Since last July (issue 261) I have been following the impact of the Day of Pentecost on the early days of the new Pentecostal church under the title “Such as I have give I you.” I have covered Acts chapters 1-6, the period before the church looked beyond the borders of Jerusalem, and it will help you to review these with me using the key verses that I have taught.

beggingIn writing about the early church, E.W. Kenyon gave a viewpoint that was not taught to me in ministerial training. “Acts was written by Luke between 63 and 65 AD. It is a history of the first thirty-three years of Christ at the right hand of the Father. It is a sample of the supernatural life of the sons of God carrying out the will of their seated Lord. In is the only unfinished book in New Testament… The Book of Acts is a record of the Holy Spirit’s taking Jesus’ place on the earth for thirty-three years. It is a revelation of God in the infant body of the New Creation.” (Advanced Bible Studies [1930s], Lesson 27.)

Just weeks before the Day of Pentecost, the apostles had heard heard the Great Commission from the lips of Jesus. “Go therefore and make disciples [learners] of all nations …” (Matthew 28:19). They were to “make” disciples of Jesus even though he would not be present. Peter’s recounting of the events over the past few months brought about 3,000 new disciples on that day. The twelve apostles then started to disciple the new believers, who “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, [and] to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42 ESV).

Let us now look at verse 43: “And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.” The apostles did the wonders and signs; they had “power from on high” (Acts 1:8) and they exercised that power (see also Acts 5:12, 19:11).Then in chapter 3 Luke was inspired to record just one of these miracles, and continued with its impact at least to the end of chapter 5. Why this one miracle out of the many of Acts 2:43? It is probably because there is a lesson to be learnt from this particular record. “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour [3 p.m.]” (3:1).

In a normal, everyday situation, guidance is given to Peter to tell the lame man at the gate of the temple to look at them both. “And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.'” (Acts 3:4). The lame beggar they encountered on the way was hoping for a monetary gift but he got something greater. I found on the internet a sermon on this passage that Pastor Jerry Shirley had titled, “The Man Who Asked for Alms and Got Legs!”

“And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them” (verse 5). Peter explained to him that he had a temporary cash-flow problem, yet “Such as I have give I thee” (Acts 3:6 KJV). I just love the familiar yet old-worldly flow of the Authorised version. “Peter said, ‘I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you…'” (MSG). What did Peter have? Whatever it was, it worked! “And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God” (verse 8).  Read More 

[Written in 1912 — 103 years ago]

One thing is sure, and all would do well to recognize it. Time can never change nor interfere with the plan of God. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is exactly the same today that it was in the beginning. A man is saved today on exactly the same terms he was in the days of the Apostles. Men change, customs change, churches change, very greatly, both as to their faith and practice, but the Gospel of Christ and God’s plan of salvation remain exactly as they were in the beginning.

If Jesus Christ ever was the Redeemer of mankind He is such today. If man ever needed redemption he needs it today. If repentance and faith were necessary in the days of the Apostles they are necessary today. Not in even one place in the New Testament is it ever taught that there is any other way of salvation except through Jesus Christ. Over and over again it is declared that there is no other way, no name except His great name that has salvation in it.

God’s Word makes it plain that when God saves a man He cleanses him. A saved man is saved no matter what the theorists say. He is saved from sin, death and hell, is a real child of God, possesses eternal life, does not need another work of grace, but needs to abide in Christ, receive and walk in the Spirit, hold fast the faith, grow in grace and in the knowledge of God and of Christ.  Read More