Sunday, January 5, 2020

The Acts Transition, Part 9

You may listen to the audio version of this study on SoundCloud.

Today we pick up our study through the book of Acts in Acts 2:22 where it says, Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Make no mistake here. Peter is still addressing Jews (v.14). The language clearly indicates that he is still addressing the descendants of Jacob whether they be from the Northern Kingdom of Israel or the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Of course, Rome ruled at the time, but they knew to what tribe they belonged.

Hear these words literally means "listen to me". He is making the point that Jesus was approved by God because of the miracles that he had done in their midst. Paul also pointed out that the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom in 1Co 1:22. Peter clearly forcing them to a decision as to who the one they had just killed truly was.

VERSE 23: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: God had already determined Christ's crucifixion. It was not optional to the narrative. God, in His foreknowledge, knew that they would crucify him. After all, they had to in order for a legitimate offer of the Kingdom could be made. Far too many in the church today do no understand this fact. Instead, they will say that once the Jews crucified their Messiah, God immediately turned to the Gentiles. Friend, that simply is not the case. Christ had to die before a legitimate offer of the Kingdom could be made. Read Hebrews 9:15-17 slowly. And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Jesus had to die first to forgive the sins that Israel had committed under the first testament in order for the second to be offered! And no, it was not offered to Gentiles. We, the Body of Christ, do not live under a covenant.

We need to understand just how bad this confusion is today. Think of the number of churches and ministries that have words like Covenant, Testament, New Jerusalem, Kingdom, Bride of Christ, etc. in their names. These are all misunderstandings of Scripture. All of those words have to do with Israel. We are NOT Israel, folks!

VERSE 24: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. In other words, you can't blame Pilate or Rome, you killed him is what Peter is saying. It is interesting that only the Jews are accused of killing Jesus and never the Body of Christ.

VERSES 25-28: For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Peter now shows from the Old Testament that their actions were fulfilled prophecy. He is quoting from Psalm 16:8-11 to show that Christ had to die and be resurrected. This was a fact that even the Apostles had overlooked (Luk 18:31-34).

Note: The word Hell is also a subject of debate because it is a transliteration from Psa 16:10 where it means grave or the world of the dead.

VERSES 29-31: Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. He continues to prove that David was not writing about himself in the previous verses. His point is that David saw Messiah being raised up to sit upon his throne. Of course, to be raised up, he must first have died. Understand something, Christ could not have assumed the throne without first having been crucified. I know, it is a lot of reprogramming, because we have always heard it taught incorrectly. I have done it myself!

VERSE 32: This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. His point is that this very one who David spoke of has resurrected from the dead as many witnesses have already testified.

VERSE 33: Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. In other words, Jesus is no longer in the grave but sitting at the right hand of God. And the promise of the Father is the Holy Spirit that some of them said was the result of drunkenness, but instead was a fulfillment of Joel 2:28-29.

VERSES 34-35: For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Peter refers to another Psalm, Psalm 110:1 to show that the prophecies were not about David, but Christ.

VERSE 36: Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ (cf. Acts 3:25). Here is the point of the sermon: the one you crucified is both Lord and Christ (Master and Messiah). Of course, his point was made because in the very next verse they asked Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

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