacked. Try that today, 3-20-17, and see how far you get!

(Acts 5:1-11) Then there is the tawdry story of Ananias and Sapphira and their pride, greed and lying. Why did God kill them? (Prov. 6:16-19 esp. keywords: the Lord hates, proud look, lying tongue, deviseth wicked imaginations, speaketh lies, soweth discord among the brethren) According to God’s word they deserved it. God was not going to let them destroy the unity of His fledgling church. AND: (1Cor. 6:7-10, Heb. 6:4-6 and Rev. 3:2-5 & 15-16 then 21:7-8) It is a stern warning of what is coming to sinful Christians at God’s final judgment.

(Acts 5:12-42) The apostles continued performing signs and wonders at the temple in Solomon’s porch and in the streets of Jerusalem. As the word spread people from other cities started bringing their sick and demonic possessed and they healed them all (V.14) and multitudes became believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

(V.17-28) The high priest and the Sadducees were filled with indignation (jealousy, malice) and placed the apostles back in prison but the angel of the Lord brought them out and told them to go speak their message to the people in the temple. The Council sent the temple guard for the prisoners. All was in perfect order in the prison except the apostles were gone! (V.24) When they brought that news the Council doubted (were perplexed) whereunto (what purpose, place, or end) this teaching would grow.

(V.23) It had been a miracle for the men to disappear from their cell with guards standing at the door, the Council was perplexed by the events and in their jealousy and malice they wondered how far this new religious movement would go. Then someone came and told them the apostles were right back in the temple teaching their Jesus message. The Bible does not say but the Council must have been apocalyptic and they sent the captain with the temple guard to fetch the apostles.

(V.26-28) The captain and officers (temple guard) went to force the apostles to come again before the Council but realized the converted (converts) were somehow changed, (John 14:16-17, 23 & 26) they said Jesus and God lived in them through the Holy Spirit, they were enamored with the freedom from Mosaic Law, the people were zealous for the Jesus message, more believers were being added to their number and the temple guard might very well be stoned SO:

“Aheemmm, please excuse us, would you please come with us because the high priest and Council desires to see you.” DEFINED: “When we get you by yourselves we’ll do what we will with you!” (John 8:44) My, my how sweetly the serpent (Satan) hisses his hate filled message. The Council was furious that the apostles had filled Jerusalem with their doctrine (teaching) and they were worried the apostles would bring Jesus’ blood guiltiness upon them. (John 16:8) They did not realize the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost, Comforter) was supernaturally reproving them.

(V.29-33 esp. V.33 keyword: cut- defined- to exasperate which is to irritate) The apostles told the council they would obey God rather than men and that the Council had crucified and killed the Saviour who would give repentance and forgiveness to Israel. (V.32) we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Ghost, whom God has given to those who obey him.

That short message to the Council cut them to their heart and, like in so many cases, the hearers took their spite out on the messengers instead of listening to God who was sending the message both to their ears by man and to their soul by the Holy Spirit.

(Psa. 18:1-2, 19:14 & 22:1-31, Isa. 49:26 & 53:2-12, Matt. 5:17 & Luke 24:44 keywords: written in the law of Moses, in the prophets and in the psalms concerning me) They were so engrossed in obeying the Mosaic Law and the knowledge they were in covenant with God through Abraham’s animal sacrifice/circumcision covenant they failed to understand what their own writings had said and (John 16:8-10) they refused the reproof (cut to the heart) of the Holy Spirit just like they had refused their Saviour when God sent Him.

They would not repent, (Rom. 7:6 key: serve in the oldness of the letter- defined: epistle, book, scripture) they stubbornly clung to the bondage of the Mosaic Law, (Heb. 8:13) they refused to understand the old physical blood covenant (testament) was passing away, (Heb. 9:25-26) that Jesus’ blood was a one-time physical blood sacrifice that would spiritually cleanse man’s sins eternally (Heb. 9:15-28 esp. V.15 keyword: testament- defined as covenant) and Jesus’ blood was ushering in a new covenant. Remember? The everlasting (veiled) covenant. Remember?

(Acts 5:33) “When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.”

The Council had chosen death and Israel would disappear as a nation under the Roman onslaught in 73AD, Anno Domini.

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