Theophilus, the first scroll I wrote concerned everything Jesus did and taught from the beginning,
right up to the day when he was taken up into heaven. Before he was taken up, working in the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus instructed the apostles he had chosen.
After his suffering, he showed them that he was alive with many convincing proofs. He appeared to them over a period of forty days, speaking to them about God's kingdom.
While they were eating together, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised. He said, "This is what you heard from me:
John baptized with water, but in only a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
As a result, those who had gathered together asked Jesus, "Lord, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now?"
Jesus replied, "It isn't for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority.
Rather, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
After Jesus said these things, as they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight.
While he was going away and as they were staring toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood next to them.
They said, "Galileans, why are you standing here, looking toward heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you saw him go into heaven."
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a sabbath day's journey away.
When they entered the city, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter, John, James, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James, Alphaeus' son; Simon the zealot; and Judas, James' son—
all were united in their devotion to prayer, along with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
During this time, the family of believers was a company of about one hundred twenty persons. Peter stood among them and said,
"Brothers and sisters, the scripture that the Holy Spirit announced beforehand through David had to be fulfilled. This was the scripture concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus.
This happened even though he was one of us and received a share of this ministry." (
In fact, he bought a field with the payment he received for his injustice. Falling headfirst, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines spilled out.
This became known to everyone living in Jerusalem, so they called that field in their own language Hakeldama, or "Field of Blood.")
“It is written in the Psalms scroll, Let his home become deserted and let there be no one living in it; and Give his position of leadership to another.21
"Therefore, we must select one of those who have accompanied us during the whole time the Lord Jesus lived among us,
beginning from the baptism of John until the day when Jesus was taken from us. This person must become along with us a witness to his resurrection."
So they nominated two: Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
They prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's deepest thoughts and desires. Show us clearly which one you have chosen from among these two
to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas turned away to go to his own place."
When they cast lots, the lot fell on Matthias. He was added to the eleven apostles.
When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place.
Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting.
They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them.
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
There were pious Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem.
When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered. They were mystified because everyone heard them speaking in their native languages.
They were surprised and amazed, saying, "Look, aren't all the people who are speaking Galileans, every one of them?
How then can each of us hear them speaking in our native language?
Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; as well as residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the regions of Libya bordering Cyrene; and visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism),
Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the mighty works of God in our own languages!"
They were all surprised and bewildered. Some asked each other, "What does this mean?"
Others jeered at them, saying, "They're full of new wine!"
Peter stood with the other eleven apostles. He raised his voice and declared, “Judeans and everyone living in Jerusalem! Know this! Listen carefully to my words!
These people aren't drunk, as you suspect; after all, it's only nine o'clock in the morning!
Rather, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young will see visions. Your elders will dream dreams. 18Even upon my servants, men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19I will cause wonders to occur in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and a cloud of smoke. 20The sun will be changed into darkness, and the moon will be changed into blood, before the great and spectacular day of the Lord comes. 21And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.22
“Fellow Israelites, listen to these words! Jesus the Nazarene was a man whose credentials God proved to you through miracles, wonders, and signs, which God performed through him among you. You yourselves know this.
In accordance with God's established plan and foreknowledge, he was betrayed. You, with the help of wicked men, had Jesus killed by nailing him to a cross.
God raised him up! God freed him from death's dreadful grip, since it was impossible for death to hang on to him.
David says about him, I foresaw that the Lord was always with me; because he is at my right hand I won't be shaken. 26Therefore, my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced. Moreover, my body will live in hope, 27because you won't abandon me to the grave, nor permit your holy one to experience decay. 28You have shown me the paths of life; your presence will fill me with happiness.29
“Brothers and sisters, I can speak confidently about the patriarch David. He died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this very day.
Because he was a prophet, he knew that God promised him with a solemn pledge to seat one of his descendants on his throne.
Having seen this beforehand, David spoke about the resurrection of Christ, that he wasn't abandoned to the grave, nor did his body experience decay.
This Jesus, God raised up. We are all witnesses to that fact.
He was exalted to God's right side and received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit. He poured out this Spirit, and you are seeing and hearing the results of his having done so.
David didn't ascend into heaven. Yet he says, The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right side, 35until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'36
"Therefore, let all Israel know beyond question that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled. They said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?"
Peter replied, "Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
This promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away—as many as the Lord our God invites."
With many other words he testified to them and encouraged them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation."
Those who accepted Peter's message were baptized. God brought about three thousand people into the community on that day.
The believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers.
A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles.
All the believers were united and shared everything.
They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them.
Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity.
They praised God and demonstrated God's goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.
Peter and John were going up to the temple at three o'clock in the afternoon, the established prayer time.
Meanwhile, a man crippled since birth was being carried in. Every day, people would place him at the temple gate known as the Beautiful Gate so he could ask for money from those entering the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he began to ask them for a gift.
Peter and John stared at him. Peter said, "Look at us!"
So the man gazed at them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, "I don't have any money, but I will give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, rise up and walk!"
Then he grasped the man's right hand and raised him up. At once his feet and ankles became strong.
Jumping up, he began to walk around. He entered the temple with them, walking, leaping, and praising God.
All the people saw him walking and praising God.
They recognized him as the same one who used to sit at the temple's Beautiful Gate asking for money. They were filled with amazement and surprise at what had happened to him.
While the healed man clung to Peter and John, all the people rushed toward them at Solomon's Porch, completely amazed.
Seeing this, Peter addressed the people: “You Israelites, why are you amazed at this? Why are you staring at us as if we made him walk by our own power or piety?
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of our ancestors—has glorified his servant Jesus. This is the one you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence, even though he had already decided to release him.
You rejected the holy and righteous one, and asked that a murderer be released to you instead.
You killed the author of life, the very one whom God raised from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
His name itself has made this man strong. That is, because of faith in Jesus' name, God has strengthened this man whom you see and know. The faith that comes through Jesus gave him complete health right before your eyes.
"Brothers and sisters, I know you acted in ignorance. So did your rulers.
But this is how God fulfilled what he foretold through all the prophets: that his Christ would suffer.
Change your hearts and lives! Turn back to God so that your sins may be wiped away.
Then the Lord will provide a season of relief from the distress of this age and he will send Jesus, whom he handpicked to be your Christ.
Jesus must remain in heaven until the restoration of all things, about which God spoke long ago through his holy prophets.
Moses said, The Lord your God will raise up from your own people a prophet like me. Listen to whatever he tells you.23Whoever doesn't listen to that prophet will be totally cut off from the people.24
All the prophets who spoke—from Samuel forward—announced these days.
You are the heirs of the prophets and the covenant that God made with your ancestors when he told Abraham, Through your descendants, all the families on earth will be blessed.26
After God raised his servant, he sent him to you first—to bless you by enabling each of you to turn from your evil ways."