The Apostles at Jerusalem
A. The Promise of the Holy Spirit, vs. 1-5
The former treatise- The Gospel of Luke is the 'former treatise' mentioned here.
"treatise" n. [L. tractatus.] A tract; a written composition on a particular subject, in which the principles of it are discussed or explained. A treatise is of an indefinite length; but it implies more form and method than an essay, and less fullness or copiousness than a system. [definition from Webster's 1812 Dictionary]
logos utterance, word, work
Have I made, - Luke is the writer of this book. Many comparisons can be made between the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts.
o Both addressed to Theophilus.
o Luke is the longest N.T. Book. Acts is the second longest.
o Luke records the birth of the son of God. Acts records the birth of the Church of God.
o Luke tells us what the father continued to do through the body of His Son (Savior). Acts tells us what the Father continued on to do through the Body (Holy Ghost filled Saints, the Church).
O Theophilus- Theophilus (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1) "Friend of God" In Luke 1:4, Luke expresses his reason for writing the Gospel of Luke addressed to Theophilus: That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
Acts is a continuation of the record of Christ' ministry as carried out by His apostles. It is a continuation of the Gospel of Luke. Luke gives a brief summary of what he had already covered in his Gospel then continues naturally on into his account in Acts.
Christ is the Message. See Him, Receive Him, Know Him, Praise Him, Worship Him, Witness Him---His Life---Righteousness, His Death---Forgiveness, His Resurrection---Justification, His Lordship---Sanctification.
The necessity of being Spirit filled, is very pertinent to our time. Why? The ministry of the Gospel far supersedes that of your local church. Yes, our home churches are vital and yes, His Spirit dwells there. HOWEVER, We as a family, and as a body are not really opposed by other close believers."Out There", like in Jesus' time, He and His disciples were not believed."Out There", in our time, we will face opposition. You must be Holy Ghost filled, to have the ability, and capability, to be instruments that manifest His Life despite the opposition.
Acts 1:5—For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16)
"For John truly baptized with water:"
John is represented as baptizing with water, but the Messiah who was to come as baptizing with the Holy Ghost and with fire! Christ's Baptism of fire is not in conflict with John's Baptism of Water. Building upon the foundation of water baptism, Christ brings a greater revelation of life in the Spirit of God.
"…but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost…."
*It assured both the disciples and others of the doctrine and life of the Gospel.
*That they would be able to fulfil their calling(s) in His work.
*They would be able to obey the Savior's commands and desires.
"….. not many days hence."
Consider why Jesus said not many days hence:
o It would compel them to really watch
o It would prompt and urge them to really pray.
o It would through their obedience, and Christ's promise fulfilled, strengthen their faith.
Lev. 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:
"Ye shall count unto you-seven Sabbaths] That is, from the sixteenth of the first month to the sixth of the third month. These seven weeks, called here Sabbaths, were to be complete, i. e., the forty-nine days must be finished, and the next day, the fiftieth, is what, from the Septuagint, we call pentecost." [Adam Clarke]
What is the significance of the "seven weeks", or Sabbaths? Seven is the number of completion, perfection. Do you suppose that the necessity of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is designed of God for the "completion" of chosen vessels? Vessels who are complete in that, His Spirit, His person-hood, has been imparted into their spirits making them able ministers to reach out to a lost and hopeless generation.
B. The Ascension of Jesus vs. 6-11
POWER is God's to Give: The Lord has infinite authority over all times and seasons. The Lord has sovereign liberty of acting or not acting in any given circumstance. The Lord's "power" was imparted to them through which they were enabled to work miracles. The disciples were made instruments in the Kingdom of Christ, IN THE HOLY GHOST!!! God promises power to overcome any obstacle. God's ministers will not always be received or believed, but God gives the Holy Ghost that they might overcome any force.
C. Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas Iscariot vs. 12-26
The portrayal of the apostles in Acts is very similar to the portrayal of Jesus in Luke's Gospel. Just like Jesus, they are filled with the Holy Spirit, they quote from the Scriptures in their preaching, they teach and heal, they perform miracles and deliverances, they gain followers but also stir up opponents, they are persecuted and some of them are arrested, but they forgive their opponents and remain faithful to God even to the death. (For a more detailed look at this study SEE ADDENDUM, CHART 2.)
1. vs. 12-14. The disciples, the women, the mother of Jesus and His brethren return from Mount Olivet to the Upper Room at Jerusalem. Here they continued in one accord in prayer and supplication. (120 people, vs. 15)
2. vs. 15-22. Peter preaches the first sermon on Judas and expresses the need to appoint a replacement. (For a list of this and other notable sermons from Acts SEE Addendum, Chart 4.)
Acts 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. (Ps 69:25; 109:8)
3. vs. 23-26. Candidates for Judas' replacement had to be witnesses' of Christ's resurrection. Two candidates were chosen: Joseph called Barsabas, surnamed Justus and Matthias. These two man were undoubtedly part of the seventy in Luke 10:1.
Matthias is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Mattithiah meaning "gift of God."
Joseph called Barsabas is also of Hebrew origin. Joseph means "increase" and Bar-sabas means "son of…summoning of one's wishes." His surname, Justus, is of Latin origin meaning "just."
Casting lots was very common in the nations of Biblical times. (Esther 3:7; Jonah 1:7; Matt. 27:35; Joel 3:3; Nahum 3:10; Obadiah 11) It was also used by the Jews generally in a religious context. (Lev. 16:8; Num. 22:35; Josh. 18:10; Acts 13:19; Judges 1:1-3; 20:9; Josh. 7:14; I Sam. 10:20,21; I Chr. 24:3-19; Luke 1:5-9). But, after the giving of the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2, the use of lots in the affairs of the Church is never mentioned again. The Holy Ghost directs the affairs of the Body of Christ!
v.24 "And they prayed" The most important step of the choosing process!
A. The Coming of the Holy Spirit vs. 1-13
1. God's Chosen Time , vs. 1
The Church was born on the Day of Pentecost by Divine design. Pentecost is a Jewish feast celebrated annually 50 days after the Passover feast. Pentecost in Acts two took place 10 days after Christ's ascension which was 40 days after His resurrection. Fifty days after Christ's resurrection, the Holy Ghost fell in the Upper Room.
a. The Feast of Weeks
The Feast of Weeks is seven weeks known as the Shavu'ot in Hebrew or Pentekoste in Greek (meaning "fiftieth from the Passover.) To the Hebrew, the feast of weeks was held at the end of the wheat harvest (Lev. 23:15-21) to commemorate the giving of the Law (Lev. 23:15-18).
b. The Number Fifty
Pentecost means fiftieth and the number is significant because:
God gave the Hebrews instruction to keep the Feast of Weeks fifty days from the Passover. Although it is not explicitly said in Scripture, the Jews keep the Feast of Weeks in remembering the giving of the Law or Torah.
Acts chapter two and the day of Pentecost took place fifty days after Christ's resurrection.
The number fifty is also prominent in the tabernacle. (Ex. 26:5; 27:12, and many more.)
c. The Unity of the Believers
The Church was born on Pentecost at a time of great unity among Believers.
Acts 2:1—And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
The Basis of Revival is the "Unity of the Spirit" (no divisions)
One mind, One motive, One purpose, One will, One character or nature
2. God's Chosen Manner , vs. 2-4
a. Suddenly, by surprise - all of a sudden - unexpectedly. This was evidence of a move of God and not something choreographed by man.
b. A Sound
Wind -Of a mighty rushing wind. Evidence the Holy Ghost was there.
c. Cloven Tongues of Fire sat upon each of them
Fire - Evidence the Holy Ghost was on them
d. Tongue - began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.
Word - Evidence the Holy Ghost was in them.
3. God's Chosen Message , vs. 5-13
The Holy Ghost is writing a message in the heart of the Believer! What is the Meaning of Pentecost? 2:12…What meaneth this?
"Amazed" out of wits, astound, astonished, be beside self
"in doubt" perplexed, nonplussed at first, at a loss as to what to think
Some even mocked supposing the men were drunk!
They were amazed and wondered at the meaning behind the great miracle of tongues. What great meaning was behind this phenomenon? Peter addresses the crowd in the following verses and explains that the mystery they witnessed was a message from God! It's the Promise of the Father, The promised witness of Christ, the fulfillment of prophecy, and the Comforter has come to put God's law in our hearts.
B. Peter Addresses the Crowd vs. 14-36
Peter's Title: "Jesus is the Messiah"
1. Introduction (vs. 14-21)
Peter called the attention of the people and quotes from Joel 2:28-32. Peter preaches that the undeniably miraculous event they were witnessing a message from God and affirmation of Christ as Messiah and Savior.
2. Jesus Fulfilled God's Plan (vs. 22-24)
a. Jesus was approved of God By miracles, wonders and signs and the work of God.
b. The crucifixion was according to God's plan.
c. The resurrection was fulfilled according to prophecy.
d. According to the foreknowledge of God
3. Jesus Fulfilled David's Prophecy (vs. 25-31)
a. David was a prophet of God.
b. Christ to sit on David's throne.
c. Resurrection of Christ was foretold by David.
4. Jesus Fulfilled the Plan of God as the Exalted Christ (vs. 32-36)
a. This Jesus hath God raised up.
b. Jesus is exalted on the Right hand of God.
c. Jesus is Lord and Christ.
C. The First Converts of the Spirit Filled Church vs. 37-42
1. They gladly received his word
His word was "repent" (vs. 37-40)
Results - pricked in their heart (conviction)
2. They continued in the Word and prayer
They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread. These 3,000 souls were not just people who said a prayer and were added to some evangelistic record. These converts CONTINUED. A life changed is the greatest evidence of real salvation. They APPLIED what was preached and believed.
D. Life Among the Believers vs. 43-47
a. fear came upon every soul 43
b. many wonders and signs were done by the apostles 43
c. They "were together" 44
d. continuing daily with one accord in the temple 46
e. Praising God, and having favor with all the people 47
f. The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved
The Lame Man is Miraculously Healed, vs. 1-11
For 40 long years a man lived his days lame. He was carried daily to the temple gate called "Beautiful" to ask alms (a beggar).. By Divine Providence, two "unlearned" and "ignorant" men who "had been with Jesus" passed near that impotent man. This man asked Peter and John, for mere alms, but ended up with a Blessing from the King of Heaven-his feet and anklebones were given strength!
V. 1,2 The Place- The gate "Beautiful" of the Temple
V. 1 The Time- The hour of prayer, the ninth hour (from 12 PM to 3 PM)
V. 2 The Man-Lame from his mother's womb, was carried to and laid daily at the Temple gate to ask alms, was accustomed to begging, was above 40 years old. [ch.4 vs.22]
V. 1,6 The Apostles-Peter and John, had no silver or gold, but had the power of God!
V. 6 The Healer-Jesus Christ of Nazareth
V. 7,8 The Miracle-his feet and ankle bones received strength, he leaped up, stood, and walked
V. 8-11The Reaction-
He praised God, the people glorified God [ch.4 vs.21], the people were filled with wonder and amazement, all the people ran to the porch of the temple greatly wondering and Peter and John gain a congregation! The power of God was manifested in the healing of the lame beggar (whom a lot of people knew-he sat there daily) and the people came running to the house of God 'wondering'.
NOTE: Many enter Christian ministry because they have dreams of money or covet the spotlight. Even the well-intended minister can lose sight of the true purpose of sermons, songs and evangelism. In this chapter, we have a powerful example of true "ministry." The purpose of Gospel ministry is not to preach a sermon or even to work a profound miracle. These are only the tools of ministry, but true ministry takes place only when the hearer is helped and God is glorified! The Christian minister is the servant of Christ and debtor to his generation. (Romans 1:1,14)
Peter Preaches His Second Recorded Sermon, vs. 12-26
V. 12 INTRODUCTION- "Why marvel ye?"
V. 12,13 I. Jesus is the Healer, not Us
V. 13-15 II. God has Glorified Jesus, but You have Denied Him
V. 16-18 III. This Man has been Healed through Faith in the Name of Jesus, but You have been Filled with Unbelief Through Ignorance
V. 19 IV. REPENT and be CONVERTED
V. 20-26 CONCLUSION- Jesus is the Prophet the Prophets Spoke Of
A. It has been Told you Before
B. Jesus is the Blessing of the Covenant with Abraham
C. God has Chosen to Bless you First
IV. CHAPTER FOUR
A. Peter and John before the Council vs. 1-22
VERSES 1-2 :
The Challengers to the Gospel of Christ:
The Priest, Captain of the Temple and the Sadducees v.1
The Rulers, Elders and Scribes v.5
Annas the High Priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander v.6, 8
There will be no permanent escape of persecution. Christ suffered much and the Believer will suffer persecution.
2Timothy 3:12—Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
It must be noted that the Apostles' did not set out for the purpose of getting arrested. Getting arrested was merely a consequence of their obedience to God! Many unwise people have made a mockery of the Gospel and bring a poor testimony upon Christian ministry when they intentionally seek to be troublemakers or purpose to be arrested for attention. Such "persecution" is self-inflicted and cannot be judged as glorifying to God. God is glorified only through the faith of the obedient. If that means we pass through the fire or the prison, so be it. It is unchristian to intentionally break the laws of the land. We must conduct ourselves lawfully in the carrying out of Christ's commission. There are times when the laws of man do contradict the laws of God and we must obey God rather than man, but that decision must be made soberly and after careful prayer. We must be cautioned against breaking any law of the land especially when we could by some sacrifice of our own both act lawfully in the eyes of man and obediently in respect to God.
Peter and John are imprisoned for their "good deed", but Peter, by the Anointing of the Holy Ghost, does not endure a grueling sentencing, but is given by God just another "kind" of congregation-the council of the Rulers and Elders of Israel!
VERSES 2-12 : PREACHED…
through Jesus, Resurrection from the dead; cripple made whole. 4:2,8-10
Preached Jesus Christ, stone builders rejected/Head of Corner. 4:11
Preached Salvation only through Jesus Christ. 4:12
Preached Jer. 32:17--- 4:24; Psalms 2:1-2 --- 4:25-26
V. 4 Yes, they were imprisoned, but the price they paid was not without Reward: About 5,000 Male Converts (The wording would suggest there were many woman converts, as well, which could increase the number to maybe 10,000 converts! Remember this congregation consisted of people curious of the miracle of the lame man; woman are as curious as men-if not more!
V. 5-7 A Counsel Gathers to Question the two Blasphemous Men
Vv.8-12 Peter Preaches [AGAIN]
(Amen! God by the Empowering of the Infilling of the Holy Ghost has turned this "reed shaking in the wind" to a "Powerhouse Preacher"!)
Peter's Response to the Counsel's Question: By what Power was this man healed? Jesus Christ of Nazareth
I. Whom Ye Crucified
II. Whom God Resurrected
III. The Stone You Builders Set at Nought
IV. The Stone which is become the Cornerstone
V. Through Whose Name, Only, is Salvation
Peter's testimony was not hearsay, but was an eyewitness record! He had more than an argument, Peter had an experience. God also mercifully provided the experience of the miracle for the challengers.(v.14 They could say nothing against it!)
Vv. 13-16 The Council's Dilemma
A. These Men were Unlearned and Ignorant, yet Spake with Boldness (it is a common trait among men to fear the unknown)
B. These Men had been with Jesus (whom they feared and so crucified)
C. This Man has Obviously been Healed; There is no Way to Deny It
Vv. 17,18 The Council's Decision
All in Jerusalem have already heard of the miracle these men have been a part of, but so that their fame (and hence their message) might not spread any further, the Council will "threaten" Peter and John not to speak at all or teach in the name of Jesus.
Vv. 19,20 Peter and John Refuse to "Bow" to the Council's Threats
Vv. 21,22 The Council Defeated
B. A Hallelujah Meeting, vs. 23-31
Vs. 23-31 God Responds with more POWER of the Holy Ghost
When they are released, they testified of the power of God and the people that were saved only a short while before and others with them respond in united prayer to God. When they had prayed, the house was "shaken" by the power of God and these precious souls were now ALL filled with the Holy Ghost.
We can see in this passage a pattern for Revival.
a. Their prayer was fervent and effective (The place was shaken)
b. They were praying in unity
c. They prayed until they were full of the Holy Ghost
2. Preach the Word 31
They spake the word of God with boldness
a. It takes knowledge to have boldness
b. It takes knowledge of the truth to have perfect unity.
c. It takes faith working by love to continue in in the Word
3. Praise and Exalt Christ 33
a. Resurrection of the Lord Jesus
"Lord" Jehovah "I Am" Covenant Keeping God
"Jesus" Saviour of the world
C. The Believers Share their Possessions vs. 32-37
In so few verses, we have seen a great multitude of hopeless, hurting people-sinners-brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We have seen how the world responds to the Believer-with curiosity maybe for the cross is a mystery to them, but for the most part with rejection. We see what the power of God can do working in the lives of a Believer. We see these Born-again Believers baptized into the Body of Christ/the Church. People that were once aimless individuals, with no hope or future, now having poured into them the Holy Ghost. They are now a united, living "organism". They are filled with boldness, power, unity, brotherly love, and live self-less lives yet do not lack.
And the story is just getting started!
V. CHAPTER FIVE
A. Ananias and Sapphira Lie to the Apostle vs. 1-11
B. Many are Healed by God through the Apostles vs. 12-16
C. The Apostles are Persecuted vs. 17-42
D. The Witnesses 32
1. The Apostles are Witnesses
2. The Holy Ghost is a Witness
a. The Holy Ghost is witness to the obedient
b. The Holy Ghost is witness to the Resurrected Lord
c. The Holy Ghost is witness of the exalted Saviour
A. Seven are Chosen to Serve vs. 1-7
v. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. …Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
B. The Arrest of Stephen vs. 8-15
A. Stephen's Speech to the Council vs. 1-53
1. The Gospel Preached
2. The Holy Ghost Resisted
3. The God of Glory Appearing
Appearing to Abraham v. 2
Appearing to Joseph v. 9
Appearing to Moses v. 30
Appearing to Stephen vs. 55-56
B. The Stoning of Stephen vs. 54-60
1. Unselfish Prayer - Intercessory Prayer
2. Unselfish Life - Resolving the Conflict