Pastor Mike will be speaking on What a Difference a Day Makes Part 2. He will be reading out of Acts 2:1-13.
God has not called us to assemble in confusion or chaos. God is not a God of confusion but of peace to all the churches the scriptures teach us. And so if God is not the author of confusion, then who might be?
Well, certainly Satan would be. Hello, this is Pastor Mike Sanders from the Open Door Church. We welcome you to the Hopeworth Having broadcast. We’re looking forward to learning the Word of God together, and we’re going to continue our study in Acts chapter two.
And so I want you to get your Bible. I want you to get your notebook and your pencil and let’s begin to study together. I want us today to look at the availability of the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives.
God has called us to be faithful. He has called us to be fruitful. He has called us to bring glory to His name and to advance the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever for the church, for the body of Christ, to keep their eye on the goal, to not be distracted, to not be defeated, but to remember why Christ has us here.
And in order for us to be successful in the terms of what God has laid out, in that we are faithful, that we are fruitful, that we are obedient to God, we can only do it through the power of the Holy Spirit.
We come to Chapter 2. Again, we begin in verse 1. The Bible says, that when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And 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 a fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with them other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling in Jerusalem, Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together and were confused because everyone heard them speak in their own language.
When they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, look. are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear each in our own language in which we were born? The Perthians, the Medes, and the Elamites, and those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia, Berygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and other parts of Libya, adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs, we hear them speaking in our own tongues, the wonderful works of God.
So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, whatever could this mean? In verse 13, others mocking said, they are full of new wine. In a conversation with his apostles, after his resurrection, Jesus Christ promised that he would baptize the apostles and his disciples in the Holy Spirit.
That is, he would immerse them in the Spirit of God, as we already have taught you that in the Old Testament, the Spirit would come upon his servants, but never remain with his servants. This is a turning point in the life of the church, in not only that it is initiating the birth of the church, but also the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God in all those who love him and receive him as Lord and Savior.
Jesus promised that he would do this. We are reminded in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 24, verse 49, that he said, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you you are endued with power from on high.
We can look back to chapter one. We see in verse five that Jesus said, John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. Jump down to verse eight, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
What is the outcome of the filling of the Spirit in the presence of the believer is that we will be witnesses everywhere we go. We will be witnesses to God Almighty. The coming of the Spirit of God on the day of Pentecost involved a sound to hear, a sight to see, and a miracle to experience.
As we analyze this text this morning, we see the symbols of His power, the symbols of the power of the Spirit of God. First, you’ll note in verse 2 that there was the rushing mighty wind. Wind is one of the types of the Holy Spirit that we see in the Scriptures.
Sometimes it’s oil, sometimes it is water, but here particularly it is wind. And this is speaking of the sovereignty of the Spirit of God and the unpredictable movement of the Spirit of God. You say, what do you mean by that?
Well, John chapter 3, you remember that Jesus was meeting Nicodemus and he was talking about the new birth being born again? Jesus said in John chapter 3 verse 8 that the wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.
So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. Jesus used the wind to explain the new birth. In the power of the Spirit, there is much about wind that we do not fully understand. It is mysterious to us. We don’t know where the wind originates.
We don’t even know its destination, yet we cannot deny its presence or its power. So it is with the actions of the Spirit of God in performing the new birth, in awakening the hearts of dead people, talking about the spiritually dead, and awakening them to new life in Christ.
The wind moves in a mysterious way. It cannot be formulated. It cannot be manufactured, but it is a work of God as it is working not only in our hearts but in the hearts of others. We see an example of this in Ezekiel chapter 37.
You’re welcome to join me there if you’d like. Ezekiel chapter 37 and verses 9 through 12. This is a prophecy given to Ezekiel about the valley of the dry bones for the nation of Israel. Its parallels in teaching us about the work of the spirit are certainly important.
And verse 9 he says, he said to me, prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, thus says the Lord God, come from the four winds, O breath and breathe on these slain that they may live.
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood upon their feet. and exceedingly great army. Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
They indeed say our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off. Therefore prophesy and say to them, thus says the Lord God, behold, O my people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves and bring you into the land of Israel.
There is certainly a prophetic aspect to this text. There is an understanding of it relating to the nation of Israel. But there is also the understanding of how the spirit works in that it works mysteriously and it blows as the breath of God upon our own particular lives and breathes into a spiritual life that helps us to continue to be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ, to be fruitful for Him, to be obedient to Him.
We go back to Acts chapter two, the Bible says a rushing mighty wind. It filled the whole house where they were sitting and they were filled in verse four, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Another symbol of the power of the Spirit we see in this text in Acts chapter two is fire.
It represents His judgment. It represents His purifying presence. Go back again and note it says in verse three that there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire. One sat upon each of them symbolically.
What are you saying is that tongues as of fire, it doesn’t say they were tongues of fire, but as of fire. Symbolically, there is this powerful presence that is purifying the disciples of Christ. We see fire in the Old Testament used as a symbol of the presence of God.
Exodus 3,2, the angel of the Lord appeared to him, referring to Moses, in a flame of fire. From the midst of a bush, this fire has this powerful presence of God. It is a cleansing fire. We see this in Isaiah 4,4, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
This fire is not only a symbol of judgment, and is a symbol of purifying, but it is a symbol of zeal and passion. I do not naturally have a desire for God. I do not have a natural zeal for God in my flesh.
In my flesh, I am prone to wander. I am prone to follow after what I like and desire, but there is a fire that is within the bosom of all disciples through the power of the Spirit that grants us a zeal for Christ, a thirst for Him, a passion for Christ.
And that is why the apostle Paul stood before the Corinthians and he said, my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. Now we’re not talking about a personality that is outgoing.
We’re not talking about a personality that is talkative. We’re not talking about a personality that is dominant. That’s not the work of the Spirit, but what is the work of the Spirit is that we have a desire and a zeal to stay faithful and obedient to God even as the fiery darts of the devil are thrown at us and even as we face opposition and even as we face obstacles and struggles in our circumstances that the zeal of Christ and the passion for God continues to burn within our heart through the power of the Spirit.
And that as we find ourselves maybe struggling or maybe that passion doesn’t seem to be there, that is where we go back to what our forefathers used to teach us that we are praying for a revival in our hearts.
We are praying for a renewal in our minds that the Spirit of God would once again take us to a higher ground of zeal and passion for the Lord Jesus Christ. Now the symbol of fire in this text he refers to as divided tongues.
Verse 3, there appeared to them divided tongues as a fire and once sat upon each of them. I want to take this opportunity church to help you understand the context of tongues. And I know that there can be many variances and nuances in our understanding of what the Scriptures teach about speaking in tongues.
But I think it’s essential for us to at least have a foundation this morning in addressing this issue of what we are reading, what we are witnessing, unfolding here at the birth of the church. I want you to note that tongues are according to all scholars that I’ve looked up, dictionaries, lexicons, whatever.
It is simply an individual. We go back to verse 6 of chapter 2 of the book of Acts. When this sound occurred, the multitude came together. They were confused because everyone heard them speak in their own language.
We jump down to verse 8. How is it that we hear each in his own language in which we were born? Then we jump down to verse 11, the Cretans and the Arabs. We hear them speaking in our own tongues, the wonderful works of God.
The miracle that took place for the disciples on this unique day in the inception of the church was not that there was some kind of a mysterious prayer language that was partaking, but rather that the gospel was being proclaimed, that they were glorifying God of his wonderful works, that they were giving praise to Jesus, that they were manifesting a fullness of the Spirit and other people could understand them, no matter what language that they spoke.
You can see that Luke, who is a physician who was very detailed in his writings in the gospel of Luke, under the inspiration of the Spirit, is very particular to note to us in verse 9, all the way down to verse 11 of the different ethnicities and the different languages that were present in Jerusalem at that time.
And he wants us to see that the miracle is not that they spoke something that was unintelligible, but the miracle was just the opposite, that they could speak in what was understandable. And I want you to see that.
that distinction. So you say to me, well, Pastor Mike, what’s going on in 1 Corinthians chapter 14 in which the apostle was teaching the church at Corinth how to address this issue of speaking in tongues.
Now I need you to put your thinking cap on with me. Are you okay with that? But we certainly will lay out a structure for you to understand 1 Corinthians 14. Whenever I come to a chapter in the Bible, I want to know its context.
I want to understand not only what is being said and what it means to me, but I want to understand the original writer’s context of sharing this information under the inspiration of the Spirit of God.
What we do note is that the church at Corinth had so confused their understanding of the gift of tongues that they had substituted a counterfeit for reality. The Corinthians had turned the gift into an aesthetic speech that they used when they were pagans.
In the city of Corinth, there were many gods that the Corinthians had worshiped before they had come to Christ. In part of this, there was the worship of the gods, and they would go into a state of ecstasy, and they would claim that they had some kind of a mysterious language that only they and God could know to their particular God.
Now, unfortunately, as these new believers assembled in corporate worship together, they brought some of these pagan practices into the church, and as a result, it led to chaos in the church meetings.
We go back to chapter 14 in 1 Corinthians. We are reminded of the instruction that Paul gives us, that all things are to be done decently and in order. He reminds us that God is not a god of confusion.
At the heart of the instructions that the apostle is giving us in 1 Corinthians 14, he is helping the Corinthian leaders as well as the congregation to understand that God has not called us to assemble in corporate worship in confusion or chaos, that God is not a god of confusion, but of peace, to all the churches the scriptures teach us.
And so if God is not the author of confusion, then who might be? Well, certainly Satan would be, but also our own flesh could be, and also the world. Where does chaos and confusion come from? Not from our Heavenly Father, but it comes from the world, the flesh, and the devil.
And as we participate in the order of how we come together corporately, it is to be done decently and it is to be done in order. There is no doubt that the devil wants to lure us away as believers from God’s Word and he wants us to live in the land of sensationalism.
And he wants us to have chaos and Paul says, what’s going to happen in the midst of this chaos? I’m still in 1 Corinthians 14. And an unbeliever comes and they see all this ecstatic speech and this mysterious language going on.
He said they are going to think that you are mad. He makes the case that one of the reasons, is not just the fact that God is a God of order and that he is not a God of chaos and confusion, but he makes the case that we should have an orderly service because it will be confusing to the unbeliever.
If you have an unbeliever visiting your congregation, your church family, And if they see all this confusion going on in chaos, it will not draw them to Christ, but it will only push them away from Christ.
His third reason of why this tongue speaking is not legitimate is because when we come together, we are to focus our hearts on edifying the body of Christ to build up. And if I cannot understand what you’re saying, if I cannot comprehend what you are speaking to me, how is it helpful to me?
How does it build up the family of God? It should never be our desire to come together for selfish reasons. It should never be our desire to assemble on the Lord’s day for our own selfish desires. But rather we should come and say, and Lord, I’m so filled with your blessings that I wanna come and bless others.
I wanna build up each other. I wanna encourage one another. I wanna pray with one another. I wanna support one another. I wanna bear one another’s burdens. I want to be here to serve others as we worship the Lord, as we are congregating as a corporate family of God.
Our goal is not to make it about us, but it is always to glorify God and to edify and bless the people of God. In this text of 1 Corinthians chapter 14, Paul would later qualify that there is a distinction between the tongues of men and the tongues of angels.
And he does that in 1 Corinthians 13. But he is referring to this ecstatic speech that had risen in the church. And he is letting them know that it is not the same as some kind of a foreign language.
it is different. And he is making a contrast between what is prophetic prophecy and tongue speaking. Now, I want you to go over to 1 Corinthians 14. Just take a few minutes there because it’ll be healthy for us.
And I invite you to examine the Scriptures. I invite you to double-check what Pastor Mike is saying. I invite you to examine the truth and make sure that what you are learning is from the Word of God and not the preferences of Pastor Mike.
There is no fear in my heart for you to say, well, what about this text? Or what about that? I’m very open. I’ve spent years studying this matter because I want to be right on the matter. I’m not saying that I know it all.
And I’m not saying that I figured it all out. Very much the opposite. But what I do understand and what I have studied, I want you to know in this text in 1 Corinthians 14, that Paul is trying to help the Corinthians to get back on track with the gospel and to get back on track on communicating God’s word.
And He tells them at the outset in verse one of chapter 14 to pursue love and to desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. Again, the gifts of the spirit fall into three categories.
We have taught you this before church. There are the sign gifts, the speaking gifts, and the serving gifts. I would categorize the speaking of tongues from what we understand in Acts chapter two to be a sign gift that was designed to help the Jewish people understand that there is this new covenant that God has made through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ and that he has established the coming and the promise of the spirit in the hearts of those who believe in Christ and that this is authentic.
This gospel message is true. It is real. And he has shown that through the manifested power on the day of Pentecost. The church at Corinth has confused that. They have misdirected the tongue speaking.
And when Paul talks about the things that they ought to pursue, he says that you may prophesy. He doesn’t see this as a sign gift in that we are foretelling the future, but rather he sees prophesy as forth telling the truth.
That is F -O -R -T -H, forth-telling, proclaiming the truth. That if there’s anything you should desire in the church, if there’s anything you should desire in the church, And there’s anything that you ought to pursue, not only with love and the spiritual gifts, but it is that you may prophesy.
He goes on in verse 2 to make a contrast between not only prophesying and tongue-speaking, but he makes the contrast to what is mysterious, and then the King James translation, they added the unknown of tongues and what is authentic spiritual gifts of tongues.
So let me help you out in understanding that very particular point. In verse 2 of chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians, for he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. For no one understands him, however, in the Spirit he speaks mysteries.
Now stop right there, because many times in the English translation, We don’t see everything that is there in the Greek text. And that is why it’s good for every pastor, every preacher to take Greek.
But what I want you to know about this text in verse 2 is that when he speaks of a tongue, he is not talking about the spiritual gifts of the tongue, but this mysterious unknown language that has emerged from the pagan practices of the Corinthians before they were saved.
When he comes down and says it speaks to God, in Greek, we would normally see the definite article. The definite article would be comparative to what we have in our English as the God, meaning Jehovah.
Now we have indefinite articles in English, and I’m not here to teach you English or Greek, but I think it’s important for you to understand what this text is really saying. An indefinite article would be like A or An, so we might say A -God or the word A -N, and we might use that in Greek.
There is no indefinite article. It is just left blank, and we understand whether it is referring to the God, Jehovah God, as we would interpret it, or A -God, or a D, that’s how we would understand the context of the Scriptures.
We come to this passage of Scripture, and there is no definite article before God. And it is an understanding here that he is not saying that they’re speaking to the God, the Jehovah, the Savior, the Lord, but rather he does not speak to men but to A -God, to A deity that existed within the Corinthians as they were bringing their habits and their practices over that there was a…
pagan mystery going on. Again, we come down to verse 4. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself. He’s not talking about the tongues of the spirit, but these mysterious tongues. He’s edifying himself, but he who prophesies or forthtells the word or teaches the Bible edifies the church.
The day of Pentecost was a day that changed the course of history, literally, and it has made the biggest difference as God has used this day to launch his church into the world in preaching the wonderful good news of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.