Acts Chapter 2 Continued
Acts 2:19 “And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:”
“Wonders … signs” (4:30; 5:12; 14:3; 15:12). “Wonders” is the amazement people experience when witnessing supernatural works (miracles). “Signs” point to the power of God behind miracles, marvels have no value unless they point to God and His truth.
Such works were often done by the Holy Spirit through the apostles (5:12-16), and their associates (6:8), to authenticate them as the messengers of God’s truth. (2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3-4).
“Blood … fire … vapor of smoke”: These phenomena are all connected with events surrounding Christ’s second coming and signal the establishment of the earthly kingdom: Blood (Rev. 6:8; 8:7-8; 9:15; 14:20; 16:3); fire (Rev. 8:5, 7-8, 10); and smoke (Rev. 9:2-3, 17-18; 18:9, 18).
Verse 19 speaks of the end of the Gentile age. Verse 17 and 18, in the previous lesson, has two fulfillments, one on the day of Pentecost, and the other at the end of the age. You can read more about this time (in Matthew chapter 24).
Acts 2:20 “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:”
“Sun … darkness … moon into blood” (Matt. 24:29-30; see note on Rev. 6:12).
“Day of the Lord” (see note on 1 Thess. 5:2). This Day of the Lord will come with the return of Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 2:2; Rev. 19:11-15).
Acts 2:21 “And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
“Whosoever shall call”: Up to that hour of judgment and wrath, any who turn to Christ as Lord and Savior will be saved (see notes on Romans 10:10-13).
This is a tremendous promise. This promise is offered to whosoever will. This is just saying, if we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, we will be saved. Terror will grip those who see the moon and sun turn like this. Even at that late date, if they call on Jesus as Savior and Lord, He will save them.
Verses 22-36: Here is the main body of Peter’s sermon, in which he presented and defended Jesus Christ as Israel’s Messiah.
The main point of Peter’s sermon is to prove that “Jesus” is both God and the Messiah (verse 36). Peter seeks to prove this through Christ’s miraculous works (verse 22), His resurrection (verses 23-32), and His sending of the Holy Spirit (verses 33-35).
Acts 2:22 “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:”
“Jesus of Nazareth”: The humble name that often identified the Lord during His earthly ministry (Matt. 21:11; Mark 10:47; Luke 24:19; John 18:5).
“Approved … by miracles and wonders and signs”: By a variety of supernatural means and works, God validated Jesus as the Messiah (Matt. 11:1-16; Luke 7:20-23; John 3:2; 5:17-20; 8:28; Phil. 2:9; see notes on 1:3; 2:19).
This is a very bold speech that Peter is making to these people. The boldness of Peter speaking out now, is a total contrast from the three times he denied Christ. Peter has now been baptized in the Holy Ghost and knows no fear. Peter is saying that Jesus proved who He was by the signs, wonders, and miracles that He did.
Peter reminds them that these things were not done in secret, but right before their very eyes. They were without excuse, because they knew, and still refused to believe Jesus was the Christ.
Acts 2:23 “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”
“By the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God”: From eternity past (2 Tim. 1:9; Rev. 13:8), God predetermined that Jesus would die an atoning death as part of His pre-ordained plan (4:27-28; 13:27-29).
“By wicked hands”: An indictment against “men of Israel” (verse 22), those unbelieving Jews who instigated Jesus’ death, which was carried out by the Romans. That the crucifixion was predetermined by God does not absolve the guilt of those who caused it.
Peter is giving no slack at all. He is telling them that they had a great part in the crucifixion of Jesus. Even though God foreknew that this would happen, it still does not leave them innocent.
Acts 2:24 “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”
“Not possible”: Because of His divine power (John 11:25; Heb. 2:14) and God’s promise and purpose (Luke 24:46; John 2:18-22; 1 Cor. 15:16-26), death could not keep Jesus in the grave.
The main enemy that Jesus defeated on the cross was death itself. Those who believe on His name will inherit eternal life, not death. The Spirit of Jesus never died. Only His body died. Jesus was victorious on the cross and defeated sin and death for all who believe on His name.
The third day Jesus arose from the grave. (Psalms 16:10), explains that Jesus would not remain in Sheol. Jesus went to Sheol (or hades, the abode of the dead) and took the keys away from Satan. He preached there and brought those captives out with Him. Read it in (1 Peter 3:19 and Ephesians 4:8-10).
Verses 25-28: “David speaketh”: The Lord was speaking of His resurrection prophetically through David (see note on Psalm 16:10).
Acts 2:25 “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:”
Jesus is seated, even now, at the right hand of the Father. Jesus (God the Word), is omnipresent, which means that He can be in more than one place at a time. Jesus not only sits at the right hand of the Father, but is the right hand of the Father.
Jesus has never lost His position in heaven. Jesus can be in my heart and at the right hand of the Father all at the same time.
Acts 2:26 “Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:”
Jesus’ flesh was entombed, but it did not stay in the tomb long enough to begin to decay. The body begins to deteriorate on the fourth day. Jesus rose on the third day. In (1 Thessalonians chapter 4), we read that we Christians have hope of the resurrection, because Jesus rose again.
Acts 2:27 “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”
“Hell” is the word hades and does not refer to the eternal lake of fire but to the intermediate state of the Old Testament dead. In the New Testament, the term also refers to the grave. Peter states that David’s words of (Psalm 16:10), are a prophecy concerning the immediate resurrection of the Messiah, of whom David is a type.
“Hades” (see the note on Luke 16:23). The New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament grave or “Sheol.” Though sometimes it identifies hell (Matt. 11:23), here it refers to the general place of the dead.
As we said above, Jesus’ body rose from the tomb before the fourth day when corruption usually sets in.
Acts 2:28 “Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.”
Jesus’ body was transformed into a spiritual body. This same Jesus re-entered His body and rose from the tomb. We can look to Jesus for our hope. He is the life. We can have joy forevermore knowing that because He lives we will live also. It was buried a natural body and raised a spiritual body (1 Corinthians chapter 15).
Acts 2:29 “Men [and] brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day.”
“His sepulcher is with us unto this day”: A reminder to the Jews that David’s body had never been raised, so he could not be the fulfillment of the prophecy of Psalm 16.
Peter makes it very clear that this could not have been David speaking, since he was dead and his tomb still held his body.
Verses 30-32: Peter exposits the meaning of Psalm 16 as referring not to David, but to Jesus Christ. He would be raised to reign (verse 30; Psalms 2:1-9; 89:3).
Acts 2:30 “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;”
“Therefore being a prophet”: Peter quoted (Psalm 132:11). As God’s spokesman, David knew that God would keep His oath (2 Sam. 7:11-16), and Christ would come.
God had promised David that through his ancestors in the flesh, the Messiah (Christ), would sit on his throne in Jerusalem. God does not lie. Jesus Christ the Messiah was descended in the flesh from David. David had prophesied this after God had sworn to him.
Acts 2:31 “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.”
David had prophesied (in Psalms 16:10), that Jesus’ body would not decay. That He would rise again. Here Peter quotes that Psalm.
Acts 2:32 “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.”
“God raised up” (verse 24; 10:40; 17:31; 1 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 1:20). That he did so attests to His approval of Christ’s work on the cross.
“We all are witnesses”: The early preachers preached the resurrection (3:15, 26; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 33-34, 37; 17:31).
Here, Peter says that this Scripture in Psalms was fulfilled when Jesus rose from the grave. Peter tells these people that He was an eyewitness to the resurrection of Jesus. He tells them they had witnessed it also. Jesus was seen of over 500 people after He rose from the grave.
1 Corinthians 15:6 “After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”
Acts 2:33 “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.”
After Jesus was risen and ascended, God’s promise to send the Holy Spirit was fulfilled (John 7:39; Gal. 3:14), and manifest that day.
“By the right hand of God exalted” (see note on 7:55).
In our study in John, we learned that Jesus said He would send the Comforter (Holy Ghost; John 14:15-16). Now Peter is telling them that this which they have seen is the Holy Ghost sent by Jesus to help Jesus’ followers.
Acts 2:34 “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,”
“The Lord said unto my Lord”: Peter quoted another Psalm (Psalm 110:1), concerning the exaltation of Messiah by ascension to the right hand of God, and reminds the reader that it was not fulfilled by David (as bodily resurrection had not yet been; see note on verse 29). But by Jesus Christ (verse 36). Peter had been an eyewitness to that ascension (1:9-11).
This again, was prophecy of King David. David calls his descendent in the flesh Jesus, Lord. It is difficult to understand that the flesh of Jesus descended from David, but at the same time the Spirit of Jesus was David’s Lord. This just means that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God, until God the Father says the struggle on earth is over.
Acts 2:35 “Until I make thy foes thy footstool.”
We find that all power in heaven and earth has been given to Jesus by the Father. Jesus defeated Satan in every way at the cross. Jesus is sitting on the right hand of God waiting, because Jesus’ work on earth is done. The end of the age is near. This will all finish when the bride of Christ is brought to heaven and the wrath of God falls on those who would not accept Jesus as Lord.
Acts Chapter 2 Continued Questions
1. What are some of the signs mentioned in verse 19?
2. What time is this speaking of?
3. What will happen to the sun at this time?
4. Who will be saved?
5. Who does Peter call Jesus in verse 21?
6. Why should they have known who Jesus was?
7. What is different with Peter’s preaching here, from when he denied Christ?
8. Who raised Jesus up?
9. What message is in Psalms 16:10?
10. Where can we read about Jesus preaching in hell and bringing the captives out?
11. Who was David speaking of in verse 25?
12. When does the body begin to deteriorate after death?
13. What does 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 bring promise of?
14. How was Jesus’ body changed from the one that went into the tomb?
15. Who was Jesus’ ancestor in the flesh?
16. In what was Jesus David’s God?
17. What is David called in verse 30?
18. What chapter in Psalms tells that Jesus’ body would not decay?
19. In verse 32, Peter says who were witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection?
20. Where is Jesus exalted now?
21. Who sent the comforter (Holy Ghost)?
22. What other Book of the Bible tells that Jesus would send the Comforter?
23. How long will Jesus sit at the right hand of God?
24. Who is all power in heaven and earth given to?
25. What is left for Jesus to do, to be finished with His work?