About this Bible Study........The King James Version of the Bible is written in a beautiful form of the English language. It can be hard for modern English readers to understand. In this study, you will find notes and summaries in brown just above the the verses from the Bible. We recommend that you read the notes and summaries first, and then read the verses in their KJV form.
The Book of Acts
Acts tells the story of the early Christian church and how Christianity spread to other parts of the world. It covers the first years of the Christian church. Most people who study the Bible feel that Jesus' disciple, Luke, was the author of Acts. They feel that the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts were meant to be together. They also feel that Luke may have planned to write a third book.
The 2 important people in the Book of Acts are Peter and Paul. Some important events that happen in Acts are the coming of the Holy Spirit, the persecution of Christians, the conversion of Saul (Paul), and the spread of Christianity to other parts of the world.
Acts 1 - 3
In my last writing, I told
about all that Jesus did and what he taught until He was taken up to Heaven.
After He went up to Heaven, the Holy Ghost told the apostles (Jesus' followers)
what to do.
 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
|Luke is writing to Theophilus. People who study the Bible are not sure who Theophilus was. The name Theophilus means "friend of God". So Luke may have been writing to a specific person or he may have been writing to anyone who was a believer in God.|
After Jesus suffered and was crucified on the cross, he showed his apostles that he was still alive. For 40 days, Jesus talked to them. He talked to them about the kingdom of God. He told them that they should not leave Jerusalem. They should wait to receive God's promise of the Holy Spirit. He said that John baptized with water, but they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days.
 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
The apostles asked Jesus if He will now give Israel
a king again.
 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Jesus told them that they cannot know the time for this. It is in God's power. But they will receive power after the
Holy Spirit comes. Then they should tell people about Jesus in Jerusalem, in all
Judaea, in Samaria, and in every part of the earth.
 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
|Picture from LaVista Church of Christ web site.|
After Jesus finished saying these things, He was
picked up and taken into a cloud in the sky. Then they couldn't see him anymore.
 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
They kept watching the sky, then two men in white clothes stood by them.
 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
The men talked to them. They asked them why they were looking up into heaven. They said that Jesus left by going up in the sky, and He will come back the same way.
 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
The apostles went back to Jerusalem from the Mount of
Olives. It was about a sabbath day's journey (about a mile) away.
 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
They went to an upstairs room. It was the place where some
of the apostles stayed. The apostles who were staying there were Peter, James, John,
Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (the son of Alphaeus), Simon
Zelotes, and Judas (James's brother).
 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
They all prayed with the women, Mary (Jesus' mother), and with Jesus' brothers.
 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
There were about 120 followers of Jesus there. Peter stood up and talked to the group. He talked about King David. Many, many years ago, the Holy Ghost spoke through David. David spoke about the traitor Judas.
 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
|The Book of Matthew says that Judas hung himself. Many people who study the Bible feel that Judas hung himself in a tree, and later, after he was dead, his body fell on the ground.|
Judas was part of their ministry until he betrayed
Jesus. After he got paid to betray Jesus, Judas bought a field. He fell in
the field and his insides came out. The people in Jerusalem started to call the
field Aceldama. That means "the field of blood".
 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
In the Book of Psalms, it says that no one should live in Judas' house. It also says that someone else should take his position as an apostle.
 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
They need to pick someone who was with the apostles the
entire time that Jesus was with them. It should be someone who was there when
John baptized Jesus and when Jesus was taken up into Heaven. They need to pick
one of the men to be a witness to tell other people about what he saw.
 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
They picked out two men -- Joseph (also called Barsabas Justus) and Matthias.
 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
They prayed to God about the two men. They said that God knows the hearts of all men. They prayed for God to show them if Joseph or Matthias should be an apostle. They prayed for God to show them if either man should be part of Jesus' ministry and take the place of Judas.
 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
The apostles drew names and Matthias was the new apostle. He was now with the other 11 apostles.
 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Pentecost was when the Holy Spirit came on Jesus' apostles. It happened 50 days after Jesus was resurrected.
Pentecost was also a Jewish
celebration It happened 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits
On the day of Pentecost, all of Jesus' followers
were in one place. Suddenly, there was a loud noise from heaven. It sounded like
rushing wind. It filled the house where they were sitting.
 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
They saw fire that looked like split tongues. The fire sat on each of them.
 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Graphic from MostHolyFaith.com
Each person was filled with the Holy Spirit. They began
to talk in other languages. The Spirit gave them the words to say.
 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
In Jerusalem at this time, there were Jewish men living there who had come from every other country. When they heard what was happening, they went to the house. They were amazed to hear people talking in their own languages.
 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
They were surprised and asked each other about it. They said they thought all of the Christian men in the house were from Galilee. They asked why they were hearing the languages from the countries where they had been born.
 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
They were hearing the languages of these people: the Parthians, the Medes, and the Elamites. They were hearing the languages of the people who lived in Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya, Cyrene, Rome, Crete, and Arabia. Some of the Jewish men were born Jewish, and some had become Jewish later. They could hear the Christian men speaking in their own languages about the wonderful work of God.
 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
Everyone was amazed. They weren't sure what it meant. They asked each other what it meant.
 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
Other men made fun of the Christians in the house.
They said they had been drinking new wine.
 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
Peter speaks to the crowd.
Peter got up to speak. He was standing with the other 11 apostles. He spoke to the crowd. He called to the men of Judea and everyone who lived in Jerusalem. He told them to pay attention to what he said.
 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
He said that the Christians in the house were not drunk with wine. It was still early in the morning.
 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
He quoted scripture from the prophet named Joel. God said that in the last days, He will pour out his spirit on all flesh. The people's sons and daughters will prophesy and tell about the future. Their young men will see visions, and their old men will have dreams.
 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
God said that he would pour out his Spirit on the people who helped him. He said they would prophesy.
 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
God said he will show his wonders in the sky. He will
show signs on the earth. There will be blood and fire and smoke.
 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
The sun will turn dark, and the moon will turn to blood. This will happen before the great day when the Lord comes.
 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
At that time, anyone who calls on God's name will be saved.
 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Peter told the men of Israel to listen. He talked to them about Jesus who was from Nazareth. God did miracles and signs through Jesus. That proves that God sent Jesus.
 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
God planned that Jesus would be alive again. The Jews had taken Jesus and killed him. God raised Jesus. Death could not hold Jesus.
 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
Peter said that David talked about Jesus in the book of Psalms. This is what David wrote:
I saw the Lord always in front of me. He is on my
right hand. I will not be afraid.
 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
My heart was happy, and my tongue was glad. My body will rest in hope.
 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
You will not leave my soul in hell. You will also not let your Holy One's body decay.
 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
You have made me understand the ways of life. You will make me full of joy with your kindness.
 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
Peter continued. He said he would speak freely about David. David is dead now, and he is buried near them.
 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
David was a prophet. He knew about things that would happen in the future. God promised David that one of his descendants would be Christ the king.
 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
David said that God would not leave his soul in hell. He would not let His Holy One's body decay. David was talking about Jesus' resurrection.
 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
They were all witnesses to Jesus' resurrection.
 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Jesus is now highly honored and sitting at God's
right hand. He received the Holy Spirit as God promised. Now, Jesus has sent the
Holy Spirit. That is what they are hearing and seeing now.
 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.
David did not go up into heaven. He wasn't talking about himself. He was talking about Jesus. God told Jesus to sit on his right hand until he defeated his enemies.
 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
Peter wants all of Israel to know that God made Jesus who they crucified. Jesus was Lord and Christ.
 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
The people who heard this were upset. They asked Peter and the apostles what they should do.
 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Peter told them they should repent (say they are sorry for their sins). They should all be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then, they will receive the Holy Spirit.
 Then Peter said unto them, 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.
This promise is for them and their children. It is for everyone who lives far away. It is for as many as the Lord God calls.
 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
He said many other things. He testified and told them to save themselves from the people living at that time who did not believe in Jesus.
 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Many people believed him. They were baptized. That day, 3,000 people were baptized.
 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
They continued to be taught by the apostles. They stayed together in fellowship. They ate together and prayed together.
 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
The apostles did miracles, and everyone was amazed.
 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
The believers stayed together and shared their things. They sold what they owned and gave the money to people who needed it.
 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Every day, they met together in the temple. They ate at each other's houses. They were happy to eat and praise God. Every day, God added new people who were saved to the church.
 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,
 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.