The Acts Challenge: Chapter 2, The Apostles

Thank you for joining us again, for our second post in The Acts Challenge 2019! Today we’re looking at chapter 2, our second of 28 days. Here, we’ll hear from one of the Apostles himself.

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The Day of Pentecost

(Vs. 1) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place

The day of Pentecost, in the days of Jesus and His disciples, was actually a Jewish feast day. “Pentecost” is the Greek name this feast, from pentecoste, which translates “50th day”. The Jews knew it as Shavuot, “The Feast of Weeks”, or “The Feast of Harvest.”

The Day of Pentecost came 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection and was, according to John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” the birth of the Spirit.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost

(Vs. 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.

(Vs. 3) And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

(Vs. 4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

For most every word mentioned here, many of these words are translated quite literally from the original Greek. “Cloven”, speaking of the tongues (or “languages”) literally means to divide. That means that God divided the languages amongst those in attendance.

But the interesting word, to me, was “utterance” at the end of verse four. This comes from Strong’s G669 and it means to “speak out”… but not just any old thing. It means, “not a word of everyday speech but one belonging to dignified and elevated discourse.” In other words, when God does something, He doesn’t do it halfway!

This Baptism Throughout the Bible

Speaking in other tongues was the evidence that the Apostles had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. And it was God that gave the utterance. You can find prophecies relating to this even in…

Joel 2:28-29) And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

Isaiah 28:11) For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

Matthew 3:11) I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: {This was a prophecy by John the Baptist.}

John 14:26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

These are just a few of the verses that speak to this subject, but it’s a good place to start!

Those Who Were Also There

(Vs. 5) And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

(Vs. 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.

(Vs. 7) And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

(Vs. 8) And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

(Vs. 9) Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

(Vs. 10) Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

(Vs. 11) Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

(Vs. 12) And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

What Does It Mean?

In verse 5, the word “devout”, from Strong’s G2126, “eulabes” means “careful, cautious, pious, and religious.” These weren’t just anyone, but very religious Jews, in town to celebrate the feast and give reverence to God.

They were from many different countries, and nations and the Bible references each one. Those very religious men heard the Apostles talking, not in their native language, but in the language of the countries they were originally from.

They wondered what it meant. How could it be that they knew those languages? The truth was, God was giving the language, which was the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, for this specific time and purpose. But still, others had something else in mind…

These Men Are Drunk!

(Vs. 13) Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

Let’s face it… it’s pretty easy to tell the difference between someone who’s drunk and someone who’s not! There were apparently some characteristics these believers (including Mary, Jesus’ mother, because she was among the 120) took on that made people think they were drunk. But Peter quickly stood to dispel those rumors.

(Vs. 14) But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

(Vs. 15) For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

(Vs. 16) But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

(Vs. 17) And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out 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:

(Vs. 18) And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Apostles, Signs, Wonders, and Salvation

The prophecy went on…

(Vs. 19) And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

(Vs. 20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

(Vs. 21) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

The Greek word for the phrase “call on” is Strong’s G1941 “epikaleo”. It means, in part, “to put a name on, or allow one’s self to be surnamed, to be named after someone, or to call on someone as a witness or judge.”

I love Strong’s G3686, “onoma”. In verse 21 the word means “the name.” It stands for, not only a “name” (like my name is “Stacey”), but rather everything is an all-encompassing word that means all thoughts, feelings, and everything else that is brought to mind by the mention, the hearing, or the remembering of the name. It can also stand for the “authority” of that name.

The word “sozo” is the Greek version of “to be saved” and means to save, deliver, protect, heal, preserve, or make whole. It also means that one could be delivered from the penalty of Messianic judgment. Again… a topic for another day!

Peter’s Sermon

(Vs. 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 proved that He was God in the flesh by the miracles that He did. He even mentioned it Himself. John 14:10-11) Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

(Vs. 23) Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

(Vs. 24) Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holdest of it.

Another Prophecy of David

(Vs. 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:

(Vs. 26) Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope.

(Vs. 27) Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

(Vs. 28) Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

(Vs. 29) Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

(Vs. 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;

(Vs. 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.

(Vs. 32) This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

(Vs. 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.

(Vs. 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,

(Vs. 35) Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

(Vs. 36) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Conviction Sets In

(Vs. 37) Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Those in attendance realized that, indeed, they had allowed the conviction and crucifixion of Jesus. They were “pricked in their heart” the Word said. They were so concerned, so troubled, that they want to know immediately what they could do. So Peter told them…

(Vs. 38) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

If these things were not salvational, I do not believe that God would have allowed the words to stand to even be implicated as such. After all that has happened down over these more than 2000 years, the Bible we have in English MUST BE the one that Jesus wanted us to have. It MUST BE the one that contains the things He wanted us to know. Apostles and other people were imprisoned, threatened, exiled, beaten, beheaded, and burned at the stake, all for translating this Book INTO ENGLISH.

Let that sink in.

Why would the enemy fight it so hard if it were something that contained errors and mishaps and misprints that would take us farther AWAY from God? No, we must believe in the inerrant Word of God that now is available to us. Even if some of those words WERE translated “wrong” in the eyes of man, the end result still has to be that which God has for us to know for the here and now, and for eternity.

Not Just for the Apostles

(Vs. 39) For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.

The word here for “children” (Strong’s G5043) doesn’t just mean a son or a daughter, although that is certainly the first implication. It can also mean “disciples” or “children” of teachers and mentors. Those who learn from the instruction of an elder, such as the Apostles, and who are nourished and matured in the faith by those that help them in the Word, are also looped into this promise, I believe.

(Vs. 40) And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

Peter went on to testify and exhort in words that aren’t recorded here. Apparently, a summarization of his extended sermon was “Save yourself from this untoward generation.” The word “untoward” means “crooked, perverse, wicked, or unfair” and it’s something that is still going on in this day and age.

Souls Added to the Church

(Vs. 41) Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

(Vs. 42) And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

(Vs. 43) And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

(Vs. 44) And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

(Vs. 45) And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

(Vs. 46) And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

(Vs. 47) Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Now That’s Common Ground

There was something about this early church. They BELIEVED the things the Apostles testified about. They walked and talked with Jesus Himself! And they had no reason to believe the Apostles were instructing them to be overreaching or “too religious.” Nor did they consider their teachings legalistic. Even to the Jews, who were used to adhering to all the Old Testament laws of Moses, there was great freedom in what was expected of them as believers.

Here, though, is where many religions and denominations fall prey, however, to a works based faith. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: it isn’t the works that bring faith, but the faith that makes us want to do the works!

It’s not rocket science! And the Apostles laid the ground work for us.

What we wear or don’t wear won’t save us. The day of the week we worship on, how many times a year we take the Lord’s Supper, or customs like circumcision won’t save us. The Apostles taught us that.

What saves us is a life we commit to Jesus, His teachings, His commandments, and His love. The Apostles taught that, first and foremost! Precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, and there a little (Isaiah 28:10).

And we will know the Truth, and the Truth will make us free (John 8:32).

Please feel free to share your thoughts below! And thank you for reading!

Ever in His Service,


  1. Oh Stacey, I am trying to read and comment to be supportive of my sister here, but this truly is worthy of lengthy study, and I look foreward to coming back. We are posting every installment of your Acts Challenge in TWG Revel in the Word album. I appreciate you precious sister.

    This truly is a fantastic chapter. I think what strikes me most is God’s plan to FORGIVE those that repent…

    1. Author

      Amen, Tammy! That forgiveness… never ceases to bring tears to my eyes if I think long about it. Thank you for wanting to include it in Revel <3 I praise God that it is worthy!

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