The Stabbing Sermon

Acts 2:14-36

But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea, and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give heed to my words. “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT UPON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN UPON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy. ‘AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY 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 GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME. ‘AND IT SHALL BE, THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.’  “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. “And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. “For David says of Him, ‘I WAS ALWAYS BEHOLDING THE LORD IN MY PRESENCE; FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, THAT I MAY NOT BE SHAKEN. ‘THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL ABIDE IN HOPE; BECAUSE THOU WILT NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW THY HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY. ‘THOU HAST MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; THOU WILT MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH THY PRESENCE.’ “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. “And so, because he was a prophet, and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS UPON HIS THRONE, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY. “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE THINE ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR THY FEET.” ’ “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

This is a lot of context to cover, however it seems as though Luke hits on highlights of one sermon and we should study it that way, as a wholey highlighted sermon. Rather than do an in-depth analysis we will hit the highlights as Peter does because it is self explanatory. We simply overlook things and bring our preconceived notions and presuppositions to the table, along with our traditions, much like the mockers of that day. Let’s clear the pallets of our minds and do away with our cultural clutter, letting Peter take his stand, explaining the situation that happened when the Spirit came at Pentacost. Remembering that the apostles were mocked for speaking of the mighty deeds of God in languages foreign to them. And that those present, from all different nations, all understood what was being said, each in their own languages.

“Men of Judea, and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel.” Peter reasons with his detractors, the mockers. First, he reasons with them pragmatically and logically and then he uses the Scripture, all with the supernatural support of the Spirit of the Savior. The men were not drunk as the mockers had presupposed. The mockers assumed that they were drunk but Peter points out that it’s early in the day, they didn’t have time to become drunk. But even more important than the time of day is the simple fact that they were not drunk, the Spirit said so. I think we all agree that because Peter, through the Holy Spirit said that they were not drunk, they certainly were not drunk. Therefore we must also believe everything else Peter says, especially concerning the Scripture. And if we do, we will be forced to change our minds concerning that which we have been taught. Which is why I consistently quote, “unless you are learning for yourself, you only know what you have been taught.” We are blessed in the west with an ample amount of Bibles but cursed with copious amounts of terrible teachers, leading thousands astray for their own sordid gains. Staring at the stars, we fervently flock to buy books about celestial sightings and blood moons, not realizing that the blood moons were explained a mere 50 days after Jesus ascended to the right hand of the father. Nevertheless, history repeats itself.

“This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT UPON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN UPON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy. AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY 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 GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME. AND IT SHALL BE, THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.’” Peter quoted the prophet Joel, by the Holy Spirit, and claimed fulfillment of the prophecy made by Joel, by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, they were now in the last days, according to the context. The only question is, “the last days of what? I suppose there is another question; “are these the same ‘last days’ of which Paul describes to Timothy?” If they are, we have a problem with our theology. If they are not, we have a different problem with our theology. These problems, we simply can’t address now because we don’t have enough information. We don’t want to create an unsubstantiated dogma.

Peter persists in presenting his position pertaining to God’s predetermined plan presented through the prophets. “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.” Peter positively points to their guilt in the death of Jesus. Removing the important yet parenthetical phrases, we are left with  the following: “men of Israel: Jesus the Nazarene, you nailed to the cross.”

Last night I was, along with anyone who doesn’t believe in the pre-tribulational rapture, indirectly called antisemitic by three different media people. One of them said, “the Jews didn’t kill Jesus, they didn’t have the authority. Plus, Jews stone, the Romans used crosses.” While everything in this statement is technically true, remember what Peter said, through the Holy Spirit, what Luke wrote, and what the prophets promised. “Men of Israel: Jesus the Nazarene, you nailed to the cross.” Now, we cannot be antisemitic, all those who spoke in tongues were Jewish. Every apostle was Jewish. Jesus was Jewish. Paul tells us that they support us with his picture of an olive tree in Romans 11. There is no call, as I have written before, for antisemitism of any kind. We certainly don’t blame the Jews for killing the Christ, because our sin demanded it. Yet calling a spade, a spade, no longer works in our American society. The progressive party claims “racism” over anything that has the slightest inkling of being offensive to their ineffectual ears, but only from their opponents. They never consider that their “New Deal” and “Great Society” herds minorities into slums, keeping them poor and undereducated. Yet in the same way, the dogmatic-dispensationalist, “conservative,” thinker, holds Israel up on her lofty perch as the Palestinian christian is herded into ghettos. That is unless they toe the line of the dogmatic dispensationalists and agree that they are a parenthetical part of God’s plan: the christian church is only temporary but God’s plan for the land of Israel is eternal. In an irony of ironies, the dogmatic dispensationalists argue that the nation of Israel is more important than the Great Commission, to baptize all nations.

Nevertheless, these same media people who dogmatically hold to the false doctrine that God will herd up Jews, like cattle, in the “time of Jacob’s trouble,” after the “church” has been raptured, only for two thirds of them to be slaughtered, should probably reexamine what antisemitism means. Paul writes; “all Israel will be saved.” Yet they believe that one third of the nation of Israel living in the “Great Tribulation” will be saved, by their dogma. On the same satellite radio station, there exists a charity which begs for money to bring a poor Jewish person back to Israel. Holding to the same dogmatic dispensationalist dogma, they insist that the Jews belong in Israel. What they fail to mention is their belief that after the “church” is raptured, the Antichrist will break his covenant with them and slaughter two thirds of them. Rounding up Jews in a centralized location, through a lie, which leads to a slaughter, seems all to familiar. We call it the Holocaust. However I don’t want to go off the rails like these dogmatic dispensationalist.

What does the context say? Jesus is the Lord and the Christ and only by calling on him shall man be saved. Lord willing, we will see this more emphatically next time. Peter is delivering the gospel message, which always begins with the bad news. And the bad news is that they killed the Christ. Despite the claims from a prominent person with a large ministry, we consider the context and realize that Peter, by the Holy Spirit, tells these men of Judea, that they killed the Christ. Please don’t get me wrong, my sin and Peter’s sin cried, “crucify” louder than the mob! Nevertheless, Peter says to them, “you crucified him,” not once, but twice. This women on the radio, whith a large ministry with a great reach and influence is wrong, Scripturally. Her dastardly dogma has been decimated and destroyed by the Jewish, Peter.

Notice the end of today’s text; “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” And yet, the day that I began writing this missive, which is in a consecutive order, like all my other missives except for the very first, I turned on the radio to hear dogmatic dispensationalists declare that “the Jews didn’t kill Jesus.” She and her guest probably think that Peter was antisemitic.

I point all of this out to demonstrate that dogma doesn’t steer the ship, the genre does. And here, we couple the genre to the context, examples, the author’s aspirations to his audience and then we divide rightly the word of truth. We call it the CAGED method of Biblical hermeneutics. Dogmatic dissertation distorts and keeps the Bible caged. The CAGED method sets aside preconceived notions and presuppositions, traditions and teachings of dogmatic delusions.

Therefore we must continue considering the context. “And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. For David says of Him, ‘I WAS ALWAYS BEHOLDING THE LORD IN MY PRESENCE; FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, THAT I MAY NOT BE SHAKEN. THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL ABIDE IN HOPE; BECAUSE THOU WILT NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW THY HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY. THOU HAST MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; THOU WILT MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH THY PRESENCE.’ Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. And so, because he was a prophet, and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS UPON HIS THRONE, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY. This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.”

Summation: Jesus, a Jew, is the focus. Jesus died for sinners. God raised up the Christ who they killed and sent his Spirit as he promised and the Spirit is now speaking through the apostles, as was prophesied and promised. And what does the Spirit say? “That GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS UPON HIS THRONE, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ.” Christ is the promised descendant, not the land. David knew this and prophesied it and now Peter is proclaiming it. And like any good Gospel presentation, Peter is beginning to proclaimin the good news. Yet there still exists some bad news.

While these men of Judea were hearing from the Holy Spirit through the apostles and Peter in particularly, there was still a problem. Notice; “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE THINE ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR THY FEET.”’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” David died and his flesh suffered decay. David is not coming back to reign over Israel. David’s rule and reign has ended. Israel no longer has a literal David. The rule and reign has been handed over to Jesus, a descendant of David, the one to whom all the law and prophets and David, himself, point. And he sits at the right hand of the father until his enemies are made a footstool under his feet. Whether Jews or Greeks, Arabs or Asians, God is not racist, all are invited  to be a partaker of the true Israel. Either Jesus is one’s Lord and Savior or one is his enemy. It’s not based on one’s ethnicity and bloodline, as the dispensationalists claim, that would be racist. How can any christian be either antisemitic or racist? Our God tabernacled in a Jewish tent and here, we see his Spirit speaking of these things in several languages, indicating what God has always been–open to all nations. But it souly depends on what Peter says next. A prelude and preview of next time.

“Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself.'”

 

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