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"Let Your Name Be Sanctified"



Chapter 15

TAKING OUT A PEOPLE FOR HIS NAME

The Son of David, "the messenger of the covenant," came in the name of Jehovah in fulfillment of prophecy. But he died in a cursed way by hanging upon a stake till dead. "Something accursed of God is the one hung up," said Jehovah's law. (Deuteronomy 21:22, 23) That is one of the reasons why the Jewish leaders of Jerusalem wanted the body of Jesus removed from the stake before the sun of Nisan 14 set and their weekly sabbath day began. (John 19:31-37) Those Jews did not realize that Jesus had been made a curse for the Jewish nation that they might be relieved of God's curse upon them as breakers of his holy covenant, if they exercised faith in Jesus Christ the substitute for them. — Galatians 3:10-14.

2 The enemy Jews did not get the body of Jesus to pitch it into their Gehenna, the Valley of Hinnom outside the walls of Jerusalem, to be burned in fire and brimstone along with the city refuse. Jesus was buried in a new memorial tomb belonging to a secret Jewish disciple, a rich man named Joseph. This fulfilled Isaiah 53:9: "He will make


1. How had Jesus died as a curse for the Jewish nation, and with what opportunity for them?
2. What prophecy was fulfilled with respect to the disposal of Jesus' dead body?
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his burial place even with the wicked ones, and with the rich class in his death, despite the fact that he had done no violence and there was no deception in his mouth." Jesus' soul thus went to Sheol, the common grave of dead mankind.  — Psalm 16:10.

3 At the arrest, court trials and impalement of Jesus his eleven faithful apostles had been scattered. If they met together, it was in secret, behind closed doors, for fear of the unbelieving Jews. They were sad-faced; they mourned. They were disappointed; they had looked for Israel to be delivered by means of Jesus, and, instead, their own chief priests and rulers had procured his death on passover day, Nisan 14 (April 1).

4 Those supposed builders of the Jewish nation, the Israelite congregation, had rejected the necessary fundamental stone, leaving themselves with no real, Scriptural foundation on which to build. They had served the cause of the Great Serpent, Satan the Devil, "Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons," and had proved themselves to be the Serpent's seed. This was because they were at enmity with the Seed of God's "woman." Over four thousand years previously Jehovah God had decreed the final destruction of the Great Serpent, saying: "I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel." (Genesis 3:15) Now the Serpent Satan the Devil had bruised the woman's Seed, Jesus Christ, with seemingly more than a mere heel wound, and Satan had used these religious leaders and rulers as his visible, earthly seed in doing so. They were evidently under the influence of the demons and their ruler, Beelzebub.


3. At this time what were the state and condition of Jesus' faithful apostles, and why?
4. Without what did the supposed Jewish builders leave themselves, and whose seed did they prove themselves to be?
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5 Jesus had well said to them: "You are bearing witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Well, then, fill up the measure of your forefathers. Serpents, offspring of vipers, how are you to flee from the judgment of Gehenna?" They did not favor the healing of the wound inflicted upon Jesus, for they appealed to Governor Pilate to post guards to prevent Jesus' resurrection, if possible. — Matthew 23:31-33; 27:62-66.

6 However, neither those religious enemies nor their chosen king Caesar could prevent the fulfillment of Psalm 16:10, 11: "For you will not leave my soul in She'ol. You will not allow your loyal one to see the pit. You will cause me to know the path of life." They could not prevent Almighty God from bringing to life the rejected "stone" for His further use. The sanctification of God's profaned name was at stake. God's promised kingdom by his Christ was at stake. The future resurrection of all the human dead in the memorial tombs, from the first martyr Abel down to those dying in our twentieth century, was at stake. On the very date of the month foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures and also foretold by Jesus himself, Almighty God healed the heel wound of the Seed of his "woman" and brought that one's soul out of Sheol, the common grave of dead mankind, and performed his greatest miracle. Before daylight of Sunday, Nisan 16 (April 3), Jehovah God did this.

7 "And, notice! a great earthquake had taken place; for Jehovah's angel had descended from heaven and approached and rolled away the stone,


5. (a) Whose offspring had Jesus named them as being, and as facing what judgment? (b) How did they show themselves against healing the wound inflicted on Jesus?
6. (a) The fulfillment of what prophecy could those enemies not prevent? (b) What was then at stake, and when did Jehovah fulfill the prophecy?
7. At the time of the prophecy's fulfillment, what took place according to Matthew's account?
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and was sitting on it. His outward appearance was as lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. Yes, for fear of him the watchmen trembled and became as dead men." — Matthew 28:1-4.

8 Those guards of the memorial tomb saw Jehovah's angel, but they did not see Jesus come to life and come out of the tomb. They could not do so, because Jesus was raised to life as an invisible spirit. He did not take up again that body in which he had been killed as a human sacrifice to God. The apostle Peter tells us so, saying: "Christ died once for all time concerning sins, a righteous person for unrighteous ones, that he might lead you to God, he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit." (1 Peter 3:18) Divine power removed the human body in which Jesus Christ had been offered as a sacrifice for human sins.

9 If the resurrected Jesus had not materialized in flesh and bones and shown himself to competent witnesses, his apostles and other disciples would not have known that he was alive. "To these also by many positive proofs he showed himself alive after he had suffered, being seen by them throughout forty days and telling the things about the kingdom of God. And while he was meeting with them he gave them the orders: 'Do not withdraw from Jerusalem, but keep waiting for what the Father has promised, about which you heard from me; because John, indeed, baptized with water, but you will be baptized in holy spirit not many days after this.' " (Acts 1:1-5) They were to have the kind of spirit baptism with which Jesus himself had been baptized by Jehovah God.


8. How does Peter show whether those guards saw Jesus come out of the memorial tomb or not, and so what did divine power do with Jesus' corpse?
9. (a) How did Jesus' disciples come to know and have proof that Jesus was resurrected? (b) What kind of baptism did the resurrected Jesus promise them?
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BAPTISM IN THE NAME

10 Jesus Christ, however, did not command the discontinuance of the water baptism of those who would become his disciples or followers. Only the water baptism of his future disciples was not to be John's baptism. The apostles were told to have a meeting with the resurrected Jesus up in Galilee. This is probably the meeting to which, later on, the apostle Paul refers, saying: "After that he appeared to upward of five hundred brothers at one time, the most of whom remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep in death." (1 Corinthians 15:6) The apostle Matthew tells about this meeting in these words: "The eleven disciples went into Galilee to the mountain where Jesus had arranged for them, and when they saw him they did obeisance, but some doubted. And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: 'All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth. Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And, look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.' " — Matthew 28:16-20.

11 The disciples could do only a baptism in water. Their Master, the Lord Jesus, was the one to do the baptism in holy spirit. However, the disciples were to baptize at the last not merely Jews but "people of all the nations," and they were to do this "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit."

12 This expression "in the name of" does not


10. (a) Did the resurrected Jesus command water baptism of his future disciples to be discontinued? (b) What statement concerning baptism did he make to his disciples at the meeting in Galilee?
11. What sort of baptism must have here been meant, and eventually people of what nations were thus to be baptized?
12. (a) In the expression "in the name of," to what does the word "name" not necessarily have reference? (b) How is this fact shown in its being used in connection with the holy spirit?
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necessarily have reference to a personal name of anyone. It is true that the Most High God has a personal name, that is, Jehovah; as Psalm 83:18 says to him: "That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth." The Son also has a personal name, that is, Jesus; and by his being anointed with holy spirit he is Christ or Anointed One. But the holy spirit has no personal name. The reason for this is that the holy spirit is not an intelligent person. It is the impersonal, invisible active force that finds its source and reservoir in Jehovah God and that he uses to accomplish his will even at great distances, over light years of space. He can pour this spirit out upon whomever he wants to. He can channel it through his Son Jesus Christ.

13 For one thing, then, the baptizing (dipping) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit would mean in recognition of the Father, the Son and the holy spirit. The Jews already believed in the God of their forefathers. However, they regarded themselves as his servants or slaves, not as his sons except in the sense that they were his creatures. All other humans were his creatures also, but that did not necessarily put them in the intimate family of God. (Isaiah 63:16) But the big point on which the Jews had to be tested was with regard to God's Fatherhood toward Jesus and Jesus' sonship toward Jehovah God. Did they believe that God was the Father of Jesus of Nazareth, and that Jesus was "the Son of God," as John the Baptist and the apostle Nathanael and the apostle Peter and Martha of Bethany had confessed? (John 1:34, 49; Matthew 16:16; John 11:27) As for the holy spirit, did they


13. (a) What, for one thing, would be the sense of the expression "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit"? (b) How would the being baptized in the name of such things be a real test of the Jewish believers in God?
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believe in it? Did they believe that it was upon Jesus as the Son of God? Did they themselves want it, pray for it and expect to get it from God through his Son and to bring forth its fruitage or manifestation? If they did not recognize the Father and the Son and the holy spirit, in this close relationship, they certainly could not be baptized in water in recognition of it.

14 There may be more to the meaning of the expression "in the name of" than that. On one occasion Jesus said to his apostles: "He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward: and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only, in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you he shall in no wise lose his reward." — Matthew 10:41,42, AS; AV; Da.

15 There the expression "in the name of" means "under the title of" or "because of being (someone) ." Hence another recognized Bible translation reads: "He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward." (RS; NW) So the expression "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit" could also mean, 'because of having God as one's Father, and because of being a follower of His Son, and because of having (or, sharing in) the holy spirit of God.' — 2 Corinthians 13:14.


14. In connection with what kindness did Jesus use the expression "in the name of" in Matthew 10:41, 42, AS?
15. (a) What does the expression "in the name of" there mean, and so how does a recent new translation render the expression? (b) What, therefore, could the expression "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit" also mean?
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16 Such a water baptism differed greatly from John's baptism. His baptism was a "baptism in symbol of repentance for forgiveness of sins." It was only for natural Israelites; and those receiving this baptism were spoken of as John's disciples. (Mark 1:4; 2:18) Because his baptism was for Israelites who repented and desired the forgiveness of their sins against their national covenant with God, John the Baptist hesitated to baptize Jesus. John knew that he himself was the sinner, not Jesus. That the baptism that Jesus requested was in symbol of something else, Jesus indicated when he encouraged John to baptize him by saying: "Let it be, this time, for in that way it is suitable for us to carry out all that is righteous." (Matthew 3:13-15) This meant that Jesus had come in dedication of himself to do God's will even though John did not understand that divine will. Jesus as the Son of God from heaven and as a first-born son in Israel already belonged to Jehovah God; and so he had come to do God's will as it had prophetically been written down in the inspired Hebrew Scriptures. — Psalm 40:7, 8; Hebrews 10:7-9.

17 Accordingly Jesus' baptism in water was in symbol of his dedication of himself to do the revealed will of God, at the time for that will to be done. This set the model for the baptism of his followers. By receiving teaching they must first become his disciples, imitating him. Then they can be baptized in water in symbol of this discipleship. One's race or color makes no difference.

18 To point up how superior that water baptism was to that of John's, John's baptism was not


16. (a) In its being available for whom did this baptism differ from John's baptism? (b) How did Jesus indicate to John that his own baptism was different from "John's baptism," and why did it have to be different?
17. In symbol of what, therefore, was Jesus' baptism, and in symbol of what must that of his future disciples be?
18. What feature accompanying the baptism of Jesus' followers in those days shows it was superior to "John's baptism"?
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followed by gifts of the holy spirit, but the baptism of which Jesus' baptism served as a model was followed by the imparting of various miraculous gifts of the spirit. — Acts 19:1-8.

MADE THE "HEAD OF THE CORNER"

19 On the fortieth day after his resurrection from death in Sheol Jesus made his final appearance to his apostles. He led them out from Jerusalem as far as Bethany on the Mount of Olives, to part from them there in order to return to his Father in heaven. (Luke 24:50-52) His final words were: "You will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you, and you will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the most distant part of the earth." That was a world-wide mission. "And after he had said these things, while they were looking on, he was lifted up and a cloud caught him up from their vision. And as they were gazing into the sky while he was on his way, also, look! two men in white garments stood alongside them, and they said: 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus who was received up from you into the sky will come thus in the same manner as you have beheld him going into the sky.'" — Acts 1:6-11.

20 Dematerializing his assumed human body and returning to his invisible spirit state, Jesus in his ascension ran no risks to his life such as from radiation belts around the earth or cosmic rays in outer space. While he did not ascend to heaven in the human body that he had sacrificed and that


19. (a) In his final words to his disciples, what mission did he set before them? (b) How was Jesus parted from them, and what did angels then say to them?
20. (a) How did Jesus not run any risks to his life by ascending from earth to heaven? (b) With what, then, of human connection did Jesus ascend to heaven, and now did he there serve as High Priest?
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he left forever upon God's altar, he did return to heaven with the merit or value of his human life that he had laid down for dying mankind. He did not, like the Levite High Priest Caiaphas, enter into the Most Holy of the temple of Herod in Jerusalem, into the symbolic presence of God. Hebrews 9:24 says: "Christ entered, not into a holy place made with hands, which is a copy of the reality, but into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us." There Jesus Christ served as the High Priest of God in presenting the merit or life value of his human sacrifice, in behalf of all future believers. — Hebrews 3:1.

21 At his beginning of the celebration of the Lord's evening meal he had said of the cup of wine: "This means my 'blood of the covenant,' which is to be poured out in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins." In heaven before his Father he presented, as it were, the blood, that is, the life value symbolized by blood. In this way he offered the blood for the inaugurating of a new covenant, as promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34. He thus became the Mediator of a better covenant, and displayed himself to be greater than Moses, who had mediated the old Law covenant. The old Law covenant went out of operation. The new covenant was established, not with the nation of Israelites according to the flesh, for that nation did not accept the Mediator of the new covenant. It was established with the new spiritual nation of those who became Israelites according to the spirit, a new people upon whom Jehovah's name is called. There was to be a new people for his name.  — Hebrews 8:7-13; 9:11-15.


21. (a) Of what did Jesus there act as a mediator, and by means of what? (b) Than whom did he thus prove to be greater, and with what nation was this covenant made?
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22 Here, also, was fulfilled the utterance of Jehovah God to King David's Lord: "The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is: 'Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.'" (Psalm 110:1) The Son of David thus became higher than King David and became Lord over David. (Matthew 22:41-45) But when he sat down at Jehovah's right hand the time had not yet come for him as the Seed of God's "woman" to bruise the Great Serpent, Satan the Devil, in the head. He had to wait until his Father's time for that. (Hebrews 10:12, 13) Nonetheless, when Jehovah God seated his Son at his right hand in heaven, he exalted the symbolic Stone that the Jewish builders had rejected and made it the chief cornerstone for God's new building project. It was a time for rejoicing, in a fulfillment of Psalm 118:22-26: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the head of the corner. This has come to be from Jehovah himself; it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day that Jehovah has made; we will be joyful and rejoice in it. Ah, now, Jehovah, do save, please! Ah, now, Jehovah, do grant success, please! Blessed be the One coming in the name of Jehovah; we have blessed you people out of the house of Jehovah." — See also Matthew 21:42.

23 There was now to be for Jehovah a new royal palace, a new temple, in which he would reside by his spirit. It was to be a living temple, made up of "living stones." The chief of these "living stones," the symbolic chief cornerstone, was the glorified Jesus Christ, who had now been laid in Zion, God's heavenly organization. (Isaiah 28:16) In support of that fact, the apostle Peter says to the baptized


22. (a) How was Psalm 110:1 then fulfilled to David's Lord, but what was he then not empowered to do? (b) However, because of what had the time come to rejoice in fulfillment of Psalm 118:22-26?
23, 24. (a) What was the new building that was to be erected, what was its chief cornerstone, and where was it laid? (b) Regarding the stones for this building and the respective attitudes of rejecters and choosers of this head cornerstone, what did Peter write?
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believers back there who were sanctified with God's holy spirit these words:

24 "Coming to him as to a living stone, rejected, it is true, by men, but chosen, precious, with God, you yourselves also as living stones are being built up a spiritual house for the purpose of a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it is contained in Scripture: 'Look! I am laying in Zion a stone, chosen, a foundation cornerstone, precious; and no one exercising faith in it will by any means come to disappointment.' It is to you, therefore, that he is precious, because you are believers; but to those not believing, 'the identical stone that the builders rejected has become the head of the corner,' and 'a stone of stumbling and a rock-mass of offense.' These are stumbling because they are disobedient to the word. To this very end they were also appointed. But you are 'a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession, that you should declare abroad the excellencies' of the one that called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. For you were once not a people, but are now God's people."  — 1 Peter 2:4-10.

25 Now that God was building his spiritual temple of "living stones" on Jesus Christ, the material temple of Herod in Jerusalem no longer counted. With regard to that earthly temple Jesus as the "messenger of the covenant" had fulfilled Malachi 3:1-5, namely:

26 " 'Look! I am sending my messenger [John the Baptist], and he must clear up a way before me. And suddenly there will come to His temple the true Lord, whom you people are seeking, and the messenger of the covenant in whom you are delighting. Look! He will certainly come,' Jehovah


25, 26. (a) In view of the foregoing, what building on earth no longer counted? (b) What prophecy of Malachi had Jesus fulfilled toward that temple?
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of armies has said. 'But who will be putting up with the day of his coming, and who will be the one standing when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye of laundrymen. And he must sit as a refiner and cleanser of silver and must cleanse the sons of Levi; and he must clarify them like gold and like silver, and they will certainly become to Jehovah people presenting a gift offering in righteousness. And the gift offering of Judah and of Jerusalem will actually be gratifying to Jehovah, as in the days of long ago and as in the years of antiquity. And I will come near to you people for the judgment, . . . ,' Jehovah of armies has said."

27 On Nisan 10 and 11, A.D. 33, when Jesus inspected the temple of Herod, all the priests of Israel were coming together to Jerusalem for the national celebration of the passover. All these priests were members of the priestly family of Aaron of the tribe of Levi. So they were Levite priests. All the other qualified male members of the tribe of Levi assisted these Levite priests at the temple. When Jesus then came to the temple in the name of Jehovah for the judgment, in fulfillment of Malachi 3:1-5, how did he find the Levites, "the sons of Levi," conducting themselves? They were allowing the polluting of the temple to take place. They were letting commercialism be carried on in the temple, so that it was being made a "cave of robbers" instead of a "house of prayer." Jesus, as Jehovah's messenger and representative, felt obligated to cleanse the temple by driving out the commercialists.

28 For this the Jewish chief priests, Annas and Caiaphas, decided to have Jesus killed. These


27. On making his final inspection of Herod's temple how did Jesus have the opportunity to inspect all the "sons of Levi," and how did he find these conducting themselves?
28, 29. (a) For this cleansing, what did the high priests decide to do? (b) How were they fulfilling Malachi 1:6, 7. 12 as respects the "table" of Jehovah?
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priestly "sons of Levi" did not believe in clean sacrifices for Jehovah's altar, his "table." They were in this way profaning His name. What Jehovah complained of hundreds of years before through the prophet Malachi was again the case:

29 " 'If I am a grand master, where is the fear of me?' Jehovah of armies has said to you, O priests who are despising my name. 'And you have said: "In what way have we despised your name?" By presenting upon my altar polluted bread. And you have said: "In what way have we polluted you?" By your saying: "The table of Jehovah is something to be despised." ... But you men are profaning me by your saying, "The table of Jehovah is something polluted, and its fruit is something to be despised, its food." ' " — Malachi 1:6, 7, 12.

30 After Jesus' death and resurrection from the dead, the vital question for all the "sons of Levi" who were serving there at Herod's temple became, Would they accept the sacrifice that God provided, "the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world"? Would they accept God's righteousness through him? Would they become a spiritual priesthood of God to offer up spiritual sacrifices at his "spiritual house"? In progress of time some did so. There was a certain Joseph, who was surnamed Barnabas, who was a Levite. (Acts 4:36, 37) As regards Levite priests, Acts 6:7 reports: "The word of God went on growing, and the number of the disciples kept multiplying in Jerusalem very much; and a great crowd of priests began to be obedient to the faith." They became refined by Jehovah's "messenger of the covenant." They turned to sanctifying Jehovah's name. The other "sons of Levi," priestly and nonpriestly, continued to profane it. Jehovah's judgment was executed


30. After Jesus' death and resurrection, what became the vital question for those "sons of Levi," and how did they become divided on the question?
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upon them A.D. 70, when Herod's temple and their holy city Jerusalem were destroyed.

BAPTISM IN HOLY SPIRIT

31 It was not in Herod's temple but in an "upper chamber" outside that the eleven faithful apostles and other disciples kept waiting in obedience to Jesus' parting instructions. There were "all together about one hundred and twenty" of them, including Mary the earthly mother of Jesus and her other sons, Jesus' half brothers, such as James and Jude. Ten days passed. The festival day of Pentecost (meaning Fiftieth) arrived, Sivan 6. This was the fiftieth day from Jesus' resurrection day, and would correspond with Sunday, May 22, A.D. 33. It was toward nine o'clock in the morning.

32 "They were all together at the same place, and suddenly there occurred from heaven a noise just like that of a rushing stiff breeze, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And tongues as if of fire became visible to them and were distributed about, and one sat upon each one of them, and they all became filled with holy spirit and started to speak with different tongues, just as the spirit was granting them to make utterance."

33 This was no quiet event, and a crowd of Pentecostal celebrators, both natural Jews and circumcised proselytes, were drawn away from Herod's temple to the location of this upper chamber. It is possible that some of those proselytes were Rechabites, the descendants of Jehonadab the son of Rechab. First the apostle Peter stood up to give an explanation to the thousands there. In doing this Peter used the first one of the "keys of the kingdom of the heavens," which Jesus had


31, 32. (a) On the day of Pentecost, A.D. 33, at 9 a.m., where were the disciples of Jesus in Jerusalem? (b) What miracle then occurred?
33. (a) Who were drawn to the location of this miracle? (b) What means of unlocking did Peter then use, and what actually was this?
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said that he would give to Peter. This first key was not a literal key, but was the assignment to Peter to impart under inspiration the vital knowledge to the Jews and the circumcised proselytes on the basis of which knowledge they could repent and come in line for a share in the "kingdom of the heavens." — Matthew 16:19.

34 What, then, did this mean — Galileans talking in foreign tongues, so that all those thousands from different lands heard them speaking in their local tongues "about the magnificent things of God"? "This," explained Peter, "is what was said through the prophet Joel [during the days of Jehu and the prophet Elisha],


" ' "And in the last days," God says, "I shall pour out some of my spirit upon every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy and your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams; and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. And I will give portents in heaven above and signs on earth below, blood and fire and smoke mist; the sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and illustrious day of Jehovah arrives. And everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved." ' "  — Acts 2:1-21.


35 Peter quoted from Joel 2:28-32. Then he went on to explain that Jehovah God had poured out this spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ by means of this same Jesus Christ. How? In this way: God fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 16:10 by bringing up the soul or life of Jesus the Nazarene from Sheol and thus making known to him again life's ways in Jehovah's favor. Jehovah next fulfilled Psalm 110:1 by exalting the resurrected Jesus to his own right hand in the invisible


34. What did Peter explain to them that the miraculous speaking with foreign tongues was?
35. How did Peter explain the way this miracle came about, involving the fulfillment of Psalm 16:10 and Psalm 110:1?
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heavens and thus making the exalted King to be David's Lord, as far as rank is concerned. "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for a certainty that God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you impaled." (Acts 2:22-36) So God used the Lord Jesus Christ at his own right hand in heaven to pour out the holy spirit.

36 It became very evident that if Jews desired to get this holy spirit in fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32, they would have to get it through Jesus, and they would have to accept Jesus as David's Lord and as Jehovah's Christ or Anointed One. Those who felt stabbed to the heart for the crime in which they had a community responsibility asked: "Brothers, what shall we do?" Peter answered: "Repent, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the free gift of the holy spirit. For the promise [of the spirit] is to you and to your children and to all those afar off, just as many as Jehovah our God may call to him." For these repentant Jews and proselytes to call now upon the name of Jehovah in order to be saved, they would have to call upon His name through the Lord Jesus Christ. If they did not call through the Lord Jesus Christ, they would not receive the forgiveness of sins. Why not? Because Jesus Christ is now the priest "according to the manner of Melchizedek" in fulfillment of Jehovah's sworn oath set forth in the same Psalm 110, verse 4.

37 Those Pentecostal celebrators already believed in Jehovah God and they saw the operation of his holy spirit before their very eyes. Hence, when being baptized, they had to be baptized also in acceptance of another truth, namely, that Jesus was Lord and Christ. They had to be baptized in


36. (a) How did Peter answer their question on what to do? (b) In harmony with Joel 2:32, how would they have to call on the name of Jehovah with effect, and why?
37. What, therefore, did their being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ mean?
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the name of Jesus Christ. The day of John's baptism, even for Jews and proselytes, had passed.

38 About three thousand Jews and circumcised proselytes were baptized in the name of God's Son that same day. They continued devoting themselves to the teaching of Jesus' apostles, because only in that way could they learn the facts about him as a fulfillment of prophecy, inasmuch as these apostles had assembled together "during all the time in which the Lord Jesus went in and out among [them], starting with his baptism by John and until the day he was received up from [them]."  — Acts 2:37-42; 1:21, 22.

39 By pouring out God's holy spirit upon the baptized believers there on that day of Pentecost at Jerusalem, the exalted Jesus Christ in heaven began to build his congregation on himself as the rock-mass. They became the "spiritual house," God's temple for him to dwell in by his holy spirit. They became Jehovah's "holy nation," spiritual Israel; and Jesus Christ as Mediator between God and men brought them into the new covenant with Jehovah God through Jesus' own "blood of the covenant." They were anointed with Jehovah's spirit, the same as Jesus had been, to preach the good news and also to entertain the hope of being in the heavenly kingdom with him. They were baptized into the body of Christ to be a part with him of the Seed of Abraham for the blessing of all the families of the earth. — Romans 6:3; 1 Corinthians 12:12,13,27; Galatians 3:7-29.

40 The pouring out of the holy spirit through Jesus Christ at God's right hand was accompanied by the miraculous gifts of the spirit, prominently


38. How many were thus baptized, and why did they have to continue devoting themselves to the teaching of Jesus' apostles?
39. (a) By baptizing them with spirit that day, what did Jesus begin to build, and on what? (b) What did they become, as to structure, nationhood, covenant relationship, anointing, body membership?
40. (a) What was bestowed along with the outpouring of the holy spirit? (b) Who took the lead in preaching, and in the face of what abuse of religious authority?
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the gift of foreign tongues. The apostles took the lead in preaching the good news from house to house, as they had been taught by Jesus when on earth in the flesh. They kept on doing this even after the highest court of the Jews, the Jewish Sanhedrin of Jerusalem, had commanded them "nowhere to make any utterance or to teach upon the basis of the name of Jesus." When the apostles told the Jewish San'hedrin: "We must obey God as ruler rather than men," they meant it. About these apostles the record is: "These, therefore, went their way from before the San'hedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy to be dishonored in behalf of his name. And every day at the temple [of Herod] and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus." — Acts 4:17, 18; 5:29-42.

41 At that time the number of the Jews and proselytes believing at Jerusalem had increased to about five thousand men, not including the women. (Acts 4:4) Disciples came to be found in many cities, as those who had believed and been baptized at Jerusalem returned to their own home localities after Pentecost was over. Persecution caused the baptized believers (except the apostles) to be scattered from Jerusalem and to locate themselves in new places as preachers of the good news. Even the circumcised Samaritans now received the truth and were baptized and received the gifts of the holy spirit at the hands of the apostles. But all those baptized believers who had been admitted to the congregation by means of Peter's use of the first of the "keys of the kingdom of the heavens" were natural Jews or circumcised proselytes or circumcised Samaritans. They were but a remnant of all professing Israelites.


41. (a) To how many did the number of believers now Increase, and how did they spread to other communities? (b) All these believers thus far were of what extraction, and were what in comparison with all the professing Israelites?
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42 This remnant or small portion of natural Israelites and circumcised proselytes is a proof of something. What? That God had not cast away the house or nation of natural Israel in its entirety, on account of the national rejection of the Son of God. This was a comfort for at least one Jew, the apostle Paul, who became one of that remnant. He writes: "I ask, then, God did not reject his people, did he? Never may that happen! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he first recognized. Why, do you not know what the Scripture says in connection with Elijah, as he pleads with God against Israel? 'Jehovah, they have killed your prophets, they have dug up your altars, and I alone am left, and they are looking for my soul.' Yet, what does the divine pronouncement say to him? 1 have left seven thousand men remain for myself, men who have not bent the knee to Baal.' In this way, therefore, at the present season also a remnant has turned up according to a choosing due to undeserved kindness. .. . What, then? The very thing Israel is earnestly seeking he did not obtain, but the ones chosen obtained it. The rest had their sensibilities blunted; just as it is written." — Romans 11:1-8.

43 John the Baptist had come "with Elijah's spirit and power," and this prophet of Jehovah God was killed by Herod Antipas the circumcised proselyte ruler of Galilee and Peraea. On the basis of this Elijah-like forerunner came Jesus the Son of God, and the Jewish religious leaders and rulers had him killed. In harmony with this, the apostle Paul's words above about the remnant of chosen ones proved that natural Israel in the days of John the Baptist and of Jesus and his apostles was the


42. (a) The recovery of that remnant was a proof of what fact about God's dealing? (b) To what did the apostle Paul compare this Christian remnant taken out of Israel?
43. Hence, of what was Israel in the days of John, Jesus and the apostles the counterpart, and of what type of religion was Israel guilty?
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counterpart of the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel during the days of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. In effect, natural Israel was guilty of spiritual Baalism (without its material images). Hence Israel was wrong in saying that Jesus did his miracles by "Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons."

44 Because the chosen remnant of natural Israel were not enough to supply the full number of "living stones" to make up the complete spiritual temple of God, it became necessary for the glorified Jesus Christ to give the second one of the "keys of the kingdom of the heavens" for use in God's due time. This was a full "week" of years from the time when Jesus was baptized in water and anointed with holy spirit to become "Messiah the Leader." (Daniel 9:24-27) That was in the early fall of A.D. 36, about the time for celebrating the Jewish festival of ingathering or of the booths. (Exodus 23:16; Leviticus 23:33-43) At the time the apostle Peter was not in Jerusalem but was to the west, in Joppa (the modern Jaffa).

45 About thirty miles northward up the Mediterranean seacoast lay Caesarea, the headquarters of the Roman governor of Judea, and twenty-three miles south of Mount Carmel. Caesarea had become quite paganized. There the Roman governor had a cohort of soldiers stationed, known as the Italian band, to which the army officer named Cornelius, a centurion, belonged. Cornelius feared the God of the Jews. He gave charitable gifts to God's people and prayed to him. But he was not a circumcised proselyte. One mid-afternoon God's angel appeared to Cornelius and told him to send south to Joppa and have Simon Peter come up, to learn further about God.


44. Why did it become necessary for Jesus to give the use of the second of the "keys of the kingdom of the heavens," and when did this occur?
45. For what was Cornelius, the Italian centurion at Caesarea, distinguished, and what did God's angel tell him to do?
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46 Cornelius sent three men, two house servants and a devout soldier from his own company of one hundred men. The next day as they were on their way, Peter at Joppa was given a vision, at the conclusion of which he was told: "You stop calling defiled the things God has cleansed." When the three men arrived, Peter was told by the spirit to go back with them, "not doubting at all, because I have dispatched them." The following day Peter and some of the circumcised believers of Joppa went north with the three men to Caesarea. Ordinarily, as a natural Jew, Peter would have looked upon that non-Jewish home as something unclean for him to enter. But he accepted Cornelius' invitation inside, where Cornelius had gathered together his relatives and close friends. He explained how he had come to send for Peter and said: "So at this time we are all present before God to hear all the things you have been commanded by Jehovah to say."

47 Peter first remarked, in harmony with the vision sent to him: "For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him." Then Peter preached to them about John's baptism and of Jesus' being anointed with God's spirit, of his death and of his resurrection and of his appearance to witnesses after his rising from the dead. Peter added: "Also, he ordered us to preach to the people and to give a thorough witness that this is the One decreed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone putting faith in him gets forgiveness of sins through his name." Before Peter could say any more, the holy spirit fell upon those uncircumcised non-Jews.


46. How was Peter Instructed to go with the men sent by Cornelius, and what did Cornelius tell Peter after he entered this Gentile's home?
47. What did Peter tell the gathering of Gentiles, and what miracle occurred while he was yet speaking?
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48 "And the faithful ones that had come with Peter who were of those circumcised were amazed, because the free gift of the holy spirit was being poured out also upon people of the nations. For they heard them speaking with tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter responded: 'Can anyone forbid water so that these might not be baptized who have received the holy spirit even as we have?' "

49 No circumcised believer there could do so. "With that he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." (Acts 10:1-48) Peter thus used the second one of the "keys of the kingdom of the heavens" to open the Kingdom way for uncircumcised non-Jews.

50 Later, when Peter got back to Jerusalem, he defended his dealings with Cornelius before believers in circumcision for Christ's followers. Peter said: "I called to mind the saying of the Lord, how he used to say, 'John, for his part, baptized with water, but you will be baptized in holy spirit.' If, therefore, God gave the same free gift to them as he also did to us who have believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I should be able to hinder God?" This satisfied his critics. "And they glorified God, saying: 'Well, then, God has granted repentance for the purpose of life to people of the nations also.' " (Acts 11:1-18) From then on the command of the resurrected Jesus could be carried out: "Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19,


48, 49. (a) What was the effect of the outpouring of the spirit there, and what timely question did Peter then ask? (b) What did Peter command to do, and thus what instrument had he used here?
50. Back in Jerusalem how did Peter defend his conduct at the home of Cornelius, and what command of Jesus could his disciples now fully carry out?
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20) The door was now open to uncircumcised non-Jews or Gentiles.

51 Paul was especially "an apostle to the nations." (Romans 11:13) The news of the converting of uncircumcised non-Jews to become followers of Christ caused great joy to the believers. But there were those who still said: "Unless you get circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." Because of the dispute over this question at Antioch in Syria Paul and his fellow missionary Barnabas along with some others were sent up to Jerusalem to the apostles and older men there regarding this dispute.

52 At the gathering of apostles and older men in Jerusalem Peter retold his visit to Cornelius and what had occurred. Then Paul and Barnabas told of how their work among uncircumcised non-Jews had been approved by signs and portents from God. Finally James, evidently the half brother of Jesus, made these deciding remarks:

53 "Brothers, hear me. Symeon [Peter] has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name. And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, 'After these things I shall return and rebuild the booth of David that is fallen down; and I shall rebuild its ruins and erect it again, in order that those who remain of the men may earnestly seek Jehovah, together with people of all the nations, people who are called by my name, says Jehovah, who is doing these things, known from of old.'" — Acts 15:1-18; Amos 9:11, 12, LXX.


51. What did some Jewish believers in Antioch insist must be done with converted non-Jews, and to whom were Paul and others sent regarding the dispute over this?
52, 53. (a) What information did Peter and also Paul and Barnabas offer at this gathering in Jerusalem? (b) How did James, by his application of prophecy, show what God had done in Peter's case?
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54 "A people for his name!" By sending Symeon or Peter to the home of the uncircumcised non-Jew, an Italian, to use the second of the "keys of the kingdom of the heavens," God began to take out of the non-Jewish nations a "people for his name." The remnant of believing Jews whom God had taken out from faithless Israel were also a people for his name. God's name continued to be called upon this circumcised Jewish remnant; but his name was withdrawn from the people of natural Israel, because they rejected the Son of God who had come in the name of Jehovah. Now, from A.D. 36 onward, there were added to the Jewish remnant the uncircumcised believers from all the non-Jewish nations who were witnessed to. In this way all these together, both believing Jews and believing non-Jews, became one "people for his name." (Ephesians 2:11-22) They all formed the spiritual "Israel of God." (Galatians 6:16) Jehovah's name was now "called" upon all of them. All were "witnesses" of Jehovah, to whom the soul-stirring words of Isaiah 43:10-12 applied. All were under command to bear witness to the name of Jehovah. It was their obligation in the new covenant to sanctify that name.

55 In view of the fulfillment of the prophecy of Amos 9:11,12, as quoted by James, and in view of the fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32, what did James decide regarding the people taken out of the non-Jewish nations for Jehovah's name? "Hence my decision is not to trouble those from the nations who are turning to God, but to write them to abstain from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood." This, though not calling for circumcision, was still in harmony with what had been the law


54. (a) Upon whom did God's name continue to be called, but from whom was it withdrawn? (b) Who now came to be included in the "people for his name," and what were all those of this "people" under command and obligation to do?
55. In view of fulfillments of prophecy, what did James decide should be the instructions issued to non-Jewish believers?
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of Moses, whom the Jews used to preach in city after city, "because he is read aloud in the synagogues on every sabbath."

56 The apostles and older men were faced with God's fulfillment of his own prophecy regarding the Gentiles or uncircumcised non-Jews of whatever nationality. They were obliged to agree with the decision of James. Accordingly they drafted a letter setting forth their unanimous decision on the case of the believing uncircumcised non-Jews. They addressed the letter to such believers. This would back up the verbal report that would be given to them by Paul and Barnabas. In closing, this official letter said:


"The holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you, except these necessary things, to keep yourselves free from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you!"


57 When this letter was read to the congregations, they rejoiced, believing non-Jews especially. "Therefore, indeed, the congregations continued to be made firm in the faith and to increase in number from day to day." After that Paul carried God's message into pagan Europe, beginning with Macedonia. — Acts 15:19-35; 16:4-15.

58 At Antioch in Syria the people taken out for Jehovah's name were called Christians, Messianists. Acts 11:26 records: "It was first in Antioch that the disciples were by divine providence called Christians." They could now be called Christian witnesses of Jehovah. All along the natural Jews


56. (a) What did the gathering then decide to draw up, in order to back up whose verbal report? (b) What did this letter set forth?
57. What was the effect of this letter on those hearing it read, and where did Paul now carry God's message?
58. (a) What were the disciples called first in Antioch, and so what kind of witnesses did they become? (b) According to the letter from Jerusalem, what were the uncircumcised non-Jewish Christians obligated to do?
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and circumcised proselytes had, before becoming Christians, abstained from idol sacrifices and from blood and from animal carcasses whose blood had not been drained because of being only strangled and from fornication and adultery, according to Moses' law. As Christians those Jewish believers kept on doing so. But now the Christians taken out from the uncircumcised non-Jewish nations were brought under the obligation to do these things. According to Jehovah's law of the new covenant as started through Jesus Christ, they were forbidden to have anything to do with idolatry, or to commit sexual immorality, or to eat flesh not drained of its blood and to take blood by itself in any form for sustaining their bodies. Abstaining "from blood" could also mean abstaining from bloodshed, from murder.

59 This decree by apostles and older men of Jerusalem was written up with the agreement of "the holy spirit." What it commands upon all Christians has not become a dead letter, an out-of-date law. It applies to Christians of today as well as of Century One.

60 With the passing of time there came into the congregation of the people for Jehovah's name men who tried to induce Christians to ignore and break this decree of the apostles and older men with holy spirit. This was about A.D. 96, long after Jerusalem was destroyed. In that year (according to the traditional dating) the aged apostle John wrote the book of Revelation, in which he sent messages to seven congregations in Asia Minor. To the congregation in Thyatira he said, among other things, these meaningful words:


"These are the things that the Son of God says, ... 'I know your deeds ... I do hold this against


59. With the agreement of what was that Jerusalem letter written, and how long does its application continue?
60. (a) Later, men of what attitude on this came into the congregation? (b) How did John, in the message to the church in Thyatira, mention the presence of such persons?
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you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and misleads my slaves to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent, but she is not willing to repent of her fornication. Look! I am about to throw her into a sickbed, and those committing adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And her children I will kill with deadly plague, so that all the congregations will know that I am he who searches the inmost thoughts and hearts, and I will give to you individually according to your deeds.'"


61 Those words of Revelation 2:18-23 are a warning that Christians who yield to an influence like that of Queen Jezebel among the Israelites and who are induced to violate the decree issued by the apostles and older men of Jerusalem will be punished. Unless they repent of deeds like hers and reform, they will suffer great tribulation because they are, in spirit, her children. It takes Christians who are like Elijah and Elisha, yes, like John the Baptist, to stand up against this Jezebel element or influence in the congregation and to conquer the spirit of this old world. Only by doing so will such obedient, faithful Christians prove themselves to be a "people for his name," for the name of Jehovah.

62 It is only reasonable to expect that God would have a people for his name on earth in this twentieth century, in this "space age." Psalm 135:13 declares: "O Jehovah, your name is to time indefinite. O Jehovah, your memorial is to generation after generation." The Bible, the Book containing that true declaration, has endured to this time. God's memorial name has remained to this generation of ours. To match these facts, God should also have a people for his name on earth today. Known facts prove that he does.


61. (a) Of what and to whom are such words of Revelation 2:18-23 a warning? (b) To prove themselves a "people for his name," what element or influence must Christians resist?
62. What people should Jehovah have on earth today, and why so?


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