Acts 4:23-31 The Provision of the Spirit
In this study we will see how the anointing for ministry centers on the person of Jesus. This is study Acts010 - Acts 4:23-31 The Provision of the Spirit.
"When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, 'O Lord, it is you who made the haven and the earth and all the sea, and all that is in them...'"
Keep in mind the Jewishness of this band of believers. As they lifted their voices to God, they made them appeal according to the prophets. And they did it with one mind. What did the prophets say?
Moses said, "For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them..." (Exo20:22)
David said, "[The Lord] made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever..." (Psalm 146:6)
Nehemiah said, "You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them and the heavenly host bows down before You." (Neh 9:6)
These early believers knew how to appeal to God by aligning themselves with the sacred Writ. There is an ancient prophecy what tells us to remind God of His Word. Listen with your heart:
"On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth." (Isaiah 62:6,7)
This prophecy may seem strange to us, but it shows the working relationship between our prayers and God. As for making Jerusalem a praise in the earth, this is something that we Christians should never forget. God's work of salvation in Messiah, begins and ends in Jerusalem. (First and second coming.)
John said, "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband." (Rev 21:2)
The band of disciples continue their petition to God.....
Vs25: "Who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, 'Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples devise futile things?'"
Before we go further, let me share something about the writings of David. David was one of the greatest writing prophets of the Old Testament. And the book of Psalms, which was written largely by David, was given for a particular purpose. It became the national prayer book of Israel. It is filled with prophecies and promises.
The intent of this book is to teach God's people how to think, what to believe, and how to pray. Its purpose is to instill covenant thinking in the hearts and minds of those who belong to the Lord. On top of that, Psalms is the only book mentioned in the new covenant writings that is specifically said to connect with living a Spirit-filled life.
Listen to Paul: "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in PSALMS and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father." (Eph5:18-20) This instruction given by Paul was well-known by the Jewish believers. It was part of their heritage.
Let's come back to our setting ....
In verses 26-27, the believers quote from Psalm 2. What I would like now is for you to see this Psalm in its entirety. In it you will see the first and second coming of Jesus, and a great many other things. Take time to meditate on it:
Psalm 2:1: "Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing?"
Psalm 2:2: "The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,"
Psalm 2:3: "Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!"
Psalm 2:4: "He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them."
Psalm 2:5: "Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying,"
Psalm 2:6: "But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain." (Day of Pentecost)
Psalm 2:7: "I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You." (New creation.)
Psalm 2:8: "Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession." (Jesus said, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth...)
Psalm 2:9: "'You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.'" (Second coming.)
Psalm 2:10: "Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth." (An appeal to surrender. Why be destroyed?)
Psalm 2:11: "Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling." (A call to godliness.)
Psalm 2:12: "Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!" (The wrath of God is a theme that belongs to the second coming, but includes what is called the 'great tribulation.')
Notice it says, "How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!" This is all believers from all times, who truly trust in and look to God's Messiah.
Moses adds some awesome insight here. He said, "Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations." (Psalm 90:1 - This is another awesome Psalm that would bear close meditation.)
Back to our study Scriptures. Notice how these believers attribute Psalm 2, directly to Jesus Christ.
Acts 4:27: "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant [or 'Child'] Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel..."
Notice that the disciples let no one off the hook. They name those who were responsible for the crucifixion; Herod, Pilate, Gentiles, Israel.
Vs28: "...to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur."
Here is a valuable lesson. The early Jewish believers never for one moment felt that things were out of control. They believed that God's redemption program had been laid out in eternity, and that redemption had a beginning place and an ending place. What do you believe?
Now listen to how they conclude their petition to the throne of God:
Vss29,30: "And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus."
What elements under-gird their praying? First they appeal to the prophetic word. And, secondly, they appeal to the glory of Jesus Christ. There is no self-gratification here. They are praying for the advancement of the kingdom of God's Son.
What is the result? ....
Vs31: "And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness."
(1) They* had prayed. (Totally one in purpose and prayer.)
(2) They had gathered together. (There is a special promise given when God's people gather, that, believe it or not, is not available otherwise. The ancients spoke of it as the Shekinah.)
(3) The place was shaken. (This shows once again the intensity of the Holy Spirits involvement in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.)
(4) They were ALL filled. (Again we see the awesome power of agreement in the Spirit. "Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword." Lev 26:8)
(5) Began to speak the word of God with boldness. (Here we see the true purpose of a Spirit-filled life. It is to give the testimony of Jesus.)
To complete this study, I want to bring you back to the title, that is, the provision of the Spirit. The apostle calls attention to how God works in our lives through prayers and the Spirit. Here it is:
"For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ." (Phil1:19)
This study was originally part of a series on the book of Acts given to members of Hebraic Foundations from July 10, 2002 through January 19, 2003. They were written by Pastor Buddy Martin, a former United Pentecostal Church minister, who founded Christian Challenge International. Writings are the copyright of Buddy Martin and reprinted on this site by permission.
Page added October 22, 2004
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