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BEFORE Jesus took leave of his disciples, he gave them the following important commands and promises. “All power is given unto heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, into all the world, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils ; they shall speak with new tongues ; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” a
When Jesus assembled his disciples together for the last time, he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait until they should receive the fulfilment of the promise that they should be baptized with the Holy Ghost. And they asked of him, saying, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel ?” And he said unto them, “ It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye
shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost come upon you : and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
* Matt. xxviii. 18 - 20 ; Mark xvi. 15--18.
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel ; which also said, “ Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven ? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
AFTER the ascension of Christ, the disciples remained together at Jerusalem in retirement, and they continued constantly to pray for the promised Holy Spirit. To supply the place of the unhappy traitor Judas, they chose by lot, after praying to the Lord, Matthias, that the number of twelve might be again complete. They assembled together every day in the expectation of some great events; and their number amounted to about an hundred and twenty.
Fifty days after the passover, ten days after the ascension of Christ to the throne of Ġod in heaven, at the feast of Pentecost, which was observed among the Jews in commemoration of the giving of the law, and likewise of the beginning of harvest, they were all gathered together. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And the Holy Ghost appeared to them in the form of cloven tongues
b Acts i. 6-11.
of fire, which sat upon each of them. were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, “Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born ?" And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another,
66 What meaneth this ?” Others mocking, said, “ These men are full of new wine.”
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, “ Ye men of Judæa, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words : for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day (nine o'clock in the morning). But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams : and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit ; and they shall prophesy. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he bath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus both Lord and Christ.”
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, “ Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Then Peter said unto them, “ Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye
shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized ; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine, and in fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And all that believed were together, and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they had favour with all the people; and the Lord added to their numbers daily. a
44. PETER and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his birth was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon
him with John, said, “Look on us." And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” And he