Pentecost Fire

Pentecost Fire

Pentecost Fire

William Stout / General

Acting out Acts / Acts 2:1–47

 

Pentecost

  • A very controversial subject
  • the first biblical account of people speaking in tongues
  • This is one of the spiritual gifts
  • certainly not the only gift
  • People often wrongly believe that this gift must precede any of the other gifts
  • Some wrongly believe that this gift is evidence of salvation.
  • Although this is not the only gift, and it is not a requirement of salvation, it was an is an important event, and an important gift
  • We should avoid rejecting truth just because we do not understand
  • We should also be sensitive to people who either believe differently, or have not yet received this manifestation of the Spirit
  • I will attempt to show from the scripture that this gift, and others is available to all who believe

 

 

Acts 2:1–4 NKJV

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

  • Pentecost = the greek name for the Jewish feast of weeks, derived from its coming 50 days after passover
  • The birth of the Church

 

They were all in one accord

  • One of the the most important things for the Church
  • If we want o see a great move of God in our City
  • If we want to be part of any great move of God
  • If we want to be used by God, and have the gifts He has given us used
  • Then we must learn to be in unity
  • They were in one place, and in one accord
  • One Accord = Greek “homothymadon”
  • With one mind/purpose
  • By common consent, unanimously
  • Together, in unity, of one mind
  • Too often we can read through these stories and skip over these important details
  • These people, 120 or so, were gathered together, with one purpose
  • they were not each seeking their own purpose
  • They were seeking God together, waiting together
  • Too many churches and well meaning people fail because they cannot agree

 

Genesis 11:6 NKJV

6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.

  • God tells us that if we are of one mind, one language, there is nothing we purpose that is withheld
  • Jesus also tells us that a house divided cannot stand

Matthew 12:25 NKJV

25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.

  • just because they were in one accord didn’t mean that they agreed on everything
  • As we read through this book we will see that there were a good many things that they had not yet come into agreement on
  • Some things they hadn’t even thought through yet enough to agree
  • And some of them even had prejudices that they hadn’t dealt with yet, as we will see in later chapters
  • But just because these differences existed didn’t mean that they were not able to set these differences aside in order to be in one accord
  • We Do not have to always put the focus on our differences
  • As Christians there ought to be a good many more things that we agree on than we disagree on
  • yet we have such a tendency to focus on our differences
  • Or to not focus at all
  • What are some of the ways that people are divided in the churches today?
  • What are you thinking about while people are praying?
  • Does the church join the vision of the Pastor and leaders (Jim McCourt story)
  • Do people believe together, or do some doubt the very things they are preaching and proclaiming and praying about?
  • How many times is a person leading in prayer and most of the people are thinking about lunch, or daydreaming?
  • In the book of Acts we will see that people often lifted their voices together

Acts 4:24 NKJV

24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them,

 

  • This may be one of the reasons why that music is so very important in the church
  • Very few things can get many people thinking and saying the same thing at the same time like a song
  • This can certainly be evident in a negative way with so much evil music today
  • Many times it seems that manifestations of the Spirit occur while in the Worship part of the service, or immediately after
  • Yet, there are so many times where people come to worship like they are watching a show
  • With all the distractions we have today like smart phones, people are often even on their phones, or daydreaming during worship services nowadays
  • This is true in individual groups, and in the church as a whole
  • What would happen here if we all were truly in one accord?
  • What would happen in Springfield, Ohio if God’s people were truly seeking HIm, in one accord?

 

Acts 2:2–3 NKJV

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.

  • Then there was sound from heaven – a physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit
  • Like a rushing mighty wind
  • Spirit is often compared to “wind”
  • In fact, in both Hebrew and Greek, the same word is used for Spirit and Wind (“Ruach” and “Pneuma”)
  • This no doubt was a symbol of God’s power being outpoured
  • Jesus had compared the Spirit to Wind in john 3:8
  • This sound, no doubt load, “rushing and mighty” was a sign of the vast power being manifested here
  • Also likely attracted the attention of the multitudes nearby
  • This “rushing” might also be considered to portray how rapidly the Spirit’s influence would spread. – thousands that day, then within fifty years of that day the gospel had spread to every country in the known world

There appeared divided tongues, as of fire

  • This verse has nothing to do with speaking in tongues
  • we will get to that shortly, but that is not what is being described here
  • There appeared something like fire, in other words, a bright light, manifesting power and glory
  • the Glory of God had appeared
  • And divided tongues – like fingers, or individual parts
  • A tapering flame – (Webster’s lists this as one definition of tongue)
  • So, imagine something like a great cloud of glory, or fire, with appendages coming out from it to each person
  • Luke referred to “it” as singular, and the tongues as on each of them, as many
  • there is one Spirit, but many diversities of the operations or ministries, but the Same Lord
  • It “sat upon” each of them. It did not flicker away from them, but remained, an abiding presence.
  • So While they were all in one place and in one accord, this miracle happened
  • and they all saw it and they all received – it sat upon each of them
  • There were many different ways this gift would manifest – but all received
  • We can also do the same thing today
  • we can seek God in singleness of heart and mind
  • While God may use each of us in different ways and at diverse times, it is Still the Same Spirit, and from the same anointing
  • They were all filled

 

Acts 2:4–6 NKJV

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.

6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.

  • They were all filled with the Holy Spirit –
  • They began to speak with other tongues – as the Spirit gave them utterance
  • They all spake, not necessarily at the same time, but as the Spirit gave utterance
  • This has become such a controversial subject in the church -And it should not be so
  • As we read on we see that there were actually two miracles occuring here
  • There was the gift of tongues, as each person was speaking in tongues
  • There was also a gift of interpretation as people were hearing this in their own language or dialect
  • There should not be so much controversy about this issue: It happened, the bible says it happened, and it was good
  • It says that they were speaking “the wonderful works of God”

Acts 2:11–13 NKJV

11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”

12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”

13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

 

  • It is also clear that they were speaking in tongues, not specific languages, since some people hearing it thought they were drunk
  • Peter, while filled with the Spirt explained that this was fulfillment of prophecy

 

Acts 2:14–18 NKJV

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.

15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.

16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.

18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.

  • The Bible says that this gift is available to all believers
  • referring not only to the gift of tongues, but also the gift of the Spirit
  • That doe snot mean we should “force” this gift on people
  • It also does not mean that people who are not speaking in tongues are not saved
  • There is so much misleading teaching on this subject
  • most of that is because of personal bias – and experiences
  • Our opinions should be based on the Word
  • Being on either extreme, past the truth is equally wrong
  • So consider a few things about tongues:
  • This was definitely public – multitude came – 3,000 saved
  • This was glorifying to God (wonderful works of God)
  • The bible tells us not to forbid to speak in tongues
  • The bible says that if we only speak in tongues, or use tongues in place of preaching or prophesying, it is like a clanging symbol
  • Paul said that “in the Church” (or while preaching) he would rather speak five words with understanding than ten thousand in tongues
  • Paul also said that he spake in tongues more than all of them
  • The bible also says that it is better that we would prophesy
  • It is unfortunate that most of the people pointing to this verse to challenge tongues don’t believe in present day prophecy either
  • There is a good deal written about this topic in 1 Cor. 14
  • unfortunately many people read through this chapter only taking out the parts they think supports their bias, rather than keeping the whole in context.
  • Some people claim that there are not tongues today, while others claim that you must speak in tongues to be saved, and others claim that if you don’t speak in tongues you don’t have the Holy Spirit
  • The bible says that we should covet to prophesy and not to forbid to speak in tongues.
  • The important thing is that the purpose was to Glorify God, and to proclaim the gospel
  • When the people had taken notice, Peter began to speak

Acts 2:22–24 NKJV

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—

23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

 

  • From verse 22-40 Peter preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ, in a way that connects with the people who were present.
  • That is the purpose in the miracle
  • To empower the people to proclaim the message and enable the people to receive it
  • to turn the people from the power of satan to the power of God

Acts 2:38–39 NKJV

38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

  • The point that Peter concluded with is the same point we need to make to the world today:
  • Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus
  • Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost
  • You can be a disciple today
  • There were three thousand souls added that day alone!
  • 3,000 who also received the gift of the Holy Ghost
  • This promise is to you, to your children, to all who are afar off
  • there are so many who are still “afar off”
  • but you can be brought near today
  • With many other words he “exhorted them” saying “save yourselves from this untoward generation”
  • we need to be bold enough to “exhort” these days
  • You must be saved from this generation

Acts 2:43–47 NKJV

43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.

44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,

45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

  • Now fear came on every soul
  • Oh if only people today had “fear of the Lord”
  • Who will not fear thee and glorify thy name!
  • They were together, had things in common
  • they sold possessions and distributed to the needs
  • they continued daily
  • You must stay saved – you must continue, stedfastly
  • They did so with gladness and simplicity of heart
  • Praising God and having favor.

 

 

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