In this class, we will discuss Acts 3:12-26 and observe Peter continuing his Christ-centered sermon to his fellow Israelites. Peter recounts the events of choosing a murderer to live instead of the Son of God, he stresses the need to repent of sins and he provides insight into a time of restoration of all things and then ends with emphasizing Jesus Christ is the Messiah.
[Darris McNeely]: Okay. Well, good morning, everyone. And we're back into Acts, and we're in Chapter 3 of the Book of Acts. I think we got to about verse 12 last time. With that, we are in a kind of a middle passage in the opening chapters of Acts right now, where in Chapter 2, we've had the sermon that Peter gave on Pentecost, a very important sermon, a very long sermon, a lot of information there. And now in Chapter 3, Peter gives another sermon, and it kind of builds on the first sermon in terms of the content, its focus on Christ and His prophesied role. And then it's going to instill the wrath of the authorities, the Jewish authorities in the temple. And Peter and John will get hauled before the Sanhedrin, the council of the Jewish ruling council of their time. And there's going to be another sermon in Chapter 4.
So, in Chapters 2, 3, and 4, we've got 3 key sermons that form kind of a unit here, and we'll talk about that. But I just want you to understand that that's kind of what we have working here in these chapters, in the episodes of the early days of the Church with Peter and John, as they perform a miracle, the healing of the layman here in Chapter 3, which brings a lot of attention to them. And finally, the attention of the authorities as they come down on them. And to watch the development of Peter's style as God inspires him to speak. And keep in mind that Peter is kind of coming out full bore here as a leading member of the 12. He's not the chief apostle or anything like that, but he is certainly a leading spokesman here in the early days of the Church. And the focus is upon him.
And it's a contrast to the Peter that we saw at the end of the gospels who had denied Christ three times on the night that Jesus was arrested. And kind of slunk away in shame and had to be redeemed by the resurrected Christ afterwards, by a little speech that we have in the Book of John at the end of the Gospel of John, where Christ tells Peter to feed my sheep. And in a sense, restores Peter's standing among the other apostles there at the time. But he's a different man. And the conviction that he has and the courage that he and John show to stand up to the authorities, the Jewish authorities here, and to articulate a very clear message shows their command of the Scriptures.
And we're going to run across a statement here that the whole group of apostles, and probably by extension, the early disciples are looked upon by the Jewish authorities as unlearned men. And being fishermen, tax collectors, kind of salt-of-the-earth people from Galilee, that is how they were looked upon. They were looked upon as unlearned, which doesn't mean they were not literate. They were literate. They knew the Scriptures. They understood the languages. Peter later writes a gospel that appears using Greek. And so they're not ignorant men, but they're just not schooled in the rabbinical school of thought, which is a plus and an advantage to them.
And as we look at these sermons and what is brought out here to focus on the content as we will is going to help us to understand something about the gospel, the message, and what empowered the Church in these early days. Now, last time we talked about the location of the episode here, which is in the temple. They had come up… Chapter 3 and verse 1 tells us it was called the third hour or the hour of prayer. Wait a second here. The 9th-hour mistake there, the ninth hour, which is 3:00 a.m. in the afternoon at the time of the evening sacrifices.
So that's the time setting of the day that this happens with the healing of the lame man. And so, we're still in that day. And as we pick it up here in verse 12, go ahead and start here. I think I did read that last time, but we'll pick it up here. Peter sees the commotion. They have come into the area of Solomon's Porch, the eastern edge of the temple mount area, a colonated area. It was felt to have extended back to the time of Solomon, but it was a later addition, but it's called Solomon's Porch. And 162 large Corinthian columns, about a 100 feet tall they feel, so it was quite an expansive and impressive place that extended about 800 feet along the eastern edge of the temple mount area.
So it was a good place to meet. It was cool. It was out of the sun, and it would've been a place where gatherings of any different sort would've been. And this is where we seem to find Peter at the time of this message. So let's look at verse 12 and begin to look at what he says.
Acts 3:12 "When he saw this, Peter responded to the people saying, 'Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this?'" And the marveling there was at the healing that had taken place, this man who was lame from birth, who sat as a beggar in the temple Peter had performed a miraculous healing in the name of Christ. "Why do you look so intently at us as though by our own power or godliness, we had made this man walk?"
And going back, remember, Peter told the man to stand up and in the name of Christ. He healed him, not by his person or authority. Peter had none. He healed him in the name of Christ. And that was completely there. He said, "It's not any of our own power. It's the power of God, a miraculous power of God. And it is not because of our godliness, our righteousness." Peter didn't look at himself as in any way having such a righteous stature that he was somehow above the other 11. Or you know, in that way God could use him. That's not how it works. You know, today, when it comes to our request for anointing and asking God to heal us, the command of scripture is to, if we're sick, to call for an elder, and that means an elder to be any elder.
And we put our faith in God, we follow God's teaching to ask for an elder. The elder comes and anoints. And the elder does it in the name of Christ and calls upon God's power. Again, it's not because of our righteousness or our power that we do that, or you know, expect any action or healing on the part of you know, in your life. It's going to come from God. And we place a person's injured condition, their sick life in God's hands, and claim the promise of healing that is made there. And our part, your part in calling for an elder that's your demonstration of faith. And you've done what you should do. And I don't know how many times you've ever been anointed in your life or whatever, but I'd been a few times as well, I've done a lot of anointings, and there have been times when I've had to be anointed for sickness.
And I know that there have been times when I made my request from that point forward, I started to experience God's healing and recovery. So, each case can be different, God working with us in different ways, but I know that God honors those prayers, and it's your faith. And so we in the ministry also kind of echo what Peter says. It's not our power or godliness that effects any healing and intervention, but we're merely instruments as well. And Peter sets us an example and points us to God. As I said, I think last time this would've been a prime moment for Peter to kind of soak in the adoration of the moment. But he didn't do that. He had been humbled. He knew that the true source of power, and he understood that. And it's when we get our eyes off of ourselves and what we think we might be able to do and let Christ work through us in His power, then we become effective instruments in God's hands. So, in verse 13, Peter then goes on.
Acts 3:13 He says, "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His servant, Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate when he was determined to let Him go."
And so, quite a bit of said here, he places God as the God of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And so, that's put in a particular line of order there. But he glorified His servant Jesus, and by using the term servant for Christ here, Peter is echoing certain passages out of the book of Isaiah that speak to the servant and the idea of a servant. And one of them is back in Isaiah 52:13. And I'll go ahead and turn and look at that here. Understood to be a Messianic application pointing to Christ.
Isaiah 52:13-15 God through Isaiah says, "Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage was marred more than any man and His form, more than the sons of men. So He shall sprinkle many nations, and King shall shut their mouths at Him for what had not been told them they shall see and what they had not heard they shall consider."
So this is one of several passages in Isaiah that talk about God's servant. And they were talking about Christ here in this way. Peter brings it into his sermon. And so it's not just a statement that's indicating Christ His stature or that of a servant, which He did come to serve, but it's referring back to a message in Isaiah and an application, which is a Messianic reference. And so he's applying that to Christ. In fact, what Peter is doing in these sermons is he is bringing from the Old Testament Scriptures as we look at them, the Scriptures, as the Jews would've looked at them, these statements that refer to Christ and that for Christ in His particular role and place in this way. And so that's there's almost every line, every word here has a reference to that.
Acts 3:13 And so, "He was delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate when he was determined to let Him go."
So, here it calls to mind the episode from the gospels where Christ was brought before Pontius Pilate. Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor remember who was in charge at the time of Christ's death, to whom the Jews finally engineered the trial and brought Him to Pilate. And Pilate was the one who gave the sentence to Christ. You'll go through all that, of course, as you go through the gospels. But Pontius Pilate becomes this figure in the story of the Bible that is obviously a rather dark figure and a sinister figure. He was the one who condemned Christ. He was a Roman official. He disappears from the biblical record other than this reference here.
And actually, in history, he actually disappears as well. We do have him recorded in secular history. I was looking at it yesterday. There's a Roman author from the late first century, early 2nd century BC named Tacitus. And Tacitus is a Roman historian, and he wrote a history of Romans this first-century period. And in one of his books, it's actually the only reference in a secular pagan source from that period of Christ. Tacitus mentions, and I'm sorry, I didn't put the reference here. I've got the book on my desk back at home. Tacitus mentions Pilate who sentenced Christ. And so, there's a record from a secular Roman or pagan historian to Pilate and to what Pilate did, which is a very important historical record of Jesus. If I can remember next week, I'll bring that in, or it might be even better to put that into some type of a handout that'll be available to you.
But he mentions Pilate who killed Christ. And so, you know, sometimes we want to know these events mentioned anywhere outside of the Bible. And Josephus who's a Jewish historian makes reference to Christ. But we do have this one from the Roman Annals. We have other references to Christians from other contemporary Roman authors. But this is the only one that mentions Christ and it's in connection with Pilate who himself essentially kind of disappears even from history. He's rather cruel, and he goes even beyond the bounds of cruelty in Judea, even by Roman standards. And so they remove him a few years after the death of Christ, and he kind of disappears.
And there's a lot of stories. I'm not quite sure how he died, but his career was basically over. Pilate doesn't go any higher in the Roman hierarchy. And, you know, we know him because of what he did with Christ as he's mentioned here in the gospels and in the Book of Acts. Verse 14 then as he speaks to this Jewish audience.
Acts 3:14 He says, "But you denied the Holy one and the just, and you asked for a murderer to be granted to you."
When Pilate offered to release a criminal, which was the custom at the time, they said, "No, give us Barabbas." And Barabbas is the one who was released instead of Christ. So, there's a mob, there's fury and anger that has been worked up by the Jewish authorities over a long period of time, not just that day, that night when Jesus was arrested and all that took place. But through the weeks and the months of Jesus's ministry in Jerusalem, especially, there had been plottings and the gospels accounts bring this out.
And so, when it came to that moment, they were going to have the blood of Christ. And this was all by God's ultimate purpose, but it's still a rather so sorted and messy story to read from a human point of view factor in that it was His own people, the Jews that were doing this, and they were worked up by the religious leaders and all who should have known better. That makes it the compelling story that it is on a purely human level. But as Peter is working this, he always gives the audience a complete picture. And it's not necessarily an out, but he says, "Look, this was all according to the plan of God." And so, we'll see that as we go along here.
Acts 3:14-15 "You denied the Holy one and the just, and you asked for a murderer to be granted and killed"...verse 15, "The Prince of life whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses."
And this is the central truth of the event that the apostles are proclaiming. He was put to death, but God raised Him from the dead. And He lived. And by this time, ascended in His glorified form to the Father. And we read about that in Chapter 1, but this is the central part of the message, the preaching here, that happens. And this is what people are focusing on because there were many eyewitnesses of that time to testify to that. And Peter is talking about himself and the apostles as well as others who were eyewitnesses of the resurrected Christ. And he's confronting the audience here in front of him with the realization that they chose a murderer over the son of God, the one prophesied from all of the Scriptures.
And there's a lot of lessons from this. Pure human nature inspired by Satan, sometimes motivated by Satan, led by Satan, the god of this world, will, in most cases, choose evil over good. And this is a classic case of it. And it is a very strong lesson. This is though the problem that comes to the fore of the conflict with the Jews. Peter goes on in verse 16.
Acts 3:16 He says, "And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him," through Christ, "has given Him,” the man, “this perfect soundness in the presence of you all."
A dramatic healing that could not be explained away except by a miracle. He's very careful to show that this man was known from his birth to be lame, and he was daily in the temple it seems on a regular appearance there, people knew him. This wasn't necessarily a setup, but it was ready-made to bring attention to the power of God and to the work of the gospel, which is what this incident testifies to in the long run. This man lived out his life. We have no more record of him in Scripture. We can just, you know, assume that he lived a live, died, and, you know, awaits the resurrection. But he served a very unique role. He's not named. It'll be interesting to see this man in the resurrection and to hear his story, his firsthand account of what he thought, felt in this particular moment when we think about it in that way. But through him, you know, brought to through Christ's power, he was brought to soundness.
Now, look at verse 16 again, that it is faith in that name, and the name includes the whole meaning of the name. It's not the intonation of Jesus of Nazareth by itself. It is the power of what that life was, that life was God in the flesh. And that cannot be emphasized too much as we consider the name of Jesus, the name by which, you know, salvation is held and given, powerful healing like this. It's faith in that name, but it's faith in what is behind that name. And what is behind that name is at the heart of these sermons that we are going through in Chapters 2, 3, and 4 as the full history of God's promises regarding a Messiah, regarding salvation were given, you know, well, beginning with Genesis 3:15 when the very first prophecy is given there of a Messiah.
And then certainly with Abraham in Genesis 12, and right on through as Peter Simon is going to show, the promises, the covenants, the whole story of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses, and Noah and the patriarchs are pointing toward what then was fulfilled in the life of God coming in the flesh and giving his life a sin offering for forgiveness, for salvation. And so that's the power. And it's the power of that testimony, that understanding that made this man sound and also is behind the preaching of the apostles here.
And so, by extension, I think when we look at ourselves in the Church and what we preach as we preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God, according to Scripture, it is that the power of God in that preaching and the words and the truth that we explain and we put before people, that is God can use to call people, to perform a miracle in their mind and bring people to understand and to be convicted of sin, to repentance and faith and obedience. And when we in the Church remember that, then we have very strong sound ground on which to do the work that we are called to do.
Every minister must understand that as he preaches the Word of God. Every teacher, I mean, I think about that. I have to remind myself of that, I'm teaching the Word of God, not my words, my thoughts. And every preacher, every teacher has got to get himself out of the way and let the Word of God be the power and the standard and what we explain because that is what will ultimately produce fruit. The fruit of the Spirit of God and the very power of God working in your hearts and minds. So understand that. And this is what is behind Peter's focus upon Christ. And when we read it, teach it, read it, explain it, live it, then that's what's going to be driving your life.
Ultimately, the very power of God through His life within us is going to produce change. It's going to produce the fruits of the spirit beginning with love, joy, and peace. And you see those listed in Galatians 5, but combined together, those are all definitions of the power of God, the very power of the Spirit of God. And it's good that we focus on that and think about that in connection with preaching, teaching, and living a convicted life. So verse 17, let's go on here.
Acts 3:17 Peter then says, "Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers in ignorance." So, now he begins to put out a salve, a ray of hope. You did it in ignorance and your rulers in ignorance. Now, keep this in mind, these are the rulers that we're going to encounter in the next chapter who are going to try to throttle back the preaching of the apostles. But Peter is giving them an out. That's maybe not the best word. You don't get a free pass. You have to repent. And, you know, Christ's sacrifice is not free in that sense, he's showing them the path forward. He's saying that you did this in ignorance, as also your rulers. There's still guilt. They still have to repent. Remember what Jesus said. When He was hanging on the cross, He was dying in Luke 23. Let's go back and look at that, Luke 23. Hold your place here, and look at how Luke puts it.
Luke 23:34, Jesus said, at this one point, as He was being crucified, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do."
And so right there, He asked forgiveness, but He said, "They don't know what they do." They didn't understand the fullness of their deception. They did not understand the fullness of Satan as the god of this world, and how he was engineering this act. And they were gullible instruments. But He asks for God's forgiveness. And Peter, in verse 17 back in Acts 3,
Acts 3:17 He says, "Brethren, I know you did this in ignorance, as did also your rulers."
Understanding that there is sin that is done in ignorance and then there is sin that is done presumptuous helps us to kind of appreciate this. Go back to Numbers 15. Let's look at something from the law back here, Numbers 15. And let's read what is said here, beginning in verse 27, Numbers 15:27. This is important to help us appreciate how Peter's going to bring this out. Paul's going to talk about it in Chapter 17 of Acts when he's giving a sermon on Mars Hill and how God looks at sin. We'll talk about that at that time. But look here at Numbers 15:27.
Numbers 15:27-29 It says, "If a person sins unintentionally, then he shall bring a female goat in its first year as a sin offering. The priest shall make atonement for the person who sins unintentionally, when he sins unintentionally before the Lord, to make atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him. And it shall be forgiven. One law for him who sins unintentionally, for him who is native-born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger who dwells among them."
And so you can sin unintentionally. We've all done that. Obviously, people sin before being called not knowing that they're sinning, if they're breaking the Sabbath, breaking...you know, if they don't understand the spiritual intent of the law of God, they can be sinning, like, committing adultery in their heart not knowing it. Then when that knowledge comes, that ignorance dissipates. It's no longer a sin of ignorance, and you have to make a choice. But even, you know, we can be weak, we might be tempted, we might sin. We're not sinning out of presumptuous. What goes on here in verse 30? There is a different type of sin.
Numbers 15:30-31 “The person who does anything presumptuous, whether he is native-born or stranger, brings a reproach on the Lord, he shall be cut off from among his people. He has despised the word of the Lord and has broken His commandment. That person shall be completely cut off, his guilt shall be upon him.”
That's a whole different frame of mind. And where there's a malice, there's an intent, Jesus speaks to that about the sin of the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Hebrews talks about sinning willfully. So, that's different from sinning ignorantly or, you know, out of weakness, or, you know, we might be tempted and in a weak moment and sin, we're immediately convicted of, we didn't set out the sin. And we have not come to a point in our heart and mind where we willfully sin and we choose not to repent. And so Peter in his sermon here is helping them to understand out of this point of the law, that they sinned in ignorance, and there's a sacrifice, there's an atonement, and that is in Christ. And that is here then a glimmer of hope within a very stern message of warning and urgency that is in Peter's message.
So, going back to Chapter 3 of Acts, that's realizing that God knows human weakness and has already made provision through Christ's sacrifice for mankind. Repentance is what has to be done, acknowledgment of sin, acknowledgment of our mistake, and turning to obedience. For, you know, those of us that maybe we're listening to this, we're members, baptized members, we know God's way and word and all, never forget the fact that we can and should repent. And when we are convicted of a mistake that is brought to our attention, something we may have said, creating a fence, or we know we have done something and an action that is a sin, provision is there based upon repentance, provided we do repent.
And so Peter here is following a very long-established pattern that we see back in the Old Testament where God gave warning. He showed the consequences of sin and showed what would happen, captivity. But if you look very carefully at all of the Old Testament passages in Leviticus and Deuteronomy especially, that speak to God's warnings to Israel, He always ends with hope. If you repent, I will forgive and I will restore. That's always there even in the sternest of God's messages to Israel. We see that coming through here in what Peter then offers to these people. So, let's go back to verse 18.
Acts 3:18 "But those things which God foretold by the mouth of His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled."
And all of those prophecies were in place to show that, especially Isaiah 53. Isaiah 52 we just read as a part of Messianic Psalm as well. All of it in writing and the plan of God foretold by the prophets and according to God's purpose. So, the suffering of Christ, the death of Christ, the sins of mankind, all of that, in a sense, was a part of what was laid down and understood. And the need for a sacrifice to provide that atonement is there. And so Peter comes then now at this point, as he did in the first sermon in Chapter 2, to what he says in verse 19. And look at verse 19 because we have a very significant passage of Scripture here.
Acts 3:19 Peter then now says, again, "Repent, therefore, be converted that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord."
So, this is very similar to what we read back in Acts 2:38, where after convicting the audience there of their part in the death of Christ, he says, repent... And they said, "What shall we do?" And Peter says, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you shall be saved."
And so he now comes to a very similar point in his message. He's already got his kind of a stock message down by this point in time. And it's interesting sometimes we've kidded ourselves among some of us in the ministry that every minister has about three sermons. Everything else is a variation on those three sermons, maybe four. Sometimes I think I've heard some guys say, "Well, I got five sermons. Everything else is a variation on that." But there's an element of truth for every minister to think about. We have our interests, we have our way of explaining things, and we tend to...we will come back to certain themes quite often. We see Peter, he's getting his message down here as he comes to this because he comes back to repent. But he adds something that is in verses 19 and 20. He talks about a refreshing, times of refreshing that might come from the presence of the Lord.
Acts 3:20-21 Says, "And that he may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before," and verse 21 completes the thought, "whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began."
And so 19, 20, and 21 kind of form a very important section or statement, repent, be converted, times of refreshing, Christ coming, as preached to you. A time of the restoration of all things in verse 21.
So, you've got some themes working here of refreshing. Everyone likes to be refreshed, don't we? I mean, renewed. And he talks about restoration of all things. There's a period of restoration of all things, not just some, but everything. This speaks to really the heart of the purpose of God. Some commentators have called this kind of a benchmark verse of the whole Bible, this passage, 19, 20, and 21 of Acts 3. It certainly encapsulates the central message of the gospel of salvation through Christ, Christ being sent, Christ having been preached and foretold through the prophets, sent, lived, died, resurrected. Verse 21, received in heaven until the time of restoration.
In Acts 1, we saw the final ascension of Christ to the heavens and until the time of the restoration of all things. Did that happen during the 1st century? Were all things restored according to the prophets? I would have to say no. David was not resurrected. David is not reigning over the tribes of Israel according to the prophecies. We don't have a wolf lying down with a lamb and a little child leading. There's no world conditions of nature and humanity to even come close to what that passage of Scripture, which is a very strong millennial Scripture, what it says. We haven't had a restoration of all things that the prophets foretell, Isaiah, Micah, and all of them told since the world began.
What is it that needs to be restored? Well, you could just make a very strong list. There's a spiritual restoration, a right relationship with God that needs to be in place. What Adam and Eve did when they took the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was to create the conditions that severed a relationship with God, mankind with God, that was offered through the tree of life and set up a world that is based upon knowledge of good and evil. That's a big subject. I mean, the modern period of the Church has, you know, talked about that in many places. We could talk about a restoring of God's rule on the earth. As God created an Edenic paradise and a garden in that Eden where the first humans were put with an opportunity to take of the tree of life and a relationship with God solely, or as they did the tree the knowledge of good and evil, there was a decision to remove the rule of God from their life.
We could call that the government of God, the Kingdom of God, but the rule of God over this earth and human activity on the earth through the family of Adam that developed was removed. There's a severance there. And so that has to be restored. And so that leads to a spiritual restoration and a right relationship with God. The whole message of the Day of Atonement focuses upon man becoming at one with God. And that is done by the sacrifice of Christ, forgiveness of sin, the removal of Satan and his influence over human nature and creation of human nature.
We could put down another aspect of restoration would be the role of Israel as a leading nation in Jerusalem where the nations will go to learn the way of God. I'm sure wherever you kept the Feast of Tabernacles this year, the Scripture in Isaiah was read in Chapter 2 of the nation's going up to Jerusalem to learn about the God of Jacob, Jacob being, you know, father of the tribes of Israel. He put his name on Joseph, and Ephraim and Manasseh, but there's a restoration of Israel, God's government. And, you know, even Jerusalem in itself, if you look at certain Scriptures that talk about the place of Jerusalem in all of that, which is not there now.
Jerusalem is more of a burden as it is called in the prophets to the nations today, a source of conflict in anything. But what Scriptures like Isaiah 65:18-19, talk about Jerusalem being a place of rejoicing. I just finished reading a book about the efforts to create peace between Arabs and the Palestinians in the state of Israel and the ongoing issue that that is. And, you know, the divisions are longstanding. They are deep. They go back into Scripture, but they're also dealing with a lot of missteps in the modern world and Jerusalem and all the political issues around it are a burden to the nations. And so that's part of that restoration that will come of all things.
And so we're looking at the kingdom of God coming to this earth and Christ bringing that kingdom. We read in Daniel 7 as we went through that last week in the World News and Prophecy class. Daniel 7:13-14, where Daniel had that vision of the throne of God, and the one like the son of man coming to the ancient of days, and the son of man was given dominion, glory, and a kingdom that all people's nations and languages would serve him, Daniel 7:13-14. Picturing that being given to Christ and then at some point, Christ is sent to then put that dominion upon the earth over all of the nations. That's the time of restoration as well. And then begin this process that we just kept the Feast of Tabernacles to picture when God's rule over the nations will produce a much, much better world in life. This is what Peter's sermon here points to, and showing that Christ is the one to bring that. And so it is a very key prophecy. And verse 22, then he goes on.
Acts 3:22 "Moses truly said to the fathers, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.'"
And now he goes back to Deuteronomy 18, where Moses foretold a prophet like him, Moses, that God will raise up. And Christ fulfilled that. And so you see the working here of Christ being prophesied through a servant prophecy out of Isaiah, Moses here in Deuteronomy 18. Moses was a prophet, but Moses said, there's going to be a greater one than me come. And that's Christ.
Now, Christ was a prophet too. Christ was the greatest prophet. He sent and worked with the Old Testament prophets, but Jesus also taught his disciples. In Matthew 24, he answers a question that the disciples put to him about the signs of end of the age. In Matthew 24, you have the major statement of Christ on prophecy repeated in Mark and Luke called the Olivet prophecy. You'll want to remember that, all that because it was given where? On the Mount of Olives, yeah. On the Mount of Olives. And it is the significant statement of prophecy that Christ gave in His ministry. So, He is the greatest of the prophets.
And when we get to the Book of Revelation, we will see that is Christ giving the Revelation to John. And we'll talk about that at the time. So, He brings that to there. So, Peter bringing out Moses here in his role, "Moses truly said to the fathers, 'The Lord your God will raise up a prophet like me. Him you will hear, whatever He says to you.'" And verse 23.
Acts 3:23 "It shall be that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people."
Now, Peter, in his sermon, by bringing up Moses is bringing out a very strong character. You will learn as you go through the Pentateuch, the statue of Moses being the lawgiver. But that statue only grew through the generations within Israel, and even down to the time of Christ and Peter here, Moses was more than legendary. Moses was huge in the Jewish thought of the first century. And to invoke Moses here and show that he pointed to Christ as very important. Now, look at verse 24.
Acts 3:24 "Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel..."
Now he moves forward in the story to Samuel. So, we've got Moses, we got Samuel. Now, Samuel makes a very important statement...or actually, it's a prophecy in 2 Samuel 7, beginning in verse 12, about David and his throne in his line, 2 Samuel 12, that there would always be a descendant upon the throne of David. And that's what he means here in verse 24 when he's invoking specifically Samuel.
Acts 3:24 "...And those who follow, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days."
Through Samuel, in 2 Samuel 7 beginning in verse 12, is a promise to David of a descendant of the perpetuity of his throne. And in Luke 1, you find that one of the things announced to Mary when she's pregnant is that she will bear a son and he will set on the throne of his father, David. It's a very important part of the prophecies about Christ. Peter brings it out here as he's building this very large case. And he says in verse 25 then.
Acts 3:25-26 "You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed, all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ And so he says, "To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities."
So, Abraham is kind of...we would insert Abraham right here between Moses and Samuel. Moses, Abraham, and Samuel are invoked in the sermon of prophecies. And we already talked about the servant prophecy out of Isaiah. So, he covers a lot of ground in this message and points to the fact of Christ as the Messiah. It's a very Christ-centered sermon. That's the point that I want to get to. To conclude, he says in verse 26.
Acts 3:26 "To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities."
It is by the power of all of these promises, beginning with, well, Genesis 3:15 I mentioned, but Abraham and Moses and Samuel, Isaiah, and all the other prophetical pronouncements about Christ that build upon the very power of the message of the gospel and of Christ's role in that. And as Peter gives this sermon in the temple before the people that are gathered here, it is a very Christ-centered sermon building on that in Chapter 2. And it's going to lead to another one that he will give before the Council of Jewish leaders in Chapter 4, which we'll get to in next class here.
But what you're seeing here is the Church engaged in fulfilling its mission, its mission of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God. And it's centered on how Christ was laid down through these promises by covenant and by promises through the prophets and to men like Abraham in a covenant, and all are now were drawn together in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, who was the son of man, God in the flesh. And so Peter's laying down proof to the Jews of what was done in his life, death, and resurrection of Christ. And this is something the Jewish authorities cannot allow, which is why when we come to Chapter 4:1, we find now the appearance of trouble on the horizon.
The chief priests and the Sanhedrin, the Sadducees come in, the Jewish powers now arrive in the vicinity of Solomon's Colonnade and they confront the apostles. And that's where we'll pick up the story next class in Chapter 4, where Peter will have to deal with that confrontation there.