“He was seen by them for forty days.”
He showed Himself at frequent intervals.
“Why are you troubled? And why do you question in your hearts?”
“Behold my hands and my feet, see it is I, myself; handle me and see; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones like Me.”
The number “forty” in the scripture speaks of testing.
Israel in the wilderness—describe the manward side, Israel a failure—the Godward, despite the frequent and sinful provocations, He never failed.
The ark—it rained forty days and forty nights. The ark was safe. God was faithful as promised.
The temptation “Forty days tested by the devil.”
“Stone into bread”—“The kingdoms of the world in a moment of time”—The pinnacle of the temple.
Two things at least He did during the forty days:
1. He gave infallible proofs of His physical resurrection.
2. He spoke of things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
He spoke of things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
The kingdom of God is in the world today.
God rules in His kingdom—you become a citizen by being “born again” into the kingdom.
The “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” in most references are interchangeable terms.
From man’s viewpoint the professing Christian Church is the kingdom of Heaven.
From God’s standpoint there is the true kingdom within the professing kingdom. This true kingdom is composed of all true born again believers.
It was this kingdom that He spoke to them of.
Some of the things He said.
John 20:21 “As my Father has sent me so send I you.”
Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Matthew 28:20 The promise of His ever abiding presence.
“I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.”
Verse 4 Wait for the fulfillment of the Fathers promise.
John 7:37-39—John 16:7-11—John 12:15
Verse 5 John’s baptism. Describe.
Baptism of the Spirit.
Verse 6-7 For forty days the risen Lord had been teaching the disciples “things pertaining to the kingdom of God” Verse 3
One point was not revealed—the time that the kingdom would be restored to Israel.
Hence the disciples question “Lord will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Verse 7 Conveys the idea that the time of restoration is God’s secret. There was something that they would receive before the earthly kingdom would be established:
1. They would receive divine power.
2. Then they would be witnesses.
3. Then they would evangelize the world.
1. Power = ability dunamis
This power was given in the Person of the Holy Spirit. He was the Power.
In other words it was God, omnipotent imparting Himself and His power to His servants.
Peter’s address after Pentecost is an example of this power. 3000 souls saved.
See also Acts 17:6 “These that have turned the world upside down have come here also” Thessalonica.
Show the power at Philippi. Acts 16. The conversion of the jailer.
2. Witnesses = martyrs martus
A witness is one who tells what he knows.
The great thrust and emphasis of the apostle’s message was to be the resurrection.
Peter said Verse 22 “We are ordained to be witnesses of His resurrection.”
Witnessing to His resurrection cost some of them their lives.
Acts 17:32 “When they heard of the resurrection some mocked.”
3. The extent of their evangelization or witness.
Beginning at Jerusalem they were to reach to the uttermost part of the earth.
Note the means God used to do this:
Persecution in Jerusalem forced some to go into The province of Judea (preaching).
Persecution drove others into Samaria.
Others fled to far away places.
Then the Ethiopian eunuch took the Gospel to Africa.
Paul came along and evangelized in the Near East and then into Europe and from Europe most of the world has been evangelized.
Talk now of the personal aspect of witnessing.
“Go you”—“You shall be witnesses of Me.”
So far as Luke is concerned at this time, these are the things that Jesus talked to His disciples about during the forty days between His resurrection and ascension.
“And He led them out as far as to Bethany; and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.”
Acts 1:10 “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel” etc. Quote Verse 11.
Luke in his Gospel says “He was parted from them, and ‘carried up’ into heaven.”
The suggestion here is that a mighty host of angels carried our Lord Jesus into heaven.
Consider Psalm 24.
Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be you lifted up, you everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be you lifted up, you everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.
This being carried by angels into heaven had happened at least once before. Elijah. 2 Kings 2:11.
Another facet of work carried on by angels is described in Luke 16. Lazarus was carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom.
This would teach us that the believer’s spirit receives an angelic escort to heaven at death.
Before we lay the body of a believing loved one in the grave, an escort of angels has born his spirit and soul into heaven.
The Ascension of our Lord is a very important point of doctrine.
They looked steadfastly—beheld.
They saw Him go—they realized what was happening.
He was taken up from them out of their sight.
Praise God He has ascended.
God has set Him at His own right hand.
Stephen saw Him there.
Saul of Tarsus met Him on the Damascus road.
Ephesians 1:20-21 “And set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.”
Not only should we preach “Christ Crucified” but we should also preach “Christ Glorified.”
We also have the truth of His Second Coming introduced here.
Quote the words of the angels. Verse 11.
Our Lord Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives. He will come back to the same spot. Zechariah 14:4.
Verse 12 They returned to Jerusalem—to the upper room. They continued in prayer (one accord). Verse 14. There were 120 of them. Verse 15.
The death of the betrayer Judas Iscariot Verse 16-20.
He went to his own place. “None of them was lost but the son of perdition.”
Galatians 6:7-8 “Be not deceived God is not mocked” etc.
Acts 2 Read Verses 1-13
John the Baptist said in each of the Gospels that he would baptize with water but the Lord would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Blessing—Judgment.
John did baptize with water. (Describe John’s baptism.)
The Lord told His disciples that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence (after). Acts 1:5
Ten days after His ascension, the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost and those in the upper room were baptized.
The Baptism of the Spirit.
1. This was the beginning of the “6th Dispensation of the Spirit”
2. This was the “Birthday of the Church” See Exodus 40:35. 1 Kings 8:11.
“Upon this rock I will build my Church” Matthew 16:18.
Not on Peter—nor on Peter’s statement—but upon the Christ the son of the living God.
1 Corinthians 3:11 “For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Let me now describe the scriptural term “The Church.”
Before doing so compare the Kingdom of Heaven or Kingdom of God with the Church. The Keys.
The Kingdom of Heaven or God is man’s view of the “church” = Professing Church.
Matthew 13 describes this perfectly. “The tares” “The mustard seed”
This is a picture of the so-called Christian Church as we see it today.
If this is what man sees—what does God see?
God sees His Church within the kingdom.
What is the difference between a member of the kingdom and a member of the true church?
Ephesians 1:13…”in whom after that you believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit is the seal.
A seal speaks of
1. A final transaction.
So then a member of the true church is one who is:
1. A true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ
2. One who has accepted Him as a personal Savior
3. One who is born again
4. One who is blood brought—Redeemed
5. One who is Spirit sealed.
Before a person can be born again there must be a combination of two principles.
1. The convicting work of the Holy Spirit John 16
2. The application of the blood of the Savior. 1 John 1:7. Exodus 12.
Paul talking to the Ephesian elders Acts 20:28 talked of the “church of God, which he has purchased with His own blood.”
The purchase price…”His own blood.”
Matthew 13 The Treasure and the Pearl
The traditional interpretation.
The first of these two parables is that of the treasure. This treasure was no doubt made up of many units of precious things…coins…jewels…trinkets, these would represent individuals, and the parable shows the individual aspect of Christ’s redemptive work.
An object to be admired.
Let us consider the Man who bought the treasure and the pearl.
He is the Lord Jesus Christ.
He sold all that He had to purchase the treasure and the pearl.
Ephesians 5:25 “Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it (not the kingdom).”
2 Corinthians 8:9 “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus.”
Philippians 2:5-8 “Who being God…humbled Himself…even to the death of the Cross.”
Isaiah 52:14 “His visage was marred more than the sons of men.”
What was the Lord’s purpose in purchasing with His own blood the treasure and the pearl?
Ephesians 5:27 “That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Ephesians 2:7 “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
Verse 10 We are His workmanship—masterpiece.
Peter’s address on the Day of Pentecost
Read Acts 2:14-36
This was probably the greatest and most powerful message ever preached.
The reason for it being preached was the varied reaction of the people after the coming of the Spirit.
Verse 12 Some were perplexed—astonished—amazed and asked the question “What does this mean?”
Verse 13 Others mocking, said, “these men are drunk.”
To answer the question of the one group and the allegation of the others Peter presented his defense under three headings:
Verses 15-21 The Explanation
Verses 22-36 The Exposition
Verses 37-40 The Exhortation
Verse 15 Peter absolutely repudiated the allegation that they were drunk with wine.
Jews did not drink wine in the morning (9am).
Then Peter goes on to explain the recent happenings and their strange behavior.
Verse 16 This phenomenon was not entirely unexpected. Joel the prophet talked about it Joel 2:28-32.
In effect Peter averred that the recent happenings were at least a partial fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy.
It will be completely fulfilled at the coming of Christ in judgment, in other words on The notable = terrible Day of the Lord.
So first of all Peter gives a logical and a scriptural reason for Pentecost—the coming of the Spirit, and their extraordinary behavior when being filled with Him.
The Exposition Verses 22-36
Verse 22 “Ye men of Israel.” (only 53 days since the crucifixion).
Jesus of Nazareth. He was well known.
The demons knew Him.
The accusation over the Cross.
The despised Jesus from the despised city.
“Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” John 1 Approved by God.
By miracles = an act of power.
Demons into the swine. The stilling of the storm.
By Wonders = some supernatural act that causes people to marvel.
Luke 5 The paralytic healed.
Verse 26 They all were amazed—filled with fear—said we have seen strange things today.
By signs = a proof of identification.
The signs of John’s Gospel: blind man healed, feeding 5,000 people, healing of a man who was sick for 38 years, etc.
Verse 23 “Delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.”
A. The human side—“you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”
B. The Divine side.
Verse 24 “Whom God has raised” The Resurrection
In the early preaching the Resurrection was mentioned twice as often as the death of Christ. “The center of the center.”
Thousands saw the death of Christ.
Not one person saw Him rise from the dead, further more not one unbeliever saw Him after His Resurrection Acts 10:40-41.
The Resurrection is not human in any shape or form, it is absolutely Divine.
We must believe in the Resurrection before we can be saved.
“Died for our sins—raised for our justification.”
Romans 10:9 “Confess with your mouth believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead.”
The resurrection is necessary for positive and victorious Christian living. “All power is given unto Me.”
“That I might know Him and the power of His resurrection.”
Describe this power.
Then the Resurrection of Christ is necessary to ensure our own resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15)
Peter said earlier, “Joel prophesied concerning the coming of the Spirit, and it happened.
Now he says, David the greatest king we ever had prophesied concerning the resurrection of Christ.
Verse 27 “Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades, neither wilt thou permit thy Holy One to see corruption.” Psalm 16
Verse 34 David also prophesied of His ascension.
“The Lord God said unto my Lord. “Sit Thou on my right hand until I make thy foes thy footstool.”
Verse 36 Peter accuses his brethren the Jews of forcing the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.
Then he tells them, that this One whom they crucified as an imposter, God has raised from the dead—seated Him at His right hand—made Him Lord and Christ.
The Exhortation Verses 37-40
Verse 37 Those who heard Peter speak were conscience stricken.
They asked, “What shall we do?”
Peter’s answer, Verse 38.
Repent—be baptized for remission of sins—then you will receive the Holy Spirit.
What do we do for salvation today? See Acts 10.
1. The Word is preached.
2. Faith comes with hearing the Word.
3. Immediately on believing we receive the Spirit.
4. Then we are baptized because we are believers.
“Whom God has raised up.” Verse 24
Verse 27 “Because you will not leave my soul in Hades.”
Let me explain a misunderstood word. “Hell”
When we think of “Hell” we usually think of a permanent place of torment.
While in some instances this may be true, in other instances it is far from the truth.
Sheol is the Hebrew word (65 times in O.T.)
It was used in the O.T. to describe the temporary place in which the dead await resurrection.
It was a place of conscious existence.
It was divided into two compartments.
1. A place of conscious bliss to which those who died in faith went.
2. A place of conscious suffering to which those who died in unbelief went.
Hades is the Greek word used in the N.T. to describe the same place. (11 times)
Generally when mentioned in the N.T. it has in view the unsaved dead who are in misery, awaiting the resurrection unto the “great white throne.”
In point of time it is an intermediate place between death and the final judgment.
For the condition of lost ones in this place See Luke 16.
At the final resurrection death and Hades will deliver up their dead to stand before the great white throne.
After the judgment each soul will be taken and cast into Gehena, which is the eternal state of the unsaved dead. (12 times)
The resurrection body of the unsaved, evidently will be of such a character that it is indestructible.
The question could now be asked, “Where are the saved dead?”
They are “at home (present) with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5
“Absent from the body present with the Lord which is far better.” Philippians 1
In their state of bliss they await the resurrection of the body at the Rapture.
Body and soul will be reunited—then into His presence forever.
The Resurrection of Christ is one of the more important doctrines of the Christian faith. (1 Corinthians 15)
1. Christ’s resurrection is the basis for our own Resurrection.
2. The resurrection of Christ is necessary for positive and victorious Christian living.
He can supply the power for this—He said “all power is given unto me” etc. “I can do all things” etc.
“That I might know Him and His resurrection power.”
Peter had pointed out that Joel prophesied concerning the “coming of the Spirit.” Chapter 2.
Then he reminds them that David—their greatest king prophesied concerning the resurrection of Christ.
Verse 27 “Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades (hell), neither wilt thou permit Thy Holy One to see corruption.”
Verse 34 David also prophesied of His ascension “The Lord God said unto my Lord, ‘Sit thou on my right hand until I make your foes your footstool.’”
Verse 36 Peter accuses his brethren of forcing the crucifixion.
Then he tells them that the One whom they had crucified as an imposter is the same One whom God has raised up from the dead and seated Him at His right hand, and made Him both Lord and Christ.
This was Peter’s explanation and exposition of the recent events.
The Exhortation Verses 37-40
Verse 37 Those who listened to Peter were conscience stricken and asked, “What shall we do?”
Verse 38 Peter’s answer
Repent—be baptized for the remission of sins—then you will receive the Holy Spirit also. 3,000 responded to the invitation.
What do we do for salvation today? Acts 10
1. The Word is preached
2. Faith comes by the hearing of the Word
3. Immediately on believing they received the Spirit
4. Then they are baptized because they were believers.
Verse 38. The Method of Salvation.
The Jews. Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins—ye shall receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2.
The Gentiles. Heard the Word—Believed—received the Holy Spirit—baptized.
The growth of the Church
Verse 41 3,000 added to the 120 who were formed into the church at Pentecost.
The conduct of the new converts.
1. They were baptized.
2. They continued steadfastly etc.
3. In fellowship “Partnership.”
4. Breaking of bread “Lord’s Supper.”
Verse 43 “And fear came upon every soul.”
1. Believers were struck with a sense of awe.
2. Unbelievers—mockers (Chapter 1) were astonished at what they saw and heard.
3. “Wonders” and “signs” were performed by the disciples.
4. Verses 44-45 They had all things in common—fellowship. No one was in need—they shared their possessions.
They were a happy people.
Verse 46 They not only shared their possessions but they also shared their new found faith “with gladness” and “with singleness of heart”…for the honor and glory of God.
They were a praising people.
Verse 47 The Lord worked through them—many were converted and joined themselves to this happy group.