Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.
The title given to this fifth book of the New Testament in my Bible, and probably in yours also, is "The Acts of the Apostles." However, in this first verse of the book we discover that it is actually the Acts of Jesus through the apostles, and it is in this way that we want to view the Book of Acts.
Luke wrote the Book of Acts, and his former treatise was his Gospel. What he wrote of Jesus in his Gospel was that which Jesus began both to do and teach. Now, what he writes in the Book of Acts is what Jesus continued to do and teach. This time, though, He is doing it through His Apostles. He filled them with Himself on the Day of Pentecost and from that time it was Jesus Christ in them that did the works and teachings.
We must understand that what Jesus continued to do and teach through the apostles of the Early Church did not cease with that Early Church. Everything the Lord Jesus has done and taught since that time He has done through the many-membered Christ Body with Him at its Head. Every member of the Body of Christ is essential. Even those members of the Body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary (I Corinthians 12:22). Every member of the Body of Christ functions; that is, when Jesus Christ continues to do and teach, every member of His Body is involved.
We must also understand that the apostles did not merely repent of their sins and then were automatically baptized into the Body of Christ. For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. I Corinthians 12:12-13. This is not talking about water baptism. It is not talking about receiving the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. It is talking about being baptized into the Body of Christ. Among Christians the potential members of the Body of Christ are many; the functional members of the Body of Christ, those through whom Jesus continues to do and teach, are few.
Acts 2:1-4 And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The Spirit of the Lord Jesus came out of heaven like a rushing mighty wind and filled the disciples. The Spirit of Truth had come, which was prophesied by Jesus. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of the Truth, is come, He will guide you into all the Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. John 16:13. Do you understand that Jesus is speaking of Himself? In John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the Truth!" The Truth is the Divine Spirit of God. Because the Spirit of Truth was in Jesus the Nazarene, He could say, "I am the Truth!" So what did He mean when He said, "When the Spirit of the Truth is come, He will guide you..."? The Spirit of the Truth was in Jesus. So He had come in that sense. Now, Jesus is saying, "The Spirit of the Truth is coming and will guide you..."; that is, the Spirit of the Truth, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, will come in you and guide you. In other words, Jesus will continue to do and teach through those who make up the many-membered Christ.
Then Jesus said, A little while, and you shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and you shall see Me, because I go to the Father. John 16:16. Jesus prophesied this during His last week before His crucifixion. His death on the cross marked the beginning of the time "when you shall not see Me." Then, in a little while, on the Day of Pentecost "you shall see Me, because I go to the Father." In Isaiah 9:7, the Lord Jesus Christ is called "The Everlasting Father." He always was the Everlasting Father, but He emptied Himself and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:7-8). So now the Lord returns again to what He was before: the Everlasting Father. This is what He was talking about when He said to His disciples, What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before? It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life. John 6:62-63. So, the disciples saw Him again on the Day of Pentecost not as the Son of man, Jesus in the flesh, but they saw Him as the Lord of Glory. They no longer saw Him with their eyes of flesh, but they saw Him with the eyes of their spirit, for their spirit had come alive to the Lord by being filled with His Spirit, the Spirit of the Truth (Himself), and He will guide them into all the Truth and show them things to come, for He will continue to do and teach through them. These are acts of Jesus!
Acts 2:5-8, 11 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
11 We do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
There were Jews from every country under heaven in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost, and they all spoke many different languages. The Holy Spirit of the Lord filled the disciples, and they began speaking in the various languages of the people gathered there. We do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. Again, it is the acts of Jesus! The Holy Spirit that gave the disciples utterance was the Spirit of the resurrected Christ. He was proclaiming the wonderful works of God!
Do you understand what is happening here? The Body of Christ is functioning, and Jesus is the Head of the Body. He is the Head of the Body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. Colossians 1:18. Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ, the Church. All of His acts and teachings are manifested through the Church in which He is the Head. Every religious organization today is not under the Headship of Jesus Christ. Many of them are under the rule of man. No church can serve two masters. It cannot serve man and the Lord Jesus. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24. If a church will submit to the Lordship of Jesus, He will speak to them in many languages: He will speak in the tongues of all ages, the babes in Christ, the adolescents, the young men, and the mature saints. Only the Lord Jesus can speak in all the languages of man. These are the acts of Jesus!
Acts 2:14-15 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, You men of Judea, and all you that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
This is Jesus' first sermon through the Apostle Peter. The resurrected Lord is ministering. Peter stood and lifted up His voice, not his voice but "His" voice. The voice of the Lord was sounding forth through Peter. We learned from Exodus chapter 19 that the word "voice" in connection with the Lord God always means a Word of Spirit. You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine. Exodus 19:4-5. God did not say, "Obey what I say." He said, "Obey My voice!"
It is interesting that at Sinai was the first Pentecost, for it was fifty days after the first Passover. The emphasis at that first Pentecost was the voice of the Lord from Mount Sinai, and now from the Pentecost of Acts chapter two it is again an emphasis of the voice of God. The voice of the Lord spoke through the disciples in many languages. Then Peter stood and "lifted up His voice". Jesus was teaching through Peter.
Acts 2:29, 31-33 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David...
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 has God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has shed forth this, which you now see and hear.
This is the message: the resurrection of Jesus. This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses...which you now see and hear. The rushing mighty wind that filled all the house was the resurrected Jesus. The cloven tongues of fire was the resurrected Jesus. The Holy Spirit that filled the disciples, the various tongues proclaiming the wonderful works of God, Peter standing up and lifting up His voice was all a manifestation of the resurrected Jesus Christ. This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses...which you now see and hear is what Jesus Christ is continuing to do and teach. These are acts of Jesus! Let this wonderful account of His resurrected life doing and teaching through the Early Church inspire you to allow Him to continue His acts through you and the Church of today.
Copyright @ 2011 by Henry DuBose