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Acts 2:25-36

After Jesus poured out His Spirit on His Body on earth, the Spirit gave the members of the Body the ability
to speak in known foreign languages, which was heard by the religious pilgrims that were in Jerusalem to
keep the feast of Pentecost. Peter then began to explain to the multitude that had gathered what they were
hearing, and the significance of it.

The speaking in other tongues was a fulfillment of the prophecy that the Lord had given to the prophet Joel,
hundreds of years before: God had begun to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, with the result that those who
received Him were enabled to prophesy - to declare the truth by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

This part of Joel=s prophecy was being fulfilled in their hearing, signaling that the last days had begun - the
time period marked by the cross of Christ, when the power of this world system is, soul by soul, being
broken. That period will culminate in the Day of the Lord - the Second Coming of Jesus - when the
judgment of this world system - and those who are a part of it - will be completed.

Peter spoke the last part of Joel=s prophecy, concerning the Tribulation and the Second Coming, although it
would not be fulfilled in the day in which he spoke - why? Because it spoke of the judgment that would be
upon those who did not receive the Lord as their Savior - and exhorted men to do so, before that judgment
came. To repent, before it was too late.

This was exactly what these Jewish pilgrims needed to do - for they were guilty of the crime of putting their
Messiah to death - and would incur the wrath of God, if they did not have a change of heart.

Peter then began to tell these Jews the facts about Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was a man who had been clearly
demonstrated to be of God, as could be see by all the miracles and wonders and signs that He did -
supernatural tokens, that required the power of God to do - to which these Jews in Jerusalem had been eye-
witnesses.

This same Jesus, the Jews had put to death, by the hands of the Romans. They crucified their own Messiah -
which God foretold them they would do, in their Scriptures (Is 53). But three days after His crucifixion,
God raised Jesus up, out from among the dead - for how could death hold on to the Prince of Life?

God=s resurrection of Jesus was a vindication of Him, by which God overruled death with Life - by which
the Jews could see that they were wrong to put Jesus to death - that they had slain an innocent man - that
His blood was upon them, as they themselves had said (Mt 27:25). By God overruling the decision of the
Jews, He sought to bring a conviction upon their hearts - that they were guilty of not believing in the One
whom God had sent, to save them - their Redeemer - their Deliverer.

So the Holy Spirit had first established Peter=s credentials - as well as the other disciples - through the
speaking in tongues. Next, He issued the biting indictment of the nation for having put their Messiah to
death.

What remained to be done was to prove to the Jews that Jesus really did rise from the dead, and did so in
fulfillment of OT prophecy - thus proving Jesus to be the Messiah, vindicating Him. This is what Peter now
spoke of.

v. 25-28 This is a quote from Psalm 16, almost word for word according to the Septuagint - the Greek
translation of the OT. It is a psalm of David, as Peter stated to the Jews. Notice that Peter said that David
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was speaking concerning Him (v.25). Who was David speaking of? Of Messiah. This psalm, then, is a
Messianic psalm, as many of the psalms are.

We=ll see that this psalm is somewhat reflective of David=s life, but is more strongly directed beyond David
to the One who was coming who would follow God so closely through His life that He would never even
see corruption in His death, but would just pass through that death onto the path of life, and right on into the
Father=s presence.

We will be looking at this psalm as translated from the Hebrew in our bibles, so it differs slightly from the
quote in Acts chapter 2 - but not in substance. The psalm speaks principally of the utter trust that Messiah
has in the LORD - for His life, and even in death.

[Psalm 16]

v. 1 The term Apreserve@ here means that there is imminent danger. Messiah is saying to God, AKeep Me;
save Me@. What do you think the impending danger would have been? As we look to the end of the psalm,
the danger is death.

v. 2-3 We have two Hebrew words for God in this verse. The first is L-O-R-D, Jehovah - the personal
name of God, the supreme sovereign of the universe. The second is L-o-r-d, Adonai, meaning master or
owner.

The translation of this verse is awkward, so the meaning is obscure. If we look at the Hebrew I think we
can see it better. The idea is, AI have said to Jehovah, You are My Adonai - My Master@ - that is, AYou have
a right to rule over Me; I acknowledge Jehovah to be My Lord@. This shows the submission of Messiah to
the Father.

The next part - AMy goodness, not to Thee@ might be better constructed, AMy goodness is nothing apart
from You@. The idea is Messiah=s total dependence upon Jehovah. As Jesus would later say, AWhy do you
call Me good? There is none good but one, God@ (Mt 19:17). In that Jesus set aside His own will, all of His
goodness - of His thoughts, His words, His actions - came from His Father, whose will He did.

Then Messiah says, ATo the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all My delight@ (v. 3).
Isaiah 53:10 says that God=s delight will prosper in the hand of the Messiah. God=s delight is the Messiah=s
delight - the saints, the excellent ones in the earth. The Father=s plan was to bring many sons unto glory
(Heb 2:10); Messiah would be the One to accomplish this plan of God.

Looking at verses 2 and 3 together, we see that Messiah would derive all of His goodness from the Lord, in
submission to His will; and that goodness would then be directed to the saints of the earth - those who
believe in Him - delighting to do the will of the Father, who delighted in bringing many sons to glory.
Messiah would trust His Father throughout His life on the earth, only and always doing His will. His was a
perfectly obedient life.

v. 4 You can see in this verse a strong reflection of David=s thinking; nonetheless, it also shows the single-
mindedness of Messiah, and the purity of His allegiance to the true and Living God. Messiah would have no
other god before the true God; He always gave God His worth.
v. 5-6 These are all metaphors which say similar things. Jehovah is Messiah=s God - but more, Jehovah is
Messiah=s inheritance and His cup - His lot in life. AThe lines@ in verse 6 are those employed in the
measuring out of land - here the idea is a possession or property; again, an inheritance.

Messiah sees all as coming from the hand of His Father; He does not need to have a will for Himself in
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anything; Jehovah will see to it Messiah receives what He desires. And what is it He desires? Messiah
desires Jehovah alone; God Himself. Here is One who finds comfort, joy and satisfaction in God, and God
alone. Jehovah will ensure Messiah has the desire of His heart.

v. 7-8 The reins, sometimes translated kidneys, were considered the seat of the affections, or even the mind.
Messiah would turn to Jehovah to provide counsel for Him, whether by day, in His interactions with men, or
by night, when alone with the LORD - submitting to Jehovah, day and night, the LORD always before Him.

In this way, Jehovah would always be at His right hand, which means Jehovah would be His help.
Therefore, Messiah would not be moved in His thinking - He would be safe, protected from His enemies.
This is how Jehovah would preserve Him (v. 1) - by Messiah allowing Himself to be kept by Jehovah. Verse
8 is where Peter began his quotation, in Acts - He began with the idea that Jehovah would preserve Messiah
from imminent danger.

v. 9 This speaks of Messiah=s whole being - His heart, the inner man, or soul, which is filled with joy; His
glory, a Hebrew word sometimes used for the spirit of man, which is also filled with joy; and His flesh, His
body, which shall rest in hope - it may also mean that His body shall lie down (in death) with confidence;
abiding confidently in the grave. All of these figuratively express the complete trust that Messiah would
have in Jehovah, concerning what follows.

v. 10-11 What is it for which Messiah would have utter confidence in Jehovah? That He will not leave His
soul in hell - that is, in Sheol, the Hebrew word for the abode of the dead, where the immaterial part
continues after death - the disembodied soul and spirit.

The grave was regarded at the door to Sheol. From both OT and NT, Sheol was understood to have two
compartments - one for the righteous dead (called Paradise by Jesus - Lk 23:43), and the other for the
unrighteous dead (Rev 20:13-14; see also Lk 16:19-31).

Hades is the corresponding word in the Greek for the Hebrew Sheol. In the NT, it can either mean Sheol in
general (as in Acts 2:27) or, after Christ rose from the dead, it means specifically the place of the unrighteous
dead, as all those soul-spirits in Paradise were taken to heaven by Jesus.

So the Messiah was completely certain that Jehovah would not leave His soul-spirit in Sheol, nor allow His
Holy One - a term for Messiah - to see corruption - that is, Messiah=s body would not corrupt - rot - in the
grave. How could Messiah have such a know-so hope of this? Messiah could have this confidence for two
reasons.

One was because He utterly trusted the Father, depended upon Him, and allowed Himself to be kept by Him
- and this was part of His Father=s plan - to bring Life out of death, through Messiah. The other reason was
because Messiah would always do the will of the Father - He would be obedient, through life, right into
death.
It is sin that corrupts - by one man, sin entered the world, and death through sin (Rm 5:12). All have sinned
- except Jesus. He was born into a sinless body, a body that was conceived of the Holy Spirit (Mt 1:18), and
He lived a sinless life in that body - He knew no sin; He did no sin; in Him was no sin. There was no sin to
corrupt the body of Jesus. His is the only body to remain uncorrupted in the grave.

The psalmist then reveals the end for Messiah. As Jehovah would always show Messiah the path of
obedience, which led through death, He now showed Messiah the path of life - through resurrection from
the dead. And that path led right back to the right hand of the Father in heaven - the place of honor and
glory, befitting the One who would accomplish all the purposes of the Jehovah - by trusting Himself
completely to Jehovah.

And that is how the Father preserved Jesus. The Father did not preserve Jesus from coming into the hands
of His enemies, did He? Nor did He preserve Him from suffering. Nor did the Father preserve Jesus from
death. The Father could not preserve Him from those things, because that was part of His plan to bring
forth many sons to glory - as Jesus well knew (Mt 20:18-19, Mk 10:33-34, Lk 18:31-33). The preservation
was not from death, but through death - the path of the cross, which became the path of Life - into glory.

[Return to Acts]

Now we have to ask ourselves, why did the Holy Spirit inspire Peter to quote this part of Psalm 16 to his
Jewish audience? Because to Jews, Scripture held great authority - even if they did not always understand
the true meaning. Jews did believe Scripture was God-inspired - God-breathed - so if something could be
seen to be supported by Scripture, it provided a strong persuasion to a Jew.

Peter=s Jewish audience would have been completely familiar with Psalm 16 - the psalms were essentially the
songbook of Israel, and they knew them by heart. Peter then explained that this part of the psalm pertained,
not to the one who wrote it, David, but to the One he was writing about - the Christ.

v. 29-31 First, Peter spoke of the patriarch David - a term used which emphasizes David as the founder of
a dynasty. Peter pointed out that David had died, and was buried - and that was it. His flesh, or the dust
that was his flesh, still lay in its sepulcher, where his body had been interred - and apparently, that tomb was
a well-known landmark in that day, since Peter was assuming that all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were
familiar with it. Nehemiah 3:16 records the location, to the south of the city, near Siloam.

Now, why would the Jews have still known of that tomb, hundreds of years later? Because as a great king,
David=s tomb site was still honored - the Jews believed David=s remains were still in there.

Peter had shown that this psalm of David spoke of one who was resurrected from the grave. Now, by the
sure knowledge that the Jews had of David=s sepulcher, he was showing that David could not have been
speaking about himself - for his remains were still in the tomb, and had corrupted long ago.

Next Peter pointed out that David was a prophet - a fact that the Jews would certainly have acknowledged.
Remember that a prophet is one who speaks by divine inspiration, sometimes including the foretelling of
events. We=ll go back to this shortly.

The oath that the LORD swore to David is recorded in Psalm 132:11, and refers to a promise that the LORD
gave to David which we find in Second Samuel chapter 7. Let=s go back to that.
At this time, the LORD had given David rest round about from all his enemies in the land, and David had
brought the ark of the covenant up to Jerusalem, and had pitched a tabernacle for it there.

David desired to build the LORD a permanent house; but through the prophet Nathan, the LORD told David
that He, the LORD, would build David a house - a dynasty - and that it would establish the throne of his
kingdom forever. This would be through one particular Seed of David.

[2 Samuel 7:12-17]

v. 12 The bowels here refer to the reproductive organs. The LORD would raise up a particular Seed of
David, a physical descendant of his, and the LORD would establish His kingdom.

v. 13 This Seed would have an everlasting kingdom, composed of subjects who were believers in the LORD.

v. 14 The LORD would be the Father of this Seed. This son of David would also be the Son of God.

There is an alternate translation of the second part of the verse which makes more sense. It reads, AFor
iniquity committed, I will chasten Him with the rod due to men, and the stripes due to the children of men@.
This perfectly reflects the description of Messiah in Isaiah 53: AHe was wounded for our transgressions, He
was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are
healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid
on Him the iniquity of us all@ (Is 53:5-6).

v. 15-16 Here is an assurance to David that the LORD would always be with this Seed of David, and so His
throne would be an everlasting throne. The LORD used Saul as a counterexample.

Saul had been anointed King of Israel, but he had never been obedient to the LORD, because he had never
really believed Him. Since Saul rejected the LORD, the LORD eventually had to reject Saul as king. But this
Seed of David would be the perfectly obedient Son of His Father, so the LORD would always be with Him,
and His kingdom would be forever.

Psalm 132 brings out that this Seed of David will be a horn that will bud, speaking of the Seed being raised
up out of David to be a powerful ruler; that He will be guided by the Spirit of God; and that His crown shall
flourish (Ps 132:17-18).

Now, who is this Seed of David, who will rule and reign forever? The Messiah. David knew that - he knew
that the Messiah would be the One to sit on his throne (Acts 2:30). Did the Jews also recognize that, from
their Scriptures? Yes - they definitely did.

Turn to Mark chapter 12. Jesus was speaking to the people.


[Mark 12:35] So the scribes, the scholars of the word, said that the Messiah is the Son of David.

Turn to Matthew chapter 21. Jesus was making His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, presenting Himself there
as the King of Israel, according to Zechariah 9:9, a well-known passage that speaks of Messiah.

[Matthew 21:9-11] So even the common people recognized this portrayal of the King of Israel, the Messiah
- and welcomed Him in accordance with Psalm 118: AHosanna [Save Now] .... Blessed is He that comes in
the name of the LORD@ (Ps 118:25, 26). Notice what they added to their AHosanna@ - Ato the Son of David@.
Messiah and the Son of David were synonymous, in their minds.

[Return to Acts] So David, as well as all the Jewish people, understood that the Seed who would establish
David=s throne forever was the Messiah.

David recognized that he would die, and his body would corrupt. But as a prophet, the LORD gave David to
foresee (as per Psalm 16) that, although His Seed, the Christ, would also die, His body would not see
corruption - and He would be brought back to life - that is, He would be resurrected. And that resurrection
must be into a body that would never taste death again - for He will sit on David=s throne forever.

What Peter had done was to use Scripture to show that no one less than David had prophesied that Messiah,
the Son of David who would be the King of Israel, would be resurrected from the dead.

Then, in one concise sentence, Peter delivered the startling testimony of all of these disciples of Jesus.

v. 32 Peter declared again (see v. 24) that God raised up Jesus - resurrected Him from the dead - and
further, that these disciples of Jesus were all eyewitnesses of it. Now, these disciples did not actually see
Jesus rise up from the dead, but they did see Him die a real death, and then they saw Him truly alive again,
after He had died - therefore, God must have restored Him to life - He was resurrected.

So it was prophesied that Messiah would be resurrected - and God had resurrected Jesus. So what does
that mean? That Jesus - is - the Messiah. The Son of David. The King of the Jews - just as that placard
said, that they nailed above His head on His cross (Lk 23:38).

Peter went on, knitting together the evidence of who Jesus was.

v. 33 Peter was pointing out that not only was Jesus raised up from among the dead, He was raised up back
into heaven - exalted by the right hand of the Father - by the definitive action and power of God. The
disciples were eyewitnesses to this part of the exaltation of Jesus, as well, having seen Him rising up in the
heavens.

From heaven, Peter indicated that the Father gave Jesus the honor of pouring out the Holy Spirit, as the
Father had promised to do, both in OT Scripture (Joel 2:28-29) as well as in answer to the prayer of Jesus
(Jn14:16), for His disciples.

Peter had already told his audience that the speaking in other tongues was a fulfillment of Joel=s prophecy of
the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Now the listening Jews were hearing who it was who was pouring the
Spirit out - Jesus.

Peter next laid the Scriptural proof for Messiah being raised up back into heaven, which he and the other
disciples had witnessed.

v. 34-35 Peter points out that, as David was not the one who was resurrected, neither was he the one who
ascended into heaven - that is, bodily - and yet, as a prophet, he wrote of that, also, in the psalms. This,
virtually word for word, is part of Psalm 110, another Messianic psalm that David wrote, in the Spirit. Let=s
go back and look at in its entirety, so you can have the same mind set these listening Jews had - for they
would have known the psalm by heart. It is one of the most quoted psalms of the OT in the NT Scriptures.

This psalm speaks of Messiah from the time of His ascension back into heaven until the end, when He
returns to the earth to set up His kingdom. In it, we see Messiah as the Holy King; the Royal High Priest.

[Psalm 110]

v.1 This is the verse that Peter quoted. We have the sense that David is the speaker, here. The title for
God in the first part of this verse is L-O-R-D - Jehovah, the personal name for God, the supreme Lord and
Sovereign of the universe. The next title, L-o-r-d, is the Hebrew Adonai, which means Master. Adonai is
David=s Lord.

Now, David is the King of Israel - no one on earth was the superior of David in his day. So who would his
Lord, his Master, be? That could only be God. So in this psalm, we have God - speaking to God. What is
the meaning of this?

It was done, by the Spirit, to indicate one member of the Godhead, speaking to another. In this case,
Jehovah represents the Father - and Adonai, David=s Lord, is the Son - the Messiah. Jesus Himself brought
this meaning out of it. Turn to Luke chapter 20. This is a complementary passage to one in Mark that we
looked at before.

[Luke 20:41-44] So we see here that Jesus was indicating that the Christ is the Son of David, and that He
is also David=s Lord - Adonai in the psalm.

[Return to Psalm 110]

So the Father is speaking to His Son, and He says ASit at My right hand, until I make your enemies your
footstool@. Here was God the Father inviting God the Son in His ascension to sit at the place of honor in the
heavenly throne room. A person of high rank who puts someone on his right hand gives him equal honor
with himself and recognizes him as of equal dignity. The Father was demonstrating that Jesus was His equal
- and therefore, He is God Himself - God the Son.

The footstool is a picture of absolute victory, with the idea that one=s enemies are now underfoot. This is
the work that will culminate in the return of the King to the earth, as the righteous Judge.

v. 2 As the kings of the earth unite to rebel against Jehovah and His Anointed - the Messiah, Jehovah will
set His King - Messiah - upon His holy hill of Zion (Ps 2:1-6). This is His Second Coming to the earth.
Messiah will rule over the nations with a rod of iron (Ps 2:9) - He will rule, and judge, with absolute
righteousness.

All things shall be subdued unto the Messiah (1 Cor 15:28). He shall put down all rule and all authority and
power (1 Cor 15:24) - either by them willingly submitting, or by Him crushing them, if they choose to
remain enemies (Ps 2:9).

v. 3 This is a difficult verse, which contains a lot of imagery. We=ll look at each part of it, and then pull it all
together. Who would be the people of Messiah? His own people - the nation of Israel. Israel shall be
willing in the day of Messiah=s power. The word for Awilling@ here carries the meaning of a free-will
offering.

Israel will offer themselves to Messiah as a free-will offering - a voluntary offering to Him. When? In the
day of His power - when Jesus returns in His Second Coming. Then His nation will look upon the One
whom they have pierced, and mourn (Zech 12:10) - they will repent of their sin in rejecting Him, and receive
Jesus as their Messiah.

AIn the beauties of holiness@ speaks of holy array - raiments of holiness. These are the robes of
righteousness that will be the garment of the nation, like the white, glistening robes of the priests. Israel will
finally be a kingdom of priests, as the Lord had always intended for them (Ex 19:6).

AFrom the womb of the morning@ speaks of a birth, on a new day. This is the spiritual birth of the nation,
born in a day, at the dawn of the Millennial reign of their Messiah.

AYour youth@ refers back to the First Coming of Jesus to the earth - as the lion=s whelp of the tribe of Judah
(Gen 49:9). In Jesus= first coming, His nation wasn=t willing to receive Him; but when they do, every
member of that nation will be regenerate, receiving the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In their obedience to
Jesus, they will be like the dew, reflecting back the light of the sun. Jesus will then have the dew of His
youth.

What we see is the regenerate nation receiving their King, willingly putting themselves under His rule,
reflecting His glory upon the earth.

v. 4 Jehovah swears an oath, indicating the certainty of what follows: Messiah will be a King-Priest, as
Melchizedek was. Melchizedek was the king of Salem (Jerusalem), and the priest of the Most High God.
ASalem@ means peace. Melchizedek=s name means king of righteousness. The author to the Hebrews
indicates that Melchizedek was the King of Righteousness, and after that, the King of Peace (Heb 7:2).

Jesus became the King-priest when He completed His obedience to the Father in His First coming. But the
reign of Jesus, the King-Priest, awaits His Second Coming to the earth. That reign will be characterized by
righteousness, then peace - because it takes righteousness to have peace. In the King-Priest, we see the
Lord as both ruler and mediator for His people.

The remainder of the psalm speaks of those who will not submit to Messiah=s rule.

v. 5-6 This reflects the battle of Armageddon when Jesus returns to the earth (Rev19:11-21).

v. 7 The psalm ends with a reflection upon the victorious conqueror. In this verse, the Abrook@ is from a
Hebrew root that refers to a torrent of running water; a violent raging stream. Because Messiah would be
willing to lower Himself, to drink of the raging stream in His path - pointing to the sufferings He humbly
partook of in His First Coming - He would Alift up the head@ - a picture of His strength in victory.

[Return to Acts] Now, Peter only quoted the first part of this psalm - the part where the Father invited the
Son to sit at His right hand, until He made His enemies His footstool. Peter was proving from Scripture that
the One referred to must ascend back into heaven, bodily, to do this - and that could not have been David,
for his remains were still on the earth. But these witnesses had seen Jesus rise bodily into heaven. Peter was
showing that this Scripture also found its fulfillment in Jesus. He then laid out the only possible conclusion
to these facts.

v. 36 Peter had established the facts. These Jews, who heard the disciples miraculously prophesying in
other tongues, had to face the facts:

that this was the pouring out of the Spirit, prophesied by Joel;

and this authenticated Peter and the other disciples as being of God;

and Peter, who was of God, said that it was Jesus who had poured out the Spirit;

which meant that Jesus was in heaven at the right hand of the Father, in fulfillment of David=s prophecy for
Messiah;

and that prophecy said that Jehovah invited Messiah to sit at His right hand, making Him equal to God;

and Jesus had risen to heaven from the earth, which was witnessed by these disciples, who were of God;

and Jesus had risen from the grave back to life, which was also witnessed by these disciples, who were of
God;

and that meant that God had raised Jesus from the dead, in fulfillment of David=s prophecy for Messiah;

Therefore, Jesus was both Lord and Christ (Messiah). Here, Peter exalted Jesus not only as Messiah and the
Son of God, but as Lord - the name above every name (Phil 2:9). To a Jew, there is only one name above
every name - the ineffable name of the God of Israel, given the designation ALord@.
In the Greek, Peter was placing even greater emphasis on the actions of the Jews: AThen assuredly, let all the
house of Israel acknowledge that God made Him both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus whom you
crucified@.

They had killed their Messiah - their king. The very One whom Israel had so long been anticipating - the
Holy One of Israel - they had crucified as a common criminal. They had put to death the Son of David - Son
of God - the hope and the consolation of Israel.

They had made Jesus out to be an imposter - a man sowing sedition - a blasphemer. But God had made
Jesus both Lord - and Christ. And the Holy Spirit had proven this to them - by the witness of the tongues;
the witness of the Scripture; the witness of the disciples.

So now, the Jews had a decision to make. Would they continue to choose to deny the truth, to continue to
blindly following their blind leaders - or, would they consider what they had heard this day - the facts
concerning Jesus of Nazareth - and call on His name, as Lord, and be saved?