“The things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (the anointed One, Messiah) would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be erased and obliterated, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the appointed time of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” Acts 3:18-21.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God says:
Times of refreshing. I restore your soul. Psalm 23:3. What am I talking about?
After My Son had given His life in the flesh for you, I raised Him from the dead as the Great Shepherd of the sheep by the Blood of the eternal Covenant. His Blood that atoned for and redeemed you. And after He ascended back to Me in Heaven, Peter witnessed to the people about “the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (the anointed One, Messiah) would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be erased and obliterated, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the appointed time of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” Acts 3:18-21.
What is refreshing? I gave the Israelites the Shabbat as a sign. On that day, no ordinary work was to be done but it was to be an extraordinary day of resting in My love and hearing from Me together with family and friends. The same with My appointed times and feast days that were set apart for entering into My presence and being in unity with Me and one another. I spoke to Moses, saying, “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.” Exodus 31:12-13.
But I want you to look at the word translated “refreshing” in the original language it was written in when you read it in the book of Acts, and that language was Greek. Then I think you will understand.
The word Peter used there is “anapsuxis” (ἀνάψυξις) which means “a recovery of breath, a reviving with fresh air, revival, refreshing anew.” Revival. Now think about the two disciples on the road to Emmaus the day I raised Jesus from the dead. They were very sad. Luke 24:17. They had hoped Jesus was the Messiah but seeing Him die they were no longer sure. Even though He had told them He had to die to fulfill Scripture and be raised on the third day. But they had not understood that and were only looking at the circumstances. They were in the dark valley of disappointed hope, or at least they thought they were. But the risen Jesus began to walk with them though they did not know Him. When you have locked yourself in the dark valley of the shadow of death by unbelief, you do not see Jesus at first, that is, My Word that will bring out of your deep darkness to the light, you do not see your good Shepherd. Like Jacob at Bethel, you are unaware of Me though I am there.
As My Son walked with the two disciples along the road that day He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. Luke 24:25-27. He essentially went through all the Books of the Bible that had been written up to that time. He shared the Word with them. And it gave them new breath, new life, it revived them. They began to have faith and it gave them hope and it began to give them new life. A revival began that day that very soon brought in 3,000 people in one day to become believers in the death and resurrection and ascension of My Son and to receive new breath! The Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38-42 (Peter said, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”)
And as My Son and the two disciples walked the road together, as they approached the village where they were going, He acted as though He were going farther. But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.” So He went in to stay with them. When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem.” Acts 24:28-34.
Hearts darkened and all embers going out and suddenly they were rekindled and burning bright. And it gave revival and new breath, in fact, they ran all the way back to Jerusalem in hardly any time at all over a distance it had taken them all day to walk.
But let us go back to what Peter said about the refreshing. He continued on as he spoke to the Israelites who had gathered around him amazed at the healing of a man lame from birth at the words of Peter and John. “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be erased and obliterated, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you.” That “He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you.” Focus on the word translated “appointed,” in Greek it is the word “procheirizo” (προχειρίζομαι), which means “to put into the hand, to take into one’s hand.”
Is the Holy Spirit bringing up a Scripture to you that testifies to Jesus? “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30.
I put you into the hand of the Good Shepherd. “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Jesus with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:12-14. It is My doing that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to you wisdom from Me, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30. When you believed I gave you to Him to be your Good Shepherd forever.
Jesus told you, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:37-40. I put you into the hand of the Good Shepherd. And He must raise you up on the last day. If you wander off, He will go to find you and bring you back. Luke 15. He restores (“shuv” in Hebrew, that is, “returns,” the original language of the Old Testament is Hebrew, of the New Testament it is Greek) your soul. Psalm 23:3. And where does He lead you? Out of the dark valley of the shadow of death to dwell in My house forever. Psalm 23:4-6.
I love you. I have given you your great good Shepherd, Jesus your Lord, and I have given you to Him, to lead you through this life and to raise you up on the Last Day. And in Him I equip you for every good word and work. Let Him walk you from darkness to light. Let Him take you out of the valley of the shadow of death that Adam plunged you all into when he turned off the eternal light of life in you, and let Him bring you rejoicing before Me cleansed of all wrongdoing and filled with the breath of new life that He breathed back into your nostrils when I raised Him from the dead.