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Chuck Smith :: C2000 Series on Acts 1-2

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Shall we turn to the book of Acts, chapter one, as we begin our study of the early church.

Luke, the author of the book of Acts, a companion of Paul the apostle, who was author also of the Gospel According to Luke, wrote these two treatises to a friend, Theophilus. Theophilus is a Greek name. It's a name that has a beautiful meaning. The name means lover of God. There are some who believe that it was not a man at all, but that the gospel and the book of Acts were addressed to the lovers of God, whoever you may be. There are other traditions that say that Theophilus was actually Luke's master. That in those days physicians were slaves, usually the slave of a wealthy patron. So that Luke's master was Theophilus, and he released Luke to be with Paul on the missionary journeys. Thus, Luke is writing back to his former master. This is an early tradition of the church, but it is, of course, impossible to prove, like so many of the traditions.

There are also those who believe that when Paul was in Troas and he received a vision of a man calling unto him saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us," that that man in Paul's vision was none other than Luke. For the first one that Paul really met when he came to Macedonia was Luke. And as we are in the book of Acts, you will find that when we get to that portion of the book of Acts, Luke begins to write more in the first person rather than the third person. So it is, evidently, at this particular point in the Acts of the Apostles that Luke became a companion of Paul and began to journey with him. He began to use the pronouns "we" and "us" instead of "they" and "them." This is, no doubt, where Luke became a participant and an eyewitness of those things that were happening from this point on. We will bring this out to you when we get to that point.

He begins the Acts of the Apostles by tying it with the Gospel According to Luke. It is interesting that the very last thing that Luke records in his gospel is the very first thing he records in the Acts of the Apostles. We find the gospel of Luke closing as Jesus is telling His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they be endued with power from on high. And then Jesus ascended up into heaven, and so he closes the gospel. In opening the Acts of the Apostles, he writes,

The former treatise [that is, the Gospel According to Luke,] have I written unto you, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach (Act 1:1),

The key word is began. The Gospel According to Luke is not the full story of the ministry of Jesus Christ. It is only the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus continues to minister to the needs of people. Jesus continues to heal the sick. Jesus continues to raise the dead. Jesus continues to minister His love and His gospel to the world, only now He is ministering through those disciples who have been anointed with His Holy Spirit. But the ministry of Christ is continuing; basically, is the premise that Luke takes in the Acts of the Apostles. The former treatise of all that Jesus began, both to do and to teach.

Now because of that, the Acts of the Apostles is an unfinished book: in that the Lord today continues to work through the lives of those who have dedicated themselves to be the instruments of God. To be led and guided and anointed by His Holy Spirit, to continue the ministry of Jesus in the world today. Now God has ordained that His work should be accomplished through human instruments. I do not say that it must be accomplished. God can use angelic beings for His work, and there will come a time, during the book of Revelation when God will use angels to proclaim His gospel to people all over the world. Revelation, chapter 14, "The first angel flying through the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel" (Revelation 14:6). But at the present time, God has chosen to use human instruments. As imperfect as they may be, yet that's what God has ordained to use. The exciting thing about that is, God will use me and God will use you. So many times, we're begging off, "O Lord, I can't speak. I've never been able to speak before or even now, Lord." As Moses tried to beg off the call of God. Jeremiah said, "Lord, I'm just a kid; no one's going to listen to me." And we all have our excuses why we can't be used. Don't we? We all know the reasons why God couldn't use us.

One time, as the Lord was calling a prophet to do His work, he said, "Lord, send whoever you want." The Lord said, "Hey, I've called you." "Lord, good idea; send whoever you want." So often we're in that position, "Lord, send by the hand of whomsoever you will, anybody but me Lord." And yet, God has ordained to use us.

Now, each of us can show our own imperfections. Each of us can point out our own inabilities, and all of us can find an excuse why God wouldn't want to use me. But yet, God has chosen to use you. That through your life He might reveal Himself to a needy world. You wonder when God has such instruments to use how He ever got the job done, don't you?

Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom he had chosen (Act 1:2):

That is what he ended the Gospel of Luke with. The day that Jesus was taken up, after He had told the apostles to wait for the endowment of power.

To whom he also [that is the apostles he also] showed himself alive to them after his passion [or death] by many infallible proofs (Act 1:3),

It is difficult to deny the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I was amused, as well as annoyed and irritated, by an article I read in the Santa Ana Register this last Saturday. Of the creation science and evolutionary theories being presented in the county schools. How that, this one professor said that he teaches a science class, and thus, they deal only in facts, and that they don't have any place for theories. Because science is based upon fact and creation is based upon religious superstitions. It takes a lot of faith to believe the religious theories. When you are dealing with facts, you can just accept them. I thought, "Very interesting in that science class, they taught me it was a fact that the world was four billion years old. Now today they are teaching it's a fact that the world is twelve billion years old. And it wasn't that long ago that I went to school."

It's interesting that the Bible has never needed to be revised or updated to meet the current data that men have discovered. And yet, if you would take my high school science textbooks today and try to teach a science class from them, you would find that many of the things that were taught as scientific fact when I was in high school are no longer recognized as scientific fact. The simple cell protoplasm is no longer a simple cell, but extremely complex. If there is any fact that can be attested to in history it is the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

We have a jurisprudence system that is based upon the testimony of witnesses. If a man is accused of a crime and there are people who witnessed that crime while it was being committed, and they are brought to the standard, and they swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them God. And in their questioning they affirm that, "I saw that man in the bank on May twenty-third. I saw him pull out a gun from his coat. I heard him demand that all of the money be given to him. I saw him as he left the bank. I saw him as the officer apprehended him outside." And if you can get three or four witnesses to point to that man and will keep their testimony under cross-examination, that man is judged to be guilty. He is the one who did it. We have two or three witnesses that are testifying the same story about that man, and it is accepted as fact that he is the one who perpetrated the crime and is guilty. You've got witnesses who have sworn to tell the truth that are verifying.

After the death of Jesus, when He rose again, He appeared unto many different people who gave sworn testimony that they saw Him. That they talked to Him, that He appeared to them in various places under different circumstances. And for a period of forty days was visiting with them. And at one time, up to as many as five hundred people who were gathered at one place, He appeared. It's difficult to just cast aside or deny the witness of these people. To do so is to discredit our whole jurisprudence system. But not only that, these men who testified that they saw the risen Lord, that they talked to Him, that they ate with Him, they, all of them, with the exception of one, met violent deaths at the hands of other people because of their affirming that the story they told was true. You talk about witnesses sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. If a person's life was threatened because of that witness, and it was a lie, at least one them would've broken under the pressure. They would've confessed to the entire hoax. "He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs."

being seen of them for forty days, speaking to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God (Act 1:3):

Sometimes we fault the disciples because of their questions of the timing of the kingdom of God. Let it be remembered that the kingdom of God was the favorite subject of Jesus Christ. He was always talking about the kingdom of God, and it is a great hope that He was planting into the hearts of all men. Things are not always going to continue corrupted as they are. The world is not going to go forever under the power of darkness, under the bondage of evil. God is going to one day establish His kingdom upon the earth. A kingdom of righteous joy and peace. "Jesus shall reign, where ere the sun doth her successive journeys run. And His kingdom will extend from shore to shore." And that day will be the most glorious day the world has ever seen, as sickness and suffering and pain will be abolished in His kingdom. As sin and greed and these things that have made the world such an intolerable place will be abolished in His kingdom. The godless commercialism, the exploitation of man, all of these things abolished in His glorious kingdom when He reigns. No wonder the disciples were anxious to get it on. I'm anxious to get it on; I'm anxious for His kingdom to come. And Jesus told us when we pray, the first petition is, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). This is the right kind of a desire that we should all have. I desire the kingdom of God. And so He was talking to them, during this forty-day period, of the kingdom.

And, being assembled together with them, he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, you have heard of me (Act 1:4).

He said, "Now look, wait here in Jerusalem until you receive the promise of the Father." This promise that He is referring to is, no doubt, the promise in Joel where the Lord promised, "And it shall come to pass in the later days, saith the Lord, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, and your young men shall dream dreams, your old men shall see visions: and upon my servants and my handmaidens shall I pour out my Spirit, saith the Lord" (Joel 2:28-29). The promise of the Father: the day is going to come when God is going to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, all of the believers. They will, each one, receive that dynamic from God.

For John [He said,] truly baptized with water; but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now (Act 1:5).

The idea of baptism was that of emersion, the bapteedzo. John baptized with water, submerged the people in water, "you're going to be submerged in the Holy Spirit in not many days."

Now when they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? (Act 1:6)

"When is it going to be, Lord? When's the time for this restoration?" And Jesus is talking to them now, not about the kingdom, but about the power that they're going to receive for service. And so He brushes aside their question.

Saying unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power (Act 1:7).

"It's not for you to know." They lived constantly in the anticipation of the immediate setting up of the kingdom. During the entire lifetime of Jesus, they were expecting Him at any moment to go into the phone booth and come out as the savior of the world. Shazzam! Showing His power and overthrowing the governments of the world, establishing God's kingdom upon the earth. And they were waiting daily for this change to transpire. And whenever Jesus would talk about going to Jerusalem, being turned over into the hands of sinful man, and then being crucified, "Oh, oh no, Lord. No, no you don't understand the kingdom, Lord. Be that far from Thee." When Jesus died on the cross, they were all greatly disappointed.

The two disciples on the road to Emmaus, so sad. "Hey, fellows. How come you're so sad as your walking along?" "What do you mean? You must be a stranger around here if you don't know the things that have been happening lately in Jerusalem." "What things?" "Oh, a fellow by the name of Jesus of Nazareth...oh man, it was mighty and powerful. The anointing of God was upon His life. We had hoped that in Him was the deliverance of Israel, but they crucified Him. We had hoped... now it's dead." Now He's risen, and He's saying, "In a few days, fellows, you're going to receive the promise of the Father." "Oh, what promise? The promise of the establishing of the kingdom?" You see, it was legitimate that they should ask. "Is this it Lord? Alright! Is this the time? Are you going to set up your kingdom now?" "No. It's not for you to know those times that the Father's appointed or that the Father has in His own power. But, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you."

Now here, the Greek preposition epi is used to signify a new relationship that they were to have with the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel According to John, chapter 14, as Jesus is there promising to send the Holy Spirit, He said, "I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you, and I will pray the Father, and He will send to you another comforter, even the Spirit of Truth whom the world cannot receive because it seeth Him not neither knows Him, but you know Him for He dwells with you, and He shall be in you" (John 14:17-18). Same Greek preposition as ours, only they spell it "en" instead of "in." Two-fold relationship there in John: He is with you, but He's going to be dwelling in you. But now Jesus said you're going to receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. The Greek preposition epi, which is translated in different texts throughout the New Testament as "upon" or "over" or I like it, "overflows."

In the seventh chapter of the gospel of John: "On the last day, the great day of the feast when Jesus stood there on the Temple Mount and cried to the people, 'If any man thirst let him come unto Me and drink: and he who drinks of the water that I give, out of his innermost being there will gush torrents of living water.'" John said, "This spake He of the Spirit, which was not yet given which they who believe on Him should receive" (John 7:37-39). What did He speak of the Spirit? That it would be like a torrent of living water flowing out. I like, "When the Spirit overflows you," upon you, or over you, or overflows from you. So the three-fold relationship: He is with you prior to your conversion, He is the one who causes you to realize that you are a sinner, He is the one who points to Jesus Christ as the answer as He convinces the world of sin, of righteous, and of judgment. The moment you open your life and heart to Jesus Christ and invite Him to come in, the Holy Spirit comes and begins to indwell you. He shall be in you. "Know ye not that you are not your own, you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body and your spirit which are His. And know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you? Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled, or be ye being filled with the Spirit" (I Corinthians 6:19-20, Ephesians 5:18). But now here's a third relationship. This is an empowering experience.

You will receive [the dunamus] the dynamics, when the Holy Spirit has come [epi] upon you [or over you, or when there is that overflow from you]: and ye shall be witnesses unto me (Act 1:8)

And so the dynamic, to be a witness for Jesus Christ. It is interesting that the word witness in Greek is the word martus from where we get our word martyr. And in Greek it does mean martyr. A witness is one who not only proclaims what he believes, he lives what he believes, he is what he believes, and he believes it so strongly, that if necessary, he'll die for what he believes. That's how strong is his belief. He's a martus. You can't stop him. He's not afraid to die for what he believes.

You remember when Paul was on his way back to Jerusalem and Agabus came down from Caesarea and he took Paul's girdle and tied himself up and he said, "So is the man who owns this girdle to be bound when he gets to Jerusalem." And Paul's friends began to weep, saying, "Oh, Paul, don't go, don't go." And he said, "What do you mean by these tears? Do you think you're going to dissuade me? Do you think I'm worried about being bound? I'm ready to die." He was a martus. "I'm ready to die." Being put to death for your faith did not make you a martyr; because you were a martyr, you were put to death. Because you were a witness, because you believed it so strong. So, it did not make you a witness, it only proved what you were. You were a witness all along. If you hadn't been a martus, you would've never gone to your death. You would've recanted; you would've said, "Whoa, whoa, wait, wait. Hold on, let's change course here. I think that I may have made a mistake." Then you say, "Well, he wasn't a martus. Stealing a horse doesn't make you a horse thief; it only proves that you were. No one steals a horse unless he's a horse thief. So, stealing it doesn't make you a horse thief, it only proves that you were all along. Being martyred only proves what you were a witness, a martus. "And you will be witnesses." And isn't it interesting that most of them were martyred? "Witnesses unto Me."

The witness was to be both in Jerusalem, and in all of Judea (Act 1:8),

The witness began right at home. The hardest place, isn't it? It's to start right at home in Jerusalem, and then the area around Jerusalem, the area of Judea. And then it was to spread up into Samaria. And then it was to go out into the uttermost parts of the world. And as we study the book of Acts, we will see this very progression. How the witness began in Jerusalem. We'll get that in the next chapter. And then we'll see how it began to spread through out Judea. And then Phillip went up into Samaria, and then finally Paul and Barnabas are called to go into the uttermost parts of the world. And so the witness spread through the anointing and the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

Now when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight (Act 1:9).

This is the final promise made by Jesus to His disciples. This is it, the final words prior to His ascension. Of course, later He came and talked to Paul and others, but prior to His ascension, this is His final word. And upon this, when He had spoken these things, while they were watching Him, He was taken up and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

And while they were looking steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, there were two men who stood by them in white apparel (Act 1:10);

We assume they were angels.

Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven (Act 1:11).

They saw Him as He ascended up into heaven and they will behold Him when He comes again. "Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgement upon the earth" (Jude 14-15). And then, "Unto Him who loved us and gave Himself for us and who has made us unto our God, kings and priests who shall reign with Him upon the earth, behold the Lord cometh, and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him shall mourn" Revelation 1:5-7). So the Lord's coming. Every eye shall see Him. The Jehovah Witnesses say that He is already come, but it was a secret coming. As it was only the disciples that saw Him go, it was only the disciples, of the Jehovah Witnesses, who saw Him return. But Jesus said, "If they say unto you, 'He has come in secret and has gone into a secret chamber don't believe it'" (Matthew 24:26). So you have to choose, to believe Jesus or them.

"This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you've seen Him go into heaven."

Now there's a very interesting verse in II John, verse 7, "For many deceivers are entered into the world who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh." That, unfortunately, is a poor translation of the Greek. For this participle is in the present tense and should be translated "is coming in the flesh." Those who would deny that Jesus Christ is coming in the flesh. What does John say of them? "They are a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. For whosoever transgresses and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. And if there come any unto your door (on Saturday morning) and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, and neither bid him good-bye. For he that bids him good-bye is a partaker of his evil deeds" (II John 7-11). Ask them one question, "Is Jesus coming in the flesh?" Just ask them that question. And if they say no, just remember what John warned you and what John told you. "If any confess not that Jesus Christ is coming in the flesh." Do you remember when He was with the disciples and He said, "Give me something to eat"? He said, "You know, spirits don't eat; touch me. See? It's me." So, this same Jesus is coming again in the same manner in which they saw Him go into heaven. And I, for one, believe that that coming is very soon.

Then retuned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath's day journey [about two-thirds of a mile]. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where there abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, and Phillip, and Thomas, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. And these all continued in one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers (Act 1:12-14).

This is the last mention of Mary the mother of Jesus. At this point and from this point on, there is no further mention of her in the Acts of the Apostles or in the epistles. No mention of her death or of her miraculous ascension into heaven, without death. Nothing is mentioned in the scripture. It is silent.

His brethren would be a reference probably to James and to Jude and to those other brothers who were sons of Joseph and Mary.

The upper room--there are some who say that it is the same upper room in which Jesus had the Last Supper with His disciples. And yet, there are others who hold to this upper room being a room in the temple precincts where the early church met. Take your choice.

And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of their names together were about one hundred and twenty,) men and brethren, this Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was a guide to those who took Jesus (Act 1:15-16).

Here again, Peter still his same impetuous self. They're waiting in prayer and supplication, and Peter stands up and says, "Fellows, there's a scripture that's gotta be fulfilled." And you know he's going to move ahead, "Let's get the program going; let's cast lots and find out who's going to take Judas' place." I do feel that Peter was again in the flesh, manifesting that impetuous nature that was his. And I think that the future history of the church in the book of Acts points this out. I am interested in Peter's understanding of the scriptures, how that he is quoting from so many places in the Old Testament. Peter does manifest a very great understanding of the Old Testament scriptures which is a point in his favor.

Notice that Peter ascribes to the Holy Spirit those things that David wrote. So that, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (II Timothy 3:16). Not part of the scriptures. Because, if you tell me that part of the scriptures are given by inspiration of God, then I must ask you, "What parts are by inspiration and what parts are not by inspiration?" And then you are then the authority who tells me what part I can believe and what part I can't believe. And the minute that God is no longer the authority but you're the authority, I'm in trouble. Beware of those who say, "Well, you can't believe all of the scriptures." The scriptures themselves say, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God." And here, Luke in writing of what Peter was saying, declares that David was actually the spokesman for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, by the mouth of David, spake concerning Judas.

For he was numbered with us, [he was one of the twelve] he had obtained a part of this ministry. But now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong (Act 1:17-18),

He purchased the field, the potter's field as Zachariah the eleventh chapter declares.

and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all of his bowels gushed out (Act 1:18).

There are those who find a discrepancy in the scriptures, because in one of the gospels we are told that when Judas came back and tried to return the money, and they said, "Hey, it's your problem. We can't take it." And put it back in the temple treasury. "It's blood money." Then he threw it there on the floor of the temple and he went out and hung himself. Here Peter tells us that he fell headlong and just popped. And there are those who imagine a discrepancy. Very simple, he went up into the tree to hang himself, tied the rope around his neck and tied it to the limb and jumped. And the force of the fall either snapped the rope or his head, and he fell on down into the canyon and just as he said it here.

It was known to all of the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch that the field is called in their tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and, His bishoprick let another take (Act 1:19-20).

Now in reality he's quoting from two different Psalms here. From Psalm 69:25, he puts it together with Psalm 109:8. And putting the two together he finds these prophecies concerning Judas.

Wherefore of these men (Act 1:21)

Now here is where they are looking for someone to take Judas' place to be an apostle. Here are the qualifications they looked for in that time.

Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus when in and out among us (Act 1:21),

Now you remember there were many disciples, many disciples of which Jesus chose ten to be apostles. And the word apostle means "one who is sent out." Or chose twelve to be apostles, so He sent out the twelve. The number of human government. "We only have eleven. We need one to take Judas' place, but we need one who has been with us all the while from the beginning with Jesus."

From the time he was baptized by John, until the day he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness [of what?] of His resurrection (Act 1:22).

So these were the requirements they were looking for. Someone who had been around the whole while. From the time of John's baptism to the ascension. And one who saw the risen Lord, and thus could bear fact of the resurrection, their testimony to the fact.

Now Paul the apostle, later in asserting the fact that he was an apostle said, "Have I not seen the risen Christ?" Evidently that was one of the requirements of apostleship. Someone asked me, "Are there apostles today?" Well, I don't know. I don't think that there are in the same sense that they were in the New Testament. Surely there is none today who can bear witness to the resurrection as they did.

They appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two that you have chosen (Act 1:23-24),

I think that we often make this mistake of giving the Lord two choices, both wrong. Limiting God, you see. We're so prone to do this. Obviously, Paul was God's choice. Peter was impetuous, and jumping the gun said, "Hey, we've got to do something, you know, gotta help God out. You know, one's missing and we've got to fill him in." And yet, "God, which one of these two do you want?" And giving God the two choices.

That he may take part of this ministry and this apostleship, from which Judas by the transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And so they gave forth their lots (Act 1:25-26);

An interesting way by which they sought to determine the will of God. Let's throw dice, find out what God's will is here. It's interesting to me, the various ways that people have devised to discern the will of God. Now, in the Old Testament times they had an interesting way of coming to the priest, who would inquire of the Lord for them through the Urim and the Thummim, the "lights and perfections." Just what these Urim and Thummim were, we don't know. I'm sure they were not the colored glasses that Joseph Smith found with the Golden Tablets; the magic glasses, that when you put them on, you could suddenly read the hieroglyphic writing.

There are those who say that the Urim and Thummim were actually a black and a white stone that was worn in a pouch on the chest of the priest. They would pray and ask the Lord a particular question. You remember that David was asking the Lord definite questions: "Lord, shall we go out against the Philistines?" The answer was, "No." So again, the next day, "Lord, shall we go out against the Philistines?" The answer was, "Yes." "When shall we go?" They would ask specific questions, and the Lord would direct them through the Urim and the Thummin. They say that the priest would pray, seek God, and then reach in and pull out one of the two stones. If it was the white stone, it was a yes answer. If it was a no, then it would be the black stone that he would pull out. Some even say we get the term blackballed from this Urim and Thummim. Actually, back in the original it is a no vote against a particular project or idea. Just what the Urim and Thummim were, we don't know. But during the Old Testament period, they did use a method of casting lots to determine the will of God.

So here the disciples are picking up on the same thing as they are throwing the dice to see which of the two fellows that God had chosen to replace Judas Iscariot.

the lot fell on Matthias; he was numbered with the eleven (Act 1:26).

Now who in the world is Matthias? No one ever heard of him before or since. It'll be interesting to meet Matthias and find out who he is and what he did. I think from the subsequent history, it's obvious to assume that God chose Paul as an apostle. Paul declares it himself. Now this is the last time we ever read of them seeking to discern the will of God by the casting of lots or by a chance kind of a thing.

I know a fellow today, in seeking to discern the will of the Lord, will pray and ask the Lord a question. He'll have ten pennies in his pocket, and as he's praying, he'll take the pennies with his eyes closed and put them down on the table, and if they all come up heads, it's a yes. An interesting thing, every once in a while, they'll all come up heads, and that's pretty good odds. Yet, we don't find any pattern for this after the Holy Spirit was given. Once the Holy Spirit came upon the church, then the Holy Spirit began to speak to them and direct them. And the Holy Spirit said, "Separate unto me Paul and Barnabas for the ministry where I have called them" (Acts 13:2). And the Holy Spirit sent them forth. So we find the church more directly guided by the Holy Spirit. Once the Holy Spirit came, this throwing dice to find out the will of God was set aside.

Chapter 2

Now when the day of Pentecost (Act 2:1)

This would be feast day following the Passover, of which Jesus was crucified. And fifty days after the Passover, the second major Jewish feast, the Feast of Pentecost, or the Feast of Ingathering. This is the time when they would gather the winter wheat, the winter grains that had been sown, and the early part of June; they're ready for harvest. The Feast of Pentecost was marked by them taking a portion of their field and harvesting it. Tying the wheat and the sheaves, bringing them in and offering them before the Lord as a wave offering, as the priest would take the sheaves and wave them before the Lord and offer them before the Lord as the first fruits unto God. "God, to You belong the first fruit. There's a harvest that is coming in, but this, Lord, is the first fruit. It belongs to You." And they would give to God the first fruits of the increase of their land at the Feast of Pentecost, the Feast of Ingathering. And as was the custom in all of the Jewish feasts, there would be Jews that had gathered from all over the world to celebrate these feasts. And so the day of Pentecost: the feast had come.

And the disciples were with one accord in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as [the Spirit gave them the ability, or as the Spirit prompted their speech, or as the King James] the Spirit gave them utterance (Act 2:1-4).

But better, as the Spirit gave them the ability or prompted their speech.

We notice certain phenomena accompanying the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There was a sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind that filled all of the house where they were sitting. And notice, they were sitting. It doesn't matter whether you're sitting, standing or whatever. It is not the physical position. I am tired of trying to formulate God. I think that God defies any formulation by man. But people are always trying to put together a formula, and I guess it's only natural. You know, when you pray for someone and they're healed, you try and think, "Now, how did I pray? What did I do? Something happened here. Ooh that's great! Now how did I do it?" You're immediately wanting to formulate it. "What did I say?" Magic words, magic movements, or whatever, but God defies being formulated by man.

And so they were sitting in this particular case, and there appeared unto them these cloven tongues like fire, and it was above or upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And in this case, began to speak, glossa, other tongues, as the Spirit gave them the ability and was prompting their speech.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, who were devout men, out of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad (Act 2:5-6),

What was noised abroad? Making the sound of the wind. The people heard this whistling sound like a hurricane or something coming out of the house, they came running to see what in the world was this noise coming out of the house.

the multitude came together, and were confounded, because every man heard them speak in his own dialectus (Act 2:6).

In his own language or dialect.

And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all of these which speak Galileans? How is it that we hear every man in our own dialect, wherein we were born? And the Parthians, the Medes, the Elamites, the dwellers of Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our dialectus [languages] the wonderful works of God (Act 2:7-11).

Notice that when they understood the languages, these people were not preaching sermons in these languages, nor were their words addressed to men, but it was addressed to God. They were proclaiming the wonderful works of God.

Somewhere along the line, the Pentecostal churches have gotten a mistaken notion that God often speaks to the church through tongues and interpretation of tongues. That is not scriptural. In I Corinthians14, Paul says, "If a man speaks in an unknown tongue, he is not speaking to man, howbeit, in the Spirit he is speaking to God divine mysteries, or secrets." And thus, he tells them that, if in church a person speaks in an unknown tongue, that he should pray that they might interpret. And if there is no interpreter, then he should not speak, but keep silent and speak unto himself and unto God. For if he gets up and speaks in an unknown tongue in a service and no one interprets, how is the person who doesn't understand what he is saying going to say, "Yes, and amen"? At his giving of thanks, not at the message that God had for the church, but at his giving of thanks, in that he does not understand what he's saying, indeed, you do bless God well. It's a good way to praise the Lord, but not in church where the people don't understand what you're saying.

So still and always, whenever tongues were understood, or when Paul teaches on the subject, never once is there an instance in the scripture where God spoke to man through tongues and interpretation. The closest thing would be in the book of Daniel when the writing on the wall was interpreted by Daniel. But that was not tongues and interpretation, and God was giving a message to the pagan king Belshazzar. When a man speaks in an unknown tongue, according to the scripture, he's speaking to God divine secrets men do not understand, and it's not addressed to man; it isn't necessary that man understands him, he is conversing with God in a special language that God has given him.

So, they were praising God, or they were glorifying God. They were declaring the wonderful works of God in the various languages and, of course, this amazed the people.

And they were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? (Act 2:12)

Notice they have a question. "What does this mean, or what meaneth this?"

And others mocking said, [Hey,] they've just found some good wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all of you who are dwelling at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and listen unto my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, in that it is only the third hour of the day (Act 2:13-15).

It's only 9 o'clock in the morning, too early to be drunk.

Now, what was their question? "What meaneth this?" And Peter's message is, first of all, addressed to their question. And I think that's important, that messages answer the questions that are in the minds of the people. I think there's a lot of preaching that's so totally irrelevant to anything. Well, thanks for the information; I really didn't need it and I don't understand what it is after I've got it, but uh... But he was addressing the question, "What meaneth this?" And the answer is,

This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel (Act 2:16);

And he began to give them a scriptural basis for the phenomenon they had just observed. And let me say that I think this is vitally important. I think that you are on dangerous ground when you are seeking spiritual phenomenon for which you can give no scriptural basis. Because whenever you get into the area of spiritual phenomenon, people are going to ask questions. "What is this?" And if you are practicing some kind of spiritual phenomenon for which you cannot give a solid scriptural basis, you're in big trouble as far as I'm concerned. I am not interested in any kind of phenomenon for which I cannot give solid scriptural basis. And I think that it is very irresponsible for evangelists, or whoever, to promote spiritual phenomenon without scriptural foundation.

So Peter leads them right to the Word of God. "This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel." And now notice how Peter quotes from the prophet Joel. You see he had a good working knowledge of the Word of God. And I point that out in order that I might point out to you the characteristics of the men that God used. And we'll be following this as we go through the Acts. But one of the first characteristics that we find of the men that God uses is that they are men of prayer. Peter and the others were waiting daily in prayer and in supplication, you remember. The men that God uses are men of the Word; a second quality that God is looking for. Peter had a good working knowledge of the Word of God. He's able to quote from the Psalms, remote little Psalms. Psalms that are not apt to catch your attention, and yet he is quoting from them, putting them together, making sense out of them. Now, as this phenomena is taking place, and they're saying, "What means this?" And he said, "This is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel."

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith the Lord, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and daughters will prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and upon my servants and handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will show wonders in the heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; and blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: and the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Act 2:17-21).

Quoting out of Joel, chapter 2. And what does he quote? The promise of God to send the Holy Spirit upon the world. Now notice that in context, this promise was for the last days, and Joel actually carries it right up to the second coming of Jesus Christ, through the great tribulation period right into the second coming. "I will show wonders in the heaven above, signs in the earth beneath, blood, fire, vapor of smoke, the sun shall be turned into darkness, the moon into blood," things of the great tribulation period. "Before the great and notable day," the day of the coming again of Jesus Christ. "The great and notable day of the Lord come, and it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

So the empowering of the Holy Spirit was not limited to just a short period of church history, but is to continue through out the church history, right unto the coming again of Jesus Christ, the great and notable day of the Lord. And it is wrong to try to put limitations upon the experience of being empowered by the Spirit of God.

Several years ago our older daughter came home from a prayer meeting, and we were sitting and sharing with her. And she was telling us how that at that prayer meeting God's Spirit came upon her, and she began to prophesy by the Spirit of God. And what a beautiful and exhilarating experience it was for her to just speak forth God's word under the anointing of the Spirit. Our son Jeff, who we were having problems with at that time, who was in high school at that time, I turned to him and said, "Well, son, the Bible says that your sons and daughters shall prophesy. Now that my daughter is prophesying, when are you going to start prophesying?" And he quickly, without any hesitation said, "When are you going to start having dreams?" Smart kid!

Now he's going to expound on the scripture. He gives the text and now the exposition.

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth (Act 2:22),

Identifying who he's talking about, because there were many named Jesus. And so He's Jesus of Nazareth, so they knew exactly who he's talking about. And here's what he says of Him first of all,

He was a man approved of God among you (Act 2:22)

The word approved is literally, "proved to be of God among you." How was He proved to be of God?

by the miracles and the wonders and the signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourself also know (Act 2:22):

So, He was proved to be of God. Jesus said, "Believe me or else believe for the very works' sake." And Jesus often called upon His works as the proof of His origin, of His authority and of His ministry, of His identity. "Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, or else believe me for the very works' sake." And so here Peter is pointing out that the works Jesus did attested to the fact that He was proved to be of God--from God. Remember they said, "No man can do these works except God is with Him."

Then he goes on to say,

Him, being delivered by the determinant counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain (Act 2:23):

Notice as Peter talks about the cross he's not speaking of some horrible, tragic accident that happened. But in referring to the cross, he is talking about it as God's predetermined counsel and foreknowledge. It could not be any other way, because the cross was prophesied in the Old Testament. And the very fact that there are prophecies of the cross, death on the cross: Psalm 22, Isaiah 52, "lifted up" a term used for crucifixion, and His death prophesied in Isaiah 53. There can be no other conclusion but what the death of Jesus Christ on the cross was planned by God long before Jesus ever came into the world. And thus, it is manifestly wrong to try to blame the Jews or to try to blame the Romans or anybody else for the cross. It was something that God had predetermined by His own foreknowledge--a method by which He might manifest the extent of His love for lost man. And so, as he refers to the cross, he talks about God's predetermined counsel, and thus the scripture speaks of Christ crucified from the foundations of world. Before man ever sinned, God had in mind to send His Son to redeem man from his sin, and thus to manifest God's love for sinning man. It's all part of God's predetermined plan, His foreknowledge.

Peter isn't really laying the blame on them. "You with your wicked hands did it, but it was all part of God's predetermined plan." But then he declares, and this is the central part of his message:

Whom God hath raised up (Act 2:24),

Remember, they were looking for someone who could bear witness of the resurrection. And the central message of the church is always the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was not possible that death could hold Him. It's the message of the church today. And wherever the church has denied this message, it has ceased to be a church. It is the central hope of man; we have to proclaim to man that Jesus rose from the dead. Peter said, "Thank God that we have been begotten again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

Whom God has raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he could be held by it (Act 2:24).

Why wasn't it possible? Because the scripture not only prophesied His death, but it also prophesied His resurrection. And because God predicted it, prophesied it in advance, it had to happen. It was not possible that He could be held by death.

For David speaking concerning him said, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is at 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 you will not leave my soul in hell, neither will you allow the Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shall make me full of joy with your countenance (Act 2:25-28).

Again he is quoting from the scriptures. Notice how he just has the capacity of just quoting God's Word. It was something that was really there in his heart. The men that God uses are men who have hidden that Word away in their heart. They have that ready access, the ability to just quote from God's Word.

Now Peter is going to expound on this text. He said,

Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, his sepulchre is with us unto this day (Act 2:29).

Now, there is today on Mount Zion a little room where you may go where there's a very ornate sepulchre that they call "The Tomb of David." I don't know if David was buried there, but at the time that Peter was talking, David's sepulchre was still around.

Now David 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 the Messiah to sit on his throne (Act 2:30);

David knew that God promised that the Messiah would come through him. That's when David said, "Lord, what can I say? I was nothing. You took me from the sheep coat, from following after sheep. You made me the king over Your people. You've done so much for me, and now you speak of the days to come. Oh, God, what can I say?" David was overwhelmed by the goodness and the grace of God. And that's always a beautiful experience to have. Have you ever had that? You're just totally wiped out by God's goodness and God's grace. I love those experiences where I'm just totally wiped out by the grace. You can't say anything; you just have to sit there and enjoy it. I have to pull off the road; it's dangerous to drive in those conditions.

David was a prophet. He knew that God had promised that the Messiah would come through him.

And he, seeing this before, was speaking of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption (Act 2:31).

When Jesus died, He descended into hell and preached to those souls that were in prison.

Now you remember Isaiah 61, a part of the prophecy of Christ would be that He would open the doors to those who were bound and free those from prison. Set at liberty those who were captive. Jesus descended into hell, because prior to the death of Christ, it was not possible that the Old Testament saints could enter into the full glory of God's presence. The Old Testament sacrifices could not put away their sins. All they could do was cover their sins as they spoke of a better sacrifice that was to come, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. These men all died in faith not having received the promise of God: having reserved a better thing for us that they without us couldn't come into the perfected state. So when Jesus died, He descended into hell, preached to the souls who were in prison. But according to Paul in Ephesians 4, when He ascended, He led the captives from their captivity. "He who has ascended is the same one who first of all descended into the lower parts of the earth." You remember when they were asking Jesus for a sign, and He said, "No sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:39-40). He descended into hell, and those who were waiting with Abraham for the promises of God to be fulfilled, He preached to them the glorious victory of the cross. The sacrifice has been made; it is now complete. And He who has ascended is the same one who first of all descended. And when He ascended, He led the captives from their captivity. He freed them. Death and hell was partially emptied at that point. Two resurrections. The just to everlasting righteous, and the unjust to everlasting condemnation. That resurrection has not yet taken place. It will not take place until the time of the thousand year reign of Christ upon the earth.

Now,

This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses (Act 2:32).

We've all seen it; we've all seen Him. Therefore, he comes back now to the resurrection. Notice this is the central part of the message; he's throwing out basic facts about Jesus. "He's a man proved to be a God among you by the signs and miracles which He wrought, whom you, according to God's predetermined counsel and foreknowledge, with your wicked hands have crucified and slain. But God raised Him from the dead because it was not possible that He could be held by it." Now when he gets to the central message, he expounds on it. He goes back, he gives scriptural basis, and he's talking about the resurrection and shows that it is a Biblical concept. Then he says again, coming back to this point, "This Jesus hath God raised up and we are witnesses of that fact."

Therefore (Act 2:33)

Now he is going to continue his message concerning Jesus of Nazareth.

Therefore, he is exalted at the right hand of God (Act 2:33),

So Jesus today is in an exalted position there at the right hand of God in the throne of glory.

and having received of the Father the promise (Act 2:33)

"And it shall come to pass in those days, saith the Lord, I will pour out my Spirit." "And having received of the Father the promise... "

of the Holy Spirit, he hath shed forth this (Act 2:33),

Now he's back to the question again, "What meaneth this?" The outpouring of the Holy Spirit that they were observing. And having ascended to the Father, being there at the right hand, exalted, He received from the Father the promise and He hath shed forth this,

which you now see and hear (Act 2:33).

There was visible tongues of fire and audible evidence of the outpouring of the Spirit as they were glorifying God in these languages.

For David is not ascended into the heavens [he had not yet 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. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Messiah (Act 2:34-36).

Now, the Bible tells us that there is coming a day when every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord. And Peter is laying it straight on the line, "This Jesus, you better know that God has made Him both the Lord and He is the Messiah."

Now when they heard this (Act 2:37),

And this is the first message of the church centered on the theme of the resurrection.

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? (Act 2:37)

Aware of their guilt, made aware by the conviction of the Spirit.

Then Peter said unto them, "Join the church, pay your tithes, keep this ministry going brother."

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 Spirit (Act 2:38).

Literally in the Greek he said, "Repent and be baptized every one of you into the name of Jesus Christ," which is an interesting point to make into a relationship with Jesus Christ. There are those who call themselves "Jesus Only." They make a big to do over baptismal formula, and say if you were baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that you weren't really baptized. That baptism didn't really count; the only baptism that really counts is the baptism in Jesus' name. But it's not actually in Jesus' name, but into Jesus' name; into the very relationship with Him, into the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. "And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

For the promise (Act 2:39)

What promise? The promise that God made to pour out His Spirit on all flesh. Who is it for?

It's for you, and it's for your children, and to all that are far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call (Act 2:39).

No mention of just being good for the apostolic period, but on down through the church ages. "As many as the Lord our God shall call."

And with many other words he did testify and exhort, saying, Save yourself from this untoward generation. Then they who gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls (Act 2:40-41).

So you've got the beginning of the church growth program. Rapid church growth program, suddenly they've increased manifestly. Now this is important. What was the early church's function? What were they doing?

They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers (Act 2:42).

These were the four institutions of the early church. First of all, the apostles' doctrine: the study of the Word of God. Second, the fellowship: the koinonia--a very interesting Greek word. Its implications are beyond translation into English. But this coming together, interrelating, becoming a part of each other, a strong bond and tie and communion and commonness and fellowship. Breaking of bread, the symbol of that inner relationship and prayers.

A lot of the things that the church does today are not listed here. I think a lot of the things that the church does today are extraneous and supercilious, and we'd do well to let them die a natural death instead of trying to keep them alive by artificial means.

And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all who believed were together, and had all things [koinonia] in common; And many of them sold their possessions and their goods, and they parted them to all men, as every man had a need (Act 2:43-45).

There was a early communism, in a good sense, in the church, prompted by love. Those who had, were selling in order that they might distribute to those who did not have, that they might be able to help them.

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house (Act 2:46),

So the church actually began in both the fellowships in the temple, but also in the home fellowships. Breaking bread from house to house,

They did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart (Act 2:46),

What was the result? As they were,

Praising God, and having favor with all the people. The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved (Act 2:47).

When the church was what God wanted the church to be, then God did for the church what He was wanting to do.

Today the church is spending all of its efforts in church growth programs. How to increase our attendance? Studying psychology and sociology and making demographic studies of communities and determining what will appeal to the people of this particular community. What type of an advertising program will be most effective, taking polls and census and putting everything together so that we can have a church growth program because we want to add so many members to our church. You can get professionals to come in and do all of these studies and, for a fee, they will go ahead and develop your whole program. There are other professionals who'll come in and set up a whole financial program for us, and they will, for ten percent of the take, will set up the whole program of how to take you. And many churches hire these professionals for the church growth, or the fundraising programs. The early church didn't know anything of that. They were not very sophisticated, and they hadn't gone to seminary. So all they could do is what they knew to do, just get together and study the Word and pray and fellowship, break bread. "And the Lord added daily to the church such as should be saved." It was a natural spontaneous growth as the Lord added to the church.

"Oh, times are different." Why? Has God changed? God's hand is not short that He can't save, neither is His ear heavy. But we are no longer relying upon God; we're no longer relying upon the Holy Spirit. We've sought men's devices and man's ways. And we have forsaken the Word of God and gone to entertaining programs. And we have tried to attract the people by this lavish program of entertainment. "Come and be entertained. See the tallest Christmas tree in the world. See Elijah ascend directly into the clouds." And oh what a trap that is.

There was this particular church that every Christmas was putting on the spectacular program, and the problem is when you draw people to that, you've got to get more spectacular every year. And so, they had the "Living Christmas Tree." "Come and see the living Christmas tree!" And, of course, all of them there in the shape of a Christmas tree singing the carols. Well the next year it had to be a bigger Christmas tree, you know, bigger than the year before, because it's got to be the best. "The greatest living Christmas tree ever." Different costumes and different little gimmicks and gadgets, and finally, as they were developing this Christmas tree, living Christmas tree, year by year, they had just about run out of ideas, when someone had the idea of taking and putting a live angel at the top of the Christmas tree. And they lowered him out of the ceiling, and as the Christmas tree was being formed, he would come out of the ceiling and would be there at the top of the Christmas tree, the live angel. Well something happened to the gears, and as they were letting him down, he got suspended in mid air over the auditorium, and began swinging around and around. And the angel began to cry out, "Get me down from here!" And he got so upset--this is true--he began to curse. "Someone stop this damn thing from swinging!" And he got so sick from spinning, he began to throw up. May that be the fate of all man's endeavors and programs so that we can learn to rely upon God and the power of His Holy Spirit to build the church and to do His work.

"This promise is unto you, and to your children, and to those who are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." "Ye shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you and you'll become a witness." The gift of God's Holy Spirit is for you tonight. I pray that each of us might be open to God, to receive whatever it is that God may wish to impart to us. That we might become whatever God would have us to be. That we might, indeed, be His witness of His love in this world in which we live today. And so, may God bless you as you go forth, to bear witness of Jesus Christ. And may your life show forth the works of God that He has wrought in you. In His name.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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