“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4 NKJV
I attend a Charismatic / Pentecostal church. My car is broke down, so I asked a friend of mine, a Baptist (a conservative quiet Baptist in the north eastern part of the USA), if they wanted to come to my church this past Sunday. They asked how often the preach Acts 2 “our way”. I said we usually cover that topically – and that was the topic of last week’s sermon. We should be good for a while. My friend chickened out and we went to their church, thank God I was already wearing a dress. I got home and turned on the replay of my church’s broadcast and you won’t believe it – we preached on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I got a chuckle out of it.
And – God (and I) do not care what denomination you are. If you have a real relationship with God, and my spirit (the spirit of the Lord within me) bears witness of it, then it is all good. If you do not have a relationship with God – keep reading, let me tell you about it and see what you think.
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is from the book of Acts, chapters 1-3 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). This book was written by Luke to Paul’s attorney (it is believed) as a follow up to the Gospel of Luke. It seems like an incomplete book… some say it is because it continues with all follower of Christ writing in it in Heaven. Some believe Luke intended to write more, possible a third book. Although Luke only wrote these two books – he is responsible for writing most of the New Testament (by volume) calculated by most as 27.5% (estimated between that and a third). Paul wrote most of it by number of Books – but Luke turned out to be wordier!
As Luke writes about the lives of the apostles in Acts, we will be jumping around reading the first-hand accounts from the other books. The book of Acts behaves much like the books of the Chronicles and the books of the Kings in the Old Testament.
Although the Gospels laid out Jesus and His works and teachings – Jesus never taught how all of it applied to the gentiles and how we were to be followers of Him. We were never under the law, as the Jews were – and we are described in as being adopted, but we are not made Jews and the first covenant is not ours. We are under the New Covenant. But we should be careful not to gentrify the Jews – just because they rejected their messiah, don’t mean we can write them out of the story and begin to consider these Old Testament Israelites to be “the church”. They never have been the church and even in repentance – they will not be the church but the church is formed with them and us under the covenant of adoption. Speaking of Baptists – some of my favorite teaching on the book of Acts and the New Testament – and how we are to be Christians came from some solid Baptist ministers. They do not miss a thing.
So when the Baptist teach Acts chapter two – it is no wonder they think it is for just those disciples for that time. Throughout the history of the church – what of these signs and wonders? Where were they after Rome fell? Where were they in the dark ages? Where were the signs and wonders through the renaissance age? As a matter of fact – I do not see mass followers of Christ anointed with signs and wonders written in history in many places at all. More and more frequently in this modern world we live in – the signs and wonders are returning and without regard to denomination.
Signs and wonders have been with the prophets, who were anointed by the Holy Spirit, before Pentecost Sunday when God opened the flood gates and made it available to each and every one of us. Some say you get a measure of the Holy Spirit when you give your Life to God to have a relationship with Him. Others say you must pray for it all after wards. I do not know, based on chapter and verse which is true – but I do know that you have to pray for both – separately. I do know the disciples had a relationship with Jesus and healed and cast out BEFORE they had the Holy Spirit’s baptism. I know they lacked boldness and the ability to fight off fear without the Holy Spirit. And I know that it says (later in the book) every time they laid hands of people to receive the Holy Spirit it was evidenced in speaking in new tongues. I also know there is NO chapter and verse that says these things stop and are not for all Christian of all times.
I know I prayed for the baptism and I believe I am. I know that the past time I wrote Peter’s name here in this blog I was talking about what a bumbling idiot he could be and how relatable he is for us. And today we see and hear him give a sermon – where he is no longer a bumbling idiot. Almost unrecognizable. He isn’t the one with questions but he has become the one with understanding and authority. I know I was a bumbling idiot before I prayed for the Holy Spirit to baptize me. I know I am different now as well, unfortunately I still bumble along a bit. Lol
These are my favorite days in my walk with the Lord as well as reading. Peter and John basically are handed a sword and they run around swinging it. It is powerful and glorious and wonderful. They seem to feel invincible. I know I did. But, unless we fall into pride – we cannot stay there in that state. And they forgot they were commissioned to “Go Ye therefore into all the Nations!” But here they are trying to continue the work of Christ there in Jerusalem, where Jesus said “it is finished”. I say all that to keep it in your mind and to keep you aware of that slowness to obedience as we read. Because grace. And we will circle back to it later with they finally mobilize and GO.
Meanwhile – people are saved, healed, and delivered. Despite the fact that they are staying put. Despite any disobedience. God is using fallible humans – and as soon as we can come to terms with it the sooner we can get past human emotions and drama and focus on loving one another and giving each other the Grace God gives – until we get it right.
So – like I say almost daily: Repent and get humble. God forgives and grows us and it is all part of the process. We are in a relationship. Relationship grown and change. Enjoy it and drawing close to God.
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!
NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: Acts 1-3 NKJV
1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which [a]He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many [b]infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
The Holy Spirit Promised
4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be [c]witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus Ascends to Heaven
9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
The Upper Room Prayer Meeting
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. 14 These all continued with one [d]accord in prayer [e]and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the [f]disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, 16 “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; 17 for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.”
18 (Now this man purchased a field with the [g]wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his [h]entrails gushed out. 19 And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.)
20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms:
‘Let his dwelling place be [i]desolate,
And let no one live in it’;
‘Let another take his [j]office.’
21 “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
23 And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” 26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Coming of the Holy Spirit
2 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all [k]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 [l]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.
The Crowd’s Response
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. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own [m]language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and [n]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.”
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 [o]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.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
21 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’
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 [p]have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having [q]loosed the [r]pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 25 For David says concerning Him:
‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’
29 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, [s]according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted [t]to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’
36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the [u]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.”
A Vital Church Grows
40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this [v]perverse generation.” 41 Then those who [w]gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ [x]doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 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 [y]sold their possessions and goods, and divided[z] 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 [aa]to the church daily those who were being saved.
A Lame Man Healed
3 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to [ab]ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God. 10 Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Preaching in Solomon’s Portico
11 Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. 12 So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. 14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and killed the [ac]Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. 16 And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
17 “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send [ad]Jesus Christ, who was [ae]preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since [af]the world began. 22 For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ 24 Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also [ag]foretold these days. 25 You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26 To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”
- Acts 1:2 He ascended into heaven.
- Acts 1:3 unmistakable
- Acts 1:8 NU My witnesses
- Acts 1:14 purpose or mind
- Acts 1:14 NU omits and supplication
- Acts 1:15 NU brethren
- Acts 1:18 reward of unrighteousness
- Acts 1:18 intestines
- Acts 1:20 deserted
- Acts 1:20 Gr. episkopen, position of overseer
- Acts 2:1 NU together
- Acts 2:3 Or tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each
- Acts 2:8 dialect
- Acts 2:11 Arabians
- Acts 2:15 9 a.m.
- Acts 2:23 NU omits have taken
- Acts 2:24 destroyed or abolished
- Acts 2:24 Lit. birth pangs
- Acts 2:30 NU He would seat one on his throne,
- Acts 2:33 Possibly by
- Acts 2:38 forgiveness
- Acts 2:40 crooked
- Acts 2:41 NU omits gladly
- Acts 2:42 teaching
- Acts 2:45 would sell
- Acts 2:45 distributed
- Acts 2:47 NU omits to the church
- Acts 3:2 Beg
- Acts 3:15 Or Originator
- Acts 3:20 NU, M Christ Jesus
- Acts 3:20 NU, M ordained for you before
- Acts 3:21 Or time
- Acts 3:24 NU, M proclaimed