Sunday, September 19, 2010

daily text 9/19

Sunday, September 19th, 2010
"He ordered us to preach to the people and to give a thorough witness" (Acts 10:42)


The Italian army officer assembled his relatives and friends for what became a turning point in God's dealings with humans. That God-fearing man was Cornelius, and it was to him that the apostle Peter spoke the above words. Peter's witness about Jesus bore abundant fruit. Uncircumcised Gentiles received God's spirit, were baptized, and came in line to be kings in heaven with Jesus. What an outcome of Peter's bearing thorough witness! (Acts 10:22, 34-48) That was in 36 C.E. About two years earlier, a fervent opposer of Christianity had a life-changing experience. Saul of Tarsus was on his way to Damascus when Jesus appeared to him and said: "Enter into the city, and what you must do will be told you." (Acts 9:3-6) When with Saul, Ananias said: "The God of our forefathers has chosen you . . . because you are to be a witness for him to all men."—Acts 22:12-16. (Watchtower issue: 12/15/08, 4:1, 2)

I did some extra research regarding the three "Keys of the Kingdom" which were entrusted to the apostle Peter to use in connection with this time period, and here's a basic summary taken from: (pg 30 of the 5/15/08 WA) - "Highlights from the Book of Acts"

PETER USES THE "KEYS OF THE KINGDOM"

First Key: (Repentant Jews) - On Pentecost 33 C.E., after receiving the holy spirit, the apostles give a bold witness. Peter uses the first of “the keys of the kingdom of the heavens” to open the door of knowledge and opportunity for Jews and proselytes who “embraced his word” to enter the Kingdom. (Matthew 16:19; Acts 2:5, 41)

Second Key: (Samaritans) - Upon hearing that Samaria has accepted the word of God, the apostles in Jerusalem dispatch Peter and John to them. By opening up the Kingdom opportunity to the Samaritans, Peter uses the second key. (Acts 8:14-17) Perhaps within a year of Jesus’ resurrection, an amazing transformation takes place in Saul of Tarsus.

Third Key: (Gentiles) - In 36 C.E., Peter uses the third key, and the free gift of the holy spirit is poured out upon uncircumcised people of the nations (Acts 10:45)...with Cornelius and his household being the first Gentiles to receive this opportunity.