HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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The Book of ACTS
THEME: First miracle of the church; Peter's second sermon
We are still in the first division of the Book of Acts which shows the Lord Jesus Christ at work by the Holy Spirit through the apostles in Jerusalem. We have seen the birthday of the church on the Day of Pentecost, a day which can NEVER be repeated, as so many in today's churches think. There was a church because the Holy Spirit had become incarnate in believers (Rom.8:9). He was indwelling the believers, and He filled them with His love, power and blessing for service.
Just as NO one can repeat Bethlehem, NO one can repeat Pentecost. BUT . . . we absolutely DO need the power of the Holy Spirit today. Thank God, He is in the world (and TRUE believers), convicting the world and restraining evil in the world. We do NOT have to seek Him as many say; He indwells ALL believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Comment on the Holy Spirit: 2 Thes.7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. (KJV) . . . the mystery of iniquity is lawlessness headed by Satan. It is hard at work throughout the world, and it will remain, getting worse and worse. But, as I see it, after the Rapture of TRUE believers (1 Thes.4:13-18), the Holy Spirit, Who indwells believers, will leave this world in a big way. He will still be working, but since all the TRUE believers are gone,he shall work in a much different way. The Holy Spirit is the One Who holds back much evil today. With Him gone in the form of believers, the devil will have a field day! He will go hog wild!
In this third chapter we will find the healing of the lame man in verses 1-11. The appealing and revealing address of Peter is in verses 12-26. The result was five thousand (5000) men who believed!
Healing Of Lame Man (Acts 3:1-11)
Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. (KJV)
It seems that this was the time (3:00 PM) of the evening sacrifice when the priest went in to offer incense with his prayers. We find in the first chapter of Luke that this was the service Zacharias was performing when he went to minister before the golden altar and the angel appeared to him to announce the birth of John the Baptist. That golden altar, the altar of incense, speaks of prayer. This was the time of prayer. There would be a a lot of people in the temple area praying at this time.
Acts 3:2 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; (KJV)
This man was born crippled. Friends or family must have brought him and placed him there at the gate of the temple every day. This poor man was quite a contrast to the gate which is called Beautiful. He could not walk, he had to be carried. Man can make beautiful things, but man cannot improve himself. Man can fix himself up on the outside, cut his hair, take a bath . . . BUT man can NEVER change that old nature within.
The gate called Beautiful was one of the favorite entrances to the temple (not the city). Many people passed through it on their way to worship God. The crippled man was laying outside the gate, begging where he would be seen by the most people. Giving money to beggars was considered praiseworthy by the Jews. So the beggar was wise to be placed where pious people might see him on their way to worship at the temple.
Acts 3:3-5 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. (KJV)
When Peter looked at the cripple, so intently, the beggar was sure that he would give him something. The eye affects the heart, and Peter had great compassion on this man.
The crippled man asked for money, but Peter gave him something SO much better . . . the use of his legs. We often ask God to solve a little problem, but He wants to give us a whole new life and help us with all our problems. Ask God for what you want, but don't be surprised when He gives you what you really NEED!
Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. (KJV)
In the Name of Jesus Christ . . . means by the authority and power of Jesus Christ. ALL the healing that Peter and the apostles did, was through the Holy Spirit's power, NOT their own.
Acts 3:7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. (KJV)
Luke wrote this book. When Luke, a doctor, records a miracle, he gives many details that are not recorded in the other Books. He tells us specifically what happened. The weakness had been in the feet and ankle bones of this man. And he took . . . and lifted him up . . . precisely what his Lord had done to Peter's mother-in-law (Mk.1:30-31).
Acts 3:8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. (KJV)
Take careful note of the word “leaping.” It appears twice in this verse. This was fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah. Isaiah 35:6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. (KJV) The lame man did leap as an hart, and the lame man was perfectly cured . . . in a moment, he was walking and leaping, and praising God! He KNEW it was GOD Who healed him, NOT the apostle. His soul rejoiced in God his Saviour. Every Israelite going up to the temple that day were amazed at this lame man leaping.
This is a very interesting chapter. Peter is going to offer the Kingdom to the nation again because at this time the church is 100% Jews. As of yet, there are no Gentiles. The church began with the Jews in Jerusalem. Later, it will go to the ends of the Earth. But at this time, it is the Jerusalem period.
Acts 3:9-10 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. (KJV)
They saw him leaping and walking! They recognized the man. They realized the importance of this miracle. Today, there are SO many who cannot see the importance of this record which Luke has given us. This miracle was publicly done. NO one could deny the fact of the matter. The enemies of the Gospel are forced to confess (Ac 4:16).
Acts 3:11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering. (KJV)
They knew who it was . . . the very same lame beggar, known to many. They were filled with amazement what had happened to him. John 9:32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. (KJV) . . . and no one, had ever before had strengthened the feet of him that was born lame.
The Appealing And Revealing Message Of Peter
Acts 3:12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? (KJV)
Peter does NOT say: "Ye men of the United States." He is talking to Jews. This is the Jerusalem period of the church. The church has not yet moved out to other areas.
Peter is very careful to tell them that this miracle was NOT done in his own power. So many in today’s churches CLAIM to be healers. My friend, NO person can heal! It is GOD that heals!
Acts 3:13-15 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. (KJV)
Peter never preached a sermon without the mention of the Resurrection. Paul won't either. Sad to say, today there are many sermons preached without any mention of the Resurrection of Jesus.
The Prince of life . . . Jesus is God, He is the Author of our temporal life too, in whom we live and move. Christ, as Mediator, is the Guide and Way to eternal life (John 14:6). The Jews here are said to have killed our Saviour, even though neither Herod, nor Pilate, nor any of them nailed Him to the cross! They were present, and it was because of them, and at their demands. So, it is here charged upon them, as done by them.
Acts 3:16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. (KJV)
His Name . . . His power. Through faith in Jesus' Name! Peter, by calling by faith on the Name of Christ, was completely sure that He could and would heal this cripple. Our faith is not only faith, but has Christ as its object, for Christ is its Author. Faith is mentioned twice in this verse. Peter had to have faith in Christ, for that is what was required to heal the lame man.
Acts 3:17-18 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. (KJV)
The Jews past deeds call for repentance and conversion. This was NOT a new message to them. Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. (KJV) Peter opens a door of hope by repentance for them . . . and us!
Acts 3:19-20 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: (KJV)
This same command was given on the Day of Pentecost (2:38). Repentance is NOT sorrow. It is the fruit of sorrow (2 Cor 7:10). Those, at Pentecost, were pierced to the heart when told to repent. Judas was sorrowful unto death, but he did NOT repent. Repentance is an internal change, coming NOT from remorse, but from the realization of just how much God hates sin, and then, godly sorrow for it. Repentance is a change of mind and a change of will, and resolving to turn from sin TO God, often called “a change of heart.”
And be converted . . . this command is to do something, not to have something done to us. To repent, or change the heart, is an internal change brought about by faith . . . this is followed by a definite act on our part, to turn . . . go the opposite direction. If you are on the wrong road, and you see this, the result is an act, to “turn,” and then to go the right way. We are converted when we turn away from sin and turn TO God. Convert simply means change!
And he shall send Jesus Christ . . . the great hope of the Jews was the Messiah. He had come, BUT He had been rejected, and had returned to Heaven. His return (Second Coming, Zec.14:4; Rev.19:11-21) will be brought about only by repentance, and turning to the Lord. The blotting out of sins, the seasons of refreshing, and the return of Christ are all dependent on the Jew’s repentance and turning. The Jew’s Messiah IS Christ Jesus, the One that they crucified. Peter had preached on Christ on the Day of Pentecost.
Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. (KJV)
Whom the heaven must receive . . . Christ was received into Heaven, the palace and throne of our King and Lord, where He shall reign until He hath put all His enemies under His feet (1Cor. 15:25).
Until the times of restitution of all things . . . one day ALL things shall be restored to that condition from which sin has put them. The fall of man has maimed and disordered the entire Universe (Rom. 8:22-23). But the time is coming that all shall be restored unto God. Unless this is true, all their preaching and prophesying was in vain (1Cor.15:14).
Some people use this verse to say that eventually everything and every person will be saved. The restitution of all things" is the phrase they use. Exactly what are the all things that are to be restored? In Phil.3:8 when Paul said, ...I count all things but loss... did he mean all things in God's Universe? NO! So here, the all things are limited by what follows. The times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. The prophets spoke of the restoration of Israel. There is NO place that there is a prophecy of the conversion and restoration of the wicked dead. NO where! NOT everyone will go to Heaven! That is a damnable heresy (2 Pet.2:1). See our article: www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_damnable_heresies_universalisim.htm
Acts 3:22-23 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. (KJV)
For Moses truly said unto the fathers . . . to their ancestors in the wilderness (Deut.18:15,18). Peter names just one of their prophets, the most remarkable One.
“Like unto me” . . . #1. In wisdom. #2. In miracles. #3. In being a Mediator between God and his people. #4. In their being both and of their brethren, and of the seed of Abraham. #5. In that they were both sent from God in an extraordinary manner.
Peter told them: Him shall ye hear in all things . . . if a prophet came among them, and did foretell future things which came to pass, or worked a real miracle, they were to believe him, if he did not try to get them to worship a false god. Christ Jesus WAS the Prophet of which Moses spoke! They should have believed and accepted Him.
Peter warned his hearers as to the consequences of rejecting Christ. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people. The chief mission of the other prophets, was to enforce the law of Moses. But Christ had now come, speaking by His authority, offering a more glorious deliverance to the people than that from Egypt, and He issued new laws for the government of men (Mat.5:3-12, 44-46; John 13:34-35). This proved that He, and He alone, was the prophet spoken of by Moses, and Peter's hearers now see that the authority of Moses binds them to the authority of Jesus, and that they must hear Him, or be under the penalty of destruction if they refuse.
Acts 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. (KJV)
Moses and Samuel are mentioned together in here, as in Psalm 99:6, because there were few or no prophets between these two (1 Sam.3:1). Samuel was the first of the prophets. Perhaps it was why Peter said, All the prophets from Samuel. The prophet Samuel lived during the transition between the judges and the kings of Israel, and he was seen as the first in a succession of prophets. He anointed David as king, founding David's royal line, from which the Messiah eventually came. ALL the prophets pointed to a future Messiah.
Acts 3:25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. (KJV)
God promised Abraham that He would bless the world through Abraham's descendants, the Jewish race (Gen. 12:2-3), from which the Messiah would come. God intended the Jewish nation to be a separate and holy nation that would teach the world about God, introduce the Messiah, and then carry on His work in the world. After the days of Solomon, the nation gave up its mission to tell the world about God. Here too, in apostolic times as well as in the time Jesus spent on Earth, Israel rejected its Messiah.
Acts 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. (KJV)
Unto you first . . . Mat.15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (KJV) . . . This seems a harsh statement, but it was a statement of fact. Jesus was offering Himself first as the fulfillment of all the prophecies concerning the Coming of the King in David's line. He was stating to the Gentile woman that fact. He came as the Jews expected Messiah. He came to preach the Gospel Himself to the Jews only at first. He did go to the Gentiles when the Jews rejected Him. But the ministry of Jesus was confined almost entirely to the Jews because God wanted them to be evangelists to the world.
Jesus came FIRST as King of the Jews. This is the primary issue that had to be settled. He died with this superscription written over Him on the Cross: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. The best of all blessings is the turning of them from iniquity, because that brings all other blessings.
This is a transition period. The Jews were given their final chance to accept the Messiah. But because they turned down their opportunity to accept the Messiah, later on Paul will come on the scene as the apostle to the Gentiles. What might have happened if they had turned to God is merely a wild guess! They did NOT turn to Him. God is never surprised by what man does, and He still works things out according to His plan and purpose.
IF the Jews would turn to God, Old Testament prophecies would be fulfilled.
Zech.12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (KJV) . . . This would be fulfilled if they would turn to Him. It was NOT fulfilled because the nation did NOT accept the Lord Jesus at that time. They did NOT repent and turn to Him. Peter invited them to turn to the Lord Jesus. They refused. The time is still to come when this shall be fulfilled.
Ezekiel 36:27-28 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (KJV) . . . This has NOT been fulfilled yet. What a wonderful day that will be!
Isaiah 12:1-2 And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. 2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. (KJV) . . . A remarkable chapter, just 6 verses. It speaks of worship during the time of the Kingdom. God is still angry with Israel. One day His anger shall be turned away!
Isaiah 35:10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (KJV) . . . If they would just turn to God, and accept their Messiah, all these promises would be fulfilled. Please keep the Jews in prayer!
Book of Acts
Ch.1 . . Ch.2 . . Ch.3 . . Ch.4 . . Ch.5 . . Ch.6 . . Ch.7 . . Ch.8 . . Ch.9 . . Ch.10 . . Ch.11 . . Ch.12 . . Ch.13 . . Ch.14 . . Ch.15 . . Ch.16 . . Ch.17 . . Ch.18 . . Ch.19 . . Ch.20 . . Ch.21 . . Ch.22 . . Ch.23 . . Ch.24 . . Ch.25 . . Ch.26 . . Ch.27 . . Ch.28