Israel In Acts, Chapters 1 And 2, A Jewish Context, 33 A.D.

Video Title: Holy Spirit Comes

Article Title: Israel In Acts, Chapters 1 And 2, A Jewish Context, 33 A.D.

Introduction:

In this study of the Book of Acts, we have been focusing on the presence of Jews in Jerusalem. We have seen the activities that led up to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Jews while they were In Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. Some Jews had already come to saving faith in Christ, “but many more had not.” The significance of Pentecost is that it was a day that ensured that numerous nationalities of Jews would be directed by the Law to be present in Jerusalem, on that day (Ex 23:14-17). Notice that in the video, the prayer is “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven” (Matt 6:10). These disciples of Christ are still praying for the Kingdom, which was promised to Israel, to come to earth “now.” They are not praying to be taken up to Heaven, which is not a teaching of the promise of Kingdom life. The Kingdom will be on earth (Gen 12:1-3; 15:18-21; 17:8). The disciples have not been given the teaching of Heaven in great detail, other than in John 14:2-6. In time, they will come to understand the Resurrection and Rapture of the church in 1 Cor 15:50-54 and 1 Thes 4:13-18, as well as many other doctrinal teachings that are mysteries to them.

Looking Back:

Acts 1:1-26

We have seen that for a period of 40 days, after the resurrection of Christ, that He spoke about the Kingdom of God, not only to the disciples of Christ (Acts 1:3), but also to more than 1500 brethren (Jews, 1 Cor 15:6; Mt 25:40) “at one time.” (The gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ is stated in 1 Cor 15:1-8; the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached during the Tribulation by the 144,000 Jews (Mt 24:14, Rev 7:3.)

Prior to the ascension of Christ to Heaven (Acts 1:9), He told the disciples to “stay” in Jerusalem for what “The Father had promised” (Acts 1:4). We saw that the disciples were still waiting for the the restoring of the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6. The Abrahamic Covenant: Gen 12:1-3; 15:18-21; 17:8: “land, people, and blessings.” The Davidic Covenant: 2 Sam 7:8-16: A Godly government; taught by Christ and His disciples to Jews (Matt 4:17; 10:7; Lk 10:9, 11), and not to Samaritans or Gentiles (Mt 10:5-6). The Kingdom and Second Coming of Christ “to earth,” relate to Israel. Christ did not teach about the rapture of the Church to Jews, because the Rapture of the Church was a “mystery” (1 Cor 15:51) to the Jews at the time of Christ, and would not be revealed until 59 A.D. (1 Cor 15:50-54), and relates to those of us who are living during the Church age (saved Jews and saved Gentiles). The Rapture does not relate to those who are left behind from the Rapture and come to saving faith in Christ during the Tribulation (when the Church will not be present). The term, “mystery,” relates to something that had not been previously revealed by God.

We also saw where angels told the disciples” (Acts 1:11), that just as Christ was lifted up to Heaven, He would return to earth in the same manner (Matt 24:29:31; Zech 14:1-5; Rev 19:11-21). This return of Christ to earth, will result with Christ returning “to the earth, standing on the earth, at the place from where He ascended, on the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4). In the Rapture of the Church, Christ will return in the air (not touching the earth), and will catch up His born again believers from earth, and take them with Him to Heaven (John 14:2-6; 1 Thes 4:16-17; 1 Cor 15:50-54).

We saw where the disciples returned to Jerusalem (a Sabbath Day’s journey…Acts 1:12, Mt 24:20), which is the distance that Rabbis allowed Jews to travel on the Sabbath, i.e., 2,000 cubits, appx 1/2 mile/1 km (Ex 16:29; Num 35:5, RSB). We saw where the disciples entered Jerusalem, and went up to the upper room, where they, and women (appx 120 people), devoted themselves to prayer (Acts 1:13-15). The upper room may have been the house of Mary (Acts 12:12), or the location of the last Passover meal, that Christ had with His disciples (Mk 14:12-15; Lk 22:11-12; MSB). The upper room may have also been on the top of a largge house (NAC). The Passover meal of Matt 26:26-30, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:14-20, John 13:1-5, was not Christian communion. Passover meals would continue to be observed annually, and continues to be observed by Jews each year, even to the year in which we find our place.

Acts 2:1-36

We saw in Acts 2:1 that the Day of Pentecost occurred 50 days after the resurrection of Christ (RSB), a total of 10 days from the day of the ascension of Christ (RSB). Many Christians observe “Ascension Sunday” (the Sunday after the ascension of Christ),” and “Pentecost Sunday” (the Sunday when the Holy Spirit fell on Jerusalem). On the Day of Pentecost, those in the upper room, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, spoke the message of “the mighty deeds of God” (Act 2:11). The miracle of Pentecost is that 120 Jews in the upper room (Acts 1:15), spoke in the languages (tongues) of the Jews, who were in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost (Acts 2:6); it was like a United Nations translation of a speaker into the languages of all of the international people who are present. “The Day of Pentecost,” the fourth of the annual feasts of the Jews (after Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits; it came 50 days after First Fruits, a type of resurrection of Christ… 1 Cor 15:23). Pentecost was the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks, so called because it fell seven (a week of) weeks after First Fruits. It celebrated the wheat harvest (Ex 23:16). This Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 marked the beginning of the Church (Matt 16:18). Possibly at Acts 2:3, the group left the house and went to the Temple (RSB). In Acts 2:14-36, the Apostle Peter preached the first message of Christ to Jews, in the Dispensation of The Church (SRN). The conclusion of Peter’s sermon is stated in Acts 2:36: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

It was truly an act of God for the 120 Disciples in the upper room, and the Apostle Peter to preach the message of Christ (Acts 2:14-36), so that all of the assembled Jews in Jerusalem could understand the message in their own languages (Acts 2:8), with a total of 3,000 unbelieving Jews coming to saving faith in Christ on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41).

It is important to understand that the events of the Day of Pentecost relate to Jews. Gentiles are not the focus of the message of Christ, at this time. Read the following, by Howard Culbertson http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/personal

In its infancy, the Early Church was almost 100% Jewish. That should not surprise us. Those whom God inspired to write the books of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) had all been Jews. The promised Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, was Jewish. Though the 3,000 people converted on the Day of Pentecost were “from every nation under Heaven,” (Acts 2) they were obviously not Gentile pagans since they were all in Jerusalem to celebrate a distinctly Jewish festival. http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/gentile.htm

Looking Ahead: Acts 2:37-47. The Results Of Peter’s Pentecost Sermon.

2:37, Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”

Note: 2:37. “cut to the heart.” The Gr. word for “cut” means “pierce” or “stab,” and thus denotes something sudden and unexpected. In grief, remorse, and intense spiritual conviction, Peter’s listeners were stunned by his indictment that they had killed their Messiah.

2:38, Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Based on Acts 2:8, tongues as are prominent in many of today’s churches, are not words that are unintelligible, and in the context of Acts 2, do not need interpretation by others.

Note: 2:38a. “Repent.” To change one’s mind; specifically, here, about Jesus of Nazareth, and to acknowledge Him as Lord (=God) and Christ (=Messiah). Such repentance brings about salvation. (RSB)

Note (Mine) 2:38b. “be baptized…for the forgiveness of your sins.” Matt 3:2, “Repent”, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The word to Jews was to repent “change their minds about Christ.” The offer of the Kingdom, not Heaven, was being offered to Israel, (metanoeó: to change one’s mind or purpose; same as in Acts 2:38). Matt 3:6, “and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.” These Jews were being baptized in response to their belief in Christ as Messiah, as the King that God has chosen for Israel (Deu 17:15). In response to the Pharisees and Saducees, who were going to John for baptism, John said in Matt 3:8, “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;” their “metanoeó” was not genuine. The Jews who were serious in their metanoeó had the result of John 3:3: ‘Jesus answered and said to him,’ “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The new-birth is promised to those in the Church Age as a condition for Heaven (2 Cor 5:17), “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Note (Mine) 2:38c. “the gift of the Holy Spirit.” We may ask, “what is the gift of the Holy Spirit?” (This verse relates to Jews at Pentecost, in 33 A.D.). The following verses tell of a chronological listing of the giving of Spiritual gifts, that are provided by God to those whom have been born again, to be taught by God’s Holy Spirit, who will teach the world through His born again believers in Christ.

(33 A.D.) John 14:16,17,26, (16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.). 16:8, And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.

The following verses of Spiritual gifts relate to those in the churches that are composed of Jews and Gentiles. These gifts are given by God to those whom He may choose. In the Book of Acts, there is no such detailed spiritual gifting.

(59 A.D.) 1 Cor 12:1, “Now concerning spiritual gifts,” 12:4, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.

(60 A.D.) Rom 12:6, “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us”

(64 A.D.) Eph 4:8, “He gave gifts to men.”

(64 A.D.) Heb 2:4, “gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.”

(33 A.D.) Mark 16:16. There are two different accounts of the Resurrection of Christ. vs 1-8 are consistent with the Resurrection and great commission accounts of Matt 28, Luke 24, Acts 1, and John 20. Vs 9-20 show a different cast of women who are present at the tomb. vs 1 shows two women; vs 9 shows one woman. Vs 16, “he who has believed and been baptized;” John 3:16, Rom 10:9 state that belief in Christ is necessary for salvation, and not any inclusion of baptism in attaining salvation. Vs 17, (believers will) cast out demons, speak with new tongues, vs 18 pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. Note that in vs 17, “speak with new tongues,” is not consistent with the other accounts of the resurrection. Consider the following comments from the MacArthur Study Bible.

16:9–20 The external evidence strongly suggests these verses were not originally part of Mark’s gospel. While the majority of Gr. manuscripts contain these verses, the earliest and most reliable do not. A shorter ending also existed, but it is not included in the text. Further, some that include the passage note that it was missing from older Gr. manuscripts, while others have scribal marks indicating the passage was considered spurious. The fourth-century church fathers Eusebius and Jerome noted that almost all Gr. manuscripts available to them lacked vv. 9–20. The internal evidence from this passage also weighs heavily against Mark’s authorship. The transition between vv. 8 and 9 is abrupt and awkward. The Gr. particle translated “now” that begins v. 9 implies continuity with the preceding narrative. What follows, however, does not continue the story of the women referred to in v. 8,

The NASB, NKJV, ESV, and NIV agree with the MacArthur Study Bible comments on vs 9-20.

Acts 2:42, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Note (Mine). They=early Church).  These were Jews who were in Jerusalem for the annual Feast of Pentecost (Ac 2:6-11; Lev 23:15-22).

Note (Mine). Breaking of bread does not indicate Christian communion, especially at such at early date in the spiritual growth of Jewish believers in Christ. When we consider the events of Pentecost, we notice that on the day prior, all of these Jews were unbelievers. On the day of Pentecost, they became believers in Christ. The theme of the NT is “Christ and Him crucified,” (Acts 2:36, 33 A.D., 1 Cor 2:2, 59 A.D.). The term, “breaking of bread,” was used in Luke 24:30, where the meaning was that of a meal, and can not relate to Christian communion. These Jews had no preconceived ideas of, such as, “First Baptist Church Of Jerusalem.” That which they knew dealt with “Christ, and Him crucified.”

Acts 2:46, “Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,”  

Note (Mine). These were Pentecost Day Jews; they met as believers in homes having meals= breaking bread (see Lk 24:30-35, which was not Christian Communion). This was too soon for “formal Church functions.”  3,000 Jews accepted Christ on the Day of Pentecost (Ac 2:41), but continued going to the temple, as did other Jews who came to saving faith in Christ; follow the Acts timeline. One of my Jewish Messianic believers in Christ discussed the aspect of these Jews continuing their attendance at the Temple. He said that Jews would not bring embarrassment on their elders by immediately dismissing themselves form Temple worship. As we continue with this study of Acts, as we key on the Jewish element of the early church, we will see born again Jews continuing in Temple worship.

Acts 2:47, “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

Note (Mine). The Holy Spirit led: (1) 120 “believing Jews” to speak in the languages of Pentecost Day “unbelieving Jews” in Jerusalem (Ac 2:8); and (2) Peter to “preach Christ” (Ac 2:14-36); (3) leading 3,000 unbelieving Jews to belief in Christ on that day (Ac 2:41). Those whom had been baptized were believers prior to their baptism (Ac 2:37-38). They repented (metanoeó: to change one’s mind or purpose) of their unbelief in Christ.

This article is part of a timeline study of the Book of Acts, keying on Israel. Please remember that the context of the early Church is that of Jews, who remained Jews, but grew in their belief and understanding of, “Christ and Him crucified.” Editing details are shown, as follows:

Translation Considerations. “The New American Standard Bible (NASB) translation was chosen for this, and other studies, because of two main reasons. First, the NASB capitalizes the first letter of pronouns that relate to God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit); not all Bible translations show that same respect for God. Second, the NASB has a history of correctness in translation.”

Comment Providers. Unless otherwise indicated, BKC=The Bible Knowledge Commentary. DHC=David Hocking Commentary; HC=Holman Commentary; JDP=J. Dwight Pentecost; MSB=MacArthur Study Bible; MBC=Moody Bible Commentary; NAC=New American Commentary; NIV=NIV Study Bible; NKJV= New King James Study Bible; RLT=Robert L. Thomas Commentary; RC=Ryrie Commentary; RSB=Ryrie Study Bible; SRN=Scofield Reference Notes; WRC= Walvoord Commentary; AMW=Andrew M. Woods. Credentials for individual commentators can be found on my “About Sources” page.

Dates of scriptures come from the Scofield Study Bible, copyright 1909.

Video Details.

Video Title: Holy Spirit Comes.

PEACE WAY CHRISTIAN CENTER

In NBC’s A.D. The Bible Continues portrays the Holy Spirit coming down to the Disciples of Jesus Christ.

Show. A.D.: The Bible Continues : The Spirit Arrives

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