Acts 2, Verse by Verse

The bulk of Christendom has been taught that the Church, the body of Christ, began at Pentecost in Acts 2.  This is nothing more than “church tradition” and a careful analysis of Acts 2 proves that out.  This tradition has no Scriptural support and it is difficult to understand why it is that this false teaching has so embedded itself within Christendom. 

The 120 disciples mentioned in Acts 1:15 were all Jews.  Peter addressed Jews, not Gentiles, within the entirety of Acts 2.  Peter had no understanding of Jew and Gentile being equal in Christ, the definition of the Church, the body of Christ (Gal 3:28; Col 3:11; Eph 2:14-15), until Acts 15 and the Jerusalem Council.  The coming of the Holy Spirit was a covenant promise God gave to Israel, the New Covenant (Jer 31:31-34; Ezek 36:26-27; Joel 2:28-29).  Jesus had promised the Jews the Holy Spirit (Jn 15:26). 

In the Church, every believer is immediately indwelt by the Holy Spirit at the moment one believes Christ died for their sins and rose again (1 Cor 15:1-4; 1 Cor 12:13).  This did not occur at Pentecost (Acts 8:15-17; 19:1-7).  God began the Church, the body of Christ, with the apostle Paul, several years after Acts 2.  The Church was a new revelation, a new creation, and God chose the apostle Paul to reveal all of its doctrines (1 Tim 1:16; Phil 4:9; 1 Thes 4:1-2).  Pentecost continued God’s prophetic program with Israel in the hope that the nation would repent and believe that Jesus was the Son of God, the anointed Messiah.  What occurred at Pentecost had nothing to do with the Church, the body of Christ, and tradition must be forsaken.  

The following is Acts 2 in its entirely.  This exegetical look at all 47 verses of Acts 2 is presented with the verses within the left column, and commentary within the right column.  Before beginning your reading of this chapter, ask yourself the important questions (rules) of Bible Study first and apply these questions as you read all 47 verses:

  1. Who is speaking?
  2. Who is the audience that the speaker is speaking to?
  3. Establish context:  Read the chapter before and the chapter after the passage you are studying.
  4. Allow Scripture to interpret Scripture.
  5. Ask:  Are you found within the context?
  6. When you begin your reading:  Pray first for understanding and guidance and that God would have you see what He wants you to see.



1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Pentecost means “fiftieth” and refers to the Jewish Feast of Weeks (Ex 34:22-23), a harvest festival (Lev 23:16), celebrated seven weeks and one day (50 days) after Passover, the first Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Deut 16:9; Lev 23:16; Ex 23:16).  In Ex 34:22, it is called the “firsfruits of the wheat harvest.”  It was one of three annual feasts for which the nation of Israel was to come to Jerusalem (Ex 23:14-19).  At Pentecost, an offering of firstfruits was made (Lev 23:20).  

The “they” within this verse is defined for the reader within Acts 1:13-15 –

And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.A sound came ‘like’ a violent rushing wind.  Wind is often used in Scripture as a picture of the Holy Spirit (Ez 37:9-10; Jn 3:8).  
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

‘like’ fire – it was not actual fire.

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: (1 Cor 1:22)  

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The “they” in this verse included the apostles and the 120 disciples mentioned in Acts 1:15.  “Tongues” are known languages (1 Cor 14:1-25), not ecstatic utterances.

The Spirit is poured out on believing Israel as prophecy had spoken it would (Isa 44:3; Prov 1:23).

The Acts 2 dispensationalist argues that the primary distinguishing event, arguing for the beginning of the Church as happening in Acts 2 at Pentecost, is that the Holy Spirit was sent and indwells believers here on this day.  If that is the case, why does the Acts 2 dispensationalist not argue for John 20:22 as being the beginning of the body of Christ?  Neither position is correct.

5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.The audience within Acts 2 are clearly Jews, devout Hebrew males that followed God’s instructions and made the pilgrimage from their home district or country to Jerusalem to observe this Jewish feast day.  They were expected to celebrate Pentecost in Jerusalem, as part of observing the Jewish religious calendar.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

The noise is the rushing mighty wind mentioned in v.2, not the sound of people speaking in various languages.  As the Hebrew men were speaking, each pilgrim in the crowd was able to recognize the language or dialect from his own country.

The Kingdom restoration of language began here as prophesied (Zeph 3:9).

7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?Galilaeans were inhabitants of the mostly rural area of northern Israel around the Sea of Galilee.  Galilean Jews spoke with a distinct regional accent and were considered to be unsophisticated and uneducated by the southern Judean Jews.
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

Galileans speaking many different languages would have been astonishing to Judean Jews.

God will one day reverse Gen 11:9 and the confounding of languages (Zeph 3:8-9).

9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

The listing of the various districts and countries within verses 9 through 11 emphasizes the point that these utterances (tongues) were known human languages.

Parthians:  they lived in what is modern Iran.

Medes:  during Daniel’s day, they ruled with the Persians and had settled in Parthia.

Elamites:  from the southwestern part of the Parthian Empire.

Mesopotamia:  this means “between the rivers,” the Tigris and Euphrates.

Judea:  all the region once controlled by David and Solomon, including Syria.

Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia:  these were districts in Asia Minor, what is now Turkey.

10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

Do not miss the emphasis again as to who the audience is within this chapter:  Jews and proselytes.  A proselyte was a Gentile who converted to Judaism, was circumcised, and observed the Law of Moses.

Phrygia and Pamphylia:  districts in Asia Minor.

Egypt:  it had a large Jewish population, especially in the city of Alexandria.

Cyrene:  districts west of Egypt, along the North African coast.

Rome:  a sizeable Jewish population lived in the capital city of the Roman empire.

11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

Cretans:  those residing on the island of Crete, on the southern coast of Greece.

Arabians:  Jews who lived south of Damascus, among the Arabs.

These various Jewish pilgrims were hearing the apostles and the 120 disciples speaking in their native language the wonderful works of God (Example:  Ex 15:11; Ps 40:5; 77:11; 96:3; 107:21).  

12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?The Jewish pilgrims from other districts and countries do not know what to make of this miracle.
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.Some in the crowd insinuated that those speaking in tongues (languages) were drunk.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

Peter begins his sermon.  Who was Peter addressing?  A: “Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem” – Peter addressed only Jews!  He obeyed Jesus’ command in Acts 1:8.  This is clear from the verses Acts 2:14, 22, 29, 36-39.  

The apostle Peter would have nothing to do with a Gentile as late as Acts 10 (see Acts 10:28; 11:1-3; 11:19).  To put Gentiles into Acts 2 is intellectually dishonest.

15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.The “third hour of the day” is 9:00AM.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

This is Prophecy!  What the apostle Peter is about to elaborate upon is not Mystery information given to the apostle Paul (Rom 16:25-26; 1 Cor 2:7; Eph 3:3-4; Col 1:26-27), but rather Prophecy information that can be found in the Old Testament.  Compare Acts 3:21 against Romans 16:25.  

The prophet Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:28-32) will not be completely fulfilled until Christ’s Second Coming.  Peter is recognizing that prophecy could be fulfilled if the nation Israel would repent and accept Jesus the Christ as their Messiah.  A “re-offer” of the prophesied Kingdom is made by Peter in Acts 3.  If the nation of Israel would have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, Daniel’s 70th Week would have come and Jesus would have returned to establish His Millennial Kingdom.

This particular day of Pentecost was a pre-fulfillment, a taste of what will happen in the Millennial Kingdom when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh (Jer 31:31-34). 

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

[Joel 2:28] And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

There is much in prophecy concerning God pouring out His Spirit upon the nation Israel in view of their Kingdom being established on the earth:  Is 32:15-18; 44:3-7; Ezek 39:26-29; Zech 12:10. 

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

[Joel 2:29] And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

These things noted in Acts 2:17-18 occurred during the apostolic age.

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

[Joel 2:30] And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

Blood, fire, and vapour of smoke are phenomena that are all connected with events surrounding Christ’s Second Coming and the establishment of His Millennial Kingdom.  Whereas verses 17-18 were being fulfilled in that moment, verses 19-21 have a future fulfillment.  

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

[Joel 2:31] The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

This “day of the Lord” will come with Christ’s Second Coming (2 Pet 3:10; Rev 19:11-15).

The Day of the Lord includes God’s wrath and judgment of the earth, the return of Christ, and the establishment of His kingdom on earth (Amos 5:20; Is 24:19-23; 13:9-13; Mt 24:29).

The events of Acts 2:19-21 have not occurred yet.  They are God’s judgment on the earth and Christ’s return.  Peter thought everything in Joel’s prophesy would occur in his lifetime.  It would have, had the nation Israel repented.

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

[Joel 2:32] And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Notice that Acts 2:21 does not include the red text above from Joel 2:32.  “Mount Zion,” “Jerusalem,” and the “remnant” – this has only to do with the Jews and the remnant is believing Israel, the little flock of Lk 12:32, the way of Acts 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22, the Kingdom church of Mt 16:18; 18:17; and Acts 2:47.

The prophecy of Joel 2:28-32 is always correctly referenced here within commentaries related to Acts 2, but just who is it that this prophecy is speaking about?  Joel 2:27 answers that question:

And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. (Joel 2:27)

Peter only knew God’s prophetic program.  He knew nothing of the Church, the body of Christ, and its doctrines.  “Calling on the name of the Lord” was to believe the Gospel of the Kingdom (Mt 4:23; Mk 1:14-15; Lk 9:1-6), to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, the King of that Kingdom promised to the nation Israel.

22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

Again, who is Peter’s audience?  A: “Ye men of Israel”.

Peter now changes the subject from “this is prophecy being fulfilled” to the fact that Jesus the Christ was and is their Messiah.

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: (1 Cor 1:22)

23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

This is a murder indictment that the apostle Peter is levying against the nation Israel.  This is not “glorying in the Cross” as we see from the apostle Paul:

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. (Gal 6:14)

24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is mentioned here in this verse.  The resurrection is a key component to the Gospel of the Grace of God, preached by the apostle Paul (Eph 6:19), but recognize that the death and resurrection of Christ was prophesied (Is 53; Ps 22; Dan 9:26; Zech 12; Ps 16:10; Jonah 1:17; 2:2, 6, 10 (Mt 12:39-40)), just as it is stated within the definitive passage regarding the only Gospel that saves today:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Cor 15:1-4)

Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, the Gospel of our Salvation, is the only Gospel that saves today.  Peter is not preaching a Gospel message here – he is preaching a murder indictment.  As we will see, Peter continued to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, in which the identity of Jesus (the Son of God, the Messiah – Jn 20:31) was what a Jew had to place their faith in. 

25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

The Lord was speaking of His resurrection prophetically through David (Ps 16:8):

I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:[Ps 16:9] Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.[Ps 16:10] For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.[Ps 16:11] Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

This is a reminder to the Jews that David’s body had never been raised from the dead.  Thus, he could not have been the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Psalm 16:8-11.

30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

Peter quoted Ps 132:11.  As God’s spokesman, David knew that God would keep His oath (2 Sam 7:11-17) and that the Christ would come.  Again, the emphasis here is on Prophecy and not upon the Mystery preached by the apostle Paul.

God’s promises to Israel included a Kingdom on the earth (2 Sam 7:13).  Peter confirms the fact that Christ, the fruit of David’s loins according to the flesh, was raised up from the dead to sit on David’s throne.  The “oath” here within this verse is a reference to the Davidic Covenant.

31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

Peter quoted Ps 16:10 –

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.God raised up Jesus from the dead in order to attest to His approval of Christ’s finished work on the Cross.  The significance of Christ’s resurrection for Peter and the Eleven was that He was alive and that He could return to be Israel’s prophesied King.  Peter did not understand Christ’s death and resurrection with regard to forgiving our sins or as a finished work that one was to place their faith in.  For the Twelve, Christ’s death was a crime for which the Jewish nation had to repent.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.After Jesus was risen and ascended, God’s promise to send the Holy Spirit was initiated (Jn 7:39; Mt 3:11; Jn 14:26) and manifest in that day.  Ultimately, the nation Israel did not repent.  They stumbled at the Cross and they fell at the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7 (Rom 11:11-12).  Israel is currently in judicial blindness (Rom 11:25), but God will fulfill the New Covenant and pour out His Spirit on all flesh at His Second Coming and the establishment of His Millennial Kingdom.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

David is still in Abraham’s Bosom, awaiting the Second Coming of Christ and his resurrection, and is not ascended into the heavens.  Peter quoted Ps 110:1 concerning the exaltation of Messiah by ascension to the right hand of God, and reminds his audience that it was not fulfilled by David, but by Jesus the Christ.

35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.[Ps 110:1] The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

The Old Testament prophecies of resurrection and exaltation provide evidence that overwhelmingly point to the crucified Jesus as the Messiah.  Jesus is God as well as Israel’s Messiah (Titus 2:13; Rom 1:4; 10:9; Phil 2:9, 11).

Peter addressed national Israel and proclaimed that the entire nation had to repent for Christ to return and establish His Kingdom (Mt 23:37-39).

Peter’s understanding that Christ was a Saviour only to Israel is reflected by his answer to the Jewish high priest in Acts 5:30-31. 

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

This news from Peter was sudden and unexpected.  Peter’s listeners were stunned by his indictment that they had killed their Messiah.

One nuance that must be recognized within this verse is the use of the word “we” by the Holy Spirit – “what must we (Israel) do” vs “what must I (Gentiles) do,” as seen in Acts 16:30-31. God does not deal with members of the body of Christ today on covenant grounds as He does with the nation Israel, He deals with them individually.

As we proceed further, we will need to watch to see if Peter’s response back to these Jews mirrors that of Paul’s when speaking to the Philippian jailer:

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:30-31)

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

To “repent” is to change one’s mind.  Peter is telling this audience of Jews to change their minds as to who Jesus the Christ was.  Peter wants the nation of Israel to change its mind from believing that Jesus was not the Son of God, the Messiah to Israel, to believing that He is indeed their Messiah.

In Acts 2:36, Peter accused the nation of Israel of crucifying its Messiah.  Convicted, they asked what they must do (Acts 2:37).  Peter did not tell them to believe Christ died for their sins and rose from the dead.  He told them to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  This continued the message that began with John the Baptist, the gospel of the Kingdom.  

Peter instructs this audience of Jews to be baptized, to be dipped or immersed in water.  This is not the baptism of the Holy Spirit that Paul speaks to in 1 Cor 12:13 and Eph 4:5 for Christians, but rather the ceremonial baptism for priesthood that John the Baptist preached in Mt 3:1-6 and Jesus preached in Mk 16:16 and Mt 28:19 (see Ex 19:5-6; Lev 8:6-9; 21:16-21; Ex 29:1, 4, 7; Mt 4:23).

“Repent and be baptized” is a commandment, requiring action (works) from the believer in order to be saved (stated here as “for the remission of sins.”)  Repentance (Mt 3:2, 4:17) and water baptism (Mk 1:4; 16:16; Lk 3:3; Acts 22:16) were required for salvation under the Gospel of the Kingdom.  Peter expressed this fact with the statement, “for the remission of sins.”  This is not the same message found in Romans 3:25.  

The supernatural empowerment of the Holy Ghost would assist the believing remnant of Israel, the Kingdom church, as they “endured until the end” (Mt 10:22) and preached the “gospel of the kingdom in all the world” (Mt 24:13-14).  The supernatural powers provided by the Holy Ghost at Pentecost would help to protect the believing remnant from a great tribulation that “was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Mt 24:21), the second half of Daniel’s 70th Week.

39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

The promise is to you, Jews, the nation Israel.  “And to all that are afar off” – these are not Gentiles.  This is speaking to Jews who were scattered to Gentile nations (see Jer 50:17; 1 Kings 22:17; Ps 106:26-27; Jer 16:10-13; James 1:1; 1 Pet 1:1).

How the Jews responded to the word “Gentiles” when Paul was addressing the crowd in the temple in Acts 22:21-23 proves that Peter was not referring to the Gentiles in Acts 2:39.

When Peter referred to those “afar off” he was talking about the Jews of the dispersion (Dan 9:7).

40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.The word “generation” is never used within the 13 Pauline epistles.  The word “generation” is used 32 times within 30 verses within the four Gospels, which are technically Old Testament books containing prophecy for Israel (Heb 9:15-17).
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.If the Church, the body of Christ, started in Acts 2 at Pentecost, why does the text say that 3,000 souls were ADDED to the church?  The answer is that nothing started within this chapter.  The church in Acts 2, the Kingdom church, the little flock, was already in existence (Mt 16:18-19; 18:17) and was being added to by those Jews who would repent, change their mind, and believe that Jesus was the Messiah.  An established group, the little flock, was already waiting in Jerusalem at Pentecost for the “next step” in their desire to enter the prophesied Millennial Kingdom.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

“the apostles” is a reference to the 12 Jewish apostles to the nation Israel (Lk 22:30).  If you are following their doctrine, then you run the risk of placing yourself under the Law and not following the doctrine of the one apostle, the apostle to the Gentiles (Rom 11:13), that was sent to you.  The apostle Paul tells us very clearly that he is the one that has our, the body of Christ’s, doctrine:

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (1 Cor 14:37)

43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: (1 Cor 1:22)
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

This sentiment continues to be mentioned in the chapters that immediately follow:

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. (Acts 4:32) 

45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.This provides additional evidence that the Church, the body of Christ, did not begin at Pentecost within Acts 2.  No church does this and no pastor could ever get away with suggesting it.  These believers sold their possessions because they thought the nation would repent and that Jesus would soon return to establish His kingdom.  There is no need for earthly possessions within the Millennial Kingdom, so their actions are completely logical within the context.  See Acts 4:34-35; Lk 18:22; Mt 19:27-30; Acts 5:1-10 
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,No church today is of “one mind” (one accord).  Notice also that the little flock, the Kingdom church, met daily in the temple.  Gentiles were not allowed in the temple (Acts 21:28).
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

This one verse, referencing “the church,” has been used out of context to the complete dismay of Christendom.  The word “church” means a called out assembly.  There is more than one “church” within the Bible:

  1. There was an Old Testament church (a Jewish assembly).  It was the “church in the wilderness” that Stephen referred to in Acts 7:38.
  2. There was Peter’s Kingdom church at Jerusalem (the little flock, the way, the remnant).  See Lk 12:32; Mt 16:18; Mt 18:17; Acts 2:47; 1 Cor 15:9; Gal 1:13; Phil 3:6.
  3. There is the Church, which is His body, that is according to the revelation of the mystery.  See Col 1:25-27; 1 Cor 10:32; Eph 1:22; 5:23; Col 1:18; 1:24; 1 Tim 3:15.

The Pentecostal church, the little flock, was meeting at the Jewish temple daily (Acts 2:46).  This assembly had a temple built with human hands whereas today’s called out assembly, the Church, the body of Christ, does not.  We are, both individually and collectively, the temple of God the Holy Spirit.


At the beginning of the above exegesis of Acts 2, you were asked to apply the “six rules to Bible Study” as you proceeded through its 47 verses.  Let’s look at each of those six more deeply:

  1. Who is speaking?  The apostle Peter is speaking, preaching really, within Acts 2.
  2. Who is the audience that the speaker is speaking to?  Within multiple verses, it is noted that the apostle Peter was speaking to Jews and Jews only during this feast of Israel, Pentecost.
  3. Establish context:  Read the chapter before and the chapter after the passage you are studying.  If the exegesis of Acts 2 alone is not enough to convince a person that nothing was started on the day of Pentecost, speaking to the body of Christ, then a careful review of Acts 1 and Acts 3 is very much needed:  
    1. Acts 1:3 – Jesus continued His earthly ministry and taught the twelve apostles things pertaining to the kingdom of God, the Millennial Kingdom, that was information already written within the prophetic scriptures (Lk 24:44-45).
    2. Acts 1:4 – Jesus commanded the apostles to stay in Jerusalem, God’s prophetic city.
    3. Acts 1:4-5 – Jesus told the apostles to wait for the promise of the Father, promises that had been given by the Old Testament prophets.
    4. Acts 1:6 – The twelve apostles were clearly expecting the restoration of Israel’s Kingdom.
    5. Acts 1:8 – The apostles were to preach salvation to Israel first, and then salvation to the world through Israel’s rise. This is the description of world salvation by the prophets (Is 59:20; 60:3; Zech 8:13).
    6. Acts 1:8 – The twelve never completed their mission (the Great Commission).  Romans 11:11 tells us that Israel fell and through their fall, salvation has come to the Gentiles.
    7. Acts 1:9 – Jesus ascended to heaven to fulfill prophecy (Ps 110:1; Acts 2:33-35).
    8. Acts 1:11-12 – The angels explain about Jesus’ return to the earth according to the prophets.
    9. Acts 1:16-18 – Peter explains that Judas’ betrayal and death was a fulfillment of prophecy.
    10. Acts 1:19-20 – Peter explains that Judas’ office needed to be replaced according to prophecy.
    11. Acts 1:26 – The method of choosing the twelfth apostle was that which God instructed Israel in time past (Lev 16:8; Prov 16:33).
    12. Acts 1:26 – There must be twelve apostles in order to exercise future authority over the twelve tribes of Israel (Mt 19:28).
    13. Filled with the Spirit, the disciples in Acts 2 sold all their possessions (Acts 2:44-45); continued in the temple (Acts 3:1); ministered to Israel only (Acts 2:22, 3:12-13); preached prophecy (Acts 3:18-22); and performed the supernatural signs of the Kingdom (Acts 4:22).
    14. Acts 3:14-15 – Peter continues to preach the death and resurrection of Christ as a murder indictment against the nation Israel.
    15. Acts 3:17-21 – Peter is making a re-offer of the Kingdom to the nation Israel.  If the Church, the body of Christ, started in Acts 2, why would a re-offer of Israel’s Kingdom be made?
    16. Acts 3:21 – Notice that something had been spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began … that is Prophecy!  Compare this against Romans 16:25-26.
    17. Acts 3:22-25 – Notice how many times the word “prophet” is used within these verses.  This is not mystery information revealed to the apostle Paul.  It is entirely related to Israel’s prophetic program.
  1. Allow Scripture to interpret Scripture.  We have done that within this exercise.
  2. Ask:  Are you found within the context?  No.  The Church, the body of Christ, and therefore any member of it, is not found anywhere within Acts chapters 1 through 3.  It is now up to the reader of this post to identify when it was that the Church, the body of Christ, began.  The answer to that question will have major implications upon his or her theology!
  3. When you begin your reading:  Pray first for understanding and guidance and that God would have you see what He wants you to see.  Hopefully you have done that and hopefully you were richly blessed.

Everything described within Acts 2 is the subject of what was prophesied since the world began (Acts 3:21), and was not a mystery kept secret and revealed to a unique apostle (Rom 16:25; Eph 5:32; Eph 3:6-9; Col 1:25-28; Eph 3:3).  The Church, the body of Christ, today is operating according to the mystery.  The Jewish believers at Pentecost were fulfilling prophecy.

A study of the cross references found in Acts 1 and 2 to the events declared by the prophets can result in only one conclusion if the Bible is to be taken literally:  the church at Pentecost was not the new creature that Paul describes which was kept secret since the world began.  What was kept secret (Paul’s new creature) cannot be what was prophesied (the events of Pentecost).  The beginning of the body of Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, was a dispensational change first revealed to the apostle Paul (Col 1:25; 1 Cor 9:17).  The body of Christ today does not find its pattern in what was happening at the prophesied Pentecost of Acts 2, but in the pattern of the apostle Paul’s mystery ministry concerning Christ and his Church of today.

Our pattern to follow is not found in the example that is provided by the Jewish believers discussed in Acts 1 through 3.  Those Jewish believers were looking for the end of that age (Mt 24:3) and the beginning of their prophesied Kingdom.  Our apostle and model to be followed is Paul and within his 13 epistles, he tells us what happened after Pentecost.

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Eph 5:32

The origin of the Church’s ministry cannot be found in the wilderness with Moses.  It cannot be found in Israel with the Messiah.  It cannot be found in Jerusalem at Pentecost with the nation of Israel.  When God revealed the knowledge of the mystery concerning Christ and His Church to the apostle Paul, the ministry of the Church began, and with it the pattern and origin of the Church of today.

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:25-26

Before the apostle Paul entered the scene (first mentioned in Acts 7:58), the mystery operation of the Church was kept a secret.  It was not possible that anyone could minister according to it.  The confusion over when the Church began can be attributed to the general ignorance of the mystery of Christ and His Church revealed to the apostle Paul.  Mid-Acts Pauline Dispensationalists believe that the dispensation of grace began with Paul (1 Cor 9:17; Eph 3:2; Col 1:25).  Paul was the starting point. The Church, the body of Christ, did not start with Peter in Acts 2.  The Church, the body of Christ, started with Paul and Paul was not saved before Acts 9.

Pentecost was the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promise of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  Peter addressed the Jewish people and instructed them to repent from having crucified their Messiah, be water baptized, and to believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah to Israel.  If the nation of Israel had done this, they would have received the Holy Spirit.  Only after Israel repented could the nation fulfill the spiritual aspects of the Abrahamic Covenant to be a blessing to the Gentiles (Zech 8:20-23).  The Jewish people will one day obey God once God enables them through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (the New Covenant).  That day is rapidly approaching.



2 responses to “Acts 2, Verse by Verse

  1. Thank you so much for this! It is very thorough and understandable. Anyone who reads this, and considers it with intellectual honesty, can not refute the Biblical truth of Acts 2.

    I am fortunate to live in a small area where there is a higher concentration of Christians than other parts of NJ. Unfortunately, not one person understands the Bible according to 2 Timothy 2:15. I tried to start a study to share the Bible rightly divided, but was soon abandoned by the dozen or so Christians that initially attended and faced hostility. I intend to soon try this again, so prayer would be greatly appreciated.

    I will pray that God uses this work to bring more people to salvation and a knowledge of the truth.

    1. Thank you, Brother! Really appreciate the feedback and more importantly, your attempts to share the truth with others in your area. “Right Division” is a lonely road. Stay the course! We will be rewarded when we stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *