Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
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Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet ."'
New American Standard Version
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Nave's Topical Bible - David; Orator; Peter; Preaching; Prophecy; Quotations and Allusions; Readings, Select; Revivals; Stool; Zeal, Religious; Thompson Chain Reference - Awakenings and Religious Reforms; Awakenings, Religious; Holy Spirit; Spirit; The Topic Concordance - Enemies; Jesus Christ; Torrey's Topical Textbook - Confessing Christ;
Dictionaries:American Tract Society Bible Dictionary- Ascension; Kingdom of Heaven; Bridgeway Bible Dictionary- Apostle; Gospel; Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology- Ascension of Jesus Christ; Baptism of the Holy Spirit; Christ, Christology; Church, the; Joel, Theology of; King, Christ as; Priest, Christ as; Psalms, Theology of; Resurrection; Charles Buck Theological Dictionary- Baptism ; Gift of Tongues; Hearing the Word of God; Holy Ghost; Worship of God; Holman Bible Dictionary- Acts; Christ, Christology; Church; Community of Goods; Cross, Crucifixion; Foot; Footstool; Messiah; Spiritual Gifts; Worship; Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible- Communion; Faith; Hope; Mark, Gospel According to; Messiah; Pentecost, Feast of; Power of the Keys; Tongues, Gift of; Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament- Acts of the Apostles (2); Atonement (2); Baptism; Cleopas ; Confession (of Christ); Doxology; Eschatology; Gospel (2); Heaven; Lord; Promise (2); Salvation Save Saviour; Type; Morrish Bible Dictionary- Ascension; Footstool; The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary- Pentecost; People's Dictionary of the Bible- Peter; Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types- Footstool; Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary- Kingdom;
Adam Clarke Commentary
Verse 35. Until I make thy foes thy footstool. — It was usual with conquerors to put their feet on the necks of vanquished leaders, as emblematical of the state of subjection to which they were reduced, and the total extinction of their power. By quoting these words, Peter shows the Jews, who continued enemies to Christ, that their discomfiture and ruin must necessarily take place, their own king and prophet having predicted this in connection with the other things which had already been so literally and circumstantially fulfilled. This conclusion had the desired effect, when pressed home with the strong application in the following verse.
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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Acts 2:35". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/acts-2.html. 1832.
Bridgeway Bible Commentary
Peter’s preaching (2:14-42)
Seeing the people’s interest, Peter addressed them, this time speaking in his normal language. His address shows some features of the early apostolic preaching. First he quoted from the Old Testament, to show that the Pentecost events fulfilled what the prophets foretold. To Peter the important point of the prophecy was that God poured out his Spirit on everyone - not everyone whether believers or not, but everyone within the community of God’s people, whether male or female, young or old, slave or free (14-21; see v. 39).
Peter followed this with a short summary of Jesus’ work, death and resurrection, showing that in spite of human injustice, God was working out his purposes (22-24). Next he quoted Old Testament Scriptures that Jews in general believed referred to the Messiah. Although David was the author of the passages quoted, the words could not refer to him, as he was dead, whereas the person referred to here was alive. This person, though not David, was a descendant of David; in fact, the Messiah. And this Messiah was Jesus, who had risen from the dead, returned to his Father in heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit upon his disciples (25-36). (‘Messiah’ was a Hebrew word meaning ‘the anointed one’. It was used to refer to the descendant of David who would be God’s chosen king and saviour, not just for Israel, but for the world. The Greek equivalent of ‘Messiah’ was ‘Christ’.)
Finally, Peter called on the people to turn from their sins and believe in Jesus Christ. Because these people were part of the ‘wicked generation’ of Jews who killed the Messiah Jesus (cf. v. 23,40), they were to show their change of heart by being baptized in the name of the Messiah Jesus. They had to show publicly that they believed Jesus to be the Christ, the one whose divine authority was shown by the mighty works that God did through him (cf. v. 22). In this way they, and in fact people of any generation, would receive the same gift of the Holy Spirit as the apostles and others had just received (37-40).
With the addition of three thousand people, the church now consisted largely of new believers, but these believers soon grew into a strong body. They were built up through learning the teachings of Jesus passed on to them by the apostles, and through joining in fellowship where they worshipped and shared in the Lord’s Supper (41-42).
Baptism with the Spirit
Both John the Baptist and Jesus had foretold the outpouring of the Holy Spirit described by Luke, referring to it as a baptism (Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:4-5). The baptism with the Holy Spirit may be defined as that event on the Day of Pentecost by which the risen Christ gave the Holy Spirit to his disciples as he had promised and, in so doing, united them into one body, the church (Acts 2:33; Acts 11:15-16; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
On the Day of Pentecost two separate groups received the baptism, or gift, of the Spirit. The first was the group of apostles and others mentioned in Acts 1:15 and 2:1-4, the second the group of three thousand mentioned in Acts 2:37-42. But there were several important differences between the two groups.
The first group consisted of people who were already believers and who had to wait till after Jesus’ ascension to receive the Spirit. The second group consisted of people who became believers only after hearing Peter preach on the Day of Pentecost and who received the Holy Spirit immediately. The experience of those of the first group (i.e. their speaking in tongues) should not be considered the normal experience of the Christian, because of the special circumstances in their case. They had lived with Jesus and could receive the Holy Spirit only after Jesus had completed his work and returned to the Father (John 7:39; John 16:7). The experience of those of the second group, who received the Holy Spirit when they believed, without any unusual happenings, was the normal experience of Christians, then as well as now.
Of all the people in the New Testament who received the Holy Spirit (meaning, in other words, all Christians; see Romans 8:9-11), in only two other places, both special cases, does it state that the people spoke in tongues (see notes on Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:1-6).
Christians of all eras have a part in what occurred on the Day of Pentecost. Through that baptism of the Spirit they are, the moment they believe, made part of Christ’s body, the church, and made sharers in his Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13). Jesus’ promised gift of the Holy Spirit, given initially at Pentecost, extends through the ages to all who repent and believe the gospel (Acts 2:38-39).
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Acts 2:35". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/acts-2.html. 2005.
Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible
For David is not ascended into the heavens - That is, David has not risen from the dead and ascended to heaven. This further shows that Psalms 16:1-11 could not refer to David, but must refer to the Messiah. Great as they esteemed David, and much as they were accustomed to apply these expressions of the Scripture to him, yet they could not be applicable to him. They must refer to some other being; and especially that passage which Peter now proceeds to quote. It was of great importance to show that these expressions could not apply to David, and also that David bore testimony to the exalted character and dignity of the Messiah. Hence, Peter here adduces David himself as affirming that the Messiah was to be exalted to a dignity far above his own. This does not affirm that David was not saved, or that his spirit had not ascended to heaven, but that he had not been exalted in the heavens in the sense in which Peter was speaking of the Messiah.
But he saith himself - Psalms 110:1.
The Lord - The small capitals used in translating the word “Lord” in the Bible denote that the original word is יהוה Yahweh. The Hebrews regarded this as the unique name of God, a name incommunicable to any other being. It is not applied to any being but God in the Scriptures. The Jews had such a reverence for it that they never pronounced it; but when it occurred in the Scriptures they pronounced another name, אדני ̀Adonaay. Here it means, “Yahweh said,” etc.
My Lord - This is a different word in the Hebrew - it is אדני ̀Adonaay. It properly is applied by a servant to his master, or a subject to his sovereign, or is used as a title of respect by an inferior to a superior. It means here, “Yahweh said to him whom I, David, acknowledge to be my superior and sovereign.” Thus, though he regarded him as his descendant according to the flesh, yet he regarded him also as his superior and Lord. By reference to this passage our Saviour confounded the Pharisees, Matthew 22:42-46. That the passage in this Psalm refers to the Messiah is clear. Our Saviour, in Matthew 22:42, expressly applied it thus, and in such a manner as to show that this was the well-understood doctrine of the Jews. See the notes on Matthew 22:42, etc.
These files are public domain.
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Acts 2:35". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/acts-2.html. 1870.
Chuck Smith Bible Commentary
Now when the day of Pentecost ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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? ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 2:22 ),
Identifying who he's talking about, because there were many named Joshua. And so He's Joshua 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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.
This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses ( Acts 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 ( Acts 2:33 )
Now he is going to continue his message concerning Jesus of Nazareth.
Therefore, he is exalted at the right hand of God ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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? ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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 ( Acts 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. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Acts 2:35". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/acts-2.html. 2014.
Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
5. The birth of the church 2:1-41
The Holy Spirit’s descent on the day of Pentecost inaugurated a new dispensation in God’s administration of the human race. [Note: For more information about the dispensations, see Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, or idem, Dispensationalism.] Luke featured the record of the events of this day to explain the changes in God’s dealings with humankind that followed in the early church and to the present day. This was the birthday of the church. Many non-dispensationalists, as well as most dispensationalists (except ultradispensationalists), view the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost as the beginning of the church. [Note: E.g., James D. G. Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, p. 49; Eduard Schweizer, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, s.v., "pneuma . . .," 6:411; Emil Brunner, The Misunderstanding of the Church, p. 161; Neil, p. 71; Longenecker, p. 271; and Morgan, p. 22). For a summary of the views of ultradispensationalists, see Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, ch. 10; or idem, Dispensationalism, ch. 11.]
"This event is a fulcrum account in Luke-Acts." [Note: Bock, Acts, p. 92.]
"The plot of a work can often be illuminated by considering the major conflict or conflicts within it. Although Jesus’ witnesses face other conflicts, the central conflict of the plot, repeatedly emphasized and still present in the last major scene of Acts, is a conflict within Judaism provoked by Jewish Christian preachers (including Paul). Acts 2:1 to Acts 8:3 traces the development of this conflict in Jerusalem." [Note: Tannehill, 2:34.]
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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Acts 2:35". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/acts-2.html. 2012.
Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
Peter’s Pentecost sermon 2:14-41
"The miraculous is not self-authenticating, nor does it inevitably and uniformly convince. There must also be the preparation of the heart and the proclamation of the message if miracles are to accomplish their full purpose. This was true even for the miracle of the Spirit’s coming at Pentecost. . . . All this prepares the reader for Peter’s sermon, which is the initial proclamation of the gospel message to a prepared people." [Note: Longenecker, p. 273.]
Barclay pointed out four different kinds of preaching that the early Christians practiced. [Note: Barclay, pp. 16-17.] I would add two more. The first is kerugma, which means proclamation of the clear facts of the Christian message. The second is didache or teaching. This was explanation and interpretation of the facts-the "so what?" Third, there was paraklesis, exhortation to apply the message. Fourth, there was homilia, the treatment of a subject or area of life in view of the Christian message. Fifth, there was prophesia, the sharing of a word from God be it new revelation or old. Sixth, there was apologia, a defense of the Christian message in the face of hostile adversaries. Often the speaker combined two or more of these kinds of address into one message as Peter did in the sermon that follows. Here we find defense (Acts 2:14-21), proclamation (Acts 2:22-36), and exhortation (Acts 2:37-41). This speech is an excellent example of forensic rhetoric, the rhetoric of defense and attack. [Note: Witherington, p. 138.]
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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Acts 2:35". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/acts-2.html. 2012.
Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
Peter’s proclamation 2:22-36
In this part of his speech Peter cited three proofs that Jesus was the Messiah: His miracles (Acts 2:22), His resurrection (Acts 2:23-32), and His ascension (Acts 2:33-35). Acts 2:36 is a summary conclusion.
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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Acts 2:35". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/acts-2.html. 2012.
Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
Peter then added a second evidence that Jesus was the Christ. He had proved that David had prophesied Messiah’s resurrection (Acts 2:27). Now he said that David also prophesied Messiah’s ascension (Psalms 110:1). This was a passage from the Old Testament that Jesus had earlier applied to Himself (Matthew 22:43-44; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-42). It may have been Jesus’ use of this passage that enabled His disciples to grasp the significance of His resurrection. It may also have served as the key to their understanding of these prophecies of Messiah in the Old Testament.
David evidently meant that the LORD (Yahweh, God the Father) said the following to David’s Lord (Adonai, Master, evidently a reference to Messiah or possibly Solomon). David may have composed this psalm on the occasion of Solomon’s coronation as Israel’s king. Clearly it is an enthronement psalm. Yahweh, the true King of Israel, extended the privilege of serving as His administrator to Messiah (or Solomon), His vice-regent. Yahweh included a promise that He would subdue His vice-regent’s enemies. Peter took this passage as a prophecy about David’s greatest son, Messiah. Yahweh said to David’s Lord, Messiah, sit beside me and rule for me, and I will subdue your enemies. This is something God the Father said to God the Son. Peter understood David’s reference to his Lord as extending to Messiah, David’s ultimate descendant.
"Peter’s statement that Jesus is presently at ’the right hand of God,’ in fulfillment of Psalms 110:1, has been a focal point of disagreement between dispensational and non-dispensational interpreters. Traditional dispensationalists have understood this as teaching the present session of Christ in heaven before his return to fulfill the Davidic messianic kingdom promise of a literal reign on earth. They are careful to distinguish between the Davidic throne and the position that Christ presently occupies in heaven at the right hand of God (Acts 2:30). [Note: E.g., Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom, p. 401.]
"Non-dispensationalists, by contrast, see Peter’s statement as a clear indication that the New Testament has reinterpreted the Davidic messianic prophecies. The messianic throne has been transferred from Jerusalem to heaven, and Jesus ’has begun his messianic reign as the Davidic king.’" [Note: Saucy, The Case . . ., pp. 69-70. His quotation is from George E. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament, p. 336. Cf. Oswald T. Allis, Prophecy and the Church, p. 136. Saucy’s discussion of "the right hand of God," pp. 72-74, is helpful.]
"This does not mean that Jesus is at the present time ruling from the throne of David, but that He is now at ’the right hand of the Father’ until His enemies are vanquished (Acts 2:33-35)." [Note: Cleon L. Rogers Jr., "The Davidic Covenant in Acts-Revelation," Bibliotheca Sacra 151:601 (January-March 1994):74.]
". . . it is preferable to see David’s earthly throne as different from the Lord’s heavenly throne, because of the different contexts of Psalms 110, 132. Psalms 110 refers to the Lord’s throne (Acts 2:1) and a Melchizedekian priesthood (Acts 2:4) but Psalms 132 refers to David’s throne (Acts 2:11) and (Aaronic) priests (Acts 2:9; Acts 2:16). . . .
"Because the Messiah is the anointed Descendant of David and the Davidic Heir, He presently possesses the right to reign though He has not yet assumed David’s throne. This was also true of David, who assumed the throne over Israel years after he was anointed.
"Before Christ will be seated on David’s throne (Psalms 110:2), He is seated at the right hand of God (Acts 2:1). His present session is a position of honor and power, but the exercise of that power is restricted to what God has chosen to give the Son. God the Father reigns and has decreed that Christ dispense blessings from the Holy Spirit to believers in this present age. When Christ returns to earth to begin His messianic reign on David’s throne, He will conquer His enemies (Psalms 110:2; Psalms 110:5-7). Until then, He is now seated at God’s right hand (Acts 2:1), exercising the decreed role of the Melchizedekian King-Priest (Acts 2:4), the believer’s great High Priest (Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 4:14-15; Hebrews 5:10; Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 7:26; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 9:11; Hebrews 10:21)." [Note: Elliott E. Johnson, "Hermeneutical Principles and the Interpretation of Psalms 110," Bibliotheca Sacra 149:596 (October-December 1992):434, 436.]
"Christ’s enthronement at the time of His ascension was not to David’s throne, but rather was a restoration to the position at His Father’s right hand (Hebrews 1:3; Acts 7:56), which position He had given up at the time of the Incarnation (Philippians 2:6-8). It was for this restoration that Christ had prayed to His Father in John 17:5. Since Christ had never occupied David’s throne before the Incarnation it would have been impossible to restore Him to what He had not occupied previously. He was petitioning the Father to restore Him to His place at the Father’s right hand. Peter, in his message, establishes the fact of resurrection by testifying to the Ascension, for one who had not been resurrected could not ascend." [Note: Pentecost, pp. 272. Cf. Hodges, "A Dispensational . . .," pp. 172-78.]
|Normative dispensationalists:||Christ’s messianic reign will be on earth.|
|Progressive dispensationalists:||Christ’s messianic reign is now from heaven and will be on earth.|
|Non-dispensational premillenarians:||Christ’s messianic reign is now from heaven and will be on earth.|
|Non-millennarians:||Christ’s messianic reign is now and will be from heaven.|
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Acts 2:35". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/acts-2.html. 2012.
John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible
Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Acts 2:35". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/acts-2.html. 1999.
Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible
|Peter's Sermon at Jerusalem.|
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judæa, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
We have here the first-fruits of the Spirit in the sermon which Peter preached immediately, directed, not to those of other nations in a strange language (we are not told what answer he gave to those that were amazed, and said, What meaneth this?) but to the Jews in the vulgar language, even to those that mocked; for he begins with the notice of that (Acts 2:15; Acts 2:15), and addresses his discourse (Acts 2:14; Acts 2:14) to the men of Judea and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; but we have reason enough to think that the other disciples continued to speak to those who understood them (and therefore flocked about them), in the languages of their respective countries, the wonderful works of God. And it was not by Peter's preaching only, but that of all, or most, of the rest of the hundred and twenty, that three thousand souls were that day converted, and added to the church; but Peter's sermon only is recorded, to be an evidence for him that he was thoroughly recovered from his fall, and thoroughly restored to the divine favour. He that had sneakingly denied Christ now as courageously confesses him. Observe,
I. His introduction or preface, wherein he craves the attention of the auditory, or demands it rather: Peter stood up (Acts 2:14; Acts 2:14), to show that he was not drunk, with the eleven, who concurred with him in what he said, and probably in their turns spoke likewise to the same purport; those that were of greatest authority stood up to speak to the scoffing Jews, and to confront those who contradicted and blasphemed, but left the seventy disciples to speak to the willing proselytes from other nations, who were not so prejudiced, in their own language. Thus among Christ's ministers, some of greater gifts are called out to instruct those that oppose themselves, to take hold of sword and spear; others of meaner abilities are employed in instructing those that resign themselves, and to be vine-dressers and husband-men. Peter lifted up his voice, as one that was both well assured of and much affected with what he said, and was neither afraid nor ashamed to own it. He applied himself to the men of Judea, andres Ioudaioi--the men that were Jews; so it should be read; "and you especially that dwell at Jerusalem, who were accessory to the death of Jesus, be this known unto you, which you did not know before, and which you are concerned to know now, and hearken to my words, who would draw you to Christ, and not to the words of the scribes and Pharisees, that would draw you from him. My Master is gone, whose words you have often heard in vain, and shall hear no more as you have done, but he speaks to you by us; hearken now to our words."
II. His answer to their blasphemous calumny (Acts 2:15; Acts 2:15): "These men are not drunken, as you suppose. These disciples of Christ, that now speak with other tongues, speak good sense, and know what they say, and so do those they speak to, who are led by their discourses into the knowledge of the wonderful works of God. You cannot think they are drunk, for it is but the third hour of the day," nine of the clock in the morning; and before this time, on the sabbaths and solemn feasts, the Jews did not eat nor drink: nay, ordinarily, those that are drunk are drunk in the night, and not in the morning; those are besotted drunkards indeed who, when they awake, immediately seek it yet again,Proverbs 23:35.
III. His account of the miraculous effusion of the Spirit, which is designed to awaken them all to embrace the faith of Christ, and to join themselves to his church. Two things he resolves it into:--that it was the fulfilling of the scripture, and the fruit of Christ's resurrection and ascension, and consequently the proof of both.
1. That it was the accomplishment of the prophecies of the Old Testament which related to the kingdom of the Messiah, and therefore an evidence that this kingdom is come, and the other predictions of it are fulfilled. He specifies one, that of the prophet Joel,Acts 2:28; Acts 2:28. It is observable that though Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost, and spoke with tongues as the Spirit gave him utterance, yet he did not set aside the scriptures, nor think himself above them; nay, much of his discourse is quotation out of the Old Testament, to which he appeals, and with which he proves what he says. Christ's scholars never learn above their Bible; and the Spirit is given not to supersede the scriptures, but to enable us to understand and improve the scriptures. Observe,
(1.) The text itself that Peter quotes, Acts 2:17-21; Acts 2:17-21. It refers to the last days, the times of the gospel, which are called the last days because the dispensation of God's kingdom among men, which the gospel sets up, is the last dispensation of divine grace, and we are to look for no other than the continuation of this to the end of time. Or, in the last days, that is, a great while after the ceasing of prophecy in the Old-Testament church. Or, in the days immediately preceding the destruction of the Jewish nation, in the last days of that people, just before that great and notable day of the Lord spoken of, Acts 2:20; Acts 2:20. "It was prophesied of and promised, and therefore you ought to expect it, and not to be surprised at it; to desire it, and bid it welcome, and not to dispute it, as not worth taking notice of." The apostle quotes the whole paragraph, for it is good to take scripture entire; now it was foretold,
[1.] That there should be a more plentiful and extensive effusion of the Spirit of grace from on high than had ever yet been. The prophets of the Old Testament had been filled with the Holy Ghost, and it was said of the people of Israel that God gave them his good Spirit to instruct them,Nehemiah 9:20. But now the Spirit shall be poured out, not only upon the Jews, but upon all flesh, Gentiles as well as Jews, though yet Peter himself did not understand it so, as appears, Acts 11:17; Acts 11:17. Or, upon all flesh, that is, upon some of all ranks and conditions of men. The Jewish doctors taught that the Spirit came only upon wise and rich men, and such as were of the seed of Israel; but God will not tie himself to their rules.
[2.] That the Spirit should be in them a Spirit of prophecy; by the Spirit they should be enabled to foretel things to come, and to preach the gospel to every creature. This power shall be given without distinction of sex--now only your sons, but your daughters shall prophesy; without distinction of age--both your young men and your old men shall see visions, and dream dreams, and in them receive divine revelations, to be communicated to the church; and without distinction of outward condition--even the servants and handmaids shall receive of the Spirit, and shall prophesy (Acts 2:18; Acts 2:18); or, in general, men and women, whom God calls his servants and his handmaids. In the beginning of the age of prophecy in the Old Testament there were schools of the prophets, and, before that, the Spirit of prophecy came upon the elders of Israel that were appointed to the government; but now the Spirit shall be poured out upon persons of inferior rank, and such as were not brought up in the schools of the prophets, for the kingdom of the Messiah is to be purely spiritual. The mention of the daughters (Acts 2:17; Acts 2:17) and the handmaidens (Acts 2:18; Acts 2:18) would make one think that the women who were taken notice of (Acts 1:14; Acts 1:14) received the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost, as well as the men. Philip, the evangelist, had four daughters who did prophesy (Acts 21:9; Acts 21:9), and St. Paul, finding abundance of the gifts both of tongues and prophecy in the church of Corinth, saw it needful to prohibit women's use of those gifts in public, 1 Corinthians 14:26; 1 Corinthians 14:34.
[3.] That one great thing which they should prophesy of should be the judgment that was coming upon the Jewish nation, for this was the chief thing that Christ himself had foretold (Matthew 24:1-51) at his entrance into Jerusalem (Luke 19:41); and when he was going to die (Luke 23:29); and these judgments were to be brought upon them to punish for their contempt of the gospel, and their opposition to it, though it came to them thus proved. Those that would not submit to the power of God's grace, in this wonderful effusion of his Spirit, should fall and lie under the pourings out of the vials of his wrath. Those shall break that will not bend. First, The destruction of Jerusalem, which was about forty years after Christ's death, is here called that great and notable day of the Lord, because it put a final period to the Mosaic economy; the Levitical priesthood and the ceremonial law were thereby for ever abolished and done away. The desolation itself was such as was never brought upon any place or nation, either before or since. It was the day of the Lord, for it was the day of his vengeance upon that people for crucifying Christ, and persecuting his ministers; it was the year of recompences for that controversy; yea, and for all the blood of the saints and martyrs, from the blood of righteous Abel,Matthew 23:35. It was a little day of judgment; it was a notable day: in Joel it is called a terrible day, for so it was to men on earth; but here epiphane (after the Septuagint), a glorious, illustrious day, for so it was to Christ in heaven; it was the epiphany, his appearing, so he himself spoke of it, Matthew 24:30. The destruction of the Jews was the deliverance of the Christians, who were hated and persecuted by them; and therefore that day was often spoken of by the prophets of that time, for the encouragement of suffering Christians, that the Lord was at hand, the coming of the Lord drew nigh, the Judge stood before the door,James 5:8; James 5:9. Secondly, The terrible presages of that destruction are here foretold: There shall be wonders in heaven above, the sun turned into darkness and the moon into blood; and signs too in the earth beneath, blood and fire. Josephus, in his preface to his history of the wars of the Jews, speaks of the signs and prodigies that preceded them, terrible thunders, lightnings, and earthquakes; there was a fiery comet that hung over the city for a year, and a flaming sword was seen pointing down upon it; a light shone upon the temple and the altar at midnight, as if it had been noon-day. Dr. Lightfoot gives another sense of these presages: The blood of the Son of God, the fire of the Holy Ghost now appearing, the vapour of the smoke in which Christ ascended, the sun darkened, and the moon made blood, at the time of Christ's passion, were all loud warnings given to that unbelieving people to prepare for the judgments coming upon them. Or, it may be applied, and very fitly, to the previous judgments themselves by which that desolation was brought on. The blood points at the wars of the Jews with the neighbouring nations, with the Samaritans, Syrians, and Greeks, in which abundance of blood was shed, as there was also in their civil wars, and the struggles of the seditious (as they called them), which were very bloody; there was no peace to him that went out nor to him that came in. The fire and vapour of smoke, here foretold, literally came to pass in the burning of their cities, and towns, and synagogues, and temple at last. And this turning of the sun into darkness, and the moon into blood, bespeaks the dissolution of their government, civil and sacred, and the extinguishing of all their lights. Thirdly, The signal preservation of the Lord's people is here promised (Acts 2:21; Acts 2:21): Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord Jesus (which is the description of a true Christian, 1 Corinthians 1:2) shall be saved, shall escape that judgment which shall be a type and earnest of everlasting salvation. In the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, there was a remnant sealed to be hid in the day of the Lord's anger; and in the destruction by the Romans not one Christian perished. Those that distinguish themselves by singular piety shall be distinguished by special preservation. And observe, the saved remnant are described by this, that they are a praying people: they call on the name of the Lord, which intimates that they are not saved by any merit or righteousness of their own, but purely by the favour of God, which must be sued out by prayer. It is the name of the Lord which they call upon that is their strong tower.
(2.) The application of this prophecy to the present event (Acts 2:16; Acts 2:16): This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; it is the accomplishment of that, it is the full accomplishment of it. This is that effusion of the Spirit upon all flesh which should come, and we are to look for no other, no more than we are to look for another Messiah; for as our Messiah ever lives in heaven, reigning and interceding for his church on earth, so this Spirit of grace, the Advocate, or Comforter, that was given now, according to the promise, will, according to the same promise, continue with the church on earth to the end, and will work all its works in it and for it, and every member of it, ordinary and extraordinary, by means of the scriptures and the ministry.
2. That it was the gift of Christ, and the product and proof of his resurrection and ascension. From this gift of the Holy Ghost, he takes occasion to preach unto them Jesus; and this part of his sermon he introduces with another solemn preface (Acts 2:22; Acts 2:22): "You men of Israel, hear these words. It is a mercy that you are within hearing of them, and it is your duty to give heed to them." Words concerning Christ should be acceptable words to the men of Israel. Here is,
(1.) An abstract of the history of the life of Christ, Acts 2:22; Acts 2:22. He calls him Jesus of Nazareth, because by that name he was generally known, but (which was sufficient to roll away that reproach) he was a man approved of God among you, censured and condemned by men, but approved of God: God testified his approbation of his doctrine by the power he gave him to work miracles: a man marked out by God, so Dr. Hammond reads it; "signalized and made remarkable among you that now hear me. He was sent to you, set up, a glorious light in your land; you yourselves are witnesses how he became famous by miracles, wonders, and signs, works above the power of nature, out of its ordinary course, and contrary to it, which God did by him; that is, which he did by that divine power with which he was clothed, and in which God plainly went along with him; for no man could do such works unless God were with him." See what a stress Peter lays upon Christ's miracles. [1.] The matter of fact was not to be denied: "They were done in the midst of you, in the midst of your country, your city, your solemn assemblies, as you yourselves also know. You have been eyewitnesses of his miracles; I appeal to yourselves whether you have any thing to object against them or can offer any thing to disprove them." [2.] The inference from them cannot be disputed; the reasoning is as strong as the evidence; if he did those miracles, certainly God approved him, declared him to be, what he declared himself to be, the Son of God and the Saviour of the world; for the God of truth would never set his seal to a lie.
(2.) An account of his death and sufferings which they were witness of also but a few weeks ago; and this was the greatest miracle of all, that a man approved of God should thus seem to be abandoned of him; and a man thus approved among the people, and in the midst of them, should be thus abandoned by them too. But both these mysteries are here explained (Acts 2:23; Acts 2:23), and his death considered, [1.] As God's act; and in him it was an act of wonderful grace and wisdom. He delivered him to death; not only permitted him to be put to death, but gave him up, devoted him: this is explained Romans 8:32, He delivered him up for us all. And yet he was approved of God, and there was nothing in this that signified the disapproving of him; for it was done by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, in infinite wisdom, and for holy ends, which Christ himself concurred in, and in the means leading to them. Thus divine justice must be satisfied, sinners saved, God and man brought together again, and Christ himself glorified. It was not only according to the will of God, but according to the counsel of his will, that he suffered and died; according to an eternal counsel, which could not be altered. This reconciled him to the cross: Father, thy will be done; and Father, glorify thy name; let thy purpose take effect, and let the great end of it be attained. [2.] As the people's act; and in them it was an act of prodigious sin and folly; it was fighting against God to persecute one whom he approved as the darling of heaven; and fighting against their own mercies to persecute one that was the greatest blessing of this earth. Neither God's designing it from eternity, nor his bringing good out of it to eternity, would in the least excuse their sin; for it was their voluntary act and deed, from a principle morally evil, and therefore "they were wicked hands with which you have crucified and slain him." It is probable that some of those were here present who had cried, Crucify him, crucify him, or had been otherwise aiding and abetting in the murder; and Peter knew it. However, it was justly looked upon as a national act, because done both by the vote of the great council and by the voice of the great crowd. It is a rule, Refertur ad universos quod publice fit per majorem paretm--That which is done publicly by the greater part we attribute to all. He charges it particularly on them as parts of the nation on which it would be visited, the more effectually to bring them to faith and repentance, because that was the only way to distinguish themselves from the guilty and discharge themselves from the guilt.
(3.) An attestation of his resurrection, which effectually wiped away the reproach of his death (Acts 2:24; Acts 2:24): Whom God raised up; the same that delivered him to death delivers him from death, and thereby gave a higher approbation of him than he had done by any other of the signs and wonders wrought by him, or by all put together. This therefore he insists most largely upon.
[1.] He describes his resurrection: God loosed the pains of death, because it was impossible that he should be holden of it; odinas--the sorrows of death; the word is used for travailing pains, and some think it signifies the trouble and agony of his soul, in which it was exceedingly sorrowful, even to the death; from these pains and sorrows of soul, this travail of soul, the Father loosed him when at his death he said, It is finished. Thus Dr. Godwin understands it: "Those terrors which made Heman's soul lie like the slain (Psalms 88:5; Psalms 88:15) had hold of Christ; but he was too strong for them, and broke through them; this was the resurrection of his soul (and it is a great thing to bring a soul out of the depths of spiritual agonies); this was not leaving his soul in hell; as that which follows, that he should not see corruption, speaks of the resurrection of his body; and both together make up the great resurrection." Dr. Lightfoot gives another sense of this: "Having dissolved the pains of death, in reference to all that believe in him, God raised up Christ, and by his resurrection broke all the power of death, and destroyed its pangs upon his own people. He has abolished death, has altered the property of it, and, because it was not possible that he should be long holden of it, it is not possible that they should be for ever holden." But most refer this to the resurrection of Christ's body. And death (says Mr. Baxter) is by privation a penal state, though not dolorous by positive evil. But Dr. Hammond shows that the Septuagint, and from them the apostle here, uses the word for cords and bands (as Psalms 18:4), to which the metaphor of loosing and being held best agrees. Christ was imprisoned for our debt, was thrown into the bands of death; but, divine justice being satisfied, it was not possible he should be detained there, either by right or by force; for he had life in himself, and in his own power, and had conquered the prince of death.
[2.] He attests the truth of his resurrection (Acts 2:32; Acts 2:32): God hath raised him up, whereof we all are witnesses--we apostles, and others our companions, that were intimately acquainted with him before his death, were intimately conversant with him after his resurrection, did eat and drink with him. They received power, by the descent of the Holy Ghost upon them, on purpose that they might be skilful, faithful, and courageous witnesses of this thing, notwithstanding their being charged by his enemies as having stolen him away.
[3.] He showed it to be the fulfilling of the scripture, and, because the scripture had said that he must rise again before he saw corruption, therefore it was impossible that he should be holden by death and the grave; for David speaks of his being raised, so it comes in, Acts 2:25; Acts 2:25. The scripture he refers to is that of David (Psalms 16:8-11), which, though in part applicable to David as a saint, yet refers chiefly to Jesus Christ, of whom David was a type. Here is,
First, The text quoted at large (Acts 2:25-28; Acts 2:25-28), for it was all fulfilled in him, and shows us, 1. The constant regard that our Lord Jesus had to his Father in his whole undertaking: I foresaw the Lord before me continually. He set before him his Father's glory as his end in all--for he saw that his sufferings would redound abundantly to the honour of God, and would issue in his own joy; these were set before him, and these he had an eye to, in all he did and suffered; and with the prospect of these he was borne up and carried on, John 13:31; John 13:32; John 17:4; John 17:5. 2. The assurance he had of his Father's presence and power going along with him: "He is on my right hand, the hand of action, strengthening, guiding, and upholding that, that I should not be moved, nor driven off from my undertaking, notwithstanding the hardships I must undergo." This was an article of the covenant of redemption (Psalms 89:21), With him my hand shall be established, my arm also shall strengthen him; and therefore he is confident the work shall not miscarry in his hand. If God be at our right hand we shall not be moved. 3. The cheerfulness with which our Lord Jesus went on in his work, notwithstanding the sorrows he was to pass through: "Being satisfied that I shall not be moved, but the good pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in my hand, therefore doth my heart rejoice, and my tongue is glad, and the thought of my sorrow is as nothing to me." Note, It was a constant pleasure to our Lord Jesus to look to the end of his work, and to be sure that the issue would be glorious; so well pleased is he with his undertaking that it does his heart good to think how the issue would answer the design. He rejoiced in spirit,Luke 10:21. My tongue was glad. In the psalm it is, My glory rejoiceth; which intimates that our tongue is our glory, the faculty of speaking is an honour to us, and never more so than when it is employed in praising God. Christ's tongue was glad, for when he was just entering upon his sufferings, in the close of his last supper, he sang a hymn. 4. The pleasing prospect he had of the happy issue of his death and sufferings; it was this that carried him, not only with courage, but with cheerfulness, through them; he was putting off the body, but my flesh shall rest; the grave shall be to the body, while it lies there, a bed of repose, and hope shall give it a sweet repose; it shall rest in hope, hoti, that thou wilt no leave my soul in hell; what follows is the matter of his hope, or assurance rather, (1.) That the soul shall not continue in a state of separation from the body; for, besides that this is some uneasiness to a human soul made for its body, it would be the continuance of death's triumph over him who was in truth a conqueror over death: "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell" (in hades, in the invisible state, so hades properly signifies); "but, though thou suffer it for a time to remove thither, and to remain there, yet thou wilt remand it; thou wilt not leave it there, as thou dost the souls of other men." (2.) That the body shall lie but a little while in the grave: Thou wilt not suffer thy Holy One to see corruption; the body shall not continue dead so long as to begin to putrefy or become noisome; and therefore it must return to life on or before the third day after its death. Christ was God's Holy One, sanctified and set apart to his service in the work of redemption; he must die, for he must be consecrated by his own blood; but he must not see corruption, for his death was to be unto God of a sweet smelling savour. This was typified by the law concerning the sacrifice, that no part of the flesh of the sacrifice which was to be eaten should be kept till the third day, for fear it should see corruption and begin to putrefy, Leviticus 7:15-18. (3.) That his death and sufferings should be, not to him only, but to all his, an inlet to a blessed immortality: "Thou has made known to me the ways of life, and by me made them known to the world, and laid them open." When the Father gave to the Son to have life in himself, a power to lay down his life and to take it again, then he showed him the way of life, both to and fro; the gates of death were open to him and the doors of the shadow of death (Job 38:17), to pass and repass through them, as his occasion led him, for man's redemption. (4.) That all his sorrows and sufferings should end in perfect and perpetual felicity: Thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. The reward set before him was joy, a fulness of joy, and that in God's countenance, in the countenance he gave to his undertaking, and to all those, for his sake, that should believe in him. The smiles with which the Father received him, when, at his ascension, he was brought to the Ancient of days, filled him with joy unspeakable, and that is the joy of our Lord, into which all his shall enter, and in which they shall be for ever happy.
Secondly, The comment upon this text, especially so much of it as relates to the resurrection of Christ. He addresses himself to them with a title of respect, Men and brethren,Acts 2:29; Acts 2:29. "You are men, and therefore should be ruled by reason; you are brethren, and therefore should take kindly what is said to you by one who, being nearly related to you, is heartily concerned for you, and wishes you well. Now, give me leave freely to speak to you concerning the patriarch David, and let it be no offence to you if I tell you that David cannot be understood here as speaking of himself, but of the Christ to come." David is here called a patriarch, because he was the father of the royal family, and a man of great note and eminency in his generation, and whose name and memory were justly very precious. Now when we read that psalm of his, we must consider, 1. That he could not say that of himself, for he died, and was buried, and his sepulchre remained in Jerusalem till now, when Peter spoke this, and his bones and ashes in it. Nobody ever pretended that he had risen, and therefore he could never say of himself that he should not see corruption; for it was plain he did see corruption. St. Paul urges this, Acts 13:35-37; Acts 13:35-37. Though he was a man after God's own heart, yet he went the way of all the earth, as he saith himself (1 Kings 2:2), both in death and burial. 2. Therefore certainly he spoke it as a prophet, with an eye to the Messiah, whose sufferings the prophets testified beforehand, and with them the glory that should follow; so did David in that psalm, as Peter here plainly shows. (1.) David knew that the Messiah should descend from his loins (Acts 2:30; Acts 2:30), that God had sworn to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne. He promised him a Son, the throne of whose kingdom should be established for ever,2 Samuel 7:12. And it is said (Psalms 132:11), God swore it in truth unto David. When our Lord Jesus was born, it was promised that the Lord God would give him the throne of his father David,Luke 1:32. And all Israel knew that the Messiah was to be the Son of David, that is, that, according to the flesh, he should be so by his human nature; for otherwise, according to the spirit, and by his divine nature, he was to be David's Lord, not his son. God having sworn to David that the Messiah, promised to his fathers, should be his son and successor, the fruit of his loins, and heir to his throne, he kept this in view, in penning his psalms. (2.) Christ being the fruit of his loins, and consequently in his loins when he penned that psalm (as Levi is said to be in Abraham's loins when he paid tithes to Melchizedek), if what he says, as in his own person, be not applicable to himself (as it is plain that it is not), we must conclude it points to that son of his that was then in his loins, in whom his family and kingdom were to have their perfection and perpetuity; and therefore, when he says that his soul should not be left in its separate state, nor his flesh see corruption, without doubt he must be understood to speak of the resurrection of Christ, Acts 2:31; Acts 2:31. And as Christ died, so he rose again, according to the scriptures; and that he did so we are witnesses. (3.) Here is a glance at his ascension too. As David did not rise from the dead, so neither did he ascend into the heavens, bodily, as Christ did, Acts 2:34; Acts 2:34. And further, to prove that when he spoke of the resurrection he meant it of Christ, he observes that when in another psalm he speaks of the next step of his exaltation he plainly shows that he spoke of another person, and such another as was his Lord (Psalms 110:1): "The Lord said unto my Lord, when he had raised him from the dead, Sit thou at my right hand, in the highest dignity and dominion there; be thou entrusted with the administration of the kingdom both of providence and grace; sit there as king, until I make thy foes either thy friends or thy footstool," Acts 2:35; Acts 2:35. Christ rose from the grave to rise higher, and therefore it must be of his resurrection that David spoke, and not his own, in the Psalms 16:1-11; for there was no occasion for him to rise out of his grave who was not to ascend to heaven.
(4.) The application of this discourse concerning the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ.
[1.] This explains the meaning of the present wonderful effusion of the Spirit in those extraordinary gifts. Some of the people had asked (Acts 2:12; Acts 2:12), What meaneth this? I will tell you the meaning of it, says Peter. This Jesus being exalted to the right hand of God, so some read it, to sit there; exalted by the right hand of God, so we read it, by his power and authority--it comes all to one; and having received of the Father, to whom he has ascended, the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath given what he received (Psalms 68:18), and hath shed forth this which you now see and hear; for the Holy Ghost was to be given when Jesus was glorified, and not before, John 7:39. You see and hear us speak with tongues that we never learned; probably there was an observable change in the air of their countenances, which they saw, as well as heard the change of their voice and language; now this is from the Holy Ghost, whose coming is an evidence that Jesus is exalted, and he has received this gift from the Father, to confer it upon the church, which plainly bespeaks him to be the Mediator, or middle person between God and the church. The gift of the Holy Ghost was, First, A performance of divine promises already made; here it is called the promise of the Holy Ghost; many exceedingly great and precious promises the divine power has given us, but this is the promise, by way of eminency, as that of the Messiah had been, and this is the promise that includes all the rest; hence God's giving the Holy Spirit to those that ask him (Luke 11:13) is his giving them all good things,Matthew 7:11. Christ received the promise of the Holy Ghost, that is, the promised gift of the Holy Ghost, and has given it to us; for all the promises are yea and amen in him. Secondly, It was a pledge of all divine favours further intended; what you now see and hear is but an earnest of greater things.
[2.] This proves what you are all bound to believe, that Christ Jesus is the true Messiah and Saviour of the world; this he closes his sermon with, as the conclusion of the whole matter, the quod erat demonstrandum--the truth to be demonstrated (Acts 2:36; Acts 2:36): Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that this truth has now received its full confirmation, and we our full commission to publish it, That God has made that same Jesus whom you have crucified both Lord and Christ. They were charged to tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ till after his resurrection (Matthew 16:20; Matthew 17:9); but now it must be proclaimed on the housetops, to all the house of Israel; he that hath ears to hear, let him hear it. It is not proposed as probable, but deposed as certain: Let them know it assuredly, and know that it is their duty to receive it as a faithful saying, First, That God has glorified him whom they have crucified. This aggravates their wickedness, that they crucified one whom God designed to glorify, and put him to death as a deceiver who had given such pregnant proofs of his divine mission; and it magnifies the wisdom and power of God that though they crucified him, and thought thereby to have put him under an indelible mark of infamy, yet God had glorified him, and the indignities they had done him served as a foil to his lustre. Secondly, That he has glorified him to such a degree as to make him both Lord and Christ: these signify the same; he is Lord of all, and he is not a usurper, but is Christ, anointed to be so. He is one Lord to the Gentiles, who had had lords many; and to the Jews he is Messiah, which includes all his offices. He is the king Messiah, as the Chaldee paraphrast calls him; or, as the angel to Daniel, Messiah the prince,Daniel 9:25. This is the great truth of the gospel which we are to believe, that that same Jesus, the very same that was crucified at Jerusalem, is he to whom we owe allegiance, and from whom we are to expect protection, as Lord and Christ.
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Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Acts 2:35". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/acts-2.html. 1706.
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary2:22-36 From this gift of the Holy Ghost, Peter preaches unto them Jesus: and here is the history of Christ. Here is an account of his death and sufferings, which they witnessed but a few weeks before. His death is considered as God's act; and of wonderful grace and wisdom. Thus Divine justice must be satisfied, God and man brought together again, and Christ himself glorified, according to an eternal counsel, which could not be altered. And as the people's act; in them it was an act of awful sin and folly. Christ's resurrection did away the reproach of his death; Peter speaks largely upon this. Christ was God's Holy One, sanctified and set apart to his service in the work of redemption. His death and sufferings should be, not to him only, but to all his, the entrance to a blessed life for evermore. This event had taken place as foretold, and the apostles were witnesses. Nor did the resurrection rest upon this alone; Christ had poured upon his disciples the miraculous gifts and Divine influences, of which they witnessed the effects. Through the Saviour, the ways of life are made known; and we are encouraged to expect God's presence, and his favour for evermore. All this springs from assured belief that Jesus is the Lord, and the anointed Saviour.
Barnes' Notes on the BibleFor David is not ascended into the heavens - That is, David has not risen from the dead and ascended to heaven. This further shows that Psalm 16:1-11could not refer to David, but must refer to the Messiah. Great as they esteemed David, and much as they were accustomed to apply these expressions of the Scripture to him, yet they could not be applicable to him. They must refer to some other being; and especially that passage which Peter now proceeds to quote. It was of great importance to show that these expressions could not apply to David, and also that David bore testimony to the exalted character and dignity of the Messiah. Hence, Peter here adduces David himself as affirming that the Messiah was to be exalted to a dignity far above his own. This does not affirm that David was not saved, or that his spirit had not ascended to heaven, but that he had not been exalted in the heavens in the sense in which Peter was speaking of the Messiah.
But he saith himself - Psalm 110:1.
The Lord - The small capitals used in translating the word "Lord" in the Bible denote that the original word is יהוה Yahweh. The Hebrews regarded this as the unique name of God, a name incommunicable to any other being. It is not applied to any being but God in the Scriptures. The Jews had such a reverence for it that they never pronounced it; but when it occurred in the Scriptures they pronounced another name, אדני ̀Adonaay. Here it means, "Yahweh said," etc.
My Lord - This is a different word in the Hebrew - it is אדני ̀Adonaay. It properly is applied by a servant to his master, or a subject to his sovereign, or is used as a title of respect by an inferior to a superior. It means here, "Yahweh said to him whom I, David, acknowledge to be my superior and sovereign." Thus, though he regarded him as his descendant according to the flesh, yet he regarded him also as his superior and Lord. By reference to this passage our Saviour confounded the Pharisees, Matthew 22:42-46. That the passage in this Psalm refers to the Messiah is clear. Our Saviour, in Matthew 22:42, expressly applied it thus, and in such a manner as to show that this was the well-understood doctrine of the Jews. See the notes on Matthew 22:42, etc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary29-36. David … is … dead and buried, &c.—Peter, full of the Holy Ghost, sees in this sixteenth Psalm, one Holy Man, whose life of high devotedness and lofty spirituality is crowned with the assurance, that though He taste of death, He shall rise again without seeing corruption, and be admitted to the bliss of God's immediate presence. Now as this was palpably untrue of David, it could be meant only of One other, even of Him whom David was taught to expect as the final Occupant of the throne of Israel. (Those, therefore, and they are many, who take David himself to be the subject of this Psalm, and the words quoted to refer to Christ only in a more eminent sense, nullify the whole argument of the apostle). The Psalm is then affirmed to have had its only proper fulfilment in Jesus, of whose resurrection and ascension they were witnesses, while the glorious effusion of the Spirit by the hand of the ascended One, setting an infallible seal upon all, was even then witnessed by the thousands who stood listening to Him. A further illustration of Messiah's ascension and session at God's right hand is drawn from Ps 110:1, in which David cannot be thought to speak of himself, seeing he is still in his grave.
Matthew Poole's CommentaryChrist is commissioned and empowered to reign over and govern all creatures, and all their actions, till the consummation of all things, so long as the world lasts, in which he, his people, and truths, will have enemies, Ephesians 1:20-221 Corinthians 15:27,28.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire BibleUntil I make thy foes thy footstool. See Gill on Matthew 22:44.
Geneva Study BibleUntil I make thy foes thy footstool.
Acts 2 – The Holy Spirit Is Poured Out on the Church
A. The initial experience of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
1. (1-4a) The disciples are filled with the Holy Spirit.
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
a. The Day of Pentecost: This was a Jewish feast held 50 days after Passover. It celebrated the firstfruits of the wheat harvest.
i. In the Jewish rituals of that time, the first sheaf reaped from the barley harvest was presented to God at Passover. But at Pentecost, the firstfruits of the wheat harvest were presented to God; therefore, Pentecost is called the day of the firstfruits (Numbers 28:26).
ii. Jewish tradition also taught that Pentecost marked the day when the Law was given to Israel. The Jews sometimes called Pentecost shimchath torah, or “Joy of the Law.”
iii. On the Old Testament Day of Pentecost Israel received the Law; on the New Testament Day of Pentecost the Church received the Spirit of Grace in fullness.
iv. “It was the best-attended of the great feasts because traveling conditions were at their best. There was never a more cosmopolitan gathering in Jerusalem than this one.” (Hughes)
v. Leviticus 23:15-22 gives the original instructions for the celebration of Pentecost. It says that two loaves of leavened bread were to be waved before the Lord by the priest as part of the celebration. “Were there not two loaves? Not only shall Israel be saved, but the multitude of the Gentiles shall be turned unto the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Spurgeon)
b. When the Day of Pentecost had fully come: It was now 10 days after the time Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 1:3), and since Jesus commanded them to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
i. The disciples were not strangers to the person and work of the Holy Spirit.
· The disciples saw the Holy Spirit continually at work in the ministry of Jesus.
· The disciples experienced something of the power of the Spirit as they stepped out and served God (Luke 10:1-20).
· The disciples heard Jesus promise a new, coming work of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-18).
· The disciples received the Holy Spirit in a new way after Jesus finished His work on the cross and instituted the New Covenant in His blood (John 20:19-23).
· The disciples heard Jesus command them to wait for a promised baptism of the Holy Spirit that would empower them to be witnesses (Acts 1:4-5).
ii. They waited until the Day of Pentecost had fully come, but they didn’t know ahead of time how long they would have to wait. It would be easy for them to think it would come the same afternoon Jesus ascended to heaven; or after 3 days, or 7 days. But they had to wait a full 10 days, until the Day of Pentecost had fully come.
iii. The only possible Scriptural precedent for this might be Jeremiah 42:7: Ten days later the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah. But who would have suspected that? God used this time to break them down and then to build them up. We can imagine how their patience and kindness and compassion was tested during this time, yet they all stayed together.
iv. What this passage tells us about the gift of the Holy Spirit.
· The gift of the Holy Spirit is promised to us.
· The gift of the Holy Spirit is worth waiting for.
· The gift of the Holy Spirit comes as He wills, often not according to our expectation.
· The gift of the Holy Spirit can come upon not only individuals, but also upon groups (see also Acts 2:4, 4:31, 10:44).
· The gift of the Holy Spirit is often given as God deals with the flesh and there is a dying to self.
v. What this passage does not tell us about the gift of the Holy Spirit.
· The gift of the Holy Spirit is given according to formula.
· We earn the gift of the Holy Spirit by our seeking.
c. They were all with one accord in one place: They were gathered together sharing the same heart, the same love for God, the same trust in His promise, and the same geography.
i. Before we can be filled, we must recognize our emptiness; by gathering together for prayer, in obedience, these disciples did just that. They recognized they did not have the resources in themselves to do what they could do or should do; they had to instead rely on the work of God.
d. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven: The association of the sound of a rushing mighty wind, filling the whole house, with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is unusual. But it probably has connection with the fact that in both the Hebrew and Greek languages, the word for spirit (as in Holy Spirit) is the same word for breath or wind (this also happens to be true in Latin). Here, the sound from heaven was the sound of the Holy Spirit being poured out on the disciples.
i. The sound of this fast, mighty wind would make any of these men and women who knew the Hebrew Scriptures think of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
· In Genesis 1:1-2, it is the Spirit of God as the breath/wind of God, blowing over the waters of the newly created earth.
· In Genesis 2:7, it is the Spirit of God as the breath/wind of God, blowing life into newly created man.
· In Ezekiel 37:9-10, it is the Spirit of God as the breath/wind of God, moving over the dry bones of Israel bringing them life and strength.
ii. This single line tells us much about how the Holy Spirit moves.
· Suddenly: Sometimes God moves suddenly.
· Sound: It was real, though it could not be touched; it came by the ears.
· From heaven: It wasn’t of earth; not created or manipulated or made here.
· Mighty: Full of force, coming with great power.
e. There appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and one sat upon each of them: These divided tongues, as of fire, appearing over each one, were also unusual. It probably should be connected with John the Baptist’s prophecy that Jesus would baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11).
i. The idea behind the picture of fire is usually purification, as a refiner uses fire to make pure gold; or fire can burn away what is temporary, leaving only what will last. This is an excellent illustration of the principle that the filling of the Holy Spirit is not just for abstract power, but for purity.
ii. In certain places in the Old Testament, God showed His special pleasure with a sacrifice by lighting the fire for it Himself – that is, fire from heaven came down and consumed the sacrifice. The experience of the followers of Jesus on Pentecost is another example of God sending fire from heaven to show His pleasure and power, but this time, it descended upon living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).
iii. The Holy Spirit sat upon each of them. “The word ‘sat’ has a marked force in the New Testament. It carries the idea of a completed preparation, and a certain permanence of position and condition.” (Pierson)
iv. Under the Old Covenant, the Holy Spirit rested on God’s people more as a nation, that is, Israel. But under the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit rests upon God’s people as individuals – the tongues of fire sat upon each of them. This strange phenomenon had never happened before and would never happen again in the pages of the Bible, but was given to emphasize this point: that the Spirit of God was present with and in and upon each individual.
f. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit: Essentially, the rushing mighty wind and the tongues, as of fire, were only unusual, temporary phenomenon, which accompanied the true gift – being filled with the Holy Spirit.
i. While it would be wrong to expect a rushing mighty wind or tongues, as of fire, to be present today when the Holy Spirit is poured out, we can experience the true gift. We, just as they, can be all filled with the Holy Spirit.
ii. But we should do what the disciples did before and during their filling with the Holy Spirit.
· The disciples were filled in fulfillment of a promise.
· They were filled as they received in faith.
· They were filled in God’s timing.
· They were filled as they were together in unity.
· They were filled in unusual ways.
iii. This coming and filling of the Holy Spirit was so good, so essential for the work of the community of early Christians, that Jesus actually said that it was better for Him to leave the earth bodily so He could send the Holy Spirit (John 16:7).
2. (4b-13) The phenomenon of speaking in tongues.
And began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs; we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”
a. And began to speak with other tongues: In response to the filling of the Holy Spirit, those present (not only the twelve apostles) began to speak with other tongues. These were languages that they were never taught, and they spoke these languages, speaking as the Spirit gave them utterance.
b. Devout men, from every nation under heaven: The multitude from many nations gathered in Jerusalem because of the Feast of Pentecost. Many of these were the same people who gathered in Jerusalem at the last feast, Passover, when an angry mob demanded the execution of Jesus.
c. And when this sound occurred: A crowd quickly gathered, being attracted by this sound, which was either the sound of the rushing mighty wind or the sound of speaking in other tongues. When the crowd came, they heard the Christians speaking in their own foreign languages. Apparently, the Christians could be heard from the windows of the upper room, or they went out onto some kind of balcony or into the temple courts.
i. Not many homes of that day could hold 120 people. It is far more likely that this upper room was part of the temple courts, which was a huge structure, with porches and colonnades and rooms. The crowd came from people milling about the temple courts.
d. We hear them speaking in our tongues the wonderful works of God: This is what the crowd heard the Christians speak. From this remarkable event, all were amazed and perplexed, but some used it as a means of honest inquiry and asked, “Whatever could this mean?” Others used it as an excuse to dismiss the work of God and said, “They are full of new wine.”
i. Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? People from Galilee (Galileans) were known to be uncultured and poor speakers. This was all the more reason to be impressed with their ability to speak eloquently in other languages. “Galileans had difficulty pronouncing gutturals and had the habit of swallowing syllables when speaking; so they were looked down upon by the people of Jerusalem as being provincial.” (Longenecker)
ii. They all spoke in different tongues, yet there was a unity among the believers. “Ever since the early church fathers, commentators have seen the blessing of Pentecost as a deliberate and dramatic reversal of the curse of Babel.” (Stott)
e. Whatever could this mean? What are we to make of the phenomenon of speaking in tongues? Speaking in tongues has been the focal point for significant controversy in the church. People still ask the same question these bystanders asked on the day of Pentecost.
i. There is no controversy that God, at least at one time, gave the church the gift of tongues. But much of the controversy centers on the question, “what is God’s purpose for the gift of tongues?”
ii. Some think that the gift of tongues was given primarily as a sign to unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:21-22) and as a means to miraculously communicate the gospel in diverse languages. They believe there is no longer the need for this sign, so they regard tongues as a gift no longer present in the church today.
iii. Others argue that the gift of tongues, while a sign to unbelievers as stated by 1 Corinthians 14:21-22, are primarily a gift of communication between the believer and God (1 Corinthians 14:2, 13-15), and is a gift still given by God today.
iv. Many mistakenly interpret this incident in Acts 2, assuming that the disciples used tongues to preach to the gathered crowd. But a careful look shows this idea is wrong. Notice what the people heard the disciples say: Speaking… the wonderful works of God. The disciples declared the praises of God, thanking Him with all their might in unknown tongues. The gathered crowd merely overheard what the disciples exuberantly declared to God.
v. The idea that these disciples communicated to the diverse crowd in tongues is plainly wrong. The crowd had a common language (Greek), and Peter preached a sermon to them in that language! (Acts 2:14-40)
f. We hear them speaking in our tongues the wonderful works of God: The gift of tongues is a personal language of prayer given by God, whereby the believer communicates with God beyond the limits of knowledge and understanding (1 Corinthians 14:14-15).
i. The Gift of Tongues has an important place in the devotional life of the believer, but a small place in the corporate life of the church (1 Corinthians 14:18-19), especially in public meetings (1 Corinthians 14:23).
ii. When tongues is practiced in the corporate life of the church, it must be carefully controlled, and never without an interpretation given by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:27-28).
iii. The ability to pray in an unknown tongue is not a gift given to every believer (1 Corinthians 12:30).
iv. The ability to pray in an unknown tongue is not the primary or singularly true evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit. This emphasis leads many to seek the gift of tongues (and to counterfeit it) merely to prove to themselves and others that they really are filled with the Holy Spirit.
g. Began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance: Was this speaking in tongues in Acts 2 the same gift of tongues described in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14?
i. Some say we are dealing with two separate gifts. They argue that the 1 Corinthians gift must be regulated and restricted, while the Acts 2 gift can be used any time without regulation. Those who believe they are two separate gifts emphasize that the speech of Acts 2 was immediately recognized by foreign visitors to Jerusalem, while the speech of 1 Corinthians was unintelligible to those present except with a divinely granted gift of interpretation.
ii. However, this doesn’t take into account that the differences have more to do with the circumstances in which the gifts were exercised than with the gifts themselves.
iii. In Jerusalem, the group spoken to was uniquely multi-national and multi-lingual; at feast time (Pentecost), Jews of the dispersion from all over the world were in the city. Therefore, the likelihood that foreign ears would hear a tongue spoken in their language was much greater. On the other hand, in Corinth (though a rather cosmopolitan city itself), the gift was exercised in a local church, with members all sharing a common language (Greek). If one had the same diversity of foreigners visiting the Corinthian church when all were speaking in tongues, it is likely that many would hear members of the Corinthian church speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.
iv. As well, it should never be assumed that each person among the 120 who spoke in tongues on the Day of Pentecost spoke in a language immediately intelligible to human ears present that day. We read they all…began to speak with other tongues; therefore there were some 120 individuals speaking in tongues. Since the nations spoken of in Acts 2:9-11 number only fifteen (with perhaps others present but not mentioned), it is likely that many (if not most) of the 120 spoke praises to God in a language that was not understood by someone immediately present. The text simply does not indicate that someone present could understand each person speaking in tongues.
v. However, we should not assume those who were not immediately understood by human ears spoke “gibberish,” as the modern gift of tongues is sometimes called with derision. They may have praised God in a language completely unknown, yet completely human. After all, what would the language of the Aztecs sound like to Roman ears? Or some may have spoke in a completely unique language given by God and understood by Him and Him alone. After all, communication with God, not man, is the purpose of the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 14:2). The repetition of simple phrases, unintelligible and perhaps nonsensical to human bystanders, does not mean someone speaks “gibberish.” Praise to God may be simple and repetitive, and part of the whole dynamic of tongues is that it bypasses the understanding of the speaker (1 Corinthians 14:14), being understood by God and God alone.
vi. All in all, we should regard the gift of Acts 2 and the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians as the same, simply because the same term is used for both in the original language (heterais glossais). Also, the verb translated gave them utterance in Acts 2:4 is frequently used in Greek literature in connection with spiritually prompted (ecstatic) speech, not mere translation into other languages.
B. Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost.
1. (14-15) Peter begins his sermon.
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.”
a. Peter, standing up with the eleven: Peter stood and preached to the crowd as a representative of the whole group of apostles.
i. We should notice that the speaking in tongues stopped when Peter began to preach. The Holy Spirit now worked through Peter’s preaching and would not work against Himself through tongues at the same time.
b. Raised his voice: There was a remarkable change in Peter. He had courage and boldness that was a complete contrast to his denials of Jesus before being filled with the Holy Spirit.
i. On the Day of Pentecost Peter didn’t teach as the rabbis in his day usually did, who gathered disciples around them, sat down, and instructed them and any others who might listen. Instead, Peter proclaimed the truth like a herald.
ii. This remarkable sermon had no preparation behind it – it was spontaneously given. Peter didn’t wake up that morning knowing he would preach to thousands, and that thousands would embrace Jesus in response. Yet we could say that this was a well-prepared sermon; it was prepared by Peter’s prior life with God and relationship with Jesus. It flowed spontaneously out of that life, and out of a mind that thought and believed deeply.
iii. It is good to remember that what we have in Acts 2 is a small portion of what Peter actually said. Acts 2:40 tells us, And with many other words he testified and exhorted them. Like almost all the sermons recorded in the Bible, what we have is a Holy Spirit inspired abridgment of a longer message.
c. For these are not drunk: Peter deflected the mocking criticism that the disciples were drunk. In that day it was unthinkable that people would be so drunk so early in the day (about 9:00 in the morning).
i. Commentator Adam Clarke says that most Jews – pious or not – did not eat or drink until after the third hour of the day, because that was the time for prayer, and they would only eat after their business with God was accomplished.
d. These are not drunk: We shouldn’t think that the Christians were acting as if they were drunk. The idea of “being drunk in the Spirit” has no foundation in Scripture; the comment from the mockers on the Day of Pentecost had no basis in reality.
i. “Nor, must we add, did the believers’ experience of the Spirit’s fullness seem to them or look to others like intoxication, because they had lost control of their normal mental and physical functions. No, the fruit of the Spirit is ‘self-control,’ not the loss of it.” (Stott)
2. (16-21) Quoting Joel 2, Peter explains the strange events at Pentecost.
“But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the LORD
Shall be saved.’
a. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: In the midst of this great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, among signs and wonders and speaking in tongues, what did Peter do? Essentially, he said, “Let’s have a Bible study. Let’s look at what the prophet Joel wrote.”
i. This introduces the first of three Old Testament passages Peter will quote: Joel 2:28-32, Psalm 16:8-11, and Psalm 110:1.
ii. This focus on God’s Word did not quench the moving of the Holy Spirit; it fulfilled what the Holy Spirit wanted to do. All the signs and wonders and speaking in tongues were preparing for this work of God’s Word.
iii. Unfortunately, some people set the Word against the Spirit. They almost think it’s more spiritual if there is no Bible study. Sadly, this is often due to the weak and unspiritual teaching of some who teach the Bible.
b. The prophet Joel: This quotation from Joel 2:28-32 focuses on God’s promise to pour out His Spirit on all flesh. What happened on the day of Pentecost was a near fulfillment of that promise, with the final fulfillment coming in the last days (which Peter had good reason to believe he was in).
i. Joel mostly prophesied about judgment that was coming to ancient Israel. Yet in the midst of the many warnings of judgment, God also gave several words of promise – promises of future blessing, like this one that announces an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
c. It shall come to pass in the last days: The idea of the last days is that they are the times of the Messiah, encompassing both His humble coming and His return in glory. Because Jesus had already come in humility, they were aware that His return in glory could be any time.
i. Though there would be some 2,000 years until Jesus returned, until this point, history had been running towards the point of the ultimate establishment of God’s kingdom on earth. But from this time on, history runs parallel to that point, ready at any time for the consummation.
ii. It may also be helpful to see the last days as something like a season – a general period of time – more than a specific period, such as a week. In the whole span of God’s plan for human history, we are in the season of the last days.
iii. “Peter did not say of that pentecostal enduement, ‘Now is fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet Joel,’ but, more guardedly, ‘This is that which was spoken;’ that is to say, Joel’s words furnish the explanation of this first Pentecost, though this does not finish their fulfillment.” (Pierson)
d. I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh: In using the quotation from Joel, Peter explained what these curious onlookers saw – the Holy Spirit poured forth upon the people. Before the Holy Spirit was given in drops, now He is poured forth – and on all flesh.
i. This was a glorious emphasis on Pentecost. Under the Old Covenant, certain people were filled with the Spirit at certain times for specific purposes. Now, under the New Covenant, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is for all who call upon the name of the LORD, even menservants and maidservants.
ii. “There had been no provision for, and no promise of, an abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of any Old Testament saint.” (Hughes). This changes under the New Covenant.
e. Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved: Peter also used this passage from Joel to an evangelistic purpose. This outpouring of the Holy Spirit meant that God now offered salvation in a way previously unknown – to whoever calls on the name of the LORD, whether they are Jew or Gentile.
i. It would be many years until the gospel was offered to Gentiles, yet Peter’s sermon text announced the gospel invitation by saying, whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.
ii. The idea is expressed in Proverbs 18:10: The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
3. (22-24) Peter introduces the focus of the sermon: The resurrected Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know; Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.”
a. Men of Israel, hear these words: Many people would think it would be enough for Peter to stop after the quotation from Joel, considering all we have in it. Joel told us of:
· An outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
· Miraculous dreams, visions, and prophecy.
· Signs and wonders regarding the Day of the Lord.
· An invitation to call on the name of the Lord.
i. But it wasn’t enough, because Peter had not yet spoken about the saving work of Jesus on our behalf. Everything until this point had been introduction, explaining the strange things they just saw. Now Peter would bring the essential message.
b. Men of Israel, hear these words: This was much as Peter had already said, let this be known to you, and heed my words (Acts 2:14). Peter wanted people to pay attention, and he spoke as if he had something important to say – something some teachers fail to do.
c. As you yourselves also know: Peter referred to what these people already knew about Jesus. They already knew of His life and miraculous works. Often in speaking to people about Jesus, we should start with what they already know about Him.
d. Being delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God: Peter knew that Jesus’ death was in the plan of God. At the same time, those who rejected Him and called for His execution were responsible for the actions of their lawless hands.
i. Peter did not flinch at saying, “You crucified this Man who God sent.” His first concern was not to please his audience, but to tell them the truth. The Spirit-filled Peter was a different man than the Peter who, a few months before this, denied even knowing Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75).
e. It was not possible: Peter knew that Jesus could not remain bound by death, as explained by the following quotation from Psalm 16. It was not possible that Jesus should remain a victim of the sin and hatred of man; He would certainly triumph over it.
i. Having loosed the pains of death: In the phrasepains of death, the word pains is actually the word for “birth pains.” In this sense, the tomb was a womb for Jesus.
ii. “It was not possible that the chosen one of God should remain in the grip of death; ‘the abyss can no more hold the Redeemer than a pregnant woman can hold the child in her body.’” (Bruce, quoting Bertram)
4. (25-33) Quoting Psalm 16, Peter explains the resurrected Jesus.
“For David says concerning Him:
‘I foresaw the LORD always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’
“Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
a. For David says concerning Him: Peter recognized that though this Psalm spoke of David, it spoke of someone greater than David – the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. Jesus may have taught Peter this when He instructed the disciples in the Scriptures (Luke 24:44-45).
b. Your Holy One: Jesus bore the full wrath of God on the cross, as if He were a guilty sinner, guilty of all our sin, even being made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Yet, that work was an act of holy, giving love for us, so that Jesus Himself did not become a sinner, even though He bore the full guilt of our sin.
i. This is the gospel message; that Jesus took our punishment for sin on the cross and remained a perfect Savior through the whole ordeal – proved by His resurrection. Apart from the resurrection, we would have no proof that Jesus successfully, perfectly, paid for our sins.
c. Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption: Because Jesus bore our sin without becoming a sinner, He remained the Holy One, even in His death. Since it is incomprehensible that God’s Holy One should be bound by death, the resurrection was absolutely inevitable.
i. Instead of being punished for His glorious work on the cross, Jesus was rewarded, as prophetically described in the Psalm: You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.
d. David… is both dead and buried: Peter points out that this Psalm cannot be speaking of its human author, David – he is dead and remains buried. The Psalm must speak prophetically of the Messiah, Jesus.
e. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses: Jesus of Nazareth, the man they all knew (as you yourselves also know, Acts 2:22), was the one who fulfilled this prophetic Psalm. How did Peter know this? He saw the resurrected Jesus! The basic evidence of the resurrection was simply the report of reliable eyewitnesses: Ofwhich we are all witnesses.
f. He poured out this which you now see and hear: Peter affirms that what the crowd saw was the work of the risen and ascended Jesus, who has sent His Holy Spirit upon His church.
5. (34-36) Quoting Psalm 110, Peter explains the Divine Messiah.
For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:
‘The LORD said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
a. The LORD said to my Lord: This begins the third Old Testament passage Peter used in his sermon, Psalm 110:1. This verse of the Old Testament is quoted in the New Testament more than any other single verse; either quoted or referred to at least 25 times. In this Psalm, David understood and proclaimed the deity of the Messiah.
i. In this Psalm, King David – by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – recorded that Yahweh, Israel’s covenant God (The LORD), spoke to David’s Lord (my Lord) as God. Peter used this to show that the Messiah, who is the focus of Psalm 110, is in fact Divine – He is God.
b. Therefore let all the house of Israel know: The sermon concludes with a summary. Simply, all Israel should know that even though they crucified Jesus, God has declared Him both Lord and Christ.
i. It is as if Peter said, “You were all wrong about Jesus. You crucified Him as if He were a criminal, but by the resurrection, God proved that He is Lord and Messiah.”
ii. When Peter exhorted them whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:21), there is little doubt who the Lord is that he spoke of: Jesus.
iii. “That the early Christians meant to give Jesus the title Lord in this highest sense of all is indicated by their not hesitating on occasion to apply to him passages of Old Testament scripture referring to Yahweh.” (Bruce)
C. The response to Peter’s preaching.
1. (37) They respond with a question: What shall we do?
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
a. Now when they heard this…“What shall we do?” This was obviously a significant work of the Holy Spirit. The great crowd listening to Peter was deeply moved by Peter’s bold proclamation of the truth. They asked Peter how they should respond.
i. It is wrong to think that Peter offered no kind of invitation or challenge for his listeners to respond. Acts 2:40 says, And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Peter clearly did exhort them to respond, and invited his listeners to “Be saved.” Nevertheless, the multitude responded with remarkable initiative.
ii. The response of the crowd also helps us to put the events of that Day of Pentecost into perspective. The exercise of the gift of tongues produced nothing in the listeners except for astonishment and mocking. It wasn’t until the gospel was preached that conviction from the Holy Spirit came. This was the work God really wanted to accomplish.
b. Cut to the heart: Thisis a good way of describing the conviction of the Holy Spirit. They now knew that they were responsible for the death of Jesus (as each of us are), and that they had to do something in response to this responsibility.
i. Peter had some previous experience with cutting. When Jesus was arrested, Peter cut off the right ear of one of the men who came to arrest Jesus (John 18:10). All this was an embarrassing mess that Jesus had to clean up. That showed Peter in the flesh, doing the best he could with a literal sword of human power.
ii. When the resurrected Jesus changed Peter’s life and when the power of the Holy Spirit had come upon him, he did some much more effective cutting; cutting hearts, opening them to Jesus. This is what Peter could do in the power of the Spirit, doing God’s best with the sword of the Spirit, God’s Word. Which sword was more powerful?
c. Men and brethren, what shall we do? When God is working on someone’s heart, they want to come to Him; they will act to come to God.
i. It has been said that in normal seasons of Christian work the evangelist seeks the sinner. Yet in times of revival or awakening, things change: the sinner seeks the evangelist. This Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 was one of those great seasons of God’s work.
2. (38-40) Peter invites the multitude to come to Jesus.
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”
a. Then Peter said to them: This was in response to the question, “What shall we do?” Peter must have been pleasantly amazed to see what God had done in this situation. Instead of people wanting to crucify him because of Jesus, thousands of people wanted to trust in Jesus as Lord and Messiah.
b. Repent, and let every one of you be baptized: Responding to the question, “What shall we do?” Peter gave them something to do. This means that we must do something to be saved, we must do something to follow Jesus; it doesn’t just “happen.”
i. Peter did not say, “There’s nothing you can do. If God saves you, you’re saved. If God doesn’t save you, you’ll never be saved.” Though it was true that only God could do the saving, the people had to receive through repentance and faith, faith leading to action such as baptism.
c. Repent: The first thing Peter told them to do is repent. To repent does not mean to feel sorry, but it means to change one’s mind or direction. They had thought a certain way about Jesus before, considering Him worthy of crucifixion. Now they must turn their thinking around, embracing Jesus as Lord and Messiah.
i. Repent sounds like such a harsh word in the mouths of many preachers and in the ears of many listeners, but it is an essential aspect of the gospel. Repent has been rightly called “the first word of the gospel.”
ii. When John the Baptist preached he said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2). When Jesus began to preach He said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Now when Peter began to preach, he started with repent.
iii. Repentance must never be thought of as something we must do before we can come back to God. Repentance describes what coming to God is. You can’t turn towards God without turning from the things He is against.
iv. In this sense, repent is a word of great hope. It says, “You don’t have to continue the way you’ve been going, you can turn to God.”
v. “The old-fashioned grace of repentance is not to be dispensed with; there must be sorrow for sin; there must be ‘a broken and a contrite heart.’ This, God will not despise; but a ‘conversion’ which does not produce this result, God will not accept as genuine.” (Spurgeon)
d. Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ: This was the second thing Peter said they must do. For them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ was an expression of their belief and complete trust in Him.
i. Baptism made a clear statement. In that day, Jews were not commonly baptized, only Gentiles who wanted to become Jews. For these Jewish men and women to be baptized showed just how strongly they felt they needed Jesus.
ii. “While baptism with water was the expected symbol for conversion, it was not an indispensable criterion for salvation.” (Longenecker)
e. The promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off: As they repented and demonstrated faith and obedience by baptism, the gift of the Holy Spirit would be given to them as it was given to the original group of disciples. Peter also specifically promised that the promise of the Holy Spirit would be given to those who believe in all succeeding generations (all who are afar off).
i. They saw the glorious work of the Holy Spirit among the disciples, and Peter told them that it was something that these people could take part in; they didn’t only have to be observers. And since the promise is for all who are afar off, it includes all people up to the present time.
ii. It is also important to note that Peter did not say that the unbelieving, unaware children of his listeners should be baptized. He simply said that the promise of the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit were for all who would repent and believe with active faith, even to coming generations and all who are afar off, as many as the Lord God will call.
iii. “That is to say, that great covenant promise, ‘Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved,’ is meant for you, is meant for your children, is meant for Hottentots, is meant for Hindoos, is meant for Greenlanders, is meant for everybody to whom the Lord’s call is addressed.” (Spurgeon)
f. And with many other words he testified and exhorted them: Peter’s sermon didn’t end there. He continued to urge the crowd to come to Jesus in repentant surrender.
g. Be saved from this perverse generation: Any generation that is responsible for putting Jesus to death is a perverse generation. But since every generation is responsible for Jesus’ death, every generation needs salvation.
3. (41) The response to Peter’s sermon.
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
a. About three thousand souls were added to them: This day of Pentecost saw an amazing harvest of souls. The church went from about 120 people to 3,120 people in one day.
i. Think of how this touched lives beyond that one day. Many of the 3,000 were undoubtedly pilgrims who came to Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost. They expected something special from God, but not anything like this. Many in this crowd went back home, traveling far from Jerusalem, taking the good news of Jesus Christ with them.
b. Those who gladly received his word were baptized: Those who believed on Jesus that day did so gladly, even making a dramatic statement in baptism. They would not have submitted to baptism unless they were fully convinced of who Jesus was and their great need for Him as a Savior.
i. How could you baptize 3,000 people? There were huge resources of water available on the temple mount, and pools and reservoirs nearby, so it was not difficult to find a place where the baptisms could take place.
ii. God continues to do such great things. After the 1990 Summer Harvest Crusade, there was a mass baptism at Corona del Mar. They couldn’t count how many were baptized, but more than 5,000 people attended the event. It was reported as the largest baptism service in American history.
D. The life of these first believers.
1. (42) The foundation of their Christian life.
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
a. And they continued steadfastly: On the day of Pentecost the sound of the rushing wind, the tongues of fire, and the conversion of 3,000 were all remarkable events. But the things described in Acts 2:42 were the abiding legacy of God’s work.
b. They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine: They relied on the apostles to communicate to them who Jesus was and what He had done. They just trusted in Jesus; now they wanted to know more.
i. Continued steadfastly uses a Greek verb communicating “a steadfast and single-minded fidelity to a certain course of action.” (Longenecker) There was to be no departure from the apostles’ doctrine, because it was the truth of God.
ii. Thankfully, God allows us to sit under the apostles’ doctrine – the New Testament record. Every pastor should seek to be unoriginal in the sense that we don’t have our own doctrine, but the apostles’ doctrine.
c. They continued in steadfastly in…fellowship: The ancient Greek word koinonia (translated here as fellowship) has the idea of association, communion, fellowship, and participation; it means to share in something.
i. The Christian life is meant to be full of fellowship, of sharing one with another.
· We share the same Lord Jesus.
· We share the same guide for life.
· We share the same love for God
· We share the same desire to worship Him.
· We share the same struggles.
· We share the same victories
· We share the same job of living for Him.
· We share the same joy of communicating the gospel.
d. They continued in steadfastly…in the breaking of bread: Even living so close to the time when Jesus was crucified, they still never wanted to forget what He did on the cross. How much more important is it for us to never forget?
e. They continued in steadfastly… in prayers. Whenever God’s work is done, God’s people gather for prayer and worship.
i. “In the Greek the definite article occurs before the word ‘prayer.’ The text actually says, ‘to the prayers.’ They devoted themselves ‘to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.’ Obviously, that is a reference to something formal – to worship in which the people got together and praised God.” (Boice)
f. The apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers: Everything else we read about the power and glory of the early church flows from this foundation of the word, fellowship, remembrance of Jesus’ work on the cross, and prayer.
i. From Luke’s description of the early Christian community, “The educated reader would have got the impression here that the Greek ideal of society had been realized.” (Dictionary of New Testament Theology)
ii. “It is presented as a model church, but this does not mean that it was perfect. A few chapters further on, we are going to find that it was far from perfect.” (Boice)
2. (43) The presence of the power of God.
Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
a. Then fear came upon every soul: This was evidence of the power of God. One of the greatest, most powerful works God can do is to change the human heart towards a reverent honor of the Lord.
b. Many signs and wonders were done: This was evidence of the power of God. Where God is at work, lives will be touched in miraculous ways.
3. (44-45) Their close hearts and sharing in the common life of Jesus.
Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
a. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common: With the influx of more that 3,000 believers, most of whom stayed in Jerusalem and didn’t have jobs, the family of Christians had to share if they were to survive.
i. We shouldn’t regard this as an early experiment in communism because it was voluntary, temporary, and flawed to the extent that the church in Jerusalem was in continual need of financial support from other churches. Also, we don’t have any evidence this continued very long.
b. All who believed were together: The Jews had a tremendous custom of hospitality during any major feast like Pentecost. Visitors were received into private homes, and no one could charge for giving a bed or a room to a visitor or for supplying their basic needs. The Christians took this tremendous feast-time hospitality and made it an everyday thing.
c. Sold their possessions and their goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need: The power of God is evident here because Jesus became much more important to them than their possessions.
4. (46-47) The Christian family lived together and grew.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
a. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house: The church is meant to worship God and learn His Word together. Yet it is meant to do more; God wants us to share our lives with one another.
b. Praising God and having favor with all the people: Their Christian experience was daily, joyful and simple – good examples for us to follow.
c. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved: This is God’s prescription for church growth. If we take care to follow the example of Acts 2:42-47a, God will take care of growing the church Himself.
©2018 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission
Why does Acts 2:35 use “foes” but Psalm 110:1 use “enemies?”
WHY DOES ACTS 2:35 USE “FOES” BUT PSALM 110:1 USE “ENEMIES?”
by Shawn Brasseaux
Psalm 110:1 says, “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” The New Testament quotes this verse six times—Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:43, Acts 2:35, Hebrews 1:13, and Hebrews 10:13. In Matthew, Mark, Luke and Hebrews, our King James translators rendered the Greek word ekthros as “enemies.” (That word is related to the Greek term for “hate,” as in “hateful” or “hater.”) Yet, in Acts 2:35, they translated ekthros as “foes.” Unlike the causal Bible reader, who simply skims over the word change (the word change is absent from modern versions), we Berean Bible students pause and use some critical thinking skills by asking, “Why this change in terminology in our King James Bible?”
Furthermore, all the major modern English “bible” translations—NIV, NASB, NKJV, NRSV, Amplified, HCSB, and NLT—use “enemies” in Acts 2:35, as they do with the rest of the New Testament quotations of Psalm 110:1. Why did our King James scholars not render ekthros the same way on all six occasions as the modern translators did? Again, why this change in terminology? Let me share with you what I think is the most likely explanation.
The Holy Spirit’s great sermon through the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost included the following words (Acts 2:34-35): “ For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,  Until I make thy foes thy footstool.” This was a quote of Psalm 110:1: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Why did our 1611 translators have Peter say “foes” instead of “enemies” as Psalm 110:1 had it? It helps to have some definitions.
An “enemy” is someone who is against you, but who may not actually be engaged in combat with you at the present moment. A “foe,” however, is someone who is actively fighting against you in the present. “Foe” is more descriptive because it is related to the word “feud” (as in fight or struggle, prolonged hostility and conflict between two parties). “Enemy” is from the Old French enemi, from the Latin inimicus, from in-‘not’ + amicus ‘friend.’ These etymologies help us in understanding why Acts 2:35 reads oddly in our King James Bible.
Israel at the time of Acts chapter 2, Pentecost, is not simply against God but has actively opposed God (by killing His Son, Jesus). Israel is not listening to His apostles preach God’s Word in Acts chapter 2. In fact, they are mocking the apostles, claiming they are drunk with wine to be speaking in these various known human languages. They are mocking the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the 12 apostles: “ Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.  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:  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.”
As a little side-note, the King James New Testament uses “foe” one other time besides Acts 2:35. It is Matthew 10:36: “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” This is the Lord Jesus describing unbelieving Jews betraying their believing family members, and turning them over to the Antichrist for imprisonment or death sentencing. Again, this is not simply a case of enemies, but foes, people actively fighting and persistently rebelling against the God of the Bible. Peter was making sure Israel was warned that Jesus Christ was coming back to take care of His enemies, yes, but more specifically, His “foes”—them!
»Why did Jesus Christ stand in Acts 7:55-56?
»Is “Easter” a mistranslation in the King James Bible in Acts 12:4?
» Should it be “Christ” or “Lord” in 2 Thessalonians 2:2?
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2 meaning acts 35
Verse (Click for Chapter)New International Version
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."'
English Standard Version
until I make your enemies your footstool.”’
Berean Study Bible
until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” ’
King James Bible
Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
New American Standard Bible
UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET."'
American Standard Version
Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.
Darby Bible Translation
until I have put thine enemies [to be] the footstool of thy feet.
Until I make thy enemies thy footstool.
English Revised Version
Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.
Young's Literal Translation
till I make thy foes thy footstool;
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Having hardly persuaded to lie down for ten minutes, we can only stand seven, she has no strength to lie down, I have to listen to. Lamentations. After that Masha runs off to the toilet, holding her ass with both hands, while I wash my hands and go to boil tea. - Ewww.
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