BUT PETER, STANDING UP WITH THE ELEVEN, LIFTED UP HIS VOICE, AND SAID UNTO THEM, YE MEN OF JUDAEA, AND ALL YE THAT DWELL AT JERUSALEM, BE THIS KNOWN UNTO YOU, AND HEARKEN TO MY WORDS:
I’d like to go back to ( Matthew 16:16 ) and build the beginning of this; somewhat around that verse, just by a way of teaching. The verse says this and, the statement comes from Peter. ( And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. ) Jesus had just asked his disciples ( who the men say that I, the son of man am?) Then he changed it as asked the: ( who do you say that I, the son of man am? ) Quickly, Simon Peter answered that question.
Starting here, we could write a book on Peter and his acts alone. If you will study the gospels; you will notice that Jesus often spoke with or, took with him, Peter, James and John. I can’t read the mind of Jesus Christ. However, in the text we are looking into notice, of all the disciples on that day, when Jesus asked that question; Peter was the first to speak up. Here, it was more than just ( the twelve ) present. It seems it was a multitude there. Instantly, when this question was asked, Peter answered.
Peter, if we study him through the gospels, we will see he is less than perfect but, he is always the one that is willing to do or try. Just as leaders of people, someone like your boss man or, maybe you if you are a leader of people; don’t you seek to find the right person to do the right job? I can see how far too often when it comes to leaders in a Church we pick people by popularity rather than the man or woman that should be put in a certain position. I mentioned that when Jesus asked a question, Peter answered; no hesitation. In leadership sometimes hesitation can cause problems. Peter was a man that was not afraid to be wrong, admit that wrong and move on.
I’m going to make a statement here that might bear some understanding. The word of God is given to us for our instruction, to learn from and, grow by. That doesn’t mean that every person is always correct in all they do. They are people just like we are and their mistakes and misunderstandings are recforded in scripture to teach us and help us learn fron their mistakes. Do you remember the verse of scripture: ( Romans 8:28 ) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
The word of God is perfect, that doesn’t mean the the people were all perfect but, if you desire, you can find exactly what you need to find in God’s word. You just have to study to find it. Jesus Christ choose the Apostle Peter to bring to message to the Jews on the day of Pentacost. We must realize that the message he preached was for the Jews, it was not for any Gentiles. I am a Gentile, therefore, this message is not for or, to me. It is however for my instruction in righteous, it is here to teach me as the book of Acts unfolds.
Let’s just take, for example; the Apostle John. It’s very possible that he might have had a better understanding of the gospel message as far as it being a message to the Gentile as well, That , I can’t say but, if that’s the truth then it wasn’t needed on this day. Do you see what I mean? This message and, this man was what was needed for this day and the time at hand. The Apostle Peter told the men there that day to ( hearken to his words ).
I’d like to take some time here to really look into the message the Apostle Peter brings on this day and why. First of all; the message was designed to be expressly for the Jewish people. It was a command given by Jesus Christ himself. ( Acts 1:8 ) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
We know that, by God’s design; Israel was not going to except Jesus as their King at that time and, as a nation, they would not except him as the Savior. However the cammand was for the gospel to be offered to them first. Therefore, the scripture the Apostle Peter used in ( Joel 2 ) was a scripture expressly for the Jews. As we look at this, we must understand that time means nothing to God the Father. So, the message was timely but, not all that is recored in ( Joel 2 ) was going to come to pass at that time. The Apostle Peter didn’t know that as he preached. He was expecting Jesus to return at any time and establish his kingdom.
Simply reading in Joel; I can see how Peter thought this was about to happen. However, even to this present day, all those things have not come to pass. For instance, The sun hadn’t been turned to darkness and the moon hadn’t turnes to blood but, it will happen before that great and notable day of the Lord. Peter made this statement on that day, in his message: ( verse 21 ) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Actually, that not what Joel said: ( Joel 2:32 ) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
In reality, when Joel prophesied what he did, it had nothing to do with the Church. We can see the Church in the Old Testament but it is concealed, expressly to the Nation Of Israel. As far as the Jews were concerned; what was about to take place on the the day of Pentacost could not happen. The Gentiles were outcasts. Even Jesus made this statement. ( Matthew 15:26 ) But he answered and said, it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. If you will look at that group of verses, you will see that a woman of Canaan was asking something of him. She is not of Israel. Just before that; ( Matthew 15: 24 ) he says ( But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house Israel.
Although the gospels are all innerwoven, they are all also different. Matthew reveals Jesus as ( the King of the Jews ). Mark reveals Jesus as ( the servant to man ). Luke reveals Jesus as ( the son of Man ). And, John reveals Jesus as ( the son of God ). You can also find this in ( Mark 7:24 ). I want you to notice a difference here. In Matthew, Jesus did end up helping the woman but, she was the one that pointed out tha ( even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table. In Mark, Jesus says that ( first let the children be filled ) referring to the nation of Israel. It is not mentioned in Luke and the Son of God, being revealed in John would not make that statement. Can you see the progression in the gospels toward Jesus being not just there for the Jews but the savior of the world. We can also see that Jesus was offering himself to the Jew first and then to the uttermost parts of the earth.
They were looking for their King, their Messiah, nothing beyond that. The prophet was rightly prophesying to the Jews, Peter was correct but, this was not the time. I suppose it can be argued that Joel’s prophecy covered a long period of time beginning at the Church and, extending all the way to the tribulation period and beyond. If that is the fact then all the rest of what he prophesied was still yet to come.
I’m going to make a comment here that many might not like but, I believe it needs to be considered. The nation of Israel was looking for a Messiah to come and deliver them from the state they were in. That, at the time being in bondage or, under the rule of Rome. However, they never seen any need to change anything about themselves as a nation. Often, we as a people look at God the same way. We want Him to be there for us in our time of need but, we are not willing to yield to him as he speaks to our hearts.
If Jesus Christ would have simply said; I’m the KIng of Israel, drove out the rulers of Rome and gave Israel complete authority and, allowed her to stay just as she was, all Israel would have been happy. They would have shouted the victory. If I, as an individual simply live a selfish life and, I get a deadly sickness. Let’s say I call on Jesus to heal me. Well, do I think I can stay just as I am and expect God’s blessings on my life? Are we, as a people living in that type of mindset?
Peter is just before preaching a message to the people of Israel. We’ll look at that message. ( I believe ) that if Israel ( as Nation ) would have heard this message, excepted Jesus Christ as their King and, submitted to his leadership, Jesus would have come back at that time and set up his Kingdom, right then, at that time. While I make that statement, I also realize, from scripture that that’s not the reason Jesus came into this world. ( John 18: 37 ) Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Thou sayest I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into this world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
The truth is that Jesus Christ was born to be the savior of all that would believe on him. Although he is the rightful King of the Jews; that is not why he came at that time. One day he will be their King but, even then it will not be simply to satisfy their fleshly desires and to allow them to live as they please. Niether did he become my savior and yours to allow us to stay as we are.
On this day there were only Jews there on the day of Pentacost. Therefore, this message was to the Nation of Israel. Peter is going to take the Old Testament and prove his point to those people. Let’s start with this verse: ( Acts 2:23 ) Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and forknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
I’d like to make a point here. I know perfectly that my sin and the sin of the world is why Jesus Christ allowed himself to be crucified and, I thank him daily for that. However, Peter is making the point here that it was the Jews that crucifird him. We can take scripture and prove this. So, let’s read a little. ( Matthew 27:17-25 ) Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? ( 18 ) For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. ( 19 ) When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with this just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. ( 20 ) But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. ( 21 ) The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said Barabbas. ( 22 ) Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. ( 23 ) And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. ( 24 ) When Pilate saw the he could prevail nothing, but the rather a turmult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. ( 25 ) Then answered the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
I wrote all of this to show you what the Jewish people said and done. I realize that Pilate could have stopped it anyway and, that because of sin, we all are guilty of the blood of Christ. Peter however is making the point in his message that the people of Israel could have stopped the crucifixion of Christ but choose not to. As a matter of fact; look at the last statement they made as a people. ( LET HIS BLOOD BE ON US, AND ON OUR CHILDREN ).
Now, let’s go back to ( Acts 2:36- 37 ) Therefore let all the house of Istael know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. ( 37 ) Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
You can go back if you like and study every aspect of the points that Peter made from the Old Testament to draw this conviction on Israel if you like but, I’m going to simply address the main points here.
Peter, by preaching God’s word as ordaind by the Spirit of God has drawn conviction on these people, the people that listened to his message. What’s the difference? The difference is; the Holy Ghost has fallen, a man is preaching inspired by that Spirit and, these people are feeling that spirit. Their question was ( what shall we do )? Here we see the grace and mercy of God. Once sin is committed, it cannot be undone can it? However, It’s alot more to be seen here that just few people on that day repenting and being baptized. Again, Peter is speaking in ( verse 38 ). Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. ( 39 ) For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
We must take time here to see what is being said by Peter on this day and, at this time to these people. Remember, he is preaching to the Nation of Israel. There is not one Gentile present on this day that we know of. The key phrase in ( verse 38 ) is ( every one of you ). That is meaning ( the whole nation ). ( I believe ) personally that, at this time even Peter didn’t understand all he was preaching. Look at what he says in ( Verse 39 ) For this promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. ( I believe ) that in Peter’s mind and, in the minds of those that heard him say this, it was still all about Israel and no one else. They, at this time still didn’t understand the concept of the Church.
I’m going to close this segment out here and start another. However, I’d like to make a comment here. We, as members of our perspective Churches, far too often, just like the people of Israel, listen to and, follow our leaders without hesitation. We never even consider them as right or wrong. One of the most profound things I might ever say is that ( it’s not me that I desire for you to hear ). My desire is to be your teacher but that you hear the Spirit of God as he might use me. In reality, the Spirit of God is your teacher and, that beyond any man or person. If I, as your teacher, teaches you that; Jesus Christ needs to be your savior then, can you see that it still takes the Spirit of God to reveal that truth to you? As I seek to teach you truth here, it’s ultimately God’s Spirit that has to convince you of that truth.
The next segment will be called ( PETER AND THE MESSAGE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST ).