ENTERING INTO PEACE WITH THE GOD OF ISRAEL
I. THE INDIVIDUAL
A. The Resurrection of Jesus, and World-Wide Commission
NOW late on the Sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow: and for fear of him the watchers did quake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Jesus, who hath been crucified. He is not here; for he is risen, even as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples, He is risen from the dead; and lo, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring his disciples word. And behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then saith Jesus unto them, Fear not: go tell my brethren that they depart into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
"Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city, and told unto the chief priests all the things that were come to pass. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave much money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears we will persuade him, and rid you of care. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying was spread abroad among the Jews, and continueth until this day.
"But the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28).
The quotation from Matthew above recounts the facts of the empty tomb, the attempt on the part of the Sanhedrin to suppress the good news that Jesus had risen from the dead, and the record of the world-wide commission by Jesus to His disciples to proclaim the Gospel.
B. The Ascension of Jesus
"The former treatise I made, 0 Theophilus, concerning all that Jesus began both to do and to teach, until the day in which he was received up, after that he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom he also showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing unto them by the space of forty days, and speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, ye heard from me: for John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence.
"They therefore, when they were come together, asked him, saying, Lord, dost thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know times or seasons, which the Father hath set within his own authority. But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they were looking steadfastly into heaven as he went, behold two men stood by them in white apparel; who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven? this Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is nigh unto Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey off. And when they were come in, they went up into the upper chamber, where they were abiding; both Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. These all with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren" (Acts 1:1-14).
After the Resurrection and during a period of forty days Jesus appeared alive to various individuals and groups, the largest of which was above 500. The last of these appearances is recorded in the passage from Acts 1 quoted above. At this final meeting Jesus again promised the disciples the comfort, aid, and the power of the Holy Spirit Who would come to them not many days hence. Likewise, during the interview the disciples asked Him if it was His plan to restore the kingdom to Israel at that time. This question coming from the disciples whose spiritual eyes had been opened that they might understand the Scriptures (Lk. 24:45) and whom Jesus had taught during the forty days concerning the kingdom proves that it is in the plan of God to restore the kingdom to Israel in the future. The fact that He did not correct them on this point is also proof that He approved of that position. In fact, His answer that "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father hath set within His own authority" is absolute proof that He taught it. In verses 9-11 appears an account of His ascension to the right hand of the throne of God. In verses 12-14 appears a list of eleven of the Apostles. In verses 15-26 is the record of the choice of Matthias to take the place of Judas, the traitor.
1. The tense situation in Jerusalem
C. The First Proclamation of the Gospel in Jerusalem
"And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.2. The coming of the Holy Spirit
"Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying, Behold, are not all these that speak Galilaeans? And how hear we, every man in our own language wherein we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty works of God. And they were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, What meaneth this? But others mocking said, They are filled with new wine.
"But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spake forth unto them, saying, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and give ear unto my words. For these are not drunken, as ye suppose; seeing it is but the third hour of the day; but this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel: And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth 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: Yea and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days Will I pour forth of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above, And signs on the earth beneath; Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the day of the Lord come, That great and notable day: And it shall be, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know; him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay: whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David saith concerning him, I beheld the Lord always before my face; For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; Moreover my flesh also shall dwell in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades, Neither wilt thou give thy Holy One to see corruption. Thou madest known unto me the ways of life; Thou shalt make me full of gladness with thy countenance. Brethren, I may say unto you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us unto this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would set one upon his throne; he foreseeing this spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he left unto Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses. Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear. For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet. Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.
"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him. And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation. They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.
"And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need. And day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved" (Acts 2:1-47).
The quotation above is a record of the proclamation of the Gospel in the city of Jerusalem at the Feast of Weeks. It was here that Jesus at Passover (fifty days earlier) had been condemned by the Sanhedrin and delivered to the Roman government to be crucified. His influence over the masses of the people was so very great that the eyes of the entire nation were fixed upon Him. That this statement is true is seen from the fact that the Jewish leaders were afraid to arrest Him during the feast lest a riot should break out (Mk. 14:2). There can be little doubt concerning the position that at this time the very keenest of interest continued to center around Jesus, concerning Whom reports circulated that He had been raised from the dead. The masses of the people were perplexed, being unable to harmonize His tragic death with the Messianic hope which His teaching and the miraculous deeds inspired in them. This perplexity was heightened by the reports that Jesus had risen from the dead, which filtered through from the company of believers to the masses. On the other hand, the hostility on the part of the leaders of the people seems not to have decreased. This fact becomes more apparent when one realizes that if the position of influence and prestige of the Jerusalem authorities was threatened by the rising tide of popular favor toward Jesus at the time of His crucifixion, much more would their influence be threatened and their jealousy and hostility intensified by the rumors concerning His resurrection which, doubtless, were heard on every hand.
At that time when there flowed into the intellectual and spiritual stream of the nation, currents of perplexity, doubt, skepticism, jealousy, suspicion, and hostility, the Holy Spirit, according to the Old Testament prediction (Isa. 44:1-5; Joel 2:28-32) and the promise of Jesus (John 16:12,13; Acts 1:5), came to the Apostles, manifesting His presence with them by the sound as of a rushing mighty wind and by the outward visible demonstration of the appearance of tongues parting asunder like fire. He filled their very being and enabled them to speak in languages which they had never learned. He Who, as was seen in Chapters III to V, is one of the Divine Persons imparting to them supernatural knowledge and power, for it is He Who, since the ascension of Jesus, takes of the things of Jesus and reveals them to His people.
At that time there were sojourning in Jerusalem devout Jews from the different nations of the world who were there for the purpose of observing the feast. The unusual phenomena which attended the coming of the Holy Spirit caused the multitudes to come together in great amazement. When they were thus assembled the different apostles spoke to them concerning the "mighty works of God." Let no one imagine that there was a babel of tongues on this occasion, i.e., that all of them were talking at the same time to the same audience for "the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets; for God is not a God of confusion but of peace" (I Cor. 14:32,33). These statements being true, evidently one spoke and the rest remained silent. When one was speaking, for instance, in the language of the people of Pontus those Jews from that country understood the language and realized that only a miracle from God could enable a Galilean Jew to speak accurately and fluently the language of their country. Likewise, when another disciple spoke in the language of the people of Mesopotamia, the people of that country understood the message and realized that God was with the men conducting the meeting. The audience became amazed and perplexed, not realizing the significance of the presence of the Holy Spirit and of His work. Some, however, mocked and attributed the speaking to drunkenness caused by new wine.
3. Peter's speach
When this introductory testimony and praise service was ended the Apostle Peter, whom the Lord chose to be spokesman of the Apostolic group (Matt. 16:17-19), stepped forward and preached the first full Gospel sermon. The theme of his discourse was that Jesus of Nazareth Whom "they that dwell in Jerusalem and their rulers" (Acts 13:27) rejected and "by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay," God raised up and exalted at His right hand as was foretold would be done to the Hebrew Messiah (Psa. 110:1).
In the first place, the inspired speaker disabused the minds of his auditors concerning the cause of their speaking in foreign languages. In doing this he quoted a prophecy from Joel which foretold that God would send the Holy Spirit in the latter days. This coming of the Holy Spirit, affirmed the speaker, was a fulfillment of the event foretold by Joel. He does not say that the entire passage which he quotes (Acts 2:17-21) was completely and exhaustively fulfilled on that day; but his affirmation was that the coming of the Holy Spirit was mentioned in the prophecy. That this Scripture was only partially fulfilled is evident from the fact that the Holy Spirit has come during this Christian age upon comparatively few Jews and Gentiles, since He comes and dwells only in those who accept and obey Him (Acts 5:32), whereas the prophecy has a world-wide outlook and promises the Holy Spirit to all flesh (nations then living) who, when the Messiah returns, will acknowledge and accept His Lordship. By a comparison of this passage with others it is evident that the signs and wonders both in the heavens and upon the earth will precede immediately the "day of the Lord" which is "the time of Jacob's trouble." But that portion of the promise which foretells that the Holy Spirit will come upon all flesh will be fulfilled at the time when the Messiah returns in glory to reign over the earth as is seen in such passages as Ezek. 36.
Having explained the phenomenon of the presence of the Holy Spirit, Peter in the power of the Spirit affirmed that Jesus of Nazareth, the Man approved of God unto the nation "by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by Him" in their midst as they themselves knew, had been delivered up "by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God," and that at the same time they (his auditors) had by the hands of lawless men crucified and slain Him. Continuing his affirmation, he declared that God had raised Him from the dead in fulfillment of the promise found in Psa. 16. At this point it was necessary for Peter to explain David's use of the personal pronoun "I" in making this prophecy concerning the Resurrection from the dead of the Messiah. In order to convince his auditors that though he did use the personal pronouns "I," "my," and "mine," he was speaking of Christ, he called their attention to the fact that David died, was buried, and that his tomb remained until that day, as they well knew. Therefore argued the speaker, since David was speaking by the infallible Spirit of God, he was not speaking of his own experience, but of the experience of Christ. He, furthermore, explained why David spoke this prediction concerning the Resurrection of Christ. In the seventh chapter of II Samuel appears the record of God's oath to David that of the fruit of his loins He would set one upon his throne Who should reign forever. This promise involved longevity. This implication without explanation involved a great mystery to those to whom it was spoken. An Israelite living at that time would have been perplexed in understanding how one of David's descendants could mount the throne and remain there to the end of the world. In order to solve this difficulty the Spirit of God made a further Revelation to David concerning the resurrection of this descendant of his Who was to reign forever. Therefore, argued Peter, the oath to David involved the Death and Resurrection of the Messiah. Anticipating a possible objector, Peter next stated that Jesus was not present with them, but that, in accordance with Psa. 110, He had ascended from the earth into the heavens and was at that time seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Having proved his point conclusively by the Old Testament predictions he asserted in the most positive manner that God had made that same Jesus Whom they had crucified, BOTH LORD AND CHRIST (MESSIAH).
4. Results of the sermon
The logic of the discourse was so very perfect and the proofs so very clear and convincing that the multitude with its complex attitude varying in all degrees from bewilderment and perplexity to that of blind prejudiced hostility was convinced that Jesus to Whose death fifty days prior they had consented was their real Messiah and that He had risen from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the throne of God as was foretold by the prophets. Since the audience was there on the very spot where all of the events connected with the death of Christ transpired, if there had been any misstatements, misrepresentations, or fabrications in Peter's statement of the facts, those who were hostile would have detected such and exposed the error. The fact that they did not do so is proof that they could not.
Thus being brought to the conviction by the Holy Spirit (verse 37; John 16:8-11) that they were sinners in the sight of God and guilty of killing their Messiah, they cried out "Brethren, what shall we do?" To this query the inspired Apostle replied, "Repent ye, and be baptized* every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him." The word translated "repent" means "to change one's mind." A fuller definition is given by Thayer (Greek Lexicon) as "to change one's mind for the better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins." Therefore repentance is an act of the mind or will which one can do in a moment of time. When, however, one has repented, his life will be changed for he will right wrongs of which he is guilty as far as it is possible for him to do so.
According to the inspired speaker, it was not sufficient for his Hebrew auditors to repent, which is an inward attitude of the heart, but it was necessary for them to repudiate their past life by an open confession of their faith in the Lord. In discussing the matter of discipleship, Jesus in Matt. 10:24-33 assured the believer in Him of divine protection for, said He, "the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." Whereupon, He promised to confess those before His Father who confess Him before men; but "whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven," declared Jesus. Again, in emphasizing the fact that it does not please Him for one to be merely a secret believer, Jesus declared "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth" (Lk. 11:23). "Because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:9,10).
Therefore, dear Hebrew friend, if you are convinced, as were Peter's auditors on this occasion, come out boldly for Jesus Christ and confess Him before men with the mouth and submit to baptism in His Name. This is the day (the Christian dispensation) when Christ, the Son of Man, is in rejection; if one "shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man also shall be ashamed of him, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mk 8:38).
To believe that Jesus is the Hebrew Messiah and the Sin-bearer Who has made atonement for the sins of the world involves more than simply the intellectual assent to those great truths. The demons believe, in this sense, for James declares "The demons also believe, and shudder" (Jas. 2:19). Saving faith, while it involves giving assent to these truths, always expresses itself in an open confession of Him. Fire gives forth heat and light; ice produces coldness; likewise faith produces action. To have saving faith is to abandon oneself completely, to surrender the soul and life with interests both in time and eternity to Jesus, to trust Him to save completely, and to accept His Lordship. Faith always cries out, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" Faith says, "Where He leads me, I will follow."
Let it be understood clearly that obedience to the Lord in baptism does not possess any merit which will be accredited to the one thus rendering the obedience. The fact that one observes some Biblical rite or ceremony is no guarantee of God's favor for He does not simply look at the outward obedience but looks at the faith and the motives which prompt the act.
Let no one understand that Peter implied that there was any cleansing power or spiritual efficacy in the waters of baptism. Since they were sinners by birth (Psa. 51:5) and had publicly renounced Jesus as an impostor, he called upon them to repudiate their past lives, to confess their faith in Jesus as their Messiah, and to break off all connection from the past by being baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. To such as come out boldly, he promised the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In response to the instruction of the inspired apostles "They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls" (verse 41). These three thousand people took a definite stand for Jesus Christ, being willing to endure hardships for His Name if need be. It seems not to have entered their minds what men would say about them or do to them.
"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers" (verse 42). These three thousand people there in the very city where their Lord had been crucified fifty days prior organized themselves into a working, active body or church of believers. Steadfastly did they continue to walk with the Lord daily. With them spiritual matters were pre-eminent.
No sooner had this church of Hebrew believers been formed than opposition was stirred up against it and persecutions broke forth. They seem to have been ostracized by their unbelieving Hebrew brethren; hence there arose a necessity of having a common treasury into which all cast their funds in order that there might not be anyone who suffered from the lack of daily necessities.¹ If a similar situation should arise this principle should be observed. This community of saved people continued in the grace of God and enjoyed favor with men, and "the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved."
In the third chapter of Acts appears the account of the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate, which healing was the occasion of a gathering of a large crowd of people. Peter, taking advantage of the occasion, preached to them Jesus. In concluding his sermon he urged upon the audience: "Repent ye therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord; and that he may send the Christ who hath been appointed for you, even Jesus: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, whereof God spake by the mouth of his holy prophets that have been from of old. Moses indeed said, A prophet shall the Lord God raise up unto you from among your brethren, like unto me; to him shall ye hearken in all things whatsoever he shall speak unto you. And it shall be, that every soul that shall not hearken to that prophet, shall be utterly destroyed from among the people" (verses 19-23).
From the fourth chapter it seems that this sermon was used of the Lord and that shortly the church grew to be about five thousand (Acts 4:4).
As time went on this Jerusalem church notwithstanding opposition from its enemies continued to increase and to wield a mighty influence for God and Christ. Many were convinced of the truthfulness of its position, but through fear of persecution or disfavor with the multitudes stood aloof from it. On the other hand many, regardless of the opposition, took a bold public stand for Jesus, among whom were priests. "The word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith." Notwithstanding persecutions the church continued to grow numerically (spreading throughout Palestine), and in spiritual life, enjoying the peace of Christ "which passeth all understanding." "So the church throughout all Galilee and Judea and Samaria had peace, being edified; and, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, was multiplied."
II. THE NATION
As stated above, Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the Messianic prophecies in His coming to earth, life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. At present He is at the right hand of the throne of God, a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psa. 110:4; Heb. 6:17-20). During this Christian dispensation many Jews and Gentiles have accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour and have enjoyed spiritual blessings in this life and perfect assurance of a life of blessedness in the future. According to the Old Testament schedule and likewise that of the New Testament, He will remain at the right hand of the throne of God until the arrival of the time for Him to return to earth and to reign over it. In Lk. 19:11-27 Jesus gave the parable of the pounds, which represent the talents and opportunities of His disciples and which they are to use during His absence for His glory. At His return to establish His reign upon the earth He will reward each of His servants according to his works. Peter, in the passage from Acts 3 quoted above, affirmed that Jesus is now in heaven awaiting the time to return and to restore the things mentioned by the Hebrew prophets. The Apostle Paul in the Jewish section of the Roman epistle, chapters 9-11, explains fully why God set the Jewish nation aside and is at present gathering out from all nations a people for His Name. At the end of this Christian dispensation, says he, God will restore the Hebrew race to favor and fellowship with Him. Having explained that the Jews on account of their unbelief were set aside and that the Gentiles on account of the former's failure were brought into fellowship with God, he informed the church that he would not have them "ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in; and so all Israel shall be saved: even as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer; He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: And this is my covenant unto them, When I shall take away their sins" (Rom. 11:25-27). The teaching of this passage is in full accord with the career of the Messiah as it was outlined in the Old Testament.
* John demanded of those who came to his baptism that they should "bring forth therefore fruit worthy of repentance." Those who accepted his teaching openly confessed their sins, "and they were baptized of him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins" (Mk. 1:5).
It was the universal custom in the apostolic church for believers to come out boldly in confessing their faith and to demonstrate to the world that they were renouncing their former life and conduct by openly confessing Christ in baptism. Acts 8:12, 36-38; 9:18; 10:47,48; 16:33; 19:5.
¹ This was not a communistic organization. All who were members of this body were regenerated, saved people who acknowledged the Lordship and sovereignty of Jesus Christ. To use this passage as authority for a community of goods for the people of a nation is to force upon it a meaning foreign to the context.
<<<< previous next >>>>