‘And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance’ Acts 2:4
“This Jesus … having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:32,33)
In our last few studies in the Gospel, we have heard how the Lord Jesus fulfilled all that God’s prophets wrote long befo-rehand concerning the Me-ssiah’s death and resurrection. We read that Jesus shed His holy blood on the cross to which He was nailed, to pay the debt of sin for the children of Adam. We saw also that He was taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb. However,
on the third day,
God raised Him up from the dead! After Jesus had risen, He appeared to His disciples for forty days, proving to them that He truly was alive. Then in our last lesson, we saw Jesus ascend into heaven while His disciples looked on.
Do you remember the last thing Jesus commanded His disciples, before He went up to heaven? Let us read again what He said: (Acts 1:4-11) “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard from me. For John truly baptised with water; but
ye shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit
not many days from now. When they, therefore, were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power,
after the Holy Spirit is come upon you;
and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And, when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?
This same Jesus,
who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven”.
Thus Jesus parted with His disciples, returned to Heaven from where He had come, and sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. That is where He remains today, awaiting the moment when
Did you see what Jesus commanded His disciples before He ascended to heaven? He commanded them to stay in Jerusalem
until they were clothed with the Holy Spirit,
who was to come from heaven. Perhaps some of you are still wondering: Who is this Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, one with the Father, one with the Son. He is One with them, yet distinct from them. He is the Spirit who inspired the prophets to write and to announce the Word of God in early times. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Most High who descended on a virgin by the name of Mary and enabled her to conceive and give birth to the holy Child Jesus. He is the Spirit who was in the Messiah, Jesus. Also, the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, whom Jesus promised His disciples when He said to them, “And I will pray the Father, and
he shall give you another Comforter,
that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you”. (John 14:16,17)
What Jesus promised His disciples concerning the coming of this Comforter
is important for us
to understand, because some today want to make people believe that Jesus was announcing the coming of another prophet. But the Comforter whom the Lord Jesus promised cannot be a human being, because Jesus stated clearly that the Comforter was pure Spirit, and that no one could see Him, and that He would live inside Christ’s disciples forever. So
He is the Spirit whom God places in the hearts of all who believe in the Lord Jesus. He cleanses them, strengthens them, marks them as His own, and gives them a share in His holy presence forever.
We are going to see how God poured out His Holy Spirit on Jesus’ disciples on
the day of Pentecost.
Pentecost was a festival God had established for the Israelites in the time of the prophet Moses. You can read about it in the book of Leviticus. On this day the Israelites would thank God for the prosperity which He had given them in the harvest of the wheat crop. However, there was an even more important meaning to the Pentecost festival. Pentecost was the day God chose long beforehand to send down the Holy Spirit to live in all the children of Adam who truly believe in the Messiah. Just as the Pentecost festival took place fifty days after the Passover feast, so God planned to send down the Holy Spirit
after Jesus the Messiah died and rose again.
Now let us continue in the Word of God to see what happened after Jesus bid farewell to His disciples and returned to heaven. The Scripture says: (Acts 1:12-14) “Then returned they unto Jerusa-lem from the mount called
which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James, the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas, the son of James. These all continued
with one accord
in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren”.
(Acts 2:1-17,21-27,29-40) “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind, and
it filled all the house
where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And
and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem the Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because every man heard them speak in his own language. And
they were all amazed and marvelled,
saying one to another, Behold, are not these who speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and sojourners of Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans, and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another,
What meaneth this?
Others, mocking, said, These men are full of new wine.
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words; for
these are not drunk,
as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken through the prophet, Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh … And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 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; Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and fore-knowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain; whom
having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it. For David speaketh concerning him: I foresaw the Lord always before my face; for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved. Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover my flesh shall also rest in hope, because
thou wilt not leave my soul to the grave,
neither wilt thou allow thine Holy One to see corruption … Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he, seeing this before, spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in the grave, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received from the Father the promise the Holy Spirit,
he hath shed forth this,
which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens; but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Now when they heard this,
and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and
ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
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. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation”.
Dear Friend, did you really hear Peter’s sermon? In summary, he proclaimed to the crowd in Jerusalem that God had sent the Messiah, Jesus,
just as He promised
long ago through His prophets. Peter told them: You despised the Messiah whom God sent from heaven! You murdered Him by nailing him to a cross, but God raised Him from the dead! We are all witnesses of it! God has exalted Jesus to His right hand and has sent the Holy Spirit
whom He promised!
Repent and turn to God! Believe the message of God’s prophets! Believe in Jesus whom God has appointed to be the Savior and Judge of the world!
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive the remission of sins” (Acts 10:43)
Thus did the apostle Peter proclaim the Good News of salvation
through faith in Jesus the Messiah.
When the crowd heard Peter’s words, they felt great pain in their hearts because they now recognized that Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had nailed to the cross, was the Lord of Glory from heaven! This Jesus, whom they had scorned and hated, was the Messiah whom God had promised long ago
through His prophets!
Thus, on that day, many repented of their sins, turned to God, and believed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. These new disciples were baptised in water to give public testimony to the fact that they had been cleansed from their sin
in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Being baptised in water did not wash away their sin—it was only an outward sign of the cleansing that had already taken place on the inside.
And so, the Scripture says: “And they that gladly received his word were baptised; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And
they continued stead-fastly
in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers … And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:41,42; 13:52) Thus, on that day of Pentecost, the church—the assembly of those who believe in Jesus Christ—was born. The church of Jesus is not a building or a religion. The word for church in Greek is “Ekklesia” meaning
“called out ones.”
Just as there are true believers and false believers in the world today, there is also a true church and a false church. The true church of Jesus Christ is composed of all who, since that day of Pentecost, have been transferred from Adam’s family to Christ’s family by sincere faith in Christ’s perfect, finished sacrifice.
The events of Pentecost we have heard about happened about two thousand years ago. Perhaps this will cause some to say, “This is of no concern to me! I was not one of those who crucified the Messiah! The Jews and the Romans did it! I didn’t have a thing to do with it!” However, God’s Word tells us that the Messiah “was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5)
Our transgressions were the reason God permitted man to nail His Beloved One to a cross! Man crucified Jesus, but God raised Him from the dead, to be the Savior of all who believe, and the Judge of all who do not believe. Thus, the Scriptures declare: “(God) commands all men everywhere to repent, because
he hath appointed a day,
in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; concerning which he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30,31)
Think carefully about this word, because your eternal destiny depends on how you respond to it.
God bless you as you think about what the apostle of Christ, Peter, proclaimed, saying,
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive the remission of sins … (and) the gift of the Holy Spirit!” (Acts 10:43; 2:38)
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