I. Introduction. Concurrently, I am writing a series of articles on Israel, and how God’s chosen people fit into the timelines of the books of Acts and Revelation. In this Acts 3 article, we will see the Apostle Peter sharing the message of Christ to Jews, in a very direct manner, with the purpose of drawing them to saving faith in Christ, as a nation, and as individual Jews. In this article, as we follow the preaching of Peter, we will also delve into the Kingdom Age of the Millennial reign of Christ. We will follow the contextual timeline of Israel from 1004 B.C., when Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem was completed, to the preaching of the Apostles to the Jews in Jerusalem in 33 A.D. We will continue to the yet future fulfillment of 2 Chr 2:14, at the end of the Tribulation, and on to the Godly reconstruction of the Millennial Temple in the Kingdom Age of the Millennium that will take place in Jerusalem.
A. Series Title: Israel In The Book Of Acts.
B. Video Title: What Does Acts Chapter 3 Mean?
C. Article Title: Acts 3, The Promised Messiah, 33 A.D.
D. Article Focus: “Repent,” metanoeó: to change one’s mind or purpose (about Christ).
E. Key Verse: Deu 14:2, “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
II. Text. Acts 3:1-26 (33 A.D.).
A. Healing the Lame Beggar (Vs 1-10).
1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. 2 And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. 4 But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” 5 And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” 7 And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. 8 With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God; 10 and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
B. Peter’s Second Sermon (Vs 11-26).
11 While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement. 12 But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14 But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses. 16 And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.
17 “And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. 18 But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you. 23 And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ 24 And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. 25 It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26 For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”
III. 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.”
IV. Sources of Information can be found in the following link: https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/about-sources/
A. 3:1. “the hour of prayer.” This is the ninth hour, 3:00 p.m. The Jews had 3 daily times of prayer (Ps. 55:17); the other two were 9:00 a.m. (third hour) and 12:00 noon (sixth hour). The Apostles, and other Jews whom had come to saving faith in Christ, continued in daily Temple worship, but also met as believers in Christ in their homes (Acts 2:46). We will learn more about how Temples became a place of sharing the message of Christ (e.g., Ac 17:10-12).
B. 3:2. “the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful.” A large and ornate gate inside the temple mount on the eastern side, separating the Court of the Gentiles from the Court of the Women. “alms.” A charitable donation of money.
C. 3:3. “into the temple.” Beggars considered the temple the best site to operate because the daily crowds of Jews came to impress God with their pious good works, including offerings at the temple treasury (the Jews in this context appear to not have come to saving faith in Christ.).
D. 3:6. The apostles heal not by their own power but “in the name of Jesus,” through the authority Jesus gave them. Acts reports the continuing work of Jesus through His church.
E. 3:7. Luke, a physician by profession, described what took place. Instantly strength was given to the portions of the body that needed it. Blood supply was increased to the muscle. The brain sent signals to the nerve endings of the ankles and feet. The hardened fluid between the joints was softened, and the atrophied muscles and ligaments regained flexibility. The feet suddenly could bear the man’s weight.
F. 3:8. “jumped” comes from the same root as the verb used in the Greek version of Isa 35:6, where “the lame” will “leap like a deer” at the restoration of creation.
G. 3:9. “praising God” is a major theme throughout the books of Luke and Acts. Those two books were penned by Luke, through the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit.
H. 3:10. The people had seen the beggar day after day, maybe year after year. His healing was not a staged event. When the beggar stood and walked, the only reasonable explanation was that God had healed him.
I. 3:11. “the portico of Solomon.” A porch surrounding the temple’s Court of the Gentiles. This was also where Jesus had taught about the Good Shepherd (John 10:23).
J. 3:12. Peter addressed the situation and used it as an opportunity to preach. His message included an explanation (vs 12-16), and an exhortation (vs 17-26).
J. 3:13. “his servant Jesus.” A reminder of the suffering servant prophesied in Isa 52:13—53:12 (Mt 12:18; Ac 4:27,30). “disowned him.” Voted against Jesus, spurned him, denied him and refused to acknowledge Him as the true Messiah. “Pilate,” when he had decided to let him go (Jn 19:12).
K. 3:14. “the Holy One.” Ps 16:10; Luke 4:34; John 6:69. “the Righteous One.” 1 Jn 2:1. “murderer.” Barabbas (Mt 27:16–21; Mk 15:11; Lk 23:18; Jn 18:40).
L. 3:15. “You put to death.” “God raised.” “We are witnesses.” A recurring theme in the speeches of Acts (see 2:23–24; 4:10; 5:30–32; 10:39–41; 13:28–29; cf. 1Co 15:1–4). “Prince of life.” See Jn 6:27, 50–51,63; 10:10; Php 1:21; 1 Jn 5:12.
M. 3:16. “on the basis of faith,” i.e., through the apostles’ faith, or possibly the lame man’s faith.
N. 3:17. “you acted in ignorance.” They did not know that Jesus was the true Messiah (Lk 23:34). Nevertheless, God will be generous in his mercy if they only repent and turn to him in faith (“Repent,” metanoeó: to change one’s mind or purpose (about Christ).
O. 3:18. “foretold through all the prophets.” Echoes that which Jesus had said (Lk 24:26–27). The suffering was prophesied (compare Isa 53:7–8 with Ac 8:32–33; Ps 2:1–2 with Ac 4:25–26; Ps 22:1 with Mt 27:46; see also Lk 24:44; 1 Pet 1:11).
P. 3:19. The word translated “refreshing” refers to restoration of strength and nourishment. Strength is restored when hope is restored. Peter challenged the people to repent and be converted, to change their thinking about Jesus as their Messiah and to serve Him. (“Repent,” metanoeó: to change one’s mind or purpose (about Christ).
Q. 3:20. If Israel as a whole would repent, a second more remote goal, the coming of the Kingdom. Such “metanoeó” will occur at the end of the Tribulation when Israel calls on Christ, in faith, to save them (Zech 12:10).
R. 3:21. The times of refreshing at the second coming of Christ would be fulfilled. The sending of the Christ, that is Messiah, meant the coming of the Kingdom. The Old Testament told of these days. The Old Testament prophets did not predict the church; to them it was a mystery (Rom 16:25; Eph 3:1-6).
S. 3:22. Quoted from Deu 18:15. Moses was revered by the Jews as their first and greatest prophet, and the Jews viewed the prophet “like him” to refer to the Messiah.
T. 3:23. Quoted from Deu 18:19. Also see Lev 23:29. Peter’s audience was in the precarious position of losing covenant blessings by rejecting the Messiah.
U. 3:24. “prophets, from Samuel.” Samuel was called a prophet in the OT (1 Sam 3:20). Although he did not directly prophesy about Christ, he did anoint David as king and speak of his kingdom (1 Sam. 13:14; 15:28; 16:13; 28:17), and the promises David received were and will be fulfilled in Christ (2 Sam. 7:10–16).
V. 3:25. “in your seed.” Quoted from Gen 22:18; 26:4. Jesus Christ was the ultimate fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant and its blessings (Gal 3:16), which are still available to the Jews.
W. 3:26. Jesus, God’s Servant (vs 13; 4:27, 30), was sent…first to you, that is, to the Jews. This chronological pattern was followed throughout the Gospels and Acts (Mt 10:5; Ac 13:46; Rom 1:16). The reason for this is that the establishing of the Kingdom depended, and still depends on, Israel’s response (Mt 23:37-39; Rom 11:26).
VI. Times Of Refreshing. (Acts 3:19-21). 19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.
A. Acts 3:19–21. “times of Refreshing.” The Kingdom Age Of The Millennium. “Times” means epoch, era, or season. Two descriptions are given to the coming era of the millennial kingdom. This is clear because they bracket the reference to Jesus Christ being sent from God to bring those times. Peter points to Christ’s earthly reign (see Acts 1:7; Rom. 11:26). The period will be marked by all kinds of blessings and renewal (Is 11:6–10; 35:1–10; Ez 34:26; 44:3; Joel 2:26; Mt 19:28; Rev. 19:1–10). It is not the church that brings in the Kingdom Age; it is Christ.
B. Lev 23:33-43. Feast Of Tabernacles. This festival commemorated God’s deliverance, protection, and provision during the wilderness wanderings of the Exodus (Ex. 23:16; Num. 29:12–38; Deut. 16:13–15). It is also known as the Feast of Booths (Deu 16:13) and Feast of Ingathering (Ex 23:16). The people lived in booths or huts made from limbs (Neh 8:14–18), remembering their wilderness experience. It also celebrated the autumn harvest and will be celebrated in the Millennium (Zech. 14:16).
C. Deu 2:7. During the time of Israel’s forty years of wandering in the wilderness, “God tabernacled with the Jews.”
D. 2 Chr 7:14 (in context). The fulfillment of this promise of God to Israel is found in Zech 12:10. Solomon finished the Temple in Jerusalem, the ark was taken in, and the Glory of the LORD filled the Temple (2 Chr 5:1-14). Solomon preached a sermon to the Jews about the Temple (6:1-11), and offered a prayer of dedication about the Temple (6:12-42). Fire came down from Heaven and consumed a burnt offering; the Glory of the LORD filled the Temple; the Jews worshipped God (7:1-3); sacrifices were offered (7:4-7); a feast of dedication followed for seven days (7:8-10); God’s promise and warning to Solomon followed (7:11-14); ” Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him,” (7:12); If “My people” (7:13-14), who are called by “My name” (My people, Israel, Deu 14:2), “humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chr 7:14: the people are Israel; the land is Israel; neither Gentiles, nor the church meet the qualifications of “people and land.”).
E. 2 Chr 7:14 relates to Israel, and will be fulfilled in the last of the Tribulation when Jews call on Christ (in faith) to save them from utter destruction (Zech 12:10).
F. 2 Chr 36:19 tells of the destruction of Solomon’s Temple by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.
F. Ezek 37:26 (574 B.C.) tells of God’s promise to Ezekiel for His Millennial Temple (aka Ezekiel’s Temple).
G. Ezek 40:5 (574 B.C.) tells of God’s vision to Ezekiel of God’s Millennial Temple.
H. Ezek 10:1-18 (594 B.C.) tells of Ezekiel’s vision of the Glory of God departing Solomon’s Temple.
I. Ezek 43:4 (574 B.C.) tells of Ezekiel’s vision of the Glory of God entering the Millennial Temple.
J. The Glory of God did not fill Zerubbabel’s temple (Ezra 6:11-15, 515 B.C., the rebuilt Solomon’s Temple). Neither will the Glory of God fill the Tribulation Temple (Rev 11:1).
K. Zech 14:16-19. During the Kingdom Age of the Millennium, God will, again, “tabernacle with the Jews.”
This very important passage reveals that some Gentiles will go into the millennial kingdom alive along with the redeemed Jews. A converted remnant from those heathen nations will make annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem to worship the LORD and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles during the Millennium. Commemorating the time when God “tabernacled” with Israel in the wilderness, the feast represented the last of the 3 major pilgrimage festivals (Lev. 23:34–36), marked the final harvest of the year’s crops, and provided a time of rejoicing. In the Millennium, it will celebrate Messiah’s presence again dwelling among His people and the joyful restoration of Israel, including the ingathering of the nations. Those who refuse to go will experience drought and plague. Tragically, as the thousand years go on, there will be many people from all over the world who will reject Christ as Savior and King, joining in a final war against Him, only to be destroyed and cast into hell forever (cf. Rev. 20:7–15).
L. Rev 20:4. The duration of the Kingdom Age of the Millennial reign of Christ is one thousand years.
VII. Summary. The Apostle Peter was very direct with his witness of Christ to his fellow Jews. Scripture shows that the best way to witness to Jews, Gentiles, Muslims, etc., is to tell them about “Christ, and Him crucified,” just as was the example of Peter (Acts 2:36; 1 Cor 2:2). No religion can claim that their leader gave his life for them. Judaism and Christianity are not religions. See my Page, “About Equipping For Eternity Website,” on my “Equipping For Eternity Website,” for a discussion on “religions.”
VIII. Video Details. What Does Acts Chapter 3 Mean?
A. Jewish Voice. Jonathan shares inspirational insights about the promised Messiah as they take a closer look at Jesus in the light of biblical prophecy.
B. Jonathan Bernis, President and CEO of Jewish Voice Ministries International
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