Book of Acts Chapter 1, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 04-19-2013

Christogenea is reader supported. If you find value in our work, please help to keep it going! See our Contact Page for more information or DONATE HERE!

  • Christogenea Internet Radio
CHR20130419-Acts01-2.mp3 — Downloaded 4696 times

Downloads from old Christogenea website: 3,553

The opening remarks to this podcast, entitled What Is Universalism?, are found here on the Christogenea Forum.

The Book of Acts, Chapter 1 Part 2 – Christogenea Internet Radio, April 19th, 2013

Discussing Amos chapter 3 here last month, we presented a lengthy dissertation concerning the Biblical phrase “all the families of the earth”, and from many scriptures found in both the Old and New Testaments it was demonstrated that within the Biblical context, the use of the phrase can only be applied to that group of White Adamic Nations which is listed in Genesis chapter 10. It can not be applied to anyone outside of that group. As Genesis 5:1 says, “This is the book of the generations of Adam.” The listing of those generations (which is the Hebrew word toledah, Strong's number 8435, meaning descendants) found in Genesis chapter 10 are a part of that book, and none of the promises made to those people, families and nations - such as those made to Abraham in Genesis chapter 12 - can ever justly be applied to anyone else.

Then again just last week, where we left off discussing verse 8 of Acts chapter 1, we presented many scriptures from the Old Testament which demonstrate that the phrase “all the ends of the earth” is a prophetic phrase which relates to the dispersion of the children of Israel, and to nothing else. Yahweh had said through the prophets, especially the prophet Isaiah but also others, that Israel would be scattered to “all the ends of the earth”. As the Word of God says in Isaiah 26: “15 Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth.” Therefore in Acts 1:8 there is Luke's record of some of the last words of Christ to the apostles where He said “8 Rather you shall receive power of the Holy Spirit coming upon you and you shall be My witnesses in both Jerusalem and in all Judaea and Samareia, and unto the end of the earth.” Among other prophecies, this is in fulfillment of the promises to Israel made in Isaiah chapter 55: “3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. 4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.” That witness, Yahshua Christ, came only for the sheep – as Yahweh had promised.

9 And speaking these things, upon their watching He was lifted up and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing into heaven upon His going, then behold, two men in white clothing stood by them. 11 And they said “Men, Galilaians, why do you stand looking into the heaven? This Yahshua, who is taken up from you into the heaven, thusly shall He come in the manner which you have beheld Him going into the heaven.”

Many commentators even in Christian Identity frequently rationalize the promised return of Christ by claiming that it would be manifest in some way other than His actual, physical return. That Christ shall indeed return personally in the exact same manner by which He is said to have departed is clearly expressed in this passage.

From the epistle of Jude: “14 And Enoch, seventh from Adam, prophesied to these saying “Behold, the Prince has come with ten thousands of His saints 15 to execute judgment against all and to convict every soul for all of their impious deeds which they committed impiously and for all of the harsh things which the impious wrongdoers have spoken against Him!”

Luke had already informed us that Yahshua was taken up into heaven from the presence of the apostles, where he wrote at Luke 24:51: “And it happened upon His blessing them that He had separated from them, and was carried up into the heaven.” So was Yahshua taken up into the heavens once? Or was He taken up twice? Luke opens this Book of Acts, his second book detailing the Coming and the Gospel of Christ, with this statement: “That first account I had made concerning all things, O lover of Yahweh, which Yahshua continued both to do and to teach, 2 until that day He was taken up...”

There were not two ascensions of Christ. Luke mentions the ascension of Christ at the end of his Gospel, and then he describes it in further detail here at the beginning of his Book of Acts. This repetition is a literary device which can be called recapitulation. Some universalist pastors in Christian Identity deny that such a literary device is employed in Scripture. However clearly we see it here in the transition from Luke to Acts. We see another example of recapitulation at the end of Genesis chapter 10, where the division of the Adamic nations is mentioned, but then a fuller account of that division is provided in Genesis chapter 11. But the first example of recapitulation occurs in the opening chapters of Genesis. In Genesis chapter 1 we see the creation of the Adamic race mentioned in verses 26 through 28. Then in Genesis chapter 2 through to Genesis chapter 4 a more detailed account of the creation of that race and the events of its earliest history is provided. Then again at the opening of Genesis chapter 5 there is one more recapitulation of the same event where it says “1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” In Genesis chapters 1, 2 and 5 all of the words for man or men in connection with these creations are the same Hebrew word adam, whether it is accompanied with the article or not. These are not three different creations of Adamic man. Rather, they all refer to the same creation of the same race, an account which is recapitulated in these early chapters of Genesis in various ways.

In order to discuss another important aspect of this passage, here we shall repeat these verses: “9 And speaking these things, upon their watching He was lifted up and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing into heaven upon His going, then behold, two men in white clothing stood by them. 11 And they said 'Men, Galilaians, why do you stand looking into the heaven? This Yahshua, who is taken up from you into the heaven, thusly shall He come in the manner which you have beheld Him going into the heaven.'”

That “a cloud received Him”, we must compare the account of the cloud found at the transfiguration on the mount described in Matthew 17, in Mark 9 and in Luke 9, and a statement found in Job 26, and the circumstances of Ezekiel’s vision, from the first chapter of that prophet's book.

From Luke chapter 9: “30 And behold, two men were speaking with Him, which were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appearing with effulgence had spoke of His departure which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.... 34 And upon his saying these things there came a cloud and it overshadowed them, and they were frightened upon the entering of them into the cloud.” When the cloud had lifted, the men were gone.

From Job chapter 26: “8 He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. 9 He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it.”

From the ancient Sumerian Hymn to Enlil, as it is recorded in Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (J. B. Pritchard, ed., Princeton University Press, 1969), p. 575: “As he sets up (his) dais in the mountain mist, He rotates it in heaven like a rainbow, He makes it roam about like floating cloud.”

In the Book of Ezekiel, in the very first chapter, there is a fantastic description of what is ostensibly this throne of Yahweh described by Job. Ezekiel begins his description at verse four by saying “And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.” The prophet goes on to describe what is apparently a much more complex machine.

Now Ezekiel had said that this apparition which he had seen happened when “the heavens were opened, and [he] saw visions of God”, so it is arguable whether the account must be accepted literally at face value, or whether the prophet merely saw visions as representations of something. However the testimony of the apostles Matthew, Mark and Luke concerning the event called the transfiguration on the mount, and this account described here in this first chapter of Acts certainly represent something tangible, and therefore the visions of Ezekiel and the proclamation of Job must be given merit as representing something tangible.

Since the dawn of time man believed that God could transcend His creation, and we should certainly believe that now. Today we hear of UFOs, we read of physicists who talk of string theory and parallel universes. These things are all human attempts to describe what the ancients already witnessed, believed and recorded: that there is more to the Creation of God than what we here on earth can normally perceive. Sometimes we are able to receive glimpses of that greater existence. However Christians are told not to consult with sorcerers and necromancers. Modern physicists may well fit into those categories, and even if they seem to be educated in the name of so-called science, they are really no different than the ancient Babylonian priests who were able to hold sway over the people because they pretended to a greater knowledge.

On the other hand, if God is not real, and if He does not transcend His creation, then Christians have no hope in the world. For these thoughts Paul scolded the wisdom of Rome, where he said in his epistle to the Romans (1:18-20): “18 For the wrath of Yahweh is revealed from heaven upon all profane and unjust men, who withhold the truth with injustice. 19 Because that which is to be known of Yahweh is visible among them, since Yahweh has made it known to them. 20 Namely, the unseen things of His from the creation of the order are clearly observed, being understood in the things made both of His eternal power and divinity; for this they are inexcusable.” Paul, a true physicist because he recognized the divinity of Yahweh our God, declared in Hebrews 11: “1 Now faith is expecting an assurance, evidence of the facts not being seen. 2 For by this were the elders accredited. 3 By faith we perceive the ages to be furnished by the word of Yahweh, in which that which is seen has not come into being from things visible.” As the appellation expressed in the Tetragrammaton, Yahweh, is from an ancient word which means I AM, God does indeed exist. Only in that do Christians have hope, and in that shall our race obtain the victory over His enemies, over all those who have corrupted or are themselves corruptions of His creation.

12 Then they returned into Jerusalem from the mountain called “of Olives”, which is near to Jerusalem, being a Sabbath day’s journey.

There is no explicit command in the law concerning the distance that one may travel on the Sabbath (v. Exodus 16:23-29, 20:8-11, 31:12-17, and 35:2-3; Leviticus 23:3 and 24:8; Deuteronomy 5:12-15). This restriction was evidently one of the legalistic traditions of the Pharisees, and it was later codified in the Talmud. In order to determine “a Sabbath day’s journey”, which was the distance one was customarily allowed to travel on the Sabbath day, evidently the Pharisees used the distance which was mentioned in Joshua 3:4 and Numbers 35:4, which was two thousand cubits.

In Numbers chapter 35 the regulations were given for the exact size of the Levitical cites and the area around them which each of the 12 tribes would cede to the Levites. Verses 4 and 5 state: “4 And the suburbs of the cities, which ye shall give unto the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits round about. 5 And ye shall measure from without the city on the east side two thousand cubits, and on the south side two thousand cubits, and on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits; and the city shall be in the midst: this shall be to them the suburbs of the cities.” [The two thousand cubits actually seems to describe the perimeter, and the thousand cubits the distance to the perimeter. The Pharisees evidently missed the difference.]

In Joshua chapter 3 the people of Israel were commanded by the officers of the army to follow the Ark of the Covenant when the Levites moved it, and they were told to maintain a distance of two thousand cubits when they followed. Verses 3 and 4 state: “3 And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it. 4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.”

Concerning the Sabbath Day, when it was first commanded in the Exodus, men were required not to wander from their place of rest. [In the Exodus they could not even gather manna on the Sabbath, but were able to gather twice the amount the day before.] This is described in Exodus chapter 16, and verse 29 states: “See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day”. Therefore it is evident that the Pharisees used the two thousand cubit distance of those other scriptures in Numbers chapter 35 and in Joshua chapter 3 in order to judge how far a man could travel on the Sabbath Day before he was “out of his place”, although it is also obvious that this figure is quite arbitrary and that it was not a command from Yahweh. A standard cubit being about 18 inches, two thousand cubits would be about a thousand yards. Yet from that we can determine that the distance from the gate of Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives must have been a distance of about a thousand yards, or just over half a mile.

13 And when they had come in, they went up into the upper room where they were staying, both Petros and Iohannes, and Iakobos and Andreas, Philippos and Thomas, Bartholomaios and Maththaios, Iakobos son of Alphaios, and Simon the zealot and Iouda the brother of Iakobos.

Here there are eleven apostles: Judas Iscariot not being present he is the subject of the latter part of this chapter. Discussing Luke chapter 6 and the listing of the apostles there, it was explained that Luke's list varies somewhat from those of Matthew and Mark. Luke counts Jude among the apostles, where in the original lists of the others a “Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus” appears. John puts Jude among the disciples of Christ in John 14:22. But nowhere is it explained what happened to Thaddaeus. Jude is listed as the brother of James the son of Alphaios, and calls himself the brother of James in his epistle.

Where Luke says “Iakobos son of Alphaios” and then “Iouda the brother of Iakobos”, the relationships are only implied and are not explicit in the Greek. There is no place where Alphaios is mentioned in connection with Iakobos where the relationship is explicitly stated, here or in either Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, or Luke 6:15. However since the brothers of Christ are explicitly mentioned in several places, James must be the son of Alphaios, which is the primary use of the Greek construction. The relationship of Jude to this James is certain since this surely is the Jude of Matt. 13:55 and Mark 6:3, where the relationship of both Jude and James to Yahshua is explicitly stated, and he is also the Jude of the epistle (Jude), where the author explicitly calls himself the “brother of James”.

14 All of these were persisting with one accord in prayer, with the women and Mariam the mother of Yahshua and His brethren.

The Majority Text, and therefore the King James Version, has “with prayer and in supplication”; the text here follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B), Alexandrinus (A), Ephraemi Syri (C), and Bezae (D).

The King James Version adds some commas in the text. It must be noted that the placement of punctuation is often quite arbitrary, since the Greek text originally had no punctuation, although there are certain grammatical indications of the beginnings of many sentences. The King James therefore has the end of this last verse: “... and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” The last occurrence of the word with seen in the King James Version is found in the Codex Vaticanus (B) and in the Majority Text, but it is wanting in the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Ephraemi Syri (C), and Bezae (D). The Christogenea New Testament therefore follows those manuscripts which state that Mary is “the mother of Yahshua and His brethren.”

In Matthew 13:55-56 it is recorded that the people ask of Christ “Is this not the son of a craftsman? Is not His mother called Mariam and His brothers Iakobos and Ioseph and Simon and Iouda? And are not His sisters all here with us?” The text of Mark 6:3 also contains those same exact questions. Iouda and Iakobos, or Jude and James, are the brethren of Christ, and His half-brothers through his mother Mary. It is evident that Mary had several children later in life: at least four sons and two daughters, after she gave birth to Christ. Both Luke (2:7) and Matthew (1:25) call Yahshua Christ her firstborn son. After Christ, whom Luke says was supposed to be the son of Joseph, James and his other brothers must be sons of Mary by Alphaios, and there is a good Biblical reason for that which goes beyond this identification here, and which can be demonstrated quite easily: If Joseph was the legitimate heir to the throne of David, and if later he had other sons, those other sons would have a claim to that throne since Christ was not Joseph's genetic son. Yet if Joseph had no other sons, and Mary's later children are sired by another husband, then Christ is indeed Joseph's only legitimate heir, although He was actually raised up by Yahweh for Joseph. Therefore if Joseph died before he had other sons, Christ can be considered a son raised up as an heir to Joseph by Yahweh Himself, even though the conception happened before Joseph actually died. So while Mary indeed had other children later in life, she must have had them by another man, and here we see that James is mentioned as the son of Alphaios.

15 And in those days, Petros standing in the midst of the brethren spoke, (and the multitude of names there in that place were about a hundred and twenty,)

The Codex Bezae (D) and the Majority Text have Peter “standing in the midsdt of the students”; the text here follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B) and Ephraemi Syri (C).

The Greek phrase ὄχλοςὀνομάτων (ochlos onomatōn) is literally a “multitude of names”, as it reads here. In his Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Joseph Thayer says of the use of ὄνομα(onoma, 3686) “In imitation of the Hebrew שמת(Num. i. 2, 18, 20; iii. 40, 43; xxvi. 53), the plural ὀνομάτων (onomatōn) is used equivalent to persons reckoned up by name: Acts i. 15; Rev. iii. 4; xi. 13.” It is an acceptable notion that Luke is using a Hebraism here, he himself being a Greek, as we have asserted that Luke did not come into the picture until the events recorded in Acts chapter 15, and therefore it must be that he has reproduced an account which he obtained from someone with a Hebrew background (i.e. a Galilaian, one of the other apostles). However the 9th edition of the Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon gives one similar use of ὄνομα in Greek, in the construction “ἐν ὀνόματι εἶναι[which means] to have a name, to be notable” and it may be possible that the word Greek word may have naturally been used to indicate that about a hundred and twenty persons of those known by name among the disciples were present, and possibly others not so known. Nevertheless, the phrase which Luke used seems instead to be a Hebraism in the manner which Thayer has described in his lexicon.

[שמותshêmôwth shay-mōth, plural of שם, “name” (Strong’s #8034). The precise Hebraic format noted by Thayer above can be found at Gen. 2:20; Num. 1:20, 22; I Chr. 23:24; Ezra 10:16; Psa. 147:4; and Dan. 1:7 (Biblia Hebraica edited by Rudolf Kittel, 1937). There are many other Hebraic formats based upon the root שםwith prefixes, gender variation, etc., some of those noted by Thayer above. – David Gray]

16 “Men, brethren, it is necessary for the writing to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit before spoke through the mouth of David concerning Ioudas who had been a guide for those who seized Yahshua, 17 because he was counted among us and had obtained a share of this ministry.

A comma placed here after the word men is a device by which to palatably render the words “men brethren” in English. The Greek phrase implies the meaning “men who are brethren”.

Judas was a guide to those who seized Yahshua when he led them to the place called Gethsemane and indicated to them which of the people gathered there was Christ, as related in all four gospel accounts (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22 and John 18). That Judas had a share of the ministry of Christ is allowed by Christ Himself, who is recorded in John chapter 6 as having stated: “...Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.”

18 So then he acquired a field from the wages of unrighteousness, and having been crashed face-down in the midst then all of his bowels had spilled out. 19 And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem, so as that field is called in their language ‘Akeldamach’, which is ‘Field of Blood’.

The word διάλεκτος (1258) is here “language”, but may have been rendered “dialect”, it obviously being the Greek root of our English word. διάλεκτος is “discourse: discussion, debate, arguing...II. language: the language of a country, dialect: a local word or phrase...III. a way of speaking, enunciation” (Liddell & Scott) and it appears in the New Testament only in Acts. It is always language in the Christogenea New Testament, at 1:19; 2:6 and 8; 21:40; 22:2; and 26:14. The word γλῶσσα (1100), is literally tongue, as it is in the Christogenea New Testament at Acts 2:4 and 2:11 to distinguish it from διάλεκτος. It may also have been rendered as language in this context, as it is at Acts 10:46 and 19:6. Peter’s use of the phrase “in their language”, speaking of a Hebrew word and speaking of the Judaeans of Jerusalem, certainly indicates that here Peter was speaking Greek and not Hebrew. While Peter certainly spoke Hebrew (i.e. Matt. 26:69-75) it was evidently with some difficulty (Matt. 26:73). The NA27, apparently following all of the later manuscripts and/or papyri (it does not state), adds the word for “own”, where it has has “in their own language”, as the King James Version has it “in their proper tongue”. The text here follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B) and Bezae (D).

The reference to the field is a reference to that potter's field which the priests had purchased from the thirty pieces of silver which Judas returned to them. From Matthew 27: “1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. 3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. 6 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. 7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. 8 Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. 9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; 10 And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me.”

Many have charged that the account of Judas the traitor’s fate here conflicts with that related by Matthew (Matt. 27:3-10). Yet in their haste to find fault they fail to realize that neither account is necessarily complete, but both when placed together are quite cohesive if the events which are related here in Acts took place after Judas hanged himself as described by Matthew, which is entirely plausible. Judas hanged himself, and then when the body came down, whether it fell or whether it was cut down, being weakened in its constitution from rotting it could easily have been “crashed face-down in the midst then all of his bowels had spilled out.”

20 For it is written in the Book of Psalms: ‘His home must be desolate, and there must not be one dwelling in it’ and ‘Another must take his office’.

This is the writing Peter referred to at the beginning of this discourse recorded in verse 16. It seems that most Bible commentators attribute the first clause here to Psalm 69, where David prays against his enemies and says in part: “25 Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.” The second clause is then attributed to Psalm 109, where David prays against the wicked and says, among other things: “6 Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. 7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin. 8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”

Yet in the Septuagint version of Psalm 109 we see both ideas expressed, and I will read two additional verses beyond those which were just cited from the King James Version: “6 Set thou a sinner against him; and let the devil stand at his right hand. 7 When he is judged, let him go forth condemned: and let his prayer become sin. 8 Let his days be few: and let another take his office of overseer. 9 Let his children be orphans, and his wife a widow. 10 Let his children wander without a dwelling-place, and beg: let them be cast out of their habitations.” One cast from his dwelling-place certainly has a home left desolate.

As for the word office, where the King James Version has bishoprick, the Greek word ἐπισκοπή(1984) is a watching over, visitation...II. the office ofἐπίσκοπος...generally an office” (Liddell & Scott). It is akin to the word ἐπίσκοπος (1985), the root word through the late ecclesiastical Latin word ebiscopus of our English word bishop, which is is “one who watches over, an overseer, guardian...a public officer, intendant” (Liddell & Scott). It is usually bishop in the King James Version. ἐπίσκοπος only appears at Acts 20:28 in Luke's writing where the word is overseer in the Christogenea New Testament, although it is rendered as supervisor in this version wherever it appears in Paul’s letters, at Philippians 1:1; I Timothy 3:2; and Titus 1:7.

21 Therefore it is necessary, of the men gathering together with us during all the time in which Prince Yahshua came in and went out with us, 22 beginning from the immersing of Iohannes until the day when He was taken up from us, for one of them to become a witness with us of His resurrection.”

The Greek word γενέσθαι is an infinitive form of the verb γίγνομαι (1096), which is literally “to come into being” (Liddell & Scott) and is therefore in this form to become here, the King James Version makes into “to be ordained”.

23 And they stood up two: Ioseph called Barsabbas who was surnamed Ioustos, and Maththias.

The Codex Bezae has “And he stood up two...”, he meaning Peter. The Greek word ἵστημι (2476), literally “to make to stand” (Liddell & Scott), may metaphorically have been rendered nominate here, “and they nominated two”.

As it has been said here already, the Book of Acts is a book of transition. In it, the apostles still have a lot to learn. Many of those things are later reflected in their epistles, and in the latter chapters of Acts. It may seem pretentious to second-guess the apostles. However it must, and it can, be realized that these were men no different from ourselves, even if they had the benefit of walking with Yahshua Christ for over three years. Of course Peter was a good man, and blessed in many ways, however the gospel accounts themselves tell us in many places that he was not perfect, and that he often was found rebelling against Christ, insisting upon his own will rather than giving himself over to the will of God. Therefore Peter was told “Get behind me, Satan; thou art an offence unto Me”, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 16 when he resisted the things which Christ had told him concerning His own fate. Later Peter swore that he would never be offended on account of Christ, and as Christ immediately prophesied, Peter denied Him three times that very night. Peter also had to be told three times, as it is recorded in John after the Resurrection, that if he loved Christ he should feed His sheep. Once more, at a time much later than this, in Acts chapter 10 it is recorded that Peter had to be shown the vision of the four-square sheet three times before he understood what was being related to him by God.

The words of Christ describe to us the stubborn will of Peter where it is recorded that He told him in John chapter 21: “18 Truly, truly I say to you, when you were young, you girt yourself and walked about wherever you wished. But when you should grow old, you shall extend your hand, and another shall gird and bring you where you do not wish.” Here we have another example of Peter's stubborn will. Even if he intends to do good, here he is attempting to fill the role of the replacement for Judas Iscariot on his own initiative. Note that there is no indication that he has of yet prayed on the matter, nor is he “filled with the Holy Spirit” as we see happen in Acts chapter 2.

The proof of this interpretation is made right here: after this chapter of Acts, we do not hear again of this Matthias who is chosen by Peter to replace Judas. The will of man is vanity. Yahshua Christ chooses Paul as an apostle shortly afterward, and in Acts chapter 9 we see Paul's conversion by Christ Himself on the road to Damascus. Paul goes on to become the chief apostle to the nations of dispersed Israel, and his ministry is remembered to this day. The will of man is vanity, but the will of God upheld. [The Paul-bashers are as stubborn as Peter!]

24 Then praying they said: “You, Prince, Knower of all hearts, show which one of these two You have chosen 25 to receive the place of this ministry and ambassadorship from which Ioudas has transgressed to go to his own place.” 26 And they gave lots to them and the lot fell upon Maththias and he was counted along with the eleven ambassadors.

Prayer or not, good intentions or not, at this point the apostle had taken it upon his own initiative to nominate two men as candidates for the office left vacant by Judas, and the lot had to fall to one or the other. The prayer only asked Yahweh God to choose one of the two. Neither was not an option for the casting of the lot. Yet as we have already related, nothing ever became of the ministry of Matthias. Later, Christ had revealed His Own selection in Paul of Tarsus. That reflects the actual will of God, that when the devices of men are not aligned with His will, nothing will ever become of them.

CHR20130419-Acts01-2.odt — Downloaded 831 times