Acts 2:40

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Acts 2:40

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

The recorded words of Peter’s discourse are ended, but this is not all that he said to the people as is evidenced by the words, “And with many other words.” What this means is that what was deemed appropriate by the Spirit to be conveyed was included in the passage, but nothing else. Everything in Scripture has a set purpose. Nothing is left out that should have been included, and nothing superfluous is added in.

What is recorded from Peter’s words was sufficient to convey why the event of speaking in tongues took place, what it signified, proof that it was prophesied in advance, how it pointed to the work of Christ Jesus, how the Scriptures prophesied of the work of Jesus, what that work led to (meaning His exaltation), and what was necessary for those standing before Peter to be saved from the wrath that would most surely come upon the people for having crucified their Messiah.

The recorded account is fully sufficient to meet the purposes of being a proper witness against Israel concerning their actions and their guilt. It is also a witness that the Feast of Pentecost (Shavuoth) has found its fulfillment in the work of the Lord.

With these things sufficiently explained and their truths established, it says of the many words of Peter’s that are left unrecorded that “he testified and exhorted them.” The Greek words give the sense of a complete and encouraging testimony. In other words, Peter left no questions unanswered, and what he said was fully sufficient to convince, if those who heard were willing to pay heed. Included in his exhortation, Peter included a stern warning, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”

In other words, the wrath of God was aroused against Israel, just as had happened so many times in their past. Each time, their Scriptures carefully recorded the surrounding events, testifying to them why the things that happened to them came about. Their standard was the Law of Moses, and when they departed from it, they were explicitly told what the resulting punishment would be. And yet, nothing is recorded in their Scriptures – meaning the Old Testament – to explain their second exile.

This means that either Israel was left without explanation, in their own writings, as to why they were exiled, or it means that Sacred Scripture does record the reason, but they have failed to accept that body of Scripture as divinely inspired.

In other words, the Old Testament is an incomplete account of Israel’s history. Only with the New Testament do Moses’ words, to which Israel is bound, now have any meaning for the modern nation. Indeed, the Old Testament tells of Israel’s modern restoration, but it does not tell why they needed to be restored. Only with their rejection of Christ do the past two thousand years of their history make any sense.

This is what Peter is implying when he calls them a “perverse generation.” The word translated here as “perverse” is skolios. It literally means “crooked.”  HELPS Word Studies defines it as “crooked (bent) because dried out (like a piece of parched wood); (figuratively) morally twisted (warped) because lacking the oil of the Holy Spirit – hence, unacceptable to God (His standards).”

The definition is a perfect fit for what occurred in Israel. They lacked the Holy Spirit, as evidenced by the lack of speaking in tongues at the fulfillment of the Feast of Pentecost. As such, they were unable to accept God’s standard as presented to them in the Person of Jesus Christ. Their thoughts were crooked and there would be no hope for the nation. Only those who stepped away from the national mindset could be saved.

Life application: There is an interesting set of patterns that is found in Scripture, and which connects what occurred in the wilderness wanderings of Israel to the Roman exile of Israel. Israel was offered Canaan, the Land of Promise. Before they entered, men were selected to spy out the land. When they returned, a bad report was spread throughout the camp and the people rebelled.

At that time, the Lord promised to destroy the congregation through exile in the wilderness. They would continue to fall dead during that period until all that generation was gone. Only after that would Israel then enter into Canaan. The Bible is clear, both in Numbers – and as is explained in Hebrews – that they were punished because they lacked faith –

“Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
They shall not enter My rest.’” Hebrews 3:10, 11


“For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:16-19

The pattern is repeated in the coming of Christ. The people did not believe Him. In their unbelief, they were not given the rest that is found in Jesus Christ. For those who do believe, they have entered God’s rest (Hebrews 4:3). The entire account of Israel’s Roman exile was typologically anticipated in the wilderness wanderings. They, as a nation, were removed from God’s presence because of their unbelief.

However, the nation eventually did cross the Jordan and enter. Likewise, Israel will someday come to Christ in faith and enter into His rest. The pattern is explained in the Numbers and Deuteronomy sermons at the Superior Word website.

One of the main themes of this, however, is that Moses did not enter into the promise, but died outside of Canaan in the land of Moab. Moses represents the law. As such, a clear and unambiguous picture is made for us. By the law, no person can enter into God’s rest. They must come by faith in Christ alone.

If you are stuck in a law-observant church, meaning observing the law in part or in whole, you must remove yourself from that doctrine. What is taught by the Seventh Day Adventists, the Hebrew Roots movement, and so on is the highest form of heresy because it denies the all-sufficient work of Jesus Christ. Be sure to never add deeds of the law into your theology in an attempt to please God. He is pleased with you based on your faith in the work of His Son.

Only after being saved are your works credited for rewards. These are not works of the law, but works as outlined in the New Testament epistles. Have faith in Christ Jesus and be pleasing to God.

Lord God, Your word is a wonderful testimony to Your working in and through Jesus Christ. Help us to be sound in our thinking and to know in our hearts that You have done everything necessary to reconcile us to Yourself. Help us to put away our arrogance by trying to do what He has already done. Help us to find our sufficiency in His work alone. To Your glory, we pray. Amen.