The Early Church the Foundation of Joy

Laying the Foundation for Joy

1 Peter Chapter 1:1-12

The Apostle Peter (the Rock) was the son of a man named Jonas who was also a fisherman and Peter took up the occupation of “fisherman” on the Sea of Tiberias (Galilee). Peter and his brother Andrew were partners of John and James. Notice how God had placed these men in this place to be used of the Lord.

Although Peter may not have been as rich as James and John, he did have hired servants and his position did bring him in contact with men of education which Peter probably lacked so Peter was not as worldly as some.

Act 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

We should keep in mind Peter and John and the Apostles were called ignorant not because they had no education but only because they had not attended a rabbinical school.

Peter had first made his home in Bethsaida but then he moved to Capernaum to a home somewhat larger than the average homes of that day.

This home may have belonged to Peter’s mother in law.

Peter left all these things behind to follow the Lord Jesus Christ!

Peter would have spoken in a form of Aramaic probably aligned with the Syriac.

If you have a Syriac Bible translated into English, besides the “thous” and the “thees” it is almost identical to the King James Bible.

The Hebrew language was used mainly by those who had been trained in the rabbinical schools.

We will notice that the Lord Jesus Christ had no problems at teaching and understanding any of the language differences.

We can better understand that phrase “cloven tongues” as the Apostles new only one language the slang version of the Syriac, yet when they spoke everyone understood in their own language.

Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Act 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

So let’s see Peter after he had received the Holy Spirit:

*****1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

Who was Peter writing to?

Peter was writing to the Christian Jews and other Christians who were scattered because of persecution!

Act 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Some of these Christians did find a way to stay in Jerusalem and some of the Apostles elected to stay in Jerusalem for them and they too met with death.

Peter had three names used by the Lord.

Peter was called Simon or Simeon which means he had been circumsized according to the Laws of Moses.

He was called Cephas (a stone) given to him by Jesus Christ, our Lord.

He was called Peter, which is the Greek equivalent of the Syriac name Cephas of which he was also called.

I believe Jesus will give us a new name according to how He thinks of us, just as He did to Peter.

As Christians we are all strangers in this world, because Heaven is our true home!

*****1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Who are the elect? These are all the Body of Christ, called the Saints of God. Not as the Roman Catholic do, but all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior after being called of God and Baptized into the family of the Church.

Father God calls each of these His Jewels!

Mal_3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day “when I make up my jewels”; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

How do we know we are the elect?

We have been and are continuously being “sanctified” by the Holy Spirit!

We have been washed in the blood of Jesus!

Election is the source of salvation!

Again election is being called of God,

Saying yes to the truth of Jesus, washed in His blood,

Being filled with the Holy Spirit!

Having a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!

Being the elect means we are being obedient to the Word of God and connected to God by His GRACE!

God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense

You see if God loves believers this much, to actually choose us out of this world and elect us to be His very own chosen people, then God will look after us and take extreme care for us!

No matter what else is going on in this world God will provide for His elect children!

God has foreknowledge which means no matter how far we can see into our future God has already seen it!

God knows exactly what all men will do and when they will do it, but God knows the past, the present and the future, all at the same time!

God sent the Lord Jesus Christ to die for our sins!

Act 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Act 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

God knew the response of the people to the Messiah then and He knows the response of the people to the second coming of the Messiah and most of all God knows those who love Him!

This is the very reason that we can read the Word of God and know it is true!

The foreknowledge of God is a wonderful truth of God that we can depend upon as believers!

The Book of Revelation is all about reveling our future and the future of the Jewish people!

Why did God allow all the things to happen in the past if God knew all these things?

God wants a people, “of their own free will”, to choose to live with Him throughout eternity!

You see, God is willing to go through the pains of rejection in order that some, a small remnant will choose to live with Him forever!

God knows that love, His love, is His greatest trait and most of the world would never understand His love!

Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Rom 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Though all we see now is hate in our world, this does not negate the fact that love is the greatest force that exist upon this earth, of course besides our prayers.

Nothing teaches us love better than the words given by the Holy Spirit to the Apostle John.

1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

God is determined to see these things through till completion!

We may not understand everything in the plan of God, but we do not know the things God knows.

God just ask us to trust Him and this trust is called “Faith”!

We must understand that all things do work according to the purpose of God!

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

We must also know that God has great plans for those who have chosen to spend eternity with His Son!

1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Again we see that word “love”.

Remember what is God’s purpose?

God is seeking all those who freely choose the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and choose to live with Him throughout eternity!

Once we have chosen to do this thing, God begins the sanctification process by sending the Holy Spirit to live within us therefore sealing us as His children.

2Co 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

God would not have repeated Himself these 3 times if this was not His intention and His truth!

The most important thing we can do is to respond to the Holy Spirit when He begins His work within us!

It is by the Holy Spirit that we are set apart for salvation!
It is by the Holy Spirit we are trained to live a life in Heaven that is totally different than this life we have on earth.

In the end when we are completely sanctified, we will be “glorified”, ready to be obedient to the Lord throughout all eternity!

You see God wants the very best for us!

2Co 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

You see this is the way “grace” is multiplied toward God children!

It is those chosen of God who are washed with the blood of Jesus, filled and sealed with the Holy Spirit and sanctified who are the very ones who bless God!

*****1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

There is no way to improve on what the Holy Spirit is teaching us in this passage and Peter knew it when He penned it!

We must only believe!

God does not just give us hope, but He gives us a living hope, which means it is not a dead, lifeless hope, that is in this world and those who trust the world.
The hope that we had when we were in the world!

Our hope is in the promise of God which says we will live with Him forever once He calls us home!

The source of that hope is in God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

We should say Lord because He is our Lord!

Jesus Christ is our Lord!
He is Jesus the Carpenter of Nazareth!
He is Christ the Messiah of God was the promised Deliverer!

When we follow the Lord Jesus Christ, God becomes our Father as He is the Father of Jesus. Two parts of the Holy Triunity, adding to the Holy Spirit which makes the three parts, the three persons!

How are we blessed of God?

We are the blessed of God’s entire creation!
We are blessed in His Son Jesus!
We are blessed by the Angels!
We are blessed by God’s called ministers!
We are blessed by the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!
We are blessed by the Word of God!
We are blessed in His promises!
We are blessed in His salvation.
We are in blessed in being adopted into His family!
We are blessed in being at peace while we remain in this world!

All these things are the most wonderful things we can know while we are alive!

Eternal life exists nowhere else certainly not on this world!

Eternal life can only come by and through the Lord Jesus Christ!

Jesus Christ is perfect, and it is by Jesus Christ we can have the perfect victory!

We have been begotten which means God has made us to be “new creatures”.

All we see in this world is destruction and death.

We are born as babes in an evil and wicked land, we live in a cruel world in a life that soon seems too short and then we die!

By the Lord Jesus Christ we are “born again” into a new life that will not be on this earth but in the Glory Land!

This great blessing of God came by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ!

This great blessing came by the “resurrection” of Christ Jesus showing that He is even Lord over death!

Just so we can get a glimpse of our blessings, verse 4, we are born again to an inheritance, a shared inheritance with the Lord Jesus Christ!

What is so good about our inheritance? It is incorruptible, it is undefiled, and it will be there when we get to Heaven.

It cannot perish! Things on earth come as new and fade with oldness but not our inheritance!

Who makes sure these things are ready when we get to Heaven?

Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Joh 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

We know that the Lord has to power to do all these things!

2Co 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
2Co 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

We know that whatever comes against us and whatever lies the Devil tells our Father, Jesus is right there to intercede on our behalf!

Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

God hides us from trouble that we do not even know about:

Psa 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

This is the kind of power that gives us the hope of the truth of our salvation!

It is in all these things that we can rejoice in the truth of God!

*****1Pe 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

We know that life is full of trials and temptations! Anyone but a child can look around and see that this true.

To go along with these things there are the sins of omission and sins of commission as we are all sinners.

Life can be harsh many times, and this is just as true for believers and unbelievers. The believer can add to these things the hatred for Jesus Christ that is many times taken out on His believers!

We must understand that this world we live in operates opposite of God! The world will hate those who choose to believe what God has to say!

Peter is writing to all believers.

These believers in the day of Peter had to flee from their homes because of their love for Jesus Christ.

Jesus said these trials and temptations would only last for a season.

Because all these things are true, then we can rejoice because this is just another way that we know the Word of God is true!

Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Php 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The darkness of our world is a fact and we should not deny it!

The two things that hold us together should be our love for our Savior and “faith” in the things He has done to bring to us His gift of salvation.

*****1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

The fact is, God will allow certain trials to test our “faith”!

God knows what He is going to do all the time, but He will test us so that we can know if we are for real.

When we know we are real, we can do the work God has ask us to do, without regret.

We must come to ourselves knowing that we are for real and then dedicate ourselves to the Lord!

It is these trials and temptations that will draw us closer to the Lord!

While we are “Born Again” we share our new man with our old life, and we can have rejoicing in the new man and heaviness of temptation in our old man!

Isa 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

Another thing we must understand is, as long as God is chastening us, it shows His great love for us!

2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Heaven and the things of Heaven are eternal!

*****1Pe 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Today my heart and my faith are my eyes. If is cannot lord the Lord without seeing Him, how can I say I have “faith”?

It is because I can see my Lord in my heart, that I can defeat my trials and temptations!

I also know that if I go against my God in any way, I am committing treason!

If we die without God, we will be exiled and cut off from God forever.

Go back and read about God’s creations, because none of these things will be in Hell, except the unbeliever!

God created Hell for the unholy trio and the fallen angels, only the unbelievers will join them there of their own choice!

Each of them will have gotten an opportunity to come to the Lord but rejected His offer!

We all have the strength to conquer our trials and temptations, but many Christians walk around defeated. A defeated Christian is of no value to the work of God!

It is the “Love of Jesus Christ” that gives us strength to claim victory over all obstacles upon this earth!

When we fail because of disobedience we are rebelling against our Lord!

If we love Christ enough, we will take a stand with Him!
If our faith is real, we will stand with Him!
If we have that unspeakable joy of our salvation, we will stand with the Lord!

Joh 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Joh 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Joh 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Joh 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Resting at the end of our faith is our salvation!

*****1Pe 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

Even today, the practicing Jews and the true Muslim are looking for a Messiah, but both are looking for some man to claim to be the Messiah.

Jesus Christ was and is, God in the flesh and He is coming again in strength and power.

They do not understand a personal relationship with God.

To the Jews, they will see the truth at that time!

To the Muslim, they will be disappointed because they serve a false god who has no power to do anything!

Salvation is having a close personal relationship with Jehovah God, peace restored like the first days of Adam, when God walked with him before sin entered into this world.

Lucifer had already sinned in Heaven, and he by temptation, caused Eve to sin who was the cause of Adam’s sin!

The prophets of God could not see that personal relationship that God wants with us all.

The plan of God is so marvelous, that it hides in plain sight for all those who reject it’s truth!

Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The prophets searched each other’s writings to see what they could find about “Grace” and “Salvation”.

*****1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

We already know that the Spirit God would guide these prophets in any manner He chose to reveal the truth of God.

The prophets revealed that the Messiah would come into the world to die.

The Messiah would take the guilt of the sin of man and bear the judgment of all men’s sin!

Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The Jews had missed this Prophecy.

Then the Messiah would be raised from the dead and be exalted to the throne of God.

Isa 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
Isa 25:9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

These are not the only Scriptures, there are others, but we can see that Peter now knew the truth, and all the Jews should have known this truth, but the Priests, the Levites, rejected these truths.

*****1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

God has caused “Salvation” to be destined to all future believers in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the truth of the Scriptures!

Upon a profession of faith in the work of the Lord Jesus, The Messiah, the Holy Spirit would immediately take up residence in each believer and this one thing the angels cannot understand.

Angels as powerful as they are will never know Holy Ghost conviction and neither will they ever have the “fruit of the Spirit”!

As Christians we are no longer in bondage to this world

Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Salvation has come to each and every believer, no matter who they are or where they come from!

It costs us so little, but the rewards are so great, that it takes a fool to reject the truth of God.

It takes a fool to reject the Lord Jesus Christ!


Let’s Pray!

The Promise Of The Holy Spirit

The Promise Of The Holy Spirit

Book of Acts Chapter 2:1-47

Focus: 2:1-6, 22-24, 36-42, 46, 47

It must be very clear to us all, The Holy Spirit is a member of the Triune God. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. This is the God of the Bible!

In Genesis 1:26 it says “Let Us” and these words mean, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit!

A Personality can best be described as as possessing an intellect, having emotions, and having will. As we go through the Book of Acts we will see that the Holy Spirit possesses all these traits and much, much, more.

1.) Intellect: The Holy Spirit searches for the answers from God.

1Co 2:10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: [for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God].

2.) Knowledge: The Holy Spirit knows the thoughts of God.

1Co 2:11  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? [even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God].

3.) Mind: The Holy Spirit knows how God thinks.

Eph 1:17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, [may give unto you the “spirit of wisdom” and revelation in the knowledge of “him”]:

4.) Emotions: The Holy Spirit has feelings, and is aware of our feelings and has the ability to respond to our needs.

Eph 4:30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

5.) Will: The Holy Spirit has will.

Jas 1:18  Of “his own will” begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

An example:

Act 16:6  Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and [were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia],

Each of us have similar traits and in these ways we are made in the image of God but we lack the one main thing and that is “Power”.

2Ti 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; “but of power”, and of love, and of a sound mind.

This why the Holy Spirit comes to live with us after we have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior!

This is why it is the individual believer that is the Church and not some building or some man-made structure!

SO, What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

This is defined as the work whereby the Holy Spirit places every believer into union with Christ Jesus and into a union with every other believer as the “Body of Christ”.

1Co 12:13  For by “one Spirit” are we all baptized into “one body”, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made “to drink into one Spirit”.

So let’s begin our lesson:

*****Act 2:1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

This day at Pentecost will give us an example of the Power Of the Holy Spirit.

The “ministry” of the Holy Spirit is to “Glorify Christ Jesus” in the life and the witness of every believer!

Joh 16:14  He shall glorify me: “for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you”.

Pentecost means 50Th and it was held 50 days after the “Feast of the firstfruits”.

The Passover is a picture or a “type” of the “death” of the Lamb of God.

The Feast of the Firstfruits is a picture or a “type” of the “resurrection” of the Lamb of God.

The Feast of Pentecost is a picture or a “type” of the formation of the early Church.

There was no “Power” to form the Church without the “power” of the Holy Spirit!

Another thing we should realize is that because of all the things that had happened:

1.) The day of this feast.

2.) The death, burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

3.) The raising of Lazarus.

There were probably more people in Jerusalem than at any other time up until that day!

Those first believers were in “one accord” and believed all these things!

They now realized the plan of God!

Notice that Pentecost was always observed on the day “after the Sabbath” or Sunday, the 50th day not the 49th day.

The Church had it’s beginnings on “The Lord’s Day”.

The Resurrection was on the 1st day of the week, “The Lord’s Day”!

The tithes and offerings were gathered on The Lord’s Day!

This day was a once in a life time event and it will never happen again!

There can only be one day that the Church Age began because there was only one Calvary!

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

We can be sure that the Holy Spirit has not made Himself visible in this passage!

These 120 disciples of the Lord heard “a sound”.

“A sound” more like a tornado than just a normal windy day.

*****Act 2:3  And there appeared unto them “cloven tongues” like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

Cloven means divided into two parts, much like the hoofs of an animal. Most of these type of animals were considered clean to the Jew.

These were not hooves but resembled a flickering flame.

Tongues means “languages” in every place it is mentioned in the Bible that is not talking of “that piece of meat in our mouths”.

These are the only two uses of the word “tongues” in the Bible!

These tongues looked as fire, BUT “they were not fire”!

They flickered as a fire does!

When the Holy Spirit came into this upper room, there was an appeal to the eye and to the ear!

Any “baptism of fire” is for all those who reject Jesus Christ as their Savior and is a sign of “Judgment”!

BUT, For God to reveal Himself by resembling fire was not unusual and these Jews had seen this in the Word of God, such as Moses and the burning bush that would not burn up.

On this day of Pentecost this “sign” showed “these 120 Jews” that God was present in the room with them!

This “sign” also indicated that God was approving the beginning of the Church Age!

Fire is also a “sign” of Judgment and all those that refused the message of Peter that day would be judged for their unbelief which is the only sin that will send you to Hell!

These in that upper room were to be Baptized with the Holy Spirit and not with fire!

Jesus said:

Joh 16:9  Of sin, “because they believe not on me”;

All other sin can be forgiven except the “Sin Of Unbelief”!

*****Act 2:4  And they were filled with the Holy Ghost, “and began to speak with other tongues”, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

You see the Church has “no power” until the believer is filled with the Holy Ghost and Only God can baptize us with His Holy Spirit!

This filling for salvation can only happen “One Time”!

Tit 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, “by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost”;
Tit 3:6  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

And is given at the very moment of salvation:

Eph 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: “in whom also after that ye believed”, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

BUT, we need to pray for a constant filling to do our work for God!

Act 4:31  “And when they had prayed”, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

A study of this Book of Acts will reveal that biblical tongues were always languages.

It will also reveal that the tongues of Acts and Corinthians are the same.

It will also reveal that tongues are a gift of the Holy Spirit and actually a lesser gift than the gift of preaching, teaching, and witnessing.

And it will also reveal that tongues will one day cease when their usefulness was complete and this gift ceased to be given by the Holy Spirit when the Apostles had all died.

Tongues were a “sign gift” belonging only to the early Church and used only for the Jews and not the Gentiles:

1Co 13:9  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1Co 13:10  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
1Co 13:11  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: “but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

What is the truth of tongues?

1Co 14:22  Wherefore tongues “are for a sign”, not to them that believe, [but to them that believe not]: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

We should be clear in this matter!

What we need to realize is that on this day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit also began His work of holding back “that Wicked” so the Church would have time to do the work of Our Lord:

2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

We use this verse a lot to show us that this work of the Holy Spirit will cease at the “Rapture” of the Church!

*****Act 2:5  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

As we said earlier many people had come from everywhere for not only for the Feast but to see the Resurrected Christ and the Raised Lazarus.

But there were also many devout Jews that had made their homeward journey back to Jerusalem after their ancestors had been scattered out for so long.

It can be said that this proof that there are no lost tribes of Israel!

*****Act 2:6  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, [because that every man heard them speak in his own language].

That word “noised” is the Greek word “phone” which means they used their voices to broadcast this message!

No one spoke in some angelic language and no one heard some angelic language!

People heard the Word of God spoken in their own language and even in their own dialect!

There was no one that did not understand that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was being spoken that first day of the early Church!

What can be said is that this day of Pentecost was a reversal of that day at the Tower of Babel!

At the Tower of Babel and at God’s presence and at His “Judgment” people were scattered by the different languages because they could not understand each other “but at this Pentecost” believers were united by languages because they understood the Word of God and that it was for all people and all nations!

What was that message they heard?

*****Act 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Act 2:22  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

Our lesson did not cover verse 21 but it  needs to be mentioned also. The Apostle Peter was referring to the prophecy of the Book of Joel 2:32.

Joe 2:32  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

This prophecy has not been fulfilled even up to the time of our day. This will take place near the end of the Great Tribulation when the Lord will call out His remnant of the Jews.

Zec 13:9  And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

This same verse is mentioned by Peter and also by Paul:

Rom 10:13  For “whosoever” shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

This verse shows us that from this day of Pentecost, that “whosoever” (no matter where they come from) calls on the name of the Lord, “Shall Be Saved up until the Day of Judgment”!

The Church Age did not begin until the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit.

It is this day that believers were introduced to the Body of Christ!

Vs 22)

We have already said that the main reason that Jerusalem had its greatest crowd this day was because they had heard of all the things of Jesus Christ.

1.) They had heard of Jesus of Nazareth, a fulfillment of prophecy.

2.) They had heard that Jesus was the Messiah, a fulfillment of prophecy.

3.) They had heard of all the miracles and wonders, a fulfillment of prophecy.

4.) Many that were at this gathering had been “eye witnesses” to most all of these things, including those 120 that had been in the upper room.

5.) Peter was preaching the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

6.) And it is the truth that “makes” not “sets”, us free!

If you are only set free you may be caught again But when you are MADE FREE, you are indeed free forever!

*****Act 2:23  Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel [and foreknowledge of God], ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

We must believe that none of these things that had happened were outside the “Will of God”.

This had been God’s plan all along! This is the same plan that Satan had tried, to no avail, to stop ever since his attack on Adam and Eve!

Isa 53:10  Yet “it pleased the LORD” to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

*****Act 2:24  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: [because it was not possible that he should be holden of it].

It was an incredible thing that Jesus, The Son of Man, should be defeated by death!

To some this was a terrible crime!

BUT in reality it was God’s victory!

The Greek word “odin” translated “pains” means “birth pains”!

In other words that “tomb” where they laid our Lord Jesus was more a “womb” out of which Jesus was “born” into Resurrected Glory!

Act 13:33  God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, [Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee].

And what was the importance of all this to the Jew and to the Church?

*****Act 2:36  [Therefore] let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

“Jesus” was His human name and as Savior, He was ordained of God Himself!

Mat 1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

“Christ” which means “Messiah” the “Anointed One”, is the title representing His threefold office as “Prophet”, “Priest”, And “King”!

First to Israel and “then to all nations on this Earth”!

“LORD” to “whosoever” will call on His name for salvation!

Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth “the Lord Jesus”, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Thus His full name “The Lord Jesus Christ”!

*****Act 2:37  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?

The “convicting” work of the Holy Spirit is shown in this verse:

1Co 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe”.

Holy Ghost conviction is at work here:

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, ‘and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart’.

So what can we do?

*****Act 2:38  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.

Repenting is not just saying “I’m  Sorry”!

Repenting is a Complete Change Of Mind:

Php 1:27  “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ”: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Php 1:28  And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

Both Repentance and Baptism must be done in the name of Jesus Christ!

Repenting is the “coming” to Christ, and Baptism is the “evidence” of repentance!

Act 8:36  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; [what doth hinder me to be baptized]?
Act 8:37  And Philip said, [If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest]. And he answered and said, [I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God].

If we do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, The Messiah sent from Heaven, then we are not believers and therefore cannot be saved!

We can take as many dunks in the water as we want but we are only washing the skin and “not cleansing the soul”.

*****Act 2:39  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.

The “Gospel Message” is for all nations and “not just for the Jews”!

I am so glad I was one of those that was included in those that were “afar off”!

This verse is also an encouragement to parents. It shows the gradual progress of the Holy Spirits work, beginning with each individual, extending to the family, and then to the uttermost parts of the world.

The call of the Gospel is not confined to one nation, nor to one age, while we are still in the Church Age!

Psa 85:9  Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
Psa 85:10  Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Psa 85:11  Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Psa 85:12  Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
Psa 85:13  Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

The message then and the message today is verse 40!

*****Act 2:40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

There can be no doubt the intent of this verse. We are to get away from all false religion and all unbelievers and cling to the Lord Jesus Christ!

“Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded”

We must focus on the Lord and make the right choice!

2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

We must completely separate ourselves from the world we live in!

Not to be a hermit but to be mentally separated by the Word of God.

Pro 9:6  Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

We must quit being foolish and trust in the truth of the Word of God.

*****Act 2:41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

What is the first thing we notice here?

When those 3000 were saved they did not just step back into the world but they stayed in the church under the preacher and were taught the truth of the Word of God.

They knew there was real a need to know the Word of God!

That word “fellowship” did not just mean associating with the Apostles and the other disciples.

To the early Christian it included having all things in common!

Rom 15:26  For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.

To be a Christian in this day of the early church would mean excommunication from the Jewish religion and also the Jewish way of life and there was a great need to share in order to survive.

“Fellowship” today is to be understood by every believer as to break down the barriers that exist between all peoples.

It is a truth that the word “race” came from the teachings of Evolution.

God never uses any such thing in His Word!

There are only Jews and Gentiles!

Red and yellow, black and white, they are “all” so very precious in His Sight!

In God’s sight there is “no human” that is “Common”!

Heb 13:16  But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

So what are the signs of the true church:

1.) A true church will continue stedfastly in the “Apostles Doctrine”!

Not some new man-made interpretation but the correct doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Heb 1:2  “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son”, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

2.) There must be true “Fellowship”! A sharing of all the things in Jesus Christ!

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

3.) There will be a breaking of bread.

This more than just going through the ritual of The Lord’s Supper.

This means a true relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ!

1Jn 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1Jn 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us.

4.) The true Church will always be a house of prayer!

Mar 11:17  And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations “the house of prayer”? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

*****Act 2:46  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 2:47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

To these of the early church it was not enough for them to meet only once a week.

They met daily!

They cared daily!

They witnessed daily and souls were added daily!

Their Christian faith was a day-by-day reality not a once-a-week routine!

It was by the Resurrection Power of God and the filling of the Holy Spirit and Faith in the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that formed the early church and it is only by these things “and MUCH Prayer” that the Church can do a work in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord!


Let’s Pray!