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Pentecost (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2022 6:00 am

Pentecost (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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May 31, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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Don't for one moment, if you have, miss the importance and the power behind these events that are still going on. Maybe not as dramatic, but you show me a Christian who's not ready and eager to preach Christ and I'll show you a Christian that does not have the Spirit flowing out of them and something is wrong. Christians will preach on their deathbeds. Please turn to the book of Acts chapter 2 beginning at verse 2. We'll take it all the way to verse 13.

I love this section. As of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting, then there appeared to them divided tongues of fire, and one sat upon each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with 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 his own language. Then 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?

Parthians and Medes, Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the 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?

Others, mocking, said they are full of new wine. I mean, it's the energy that belongs to how Luke has recorded this, that all of these people from all over the world are here for this moment. This really is the birth of the church, not Christianity, but the church. What we would say today is a game changer. This message is simply entitled Pentecost. Everything that I've been commenting on since chapter one has been with this moment in mind. It has been leading up, building up to this climactic milestone in the church, in Christianity. And preparation that Jesus had laid on these men, repeating to them, the Spirit is going to come, wait in Jerusalem, you will be endured with power. It's again a climactic moment. When I do a wedding, I say to the bride and the groom as they stand before me, before we start the vows and the promises, I say the moment that you have been waiting for with great anticipation is here, because they've been building up to it. You know, shopping, clothes, all the stuff that goes in there, worrying, and now it's here. And this is sort of like what's going on with the bride of Christ.

This is it. The moment is here. And look at with me, if you would, at verse one. When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Now, Luke is going to add energy to that when he says suddenly the holy, the great wind came. If you don't see the importance of what is taking place here, just try to remember that until this event took place, there was no preaching to lost souls. They were just amongst themselves praying and studying the Word, but there was nothing flowing out of the church, out of Christianity.

It was just stagnant in that sense. But after this, it's going to change immediately. After whoever it was that made that little snide remark, go, they're drunk, Peter's going to say, I'll have none of that. And he's going to lovingly begin to explain to them just what is going on. And so don't for one moment, if you have, miss the importance and the power behind these events that are still going on. Maybe not as dramatic, but you show me a Christian who's not ready and eager to preach Christ, and I'll show you a Christian that does not have the Spirit flowing out of them and something is wrong.

It is very wrong. I mean, Christians will preach on their deathbeds. So, back to verse one, when the day of Pentecost had fully come. Well, Pentecost is the feast of first fruits, the harvest, and I don't want to get too bogged down in this, though I probably will a little bit anyway, because you can go nuts trying to figure out the Old Testament rites and ordinances and how they apply.

The symbolisms aren't too hard, but to be strict with them, even the Jews struggle to this day trying to figure out things about the Mosaic offerings. The first day of the Feast of Fruits, that was the barley offering. Fifty days later, the Jews would then offer wheat, and that was the end of this Pentecost, this harvest celebration. Only the first and last days were celebrated at the temple with a 50-day gap, and the word Pentecost means 50, speaking about these 50 days. Now, it is about nine in the morning right now when this is taking place, and when Luke writes that the day of Pentecost had fully come, what he is saying is it's now daylight. Well, the Jews started their day at sundown, so Pentecost really came Saturday at sundown, started that next day, but the offerings would not be given until Sunday morning. The morning offerings would be the daily offerings plus the offerings that belong to this feast, and this is what Luke is saying. It's fully here now. We're not at Saturday night.

It's Sunday morning. The sacrifices that belong to all of the Jewish sacrifices spoke of the Messiah to come, our Christ. They anticipated him, and we have a fuller understanding of these things thanks to our New Testament, and the apostles and the writers have given to us so much information in such a short amount of space compared to the Old Testament. Now, Passover spoke of his voluntary sacrifice of Christ saying, you know what? I'll be born.

Who here would like to be born all over again? I didn't say born again because we want to be born from above, but who would go to heaven and say, I'd like to redo that? I don't think anybody would say, I'll have another, thank you, but Christ volunteered to come here. Our sacrificial lamb, 1 Corinthians 5, Paul says, for indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

That's how we learn about these symbols and the emblems which are critical for us. But the firstfruits, this Pentecost, this feast, it didn't speak of his death, it speaks of his resurrection, and the victory and the life of his sacrifice that comes out of the Passover, 1 Corinthians 15, verse 23. Christ the firstfruits, well, that's the name of this feast. The Jews knew it as the Feast of Harvest, so the firstfruits.

And they'd offer that firstfruit, that would be barley, 50 days later they'd offer the wheat, and that would be the 50th day ending this celebration. Again, 1 Corinthians 15, Christ the firstfruits afterward, those who are Christ at his coming. And again, this speaks of the resurrection and the work that followed the resurrection.

Now we're in May or June, that's when this feast would take place. There are two competing views by the religious leaders. Remember, you have the law of God from Moses and the prophets, and then you have rabbinical Judaism, which sort of took a blanket and threw it over the candle or just ruined everything. The minutiae, the laws they tacked, the burdens, really to this day it is just convoluted what the Old Testament preaches.

No wonder they struggle to get to the New Testament. But anyway, in those days, in the days that these apostles are experiencing this coming of the Spirit, the two competing views concerning this holiday, one by the Sadducees, a group of religious leaders, and they really ran Jerusalem and the temple at this time, and then the Pharisees, another group. And they really, the people were more with the Pharisees than they were with the Sadducees. But the Sadducees counted 50 days from the weekly Sabbath after Passover. So if Passover fell on a Monday, they'd wait till Saturday, and then they'd start their count, the barley offering of the first fruits, and then 50 days later the Pentecost with the wheat offering. The Sadducees, they counted it from Passover.

So you had two different, you know, so at what point? And that's what I mentioned, that even the Jews struggle with understanding the details to many of these rites. This Passover happens to be on a Saturday, whichever view you take. The calendar worked out that way. And Pentecost, of course, on a Sunday also. And this is why we, Christians, have as our primary day of assembly on a Sunday, the first day of the week. We also celebrate, gather on Sunday, not only because Christ rose on a Sunday, but incidentally as a bonus, a bumper crop, we have the Passover. The giving of the Holy Spirit occurred on a Saturday also. And Acts chapter 20 in verse 7 is one place where we read about the church gathering, and again in 1 Corinthians where we are told we assemble on a Sunday. Well, it says they were all.

Who's they? Here in verse 1, they were all with one accord here. Well, remember, no chapter divisions were given in the Bible.

The closest that come from the original documents would have been the Psalms. You have separate Psalms. They're not chapters, they're entire Psalms.

But the chapter divisions came later. So when Luke wrote this letter slash thesis to Theophilus, there were no breaks. So you would move right from chapter 1 verse 26 into what we call chapter 2 verse 1.

So let's read it together because the antecedent is critical. Who's the last people that Luke is talking about when he then resumes, comes back with the pronouns? Verse 26 of chapter 1 in Acts. And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Mathias, and he was numbered with the 11 apostles. And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord. And I believe strongly that this is the 12 apostles now, Mathias being added to that number. And not only because of the antecedent in verse 26, but also verse 37, when the apostles are mentioned and addressed, they're singled out. No one else is mentioned, making a strong case for it being only the 12. Now if you say, but no, I want there to be other people there too. Well, you can have that opinion.

You're not going to end up in Okinawa with your head shaved or anything like that. It's okay. So, events in Acts chapter 1, pardon me, Acts chapter 2 verse 1 through 41, that's not the entire chapter, but those events were led and experienced first by the apostles. They are the ones that opened the door. It says here with one accord, while unity and assembly pronounced characteristic with the first Christians without trying, without even referencing probably Amos 3, can two walk together unless they are agreed? Here they are walking together and they are agreed. And they are in one place, they are assembled, and we have good reason to believe that this was not in the upper rooms.

Those are the little things that can irritate somebody. Well, I think it was more than just the 12 apostles. I think it was up in the upper room. Well, you're wrong again. So, just kidding, but of course when you go to hear a pastor speak, you're going to get his beliefs.

Hopefully he's not conforming unless you really got some ammo on you. But anyway, in one place, well, we saw them in the upper room in chapter 1 in verse 4 and again in verse 13. It could have been different upper rooms with no reason to think there was only one upper room available to be rented out or borrowed.

But I pointed this out last session. Luke 24 verse 52. Luke adds this, summing up what was going on with the apostles after Christ had risen and showed himself to them. But before Pentecost, it says, and they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.

That is after his ascension. And were continually in the temple praising and blessing God, amen. So, we're not surprised to find them in the temple. Now, we'll get to why maybe some folks confuse this, just simply for the word translated house and we'll cover that. But in Jerusalem, really only the temple and around the temple could accommodate the multitudes, not only that are going to be baptized, but who are gathering. There really was no open courtyard. There were courtyards and homes, but not enough to carry a whole 3,000 men.

So, this is, you know, just using sense here and have no reason why not to. The ritual cleansing pools of the Jews, they were all over Jerusalem. Archaeologists are still finding them in Jerusalem. And they're essentially these little pools, you know, the rabbis laying on the people. When you come to Jerusalem, you're going to have to go through, you know, ritual cleansing, wash yourself. And so, they had these pools all over the place. This is Pentecost.

Feast of firstfruits required all men of the Jews to come to Jerusalem. That's why Luke is laying out, you know, Parthenians, Elamite, all these other folks are coming in. So, there's multitudes of people that are here.

And you can't just have a sink and expect people to wash up there. So, they've got these pools all over the place called mikvahs. One of the largest one was 220 found. One of the largest ones found by the temple on the temple grounds or close to. It's 225 feet wide.

I mean, that's just the width with three steps or sections to exit and enter the pool. And it would be difficult, if not far-fetched, to say that, well, they were in an upper room and 3,000 people heard them speaking in tongues or heard the wind come and then the tongues. And then they were, Peter preached to them and they could hear Peter preach to them and they gave their lives to Christ and they were all baptized. Well, this isn't happening in some narrow street in Jerusalem.

The only place that can really accommodate them is the temple ground, not the narrow streets, again, of the city. So, these are reasons why I have these beliefs, not just because I want to disagree with others who do think they were in an upper room. It's impossible to be.

Anyway, verse 2, And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Clearly, something outside of human influence is going on. That's the point that Luke is making. Remember, he's making points.

He's done his research. And as he's writing this, he's thinking, as any writer would do, and he wants to be clear about the events, he wants them to be accurate, and he wants to capture the moment. And so when you read this, the story narrated from the verses is kind of drawn out, but the experience was taking place quite rapidly. The wind came, the Spirit filled the house, the dwelling place where they were, the manifestation of tongues and fire. I mean, all of this is happening, the crowd's converging on, and then, you know, the sermon that comes, and so this is, the things are moving at a rapid pace here, but God the Holy Spirit's grand entrance to birth the church was sudden. I mean, they knew something was going to happen, the apostles, they had the promise, but they weren't expecting this.

Not like this. They knew to wait at the temple, to wait in Jerusalem. It says, as of a rushing mighty wind, and not a destructive wind, incidentally. When God appeared to Moses in the bush that burned, the bush was not consumed. God is not into destroying his people.

He really doesn't want to destroy anyone, that's why he's so long suffering. Jesus said this to Nicodemus, 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. Well, of course, if you've got a weather vane, you could probably figure it out, but just in general, the Lord is saying, when the wind comes, where is it coming from? Really, where is it coming from?

It's not a guy with a machine down the hallway, just pumping out the wind. And that sort of is consistent with what is happening here. He says, where they were sitting, well, they were hanging out together, the apostles, they were gathered together, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. This is divine saturation. Now, one of my Bible teachers, Alan Redpath, through mostly books, he said, to be saturated with the Word of God is to be filled with the presence of God. Well, I've saturated myself with the Word of God over the decades, and there have just been times where I did not feel that I was filled with God, but I was. You don't have to feel it.

It just has to be there. That is critical, and to prove this, you can be in the most sour mood, nearly in the flesh, and an opportunity to share Christ pops up in front of you, and you go right at it. You see, you're walking, and you say, I don't feel like it. I don't feel righteous. I don't feel anything.

Actually, I'm a little irritated with God right now. And you come across somebody, and God opens the door, and you get the chance to share, and you start just pouring out the gospel. It is magnificent. Anyway, it filled the presence. It filled the room with the presence.

It filled the people. Now, the use of the word house here is not a residence, as I feel I have established. Chapter 7, verse 47, we read, But Solomon built him a house.

The same Greek word. Well, what house did Solomon build? Well, the temple.

It's just not complicated. Which house? Is it a house, or is it an upper room? Which one is it?

Well, it's neither. It's there at the temple. There were canopied places. They were to shield from the sun and the elements, and the portico of Solomon would have been perfect for this kind of a thing. Little gazebos here and there.

You go to a conference center, and they have these little niches where you can kind of go and meditate, and the temple had these kinds of things. Well, verse 3, Herod's temple had these kinds of things, not the temple of Moses, the tabernacle of Moses. Verse 3, Then there appeared to them divided tongues as a fire, and one sat upon each of them. There appeared to them divided tongues.

Serious symbolism going on here. This isn't random. This isn't, well, you know, why tongues? I mean, I've always not liked that. It's like I would rather, I don't know, fists.

I don't know, it's kind of the, I don't know, any, but tongues, it's just egg. But what is important is I wouldn't change it. Now, that's not what I'm saying. Entirely emblematic and educational. It is deliberate. It is God's deliberate choice. Certainly not a literal fire.

That would be destructive also. But the tongue of fire, that is the human instrument. And, of course, the tongue, because of the fire, emblem of the Holy Spirit, is supercharged.

The tongue is supercharged. Now, you tell me what does anointing mean then? Well, to be anointed, I mean, they're different. They're anointed to preach, anointed to share, anointed to write.

It's inspiration. The tongue is human, but the fire, the inspiration, is divine. And here we see in union with God for a specific purpose, these two have come together, these two emblems. The mouth of people and the power of God. You shall be endured with power. And this is precisely what he is talking about for the specific purpose of witnessing, of declaring, of reasoning, of exhorting, of persuading, of giving influence with more than just the life.

It's not enough to live a righteous life. You have to have the message. I mean, you've got people connected to anything without the message. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply visit That's We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Acts, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-11 11:11:03 / 2023-04-11 11:20:18 / 9

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