Acts 2 Monday, Sep 18 2017 

Verses 1-2

2.1 This Chapter is tantamount to Genesis 1. Genesis records the creation and beginning of all things. This chapter records the creation of the church and the beginning of all things relative to the church. From the inception, this salvation is for all people, all nations. The occasion of Acts 2 was not an accident. It was purposed by God as sure as the original creation of matter. Paul assures us of this when he says “when the fullness of time was come”. There are no accidents or coincidences with God. The creation of the church was in the mind of God before the first ray of light shattered the primeval darkness. God decided to redeem fallen man before man was created. Acts 15.18 says known unto God are all His works from the beginning of creation. To treat the church worldwide as an afterthought, or an alternate plan is the greatest of insults. It would mean God never intended to save the world, but was Himself a racist by only favoring a select group of people. This chapter is the inception, the beginning, of all the plan of God since Genesis. The panoramic unfolding of eternal salvation and gospel is now launched by Jesus Christ after His successful earthly ministry. It comes with force and explosive announcement.

2.2 rushing mighty wind. The assembled masses outside would never see the glory inside the upper room without some display or noise. So God sends the Holy Ghost in a mighty way and notifies those within earshot of the creation of the church. As in Genesis, it is no quiet beginning, but rather a Big Bang. Science says our universe began with a cataclysmic explosion. They probably are right. God spoke and things exploded into being. The same pattern manifests itself here. There is a divine announcement something is happening. In the original creation the Sons of God shouted for joy, and in this second creative act, the Sons of God again shout for joy. People from far away places like modern day Iran were witness of this incredible happening. In the days of the apostles Jewish communities were located primarily in the eastern Roman Empire. Greek was the common language. The people present in this chapter were from as far away as Mesopotamia and further east including Parthia, Media and Elam (present day Iran). God was announcing something powerful and exciting was happening. As in the Old Testament happening to the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 19, after the wind there would be a voice. And the voice was the purpose of the wind.

Thanks for reading today….

Acts Chapter 1 Saturday, Sep 9 2017 

Chapter 1

1.1-5 the treatise. The greek word here is logos. The same word used in John 1.1, 14. It is also used in Hebrews 13.17 as “account”. It is the sum total. It is a multi dimensional word. It incorporates everything about a person or subject. So Luke is saying his former logos about Jesus is being continued. This establishes the point immediately that Acts is about Jesus. Without Jesus there is no book of Acts. Jesus is the source of all that is recorded. Historically Jesus was alive and is a historical personage. The narrative here is tagged to connect it with the ascension of Jesus, thus continuing the narrative without interruption. Some ancient writers went so far as to call Acts the fifth gospel. They say this because it is the continuation of Jesus’ acts through his followers. Jesus is present in every chapter and every page of this truism.

1.6-11 the ascension. The men who devoted their lives and future to the messiah ask him if this is the time He will restore the kingdom to Israel. Jesus does not answer their pointed question. Why? This seems an important moment and why withhold this simple answer. Jesus sidesteps their question and redirects them to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. It is possible Jesus saw they were looking for the wrong fulfillment of Prophecy. It is also possible he was steering them away from their nationalistic viewpoint. It appears Jesus was leaving the blank unfilled so they would pursue the true goal of his coming; the church. As Jesus directs their attention to the Holy Ghost, he is taken up out of their sight. This is a clear injunctive. Jesus was clearly telling them to go forth and focus on the Holy Ghost, and not the national fulfillment of Israel. 

1.12-14. Jerusalem. This was important to fulfill the admonition that Jerusalem was the fountainhead of the New Covenant. Jesus had told them to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endured with power. Is 2.3, and Micah 4.2 both declare that the law shall go forth of Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Any attempt to define the church outside of the Jerusalem message is an error. Even the Apostle Paul checked his direct revelation from God to make sure it dovetailed with the message of Jerusalem, Gal 1.1-2. This is a powerful concept that even Paul’s revelation would be bogus if it did not match the Jerusalem template. The only true doctrine is the doctrine that aligns with what was preached in Jerusalem. Any doctrine that does not match what was preached at Jerusalem is false doctrine and must be jettisoned. 

1.15-22 replacing Judas. This is an interesting concept. There does not appear to be any instruction from Jesus to replace the fallen Apostle. There is only the admonition in Psalms 69.25. The second part spoken here is from Psalms 109.8. The decision to replace Judas was made on combining these two passages. Both passages would be classified as secondary meanings. This is one of the most difficult parts of hermeneutics. Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit we would never draw these conclusions. We are left to wonder if Jesus instructed them to do this? It would have been simple for Jesus to appoint the successor while he was yet with them. By not appointing Judas’ replacement, we are left with these puzzling thoughts. Did Jesus instruct them to do this? Why did Jesus choose not to do this? Did this decision come to them in the days of lingering prayer? Is this the initial beginning of fulfilling Matthew 16.19, where Peter begins to use the keys given him? Peter seems confident this needed to happen to fulfill the scriptures. Luke 24.44-46 declares Jesus opened their understanding concerning the law, the prophets, and the Psalms. It appears the defection, not the death was the cause of replacement. Later when James is killed, there is no replacement. 

1.23-26 Joseph or Matthias? Joseph the son of (bar)Sabas. Is this Barnabas of Acts 4.36? Lightfoot suggests he was the son of Alpheus, thus of the family of Jesus. Matthias has nothing that can identify him except his long association with the followers of Jesus. Clement of Alexandria speaks of the writings of Matthias around 200AD. Eusebius mentions a gospel of Matthias as well. We do know the man chosen by the casting of lots is never heard from again. The disciples seemed to feel this was necessary to do before the coming of the Holy Ghost. Possibly this was the final act of the old dispensation, sealing it forever. One thing was sure; if one whom Jesus had hand picked failed, how could they be sure their choice was the correct choice? They resorted to the time tested method of casting the lots. The lot fell upon Matthias. 

Thanks for reading today….