Jesus IS

 

the “Gift” of the Holy Spirit

 

Part 6

 

 

 

And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38  AMPLIFIED BIBLE

 

 

 

Section Titles  (Click on a title to go directly to that section or scroll down to begin reading this study.)

 

 

The Promise of the Father

 

Acts 2:4 Filled With A Morally Blameless Spirit

 

The Undefiled Spirit & Speaking In Tongues

 

 

 

 

 

The Promise of the Father

 

Luke 24:36-53

 

While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be to you."  37 But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. 38 And He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?  39 " See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."  40 And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, " Have you anything here to eat?"  42 They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; 43 and He took it and ate it before them.

 

44 Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."  45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  48 "You are witnesses of these things.  49 "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." 

 

50 The Ascension

 

And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising God.

NASU

 

After Jesus died on a tree, was buried for three days and then raised up from the dead by God, he showed himself alive to his disciples for forty days.  The context of Luke Chapter twenty-four is critical to understanding what the “promise” of the Father is.  In Luke 24:44-45 Jesus opens their minds to understand what the Law and Prophets say concerning his atoning sacrifice. 

 

Though not mentioned in Luke’s account, it is certain Jesus taught the disciples from the Old Testament books concerning his suffering.  For further reading, some references to study are:  Isaiah 53:2-12; 50:4-9; 49:5-13; Psalms 22:1-21; Daniel 9:26.

 

Finally, Luke 24:48 reveals one last OT prophecy concerning the “promise” of Jesus’ Father God; it is found in Haggai 2:1-8 (please read).

The word of Yahweh came through the prophet Haggai to Joshua the high priest, the son of Jehozadak.  Joshua is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek and Aramaic words translated as “Jesus.”  Thus Joshua is symbolic of Jesus, and in Haggai 2:5 we find the one and only OT prophecy using the word “promise” in regards to the spirit (some translations use the word “covenanted” in Haggai 2:5).

 

·        Haggai 2:5 'As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!'  NAS

 

Egypt is symbolic of the world, ruled by prince of darkness (Satan); and so, Haggai’s message speaks figuratively to those who come out of it.  Jesus’ disciples had left their trades and the cares of this life to walk with and learn from the Master himself.  In so doing, these followers of the Way were given the “promise” of having God’s spirit abiding in their midst.  This is the meaning conveyed through Haggai to the church.

 

Joshua was the high priest, and therefore he is symbolic of Jesus.  Jesus is our high priest now, and the Levitical priesthood is done away with (Hebrews 2:14; 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:9-10; 6:20; 7:26; 8:1-6; 9:11-14). 

 

Joshua and Jesus are identical words and both mean exactly the same thing, “Yah saves” (literally, “he is that saves”).  Joshua is the son of Jehozadak; Jehozadak means, “Yahweh is righteous."  Jesus IS the son of his Father Yahweh; Yahweh is the source and sum total of all true righteousness (Psalms 48:10).  The prophet Malachi echoes this theme when he calls the Messiah, “the sun of righteousness,” (Malachi 4:2).

 

The promise of the Father (Yahweh) is to all who have left the world behind, and have embraced Jesus as their high priest and mediator before God.  Only Jesus can give the believer access to his Father’s spirit because his sacrificial death is the only way to God.

 

While the Father is the One who makes the “promise” available, Jesus is the only one who can “send” it.   In Luke 24:49 he tells his disciples, "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."

 

The Greek word for “promise” is epaggelía meaning, “an announcement.”  This Greek word epaggelía was used primarily as a legal term pledge denoting a summons or promise to do or give something.  It was the Father’s pledge of assurance, and He gave his son Jesus the authority to send His promise forth.  It would be the synchronized union of God (Yahweh) and man (Jesus) coming to the one who is a follower of both.

 

The promise of the Father is the “gift” (gratuity; gracious gift) of a “consecrated spirit” (not “the Holy Spirit”).  This will be more apparent in reviewing The Appropriate Translation for Acts 2:38.

 

King James Version

 

·        Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  KJV

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Acts 2:38 The Peter made known his thoughts saying to them, “Exercise your minds to think differently, (having sorrow and a change of heart toward God), and each one of you be immersed (submerged) in the authority and character of the name of Jesus (Joshua; Yah who saves) Christ (anointed & consecrated to serve), for the purpose of pardon for your sins, and you shall take hold of the gratuity (a gift given of one’s own free will) of the sacred (morally blameless) life (spirit).”

·        Acts 2:39 Therefore the pledge of divine assurance (promise) is for you and for your children and to all in distant places, as many as the Lord our God shall invite to Himself.  TAT

 

The Greek word translated “receive” in Acts 2:38 means “to take hold of.”  This shows us that WE must be active, not passive, in getting hold of a life that is sacred, morally blameless and consecrated to God.  This is the kind of life God wants us to live; we are to be set apart and made pure in our dedication of service to God.

 

What a difference it would make if each individual Christian understood and accepted his or her responsibility to live a life of moral purity.  Then we would pray with fervor, and our prayers would be effectual.  No longer would the church be embarrassed by the sloppy and immoral lives of its’ ministers and members, but the world would stand in conviction for its’ sin.

 

The “promise” or “pledge” that God gives to us is this: EVERYONE who calls on His name, and makes the ongoing effort to take hold of a life of spiritual purity shall obtain it.  God invites and summons us to come to Him; He does not demand it of us, but offers it with outstretched hand.

 

 

 

Acts 2:4

Filled With A Morally Blameless Spirit

 

We have studied the context of Luke 24:36-53 and examined Jesus’ final instructions to his disciples before he ascended into heaven and out of their sight.  Ironically, or perhaps Providentially, Luke is also credited with being the author of the Book of the Acts of the Apostle.  In Acts chapters one and two Luke again recalls the final teaching of Jesus, and records the events leading up to the Day of Pentecost when 120 men and women were “filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke with other tongues as the spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-2)

 

Traditional and orthodox Pentecostal (i.e. – charismatic) dogma teaches that Acts 2:4 is when the disciples were actually “filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Some denominations, including the Assemblies of God (AOG), believe that when the disciples spoke in tongues it was the “evidence” of being filled with the Spirit of God.

 

If one uses only the English versions of the Bible, then the aforementioned AOG doctrine seems reasonable.  Similar experiences mentioned in the Book of Acts (Acts 10:44-46; 19:6), seem to strengthen their doctrinal position.  The AOG believes that someone can be “saved” and even baptized without being “filled” with the Spirit of God.  Again, in the English versions of the Bible, there is a precedent for such a doctrine in Acts 8:14-18.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 

·        Acts 8:14-18 14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.  NAS

 

When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the Samaritans had received the word of God and had been baptized, they sent Peter and John to pray for them to, “receive the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:15).  According to the English versions, the logical conclusion is apparent; that is, people can “receive” the gospel, and even be “baptized” in the name of Jesus Christ and yet they have not “received” the Holy Spirit.

 

The Greek version of Acts 8:17 reads much differently than standard English versions, and agrees with the concept of taking hold of a sacred, pure and morally blameless life (spirit)

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Acts 8:17 At that time they placed their hands around them (as if encircling) and they took hold of a sacred, pure, and morally blameless spirit.  TAT

 

While there is no mention of speaking in tongues in Acts 8:17, Simon saw something happen that prompted him to offer money for this gift.  It is possible the Samaritans also spoke in tongues like the disciples did at Pentecost in Jerusalem (Acts 2:4).

 

This brings us to the main body of our sixth study on the gift of the Holy Spirit.  As mentioned earlier, the apostle Luke wrote the Book of Acts, and the first two chapters hold key passages of scripture to aid in understanding the gift given, and the power of God associated with it.

 

Acts 1:1-5

 

1:1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4 And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. "  NAS

 

In Acts 1:4-5 Jesus told his disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, saying, “for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."  Jesus is contrasting the physical with the spiritual; water baptism verses spirit baptism. 

 

The reference to baptism is figurative language; hence baptism no longer means, “to submerge”; rather, in Greek, the common word ‘baptistheésesthe’ means, “to make overwhelmed; to strongly influence.”  Jesus is instructing his disciples to have an expectation in the future; they will be “overwhelmed” with the power of God and the life-giving spirit of Jesus.  Jesus will immerse and heavily influence them in a state of spiritual sanctification; their hearts will be imbued with purity, preparing them for the work of service.

 

The next portion of Acts illustrates the disciple’s lack of spiritual perception or discernment.  They were unsure of Jesus’ words, and were still hoping he would arise as the mighty warrior Messiah who would conquer Rome, and rule the nations.  They have seen their Messiah crucified, and now raised from the dead; what would he do next?

Acts 1:6-11

 

6 And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. "  9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; 11 and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."  NAS

 

In Acts 1:8 Jesus told his followers, “but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."  The Greek word for “power” is ‘dúnamin’; it means “force” and stems from a root word ‘dunamai’ meaning, “to be able or possible.”

 

The Lord is expounding on the promise of the Father; he is insuring these future apostles they would have divine help to give them the ability, the boldness and the force needed to be his witnesses throughout the earth.  This is why Jesus chose his words carefully; he wanted them to have confidence that God would furnish them with the inner strength needed to face the challenges ahead.

 

Once again, the English Bibles distort the Greek text by inserting the word “receive” in Acts 1:8.  The Greek word used is ‘leémpsesthe’ and it is derived from a primary verb ‘lambano’ meaning, “to take; to get hold of.”  This word lambano is objective or active, not subjective or passive.  The Greek word suggesting passive reception is ‘dechomai’ (to receive).

 

Jesus’ disciples would have to be assertive and get hold of the force, or ability God would provide to them.  The English translators used the phrase “has come upon you” in Acts 1:8 indicating the arrival or influence (Greek = erchomai) of the spirit of Jesus.  The angel admonished the disciples after Jesus ascended into the clouds and out of their sight saying to them, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky?  This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."

 

On the Day of Pentecost, when all the disciples were gathered together, Jesus returns to them in the spirit and power of his Father.  Jesus brings his presence into their midst, and they feel him.  They begin their relationship with their Messiah anew, walking with by faith, and not by sight.  Overwhelmed (baptized) by his pure and sanctified presence, they are unable to utter discernable (audible) words.  They yield themselves to this loving presence, and as they do, each one of them begins to speak in an unknown tongue the wonderful works of God.

 

 

Acts 2:1-11

 

2:1 And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.  5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because they were each one hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and marveled, saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 "And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs-- we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God. "  NAS

 

The NAS translates verse four as, ‘And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.’

Unless we researched the Greek, there would be no reason to question this.  However, The Appropriate Translation views this verse from a different perspective.

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Acts 2:4 And they were all wholly drenched in an undefiled spirit, and, as first in order, {in the church}, {they} commenced uttering (at random) words of a different kind {of} language, just as the spirit was giving them {the ability} to enunciate clearly.  TAT

 

The 120 followers of Jesus who gathered together in the upper room were the very first (in successive order) in the newly born church to commune with Jesus and his Father in spirit.  Imagine how they felt as the power of God the Father fell upon them, and the undefiled spirit of the glorified Son of God purified and consecrated them.  The experience was so overwhelming they were unable to utter anything but what the spirit of Christ gave them ability to do (i.e. - uttering (at random) words of a different kind {of} language).

                                   

John the Baptist prophesied that Jesus was he who would baptize with an undefiled spirit and with fire. 

 

·        Luke 3:16 John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”  NAS

 

Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16 agree that JESUS is the one who baptizes in spirit.  The Appropriate Translation for Luke 3:16 omits a definite article preceding the words “Holy Spirit.” 

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Luke 3:16 John responded saying to all, “Indeed, I submerge you with water; on the other hand, one comes more forcibly than I; of whom I am not fit (in character) to loosen the strap of his sandals; he shall overwhelm (saturate) you, being in the condition of an undefiled spirit.”  TAT

 

Jesus fulfilled John the Baptist’s words on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:3-4.  Jesus returned to his disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem, only now they were unable to visibly know him.  He came to them in his spiritual body as the last Adam, THE life giving and undefiled spirit!  The spotless Lamb of God descended into their midst, coming to them in the strength, force and power of his Father God.

 

·        1 Corinthians 15:45 Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being (an individual personality)’; the last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving Spirit [restoring the dead to life].  AMP

 

Jesus is undefiled and blameless and he supplies us with the tools necessary to walk in his footsteps.  When Jesus comes to us, he is not alone.  Wherever Jesus is, his Father is with him, because Jesus gets his marching orders from the Almighty!  The Lord Jesus is always in subjection to God the Father, even though he has been given a name with authority whose position is above every other name in the heavens and upon the earth.

 

·        1 Corinthians 15:27-28 27 For He [the Father] has put all things in subjection under His [Christ's] feet. But when it says, ‘All things are put in subjection [under Him],’ it is evident that He [Himself] is excepted Who does the subjecting of all things to Him. [Ps 8:6.]  28 However, when everything is subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also subject Himself to [the Father] Who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all [be everything to everyone, supreme, the indwelling and controlling factor of life].  AMP

 

Jesus is the Teacher and Master; we learn from him and obey his voice.  God the Father is the One that supplies us with the power, strength and forgiveness.  Christ is the head of every man, and God is the over Christ.

 

·        1 Corinthians 11:3-4 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.  NKJV

 

When we fellowship with Jesus, we are also fellowshipping with his Father God.  In fact, we cannot know and fellowship with God except through Jesus.  Jesus is one with his Father; he is one in spirit, one in heart and one in purpose.  Jesus lives for only one main purpose… to glorify the Father.

 

·        John 14:23-24 Jesus answered, “If a person [really] loves me, he will keep my word [obey my teaching]; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.  Anyone who does not [really] love me does not observe and obey my teaching.  And the teaching, which you hear and heed, is not mine, but [comes] from the Father Who sent me.  AMP

 

 

The Undefiled Spirit & Speaking In Tongues

 

Jesus is he who baptizes the believer by drenching him in a condition or state of existence that is morally blameless.  Jesus is pure and chaste; there is nothing unclean, dark or evil in him.  His presence brings the believer to his or her knees in conviction for sin.  His love and compassion are always extended, and his lips speak only the truth.

 

Most Bible translations begin Acts 2:4 with these words, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit… “  The Greek word in Acts 2:4 for “filled” is ‘epleéstheesan’; used figuratively, this word means, “to imbue, influence or supply (with); to soak (like a sponge); to drench completely; to make come true.” 

 

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the word “imbue” as follows:

 

·        IMBUE, v.t. imbu'. [L. imbuo; in and the root of Eng. buck, to buck cloth, that is, to dip, drench or steep in water.]

·        To tinge deeply; to dye; as, to imbue cloth.

·        To tincture deeply; to cause to imbibe; as, to imbue the minds of youth with good principles.

 

This word ‘imbue’ is very significant in understanding what happened to the 120 men and women on the Day of Pentecost.  Picture each person as a piece of cotton cut out into the outline form of a person.  Now imagine 120 cloth people and every one of them is cut out of colored cloth that is a deep hue of scarlet red.  All of these cloth people are hanging on a clothesline, when suddenly the whole batch of them is suddenly dipped from head to toe in a giant vat of chlorine bleach.  As quickly as the red cloth is drenched into the vat the scarlet red turns a brilliant white!

 

·        Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD.  "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.  (From New International Version)

 

The cloth people were “imbued” with bleach, and the color of the garment actually changed.  When Jesus’ disciples were imbued with the undefiled spirit of the Son of God, something happened on the inside.  The soul of each one had born the red hue of sin for a lifetime; however, when all of them were suddenly drenched in their spirits with the purity of Jesus, it left them speechless (so to speak).

 

Jesus baptized them in his pure spirit and fire.  Ordinarily, fire is symbolic of judgment, and initially when John the Baptist spoke of the Messiah’s baptism, he added this warning to the disobedient, unbelieving, and in particular, the religious hypocrites:

 

·        Luke 3:17 "And His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."  NAS

 

Suddenly these believing, yet unregenerate Jews simultaneously experience, not only Jesus as the spotless Lamb, but also the power of the Almighty in glory and grace!  Their spirits instantly responded to this magnificent presence of Father and Son by uttering (at random) words of a different kind {of} language, just as the spirit was giving them {the ability} to enunciate clearly (Acts 2:4).

 

Just before the disciples were imbued and thoroughly drenched with the spirit of Jesus, they heard and felt something like wind and fire.

 

·        Acts 2:1-3 1 And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.  NAS

 

In order to properly interpret these verses, and comprehend the whole occurrence, a more literal translation of Acts 2:2-3 is needed.  Unlike what the NAS text says, there was not any “tongues as of fire.”

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Acts 2:2 And unexpectedly there came out of the sky a loud noise exactly like the moving, forcible wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  TAT

 

·        Acts 2:3 And they gazed at languages in distribution {among them} as though it were {like} fire {so unusual was it}, and it settled around each one of them.  TAT

 

The translation above puts the whole Pentecostal experience in a different light.  The many different languages came and hovered (as it were) around each one of them just after they heard an audible sound of wind blowing.  The “upper room” where they were seated was, most likely, the typical rooftop patio-like space where residents and guests of the house would go in the early evening to escape the heat trapped in the lower elevations.

 

Since the Greek text clearly says the loud noise was “exactly like” wind, then it was wind.  We need not allegorize the literal text if the context is clearly literal.  However, this was not any ordinary windstorm, but the forcible power of spirit moving around each one of the disciples.  As the life-giving spirit of Christ Jesus dyed (imbued; tinctured; filled) each one with his undefiled life, they yielded the members of their body to him.  As this happened to each individual, they uttered words in a dialect previously unknown to them (speaking in other tongues).

 

Such an event so astonished them they all stared at each other as though looking wide-eyed at lightening or some other kind of brilliant fire.  This is what the meaning of the Greek text indicates for “tongues of fire.”  In fact the meaning of the Greek word for fire is literally, “lightening.”  In other words, they were completely taken back by this unique experience!  Jesus moved with great force and capacity as he interceded through and on behalf of each one, using their lips and tongues to articulate the mighty works of his Father God.

 

This is the first time recorded in scripture whereby in unison, yet in individual dialects, a group of believers uttered the mighty works of God.  Jews from many nations were in Jerusalem for the Feasts, and a great multitude watched in wonder as they heard these Galileans speaking their native tongues.

 

·        Acts 2:11-12  “… we all hear them speaking in our own native tongues [and telling of] the mighty works of God!”  And all were beside themselves with amazement and were puzzled and bewildered, saying one to another, “What can this mean?”  AMP

 

In Part 1 of this series, we started by studying how Jesus makes intercession for the things we cannot audibly utter.  A brief review of The Appropriate Translation of Romans 8:26-27 puts into clear perspective what is happening as the disciples spoke in different languages.  Jesus came to them, took hold of their moral weakness, and then, as their Mediator, interceded on their behalf, providing them with the most important and precise words to pray (albeit in a dialect foreign to each of them).

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Romans 8:26 And in the same way the spirit (pneuma) helps by taking hold of the moral weakness in us, because we do not know precisely (as needed) what thing we should wish or pray for that is most important.  However, the spirit (pneuma) itself intercedes (acts as a mediator) for or in behalf of inaudible (impossible to hear) prayer, which cannot be expressed in words;

 

·        Romans 8:27 But the one who investigates the seat of the desires, feelings, affections, passions, and impulses, (of the heart or mind) sees, with perception, what the result of the mindset of the spirit (pneumatos) is, because, {coming} down from God, {he} meets and talks with {Him} on behalf and for the benefit and protection of the sanctified ones.  TAT

 

This text shows the value of speaking in a different language when Jesus is involved.  To onlookers, these simple Galileans were speaking forth the mighty works of God.  What made this event even more powerful is the fact they were expressing themselves in fluent foreign languages.  This provided Peter with a perfect opportunity to both explain what was happening, and preach the newfound gospel for the very first time!

 

Acts 2:14-3:1

 

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

 

17 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.'

 

22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know --23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.25 For David says concerning Him:

 

'I foresaw the LORD always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy one to see corruption.28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.'

 

29 "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

 

34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:

‘The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’”

 

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

 

37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

 

38 Then Peter said to them,"Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

 

40 A Vital Church Grows

And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation."41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

 

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.  NKJV

 

Peter affirms that the languages spoken by the disciples came from God, and were prophetic.  This outpouring of God’s Spirit is what the prophet Joel had written of, and now it was coming to pass before the eyes of all Jerusalem.  He tells his audience of thousands that this outpouring of spirit is the “promise of the Father.”  This is not a contradiction with the baptism in an undefiled spirit that Jesus gives, because he and the Father each have a role to fulfill.

 

To reiterate what has been said before, Jesus is the baptizer and the one who imbues his disciples in undefiled life.  Yet the Father is He who made it all possible; first by creating Jesus in the womb of Mary, and then by leading and guiding him in His redemptive plan for mankind.  Also, without the Father’s power and strength, Jesus could do nothing at all (Read John 5:19, 30; 8:28; 9:33).

 

In Acts 2:14-3:1 there are numerous proofs that Jesus is the one whom God has appointed to pour out the baptism, and imbue his disciples in an undefiled life and spirit.  Peter’s speech made three very distinct points about Jesus:

 

·        Jesus of Nazareth, was a man attested by God… David says concerning Him, ‘I foresaw the LORD always before my face, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken’ and again, ‘You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of joy in your presence.’

 

·        The patriarch David, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, having foreseen this, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ.

 

·        Jesus was the one whom God raised up, and of whom all the disciples were witnesses, and having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the consecrated spirit, he (Jesus) poured out this (undefiled spirit), which the Jews could see and hear. 

 

·        God has made this Jesus, whom the Jews crucified, both Lord and Christ.

 

Many people in the church today take a dim view regarding speaking in tongues.  This is mainly due to ignorance, and also what they see and witness going on in charismatic churches.  Don’t allow your doctrinal bent or theological bias rob you of having the spirit of Jesus come alongside, and intercede on your behalf.

 

·        Hebrews 7:24-28 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.  26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.  NKJV

 

Jesus Christ is the same today as he was back then, and will continue forever in his exalted position among many brethren.  His intercession to aid us in prayer has not lessened because we live in a different age than the early disciples.  The word of God is as valid today as it was back then.

 

·        Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages).  AMP

 

Some Christians say that tongues have ceased, and base their erroneous conclusion on an isolated verse of scripture in 1 Corinthians 13:8.  Examine this verse in its context, and there are some hard questions to answer.

 

·        1 Corinthians 13:8-10 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.  NASU

 

If tongues have ceased, then so has knowledge and prophecy.  Yet the apostle Paul in the very next chapter exhorts every believer to speak in other tongues AND prophesy, as the spirit of Jesus gives the utterance.

 

·        1 Corinthians 14:5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.  NKJV

 

In the church, when believers are assembled together, unknown tongues should be carefully limited, because it is not edifying to the entire congregation.  It still has value and merit in the life of a disciple of Jesus, but must be used with wisdom and discretion.

 

·        1 Corinthians 14:1-5 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.  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.  But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.  He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.  NKJV

 

Love must be our chief pursuit, but we are still to “earnestly desire spiritual gifts.”  To have the Lord Jesus provide you with the gratuity of an undefiled spirit, and to have him articulate precisely what is needed in prayer through your tongue is available to all who call upon his name.  Speaking in an unknown tongue is legitimate prayer to God, even though you may not be able to interpret.

 

Nevertheless, God wants us to seek an interpretation for the unknown tongues, because this will help us to understand the priorities in our lives from God’s perspective.  Remember, Jesus confers with God, and then renders assistance to us by taking hold of the moral weakness in us, and giving us help when called alongside in prayer.

 

·        1 Corinthians 14:13-19 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.  What is the conclusion then?  I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding.  I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.  Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say "Amen" at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say?  For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.  I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.  NKJV

 

We should pray and sing in both unknown languages, and known.  In the church it is clear that known languages are more edifying to all.  This motivates those who speak in unknown tongues to aggressively seek the interpretation for the edification of their brethren.

 

One who prays in an unknown tongues “edifies himself” (1 Corinthians14:4).  The Greek word for “edifies” means, “a house builder; to build a house.”  We are the house of God, and as living stones we are built together.  The goal of this house of God is love out of a pure heart.

 

If everyone builds upon his or her own faith, and does so unselfishly, the outcome will be the strengthening of the church.

 

·        1 Peter 2:4-5 And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  NAS

 

 

 

 

SELAH…Pause and reflect

 

 

Continued in Part Seven

 


Links to the Entire "Jesus is the Gift of the Holy Spirit” Series:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Addendum (Quick Reference Guide)

 


 

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