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Thoughts Archived > Holy Spirit Fills MANY

2 Mar 2014



March 2, 2014

Holy Spirit Fills MANY 

Acts 2: 1 - 13




On the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after Jesus' resurrection, the believers were meeting together in one place.  Suddenly there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm in the skies above them, and it filled the house where they were meeting.  Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.  And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

Godly Jews from many nations were living in Jerusalem at that time.  When they heard this sound, they came running to see what it was all about, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.

They were beside themselves with wonder.  "How can this be?" they exclaimed.  "These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking the languages of the lands where we were born!  Here we are - Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phyrgia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya toward Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabians.  And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!"  They stood there amazed and perplexed.  "What can this mean?" they asked each other.  But others in the crowd were mocking "They're drunk, that's all!" they said. 







This is a very exciting event in documented history for Christian religion.  God creating life in all forms.  Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrectionS, yes, I said it in the plural sense, (see archives for history or give me a call for further explanation), was profound, illuminating, life-giving, thrilling in it's entirety.  But Holy Spirit's arrival for thousands to see and receive was of epic proportion historically and for the future of Christianity. 

Jesus showed us the way to get to heaven and went there to prepare a place for us.  Holy Spirit paves the road on the journey and shows us what steps to take.  We get ourselves there by the choices we make.  Read that again.....we get ourselves there by the choices we make.  It is not enough that God gave us life.  It is not enough for Jesus to have done what he did....live to show us the way, die for our sins, be raised to new life on earth and in heaven.  It is not enough for Holy Spirit to arrive, enter into folks, walk with us on the journey.  WE must.....MUST.....make the choice to believe in and receive them....God, Jesus, Holy Spirit....and obey them.  Obeying them is entirely different than living by the laws of the Old Testament, by the way.  I've spoken on this many times.   See John 15 for a brief overview.  Also be reminded of 1 John 2:17b which is, 'But if you do the will of God [obey], you will live forever.'

Let's carry on.  In John 16, Jesus said he would send the Counselor....Holy Spirit.  Let's recap what he said in verses 5-15.  Jesus said, "But now I am going away to the one who sent me [God], and none of you has asked me where I am going.  Instead, you are very sad.  But it is actually best for you that I go away [be resurrected into heaven], because if I don't, the Counselor [Comforter, Encourager, Advocate, Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth, etc.] won't come.  If I do go away, he will come because I will send him to you.  And when he comes, he will convince the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment.  The world's sin is unbelief in me.  Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more.  Judgment will come because the prince of this world has already been judged.

"Oh, there is so much more I want to tell you, but you can't bear it now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.  He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard.  He will tell you about the future.  He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me.  All that the Father has is mine; this is what I mean when I say that the Spirit will reveal to you whatever he receives from me."  And in 1 John 2:24-27 we learn, 'So you must [Say MUST.] remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning.  If you do, you will continue to live in fellowship with the Son and with the Father.  And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us. 

'I have written these things to you because you need to be aware of those who want to lead you astray.  But you have received [Have you?] the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you [Does he?], so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true.  For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true-it is not a lie.  So continue in what he has taught you, and continue to live in Christ.'

There is a lot more here than what you need for today, but I present it thus, so that you will better understand the importance of reading things in text.  "Text out of context is pre-text."  What that means, as I've stated before, is that if you take something out of the entirety of it's intended meaning, it becomes as if it was never written in the first place, it has no meaning, or can have a wrong meaning.  You'll see how this can play out in a minute or so.

Okay.  So moving on.....in todays lesson we learn Holy Spirit most definitely arrived.  From Acts 2:1 we read 'On the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after Jesus' resurrection, the believers were meeting together in one place.'  How many believers/followers/disciples/apostles were meeting together in one place?  Some Biblical teachers and scholars will tell you just the original 12.  Some will say 120 referring to Acts 1:15.  Neither is accurate.  First, you need to understand that believers can indeed mean believers/followers/disciples/apostles.  Secondly, verse 15 starts out 'During this time'.  Which time?  ''on a day when about 120 believers were present'.  'This time' refers to a time other than when Holy Spirit arrived....on Pentecost.  It is VERY important you pay attention to what I am clarifying.  Notice how Chapter 2 starts out 'On the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after Jesus' resurrection'.  In EVERY Biblical translation, there is CLEAR delienation pointing toward the day of Pentecost being an ENTIRELY different time than previously noted in Acts 1:15, when only about 120 believers were present.  This is huge and you'll learn why in a minute.

In Luke 9, Jesus chose 12.  In Luke 10, Jesus chose and sent out 72 to gain more.  In John 6, Jesus fed about 5000 followers.  Throughout the New Testament, more believers were added to the church as Jesus went along preaching, teaching, doing miracles.  The church grew and grew as more believed.....and followed Jesus.....literally followed him by all indications.  Many followed, but many may not have believed at first, or at all....presumably....and as evidenced in todays world as an example of such.  Stay with me here.

So, enter Pentecost.  Fifty days after Jesus' resurrection.  What is Pentecost?  Pentecost is the name given to the day in Christian history to honor the arrival of Holy Spirit.  However, you must understand why folks were gathered in Jerusalem at that time.  For that, we need to go to Leviticus 23:9-14 where we learn that the Festival of Harvest was held on what we now know as Pentecost.  Why is this important?  Because it says no matter where anyone lived, the Festival of Harvest was a permanent law that must be observed.  People were assembled from all over to give offerings to the priests.  Of interesting note is that the offerings given on the Festival of Harvest were to be given to the LORD by fire'.  Yet in the New Testament, 'tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of those who were meeting and everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages'.  Even drink offerings were to be given then, yet in todays lesson, folks were accused of being drunk....rather an adroit, or a 'tongue in cheek' connection, if you will, in the midst of a serious and sincere topic. 

Okay, so we know MANY were present in the area for the Festival of Harvest.  And the believers were present.  Back to the believers.  We do not know exactly how many, but by all indications, it was NOT just 'about 120', but more closely equal to much more than or WELL OVER 5000 BELIEVERS meeting together in one place.  'Suddenly [!] there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of amighty windstorm in the skies above them, and it filled the house where they were meeting.'  Sorry to stop again, but you have to understand the size of the 'house' they were meeting.  Based on archeological findings and artistic drawings from that time, and depictions since, this was not a small 'house'.  We have documented history in the New Testament indicating followers were so numbered that they would surround the houses others met, if there was not enough room within.  EVEN if you counted the languages as 1 per person, there were 16, not 12.  EVEN SO, a mighty windstorm in the skies above them filling the house where they were meeting would have to be fairly enormous to be seen by so many to have literally had 'Godly Jews from many nations living in Jerusalem at that time', 'when they heard this sound', 'running to see what is was all about'. 

And when they arrived,  'they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.  They were beside themselves with wonder.  "How can this be?" they exclaimed.  "These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking the languages of the lands where we were born!  Here we are - Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappodocia, Ponus, the province of Asia, Phyrgia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya toward Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabians.  And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!"  They stood there amazed and perplexed.  "What can this mean?"  they asked each other.  But others in the crowd were mocking, "They're drunk, that's all!" they said.'  But were they?   

It has been suggested that because Jesus' ministry reached many, that many from different areas were represented at that time, hence others 'speaking the languages of the lands where' the Godly Jews were born.  But based on documented history, that is not so due to the far reach of all those hearing their languages and there being no mention that Jesus, nor his appointed, or others, reached those areas.  We also have Paul telling us in 1 Corinthians 12:10 that Holy Spirit gives the ability to speak in unknown languages, and another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.  Again in 1 Corinthians 12 verse 28:  'Here is a list of some of the members that God has placed in the body of Christ....those who speak in unknown languages'.  In 1 Corinthians 14 Paul addresses the topic of speaking in tongues as a gift of special ability to talk to God, that it is speaking by the power of the Spirit, and it being mysterious.

In 1 Corinthians 14 verse 9, Paul says, "If you talk to people in a language they don't understand, how will they know what you mean?  You might as well be talking to an empty room."  Paul is attempting preface his upcoming lesson on orderly worship.  He is also trying to assuage the sincere concern of those who have not received the gift of tongues....the ability to speak in unknown languages.  He also says, and this is a rare focus, that people need to have the gift of tongues, so folks will understand the Gospel when presented.  What good is it to learn a new language and not use it?  What good is it to attempt to share the Gospel with folks in English, if the people before you speak Swahili, or Gaelic, or other?  Holy Spirit GIFTS the ability to speak in other languages, as he sees fit, as is necessary.  You do not have to 'learn' a new language.  If you are called to speak to someone in another language, Holy Spirit will provide it.  It is what is referred to as speaking in tongues, tongues of fire....all from the same Spirit....Holy Spirit.

So how many were there that day?  How many received the gift of speaking in other languages?  How many joined the church that day?  Stay tuned....there is much more to come!  I can barely wait to continue sharing about this exciting documented history!  Who would have thought I would ever become a history teacher?  See you next week! 





 Let Us Pray


Dear God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, the world so needs you.  Only through you, Jesus, can anyone enter heaven, receive forgiveness of sins, eternal life.  There is NO other way.  My prayer today is that all who read this and all Scripture will accept who you are, that you are, and how wonderful you are and believe in a way they have never believed before....with the whole of their heart, their mind, their soul.  That they will believe in you, and believing, accept, and accepting, be willing to receive all you have to give them.  God, I pray this for all in the world.  In Jesus' name, by and with the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and would like to do so, and would like to be forgiven of your sins, pray the following, or any prayer from your heart:

God, I believe you created the universe....and me.  Please forgive me of my sins, especially of unbelief in you, God, and Jesus, and Holy Spirit.  I believe in you now.  I believe in you, Jesus, that you lived and died for me, so that I would have the opportunity to be forgiven of my sins and receive eternal life, and, that you lived again on earth and now live in heaven eternally.  Holy Spirit, I believe in you, that you were sent to help me know how to live my new life and help me understand the importance of obeying you, God, and Jesus, so that I can receive eternal life in live in heaven.  I want to receive all the gifts and fruits you want to give me, Holy Spirit.  I want to make Jesus the Lord of my life.  I come to you now, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit in humble prayer with thanksgiving for everything you have done for me.  Please heal me and make me whole.  Thank you.  Amen.        





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Let us hear from Paul as he prays:  

When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.  And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him.  May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it.  Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now glory be to God!  By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.  May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages.  Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT         




Scroll down to read Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving...'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'.




Definition of a Christian:  Anyone who believes in God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Regardless of church name or religious affiliation. 

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    One last thing....


 Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving

'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'


"Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer:  "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.  You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people.  Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly.  "The Father has given me all these things to do and say.  This is a unique Father - Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge.  No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does.  But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen."

"Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly.


   Matthew 11:  25-30

  The Message


And the people said,









I now write most prayers in the position of ' I ' (first person) because most people are sitting at their computer alone, not in groups, and it allows those reading and praying to personalize the prayer as coming from them going to God.  Variations may appear on holidays when families may wish to use the prayer provided.  I encourage you to pray your own prayers as well.


  Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189.  All rights reserved.


NOTE:  I said it long ago, but let me say it again.  If you are wanting to lead a group, start a church, or are confined in an institution, or live in a country where the Gospel is not preached, and you don't know what to say or how to say it, and yet feel led to share, teach, or preach, besides just reading straight out of the Bible and sharing what God puts on your heart, please feel free to share any or all of what I've written, if it will help you, as long as you include where it comes from, due to copyright laws.  Jesus gave God's love and healing freely, as well as his message.  Our responsibility is to get the Word out to those who need to hear it.  If what I've written....by the power and direction of the Holy Spirit....or what he has said through me....has helped you, it may help others that you know.  You are welcome to share it.  God calls all of us to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world.  Please share it with the fullness of love that God, Jesus, Holy Spirit....and I....have given it.  Amen!



Bible Authors and Minister