Acts chapter 2

This is part of a message I shared with Young Graduates Fellowship at 10 Millers Road Chennai

Introduction: Let us bow down our heads and asks the presence of the lord with us while meditating upon the words from the Bible and lead us into eternal truth and leaving all the vague ideas about the Holy spirit from our hearts and enjoy the fullness of Holy Spirit in our Day to day life. If we put together Leviticus chapter 23 and Acts 2 together, we will learn some beautiful lessons about the Holy Spirit. Four activities are mentioned in first fruits are mentioned in Acts 2:1-4

a. The Spirit Came.
b. The spirit Baptized.
c. The Spirit Filled.
d. The Spirit Spoke.

We will meditate upon these 4 topics in depth and we will go through the the verses phrase by phrase parallel.

On the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after Jesus' resurrection: The feast of Pentecost is 50th day after the festival of first fruits. First fruits talks about the resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ. During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time (Acts 1:3). proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. Acts 1:3)On these occasions he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. Acts 1:4).Have a look at 1 Corinthians 15:1-6. The feast of Passover, the feast of un leaven bread and feast of first fruits happened within a short period of one month time. To celebrate Passover they need to wait for 50 days. An overview of Feast of first fruits we can see at Leviticus 23:15-22). Pentecost marks that in history when the Holy Spirit came down (Acts chapter 2). We have the coming of Holy Spirit pictured in the feast of Pentecost. The Lord Jesus Christ went back to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. This is pictured which was 50 days after first fruits.

Holy Spirit Came :Holy Spirit came down in a special way. Jesus promised the same in John 14:16,17.And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. (John 14:16,17). Holy Spirit dwelt with apostles in the person of Jesus Christ. Now Time came for Holy Spirit to come down to earth. 

Dwelling Place of Holy Spirit : In Old testament Holy Spirit doesn't have dwelling place on earth. It had come upon men temporarily and accomplish a special task, and then he will depart. For example, the Holy Spirit empowered King Saul, but when Saul sinned against God, God removed the Holy Spirit. This explains why David prayed in Psalm 51, "Take not thy Holy Spirit from me" (Psalm 51:11).
As converted believers we don't pray that way today because God will not take His Holy Spirit from us. Jesus said "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you for ever" (John 14:16).
Keep in mind, then, these two special truths. First the Holy Spirit would indwell people, not just come upon them, Second, the Holy Spirit would be a permanent resident, not a temporary visitor. You may ask, "Why didn't the Holy Spirit do all of this sooner. The explanation is given in" John 7:37,38 "If you are thirsty, come to me! If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within." When he said "living water," he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) 

All In Order:
God didn't send the Holy Spirit until He was not Glorified, and Of Course, he could not be glorified until he was crucified. His glorification involved being crucified and buried, being raised from the dead and then ascending back to heaven that He might send the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came, and He came right on schedule.

The believers were meeting together in one place : It is so nice to see all the believers to see at only one place meeting together. It is happened at Upper Room fellowship (Acts 2:1) and now it is going to happen in heaven. There "THE CHURCH"  which is established in Acts 2 is  going to worship the Lord for ever and ever. Amen.

A small Interview : There are about 120 believers in Upper Room. Some of them are very familiar to us. If we ask for an interview for sure they will give us some time. Shall we pick up some of them. Let us say Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, If we ask all 4 of them with these  Questions. for sure same answer will come from all of them.

Why you are meeting together in this Place? 

Ans : Jesus Said :Do not leave Jerusalem (Acts 1:4)

Why He Said so ?

Ans : Jesus Said : Father sends you what he promised. and he reminded part of what John the Baptist Said (Acts 1:4)

What John The Baptist said?

Ans: John The Baptist Said "He will baptize you in Spirit and in Fire"  (Acts 1:4)

Then What else Jesus Said ?

Jesus Reminded john the Baptist verse as "in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." and also he said "you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere"

When Holy Spirit comes You will receive Power?

Yes ! We Receive power. Jesus Said so.

What you will do with the Power?

For that Jesus Said "you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere"

Amen! and glory to God. When the Holy Spirit comes upon us. We will receive the power and we will tell the people about Him Every where. Amen and Glory to God. He never put to shame who trusts his word.

Thank you Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew for spending some time with me. Now I got how you are able to meet together in one accord in this place. I will come soon to the presence of God very soon at the time we will see face to face. 

b. The spirit Baptized.: The promise of Holy Spirit baptism is found in Mathew, Mark Luke ,john and Acts. John the Baptist announced that the Lord Jesus Christ, who was greater than John, would baptize with the Holy Spirit.

Please note that Jesus said nothing about the baptism of fire. John the Baptist had said. "He shall baptize you with Holy Spirit, and with fire" (Mathew 3:11). My own personal conviction is that the "Baptism with Fire" is a future baptism of judgment that is going to come upon this earth to those who have rejected the saviour. Our Lord said nothing in Acts 1 about baptism in fire, but He didn't talk about the Holy Spirits baptizing the believers. This baptism of the Spirit must be important. or it would not found in all four Gospels and also in the book of Acts.

Literal Meaning Of Baptism : Literally the word baptism means "to submerge to immerse". 

Figurative Meaning Of Baptism : But figuratively it means to be identified with "When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, He identified the believers with their glorified Head, the Lord Jesus Christ, and formed the body, which is the church. Now this truth is amplified  in 1 Corinthians 12:13."for by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, Whether we are bond or free". The spirit of God formed the body of Jesus Christ on earth - the Church - when He came at Pentecost. Of course, there had already been individual believers on earth, but they had not yet formed into spiritual unity. Now they are united into one Body. 

Meaning of Spirit Baptized :This meant that the believers were united in a spiritual unity., identified with their glorified saviour in heaven. 

The Spirit came to the Earth and it baptized.

The Spirit Filled : This we can found in Acts 2:4. The classic text on the fullness of Christ is from Ephesians 5:18. . Never confused with the term "Baptism with Spirit" and "Filling with Spirit". I heard preachers say "Oh!, It makes no difference what you call it as long as you have the experience". I Don't believe that for a moment. Bible uses accurate terminology, and we do not have the privilege or the right to change the words that God has written, inspired by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2:12,13). Baptism talks about identification with Christ (Romans 6) and it required death, burial and resurrection. where are filling talks about the take into.

The baptism of Spirit happens once. When you are saved you are baptized into the Body of Christ. There is no repetition of the baptism of spirit in any individual person. No where in the Bible are we commanded to be baptized by the spirit of God. But 

Praise be to God ! He Baptized me into His Body the moment I Accepted Him as my personal Saviour He Came into my heart as Holy Spirit. Now I am into his body. and I am identified with Him

There is however a repetition of the fullness of the spirit. In the book of Acts you read that the believers repeatedly filled with Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:4, 4:8, 31).We do not read that  they were repeatedly baptized by the spirit.

Our Co-Operation In Filling the Spirit : The fullness of Spirit required our co-operation. The baptism The baptism of the spirit occurs when you trust Chrsit as your saviour, once and for all. The Baptism of Spirit is a single experience. The fullness of the christ is a personal, individual experience, giving the beleiver power for witness and for Christian living.Why were the apostles and other beleivers filled with the holy spirit? Primarly that they might witness by word and by Deed. Acts 1:8 makes that very clear. The task of the church is witnessing.We are all commanded to be witnesses, and we should see to win many as we can. Witnessing is the work of the Holy Spirit through the beleivers. If we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God, we can bear witness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

How Shall We know that We are filled with Holy Spirit : Ephesians 5:19 tells us we will be 

joyfull. Speaking to yourself in psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

We will be thankfull. "Giving thanks always for all the things unto God in the Father in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And 

we will be submissive: "Submitting yourself one another in the fear of the God." 

When you are filled with Holy Spirit you will find it easy to remember the scripture. because the Holy Spirit reminds you. When you are filled with Holy Spirit, you have desire to witness and the witness comes from God. It is not some thing you manufacture.

By this we can conclude that We can find out that spirit filled life is not measured on what a person does but by the way he lives(joyfullness, thankfull and submissive) and his life itself is a witness.

The Spirit filled these beleivers, and because they were filled they went forth giving bold witness for the Lord. "But ye shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you. and  ye shall be witness unto me" Promise the Lord made in Acts 1:8. We need this today.

Requirement for Filling : To be filled with Holy Spirit requires cleansing. We must confess our sins and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. We must want to be filled for the glory of God. Not to enjoy a selfish experience

The Spirit Spoke : The men were not controlling the Spirit- The Holy Spirit controlling these men. When you are baptized with Holy Spirit you are baptized into His Body. When you are filled with Holy Spirit your body belongs to Him. Then he can work through you

They are Praising God in Tongues:They are praising in tongues - They are not preaching. The beleivers were sharing with people. "The wonderfull works of God" (v 11).The tongues were used for the purpose of praising God.

Peter Preached the Gospel in Hebrew Language: when Peter stood up and preach, He preached in the Hebrew language, not in tongues.So, Keep in mind that the gift of tongues at Pentecost was for praising God and bearing witness of what he has done, not for the preaching of the Gospel.

The tongues were Known Language : There are 16 different geographical places mentioned in Acts 2:7 - 11. "Every man heard them they are speaking in His own Language 6). The Greek word translated "language" gives us our english word "dialect". They heard them speaking in their own language. They asked. "And how hear we every man in our own tongue, where in we were born ? (V8).

If I am a Telugu Speaking person . I heard them they are praising God in Telugu even they are from Thamilnadu 

The believers didn't speak in some heavenly language. They didn't use brand new language. The Holy Spirit used the tongues of beleivers to praise God in language that are already in use.

Personal Testimony : When I was converted I baptized instantly by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. I Didnt speak in tongue, but I want you to know that I was soundly converted. The spirit of God came into my life. and bore witness to me that I am a child of God.

Warnings Regarding Wrong Teachings : The gift or sign of tongues is not an evidence of Baptism of the Spirit or fullness of the Spirit. Nowhere do we find this in scripture. 

The Baptism of the Spirit si not evidence by tongues nor is the fullness of the Spirit. There are multitudes of beleivers who have been filled with the Holy Spirit and served with great power, yet they have never spoken in tongues.

Nor the tongues an evidence of Spiritual maturity. The church in Corinth had a great deal of speaking in tongues. and yet they are very immature, wordily and carnival. Do not let any one confuse you. If some one says, "If you are baptized by the spirit, you must speak in tongues". Do not believe him. You are baptized by the spirit when you are saved. If they say, "well if you are filled with the spirit, then you will speak in tongues" that statement is not biblical. 

Then What about Tongue Speakers : I Didn't saw any person who claims and proves that "He speaks in tongues". Even he claims personally I Know that he is not joyful, thankful and submissive . I found him as carnal, worldly and spiritually immature as Corinthian believers.  And they are not using this gift as bible recommends. Please read 1 Corinthians 12,13,14.

You can ask me : do you think God could give the gift of tongues today?. I think God is sovereign and God can do what ever he wants to do. I Dont beleive that God can, if he wants to, give a gift of tongues. But we must not make this a test of any thing.

There are some people who have had a false experience - a counterfeit experience. Not every body who thinks he is filled with the Spirit is really filled with the Spirit. He might be fooled by the spirits. Satan is a great counterfeit. We must exercise spritual discernment

The Spirit of God can use your tongue to praise God and witness to the Lost. Sad to say, some people have their tongues set on fire from hell (James 3:6). The apostles had their tongues set on hire from heaven. When Peter preached the Gospel filled with the Sprit, God used his tongue and 3,000 people came to know Christ as their saviour

The important thing is that we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Conclusion: The spirit of God has come  - that is a settled matter. The spirit of God has baptized beleivers into the church - that too  is a settled matter. The Spirit of God can fill us. moment by moment, and enable us to glorify God. The Spriit of God can speak through us in language people understand.

Has your tongue been set on fire from heaven? It is not important that you have some miraculouw ecstatic experience  . It is important that the Holy Spirit use you to bear witness to Jesus Christ and to share the Gospel with the Whole world

May God enable you to understand these basic truths in HIS Light

                            - G J Thimothy

(to be continued...)