#04 - (Acts 2:1-13) The New Covenant Comes Into Place
I had thought to provide additional information as to how the Jewish
peoples saw Messiah before continuing with the studies. But I think it
would be better to provide that information as we go along. So let's
move on to our next study.
This is Acts04 - Acts 2:1-13 The New Covenant Comes Into Place.
You may want to read our Scripture references as a group before
following through with the study. Doing that will give you a general
overview of what our study is about. In this study we simply want to
look at the supernatural event that took place at Pentecost. In our next
study we will look at Peter's powerful new covenant message.
Vs1: Pentecost has come - They were all together in one place.
... All the followers of Jesus would be in the temple area for this
The new covenant must begin at the temple. Listen carefully to this
prophecy and you will see Pentecost, and the promise that Peter refers
to later in his message of Pentecost:
"'So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west and His
from the rising of the sun, for He will come like a rushing stream which
the wind of the Lord drives. A Redeemer will come to Zion, and to
those who turn from transgression in Jacob," declares the Lord. 'As
Me, this is My covenant with them,' says the Lord: 'My Spirit which is
upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not
depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from
the mouth of your offspring's offspring,' says the Lord, 'from now and
forever.'" (Isaiah 59:19-21)
Every word in this prophecy is significant. Follow carefully:
"So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west and His
from the rising of the sun." (This is a synopsis of the new covenant.
The name of the Lord has filled the earth. Christianity has filled the
earth like a vine. It is the largest religion by far of any religion on
planet. And it continues to flow forth as a stream into the nations.)
"...for He will come like a rushing stream which the wind of the
drives." This is a description of Pentecost. It was written 750 years
before Christ. Note the wordage; "rushing stream," and
"wind of the
Also note who it is that is coming like a rushing stream. "He will
This speaks of the Messiah. It is His Spirit that fills the band of
disciples on the day of Pentecost. Paul later writes, "Because you
sons, God has sent for the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying,
'Abba! Father!'" (Gal4:6)
"Born Again" Day
Pentecost was 'born again' day. The term 'born again,' or 'gennao
anothen' literally means, 'born from above.' When the Spirit of
entered into the hearts of His believers, they instantly became new
creations. Pentecost set forth the new people of God. The Spirit
would never leave them. The Spirit of Christ would abide forever in
them and with them forever.
"A Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from
transgression in Jacob..." Zion was a special name for the city of
David, and in particular for the temple Mount. The Spirit of the
Redeemer rushed to the temple mount.
"...this is My covenant with them ... My Spirit which is upon you,
My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your
mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of
your offspring's offspring ... from now and forever."
This is the covenant promise given to Messiah, or, the promise the
Father made to the Son. And this is the promise Peter later quotes
when he speaks from the prophets. Jesus Himself said, "He who
believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will
flow rivers of living water.' But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those
who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given,
because Jesus was not yet glorified." (John 7:38,39)
Jesus had to be glorified. That is exactly what the day of Pentecost
was about. The new covenant is about the glory of Jesus Christ. And
Pentecost is the day that Jesus took His seat. (We will cover that in
the next study.)
Vs2: "...it filled the whole house where they were sitting."
The disciples were
somewhere in the temple area. As I said in an earlier study, the temple
simply called 'the house.' To the Jews, when you said 'the House' no
identification was needed. It meant the temple.
Notice is was 'the whole house' that was filled with the sound from
heaven. This is not something done in a corner. Just as the giving of
the Law of Moses carried its manifestations, even so did the new
Vs3: "...there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing
themselves, and they rested on each one of them."
The tongues of fire actually divided itself and came to rest on each of
the one hundred twenty. It began as a 'fire like' appearance and then
came to rest equally on each. What did all this mean?
The Meaning of Fire
In the Bible fire has various meanings but the one meaning, one which
speaks of judgment, but the meaning most common to the Jewish
people had to do with God Himself. It signified that God Himself was
resting upon these disciples. The writer later said, "For our God is
consuming fire." (Heb12:29)
Then we can draw attention to the burning bush that spoke of holy
ground, and to the Mountain of God where the peoples were warned
not to come near, because the Mountain was filled with holiness.
There are many parallels to be found.
Another factor to take into consideration is that the tongues of fire
rested on all the believers. This meant that each of them became an
anointed spokesmen for God. The Spirit of Messiah rested upon them,
and had entered into them. They were now His mouth piece.
And finally --- Under the new covenant the term ' to prophesy' carries
different meaning than it did in the older covenant. In the former
covenant the prophets spoke towards the cross. In the new covenant
we speak from the cross. This is why the one definition we have for
prophecy in the New Testament, connects it directly with Jesus Christ. When John wanted to worship the angel, this is what he hears; "Do
do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren who hold
the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus Christ
is the spirit of prophecy." (Rev19:20 - We can develop this further
there is an interest.)
Vs4: "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to
with other [languages] as the Spirit was giving them utterance."
I use the term language for the Greek word 'glossa' simply means
language. The disciples were not speaking gibberish, or in languages
unknown to the peoples. While the languages were not necessarily
known to the the believers themselves, the Spirit was enabling them to
speak in the tongues of all the nations that were represented. (By the
way, every time we see an incident of this nature in the Acts, it is
always with a group, and it is never expected, and it is always a
sovereign act of God.)
Vss5,6: "Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from
every nation from under heaven ....each one of them was hearing
them speak in his own language"
"Living in Jerusalem" spoke of the diaspora (Jews gathered from the
nations) who had been in Jerusalem since before Passover. Notice
that these are devout men. This term is used with regard to those who
were deeply devoted to God and the to covenant of Israel.
I also want to mention that the diaspora did not normally speak
Hebrew or Aramaic. They spoke the native language of their sojournings, but they would also have had a rudimentary
understanding of Greek. The Jews from the various lands were also
known as Hellenistic Jews. In many cases the Hellenistic Jews were
even more devoted than the native Hebrews. (But the native Hebrews
did not always care for the Hellenistic Jews. The Church began largely
from the Hellenist. More on this later.)
Vss7,8: "...amazed ... astonished ... 'Why, are not all these who
speaking Galileans? And how is it that we each hear them in our own
language to which we were born?'" (Then the nations are named.)
This is an interesting area. How did they know all the speakers were
Galilean? It is because the Galileans spoke with an accent that
distinguished them from the Judeans. Judas Iscariot was the only
disciple who was Judean. The rest were all Galileans. But the
Galileans had another trait. They were fiercely independent. They
didn't always agree with the edicts of the temple priesthood. Even the
synagogues in northern Israel had traditions that were separate from
the Judean synagogues.
An interesting prophecy that we can consider at some point has to do
with the term, 'Galilee of the Gentiles.'
Vss12,13: "...they all continued in amazement ... 'What does this
mean?' But others were mocking, saying to one another, 'They are full
of sweet wine.'"
It is here that we first see the dividing line in Israel. If you
recall, the old
prophet Simeon said that the child Jesus was appointed for the fall and
many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed. (Cf. Luke 2:34-35)
The day of Pentecost will conclude with many thousands of the Jews
receiving Jesus as Messiah of Israel. Many of these peoples will carry
their new faith and their new hearts back to the lands where they live.
But the mockers were also present at Pentecost. They, too, will have
much to say as we will see in the continuation of these studies.
Let's complete this study for now. Feel free to ask questions, or offer
Previous: #03: Acts 1:12-26
The Upper Room Before Pentecost
Next: #04a: Acts 2:1-13 The New
Covenant Comes Into Place
This study on
Acts was originally part of a
series on the book of Acts given to members of
Hebraic Foundations from July 10, 2002 through January 19, 2003.
They were written by Pastor Buddy Martin, Founder and Senior Pastor of
Christian Challenge International.