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Bible Pathways 11/09/04

November 9

Read Acts 1 - 3

In Today's Reading:

Ascension of Christ; promise of the Lord's return; Matthias chosen to replace Judas; coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; Peter's sermon

The Feast (Festival) of Unleavened Bread portrayed the sinless Savior, who is the Bread of Life (John 6:35,48), and it was celebrated in conjunction with the Passover. The lamb without blemish offered as a sacrifice at Passover also typified Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God (1:29,36).

The third festival of Passover week was Firstfruits. It was celebrated on the Sunday following the Passover observance. It was on the day of Firstfruits that Jesus arose: Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the Firstfruits of them that slept (died) (I Corinthians 15:20).

The second major festival for which every male was to appear annually before God was 50 days later, the morrow after the seventh Sabbath (rest day) following Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:15-16). It was the Feast of the Harvest and celebrated the first ingathering of the annual crops.

This festival became known to Christians as Pentecost (Greek: pent kostos) from the Greek word for 50 (pent konta). On that day, being filled with the Holy Spirit and quoting the prophetic Scriptures (Joel 2:28-29), Peter boldly proclaimed that God has made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). Then the crowd said to Peter and the apostles: Brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call (to be saved) (2:37-39). And they (the new converts) continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine (teaching) and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers (2:42).

The required offering on Pentecost consisted of two loaves of leavened bread (Leviticus 23:17). These loaves, which represented both Jewish and Gentile believers, included leaven, symbolizing sin, since everyone except Jesus has sinned. The separate identities of the ground grains, blended into a oneness symbolize all believers who lose their individual identities to become the Bride of Christ - His Church (Ephesians 5:21-32; I Corinthians 12:27). The Apostle Paul later declared: There is neither Greek nor Jew . . but Christ is all, and in all (Colossians 3:11).

Word Studies:

1:3 after His passion = after He had suffered death; 1:12 a Sabbath day's journey = a little over one-half mile which was the extent a Jew was to travel from home on the Sabbath; 2:27 leave My soul in hell = forsake Me in the grave (Sheol).

Cross References:

For Acts 1:20: See Psalm 69:25; 109:8. Acts 2:17-21: See Joel 2:28-32. Acts 2:25-28: See Psalm 16:8-11. Acts 2:34-35: See Psalm 110:1. Acts 3:22-23: See Deuteronomy 18:15,18-19. Acts 3:25: See Genesis 12:3; 22:18.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for BP Staff: Clarence Rathbone · Government Officials: Rep. Sherrod Brown (OH) and Sen. Bob Graham (FL) · Country: Argentina (37 million) in southern South America · Major languages: Spanish and English · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 6% Protestant; 1% Muslim; 1% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Intercede for your nation and friends in prayer with fasting and a self-sacrificing spirit (Esther 4:16).

Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 4:11

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