Acts 2:41-47

41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

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,

47 Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

they that received (v.41) — not all who heard received (“gladly” not in many manuscripts)

teaching and baptism (v.41) — The apostles were carrying out the Lord’s instructions in Matthew 28:19-20.

added (v.41) = placed forward — placed with those already in existence.

breaking of bread (v.42) — probably the Lord’s supper, at this time, often an observance following an evening meal — “feasts of love”

fear (v.43) — awe

wonders and signs (v.43) — see verse 22

all things in common (v.44) — Only in Jerusalem, and not lasting very long even there. Not established in other churches.

sold/parted (v.45) — imperfect tense — kept on selling and parting, probably as necessity arose (as any man had need — v.45)

possessions (v.45) = real, immovable or landed property

goods (v.45) = personal, movable

temple (v.46) — The believers attended the Jewish prayers

gladness (v.46) — joy

singleness (v.46) = simplicity, like even ground with no stones

having favor (v.47) — The believers’ behavior commended them to the people of Jerusalem. Opposition came later, and then from the Jewish leaders.

the Lord added (v.47)  = lit. “kept adding” — Christ did the adding.

church (v.47) — not in the original

How were they enabled to live together in such utter selflessness and such spiritual power? Ah, this is the secret of Millennial blessing! The Spirit had come, according to promise, and had taken supernatural possession of them, controlling them completely, so that they were empowered not only to work miracles, but also to live lives that fully honored God (Ezekiel 36:27-28). Today by comparison, we, the members of Christ’s Body, have the Spirit dwelling within and may appropriate His help at any time but, consistent with the present dispensation, we must appropriate by faith what God provides in grace. Hence, with regard to the Pentecostal believers we find the bare statement of fact: They were all filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4) while the Apostle Paul exhorts us: Be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). — Stam, page 121.

Here’s another example of the confusion and contradiction of many in regard to this passage.

About three thousand had been added. We ask, added to what? Certainly to the company of the believers, which by the baptism of the Holy Spirit had been formed into one body. And now we learn at the close of this great chapter, that the church, or assembly, yet unrevealed [emphasis mine], was indeed in existence. Gaebelein, page 64.

Yet a few pages later (page 69), Gaebelein writes:

After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the church on earth we find in this book the record of a second address given by the Apostle Peter (Acts 3). This utterance is Jewish and national, that is, an appeal to the nation to repent and to accept the rejected Jesus as the Christ. Connected with this solemn appeal is the promise of national blessing. Peter promises by the Spirit of God “times of refreshing” and “the restoration of all things,” two expressions, which describe the kingdom as promised to Israel in the Old Testament. The condition upon which this promise of national blessing is made by Peter is the repentance and conversion of the nation.

So, according to Gaebelein, we have Peter in chapter two offering the church to a crowd of Jews in Jerusalem — although neither he nor his audience had any idea that’s what was happening. Then, probably not more than a day or so later, Peter again in Jerusalem, talking with a crowd which probably included many of the same people, offers the kingdom to Israel? It makes no sense to me. And it all seems to be based on the fact that the word “church” appears in 47. But, first, “church” just means assembly and is occasionally used of Israel and, second, the word doesn’t appear in the original manuscripts, but was added later, probably by someone who thought the way Gaebelein thinks.

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