Some time after the temptation of Jesus by the devil (Matthew 4:1-11), and after a number of events recorded in Mark, Luke and John, but not in Matthew, “began Jesus to preach, and to say, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17). “Walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.” (Matthew 4:21, 22). A full list of the twelve apostles is given in Matthew 10:1-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:14-16, and eleven in Acts 1:13.
The end of the book of Luke tells of Jesus’ meeting with and words to the remaining eleven apostles. (Luke 24:9, 10, 33). Among the things Jesus said would happen following His resurrection from the dead, were, “that repentance and remission of sins would be preached in his name among all nations, beginning in Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:47). In verses 49, Jesus said, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
The book of Acts is Luke’s second letter to Theophilus (Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1), and seems to be a continuation of the first book. He speaks of Jesus meeting with His apostles to give them commandments following His resurrection, a part of which was to “tarry” or “not depart” from Jerusalem, until “endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4). The power to which Jesus referred was what they received, that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:5, 8), which they received on the day of Pentecost, when “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4). These tongues were intelligent, understandable languages which “every man heard them speak in his own language.” (Acts 2:6). The apostles were speaking (Verse 6), and “they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these that speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:7, 8). They understood that the apostles, speaking in tongues, were speaking of “the wonderful works of God.” (Acts 2:11). Thus we see that the words spoken in tongues were actual understandable languages (Acts 2:4-8), not non-sense syllables, like we hear some use today, which no one can understand.
According to prophecy, the church or kingdom was established. For example, Isaiah 2:2-4 prophesied five (5) things: the coming Lord’s house (church, 1 Timothy 3:15) would be established in Zion, Jerusalem in the last days, guided by the word of the Lord, with all nations flowing unto it. Daniel 2 foretold the coming kingdom when the fourth world power divided. Jesus prophetically tied these two together when He promised to build His church, giving the keys of His kingdom to His apostles. (Matthew 16:13-19). According to these prophecies, the kingdom was set up when the fourth world power divided. Note: (Babylonian Kingdom, Medo-Persian Kingdom, Grecian Kingdom, Roman Kingdom divided (Luke 3:1-3). Jesus was born at this time, and He set up His kingdom or church. (Luke 2:8-20; Acts 2). Notice the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Acts 2: “Last days” (Verse 17); “all nations” (Verses 5-11); “Jerusalem” (Verse 5); “word of the Lord” (Verse 11, Peter’s sermon); “the house”, church begins. (Verse 47).
Once the Holy Ghost, Spirit, or Holy Spirit came upon the apostles, they would be “endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49). In the place of “endued”, other translations have “clothed” (ASV), “invested” (TCNT), “armed” (NEB), etc. This enabled them to speak in tongues, languages which they had not studied, and all would understand them.
Jesus’ promise to build His Church, His Kingdom was fulfilled in Acts 2. The people call the things heard “the wonderful works of God.” (Acts 2:11). The message in their languages was clear and understandable. (Acts 2:11-36). Upon hearing the message preached, “they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Peter could have said, “Nothing! It was finished on the cross.” Or, he could have said, “Say the sinner’s prayer.” Perhaps Peter might have invoked the grace of God, or some other words. Under the Spirit’s guidance (Acts 2:4), Peter said, “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.” (Acts 2:38). Gospel preachers and teachers today will not tell people something different. (Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Peter 4:11; Revelation 22:18, 19). “Many other words” were spoken exhorting the audience to “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” (Acts 2:40). “They that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41). The saved faithfully worshipped (Verse 42), feared (Verse 43), were united (Verse 44), were benevolent (Verse 45), worshipped and enjoyed fellowship (Verse 46), and taught favorable hearers, so that there were daily additions to the church. (Verse 47). The rest of the book of Acts pictures the growing church or kingdom. Cf. Colossians 1:13. Notice that “the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47b). There were no votes of acceptance or denial.
Good friend, the word of God is simple. (2 Corinthians 11:3). The writer has limited his words to the inspired word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21). He has omitted personal interpretations and/or feelings. They are unimportant. He has used “the doctrines and commandments of men” (Matthew 15:7-9) for contrast purposes only. Other gospels are really false gospels. (Galatians 1:6-9). God’s word, when studied and rightly divided and obeyed will bring God’s approval. (2 Timothy 2:15).
Are you a Christian? Have you obeyed the word of God? Various people tell you different things. However, Jesus is “the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Hebrews 5:8, 9). Here is what He calls upon all to do to be saved (Emphasis mine, JP): “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord” (Mark 12:29; Romans 10:17); “If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:21, 24); “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:2, 3, 5); “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32, 33); 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.” (Acts 2:38). Lest anyone think one of these commands of Jesus saves alone, notice that they are all connected by the conjunctions “and” (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9, 10); and “by.” (Romans 10:17).