Acts to Revelation | Episode 1 | TBN

Acts to Revelation | Episode 1

Watch Acts to Revelation | Episode 1
April 11, 2018
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Episode 1

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Acts to Revelation | Episode 1

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  • Dave Stotts: Hi, I'm Dave Stotts.
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  • In our previous series of "Drive Thru History," we traveled
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  • all over Israel to share the life of Jesus
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  • as recorded in the gospels.
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  • We spent 18 episodes covering his birth, ministry, death, and
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  • resurrection as recorded in the biblical accounts of Matthew,
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  • Mark, Luke, and John.
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  • We explored more than 50 ancient sites to cover the history,
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  • archaeology, geography, and traditions related to the most
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  • significant life ever lived.
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  • At the end of our last series, Jesus had just left the scene.
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  • His final commission for his followers, "Go and make
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  • disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of
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  • the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching
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  • them to obey everything I have commanded you,"
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  • Matthew 28:19 and 20.
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  • Yet he instructed them to wait here in Jerusalem and do nothing
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  • until they received a mysterious gift from God.
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  • Jesus' final words in the Gospel of Luke, "Stay in the city until
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  • you have been clothed with power from on high," Luke 24:49.
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  • For the past several weeks, Jesus' followers had been on an
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  • emotional roller coaster, to say the least.
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  • They had gone from complete despair, having seen their rabbi
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  • tortured, killed, and entombed, to amazed and overjoyed as they
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  • encountered Jesus miraculously alive again.
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  • And just as they were reveling in this glorious moment,
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  • Jesus was gone again.
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  • But not before giving his men a mission and promising that,
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  • one day, he would return.
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  • In this series of "Drive Thru History," we are going to
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  • explore what happened next as we investigate the period of time
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  • following Jesus' resurrection, and look at the amazing lives
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  • of the very first Christians, beginning here in Jerusalem.
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  • And using the book of Acts as our roadmap, we'll be traveling
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  • throughout the Mediterranean region as we take a look at the
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  • people, places, and events that launched the Christian faith.
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  • At the beginning of our last series on the gospels, we began
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  • with the question, who was the most significant person
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  • to have ever lived?
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  • I think when you examine his extraordinary life, it's easy
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  • to see why most historians agree that, as the bumper sticker
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  • says, Jesus is the answer.
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  • But the story didn't end there.
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  • It couldn't have ended there.
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  • So, what did happen next?
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  • Obviously, the life of Jesus had enormous significance throughout
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  • the world, even to today, some 2.000 years later.
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  • So, how has the influence of this one man from a little
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  • village in Galilee carried on over that much time?
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  • Well, we don't have enough gas to drive through
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  • that much history, at least not in this trip anyway.
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  • But I will tell you the beginning of that amazing story.
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  • This is "Drive Thru History: Acts and the Early Christians."
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  • Dave: Getting to spend time in Israel is just
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  • about the coolest thing in the world.
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  • Seeing the places talked about in the Bible,
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  • it's probably my favorite adventure.
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  • You just never know what you'll see next.
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  • Maybe it's the ruins of a place mentioned in Jesus' ministry,
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  • or maybe it's just knowing you're walking where
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  • New Testament accounts took place.
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  • It can make history come alive in a new way.
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  • After the four gospels, the next chronological account
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  • in the Bible is known as the book of Acts,
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  • or the Acts of the Apostles.
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  • According to most scholars, Luke wrote acts as a continuation
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  • of his gospel account.
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  • In fact, many have called the book of Acts part two
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  • of the Gospel of Luke.
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  • According to the book of Colossians in the New Testament,
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  • Luke was a doctor.
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  • He was also a loyal companion of the Apostle Paul.
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  • Many scholars believe Luke's two-volume treatise was used to
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  • support Paul's legal defense in Rome in about 62 AD.
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  • As a history buff, I'm always looking for my sources
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  • to pass the credibility test, so I appreciate Luke.
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  • The whole point for Luke compiling his two books was
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  • to collect the evidence and present the case for Jesus
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  • and his followers.
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  • Luke wrote his two-volume set as a careful record of history,
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  • what he calls an orderly account for a man named Theophilus.
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  • Derived from the Greek, Theophilus means friend of God.
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  • Some Bible dictionaries have slight variations,
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  • including lover of God or loved of God.
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  • Anyways, we don't really know much about this guy.
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  • Most scholars agree that Theophilus
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  • was the person responsible for financially sponsoring
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  • Luke's research and writing.
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  • Many scholars believe that he was an important Roman official
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  • connected to the trial of Paul, while others believe that he
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  • was a wealthy relative of the emperor himself.
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  • Looking back, here's the beginning of Luke's gospel.
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  • "Since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the
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  • beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for
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  • you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the
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  • certainty of the things you have been taught," Luke 1:3 and 4.
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  • Similarly, the book of Acts begins, "In my former book,
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  • Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and
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  • to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving
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  • instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles
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  • he had chosen.
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  • After his suffering, he presented himself to them,
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  • and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.
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  • He appeared to them over a period of 40 days, and spoke
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  • about the kingdom of God," Acts 1:1 through 3.
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  • Not only did Luke set out to write an orderly account, he has
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  • passed the test of a true historian on multiple occasions.
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  • In fact, during a period of skepticism in Europe during the
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  • mid-1800s, many scholars challenged Luke's writings based
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  • on a lack of archaeological evidence for his accounts.
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  • One of the greatest archaeologists of all time, Sir
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  • William Ramsey, was so convinced of this that he traveled
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  • throughout Asia Minor, Greece, and other places to document the
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  • physical evidence to refute Luke's history.
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  • After years of study in the field, Ramsey discovered the
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  • total opposite, and completely reversed his position.
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  • "Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely
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  • are his statements of fact trustworthy, he is possessed
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  • of the true historic sense.
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  • In short, this author should be placed along
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  • with the greatest of historians."
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  • Another famous scholar, A.N.
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  • Sherwin-White, went on to say, "For Acts, the confirmation
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  • of historicity is overwhelming.
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  • Any attempt to reject its basic historicity must
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  • now appear absurd."
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  • As an interesting side note, Luke writes much
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  • of Acts in third person narrative,
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  • referring to the apostles as they.
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  • However, about midway through the book, certain narratives
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  • are written in the first person perspective of we.
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  • It appears that Luke joined Paul's missionary teams
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  • from time to time, including a few adventures at sea.
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  • That means that Luke was more than just a great historian,
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  • but he was an eyewitness to some of the history himself.
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  • We'll explore those accounts in later episodes.
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  • So, having set the stage for the rest of the story,
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  • and establishing the credibility of our primary source, Luke,
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  • let's return to our initial cast of characters.
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  • But first, let me introduce you to another character
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  • from the past.
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  • This is the 1976 Land Rover that we used in
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  • the "Drive Thru History" series on the gospels.
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  • It's on loan to me by a friend and an Israeli rancher,
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  • who's owned it forever, and he's used it for all kinds
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  • of special tasks.
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  • He said he wouldn't sell it because it's become
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  • like a member of the family.
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  • And like any member of the family, it's got a name.
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  • He named this Steve McQueen.
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  • Now, I've never asked him, but I would imagine that Steve McQueen
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  • got its name from being dependable, down to earth,
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  • hardworking, adventuresome, debonair, and ruggedly handsome.
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  • There are certain types of things
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  • that just get better with age.
  • 00:10:02.200 --> 00:10:04.030
  • I would certainly say a nice, sharp Wisconsin cheddar,
  • 00:10:04.040 --> 00:10:07.050
  • but I digress.
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  • I think we can add Land Rovers to the list.
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  • At over 40 years old, Steve McQueen is looking
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  • as rugged and cool as he ever did.
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  • I can't wait to see where he takes me next.
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  • Okay, back to Acts.
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  • Jesus had just ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives.
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  • By the way, that's something you don't see every day, right?
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  • But then again, Jesus' disciples had seen quite
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  • a few extraordinary things during the past 3 years or so.
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  • This one, however, must have felt kind of final.
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  • So, stunned and confused, his followers returned across
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  • the Kidron Valley to Jerusalem and the upper room
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  • where they were staying.
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  • Acts tells us the group was still comprised of the main
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  • figures from the gospels, the 11 remaining apostles,
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  • including Peter, John, and James; and a number of women,
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  • including Mary the mother of Jesus.
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  • Now, before going on, we just want to address the elephant in
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  • the room with respect to some of the classic artwork used
  • 00:11:04.240 --> 00:11:08.040
  • in "Drive Thru History," namely elements that sometimes
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  • don't seem to belong.
  • 00:11:11.290 --> 00:11:13.290
  • We understand that sometimes, artists include elements from
  • 00:11:14.000 --> 00:11:17.010
  • their own life experience that don't match the first century
  • 00:11:17.020 --> 00:11:20.290
  • time period of the New Testament.
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  • However, we like to use these images because
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  • of their historical importance in the world of classic art.
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  • And it's kind of fun to see how the styles change
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  • over the centuries.
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  • But don't worry, if we see something that's a little
  • 00:11:33.190 --> 00:11:35.190
  • too out of place, we try to steer clear of it.
  • 00:11:35.200 --> 00:11:40.070
  • Dave: As you may recall from our gospel series,
  • 00:11:42.040 --> 00:11:44.270
  • this location on Mount Zion, west of the Temple Mount,
  • 00:11:44.280 --> 00:11:48.140
  • is known as the Cenacle.
  • 00:11:48.150 --> 00:11:50.250
  • This has been venerated as the traditional site for the upper
  • 00:11:50.260 --> 00:11:53.280
  • room since at least the fourth century AD, with evidence
  • 00:11:53.290 --> 00:11:57.190
  • of a church here dating as far back to the second century.
  • 00:11:57.200 --> 00:12:01.200
  • Now, much of this structure dates to the 12th century, but
  • 00:12:01.210 --> 00:12:04.290
  • inside, there's an awesome chamber that gives us a sense
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  • for the size of the upper room that existed here during
  • 00:12:08.070 --> 00:12:11.130
  • the events recorded in Acts.
  • 00:12:11.140 --> 00:12:14.140
  • So, likely from a place near here, the group was
  • 00:12:14.150 --> 00:12:17.020
  • reflecting on the final words of Jesus just delivered
  • 00:12:17.030 --> 00:12:21.020
  • from the Mount of Olives.
  • 00:12:21.030 --> 00:12:23.270
  • "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father
  • 00:12:25.070 --> 00:12:28.060
  • promised, which you have heard me speak about.
  • 00:12:28.070 --> 00:12:31.130
  • For John baptized with water, but in a few days,
  • 00:12:31.140 --> 00:12:34.280
  • you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit," Acts 1:4.
  • 00:12:34.290 --> 00:12:40.000
  • "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you,
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  • and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea
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  • and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth," Acts 1:8.
  • 00:12:48.160 --> 00:12:54.100
  • In all, there were about 120 followers of Jesus waiting here
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  • in Jerusalem, as he commanded.
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  • They were constantly in prayer, anxiously awaiting
  • 00:13:03.220 --> 00:13:07.110
  • whatever would happen next.
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  • Peter, the brash Galilean fisherman,
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  • was a leader of the group.
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  • Now, as you may recall, Peter was the man who had denied
  • 00:13:15.160 --> 00:13:18.200
  • even knowing Jesus just a few weeks earlier.
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  • Now he, along with John and James and the other apostles,
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  • was leading this ragtag alliance
  • 00:13:26.130 --> 00:13:30.000
  • as they were hiding out in Jerusalem.
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  • But things were different now.
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  • Peter had changed.
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  • They had all changed.
  • 00:13:37.220 --> 00:13:39.100
  • They had witnessed their leader raised from the dead.
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  • They now knew that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah,
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  • the Son of God.
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  • And this eyewitness perspective changed everything.
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  • Peter's first order of business was to replace Judas Iscariot.
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  • Now, as you may recall, Judas was the apostle who betrayed
  • 00:13:59.130 --> 00:14:02.220
  • Jesus, and then killed himself because
  • 00:14:02.230 --> 00:14:05.090
  • of his guilty conscience.
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  • If you look behind me, you can see Akeldama,
  • 00:14:07.210 --> 00:14:10.090
  • or the field of blood, the field that was purchased
  • 00:14:10.100 --> 00:14:13.200
  • with Judas' blood money.
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  • Now, as with everything the apostles did,
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  • they prayed about the matter first.
  • 00:14:17.230 --> 00:14:20.010
  • And ultimately, they picked a man named Matthias
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  • to complete the 12 again.
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  • The group of disciples continued to meet
  • 00:14:26.290 --> 00:14:29.120
  • and pray together in the upper room.
  • 00:14:29.130 --> 00:14:32.210
  • Another week or so went by, and it was now 49 days since
  • 00:14:32.220 --> 00:14:37.140
  • Passover, 49 days since Jesus was put to death on a Roman
  • 00:14:37.150 --> 00:14:42.190
  • cross outside the walls of Jerusalem.
  • 00:14:42.200 --> 00:14:47.220
  • The next holy day on Israel's calendar was the festival
  • 00:14:48.050 --> 00:14:51.210
  • of weeks, also known as Shavuot in Hebrew,
  • 00:14:51.220 --> 00:14:56.150
  • which was originally a harvest festival.
  • 00:14:56.160 --> 00:14:59.120
  • Later, the day was also used to commemorate the giving of the
  • 00:14:59.130 --> 00:15:02.290
  • law to Moses on Mount Sinai.
  • 00:15:03.000 --> 00:15:06.140
  • Weeks comes from an expression in Leviticus 23:16, which
  • 00:15:06.150 --> 00:15:10.170
  • instructs the Israelites to count 7 weeks, or 49 days,
  • 00:15:10.180 --> 00:15:15.020
  • from the end of Passover to the beginning of the next feast
  • 00:15:15.030 --> 00:15:18.230
  • in their annual cycle of holy days.
  • 00:15:18.240 --> 00:15:21.140
  • The English word "Pentecost" comes from a Greek derivation
  • 00:15:21.150 --> 00:15:25.030
  • of the word, meaning 50, or 50th day.
  • 00:15:25.040 --> 00:15:29.050
  • The Israelites had been celebrating Pentecost
  • 00:15:29.060 --> 00:15:31.240
  • for centuries.
  • 00:15:31.250 --> 00:15:33.130
  • However, this one would be something quite different.
  • 00:15:33.140 --> 00:15:37.000
  • Here's what we learn from Acts chapter 2.
  • 00:15:37.010 --> 00:15:41.060
  • "When the day of Pentecost came,
  • 00:15:41.210 --> 00:15:43.130
  • they were all together in one place.
  • 00:15:43.140 --> 00:15:45.120
  • Suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came
  • 00:15:45.130 --> 00:15:48.070
  • from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
  • 00:15:48.080 --> 00:15:51.160
  • They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire
  • 00:15:51.170 --> 00:15:54.250
  • that separated and came to rest on each of them.
  • 00:15:54.260 --> 00:15:58.020
  • All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak
  • 00:15:58.030 --> 00:16:01.050
  • in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
  • 00:16:01.060 --> 00:16:04.050
  • Now, there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews
  • 00:16:04.060 --> 00:16:07.010
  • from every nation under heaven.
  • 00:16:07.020 --> 00:16:09.210
  • When they heard this sound, a crowd came together
  • 00:16:09.220 --> 00:16:12.090
  • in bewilderment because each one heard their
  • 00:16:12.100 --> 00:16:15.030
  • own language being spoken.
  • 00:16:15.040 --> 00:16:17.130
  • Utterly amazed, they asked, "Aren't all these
  • 00:16:17.140 --> 00:16:20.030
  • who are speaking Galileans?
  • 00:16:20.040 --> 00:16:22.110
  • Then how is it that each of us hears them
  • 00:16:22.120 --> 00:16:24.110
  • in our native language?
  • 00:16:24.120 --> 00:16:26.050
  • We hear them declaring the wonders of God
  • 00:16:26.060 --> 00:16:28.190
  • in our own tongues."
  • 00:16:28.200 --> 00:16:30.130
  • Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another,
  • 00:16:30.140 --> 00:16:32.250
  • "What does this mean?"
  • 00:16:32.260 --> 00:16:34.140
  • Acts 2:1 through 12.
  • 00:16:34.150 --> 00:16:36.180
  • Now, Luke never tells us what was going through the mind
  • 00:16:36.190 --> 00:16:39.040
  • of the disciples during all this, but it had to have been
  • 00:16:39.050 --> 00:16:42.290
  • a mind-blowing moment.
  • 00:16:43.000 --> 00:16:45.170
  • The sound of violent wind from heaven, floating tongues
  • 00:16:45.180 --> 00:16:48.280
  • of fire, speaking languages you had never studied.
  • 00:16:48.290 --> 00:16:53.190
  • Not your average, everyday occurrence.
  • 00:16:53.200 --> 00:16:56.190
  • But then again, this was a hugely significant moment
  • 00:16:56.200 --> 00:17:00.050
  • in human history.
  • 00:17:00.060 --> 00:17:02.050
  • This was the moment that the Spirit of God himself
  • 00:17:02.060 --> 00:17:05.120
  • was coming to dwell in the hearts of men.
  • 00:17:05.130 --> 00:17:09.030
  • 00:17:10.000 --> 00:17:14.110
  • Dave: Now, this big moment, and the commotion
  • 00:17:14.120 --> 00:17:17.020
  • that went with it, did not go unnoticed.
  • 00:17:17.030 --> 00:17:19.270
  • Rumors started spreading through the streets of Jerusalem,
  • 00:17:19.280 --> 00:17:24.150
  • and crowds began to gather in this area here west
  • 00:17:24.160 --> 00:17:28.220
  • of the temple complex.
  • 00:17:28.230 --> 00:17:30.230
  • At some point, Peter moved to the front of the crowds
  • 00:17:30.240 --> 00:17:33.250
  • with newfound boldness.
  • 00:17:33.260 --> 00:17:36.140
  • He raised his voice, addressing the crowd,
  • 00:17:36.150 --> 00:17:39.110
  • delivering what many consider his first sermon.
  • 00:17:39.120 --> 00:17:43.010
  • Peter started with background that would have been familiar
  • 00:17:43.020 --> 00:17:46.040
  • to his local audience.
  • 00:17:46.050 --> 00:17:48.050
  • He referenced Hebrew prophecy and the promise of God to pour
  • 00:17:48.060 --> 00:17:52.080
  • out his Spirit as a sign of the coming day of the Lord.
  • 00:17:52.090 --> 00:17:57.190
  • He then connected what everyone had just witnessed
  • 00:17:57.200 --> 00:18:00.280
  • to the fulfilment of God's centuries-old promise.
  • 00:18:00.290 --> 00:18:05.050
  • He then went on to declare other promises to the Israelites,
  • 00:18:05.060 --> 00:18:08.040
  • including the long-awaited Messiah taking
  • 00:18:08.050 --> 00:18:10.190
  • the throne of King David.
  • 00:18:10.200 --> 00:18:13.260
  • Peter then connected these promises to Jesus, who they
  • 00:18:13.270 --> 00:18:18.000
  • had crucified, but who God raised from the dead.
  • 00:18:18.010 --> 00:18:22.200
  • "God has raised this Jesus to life,
  • 00:18:24.090 --> 00:18:26.210
  • and we are all witnesses of it.
  • 00:18:26.220 --> 00:18:28.200
  • Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the
  • 00:18:28.210 --> 00:18:31.170
  • Father the promised Holy Spirit, and has poured out what you now
  • 00:18:31.180 --> 00:18:35.020
  • see and hear," Acts 2:32 and 33.
  • 00:18:35.030 --> 00:18:39.230
  • "'Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this.
  • 00:18:39.240 --> 00:18:42.280
  • God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and
  • 00:18:42.290 --> 00:18:47.020
  • Messiah.' When the people heard this, they were cut to the
  • 00:18:47.030 --> 00:18:50.140
  • heart, and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Brothers, what
  • 00:18:50.150 --> 00:18:54.040
  • shall we do?' Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every
  • 00:18:54.050 --> 00:18:59.070
  • one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of
  • 00:18:59.080 --> 00:19:02.230
  • your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • 00:19:02.240 --> 00:19:08.000
  • The promise is for you and your children, and for all who
  • 00:19:08.010 --> 00:19:11.110
  • are far off, for all whom the Lord our God will call,"
  • 00:19:11.120 --> 00:19:16.060
  • Acts 2:36 through 39.
  • 00:19:16.070 --> 00:19:19.020
  • This account in Acts goes on to tell us that about 3.000 people
  • 00:19:19.030 --> 00:19:23.000
  • accepted Peter's message and were baptized that day.
  • 00:19:23.010 --> 00:19:27.170
  • From 120 disciples in hiding to a public movement of over 3.000
  • 00:19:27.180 --> 00:19:33.200
  • followers of Jesus in one day, it was the beginning
  • 00:19:33.210 --> 00:19:37.290
  • of what would later be called the Christian church.
  • 00:19:38.000 --> 00:19:40.200
  • In fact, many Christians today consider the miraculous events
  • 00:19:40.210 --> 00:19:43.150
  • at Pentecost to be the birthday of Christianity.
  • 00:19:43.160 --> 00:19:48.000
  • However, unknown to many, the earliest church
  • 00:19:48.010 --> 00:19:50.020
  • was almost all Jewish.
  • 00:19:50.030 --> 00:19:52.210
  • At this point, there was no such thing
  • 00:19:52.220 --> 00:19:54.140
  • as a religion called Christianity.
  • 00:19:54.150 --> 00:19:57.070
  • All of these earliest followers of Jesus had also
  • 00:19:57.080 --> 00:19:59.140
  • been followers of Judaism.
  • 00:19:59.150 --> 00:20:01.230
  • They simply acknowledged Jesus to be their Lord,
  • 00:20:01.240 --> 00:20:04.140
  • their Savior, and their Messiah.
  • 00:20:04.150 --> 00:20:07.280
  • Speaking of strangers from a strange land visiting Jerusalem
  • 00:20:08.110 --> 00:20:11.270
  • and having their lives changed, I couldn't help finding new
  • 00:20:11.280 --> 00:20:14.260
  • inspiration for myself, being once again in Jerusalem.
  • 00:20:14.270 --> 00:20:18.130
  • And I also couldn't help appreciating all the colorful
  • 00:20:18.140 --> 00:20:21.090
  • people here from all over the world.
  • 00:20:21.100 --> 00:20:24.080
  • On this trip, I met a gentleman named Boaz,
  • 00:20:24.090 --> 00:20:26.280
  • who was from Australia.
  • 00:20:26.290 --> 00:20:28.260
  • He had mastered the art of something called throat singing.
  • 00:20:28.270 --> 00:20:32.070
  • I had never heard it up close, especially not with the little
  • 00:20:32.080 --> 00:20:35.050
  • shakers that created rhythms that let's just say
  • 00:20:35.060 --> 00:20:37.280
  • were impossible to ignore.
  • 00:20:37.290 --> 00:20:41.150
  • 00:20:42.020 --> 00:20:46.220
  • Dave: So, what do you do when you encounter exotic
  • 00:20:46.230 --> 00:20:48.240
  • talents from strange foreigners?
  • 00:20:48.250 --> 00:20:52.010
  • Well, you teach them the "Drive Thru History"
  • 00:20:52.140 --> 00:20:54.050
  • theme song, of course.
  • 00:20:54.060 --> 00:20:56.110
  • Dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun.
  • 00:20:56.120 --> 00:21:00.050
  • Can you do it in your throat like--
  • 00:21:00.060 --> 00:21:02.200
  • 00:21:03.070 --> 00:21:13.070
  • 00:21:15.110 --> 00:21:17.280
  • Dave: Now, it may take a few years or a few hundred before
  • 00:21:17.290 --> 00:21:20.040
  • throat singing catches on in the States, but getting to hear
  • 00:21:20.050 --> 00:21:23.150
  • our theme in the most unique way was a real trip.
  • 00:21:23.160 --> 00:21:27.180
  • Thanks, Boaz.
  • 00:21:27.280 --> 00:21:30.020
  • 00:21:30.210 --> 00:21:40.210
  • Dave: Now, let's return to Pentecost and all those foreign
  • 00:21:43.120 --> 00:21:46.290
  • languages being spoken there.
  • 00:21:47.000 --> 00:21:50.020
  • What exactly was happening?
  • 00:21:50.030 --> 00:21:52.050
  • Why were thousands of Jewish pilgrims in Jerusalem able
  • 00:21:52.060 --> 00:21:56.160
  • to hear the disciples speak in their own native tongues?
  • 00:21:56.170 --> 00:22:02.010
  • "Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and residents
  • 00:22:02.070 --> 00:22:05.060
  • of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
  • 00:22:05.070 --> 00:22:10.070
  • Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging
  • 00:22:10.080 --> 00:22:14.160
  • to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
  • 00:22:14.170 --> 00:22:19.150
  • Cretans and Arabians.
  • 00:22:19.160 --> 00:22:22.040
  • We hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works
  • 00:22:22.050 --> 00:22:25.170
  • of God," Acts 2:8 through 11.
  • 00:22:25.180 --> 00:22:29.000
  • Some people are confused to hear that Jews traveled to Jerusalem
  • 00:22:29.010 --> 00:22:33.000
  • from many outside nations for the ancient Festival of Weeks.
  • 00:22:33.010 --> 00:22:37.150
  • Didn't Jews live in Judea and Galilee, the land of Israel?
  • 00:22:37.160 --> 00:22:42.140
  • The answer is yes.
  • 00:22:42.150 --> 00:22:44.130
  • However, a large number of Jews had been living outside
  • 00:22:44.140 --> 00:22:46.280
  • of their homeland for hundreds of years.
  • 00:22:46.290 --> 00:22:49.110
  • Residents from the northern kingdom of Israel were exiled
  • 00:22:49.120 --> 00:22:52.060
  • by the Assyrians starting in the eighth century BC.
  • 00:22:52.070 --> 00:22:55.210
  • And residents of the southern kingdom of Judah were exiled
  • 00:22:55.220 --> 00:22:59.040
  • by the Babylonians starting in the sixth century BC.
  • 00:22:59.050 --> 00:23:03.050
  • This launched a period known as the diaspora, which comes
  • 00:23:03.060 --> 00:23:06.060
  • from the Greek word meaning scattering.
  • 00:23:06.070 --> 00:23:08.270
  • The diaspora was the scattering of the Israelite population
  • 00:23:08.280 --> 00:23:13.060
  • from the land of its geographic origin.
  • 00:23:13.070 --> 00:23:16.280
  • During the first century, the Jews of the diaspora were still
  • 00:23:16.290 --> 00:23:20.010
  • scattered throughout the Mediterranean region and beyond.
  • 00:23:20.020 --> 00:23:23.180
  • The long list of places mentioned in Acts 2
  • 00:23:23.190 --> 00:23:26.190
  • is consistent with the archaeological evidence related
  • 00:23:26.200 --> 00:23:29.160
  • to the widespread distribution of Judaism at the time.
  • 00:23:29.170 --> 00:23:34.130
  • These Jewish communities retained much
  • 00:23:34.140 --> 00:23:36.220
  • of their cultural and religious identity.
  • 00:23:36.230 --> 00:23:39.250
  • Wherever they lived, they still paid taxes
  • 00:23:39.260 --> 00:23:42.060
  • for the benefit of the temple.
  • 00:23:42.070 --> 00:23:44.030
  • And they still made occasional trips to Jerusalem
  • 00:23:44.040 --> 00:23:46.260
  • for the holy festivals.
  • 00:23:46.270 --> 00:23:48.260
  • So, with so many Jews from so many nations all here in
  • 00:23:48.270 --> 00:23:53.000
  • Jerusalem for the holy Festival of Pentecost, it was the perfect
  • 00:23:53.010 --> 00:23:57.040
  • setup for the preaching of the gospel for the very first time.
  • 00:23:57.050 --> 00:24:00.290
  • Indeed, many of these initial 3.000 believers would return
  • 00:24:01.000 --> 00:24:04.220
  • to their homelands and share the gospel with others
  • 00:24:04.230 --> 00:24:08.090
  • for the first time.
  • 00:24:08.100 --> 00:24:10.240
  • Peter's sermon at Pentecost represented the launching pad
  • 00:24:10.250 --> 00:24:14.270
  • for the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ
  • 00:24:14.280 --> 00:24:18.020
  • to these various parts of the world.
  • 00:24:18.030 --> 00:24:22.150
  • After the miraculous events at Pentecost, the disciples
  • 00:24:22.160 --> 00:24:25.180
  • continued to preach the gospel in and around Jerusalem.
  • 00:24:25.190 --> 00:24:29.280
  • The growing number of Jesus followers would meet together
  • 00:24:29.290 --> 00:24:33.250
  • in homes for meals, fellowship, and prayer.
  • 00:24:33.260 --> 00:24:37.270
  • They sold their possessions and gave to those in need,
  • 00:24:37.280 --> 00:24:41.120
  • and demonstrated their love for their neighbor.
  • 00:24:41.130 --> 00:24:44.090
  • And daily, the apostles would go up there to preach the gospel
  • 00:24:44.100 --> 00:24:49.060
  • on the temple grounds themselves.
  • 00:24:49.070 --> 00:24:51.170
  • Although the temple area is now covered by a Muslim shrine
  • 00:24:51.180 --> 00:24:55.000
  • known as the Dome of the Rock, this is the same place
  • 00:24:55.010 --> 00:24:57.150
  • where the apostles went each day.
  • 00:24:57.160 --> 00:24:59.270
  • Specifically, they would meet unbelievers at a place known
  • 00:24:59.280 --> 00:25:03.070
  • as Solomon's Colonnade, or Solomon's Porch.
  • 00:25:03.080 --> 00:25:06.140
  • This was the large, flat area on the Temple Mount right in front
  • 00:25:06.150 --> 00:25:09.210
  • of the beautiful gates that led into the temple courts.
  • 00:25:09.220 --> 00:25:14.200
  • Within a short period of time, this new movement
  • 00:25:14.210 --> 00:25:17.100
  • was known as The Way.
  • 00:25:17.110 --> 00:25:19.110
  • Most historians agree that this came from the very words of
  • 00:25:19.120 --> 00:25:21.240
  • Jesus, when he said, "I am the way, and the truth,
  • 00:25:21.250 --> 00:25:26.110
  • and the life.
  • 00:25:26.120 --> 00:25:28.000
  • No one comes to the Father except through me," John 14:6.
  • 00:25:28.010 --> 00:25:32.280
  • Now, remember that most of these early first followers
  • 00:25:32.290 --> 00:25:35.230
  • of Jesus were Jews.
  • 00:25:35.240 --> 00:25:38.000
  • That's why this movement was referred to as a sect
  • 00:25:38.010 --> 00:25:40.170
  • of Judaism known as The Way.
  • 00:25:40.180 --> 00:25:43.240
  • This group was growing steadily, and the religious leaders
  • 00:25:43.250 --> 00:25:47.100
  • here in Jerusalem were taking notice.
  • 00:25:47.110 --> 00:25:49.230
  • What happened?
  • 00:25:49.240 --> 00:25:51.240
  • They thought that they had rid themselves of this Jesus
  • 00:25:51.250 --> 00:25:54.060
  • of Nazareth before the last Passover.
  • 00:25:54.070 --> 00:25:57.100
  • His disciples had all but disappeared in fear and shame.
  • 00:25:57.110 --> 00:26:01.250
  • Now, things had changed again.
  • 00:26:01.260 --> 00:26:04.250
  • These followers of Jesus had come out of hiding, and were
  • 00:26:04.260 --> 00:26:07.280
  • boldly proclaiming the gospel of Jesus right here
  • 00:26:07.290 --> 00:26:12.010
  • on the temple grounds.
  • 00:26:12.020 --> 00:26:13.230
  • This was not going unnoticed.
  • 00:26:13.240 --> 00:26:16.010
  • This new way was threatening the established religious order.
  • 00:26:16.020 --> 00:26:21.060
  • 00:26:22.100 --> 00:26:27.030
  • 00:26:28.070 --> 00:26:37.010
  • 00:26:38.180 --> 00:26:47.100
  • 00:26:48.280 --> 00:26:56.020
  • 00:26:58.100 --> 00:27:07.170
  • 00:27:13.280 --> 00:27:23.280