Welcome to our Answers in Acts page dedicated to the first book of the New Testament, according to Hebrews 9:15-17. Acts is the book of salvation and the origin of the Lord’s Church. John Doughty
Old Testament Prophets #1
What were the Old Testament prophets talking about? “Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days” Acts 3:24.
Isaiah 24:23: Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
The covenants of God were accompanied by signs for the witness and confirmation of God’s revelation to the human race (Hebrews 1:1-2, 2:2-4). The ultimate revelation was God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, Romans 8:3. Moses was a faithful servant over all his house (the Old Testament) as a testimony of things to come after (Hebrews 3:5-6), but Christ is the Son over His house, and we are that house, the body of Christ, the (New Testament) church.
The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) marks the beginning of the New Testament and the Lord’s church. The Passover lamb was sacrificed in Egypt, and 50 days later God gave the law on Mt. Sinai, but 3,000 people were condemned to die with its reception, Exodus 32:26-28. But 50 days after the Lamb of God was crucified at Calvary, the terms of pardon were first announced under the authority of the new testament, in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38), and 3,000 people gladly received the word of the apostles and were saved, Acts 2:41.
In Hebrews 12:22, we read that each covenant corresponds to a mountain. The Law of Moses emanated from Mt. Sinai which was the mountain of fear. But Christians are derived from a new mountain, Mt. Zion with its kingdom capital in the heavenly Jerusalem, where Christ is seated on the throne (Heb. 12:2.) This is the mountain of salvation.
In 2 Corinthians 3:7-9, we read that the glory of the new covenant of Christ eclipses the glory of the old covenant of Moses. An eclipse is the obscuring of light into shadow. Have you ever tried to take a photo looking into the sun and the picture seemed to come out black and white? This is because the intensity of the light turns the subject into a shadow. Interestingly, Paul called the law a “shadow” (Colossians 2:17, Hebrews 10:1) “of things to come” but said that Christ was the very substance or “image.”
In this respect, Isaiah prophesies the unlikely scenario of the coming day of the shame and embarrassment of the greater (sun) and lesser lights (moon), Genesis 1:16-18). These great light bearers were “rulers” over the day and night, but their reign was limited to the physical realm. Likewise, the old covenant was physical and temporary. The religion of Judaism was regulated by holidays or festivals governed by the lunar calendar. Our word “month” comes from the word “moon.” But the new covenant is spiritual and eternal. It is ruled by the Lord in heaven who dwells in “unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16) and the city of heaven will no longer need the light of the sun, (or moon) for the Lamb is the light! (Revelation 21:23).
Paul may have experienced this brilliant luminosity, prematurely, when he looked up into the sky on the Damascus road at midday noon and saw “a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me…” (Acts 26:13). Of course, that light was none other than Jesus of Nazareth, which blinded the poor tent-maker from Tarsus. Do we have to be blinded in order to see?
The Old Testament prophets anticipated a new covenant of the Spirit which would provide forgiveness, (total absolution) of sins. When he said a “new” covenant, he has made the first OBSOLETE, Heb. 8:13. The new covenant eclipses the old. The covenant could not go into effect until Christ died (Heb. 9:15-17). The day of Pentecost (50th day) answered the disciples’ question in Acts 1:6, “Lord do you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” When God shook the holy mountain of Zion, we received the kingdom of Christ, Heb. 12:22. Pentecost marked the coronation of Jesus (Acts 2:30), the beginning of His reign (Acts 2:34-35) and the apostolic ministry of Peter and the apostles (executors) who disposed of the eternal inheritance through the last will and testament of Jesus Christ. Peter said in Acts 3:24 that all the prophets were foretelling the church age! And the salvation which was given on the first day of the church (Acts 2:38-39) will be in effect until Christ returns. JCD