FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST
Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
The report of this event states that there were actually two fillings. First, there was the filling of the house with the sound of the rushing wind, as recorded in verse two. And secondly, there was the filling of all the individuals within the house with the Holy Ghost, in verse four. (That word, Ghost is the exact same Greek word, Spirit in verse four.) Persons filled with the Spirit of God always have effect on the world surrounding them. When the church is most spiritually pure, there is a reverence and respect for the things of God, (Acts 5:11-14). But in our day of traditional religious performance thieves break into churches with no more regard than breaking into a 7-11!
We also come to consider that although everyone in that house was filled with the Spirit, yet not all were given utterance to preach. For here is the list of some of the 120 souls in that house: Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
As far as salvation goes, there is no regard for slave more than free; no regard for Jew, more than Gentile; and no regard for male more than female! Gal. 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Christ died equally for all! And doing so, he broke down the wall of partition, separating such classes! (Eph. 2:14).
But the same Holy Spirit who inspired the writings which we find in 1 Timothy 2:11,12, for conduct when the church is gathered together, would most certainly not violate that very specific instruction! Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
And we also find the words of Acts 2:14 to be of valuable instruction in this same matter. For there we read, But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them,… It does not say that Peter stood up to preach the first Christian message “with the 120,” as if all were filled, and all were given the gift of gospel utterance! But it tells us that those given utterance to preach were the twelve apostles. And Peter, the twelfth, stood up with the other eleven to exercise the gift of preaching utterance!
Every true believer is filled with the Spirit! For that alone is salvation! John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. For those religionists who have not the Spirit are sensual, living on a plain of religiously trained human affections! And they will eventually separate themselves from the body of true believers. Jude 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
The cloven tongues – That word cloven is the exact same word, parted as found in verse 45 of our chapter. For the language of all the earth had been parted, or divided (Luke 12:52), back at the tower of babel, as listed in Genesis eleven! So the diversity of language (that word language in verse six is the same word tongue in verse eight), was here addressed by two miracles. The first miracle was the assembling of 17 different nationalities of devout men in Jerusalem at this exact time. – And that without e-mail, a GPS devise, or without even bulk postal mailings! Just as the Sovereign God called all the various animals into Noah’s ark, and just as he gathered Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, (Matt. 3:5), to John’s baptism, so he here gathers together from around the globe those chosen to hear the gospel preached on this day, and at this place!
The second miracle was that the Spirit, without actually reversing the languages of men to just one again, (Gen. 11:6), translated the words of gospel preaching from common, everyday, Galileans into the hearts of all those present, regardless of their present personal languages! For the gospel preached by the Spirit has a heart-felt language! Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
And this was foretold from ancient prophesies! Listen to Isaiah as he foretells of this event: Isaiah 19:18 In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction. 19 In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. 20 And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. 21 And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it. 22 And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them.
The unregenerate, represented by those dwelling in the land of Egypt (which we find represented there at the day of Pentecost – Acts 2:10), shall then begin to not only understand, but also speak in the language of the redeemed, represented here in Isaiah 19:18 by the words, the language of Canaan.
And now hear Zephaniah as he speaks of this matter. Zephaniah 3:8 Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. 9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. 10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. How could this be any clearer? 11 In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. 12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. 13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
Here the Lord states, not that they shall speak with that supplied word, “unknown” tongues, or languages, but that they shall speak with new words, from a new heart, in the language of the redeemed. We do realize that every time, without exception, that the word “unknown” appears in the King James Bible, it is in italics, which the 1611 translators always used to denote that these specific words were not in the original! So there are no “unknown” tongues: no spiritual gibberish! The Scriptures only meant to indicate that these were earthly languages (here called “tongues”) not understood by these Galileans!
For the Lord intended to regenerate some out of every language upon the earth! Rev. 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
And then from the writings of Zechariah we read of the same prophesy. Zechariah 8:20 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: 21 And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. 22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. 23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
Why tongues, and not a dove again? The last time we “saw” an image provided for the identity of the Holy Spirit, it was a dove! (Matt. 3:16-17; John 1:32-34). But here He is presented as a parted tongue. What is the lesson in this? The short answer to this is listed in these verses: 1 Corin. 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
The dove is the image of the Holy Spirit as associated with the Lord Jesus Christ. And we are commanded by him to be harmless as doves. (Matt. 10:16) And in that, we are being told to be like him! For the Lord Jesus is said to be holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; (Heb. 7:26).
But he, as the Supreme Commander of the armies of the church commanded us to go forth into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature in every nation. For then only would the end of this age come! Matt. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Thus the Spirit is presented to us, in accordance to that assignment of our Lord, to go and preach in every nation, in every language, to every creature upon the earth! Hence, we are given to view the same Holy Spirit in the visual expression of parted tongues to the Body of Christ!
But the Lamb of God is presented the Spirit of God’s anointing, and of his Father’s love, with the image of the harmless dove! And is it not of his most blessed condescension that when he was presented to the Lord as an infant, his parents brought but a pair of doves? (Luke 2:22-24). The Lamb was first publicly presented to God with the dove!
And that pure-spirited dove is enough to effect the sacrificial cleansing of the horrible disease of the leper! (Lev. 14:1-9). For though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18). And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5, 6).
And that little harmless dove is of sufficient power to present one with the peaceful assurance of the abated judgment of God against sin! Genesis 8:11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. None can grant the complete, inner peace regarding the satisfaction of God concerning his judgment against sin but He who has looked into the travail of his soul and has seen the God-like perfection from this human sacrifice! Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
My tongue! – In verses 25 through 28 of our chapter two of Acts the Apostle Peter quotes David’s writings of Psalm 16:8-10. And in verse 26 we read: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
But upon the actual reading that verse as recorded in our Old Testament, that is not the word that the Psalmist sets forth! For here is that quoted verse from the Psalms: Psalm 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
The Apostle Peter, caught up in the midst of the glory of the miracle of divided languages for the setting forth of the riches of Christ to those devout men now assembled, interprets for us a deeper meaning for the glory of David! It was the glory of the tongue set on fire by the Holy Spirit for the exalting of the Holy Savior! For out of the abundance of the heart of man, the mouth speaketh! (Matt. 12:34). And the heart filled with righteousness reveals itself in glorifying God!
The testimony of Peter when threatened against speaking in the name of Jesus says it all! Acts 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. Jeremiah experienced the same lesson! Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
Pastor Gene Breed.