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ACTS 2:37-47 - Corps Notes - December 2, 1975

Format: mp3,pdf
Publication Date: 12-2-1975

ACTS 2:37-47
December 2, 1975
The Way International
The entire Word of God is exciting and electrifying, and I suppose it’s like any experience that the
moment you are in it, that’s the greatest. So that’s why perhaps Last year Ephesians was the greatest
to us, and this year, of course, the book of Acts. We’re in that tremendous section of the book of Acts
that there are just no words to describe its greatness. You can unfold it, you can work it with all of its
integrity the best to your ability, and then there are still some things that escape you. Yet somehow
when you work through this record you have to just stand in utter amazement at its greatness, its
simplicity and its real in-depth beauty. I’m sort of believing that when I finish some of these things
here in Acts I’ll do a homiletical analysis for you, which I’ve never done, and just simply handle this
whole chapter from a homiletical point of view. Nothing teaches any better than God’s Word on
homiletics, which is the art of teaching. How to teach God’s Word most effectively is set forth in
God’s Word. The greatness of this record in Acts 2, homiletically, has never been superseded. It has
a fantastic introduction and then it has what you call the body, which is the build up. All the build up
is in this last session that we did. The introduction is in the preceding tape. Of course, the whole idea
of teaching, as well as preaching, is to bring men and women to a point of decision, to what many
times, homiletically you refer to as the moment of decision.
Acts 2:37
“What shall we do?” That’s the moment of decision. His teaching brought them to the place where
the people said, “what shall we do.” (Example of PFAL class) One of the great arts of teaching is to
bring men and women to that point where they have to make a decision.
It’s like in selling, you can be the best salesman in the world, but if you never say to them, “look, do
you want to buy,” you’re never going to sell. The whole thing in selling is to bring people to that
point where they make a decision. Moving the Word of God is just as simple. That’s why whenever
you teach at a believer’s meeting you have to pre-think, pre-plan, pre-work in your heart and life the
Word of God so beautifully that your teaching will get people to the place where they make that
moment of decision. All teaching is designed to do just that.
Acts 2:38
Well, there it is. Many years I failed to understand that verse because I was taught it wrongly. I just
didn’t know the answer to this verse. I was taught to repent was to confess my sins, so I went through
that every year, sometimes twice a year, to get saved. If God had never taught me more than the two
verses, 38 and 39, I’d forever be grateful to God. To repent is not to confess your sin. The word
“repent” Literally means a change about, a turn about, going in another direction.
I understand this, because before, we are dead in trespasses and sins, without God and without hope
and by nature the children of wrath. So to repent is to get from the nature of wrath category to being
born again and alive in God in Christ. That’s why to repent is not to confess your sin but to confess
the savior from sin, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 10:9-10) The confusion of this word
“repentance” was paramount in my life. Even today in the so-called Christian church the confusion is
very manifest.
“be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ” - This is another point of confusion. Once
you rightly divide the Word of truth and have the true Word and you understand it then it looks so
simple, but before you had that, it doesn’t look so simple. It may have looked simple, but you
weren’t able to put it together, because if it’s God’s Word, it all has to fit like a hand in a glove. You
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and I know that to ‘be baptized’ is a one time deal, and it’s not something that you do, it’s something
that happens to you when you repent. But we never knew that, years ago. When you repent you are
baptized. It’s not just emersion; it’s an internal fulfillment, Christ in you the hope of glory. Every
part of your being has Christ in it. That’s the baptized. When they did it in water, the baptism was
always an emersion so that the water would be completely ‘over’. I think It’s beautiful that God
chose to use the word “baptize” here. Repent, confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and Christ
comes in, and that is baptized in with everything Christ is. He is completely all in you.
“in the name of Jesus Christ” - The teaching as well as the “Christian” tradition that is based on
Matthew 28:19-20 is absolutely ripped to shreds in the light of the record in Acts 2.
Matthew 28:19-20
“baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” - must be, deleted.
This is the teaching of tradition and of the “Christian” church which is always quoted, but they quote,
of course, the part that should never have been in the text to begin with. “Baptizing them in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” was never in the originals. If that were true, that
that was the command given, then the apostles were either very forgetful or very ignorant, for this
occurred only eight days before Pentecost. It was the last thing Jesus Christ said, and most people
have the ability to remember the last thing someone says and yet here in Acts Peter said, “be baptized
in the name of Jesus Christ.” Either the apostles were very ignorant or very forgetful or we must
accuse them of incompetence and absolute insubordination, if Matthew 28:19-20 would apply to the
administration that began on the day of Pentecost. All the Word of God stands in its greatness and its
beauty and it stands absolutely inviolate with no tearing up of any of God’s Word if we obey
II Timothy 2:15. Matthew 28:19-20 is the Israelitic commissioning, or the ministry that is to be
carried out under Israel.
“Teach” - discipling, to make disciples of all nations. That discipling of Matthew 28 is basically a
continuation of the record in Matthew 10.
Matthew 10:5-10 - The Word of God never says that we are sheep. Israel was referred to as sheep,
but we are sons of God. At another place it says that you are supposed to take scrip for the journey.
It’s where he said to take the sword, or something.
Luke 22:31-36 - Situations change and when situations change, the revelation changes. Here we are
at the time of the crucifixion, and at the time of the crucifixion, he lays this on them. Verse 36, then
comes the crucifixion, then comes the resurrection, then comes the ascension, and just before his
ascension again, situations change and we add something and we have that record in Matthew.
Matthew 28:19-20 - In Matthew it says to teach all nations. Previously it didn’t say to teach nations.
Who did you teach? Israel. Now he says teach nations.
“end of the world” - “end of the age” - That is exactly what occurs after the gathering together of the
body to which you and I belong. Then this Scripture comes again into prominence, then Israel will be
teaching the nations.
The Acts 2:38 record “baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins” has nothing to do with the record in Matthew 28. It’s an entirely new administration, and you
dare not read into the previous administration that which is for the current one, nor can you take the
previous one and read into the present one. I think in one of the books I have a piece of work on
baptism. (The Bible Tells Me So chapter 14) You ought to master that. Either those apostles were
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very forgetful because just eight days before, the last thing he said was to go out and teach the
nations. If you are going to include baptizing them in the name of the Father, the son, the holy ghost,
you are going to develop even more opportunities. Why didn’t they do it on the day of Pentecost?
Were they forgetful? See how simple it becomes when we rightly divide it.
John, who preceded Jesus Christ in the m1nistry, gave his call to Israel and they turned out by the
barrel full, and it says that he baptized them unto the remission of sins, and therefore, they have
carried that over from that administration into the church administration. And every time you read
“baptized” they add “water.” Acts 21:20 tells you why this was carried over into the age of the
church.
Acts 21:20
They were still zealous for the law; therefore, they continued to carry out at times John the Baptist’s
baptism of water. Why do we then carry out water baptism today? Still zealous for the law. They
were zealous for the law here because the revelation of what the church was had not been given
historically at the time of Acts 21:20. Shortly thereafter the fullness of the revelation comes. That’s
why you never after that read about water baptism again in the book of Acts. We’ve lived almost
2000 years tonight from the day that these things occurred, and we are still zealous for the law. We
still have not come to the place that Peter came to on the first day when he was born again.
So we talk about intelligence, I’d say that Peter had it far beyond what most people have today. At
least he got it the first day. We Live 2000 years later and we don’t have it. Peter just had to learn to
rely upon God and speak forth as the spirit of God worked mightily in him. And Peter said it
accurately and right on.
In Matthew it is not a called out of Jew and Gentile. In Matthew it’s a call only to Israel, Jew only. At
the end of Matthew, it’s not a calling out of Jew and Gentile. It’s a calling where The Jew, Israel,
takes the Word to the Gentile. But to us in the body it’s a calling out of both Jew and Gentile.
Romans 9:24 You don’t see that in the gospels, only in the church epistles. In our administration it’s
a calling out of both Jew and Gentile. In the next administration, after the gathering together, it will
be Israel witnessing to the nations. The calling out of both Jew and Gentile and this baptism in Acts 2
brings you to Ephesians 4:5. That has nothing to do with water. What I’m teaching you tonight you
can’t get in any commentary. You cannot get it in any seminary, any Bible school, but you can get it
from the Word if you’ve got eyes to see and ears to hear.
“baptized” - when they did it in water, when John did it, he put them all the way under. That’s why
they used the word “baptized,” for it’s all the way under, it’s God in Christ in you, all the way under,
completely, completely, complete with Christ in you the hope of glory. Boy, how little we’ve
appreciated that and how we’ve magnified the water. And the water doesn’t give you a lousy thing
except dead people. That’s right. They fought over it; they killed each other over it because one
group believed in more water than the other. And it’s the same amount of Christ in us, the same faith,
the same joy, the same peace. That’s baptized. If that isn’t bigger than water, then just go fly a kite
backwards! See how little we’ve appreciated God and His Word and his wonderful son Jesus Christ.
How little people have gone to the Word to work the Word. The Word does not contradict itself if we
rightly divide it. If we wrongly divide it, we’ll have any number of contra-dictions, and then you
have to keep propounding the error to maintain the system. Praise God for the Way Ministry; that we
don’t have to propound error to maintain the system because we never had a system to begin with.
All we’ve been is a research center. If we learn any more, we’ll change. As long as the Way Ministry
stays that way, God will bless it. When it solidifies itself, it’s dead. When it systematizes itself where
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there is no freedom to work the Word without somebody criticizing, or raising hell, she’s over with.
Praise the Lord. I hope it dies the first day somebody gets that silly idea.
Peter said repent. He could have said,”Come on up and sign the register”. He doesn’t talk about
signing a church book. To get to the new birth you have to repent. And it isn’t sin or we’d never
make it. When you repent you are baptized. Repent and be baptized. How? - By repenting and being
baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. There’s an orientalism about pleading in the name of some
prominent man. That’s the meaning here. You are baptized in the name. In whatever that name
represents is what you’re baptized in. What does that name represent? Christ in you the hope of
glory, righteousness, redemption, sanctification, etc., that’s in the name.
“In the name of Jesus Christ” - the one who was humiliated, the one who had no sin, the one who
never blew it, the one yet who was tempted in all things like as we are - that’s in that name of the one
who carried everything for us. The Christ, the messianic one, the one whom God sent who now is
seated at the right hand of God - puts the humility first. Well, that’s where you and I need it here
upon earth. That’s why the repentance is down here, that’s why it’s baptized in the name of Jesus. If
it was baptized in the name of Christ your Bible would fall to pieces. It’s baptized in the name of
Jesus; it’s down here upon earth where you are baptized with his presence and with his power. He’s
seated at the right hand of God, but he’s born in us, Christ in you, in every born again believer.
“for” - unto - eis
(Go through Acts and find out how many times “the name” is used in the book of Acts.) Unto the
remission of sins. Remission of sins is for the accumulation of sins before you repent. Forgiveness of
sins is after you are born again of God’s spirit. Repent; be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ unto
the remission of sins, not forgiveness.
“Ye shall” - is absolute
In the singular and plural, 1st and 2nd person, I’ll give it to you once more.
‘I’ will - absolute
‘I’ shall - simple future
‘You’ or ‘they’ will - simple future
‘You’ or ‘they’ shall - absolute
“receive” - lambano
Ye shall is the absolute, then why do people argue about it? For the same reason that they argue
about water, for men’s eyes are blinded to the truth of God’s Word. To propound error is so much
easier that men just stand against God because of the Adversary and make the Word of God look like
a bunch of bologna.
After Peter had preached that fantastic sermon, be brought them to that point of decision when he
said “repent.” When you repent you are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of
sins. Now then lambano, manifest. Ye shall absolutely lambano the gift, Christ in you the hope of
glory, the fullness of the power of God in Christ in you, the new birth.
“the’’ - Greek text has it but Aramaic never has it, so have to get in the context to find out if the
article should or shouldn’t be there.
If it’s going to be a capital ‘‘H’’ and “S”, the preposition “of’’ has to be “from. If we are going to
keep it lower case “h” and “s” the preposition has to be “of.”
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You are going to lambano the gift of holy spirit or you are going to lambano the gift from God. In
any case, you can’t get out of it; lambano it. That’s the cry we can share with people. Lambano the
gift. You don’t lambano the giver, but lambano the gift.
In my heart I feel that it’s lambano the gift from God, to manifest that wonderful gift that God has
given. But you can’t teach this text wise, because you can’t prove it from the text. Not that the gift is
the important thing, but the God that gave it. To lambano the gift from God.
“gift” – dorea – of service to men
Acts 2:39
“the promise” - Acts 1, Luke - You are clothed, no longer naked, endued with power from on high,
which is in that name of Jesus Christ. What you got was remission of sins and you lambano-ed.
“unto you” - Israel
“and to all” - The commentaries say Israel only, but they forget to read the last part.
“even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” - That brings us Gentiles in. We were called by his
Word. Believing comes by hearing the Word. That’s why the Word is the only thing that is
important. The Word is the only thing that ever brings men and women to the knowledge of God and
salvation. That’s how He calls, by the Word. Those who have ears to hear, hear. Just two verses of
scripture; the whole summation of the new birth, power from on high, the fullness of the spirit, Jew
and Gentile, all in just two verses. The promise is unto you, Israel, and to your children, Israel, and to
all, Israel. Afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call, brings in the Gentiles. This is why
people do not find Jesus, they are found of him, because the Word draws, the Word is the calling. We
are the ones lost, not Jesus. The Word does the calling to those who have ears to hear. Those who
want to remain unsaved stay unsaved. It’s as simple as that. To me, this is in many respects, like
“who forgiveth all thine iniquities, and who healeth all thy diseases.” (Psalm 103:3) If he can forgive
sins, in the same verse you have the healing. Over here you have the new birth and the manifestation
of that birth in the same verse. Anyone who is born again of God’s spirit should manifest. We didn’t
manifest because we did not know, and we did not know because nobody taught us. You can be born
again without a manifestation because the new birth is the working of God in Christ; the
manifestation is your working. Unless you are taught your job, God can do his and you don’t do
yours. You can confess with your mouth the lord Jesus and you can believe God raised him from the
dead without manifesting anything. That’s why we need a teaching ministry, that’s why the teaching
ministry is in the Word, because it’s the Word that calls. The Word needs to be taught. The greatest
thing in the world is the Word. He magnified it above all His name. It’s the Word.
Acts 2:40
Verses 38 and 39 finished up an action, a result, but that didn’t stop the day. He preached the Word
all day. They kept right on going. When John got tired, Andrew came along and fished a while.
“testify” - some center margins have - earnestly testify. That isn’t big enough, it’s deeper than that.
It’s a fantastic verse, but hardly anybody ever sees it.
“many other words” - continued teaching, preaching God’s Word - testify - In its basic meaning here
means to completely give an out and out witness. It’s a complete, full, out and out witness.
Man, what a day that must have been. Peter gave a complete, full, out and out witness.
“exhort” - In one sense that I’ve taught you, the word “exhort” means to encourage toward a more
worthy endeavor. But there is another usage of that Word and it’s here; out and out witness. To
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exhort means to call them near, to draw them unto. He gave an out and out witness to draw the
people unto God, as many as the Lord our God shall call. Look at that verse! He did an out and out
witnessing to call the near unto God. If you want to get saved from this crooked world, draw near;
come over, to God’s side. That’s verse 40.
Acts 2:41
“gladly” - delete
“received” - dechomai, subjective reception, but in this instance it’s apodechomai, which means that
they received it here and flowed it out. They received fully. They didn’t just dechomai, they
dechomai-ed fully, which means they manifested in this verse. Apodechomai means subjective
reception to the end that it flows out. That’s why I know they spoke in tongues on the day of
Pentecost.
“about three thousand souls” -- Every commentary says there were 3000 souls added by Peter’s
sermon. That’s not true, because this is the second, third, fourth, fifth sermon of this day. Throughout
the whole day the Word moved. They went all day long, and by nightfall, about 3000 people. What a
record!
That received fully in that verse implies the absolute manifestation.
That’s the end of Pentecost.
Acts 2:42
Now you begin in verse 42 with the things that occurred as a result of that which had previously been
accomplished. That’s why you get to the great figure of polysyndeton with verse 42. You count the
“ands.” There are 16 “ands” from verses 42-47. The “ands” are to roll over fast and quickly to show
you the immensity of the results. I tell you, when God moves, He moves and there are tremendous
results when people believe. Fantastic! About 3000 souls that day. (Just like Genesis 1) Here it’s the
church. After the great revelation of what God did, then comes polysyndeton, just like in Genesis,
only here it’s the church of the body.
“apostles’ doctrine” -- the right teaching, the right dividing of God’s Word is what they continued in
steadfastly. They didn’t flip out on it; they just steadfastly stood together.
“fellowship” - they fellowshipped. It’s in the fellowshipping with like-minded people, day after day,
hour after hour, that’s where it is. If you really love to golf, who do you like to be with – golfers. If
you really love God and God’s people and God’s Word, who do you like to be with? With people
who have the purity of the spirit of God in them. Before you can have fellowship you have to have
sonship. You have to have the ship.
You can’t have fellowship in the body until you are first born again. The fellowship implied a little
sharing, etc.
“Breaking of bread” - implies that they ate together. They shared their sandwiches, etc. It’s just
beautiful! They didn’t forget to pray. And I’ll venture to day that they did it by the spirit too.
“and in prayers” – they didn’t forget to pray and I’ll venture to say they did via the spirit too.
Acts 2:43
“fear” - awe
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“every soul” - every believer
Acts 2:44
“all that believed were together” - Now I do not believe that they were all together at one location all
the time. I think Peter had a Twig, maybe a Branch. All of those guys were busy ministering the
Word. All that believed were together, together on the Word, together on believing the apostles’
doctrine. It’s in the plural, possessive. The possessiveness of it implies plurality, of verse 42.
“had all things common” - Not communistic - that’s from the Devil. They had it common. If you
have a need and I have something to share, then I share it with you. That’s the common. The early
church had it in common. It’s one body and the whole body has things in common. Everything above
your need is made available to the body.
II Corinthians 8:9-14
Verse 9 – “poverty” – it isn’t a negative poverty
Verse 10 – “forward” – willing
“a year ago” – from a year ago
Verse 14 – “that there may be equality” – in the body
This all happened to come into fruition immediately after the day of Pentecost. He isn’t talking about
tithing. Tithing is under the law. Christ is the end of the law for the believers. Abundant sharing is
abundant sharing over and beyond your need. Who gave you life? It’s eternal life. Who gave you the
joy and rejoicing in your heart? The great joy and rejoicing of your heart is not in the natural man but
in the Christ in you. To whom do we owe our life and everything then? To God! Boy, how the
church has lived below par and how devilish they’ve lived. It isn’t “giving me more”, but giving to
the body. They had things in common.
Acts 2:45
They sold their plurality, possessions, plural. They sold their plurality, goods, plural. They did not
sell what they needed. They sold what they had greed for; that which inflated their ego, “Well look at
me.” God has never asked a believer to give away or sell anything which you need. God supplies our
needs. Now what is need? Every individual stands before God and makes that decision. What may be
need for one person may be greed for another.
In one sense I’m a professional man. I need some dress clothes. That’s my need. But now, here’s the
local farmer across the road. If he would have as many dress clothes as I have, that would be greed
for him. If I had as many overalls as he has, that would be greed for me. You see it? It’s as simple as
that. What your job is, where you fit in the body. God will supply that need and that need varies.
“parted them to all” – shared - gave to all believers
“need” – not greed but as the need was there
Now that does not mean that they gave everything. But inside the body of believers, here’s a young
couple who wants to start farming. The church takes its young couple and put him in business at no
interest. That’s what they did. They parted the material goods as they had need. (Not once is “bank”
mentioned in the Word of God. Banks are built by the Devil for selfishness of people.)
We don’t need the world to back up believers: we need the believers to back up believers. Boy, what
a day if people see this. That early church must have been absolutely sharp. Just imagine that thing
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happening today, even among the Way people. Suppose they really saw the light of the Word and
really turned loose and believed God.
Acts 2:46
“daily” - The only people who object to this are the adults. They don’t fellowship daily because they
don’t want to. You can’t expect a business man to drive two hours at night to go to a Twig meeting.
The leader is supposed to be the leader. When people come to that Twig meeting, he ought to have
that thing burning in his soul from the time it opens until it closes. And it doesn’t drag all night. You
don’t start at 7:00 p. m. and preach a four hour sermon. You just kill everybody. People came to the
meeting to be built up, to fellowship. They met daily. That doesn’t say nightly. It doesn’t say that
they were in ten different meetings. It says daily. But it says daily. When the church does not meet
daily, it will die. It’s as simple as that. When the adults don’t go to the meetings daily, they will die.
It’s a daily life. Do you eat physical food daily? You got to fellowship with the believers daily.
That’s in addition to your private devotions, as you call it, because you speak in tongues much. They
met daily.
“with one accord” - with unity of purpose
“in the temple” - it’s not the temple proper, it’s in the temple area.
“breaking bread” - They just met daily and brought their sandwiches along. That’s all. That doesn’t
mean that the cook at the house made a seven course dinner for everybody. It just wasn’t a 30 second
meeting either. They prayed together. They worshiped together. They heard the Word together, sat
down, ate and fellowshipped together.
“house to house” - They did it from house to house. The Church is in the home.
That’s where the Twig is, in a house. When that Twig gets too big you split the Twig and go to
another house, and now you have two Twigs. But you see, we get selfish; I want to do it in my house.
So now we have nine people and that’s all we ever get and they are my people. And our believing has
already said that they are mine, so we limit it to nine or twelve and nobody else comes. My Twig, is
that right? No, it’s God’s. It’s God’s church and you are responsible to God. You ought to believe
God to fill that house the first night and the second week have a second Twig. God will raise up
leadership. It’ll be there sooner or later. If not, you lead both Twigs, one at 8:00 and the other at
10:00. It won’t hurt you. You aren’t going to burn out that quick. Get to moving with God’s Word.
“gladness” - euphoric - means with merriment, with festivity, with dancing, exuberance. They were a
happy gang. They ate their bread not with longfacedness, negativeness, but like it was a great
festivity, with dancing. The word “dancing” is used for this word “gladness.”
“singleness” - means simplicity of
“heart” - undivided loyalty. That’s the greatness of that verse. Ephesians 6:5 ‘singleness’ -
singleness is the same as simplicity - in simplicity in your heart. In Acts it’s the same thing. They ate
their bread with joyfulness, with dancing, with fellowship, with real exuberance, festivity, with
simplicity of undivided loyalty.
Acts 2:47
“praising God” - for what they had seen and heard and what they were experiencing.