Acts Chapter 2 - 40 Days in the Word - Day 2

For those of you who don't know what I am doing here. A number of people from my church, Faith Family Worship Center are renewing their commitment to read God's Word and apply it to their lives. For the next 40 days we will be going through the book of Acts. You are more than welcome to join us. I will be posting a new entry everyday (if I don't forget). So enjoy and discover what the Holy Spirt is saying to you today.

The 2nd Chapter of Acts is a very important chapter in the history of the church and especially for Pentecostals.  You see for many people the death and resurrection of Jesus is enough for them. They accept Christ as their Savior and that’s it.  But Jesus’ plan didn’t end at the tomb.   He said that He would go to and send the Holy Spirit (the promise of the Father) to continue the plan for us.  

Now it is time to turn start a new chapter for the church and in the lives of believers. 

1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 
It was 50 days after Passover and the Jews are celebrating Pentecost (The Feast of Weeks) - Ex 34:22; Deut 16:16

Do you think that it was coincidence that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit arrived on the day of Pentecost?  I don't.  Pentecost was a celebration of the first harvest.  The timing of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit represents the harvest of souls that the church should go and receive.  

2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 
#1 - They hear the SOUND of a might wind. 
What does the wind represent?  In the Old Testament God spoke to Job out of a whirlwind. Job 38:1) A mighty east wind dried the path for the Jews to cross the Red Sea. (Ex.14:21) Wind was a symbol of the Holy Spirit (Ez. 37:9,10 and 14)  Jesus used wind to speak about the Spirit (John 3:8) This wind would have announced to the people praying that the Holy Spirit was coming. 
#2 Cloven or divided tongues as of fire appeared above each person. 
A large mass of flames appeared above the whole group, then broken into individual flames of fire Again we have the Old Testament to refer to. The burning bush in Ex 3:2The Lords appearance on Mt Sinai after the people of Israel accepted the Old Covenant (Ex 19:18) 

What is the big picture here? Here we see that God accepts the Church body as the Temple of the Holy Spirit along with each individual believer as a Temple too. 

Why don’t we see these signs again?
All of these signs preceded the gift of Baptism.   They were not part of the Baptism.  

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
You need to think about this question, "What does this baptism bring to us first and foremost?"  Power?  Healing?  The gifts of the Spirit?  The thing that the baptism brings is a relationship with the Holy Spirit. 

If we seek the power and the presence, but not a relationship with the Holy Spirit, what do you think will happen?  Nothing.  Why would God give something to us that we are not going to use properly? 

5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
Because Jerusalem was a cosmopolitan center.  Many Jews who had been dispersed was returning to their homeland.  Couple that with the festival which would have attracted thousands, this scripture  would infer that you had a crowd that had come from all directions. 
There were those who heard these 120 speak in their own language and this was no ordinary language.  This would have been the language they would have learned as a child.

Why do you think that people said, “What does this mean?”  Do people still ask that question today? 
What should be your answer?  Pentecostalism and speaking in tongues is difficult for some people to understand.  Giving them a "non churchy" answer would be the wisest thing to do.  In fact, you might want to write down what you would say.  It would prepare you for the next time you are asked the question, "What does this mean?"

Why do you think that some of them mocked the 120 and said that they were drunk?   Some may have not heard the praises of God in their own tongue.  Therefore, they would have understood this a something unintelligible.  However, saying that they were full of new wine would have been a big stretch.  New wine would not be available until August and the feast of Pentecost is in the spring time. 

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17  “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19  And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20  the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. 21  And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

When Peter stood up to give his sermon, how do you think he prepared for this?   Well there was no way he could prepare for what just happened.  I don't think that even if he had a years warning that this was going to take place he could have been prepare.  What we see the gift of prophecy (1 Cor 12:10; 14:3) Just as the 120 were given the words to say by the Holy Spirit, so was Peter. 

What does the Holy Spirit address first? The mockery of some about what was happening. 
The 120 did not try to defend themselves, they let the Holy Spirit do this for them. 

Next Peter connects what has happened with a prophecy from Joel. Why is this important? 
The people are Jewish, Old Testament believers.  They need the OT connection to understand what has happened. 

Peter declares that we are living in the last days.   As he could understand it, it was.

Why does it mean "all flesh"?  “Flesh” is understood to speak of frailty and mankind.  the prophecy breaks "flesh" down into, "Son and daughters" (There will be no separation due to gender.)  The young and old would see visions and/or have dreams. (There will be no separation due to age.)  It is estimated that up to 80% of the Roman empire were slaves.  But they will receive this promise to.   (There will be no separation due to socio economic status.)  The bottom line here is that The Holy Spirit will empower us to overcome our fleshly weaknesses and fulfill the mission and will of God in our lives everyday. 

What do verses 19 and 20 mean?  Some have interpreted these verses in various ways.  But Peter simply wanted his listeners to understand that the end was coming and that the Holy Spirit would be with us to that very end.

What does verse 21 mean?   The Holy Spirit is here leading people to salvation.  It is apparent that He is very successful at what He does.  Mankind is responding to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. 

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him, “‘I saw the Lord always before me,for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. 27  For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. 28  You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ 29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35  until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

As you can see here that the bulk of Peters message centers around Jesus, not the Holy Spirit.  But remember the the Holy Spirit is speaking through him.  So what was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit intended to be?   Many times we focus on the the evidence of the Baptism and forget what the purpose of it is.  To be a powerful witness to Jesus. (Acts 1:8) 

Peter draws attention to the face that these people knew, Jesus of Nazareth.  The crucifixion would have still be fresh in many of their minds.  He points out that Jesus did signs and wonders?  This again is a purposeful statement.  Some believe that what Jesus and the Apostles did through signs and wonders (miracles and more) was only for that generation of the church.  However, Luke (the writer of the book of Acts) makes sure that we see a direction connection of what Jesus did and what we can do.  He points out the fact that Jesus did miracles, then He points out the Apostles did miracles, then he points out that the next generation of Christians do miracles and then concludes that this should be the practice of the church from this point on.

Peter points out that it was the people of Jerusalem had wrongfully crucified Jesus.  Even though he understands that Jesus had to be crucified, he does not lessen the guilt of those who did it.

Peter then quickly points out that God raised Him from the dead. What message does this send to the people of Jerusalem who had him crucified?  That the resurrection takes away the stigma of the cross.   That God reversed the decision of the Jerusalem leaders and that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins.

Now Peter refers to a prophecy from Psalm 16:8-11  Here Peter points out that Davids prophecy was talking about Messiah.  Why would Peter point this out?  Very simple, what does the Davidic Covenant promise?  That the Messiah would be a decent of David. 

Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah because God resurrected Him from the dead.  That He was not abandoned in Hades, nor did His flesh ever sin.  Moreover, Peter and the 120 were eye witnesses of his resurrection. 

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