Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

The Beginning of the Last Days

The last days are now. Acts 2.14-21

The Beginning of the Last Days: Acts 2 (3)

Pray Psalm 66.1-4.

Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!
 Sing out the honor of His name;
Make His praise glorious.
Say to God,
“How awesome are Your works!
Through the greatness of Your power
Your enemies shall submit themselves to You.
All the earth shall worship You
And sing praises to You;
They shall sing praises to Your name.”
Selah

Sing Psalm 66.1-4.

(Regent Square: Angels from the Realms of Glory)
Shout for joy to God, all people, sing the glory of His Name!
Give Him glorious praise and say, “How great Your pow’r and great Your fame!
All the earth shall worship gladly as they praise Your glorious Name!”

Read Acts 2.1-21; meditate on verses 14-21.

Preparation

1. How did Peter explain what was happening?

2. What passage of Scripture was he quoting?

Meditation
Peter dismissed the crowd’s explanation for the events of this Pentecost morning: Nobody is drunk this early in the morning (1 Thess. 5.17).

On to the real explanation. Or, rather, on to the Word of God. Peter immediately turned to the Scriptures, not to some eloquent explanation of their experience – “And you can have it, too!” He wanted these people to know that what they were seeing exactly corresponded to what God Himself had revealed centuries before. God’s Word is sure, not Peter’s experience (cf. 2 Pet. 1.19-21).

We note also that Peter announced the beginning of the “last days”, the days in which the ongoing work of Christ has been proceeding for nearly 2,000 years now. The “last days” are not, as some suppose, a brief period at the end of time just before Jesus returns. They are now, and have been since the Spirit was first given; and whatever the Scriptures say about those last days refers to the ongoing work of Christ and the work we as Christ’s followers should be pursuing in our day.

That work is a work of proclamation (vv. 17, 18), both by words and life. Whatever “wonders” may accompany that proclamation (vv. 19, 20) will be, like Pentecost itself, the Lord’s doing. Our duty is to proclaim, and the duty of those who hear is to “call upon the name of the Lord” and be saved (v. 21). And what we are to proclaim is the rule of King Jesus.

Peter’s announcement of the Good News hangs on three pegs: the teaching of the Old Testament, the life and work of our Lord Jesus, and the Presence and power of the Holy Spirit. The objective of his preaching was to call men to submit to and obey Jesus as Christ and King. Here is a template or pattern for all believers and their churches in all these last days.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Let’s step back just a few minutes before Peter began to speak.
What had happened? Those who were filled with the Holy Spirit began to speak…of the wonderful works of God (Acts 2.4, 11). And everyone understood, because all heard it in their own language.

The followers of Christ have been given a work to do, and “that work is a work of proclamation, both by words and life.” And that is exactly what the Holy Spirit came to enable us to do (Acts 1.8).

The Holy Spirit gives us the power to communicate (Acts 2.8).
And we are to communicate the Good News of Jesus. In Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1.8). Most of us will only be called to speak in one language; but, if necessary, we will be given the ability to learn to speak in whatever language God calls us to speak. Although, the lesson here, more than the many languages, is that God wants us to talk about Jesus in our own sphere. Communicate.

To communicate means to share or exchange information, news, or ideas. Even to pass on, as in a communicable disease (sans the germs).

Synonyms for communicate are convey, tell, impart, relay, transmit, pass on, hand on, transfer, make known, announce, report, recount, relate, set forth, present, divulge, disclose, mention, spread, disseminate, circulate, promulgate, proclaim, broadcast, and make public.

There is some means here for everyone to use.

“My tongue also shall talk of Your righteousness all the day long…” (Ps. 71.24).

Plus, our lives will be full of unspoken acts of love to convey and relay His love to others.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5.16).

For reflection

1. Why do we need the Holy Spirit to enable us to be witnesses for Jesus?

2. Effective communication of the Good News requires both words and deeds. Explain.

3. How can you prepare each morning for a day of communicating Jesus and His Kingdom?

nothing was more forceful than to argue with them from prophecy, which was even more forceful than facts. For when Christ performed miracles, they often contradicted him. But when Christ adduced the prophet, saying, “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand,” they were silent, and “no one was able to give him an answer.” John Chrysostom (344-407), Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles 5

Pray Psalm 66.17-20.
Be sure to confess any sins to the Lord, then call on Him to bless you with His mercy and send you out into your Personal Mission Field as a channel of grace to your world.

Sing Psalm 66.17-20.
(Regent Square: Angels from the Realms of Glory)
When we cried to You, You answered, filled our mouths with highest praise.
Let not sin abide within us, lest we languish all our days.
Bless the Lord, Who hears our pleadings and preserves His love always.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking theScriptorium tab for last Sunday. For more about what Jesus is doing at the right hand of God, order a free copy of our book, What in Heaven Is Jesus Doing on Earth? (click here).

You can download any or all of the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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