Acts 3:18-21

18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled.

19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

20 And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

by the mouth of His prophets (v.18) — Peter understood the Old Testament prophecies, as the Lord said he would — Luke 24:44-48

hath so fulfilled (v.18) — emphasis on “so” — referring to their ignorance in verse 17

repent (v.19) = change your mind

be converted (v.19) — the action which results in repentance

blotted out (v.19) — erased, like the obliteration of handwriting

refreshing (v.19) = respite

times of refreshing (v.19) — when Israel receives her promised blessings and all nations are blessed through her

send Jesus Christ (v.20) — the second coming, after the Tribulation and at the beginning of the Millennium

before was preached (v.20)  = announced beforehand

Verse 20 should read “And He shall send the Christ, which before was preached unto you, even Jesus” to point out that “He” whom they crucified was the Messiah.

restitution (v.21) = fulfillment, establishment

times of restitution (v.21) — as in Acts 1:7, a period of longer duration, referring, perhaps, to the many events associated with the end times.

which God had spoken (v.21) — referring to the times (Isaiah 11, 35, 60; Jeremiah 31; Ezekiel 36; Joel 2, 3; Micah 5; Zechariah 12-14, etc.)

This is the first offer of the kingdom to Israel. Before Calvary, it was mentioned that the kingdom was “at hand.” But here is the first time they are told the times of refreshing will come and God will send Jesus Christ to earth if they repent.

Nowhere in Acts 2 or 3 does Peter refer to the cross of the blood of Christ as a means of salvation. The Jews were told to repent, not to believe.

These are very interesting words and of great importance. They can only be understood in the right way if we do not lose sight of the fact to whom they were addressed, that is to Jews, and not to Gentiles. They are the heart of this discourse, and as such a God-given appeal and promise to the nation. If this is lost sight of, the words must lose their right meaning. The repentance which is demanded of them is an acknowledgment of the wrong they had done in denying the Holy and righteous One, a confession of their blood-guiltiness in having slain the author of life. This, of course, would result in their conversion and the blotting out of their sins as a nation. This God had promised before to the nation. “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins (Isaiah 43:25). Anticipating that glorious day in which this shall be accomplished, a day still to come, the prophet spoke the following glorious words: I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee. Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel (Isaiah 44:22-23). — Gaebelein, page 78


It would be impossible to mention all these promises and in what the times of refreshing and restoration of all things consist. These days of a coming age, the kingdom age, or as we call it, because its duration will be a thousand years, the Millennium, are fully described on the pages of Old Testament prophecy. Not alone will the nation be blessed, but Jerusalem will be a great city, the land will be restored and become the great center for blessings; the nations of the earth will receive blessing and groaning creation will be delivered from its groaning, and the curse which rests upon it. —Gaebelein, page 79


Not only in the Old Testament do we find a description of what is to come for Israel, the nations and creation, but elsewhere in the New Testament these times of refreshing and restoration of all things are clearly indicated. See Matthew 19:28; Romans 8:19-23; Ephesians 1:10, etc. But between these two words of promise of what shall be Israel’s portion if they repent, stands another fact: It is the second coming of Jesus Christ. —Gaebelein, page 80

This entry was posted in Acts. Bookmark the permalink.