I WON'T BACK DOWN

Thursday, May 17, 2018

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ACTS ~ Chapters 1 & 2

2 weeks ago we wrapped up the Book of Matthew. Today we will begin our study in the Book of Acts, which was written by Luke and gives an accounting of the acts if the Apostles after Yeshua’s Resurrection & Ascension. Acts is the first record of the birth of the Church (aka: Body of Believers of/in Mashiach (Christ).

                       
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO Acts ~ Chapters 1 & 2

In the first book, O Theophilus, I wrote about all the things Yeshua did and said from the beginning, also up to the day He ascended to Heaven, just after He had, through the Ruach Ha’Kodesh (Holy Spirit), given the Apostles their instructions.

After He had suffered death, He showed Himself alive to them, giving many proofs. He was seen by them during the 40 days, and he talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of Elohei. Now, as they were assembled together, He instructed them, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait there for the fulfillment of the promise made by Elohim, of which you have heard Me speak. For John indeed baptized with water, but you will be baptized soon, a few days from now, with the Ruach Ha’Kodesh.” Those who were present then asked Him, ‘Adonai, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom if Israel?’ He answered, “It is not for you to know the times and seasons which Elohim sets by His own authority.”

But when the Ruach Ha’Kodesh comes upon you, you will receive power, and you will then be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all of Judea and Samaria and to the farthest ends of the earth.” When He had said this, and while they were still looking at Him, He was taken up – and a cloud carried Him out of their sight.


They were still looking intently up to Heaven, watching His departure, when suddenly 2 men, dressed in white, stood beside them. “You men of Galilee,” they said, “Why are you standing there, looking up to Heaven? This same Yeshua, Who now was taken from you into Heaven, will come back in the same way you saw Him ascend to Heaven.”

They returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. This was near Jerusalem, a little over a half a mile away. Coming in, they went up to the upper room where Simon Peter and John, James, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James and the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the brother of James (not Iscariot, who hung himself after betraying Yeshua) were then staying. All these – besides the women, and Mary, the Mother of Yeshua, and His brothers – with one mind devoted themselves to prayer and to supplication.

At one such meeting, when 120 were assembled there, Simon Peter stood up before them and spoke. “Men and brethren,” he said, “Scripture had to be fulfilled, that part which the Ruach Ha’Kodesh had spoken long ago by the mouth of David, about Judas, who showed the way to the men who arrested Yeshua. He had been counted as one of us, and had had his part in our work. Now, this man bought a field with the money paid him for his treachery. Later, having fallen down head first, he was ruptured in the middle, and all his bowels gushed out. This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that this piece of land came to be called, in their own dialect, Akeldama, meaning Filed of Blood. For thus it is written in the Book of Psalms, ‘Let his homestead be desolate, and let there be no one living there,’ (Psalm 69:25). It would be wise to choose one of the men who has been with us all the time that Adonai Yeshua went in and out among us, beginning with His baptism by John to the day He was taken up from us. Such a one should then, together with us, become a witness of His resurrection.”

2 men were accordingly nominated: Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. Next, they offered prayer, “Adonai’, they said,’ You Who know all hearts, show us which of these 2 men You have chosen. He is to take the place in the service and apostleship that Judas had before he fell away and went to his own place.’ Then they cast lots, and the lot fell on Matthias, who thereupon was numbered with the 11 apostles.

==CHAPTER 2 –

On the Day of Pentecost, they were all gathered together in one place, and of one mind. Then suddenly there came a sound from Heaven like the roar of a mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then tongues of fire appeared to them, and these separated and settled down on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Ruach Ha’Kodesh, and they began to speak in other tongues, as the Ruach gave them utterance.


Now there were pious Jews living in Jerusalem, coming from every country in the world. And when this speaking was heard, a great crowd gathered; and each one was amazed because he heard them speaking in his own language. So, in amazement and wonderment, they said to one another, ‘But are not all those speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each one of us can hear his own language – Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, and those that live in Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia? Also from Phrygia, and Pamphylia, from Egypt and the parts of Libya near to Cyrene, and in addition, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians – we hear them all alike telling in our own native tongue the nighty wonders of God!’ They were all astounded and perplexed, and kept saying: ‘What can it all possibly mean?’ But there were some who said in mockery, ‘They are simply drunk with new wine!’

Then Simon Peter, standing up among the 11, raised his voice and spoke: “Men of Judea and residents of Jerusalem, all of you take note of this. Listen to what I am going to say! These men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only 9:00 in the morning. But rather, this is something that the Prophet Joel foretold. This is what Elohei says, ‘In the latter days I will pour out My Ruach upon all mankind. Then will your sons and daughter prophesy, and your young men will have visions, and your old men will dream dreams. Even on your servants, men and women alike, will I pour out My Ruach in those days, and they, too, shall prophesy. And I will display wonders in the Heavens above, and signs on the earth beneath – blood and fire, and clouds of smoke. The sun will turn to darkness, and the moon to blood before the coming of the Day of Adonai, that great and illustrious day. And whoever will then call on the name of Adonai Yeshua Ha’Mashiach will be saved’ (Joel 2:28-32).


“Men of Israel, listen to me! Yeshua of Nazareth was a Man made known to you by Elohim by means of miracles, wonders and signs which Elohim did among you by Him. All this you, yourselves, well know. But He was betrayed, permitted by the counsel and foreknowledge of Elohim, and you had wicked men seize Him and put Him to death on the cross. But Elohim raised Him up, setting Him free from the pangs of death, since death could not possibly hold Him in its power. David has said this about Him: ‘I can see my Lord before Me always. He is at My right hand, so that I need not be disturbed. I am therefore glad, and my tongue is joyful; in fact, My body rests in hope. For You will not leave My soul in death, nor will You leave Your Holy One in the grave. You have made known to Me the ways of life, and You will delight Me with the sight of Your face’ (Psalm 16).


“My brothers, I can tell you plainly about the patriarch David, not only that he died but also that he was buried and that his tomb is with us to this day. He was a prophet and knew that Elohei had sworn to him with an oath from among his descendants. He would raise up the Church to sit on his throne. He, therefore, foresaw and spoke of the resurrection, namely, that His soul should not be left in the realm of the dead and His body was not to suffer decay. Yeshua is this One, and Elohim has now raised Him up, to which fact we were all witness. Therefore, He has been exalted to the right hand of Elohim and, as promised, He has received the Ruach Ha’Kodesh from Elohim, and has poured Him out upon us as you have seen and heard. No, it was not David who ascended to Heaven, for he himself says, ‘Adonai said to Adonai, “Sit at My right hand, until I place Your foes as a footstool under Your feet”’ (Psalm 110:1). Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that Elohim has made this Yeshua Whom you crucified both Adonai and Mashiach!”

As they listened to him their hearts were troubled, and they said to Simon Peter and to the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Simon Peter answered them, “Repent and be baptized, each one of you, in the Name of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach Ha’Kodesh. This promise is to you and to your children, and to all people everywhere, as many as Adonai Elohei will call.”

He also said many other things as he testified and exhorted them, with emphasis on the plea, “Save yourself from this wicked generation!” Then those who accepted his message were baptized. Thus, about 3000 souls were added to the believers that day.

They continued steadfast in the teachings of the apostles, also in their fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayer. And the fear of Elohei came upon every soul, for many miracles and signs were done by the apostles. All the believers lived together and had all things in common. They sold their property and their goods, and distributed the proceeds to all according to their special needs. Day after day, they went regularly to the Temple, united. Likewise, they observed the breaking of bread in their homes, and ate their meals with joy and simplicity of heart. They praised Elohei and stood in favor with all the people. And every day Adonai added to the number of those who were saved.