Pentecost: Based Upon Christ’s Work Part 11 of 13
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted,
THE RIGHT HAND was often used by the Hebrews to symbolize power; and as the expression is used here it does not mean that He was exalted to the right hand of God, but the right hand of God (that is, by his power), He was exalted. He was raised from the dead by the power of God, and ascended to heaven, triumphant over all His enemies. The use of the term RIGHT HAND to denote power is common in the Scriptures. For example: "Thine own right hand can save thee" (Job 40:14); and “Thou savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee" (Psalms 17:7). (Also see Psalms 18:35; Psalms 20:6, 21:8, 44:3, and 60:5.)
Jesus prayed to His Father that He would be raised up from his condition of humiliation to the glory which he had with the Father before the world was created: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5; KJV). Did God honor His request? He certainly did! “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, AND SET HIM AT HIS OWN RIGHT HAND in the heavenly places, (Eph 1.19, 20; KJV). Jesus was raised by omnipotence to the highest dignity in the realms of glory, to sit at the right hand of God, and administer the laws of both worlds.
• Phil 2:9-11 (NKJV) “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
• Acts 5:31 (KJV) “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”
and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost,
THE PROMISE OF THE HOLY GHOST was the promise that he had made to them a little before He was taken by wicked men to be tortured and cruelly murdered. This promise can be found in several places:
• (John 14.16; KJV) “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.”
• (John 16:7; KJV) “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” The coming of the Holy Ghost was conditional. He would not come until the Lord Jesus returned to heaven.
• John 14:26 (KJV) “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” This gift was in the power of the Father, and He would send him.
• John 15:26 (KJV) “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”
• John 16:13-15 (KJV) “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
The Promise was also given by Christ after He had risen from the dead: “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” (Luke 24:49; KJV).
This promise was now fulfilled; and those who witnessed the extraordinary scene before them could not doubt that it was the effect of Divine power.
he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
The supernatural marvels of this wonderful day were the proof of Christ's exaltation. He had SHED them forth. The Spirit came, not because the believers prayed but because the day of Pentecost had come, the day appointed for the “birthday of the church” (See Lev. 23:15–21). He baptized the believers into one body—“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor 12:13; KJV)—so that they had a living connection with their Head (Jesus Christ) exalted in heaven. Luke 2 describes the birth of the Lord’s physical body and Acts 2 the birth of His spiritual body.
What they were currently observing, which HATH been SHED FORTH was the power of speaking different languages, and declaring the truth of the gospel. This is how Peter explains the remarkable events taking place before them. It could not be produced by new wine (Acts 2:15). It was expressly foretold in Acts 2:16-21. It was predicted that Jesus would rise (Acts 2:22-31). The apostles were witnesses that he had risen and that he had promised that the Holy Spirit would descend; and the fulfillment of this promise was a rational way of accounting for the scene before them. It could not be accounted for in any other way; and the effect on those who witnessed it was what might be expected.
The Spirit also filled the believers and empowered them for witnessing. He gave Peter insight into the Word and the ability to show men Christ in the Word. The Spirit used the witness of the church to convict the lost, just as Jesus said He would do.
But the same Holy Spirit assisted the believers in their church fellowship. The original group was outnumbered by the new believers, but there was still harmony in the church family. They worshiped daily and witnessed daily, and “the Lord added to the church daily” (v. 47). Is your experience with the Lord a daily one?
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
For David is not ascended into the heavens:
Peter continues to illustrate that the patriarch David is not the Messiah—FOR DAVID IS NOT ASCENDED INTO THE HEAVENS. The exaltation of Christ placed Him at the right hand of the Father and set the stage for sending the Holy Spirit of God to His believers. This David could not do it, because he had not ascended into the heavens. To prove this, Peter looks to Psalms 110:1 which he quotes as evidence that David addressed the Lord Jesus as One on high (the Messiah)—“Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” As great as they revered David and as much as they were accustomed to apply these verses of Scripture to him, they could not be legitimately applied to him. They must refer to some other being; and especially that passage which Peter now proceeds to quote. It was important to show that these verses could not apply to David, and also that by them David gave his testimony concerning the exalted character and dignity of the Messiah. To that end, Peter points out here that David declared that the Messiah was to be exalted to a position of dignity far above his own. This does not mean that David was not saved, or that his spirit had not ascended to heaven, but that he had not been exalted in the heavens in the sense in which Peter was speaking of the Messiah. Consequently, he has not shed forth this extraordinary gift, but it comes from his Lord, of whom he said, The Lord said unto my Lord, etc.
Old Testament saints didn’t go to heaven. If any of them had been up in heaven, David would have been there. David did not ascend into heaven. You see, the Old Testament saints are going to be raised to live down on this earth someday. It is the church that will be taken to the New Jerusalem. It is said of the believers today when they die that they are absent from the body and present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8).
Peter’s conclusion: that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
but he saith himself,
Peter now shows that David had predicted the exaltation of Christ by quoting the verse containing that prophesy—“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psalms 110:1; KJV).
Back in the twenty-second chapter of Matthew, we find that Jesus also quoted this verse and applied it to Himself. It happened after the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees with His reply to a question they asked. They wanted to do better than the Sadducees by asking Him a question that He could not answer without impugning the law of God, so they came in a group to question him again. One of them, who is an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law of Moses?” (22.36). You will find Jesus reply in Matthew 22.37-40.