Pentecost

Pentecost

Scripture: Acts 2:32-33, Acts 2:1-4, John 14:16
Date: 07/14/2018  Lesson: 2
"The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost revealed a crucial truth about what happened in heaven and about how God the Father accepted Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of the world."

The Purpose of Pentecost - DVD or Digital Download

The Purpose of Pentecost - DVD or Digital Download

Point of No Return (PB) by Joe Crews

Point of No Return (PB) by Joe Crews
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Hello, friends, we like to welcome you once again to Sabbath School Study Hour, coming to you from Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. Very warm welcome to our online members, and those who are joining us online, and also on the various television networks around the world. And also warm welcome to our regular members and our visitors right here at Granite Bay. It's good to be able to gather together on a Sabbath morning and study the lesson together. We've got a brand new lesson quarterly.

Actually this is the second lesson in our new quarterly dealing with the book of acts. It's simply entitled the book of acts, and today we're looking at lesson number two that's talking about pentecost, so a very important and exciting study that we'll be getting to hear in just a few moments. But before we get to our lesson, I'd like to let our friends know about a free offer that we'd like to make available to you. If you would like to receive a dvd that will tell you more about pentecost, we'd ask you to call our resource phone line and that number is 866-788-3966, and you can ask for offer number 824. We'll be happy to send that dvd to anybody who calls and asks, or you're able to get that dvd downloaded in a digital format simply by texting the code "sh085" to the number 40544.

You'll then receive a link, and you click on the link, and you'll be able to download that special dvd free offer for today. But before we get to our study as we always do, we'd like to begin by lifting our voices in song. I'd like to invite The Song leaders to come forward and they'll lead us together this morning. Dear Father in Heaven, once again we are grateful for the opportunity to gather together and open up Your Word and study this important message found in the book of acts, this great outpouring of the Holy Spirit that helped to begin the Christian era. And, Lord, we look forward to a special outpouring of your spirit in our time that will help finish the proclamation of the Gospel that has to go to the world.

Thank you so much for singing. So blessed our time together this morning, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson today is going to be brought to us by dr. David derose. Thank you.

Well, it's good to continue on the journey together. We're just off on this excursion if you will through the book of acts. The book of acts, we're on lesson two as pastors John already mentioned and the topic is on pentecost. Perhaps, you've been there before. You've been in a position where you were given a job or a task to do and you felt totally unequipped to do it.

Can you relate to that? I don't know, it seems in my experience that God has this amazing ability of putting me in places where I don't feel I'm able to surround the task at hand. Can you relate to that? Put yourself in the position of the early church. Last week as we study together, we were looking at acts 1, and I invite you to turn back there for a commissioning that Jesus gave. Luke gives it in short order in the book of acts. Of course, Luke is the author of acts as well as the author of the Gospel that bears his name.

And as we turn there to acts 1, we're going to catch a commission that I think the disciples had to feel totally unequipped to fulfill. Acts 1, these actually are the words of Jesus. And let's look at beginning with verse 7, so acts 1:7. Jesus says to them, "it's not for you to know the times or the seasons which The Father has put in his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and samaria, and to the end of the earth.

" How do you decide whether you're equipped to take on a certain role? If I were to walk up to you after the Sabbath school lesson, I say, "would you be so kind as to..." Fill in the blank. You know, "fix my car this weekend for me." What would you use to judge whether you were able to fulfill that request? Yes, past experience, right? Isn't that how we typically work as humans? "Oh, yeah, I can do that. I fix cars many times, would be happy to come over tomorrow and fix your vehicle." Based on past experience, how well equipped were the disciples to be the witnesses of Jesus? First of all, just in Jerusalem, how they had done to this point? They hadn't done too well, had they? I mean at the cross who was there giving that grand sermon pointing to the significance of Jesus' death and the fulfillment of the sanctuary, who was there preaching at the cross? Nobody, they were all hiding, right? Well, John, you say was still there, Peter tarried around long enough to deny his Lord, but just looking at externals, you would say, here was a commission they were not equipped to fulfill. And in fact, the very request of Jesus implies that if they looked at themselves, they would say there's no way we could do it. Look at the verse.

In verse 7 and 8, Jesus actually implies that looking at themselves they would say, we are not equipped to do this, we don't have the power. What is there in the verse that tells us that Jesus understood how they felt? You pick it up there in verse 8 of acts 1. You see it, don't you? "He's assuring them that you'll receive power." If I assure you that you'll receive power, what does that imply? Yeah, that you don't have power right now. We're in a fairly rural location, and every now and then we might flip on the light switch and there's no power. And if we call the power company, what do they do? There's often an automated message that they're working on restoring power to our area.

And in so many words they're saying, "you shall receive power." They may even give us a time, "power is expected to be restored between midnight and two in the morning." Have you got messages like that? But it would do no good if we already had power. "You shall receive power." Well, that's the background, that was our lesson study last week, but now here we are in acts 2. It is some 50 days after those terrible events, terrible at least in the experience of the disciples on golgotha. Jesus, the one who they looked to as being the Savior they thought, it was all over. You remember those disciples on the emmaus road.

They said, we thought it was him that was going to deliver Israel, right? Now here we are just some seven weeks later, go with me there to acts 2, that's where our lesson picks up. Disciples feeling powerless, now assured after the resurrection that they are serving a risen Savior, that their hopes were not misplaced, Jesus has shown them over the course of a short time on this planet after his resurrection, physically present that the Gospel was true, that their faith was not unfounded, and now they've been holding out in Jerusalem waiting for the promise of the Holy Spirit. Here we are now in acts 2:1, it says, "when the day of pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." Now I don't know if you've noticed this about the Scriptures, but many times if there's a key thought or a very important concept, it's not mentioned only once. So if you look at acts 1 and 2, do you see this succinct description of the disciples and how they were together, do you see it mentioned anywhere else? Help me out. In acts 1 and 2, do you see anywhere else where acts 2:1, the same concept is communicated? Good.

I see many of you cogitating. This is a good sign. Okay, someone says, "acts 1:14." That's exactly what I was thinking of. There might be some other places where you get this sense. But in acts 1:14, let's look there, is speaking and it actually, it goes so far, Luke does as he's writing the account, he names the 11 remaining disciples.

Of course, Judas is not among them, having hung himself. And after naming these 11 disciples, it says in verse 14, "these all continued with one accord in prayer, and supplication with the women, and mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers." I mean, catch the significance of what's being communicated in acts 1:14, and then again in acts 2:1. If we were to talk about the disciples before the cross, what setting are the disciples usually described in? What is their emotional state? Yeah, they're jostling for position, right? You know, who's going to be the greatest. Jesus is trying to prepare them for the cross and what's going on? You know, who's going to be number one? By the way, can this happen in Christian churches today? Can people be concerned about their position in the church or their position in a Christian organization? Now what's amazing to me, this is human nature, but God is transcending human nature even before the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. So the Holy Spirit is already at work, there's no question.

The disciples now instead of arguing about who is the greatest, they're all with one accord in one place. Who else is there according to acts 1:14? Who else is there? The mother of Jesus, the women, and in that society, you know, women didn't have much position. Here they are women in the intimate circle of believers, it's the whole church, it's the world church, it's there, it's just a smaller group at that time. And who else you catch, who else is there? Jesus' brothers, the half brothers of Jesus, some of them later went on to write books of the Bible, do you realize that? Jude wrote a book. Who was Jude? He's the brother of Jesus.

Was there another half brother of Jesus that wrote a Bible book? James, that's right. The James who wrote the book of James was not the apostle James. James was the first martyr. The James of the 12 was the first martyr among the 12. But James who wrote the Bible book was the half brother of Jesus.

They gave Jesus a terrible time and we picked that up through the Gospels. Now, after the resurrection of Jesus, they're all together, and that's the picture in acts 2 as it opens up. We've got a group of people that were disunified, they've come together. And I ask the question, as often we talk about the importance of revival and reformation, we talk about praying for the Holy Spirit. Are we picking up on an implicit perhaps condition of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? Is there in the text, the suggestion that if we're looking for a full measure of the Holy Spirit to be poured out, that there is something that we may need to do? And what is it? Empty ourselves to self, come close to one another, be of one mind, be of one accord.

How easy is that to do? I would suggest that it's impossible. Humanly speaking, it is impossible, but through the power of the Holy Spirit as we'll see God wants to give us that power to be his witnesses. Well, here we are, acts 2:1. All these folks are together, it is the day of pentecost. So let's pick up the story in our lesson here.

I'm actually going to Sunday's lesson where it speaks about the coming of the Holy Spirit, and it might be wise if you're not following along in the quarterly, you can pick this up. If you're attending here, you can pick it up right out in the foyer. But if you're not attending, you can actually go to the Amazing Facts website, and you can actually download the lesson or pick up a link so that you can study along. But Sabbath is speaking about this concept that we've been alluding to and maybe we should just dwell on this a little bit longer. In fact maybe to make it even more practical, we could look at another example of a calling that may seem difficult if not impossible.

One of our readers there, he has a passage in 1 Thessalonians 5 that we'll read in just a moment, so we'll be reading from 1 Thessalonians 5. But I want to catch this vision just before we go a little bit more into the narrative. And the idea is that if we're looking at ourselves as to whether we're able to fulfill God's calling, we're looking in the wrong place, okay. The whole emphasis in the pentecost story, the whole emphasis in acts 1 and 2 is that we are unable to accomplish what God has called us to do, but he has promised us power from heaven. And so instead of… I'll be honest with you, okay? I have done those spiritual gifts inventories.

I've served as a pastor. I work with church members, and you know what happens. Many times we speak about spiritual gifts, I'll just lay it right out for you or maybe you say, "you've been in some bad places, dr. Derose." But what I find happens when we talk about spiritual gifts is the first thing I hear from people is well, you know, I don't have that gift. That's not my gift.

Have you heard that before? Maybe you've even said it. Someone's asked you to be involved in some way, "well, that's not my gift. I don't have that gift." The emphasis on spiritual gifts is not on what you naturally possess. The emphasis is on what God wants to do for you, okay. Not what gifts you have intrinsically, but what the Holy Spirit wants to do through you.

And if you catch that, that is where acts 1 and 2 starts. And if you didn't pick up on it last week, look again at acts 1, over and over again you see the Holy Spirit did this, the Holy Spirit did this, Jesus did this through the Holy Spirit. And in fact many commentators, when they look at the book of acts, they say, "well, you know, maybe it shouldn't be called the Acts of the Apostles," it should be called what? "The acts of the Holy Spirit." Okay, let's go to 1 Thessalonians 5, it's a short passage. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5 has some of the most powerful succinct Scriptures that call us to action. But listen to what we have there in 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.

"And the very God of peace sanctify you completely and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." Okay, thank you. It's a passage where Paul is speaking about sanctification, holiness, but did you catch how that passage closed. Did you catch 1 Thessalonians 5:24? "Faithful is he who calls you..." Who will what? "Who will do it." Who will do it. Wouldn't that be wonderful if in every church, in every Christian organization, in every home if you were asked to do something you would say, "really, you asked me to do that? I didn't think I could do that.

But if you're asking me to do it, I know it's going to happen." Wouldn't that be amazing? 'Cause that's what God does. So if God's asking you to do something, he's going to fully equip you to do it, and that's what the essence of acts 1 and 2 is all about. This is encouraging news for me. 'Cause many times it looks like God puts me in positions and I just, I mean I wonder why the Lord has me there. Have you been there? Yeah, you can relate.

You can relate. Well, so we're now in acts 2 and the title of this description in our lesson quarterly is the coming of the Spirit. So you've got the picture. This is one of the great feasts of the old testament church and here we are in acts 2, they are gathered together in the upper room, all the disciples, all the believers. In fact, we saw a more complete description in acts 1:14, but when we come to chapter 2, it just simply says, "they were all with one accord in one place.

" Referring to the whole visible church, and it says in verse 2, "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." Now it didn't happen to me this week, but I spent a lot of time in the medical clinic this week. And if a patient had come in to me complaining of problems in their mouth, and when I took down that, I usually use a otoscope to look in their mouth, that's usually used to look in the ear, but it's the best light source that's usually available. I grab that down off the wall and I get one of those… I sometimes describe them to the patients as delicious tongue depressors, you know, those wooden tongue depressors, and so I look in the mouth and I see their tongue is all swollen up.

Tongue is all swollen. If I were to describe that, I would, I would describe it in their medical record, type into that electronic record, what term would I use, what medical term would I use to describe their swollen tongue? Do you know? We'd actually use the term glossitis. Glossitis. You say, "okay, well, that's interesting." I didn't know we'd get a medical terminology lecture here in Sabbath school. What does glossitis have to do with what we're reading about? Well, some people say, well, you know, medicine, I mean that's latin.

It's all from latin. No, many of the medical roots are from Greek, and so the new testament was written in what language? Greek. That word glossa which refers to tongue is the very Greek word that we've been reading about the english translation in both verses 3 and 4. So it says literally, when it says there were tongues of fire on their heads, this is from that word, the Greek word glossa. There were literally tongues of fire on their head and then they began to speak in what? Again, from glossa, they began to speak in other tongues.

So the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, this physical manifestation is actually preparing those who are there to realize that what is happening is a gift of the Holy Spirit, it's a supernatural occurrence. And the very word glossa that refers to tongue is used for both what rests on the heads of the believers, as well as what comes forth from their mouth, these tongues, these languages. Now it's interesting, many people as they casually read through acts 2 were introduced in verse 5 to the devout believers that were there from all over the then known world. They had come from throughout that whole mediterranean region. They're there.

And it says, it says just amazing in verse 11 after reciting all the different languages that were there, it's mentioned at first in verse 8, "how is it that we hear each in our own language." Again in verse 11, "we hear them speaking in our own tongues, the wonderful works of God." They were nowhere to be found at the cross except for John. The disciples had scattered, they were hiding. The priests and the rulers thwart by this single manifestation of the power of the religious organization, joined to the power of rome that the believers would be driven into hiding. It would be the end, they would quelch this sect, this uprising would be over, and instead with the death of Jesus, the stage is set for this manifestation of God's power for the resurrection, and for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And now can you imagine the attitude of the religious leaders who thought they were suppressing this sect, now they see it exploding, preaching throughout Jerusalem, they're in the temple setting, the risen Christ, the risen Christ.

It's an amazing, amazing account. You know, as we look at what happened, like I said many casual readers as they read this, they say, "well, it sounds like the gift of hearing." Because they say everyone is hearing in their own language, but it's clear contextually that the gift was not a gift of hearing, it was a gift of speaking. Now there are some new testament believers, in fact many who say that this is the singular manifestation of the Holy Spirit. If you're going to be baptized, if you're going to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you will start to speak in other languages, if you heard that before. Is it true biblically, can we defend that position biblically? Well, we don't have to go really very far at all because as we read through acts 2, we will jump there or maybe we'll come back here, but come with me, we're going to look by God's grace at Peter's great sermon on the day of pentecost, but as Peter is closing his message, he makes an appeal.

And as he makes that appeal, I'm in acts 2:38. As he makes that appeal, we catch a promise there as well, a very powerful promise. In fact, you know, this is so important, you know, sometimes it helps to hear things in a different voice. I think we've got one of our readers here who's willing to read acts 2:38. Before we read that, I just want you to pick up the stream, I know we're jumping a little bit ahead, but sometimes to catch the big picture we have to look at how things begin and how things end, because many times people twist the Scriptures.

You remember, Peter was writing about it. He was speaking about how actually people even in his day twisted the Scriptures of Paul to their own destruction. You remember Peter writing about that? And so even today we can read the Scripture and we can twist it, especially if we don't look at Scripture in its whole context. So we're going to hear some reading now from toward the close of Peter's sermon, it's verses 38 and, han, please read there for us. Acts 2:38-39, "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.

For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are afar of as many as the Lord our God will call.'" Okay, so what's the promise now that Peter gives? Be baptized and what will happen? Yeah, so repent, be baptized, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. And as you read through what happens there in verse 40, many are baptized, right? How many? Verse 41, how many in acts 2? Three thousand are baptized and what happens in verse 42? By the way what doesn't happen? What is not recorded as happening after Peter has assured them that they will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit? They've just received the gift of the Holy Spirit at pentecost. They have spoken in tongues, in other languages to communicate the Gospel to foreign language speakers who are all gathered in Jerusalem. What happens now as acts 2 is concluding and others are filled with the Holy Spirit. They receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, what happens? There's no description of them speaking in other languages, but what happens immediately after in verse 42? They're all fellowshipping together.

They're all with one accord if you will. Interesting, isn't it? In the lesson, if you go to Monday's lesson, it highlights some of these other manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Now, by the way we looked at a commission at the very beginning in acts 1, Jesus had given them a commission, and that commission we said was one that humanly speaking, the disciples were ill-equipped or unequipped completely to fulfill. What was the commission? This is actually a review. So I know that many of you are not speaking up because you don't want to all speak at the same time, right? Acts 1:8, "you shall be witnesses to me" where? "In Jerusalem and in all Judea and samaria, and to the end of the earth.

" In fact many commentators as they look at acts 1:8, they say this is an outline of the book of acts. It's an outline because first, the Holy Spirit is poured out and the ministry is focused where? In Jerusalem, after the stoning of stephen, that starts to expand and as we read through acts 8, and 9, and 10, 11, where does the Gospel first expand to? Judea and samaria. So where cornelius was in acts 10, that would be included in that region of samaria. And then, after that as Paul goes out on his missionary journeys, where does it go, the Gospel? To the ends of the earth. Go with me to acts 10.

So we've just been looking at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem. When the Spirit is first poured out, it equips people who are unequipped. By the way it says, they all spoke in tongues, not just the 12. So it seems that even the women, I say even the women not to depreciate the women in our church today, but you have to realize in the early church women… in the early centuries, women did not, women were basically property in that culture. And God from the very beginning, Jesus, even as he traveled, women traveled with Jesus, this was not typical in early biblical times.

Jesus was elevating the role of women from the very beginning, and women are being shown that they have a powerful place in the ministry of the early church as they do today. And so here, the women, the brothers of Jesus, the disciples, this gift is poured out in Jerusalem. Now we're hastening over to acts 10. If you're following along in Monday's lesson, it mentions a number of these manifestations of the Spirit and it points us to acts 10:45-46. Peter has come to the house of cornelius and this lesson wants us to focus on verses 45 and 46, so let's look at that.

Actually 44 is probably a better place to start, I'm in acts 10 beginning with verse 44. It says, "while Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word." Now these are all gentiles. It says, "and those of the circumcision who believed were astonished as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the gentiles also, for they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God." Now what I want you to notice, is the first time we hear about the giving of this supernatural gift of tongues, the ability to communicate, especially the Gospel in a foreign language. We see it in acts 2 in Jerusalem, it's poured out on the then known believers. Now in acts 10, we see the same gift poured out.

God through the Holy Spirit is connecting the dots, okay? Not only is the commission to be witnesses, a commission that has a bearing on the disciples of that time, it has a bearing on every believer because we see in acts 10, these people are not even identified as believers yet, but they believe, they repent, they hear the preaching of Peter just as we'll see it again in acts 2 shortly. And what did they do? They believe, they repent and on them falls this physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Now, just because we've mentioned our pentecostal friends, go back to acts 4 because we skipped over something. In acts 4, there is another description of the Holy Spirit being poured out. We've looked at a number of them being filled with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit being given, the Holy Spirit being poured out, these different descriptions for a more full bestowal of the Holy Spirit.

I'm in acts 4, we'll study through this later in more detail as we will acts 10, but again, we're trying to get this picture as acts begins, it's the work of the Holy Spirit that's equipping the church for ministry. It's the promise that you and I have as believers today that the same Holy Spirit wants to work through us. Now look here in acts 4. Peter and John have gotten themselves into trouble. They've been bold for Jesus.

And it's interesting, they're… wow, they're put into a difficult position. The chief priest and elders are giving them a hard time, and they come back now to be with the believers in acts 4:23-24 as the setting. And they come and they start praying together, they start speaking of God as the creator in verse 24, "Lord, you are God. You made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is." Where are they quoting from by the way? They're quoting from basically Genesis and Exodus. They're quoting from the Sabbath commandment, okay.

This is part of their Christian heritage. They weekly were keeping the Sabbath, they were focusing on the creator God. They realized God as the all powerful one, the creator, they call out to him. They quote Scripture, and then look what it says in verse 29, they've been forbidden to preach in the name of Jesus. Verse 29, "now, Lord, look on their threats.

.." And what did they pray for? "Grant to your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your Word by stretching out your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus." It says in verse 31, after they pray what happens? It says, "they're all filled with the Holy Spirit." By the way, the church is much bigger now, even just a couple chapters, we just saw 3,000 have been added, the church praying together, I don't know that every single one was in the setting, but the Holy Spirit is poured out and what happens? Do we read about gifts of tongues? No, there is no mention of the gift of tongues being poured out, but it says they were filled with the Holy Spirit, verse 31 of acts 4, and they did what? They spoke the Word of God with boldness. They spoke the Word of God with boldness. You'll be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and samaria, and where else? To the uttermost ends of the earth. In Monday's lesson, it points us to that section of acts that looks at the uttermost ends of the earth. Go with me to acts 19.

Acts 19. Now we are in ephesus, there are believers there, they've really not even heard of the Holy Spirit. They really don't know of the full ministry of Jesus, but they have been baptized into John's baptism, that's the context of acts 19. Go with me to acts 19:4, Paul now speaking says, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance saying to the people that they should believe on him who should come after him, that is Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

" Now the men were about 12 in all. I find this highly significant. There are only three mentions of the gift of tongues being poured out, multiple mentions of the Holy Spirit being poured out. Not every time the Holy Spirit is poured out or given in a special manifestation does the gift of tongues come along with it? But there are three places in acts where the gift of tongues is given. It's first in acts 2, then it's in acts 10, now it's in acts 19.

And what's interesting to me, it's actually kind of following this outline if you will, as the Gospel is to go everywhere, as believers are to be witnesses, God is showing us through the gift, this physical manifestation, this gift of tongues that he is committed to preaching the Gospel everywhere and using not only the existing church, but anyone who joins him or herself to Jesus. God is willing to equip us with the gift of the Holy Spirit. So far from the gift of tongues being something that is the penultimate gift, this great gift that every believer has. If you want to be a card carrying Christian, you have to be able to have spoken in tongues, there is no sense of that. In fact, if you look at 1 Corinthians, maybe we should just hasten there because I'm not sure that we'll be speaking much more about the gift of tongues during this quarter, but go there with me to 1 Corinthians, really chapters 12-14 are focused on spiritual gifts in the church.

And far from tongues being elevated to the highest of gifts, the gift of tongues is actually put in a much more humble position. And just to make it as simple as we can, in acts 2 we've seen this example and then in 10 and in 19, we've seen where these actual language gifts are given, the Gospel is communicated. Some people as they read 1 Corinthians 14, they speak, they think we're speaking of some ecstatic spiritual language that is used in prayer. I don't see the new testament context supporting that. I don't see one single example of that playing out in the early church.

So be very careful if you're reading a description of a gift and it doesn't seem to correspond with the case histories of the gift. Now I know, I'm using a little bit of medical terminology here, but this is what we do as physicians and as researchers. You might have a concept, you might think some dots connect in the medical community, but if you look at your patients, if you look at the case histories of people, if you look at how a situation plays out, if that never occurs, you're gonna say, "this doesn't look like it is..." Sometimes we use the term biologically plausible. It doesn't look real. It may seem like some things are connected, but they're really not.

So be very careful if you use the example of 1 Corinthians 14 to say, "oh, well, this is speaking about some ecstatic prayer language." Just be very careful because the examples of tongues in the new testament are to communicate the Gospel. And maybe I'm a little bit biased, I probably should. It's really interesting, there's some really interesting dialogues in the medical community now. I know there's a number of health professionals, so I was reading an editorial a while ago where someone was saying, "well, you know, these doctors that are vegetarians, maybe they should have to put a disclaimer in their studies saying it's a conflict of interest that they're going to probably be more likely to show that studies help vegetarians." But it's interesting the guy didn't say anything about the mediators or the alcohol drinkers that they should, you know, put something at the bottom of their study saying there is a conflict of interest, okay. Now why I'm telling you this is, it is true, we realize that our own experience biases us, and I'll tell you my background.

Some of you if you don't know, I was raised in a catholic home, and in the late '60s, early '70s I became exposed in the catholic church to the charismatic movement. Now I was not... Well, I won't go too much into my background, but I was in a setting… by the time my high school years were completed, I was an agnostic, I didn't even know if God existed, and I found myself in a setting where it was at a catholic retreat, and this is no slight on catholics, there are many wonderful catholics, many wonderful charismatics. I'm just sharing with you my experience and my reaction to my first exposure to the "gift of tongues" as it's commonly called in some circles today. I'm in this catholic retreat, and all of a sudden these people start speaking in gibberish there, and we're told that this is the gift of tongues.

And I think someone maybe even gave an interpretation 'cause, you know, I was supposed to quote interpret the gift of tongues, and I don't know it seemed as I recall something totally mundane, and I have no recollection of what it was. I don't think it was something like they were going to burn the beans or something, but it was, you know, maybe we're supposed to love our brothers, right? But it just, what I have to tell you is I was not overwhelmed with this incredible manifestation of the Holy Spirit. It did not change my spiritual walk at all, I was quite skeptical. And in fact many people as they have witnessed these "outpourings of the Holy Spirit", that some people term them are not drawn to the Christian faith. But I will tell you what happened several years later.

Several years later I was on a secular college campus, and a Seventh-day Adventist minister who I believe was praying for the Holy Spirit was impressed to be bold on a college campus where there is basically no Seventh-day Adventist witness. And he showed up on that campus, he got permission to teach a non-credit class on Bible prophecy. And I will tell you that the first time I heard his presentation, saw him open the Bible and explain the prophetic significance of historical events, my mind was captured that here was something supernatural. Sometimes we put our emphasis on signs and wonders. Go with me to acts 2 now again because the emphasis in acts 2 is not on signs and wonders, there was a sign, there were wonders, the disciples did pray for those things.

But the focus of acts 2 in addition to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is on Peter's sermon. Why are they given this gift of tongues? It was not so people would be impressed that here are people that just speaking a language that they couldn't understand, no. The gift of tongues is given so that the Gospel can be preached. So let's look there at acts 2, what is the essence of what Peter preached? And by the way if you're like me, sometimes we'll interchangeably as we're jumping through the book of acts, stick Paul's name in where we're definitely talking about Peter and Peter, where we're definitely speaking about Paul. If I've done that already, you know, thanks for not all jumping up at once and saying that the Peter speaking especially in Jerusalem there and in Judea and samaria, and Paul especially being commissioned to bring the Gospel to the gentiles, but throughout acts, these are the two probably most vocal spokespeople for the Gospel.

But in chapter 2 it is Peter. And what does Peter begin to do? Peter begins to connect the prophetic word with God's present day work. And so as he begins to speak in acts 2, he focuses on the prophecy of Joel. Now, if you read through the lesson already, in Tuesday's lesson, it speaks about how Peter is seeing in the gift of tongues the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy. And the lesson makes an interesting point here, and if you're reading along, it's kind of in the very center of Tuesday's lesson.

It says there's an important difference in the way that he quotes Joel. Instead of Joel's introductory afterward, referring to Joel 2:28, which pointed quite generally to the future, Peter said, "in the last days." For those of you that are bewildered 'cause you're not looking at the quarterly, go with me to Joel, the book of Joel. So you've got Hosea and Joel, they're early and the, what we call the minor prophets. So we're jumping over to Joel, and the reason I'm doing this with you is many times we make the mistake of just reading a quote. So we just listen to the sermon on acts.

Now you're gonna realize in the Jewish mind they knew the book of Joel better than most of us do today. And if you just look quickly at the book of Joel. By the way, there is an expression that occurs in both the new and the old testament, the expression is the day of the Lord, the day of the Lord. What is that especially referred to? It especially refers to the second coming, but also contains this concept of the final judgment, the final consummation of all things. Now Joel is a very short book, it's only got what? Four chapters or three chapters.

What book of the Bible do you think most often mentions the day of the Lord? Anyone want to guess? Well, the phrase the day of the Lord it occurs most often in the book of Joel. Yeah. Some of you guessed the book of Joel. So Joel is all about the end times. So even though Peter uses a little bit different language, he is contextually being very accurate with the message of Joel.

He's not making a leap and now applying something that doesn't apply to the end times. Peter is being through the Holy Spirit very accurate in his use of the old testament Scriptures. And so it points us to this outpouring, we often call it the early reign equipping the early church to give the Gospel. But let's go on now back in acts 2, you can read if you'd like later today or later in your study of just how focused on the end times the book of Joel is, but I'm going back to acts 2 because the central message that Peter gives. If we don't mention it, we've done injustice to acts too.

Because not only does Peter connect this important message about the giving of the Spirit, but he also points us to another theme. In fact we have someone who's going to read a Scripture for us as we look at this last theme that we'll touch on today. We have someone who has a Scripture reading for us from 1 Corinthians. We mentioned earlier 1 Corinthians 12-14, but right after that description of spiritual gifts, we have this powerful chapter, 1 Corinthians 15, and we'll read from there right now. 1 Corinthians 15:12-14, "now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen? And if Christ be not risen, then is he our preaching in vain, and your faith is also vain.

" Is the resurrection important? The resurrection is central to our hope as Christians. Jesus has triumphed over the grave, and those of us who have been at the graveside of loved ones we have a hope, the Bible calls it what? The blessed hope, and we have that hope because Jesus has done what? He's conquered death. Death. In 1 Corinthians 15, death is a defeated enemy. Oh, grave, where is your sting, right? Jesus has triumphed.

And so in acts 2, as the Holy Spirit is poured out, Jesus is exalted as the one who gives gifts to man. The prophetic word is true. What the Bible has prophesied is coming to pass. And in verse 22 of acts 2 as Peter brings the focus, he says, "men of Israel hear these words, Jesus of nazareth, a man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs..." He goes on and he recites the ministry of Jesus. He speaks about the crucifixion of Jesus, but he doesn't stop there.

In verse 24 he says, "God raised up Jesus." God loosed the pains of death because it was not possible that Jesus should be held by it. And then he goes on and he quotes this amazing passage, many people struggle with it, but Peter makes it very clear that David, one of the great progenitors of the Christian faith is dead, he's still buried. Jesus did not resurrect David. When he came forth from the grave, David is still in the tomb like most believers waiting for the second coming. But David's prophetic word speaks of a Christ who is brought to the right hand of God, and today is in the business of giving gifts to human beings.

To giving gifts to men and women so that you and I can fulfill that impossible commission of being bold, of giving the Gospel in our own backyard, in our own communities, our own states, and to the uttermost parts of the world. If you want to learn more about pentecost, we have a special offer, a special gift, it's free offer 824. You can get it simply by calling 866-study-more, 866-study-more, that's 866-788-3966. If you'd like to save the postage and the weight, you can actually text to the number 40544. If you got to use 40544 text to that number, the code "sh085", you'll get a link to the dvd, the power of pentecost.

We started a exciting study through the book of acts. By God's grace we'll continue again next week. Join us then. Friends, if you're scared of snakes, this may not be for you. I'm here at a reptile park outside of durban, south africa, and I'm holding my friend here who is a red tail boa.

Snakes are found all over the world and they come in all sizes. Snakes can be found through the trees, they crawl on the ground, they live under the ground, and they swim in the water, very interesting creatures. Some snakes are venomous, not my friend here, but the black mamba, very poisonous. Matter of fact, their bite is often referred to as the kiss of death. They can grow 15 feet long and can travel up to seven miles an hour.

They don't call them black mambas because of the color of their skin, but the interior of their mouth is black. Snakes also come in all sizes, like this boa or python they can grow to great sizes. Matter of fact, in south America, they found some fossils of a snake that they called titanoboa. They believe it was as big as 50 feet long and weighed as much as a car. Say jeez.

A lot of people are scared of snakes. I used to live in a mountain in a cave and I ran into snakes frequently. They never bothered me unless I was bothering them. In the Bible, the snake is often a symbol of the devil. In reality, it's just a symbol.

They're animals like other animals. But it says they were cursed to go upon their belly because they were the first medium that the devil used to tempt adam and eve. In the book of Numbers 21, it tells a story of how when the children of Israel were going through the wilderness, they began to complain about God's manna. And it says, "the Lord allowed these fiery serpents to go among the people, and many were bitten, and the venom is deadly. I should probably mention at this point that bread they were complaining about is a symbol for the Word of God.

As many of the people were dying from this plague of serpents, they went on to Moses and they said, "what shall we do?" God told Moses to make a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole, and lift it up that whoever looked upon the serpent, they will be healed of their venom. This is why it's so important because Jesus says in the Gospel of John 3:14 and 15, "as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so The Son of man must be lifted up, that whoever believes in him might not perish but have everlasting life." They needed to look in to live. You see those ancient shepherds when they would kill a venomous snake, they would carry it off on their staff and bury it. So a serpent on the pole represented a defeated snake. It's talking about defeating the devil, friend.

Have you been bitten by the serpent? We all have. The only cure for the venom of satan is to look in faith at Jesus, he then defeated the devil. He took the venom of sin in his body to provide the antidote in his blood. So, friends, I encourage you to look today and live. Let's face it, it's not always easy to understand everything you read in the Bible.

With over 700,000 words contained in 66 books, the Bible can generate a lot of questions. To get biblical straightforward answers, call into Bible answers live, a live nationwide call-in radio program where you can talk to Pastor Doug Batchelor and ask him your most difficult Bible questions. For times and stations in your area or to listen to answers online, visit bal.amazingfacts.org.

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