Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Look at
Acts 2:39 by George L. Faull

I thought it might
be well for me to
comment on a
verse-Acts 2:39.
Though we often
refer to verse 38
of Peter’s sermon on Pentecost, we would do well to read
the context. Verse 39 is abused by many. Let’s look at
verses 37-41.
“37 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? 38 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. 39 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. 40 And
with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying,
Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then
they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the
same day there were added unto them about three
thousand souls.”
The 39th verse is an abused text by four major religious
factions to prove their particular heresy.
THE PENTECOSTALS use the verse to prove that the
Holy Spirit’s miraculous power is available to all men
today. They consider “the Promise” to refer back to
verses 16-21.
These verses are a quote of a prophecy of Joel, which
states that wonders will be done in the last days by those
of “all ages”, old and young, “all genders”, sons and
daughters, “all social status”, my servants and
handmaidens, and “all nations”, all flesh.
They ignore a sermon had been completed and Christ
was shown to be both Lord and Christ and they had killed
Him. The listeners asked the question, “Men and
brethren, what shall we do?” Peter’s answer in verse 38
shows the question was not what shall we do to get these
miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. Rather, what do we do
to be forgiven for our killing our Messiah? It was a
specific question about salvation and not about speaking
in tongues or the wonders and signs of Joel’s prophecy.
The question preceded the offer of salvation and the gift
of the Spirit. Acts 2:39
THE ROMANISTS who favor infant baptism make their
emphasis on the inclusion of children receiving the
promise offered by Peter. On the contrary, it is a promise
to the descendants of the listeners who could enjoy the
promise of salvation and the Holy Spirit if they too repent
and are baptized.
It is ludicrous to get out of this text that there is grace
bestowed in baptizing unbelieving babies who need no
repentance. There is no water regeneration taught in
verses 38 – 39. There is no merit or dispensing of grace
by baptizing infants who can neither believe nor in need of
Even Albert Barnes, who advocated infant baptism,
rebukes those who try to use this verse to advocate infant
baptism. “It does not refer to children as children, and
should not be adduced to establish the propriety of infant
baptism, or as applicable particularly to infants. It is a
promise, indeed, to parents, that the blessings of salvation
shall not be confined to parents, but shall be extended
also to their posterity. Under this promise parents may be
encouraged to train up their children for God; to devote
them to his service; believing that it is the gracious
purpose of God to perpetuate the blessings of salvation
from age to age.”
THE CALVINISTS are the third group that abuses this
text. They take their clue from the expression, “even as
many as the Lord our God shall call.” The word, “call”, is
the trigger word for a Calvinist. Their doctrine is that God
calls specific persons to salvation to the exclusion of
When they hear the word “call”, it conjures up in their
mind the whole theory of election, predestination, and
eternal security. They like to point out the last phase of
verse 39 is in the middle voice and this means God is
doing the calling.
In Robertson Word Study (he is a Calvinist) writes, “It is a
first aorist middle subjunction with ‘an’ in an indefinite
relative clause, a perfectly regular construction. The Lord
"From the cowardice that shrinks from
new truth, from the laziness that is content
with half truths, from the arrogance that
thinks it knows all truth, O, God of Truth,
deliver us."2 THE GOSPEL UNASHAMED April 2010
calls men of every nation, anywhere, whether Jew or
Gentile.” We have never read the verse any other way
than the Lord is calling men to Himself.
THE BEREAN BIBLE SOCIETY is the fourth group that
abuses the text and are the successors of E. W. Bullinger,
Corneluis Stam, and J. C. Ohair. They teach that the
Gospel invitation offered here by Peter was for Jews only.
They are hyper or ultra-dispensationalists in that they
believe this offer by Peter was for a Jewish millennial
They believe baptism is a Jewish ordinance and has been
phased out for today and not a requirement for this
They ignore that those who are “afar off”, in verse 39, are
the Gentiles as Ephesians 2:12-16 plainly affirms.
They pretend that the gospel of Peter and Paul differ and
that Paul, as the apostle to the Gentiles, revealed a
different Gospel than Peter.
Such alleged scholars wrest this Scripture as they do all
the Scriptures.
II Peter 3:15-16: “15 And account that the longsuffering of
our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul
also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written
unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them
of these things; in which are some things hard to be
understood, which they that are unlearned and
unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures,
unto their own destruction.”
The listeners and their children and those who were “afar
off” (Gentiles) are all made the promise of the remission of
sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit when they repent and
are immersed. This agrees perfectly with other Bible
1. The Gospel call is for the Jew first, also to the
Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the
gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto
salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew
first, and also to the Greek.”
2. Those who are “afar off” are the Gentiles.
Ephesians 2:12-13: “12 That at that time ye were
without Christ, being aliens from the
commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the
covenants of promise, having no hope, and
without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ
Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are
made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
3. The Lord calls men to Himself by the Gospel.
Listen how it is done.
II Thessalonians 2:13-14: “13 But we are bound
to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren
beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the
beginning chosen you to salvation through
sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the
obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
4. Why does God send out this call? He wants
all men to come to repentance and not perish.
II Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning his
promise, as some men count slackness; but is
longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any
should perish, but that all should come to
5. The call to the Father is offered to “whosoever
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he
gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life.”
Revelation 22:17: “And the Spirit and the bride
say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come.
And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever
will, let him take the water of life freely.”
So our Pentecostal, Romanist, Calvinist, and Berean
friends have twisted or perverted this text. It is very
simple to understand the meaning.
In verse 37 a question is asked, “Men and brethren, what
shall we do?” (Since we killed the Christ.)
In verse 38 an answer is given. There are two
commands, “Repent and be baptized” and two results
promised “the remission of sins and the Gift of the Holy
In verse 39 we are told who can repent and be baptized
and enjoy the promise of salvation. “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.”
In verse 40 an offer was made, “Save yourselves (it is
passive) from this untoward (perverted) generation.”
In verse 41 we are told the response to the offer that
Peter made in his sermon, “Then they that gladly received
his word were baptized: and the same day there were
added …about three thousand souls.”
Do not be misled by the theologies of men. A text out of
context becomes a pretext.
Those who responded had heard the call of God and they
came to Him and obeyed the offer.
God does the saving if we do not refuse His call.April 2010 THE GOSPEL UNASHAMED 3
Joel had said, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever
shall call on the name of the LORD shall be
delivered:….” Joel 2:32a
Paul was told, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be
baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the
name of the Lord.” Acts 22:16
God has called you by the Good News of the Gospel and
now you need to call upon Him. God has always planned
that Abraham’s seed, which is Christ, be a blessing to all
nations, not just the Jews. The promise to all was made
in Peter’s sermon on Pentecost in verse 39.
What says the Scripture? Galatians 3:8: “And the
scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen
through faith, preached before the gospel unto
Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.”
Galatians 3:27-29: “27 For as many of you as have
been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There
is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free,
there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in
Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye
Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Won’t you, like the 3,000 on Pentecost, gladly receive the
Word and be baptized and let the Lord add you to His
He will keep His promise. That has been His desire for all
men from the foundation of the world.


  1. Men should guard their words very carefully these coming days in lite of the seeming ever expanding tolerance for false doctrine that's rolling in AND instead direct tat same energy towards their thankfulness unto God for His LONG suffering mercy as men hopefully continue to work through their salvation process in such trying times that do lie ahead in hiding and in wait!

    Especially as it pertains to the "Ignorance" and/or "Unbelief" of ANY said "Factions" KNOW this, There are NO factions who are TRULY In Christ". They can call themselves what they like, yet God calls His own what? Factions have labels assigned by men, yet what do labels the True sons of God?

    He calls His own and recognizes them as Son's yet for what reason? Who knows the given name on the stone each one will be given at the assigned time? Many might be able to pass the academic test prepared by men ABOUT God/Christ, yet do they KNOW Him?

    People (souls) will say they accept the words of God became flesh and dwelt among men yet at the same time how many will NOT accept (spiritually speaking) Lies also became flesh and dwelt among men?

    Who is the FATHER of ALL Lies? And why the God chosen word "Father" to describe him as such?

    There's more to being "Decided" in terms of choosing and that to mean making RIGHTEOUS choices/decisions which affect your day to day and continued reasoning.

    Is your time spent only defending Lies, because I read in plain language where NO ONE can do ANYTHING against the Truth, instead ONLY for the Truth

    2 Cor 13:7-9
    Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.

    For we cannot do (anything) --> against the truth , but (only) for --> the truth . We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for (your perfection).

    John 8:42-47

    Jesus said to them, "If God (were) -->your Father , you would love me, for I came from God and --> now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.

    Why is my language (not)--> clear to (you)?

    (Because) you are (unable) ---> to hear what I say.

    You belong to your (father , --> the devil, (and) you want to --> carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, (not) --> holding to --> the truth, for there is no truth in him.

    When he lies, he speaks his --> native language, for he is a liar (and) the father of lies.

    Yet (because) --> I tell the truth, you do (not) ---> believe me!

    Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?

    If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me?

    He who (belongs) to God (hears) --> what God says. The (reason) you (do not hear) is that you --> (do not belong) --> to God."

    that also look to and in the hope of somehow "PARTICIPATING" in what the HOLY SPIRIT is willing to do and is going to do.

    If NOT abiding in the "Righteousness of God" did have only to do with what God says is True, who is in error? Isn't that what most want to know?

    There's looking to the external and there's relying on the external

    and seeming NON performance/interaction of the Holy Spirit, NOT participating because of Ignorance or NOT participating because of what one chooses NOT to believe?

  2. Jesus Christ taught you ought to do unto others as you would have done unto yourself. Considering the amount of comments I have received from brother Finnell, I assume you don't mind my doing the same thing. After all, I, myself, love having a good conversation concerning these things.
    Feel free to follow my blog:


    "I say to all... you will one day find yourself called upon to defend your faith or perhaps even endure some personal abuse simply because you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Such moments will require both courage and courtesy on your part." -- Elder Jeffery R. Holland
    Since I have been serving in the South, there have been many people who have come to my companions and me to argue with us. It is completely logical, let alone polite and fair, to have a 50/50 discussion when opposing viewpoints occur in the same "realm." Nevertheless, far too often the party who approaches us never gives us opportunity to "reason with them." As a result, they walk away thinking to themselves, "Yup, I completely won that round, and proved to them that they are wrong. Yup, I showed that I am smarter than them." We walk away thinking, "he didn't even give us a chance to speak. What an oxymoron. He (or She) claims he (or she) is a Christian, but he doesn't act like it." In other words, both parties walk away feeling less Christ-like than before the argument, and hindered in their progression to become more like Christ.

    I believe it is primarily due to the fact that a natural result had not occurred, and that is something I like to call "The Spiritual Third Law." Issac Newton observed, "one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body." In other words, "for every action there is an equal, but opposite reaction." Which is why when we move forward, we have to push backward. This truth was observed, even before then, in a spiritual sense. The prophet Lehi said to his sons, "there must be opposition in all things." For progress to occur to us eternally, we must push against opposition. Naturally, objections arise against the only True and Living Church of Jesus Christ. As a missionary serving in the so-called "Bible belt," I have been introduced to many objections.
    "Brothers and sisters, share the gospel with genuine love and concern for others. Be courageous and bold but not overbearing in sustaining and defending our beliefs, and avoid contention." -- Elder David A. Bednar
    These posts have been created for the humble, soft-hearted, and those who desire to have a better understanding of Christ and His latter-day saints. I caution you; it may seem I am stepping on toes and some may not be appreciative of the simplicity of the statements. I want to make it perfectly clear, these posts were made not to attack or insult any religion, but to defend mine... to read more see:


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