Acts 3:21-26
Acts 3:21 (KJB)
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Restitution - Restoration
When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they had lost fellowship with God until God made them animal skins to cover their nakedness and their sins which also looked forward to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ who would pay for the sins of all the Elect on Calvary. From the Old Testament Saints to all the New Testament Saints who would be saved is the time of restitution of the souls of these people. Now the restitution will not be things like a return to Eden in its pristine environment or even to a pure doctrine where there is no differences. The ultimate restitution will be when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth. At this time He remains in Heaven until the last day when he will return and then all the believers will be raptured, the unbelievers will be sent to judgment, and then the New Heaven and New Earth will be created as the old will be burned up because of its infection by sin. The Holy Spirit as we have Him now is the earnest or down payment of the full restitution.
(Isa 65:17 KJV) For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
(2 Pet 3:13 KJV) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Here we see Isaiah speaking about the New Heavens and New Earth just as Acts 3:21 states that God had spoken about the times of restitution by all His holy prophets. They all looked forward to that time. Here is a passage from Haggai.
(Hag 2:9 KJV) The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
The latter house is the New Testament temple of God which is the body of believers and the peace we have is peace with God through Christ.
(Rom 5:1 KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
(1 Cor 3:16 KJV) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Acts 3:22 (KJB)
For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
(Deu 18:15 KJV) The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (Deu 18:18 KJV) I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. Peter now reverts to the prophecy of Moses where Christ was prophesied 1450 years before His incarnation. Moses was a foreshadow of Christ because of the similarities in ministries. Moses led Israel out of captivity in Egypt. Christ leads spiritual Israel, the body of believers, out of captivity from the world. The type breaks down here because Moses was not allowed to lead Israel into the Promised Land but Christ has gone ahead into the Promised Land of Heaven and when He returns, He will lead all believers into the Promised Land. Moses had the Passover Lamb killed. Christ was the Passover lamb. Moses instituted the Feasts. The Lord instituted baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Moses was used by God to perform great miracles. Jesus performed great miracles. Moses instituted the great Day of Atonement. Christ gave Himself on Calvary as the Great Sacrifice for His people. So if Peter would have mentioned these parallels, the people would have immediately identified with Moses and with the ministry of Christ.
Acts 3:23 (KJB)
And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Hear - Hearing with understanding
Destroyed - Utterly destroyed or rooted out
The indwelling Holy Spirit makes a person alive unto God by regenerating them. We were once spiritually dead but now we are made spiritually alive in our soul and spirit essence. It is the fact that we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit that allows us to understand spiritual things. (1 Cor 2:13-14 KJV) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. {14} But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:13-14 gives us understanding that those who have the Spirit of God in them will be able to understand spiritual things. Those who are unsaved will not be able to understand spiritual things. What is in view in Acts 3:23 is those who are unsaved will not be able to hear the teachings of Jesus because they are spiritual words and the unsaved man will be unable to discern them. (John 6:63 KJV) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. In John 6:63, Jesus states that His words are spirit and therefore it is necessary for a person to have the Spirit to understand the Scriptures. Therefore, those who do not have the Spirit are unsaved and if they remain in that state when they die, they shall be destroyed, which means they will be judged and sent to an eternal Hell. The words of Christ are about eternal life and those who cannot understand His words will be judged by those words at the last day. (John 12:48 KJV) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Acts 3:24 (KJB)
Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Samuel was the last of the Judges but he was also a prophet. The ones that followed after him were prophets like Isaiah, David, Solomon, Ezekiel, Haggai, Daniel, etc. This verse teaches us plainly that the Bible is about Christ and the redemption of man. There are so many who have attempted to divert the central teaching and theme of the Bible to other things like date setting or that it is just a law book or that it is just a prophecy book. Now the Bible contains the law of God and many prophecies by each prophet but these things are intertwined throughout the entire Bible. As long as we realize that the central figure of the Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ, we will not go off on any unbiblical tangents. Those who misuse the Bible are those who start cults.
Acts 3:25 (KJB)
Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
(Gen 12:1-3 KJV) Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: {2} And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: {3} And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Now we must keep in mind what we read in the previous verses that those who do not hear the words of Christ will be destroyed. So Peter is not stating that every Jew he is speaking to is in the covenant of Abraham. The Covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 12, 15, and 17 is the Covenant of Grace through the Lord Jesus Christ. The seed of Abraham is the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Gal 3:16 KJV) Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
(Gal 3:29 KJV) And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Peter is not speaking of a physical race but only those who are spiritually regenerated, saved through Christ. All the families of the earth will be blessed through these people because the Gospel will go forth universally. The words “shall be….blessed” are in the future tense. Who has sent the Gospel around the world? It is true Christians! Let’s ask the question for back then. Who sent the Gospel around the Roman Empire? It was not the unsaved Jews but those who had become saved and then later on the saved Gentiles joined forces to bring the Gospel to the rest of the world. So in Acts 3:25, Peter is speaking about an eternal covenant which is the covenant of grace which is eternal life. In that audience there would be a number of true believers mixed in with those who would not believe, so Peter was addressing the saved faction.
Acts 3:26 (KJB)
Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
(Luke 24:47 KJV) And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
(Acts 1:8 KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Peter is now stating that it was to Israel that Jesus first came with teaching of forgiveness of sins. Since Jesus was resurrected from the dead, it was God’s way of placing His approval on what Jesus had accomplished. The first place that the true Gospel was preached, was right there in Jerusalem. Jesus was sent to them as a blessing but they cursed Him. He was sent to turn them away from their iniquities but they chose sin instead. (Luke 23:18-19 KJV) And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: {19} (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.) These people wanted a murderer instead of Christ. Nevertheless, there was still a remnant in Jerusalem at the time, who was blessed by Christ and were turned from their iniquities. As I stated previously, the first evangelists who carried the true Gospel were Jews.