Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth -- In action - Part 2

Posted in: 2013
By Tom M. Ballinger
Jul 8, 2013 - 8:51:45 PM

Plainer Words since 1968
July 8, 2013
Part 2
            On the Day of Pentecost, Peter’s Jewish audience was “amazed and marveled, and some were in doubt” concerning what was taking place that summer day in A.D. 33. The Divine explanation for the God-given ability to speak in “tongues” (other languages) was Peter’s reply, “THIS IS THAT WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY JOEL THE PROPHET” Acts 2:16).
            The Apostle Peter quoted Joel the Prophet for the explanation of “this is that” which is to happen in the “last days”—the Pre-Millennial Day of Christ. Peter didn’t quote the Book of Joel from memory, but rather, the Lord had promised in that day, the “at hand” day “ …take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost” (Mark 13:11).
            When the Day of Pentecost was fully come, suddenly, there came a sound from heaven as if there was a mighty rushing wind (Acts 2:1-2).
            “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:3-4) NIV.
            The disciples were filled with the Spirit and began to speak with Tongues to the multitude. Each man of the multitude heard these Galilaeans speak, and marveled,  “… saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:7-8).
            When Peter spoke on that Pentecostal Day, it was not really him speaking, but rather, it was the “Holy Ghost” speaking through him according to the Promise. (This Promise of God was in-force throughout “The Acts of the Apostles” for all of His Apostles).
            “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;  And it shall come to pass in the last days [the Day of Christ], 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: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall  prophesy” (Acts 2:16-18).
            The pouring-out of God’s Spirit was upon all the Jews, that is to say, all Jews who were gathered that First Pentecostal Day in Jerusalem. The out-pouring of the Spirit upon the devout out of every nation, was a ONE TIME EVENT! It has not been duplicated since then. I am sure there have been many counterfeits since then. Joel’s prophesy was spoken by a Jew, for Jews, about a Jewish event, and on a Jewish Feast Day. It was not spoken by a Gentile, or for Gentiles—Gentiles were not present. It was for Jews ONLY!
            “This is that” which will happen to the Jews in “the last days.” These last days will be the last days of the Day of Christ. It will be just prior to the Day of the Lord.   Acts 2:16-18; however, is a prophecy that has a partial fulfillment on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. The greater fulfillment will be during the consummation of the Day of Christ—the days leading up to the Tribulation.
            “And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood,   and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”  (Acts 2:19-21).
            The fact that this remains unfulfilled does not mean that it will be. It simply shows that the purposes of God, along Pentecostal lines, were suspended. The point in time where this suspension took place was Acts 28:25-28. The Pentecostal Dispensation ended abruptly with Paul pronouncing that God was suspending His dealings with the Jews and was turning to the Gentiles. They would “hear” His Message.  Signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost ceased. At Acts 28:28, the gifts were withdrawn; the Lord quit cascading His Spirit upon the people of Israel who believed New Testament Truth.
            That portion of Joel’s prophecy, quoted by Peter in Acts 2:19-20, has not yet been fulfilled. Its fulfillment awaits the coming to pass when the “times of refreshing comes from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). In the intervening time—the Dispensation of the Mystery—we find one of the main characteristics is that there is the absence of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, to wit, signs, wonders, and miracles. Spiritual Gifts have been placed in abeyance during the present Dispensation. When the Dispensation of Grace ends, the remainder of Joel’s prophecy will be fulfilled. When the Mystery runs its course, the wonders in heaven and signs in earth will take place, just as prophesied. Matthew 24:29-30 agrees with Joel’s prophecy, for the Lord Jesus Christ told His Apostles:
            “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN IN HEAVEN…” (Matt. 24:29-30).
            After Peter explains “this is that,” he again emphatically calls out, “Ye men of Israel,” thus, maintaining their attention. He said that Jesus of Nazareth was “a man approved of God among you by MIRACLES AND WONDERS AND SIGNS, which God did by Him [Christ] in the midst of you, as ye yourselves know” (Acts 2:22). Jesus of Nazareth confirmed the fact that He was, indeed, their Christ (i.e., their Messiah). The miracles, wonders, and signs were God’s testimony to the fact that Jesus of Nazareth was the One who was to come to Israel. In Verse 23, Peter charged the responsibility for the crucifixion to his audience, “the men of Israel.” It was “by wicked hands (Vs. 23) that they crucified and slew Him. Peter declared that the pains of death was loosed, for God raised Him from the dead.
            At this point in Acts Chapter 2, Peter breaks into a new and wonderful message which was David’s witness concerning the resurrection and exaltation of the crucified Jesus. Peter, the Head Apostle of “the Twelve,” showed it to be the fulfillment of David’s Messianic Prophecy. Notice the following assertions concerning “Jesus”—as “This Man.”
1.      This Man, Jesus, is the subject of Old Testament prophecy—“David speaketh   concerning Him” (Vs. 25).
2.      This Man, Jesus, is the Lord—“David speaketh of Him: ‘I foresaw the Lord.’” (Vs. 25).
3.      This Man, Jesus, is the promised “Holy One”—“David speaketh concerning Him …the Holy One” (Vs. 27)
4.      This Man, Jesus, is the promised Messiah—“He [David] seeing this before …spake of the resurrection of Christ” (Vs. 31).
5.      This Man, Jesus, is the promised King—“being a Prophet [David] …knowing that God would raise up Christ to sit on His [God’s] Throne” (Vs. 30).
            This five-fold testimony Peter proclaimed about “this Man”, along with miraculous events of that Pentecostal Day, must have startled the minds of Peter’s Jewish audience.
            In Verses 25-31, in Acts 2, it is noted that Peter appeals to David to bear witness concerning the Christ. Peter asserted that Jesus of Nazareth is the very One Who David spoke about in Psalm 16, and He is the One Who is to sit on God’s Throne as we are told in 2 Samuel 7:13, and 16.
            The Apostles were witnesses to the fact that the One Who was crucified was raised up from among the dead. “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof  WE ALL ARE WITNESSES” (Acts 2:32).
            Peter assures his audience that it was not David who ascended into the heavens, “but he [David] saith of himself, ‘The Lord [Yahweh] said unto my Lord [Kurios], Sit Thou on My right hand, Until I make thou foes Thy footstool” (Vs. 34-35). In the brackets, we have identified between David, Yahweh, and [the Lord Jesus], (see Psalm 110:1). Peter proved that Jesus of Nazareth was Israel’s Christ (i.e., their Anointed).
Peter said David was still asleep; “his sepulcher is with us unto this day” (Vs. 29).             “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that     same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
            The Messiahship of Jesus Christ was made public at His baptism in Jordan     (Acts 10:38), but it was demonstratively confirmed by His Resurrection.
            Notice the contrast in the way the mob treated Jesus and the way God’s treatment of Him was.
            “ …ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23);  “…that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, BOTH LORD AND CHRIST” (Acts 2:36).
            Observe the double title given to Jesus, “Lord and Christ”—thus, the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, the Pentecostal proclamation (1) WAS TO THE MEN OF ISRAEL; (2) PREACHED BY THE APOSTLE PETER; (3)  CONCERNING JOEL’S PROPHECY ABOUT ISRAEL’S “LAST DAYS”; AND (4)  WAS SPOKEN FIFTY DAYS AFTER THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST.
            None of Peter’s proclamation was to the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head. To read Acts Chapter Two as if it was Present Truth is a gross violation of Dividing Rightly the Word. The supernatural phenomenon which took place on that special Jewish Feast Day was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy concerning the establishment of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God—which the Apostle Paul designated as THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST.
            When the men of Israel heard Peter’s message, they were pricked in their hearts, “and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).
            “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).
            Those who followed Peter’s admission were supplied with the power from on high (spiritual gifts). Peter added the following:
            “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:39-41).
            The Lord Jesus added daily to the Church of God “such as should be saved”    (Vs. 47).
The burden of these two studies was to illustrate “in action” the “How To” rightly divide the Word of Truth as it related to the Day of Pentecost in Acts Chapter Two.
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