ACTS TWO (120 BELIEVERS) WHAT DID THEY BELIEVE?

I’ve often stated and truly believe that the Book of Acts is a transitional book that must be understood if we are ever going to gain true knowledge of the Word of God and the things that God’s Spirit truly desires to reveal unto every believer. This transition is not only important to all believers today but, it was especially important for the very first people to every receive God’s Holy Spirit to come to the knowledge of. As I make that statement; that knowledge is not something that either they or we just automatically gain. It takes time and study, even good spiritual teaching to bring about the spiritual growth we all truly need.

With these things in mind, let’s dig into some things about (Acts two) and see where we end up. We see the phrase (when the day of Pentecost was fully come). I’m sure that most of the Israelites and, especially those 120 believers understood what the (Day of Pentecost) was in a physical sense but, what about in the spiritual sense? What did they know about what God’s Spirit was actually going to allow to transpire in them on that day?

For centuries the Jews, God’s chosen people had celebrated this time along with other feasts we see in their law. You can study these feasts in Leviticus and, you can see (the Pentecost) in ( Leviticus 23 ) starting with (verse 15). The word (pentecost) is not seen in the Old Testament but we do see it used in the New Testamant to describe that feast.

I personally believe that there were those in the Old Testament that spiritual understood what God, through the feasts was revealing to his people. However, that doesn’t mean that the majority of Israel knew or, even cared what God was trying to teach them. It’s not much difference than what we see today. We often automatically assume just because a man stands behind a pulpit or has been to a Bible College that all he teaches is truth but, in more cases than not the truth is very hard to come by! God purposely designed it like that. What it all boils down to is just how much do you, as an individual love him and just how much do you desire truth?

In this article it’s my desire to provoke thought and to cause spiritual thought to be created in the mind of the reader. There’s absolutely no way that spiritual teaching or understanding can be seen as being easy. It’s a challenge to see truth and then it becomes a challenge to bring that truth to light in the heart of another person.

Let’s look at these 120 believers on this day. We know that eleven of these believers were the remaining Apostles, Peter being one of them. As we read in (Acts two), do you think it strange that the Apostle Peter is the man doing the speaking? Why not one of the other Apostles or any one of the other believers? There’s a reason that the Apostle Peter spoke on that day and maybe we can point that out but, my desire is to show you what the majority of the believers believed. I personally think that Steven, even Luke might have had a better spiritual understanding of the (Day of Pentecost) than the Apostle Peter did. I can’t actually prove that other than just by simple statements that both of these men made; Steven in (Acts 7) and Luke in (Luke 1:1-4). However, Jesus Christ had ordained the Apostle Peter to speak on this day.

Matthew 16:18-19

AND I SAY ALSO UNTO THEE, THAT THOU ART PETER, AND UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH; AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT. (19) AND I WILL GIVE UNTO THEE THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: AND WHATSOEVER THOU SHALT BIND ON EARTH SHALL BE BOUND IN HEAVEN: AND WHATSOEVER THOU SHALT LOOSE ON EARTH SHALL BE LOOSED IN HEAVEN.

The Apostle Peter would use these keys three times in the Book of Acts. These keys would unlock the door of the gospel of Jesus Christ first, here in (Acts 2) to the Jews, the nation of Israel. We see his message here in this chapter. If we study, we can find two other times he, Peter uses these keys in this book.

Now, what is the message that the Apoostle Peter preached on this day? Within the message we can see somewhat of what these people actually believed. Within all that he said, let’s just look at the alter call the gave so to speak.

Acts 2:28

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.

I feel compelled to make a point here before I go any farther. These 120 believers have just received the Holy Ghost. Just how much did they understand about that? I often relate this situation to the day of my salvation. Although God’s Spirit had just moved into my heart, I knew absolutely nothing about God’s word and nothing about the spiritual aspect of my life. Even if we go back to what Jesus Christ said to the Apostle Peter. (I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH)? What did any of these men know about the Church? It had never even been established yet.

The Apostle Peter was offering the very same message that John the Baptist had preached during the beginning ministry of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was the fore runner of Jesus Christ. Look at these verses:

Matthew 3:1-2

IN THOSE DAYS CAME JOHN THE BAPTIST, PREACHING IN THE WILDERNESS OF JUDAEA, (2) AND SAYING, REPENT YE: FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND.

Now, look at this verse:

Matthew 4:17

FROM THAT TIME JESUS BEGAN TO PREACH, AND SAY, REPENT: FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND.

This message was expressly to the nation of Israel, the Jews. John the Baptist was the first to preach it, Jesus Christ then began to preach it and now the Apostle Peter is again offering that same message to the Jews on this special Pentecostal day. The sharing of the Holy Ghost had never happened until this day, at least not to all the people at once. Beginning on this day, simply by believing; any person could have God’s Spirit move into their heart. However, the knowledge of truth would still take time.

I personally beleve that even at this time if the whole Nation of Israel could have repented then Jesus Christ could have been their King at that time. As I make that statement, we know that God already knew that Israel as a nation would reject his Kingship. Nonetheless, The Bible tells us this:

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 THE UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH.

It’s always been to the Jew first!God’s grace is always overwhelminlg powerful and will always go much farther than any of us deserve. Even after the Jews had rejected Jesus Christ, hanging him on the cross, God’s Spirit still was offered to them first as a nation before moving on to the rest of the world. In the hearts and minds of these believers, even those that would believe in the next few days, they truly believed that Jesus Christ would return at ant minute and set up his kingdom right here on earth; being their king for eternity.

in essence, that was why had a (God chosen people) ( the Nation of Israel). That nation, from the very beginning was to become the very beating of God’s heart causing this whole world to be under submission to God’s leadership. However, that nation rejected the will of God bring about what we now know as the Church.

These things can be understood by study. As I’ve already said, we know that God alreadys knew just how people would react to everything he attempted to reveal to them. It’s no different today! The closer we get to the coming of Christ, the more we see the Church rejected. The fewer people we see even truly seeking the truth as revealed in God’s word.

I’m going to take the time to point out the three uses of the keys by the Apostle Peter. We see the first use here as he unlocked the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jews. If we read in ( Acts 3:1) we see the Apostle Peter once again being used by the Holy Spirit. Here we see a man lamed from his mother’s womb begging at the temple gate. Now, what I’d like for you to notice is the difference in the Apostle Peter’s invitational message to these people.

Acts 3:19

REPENT YE THEREFORE, AND BE CONVERTED, THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT, WHEN THE TIMES OF REFRESHING SHALL COME FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD;

The big deal here was that the man that was lamed was not a Jew, so to speak. We might say he was Jewish in part either being from Samaria or Judaea, not recognized by the Jewish people. He couldn’t enter the temple and, it was an amazing thing that God’s blessings was upon him as well as the Jews, This is the Keys being used to open the door of salvation to Judaea ans Samaria. We also see (be converted) (that your sins may be blotted out).

The Apostle Peter’s message is changing as he grows and understands the spiritual aspect of the things that are transpiring. So, let’s now look at what he says when he uses the keys the last time to open the door of salvation the the Gentiles.

Acts 10:43

TO HIM GIVE ALL THE PROPHETS WITNESS,THAT THROUGH HIS NAME WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHALL RECEIVE REMISSION OF SIN.

We see in the very next verse that while Peter was speaking the Holy Ghost fell on all of them that heard the word. You can continue to read and study but, my desire is to show you the spiritual growth that is unfolding here, Asd we leave this chapter the Apost;le Peter will begin to fade as the lead spokesman and the Apostle Paul will now take the lead. Let’s see what he says about receiving salvation.

Acts 16:30-31

AND BROUGHT THEM OUT, AND SAID, SIRS, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED? (31) AND THEY SAID, BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED, AND THY HOUSE.

We have just witnessed the complete transition of Jesus Christ being simply the (King of the Jews) to the (Savior of the world). We just seen the transition from the nation of Israel to the uttermost parts of the earth and to every person.If you’ll study the Apostle Paul’s letters to the churches you will notice in almost every letter he was struggling to gain the respect of the other Apostles and even people that he was an Apostle of Jesus Christ. His message was completely different than the message of the other eleven Apostles. However, he became the teacher! ( The last became first)! It’s all about spiritual growth and spiritual understanding. Look at what the Apostle Peter said concerning the Apostle Paul as time went by.

2 Peter 3:14-16

WHEREFORE, BELOVED, SEEING THAT YE LOOK FOR SUCH THINGS, BE DILIGENT THAT YE MAY BE FOUND OF HIM IN PEACE, WITHOUT SPOT, AND BLAMELESS. (15) AND ACCOUNT THAT THE LONGSUFFERING OF OUR LORD IS SALVATION; EVEN AS OUR BELOVED BROTHER PAUL ALSO ACCORDING TO THE WISDOM GIVEN UNTO HIM HATH WRITTEN UNTO YOU; (16) AS ALSO IN ALL HIS EPISTLES, SPEAKING IN THEM OF THINGS HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, WHICH THEY THAT ARE UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE WREST, AS THEY DO ALSO THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, UNTO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION.

All in time, the Apostle Peter has come to the spiritual knowledge that the Spirit of God has revealed through the Apostle Paul. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ was never about just the Nation of Israel or Jesus Christ being their King at that time. It was all about the salvation of the world for time and eternity.

You see, the Jews in (Acts two) believed that Jesus Christ would soon return to Jerusalem and be their king. The original 120 believers and most of those that recieved the Holy Ghost truly believed that. It’s not that they weren’t saved but that they, just exactly like each of us have to be taught the spiritual truth as we grow in Christ.

I personally believe that every; what we call denomination today can be traced back to the days recorded in the Book of Acts. Each of them stem from a lack of desire to seek and know truth. As we speak of the 120 believers and the first eleven Apostles, how many of them went about and formed their own spiritual mindsets of what they believed to be truth rather than actually allowing the spirit within them to direct their spiritual growth?

I’d like to share a true personal story with you here. I’d also like to start with this. I was born again in an Independant Baptist Church. For years I would say I was Independant Baptist but, now I refuse to tie myself to any denomination. I simply tell people I’m born again, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. Far too often we, as people will allow our spiritual lives to revolve around a denomination rather than truly seeking truth as revealed by God’s Spirit.

I’ve shared this story many times. Some years ago I was working, doing electrical work in a Methodist Church. I was standing at the door waithing for my co-worker to return with some supplies we needed to complete the job. An elderly gentleman came up the walk and entered the door. He came up and shook hands with me, asking me if I attended Church anywhere? I replied, yes. He said, where do you go to Church? I told him I went to Faith independant Baptist Church. He said, Oh! you’re Baptist, It’s not any dfference in us. I replied, I disagree sir, I believe it is! He asked, what’s the difference? I said well, I know I’m going to heaven when I die, do you? He answered, no I don’t and, you don’t either. I replies, now sir, how can you tell me what I know? The bible tells us we can know it!

He wanted to argue, telling me that the Bible didn’t say that. I said, well, let’s find a Bible and see. So we went to a Sunday School room to find a Bible. I took that Bible and turn to this scripture and asked him to read it.

1 John 5:12-13

HE THAT HATH THE SON HATH LIFE; AND HE THAT HATH NOT THE SON OF GOD HATH NOT LIFE. (13) THESE THINGS HAVE I WRITTEN UNTO YOU THAT BELIEVE ON THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD; THAT YE MAY KNOW THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, AND THAT YE MAY BELIEVE ON THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD.

He read this outloud to me, stood there for a minute, looked at me and said, I don’t care; I still don’t believe it. Is this not exactly what the Apostle Peter is saying in the verses we read? Men, people allow themselves to get stuck in a spiritual rut and will not allow themselves to grow beyond what some man teaches them.. That happened in the early Church and, it still happens today.

God gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit. He gave us his word to grow thereby. He even tells us the he gave some evangelist, pastors and teachers to help us know truth. Whether we receive those gifts and allow them to guide us to truth is entirely up to each individual. I, as a man have tried to share some Biblical truth with you here. Am I right? Can God’s Spirit use this to teach? As you, as an individual read through this only you can decide to allow God’s Spirit to teach you truth, with or without me. However, if you see something within this that helps you better understand scripture then, to God be the Glory. You can take what I’ve said and grow far beyond the things I’ve said, all for God’s glory. Even if you see me as wrong, then within that allow God’s Spirit to teach you Biblical truth!

I stated that the Apostles couldn’t have known what Jesus Christ was speaking of when he mentioned the Church in the gospel of Matthew. I can amaging them or, at least some of them thinking ( what’s he talking about)? However, most of them might be like the average Church member today. The simply say ( he’s just preaching) not even considering seeking to know truth. Most people sit in their local Church and actually hear very little that the pastor ever says, right or wrong. (THEY SIMLY ARE COMPLETELY UNCONCERNED)1

Spiritually speaking, we can look at the early Church in Acts as a simple picture of every person that is ever truly born again. It’s a beginning and all spiritual knowledge will have to grow and be learned from that moment forward. Where do you stand in Christ? What are you willing to give up of yourself to (Know Christ)?

Just by way of teaching, In (Acts 5) we see a man and his wife, Ananias and Sappira. These two people died because of lying about what they GAVE! Can we see a spiritual picture here of what people are actually willing to give of theirself to know Christ and, also see the reason many remain in spiritual darkness all their lives?

Consider this!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

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